CONFLICT IS INEVITABLE IN MARRIAGE, and it can either lead to discovery or damage depending on how well you handle it. When you effectively deal with conflict, you will discover new approaches, ideas, and solutions to make your marriage even more vibrant. If you do not solve your conflicts promptly, the wounds fester and conflicts intensify.
The place of effective communication in a marriage
Conflict is not the problem in marriage; how to deal with conflict is the issue. Effective communication, therefore, becomes a large part of a successful marriage.
Research by Dr. Kirsten Grarningen of University College London revealed that communication problems are the leading cause of divorce in Britain. The trick to staving off divorce lies in having a better relationship, which is helped by having a strong communication channel between you and your husband.
It is no wonder most advice on how to fix a marriage encourages couples to talk it out. But what do you do when your husband doesn't want to talk about your problems? Do you leave him alone and assume he will come to you when he is ready? Do you allow issues to go unresolved and expose your relationship to further strain?
First things first; why won’t your husband talk to you?
There are many reasons why your husband could go quiet on you in the face of conflict.
- He does not feel safe. Is it possible that the way you respond to your husband when you discuss difficult subjects has made him dread discussing tough issues with you? Do you become defensive and argumentative whenever you discuss your relationship problems?
- Your husband fears that you will not be considerate of his feelings. Do you always try to control the conversation with your husband? Do you tell him to get over his hurt already? Why should he talk to you about this critical issue when you will disregard his feelings like you have done every other time?
- Your husband could be unsure about his feelings about the situation, and he wants to think them through before speaking to you.
- Your husband could be worried about making a complicated issue even worse.
Important to note: you must recognize that an individual cannot not communicate. Even when your husband is not talking, he is communicating. The question is, what is he saying to you?
What to do when your husband won’t talk to you
Successful negotiation is a vital part of a healthy relationship. Your husband is avoiding negotiating with you by his silence. Unfortunately, issues will not solve themselves and they will not go away by being ignored. Your marriage needs serious attention right now.
To start the healing of your marriage, you must kick-start communication with your husband. Since verbal communication is temporarily on hold, what alternatives do you have?
Put it in writing
Sometimes an effective way to get your husband to open up is to use an unexpected method of communication. There are many practical advantages of putting your thoughts in writing:
- A letter gives you more time to think about what exactly you want to convey.
- It allows you to choose the right words for the message that you have in mind.
- You can pour out your heart without having to worry about being interrupted or tripping over your words.
How to make the most out of your letter
You are hoping to achieve a number of things with your letter: you want to get your husband back to the negotiation table. You are also hoping that writing the letter will be the start of the journey back to reconciliation with your husband. It is therefore important that you consider how your letter is going to be perceived.
- Do not focus on yourself in the letter. The most important thing right now is to focus on the feelings of your husband but not your own. ‘My heart is breaking, and I don’t know what I will do if I lose you’… You can sprinkle the letter with a few of these phrases but watch out that the entire letter is not all about you.
- Your husband is dissatisfied with your marriage as it is presently. For your letter to have an impact, it must clearly show how things will be different going forward.
Hint: Men crave physical intimacy. Your husband will respond even better to references for improving your physical relationship.
A carefully written letter can be the catalyst for reconciling your marriage as long as it is followed up with the right actions. We understand that writing letters (especially emotional ones) can be daunting. Feel free to look at the sample letter below and tweak it to suit your situation.
I will never forget the elegance I saw when I first set my eyes on you. I told you every day how handsome you are (often with some irritation). You were and still are everything I want in a man: you are ambitious, hardworking and honest. You are a man of integrity and honor.
I still remember when we first met: we enjoyed each other’s company and our days were filled with laughter. I felt loved and wanted. Your zest for life was infectious. I knew then that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you. That has not changed, and it will never change.
The last ten years have been adventurous. We have been blessed with our children, we have set up a thriving business, and we have bought our home. But we have also tasted the bitter side of life: we have stared at bankruptcy and survived a horrible accident. Through it all, you have been my rock.
You are smart, talented and capable and when things are happening around us, no one makes me and our children feel as whole and safe as you do. I believe in you. I know I do not say this often. Forgive me for taking you for granted.
I admit that I am not as wise as you are and I have not been as patient as you. I know that I can be a mystery to you. You are pretty steady and consistent, and I am much less so. I am more emotional and sensitive than you to things that happen.
I know that I sometimes lash out at you when things do not go my way. I frustrate you a lot of times. I admit that the way I have handled our arguments in the past was not always very constructive. I have walked out in the middle of arguments and shut you out. I now realize how damaging my behavior has been to our relationship.
I regret the many things that I have said and done that have hurt your feelings. I am sorry for not being more attentive to you. Forgive me for all the times I disrespected you and made you feel anything less than the great man you are. Forgive me for putting our marriage in jeopardy.
I have reflected deeply, and I know where I have erred. I am now willing to begin the process of changing for the better. I plead for another chance to make things right. I will respect you and listen to you patiently. I will put your concerns into consideration. I will meet your needs to the best of my ability. Please help me to put our family back together.
I miss our late night conversations. I miss your cuddles and kisses. Please talk to me.
What happens next…
Writing a letter like this can be daunting. Putting everything on the line like this can feel like your giving him all the power in the relationship.
But to save your marriage you must try.
Give him some time to get back to you. It might take him a while for it all to sink in, but at the same time, don't let it drag on for months.
While you are waiting, it's important to start righting the wrongs of your marriage. Show him you have changed by understanding his needs better than any other woman can. Everything you need to know about understanding men and what they really want is in this video. (Hint: It isn't what they say they want)
If the letter doesn't have the desired effect
If the letter you write doesn't have the desired effect then you do still have choices. There is also affordable professional assistance here. This is a DIY guide which will help educate and inform you on what else you can do to get through to your husband and turn your marriage around.
Best of luck in your situation and thanks for reading this guide on how to write a letter to husband to save marriage. If you want more tips, advice, and help on saving your marriage then join the newsletter list below.