Dear ____________ (Wife),
Nearly each time we attempt to talk about anything, I can sense a growing frustration and uneasiness in the conversation we are about to have.
I have noticed an unwillingness to open up. It seems there is a huge wall that has been built up over the years. There are times where there is such a huge disconnect in our communication that I feel the only thing we talk about these days are the typical conversations about work, kids, or finances, many of which still end in arguments. I miss the times where we used to talk, laugh, and enjoy each other. Believe it or not, I do miss the times when we used to be able to talk about anything and trust each other to talk about the hard stuff.
I know I have broken your trust. I have cut you off in mid-sentence to push my agenda. I have criticized your input on many topics. I have even completely ignored you or made some harsh comments about you as a person because he have disagreed. I regularly undermine your authority with the kids or elevate other’s feedback above your own.
I now recognize that my actions have caused you to hesitate to share much of anything these days. I realize that we can barely even talk about the small stuff without defensiveness getting in the way. I am sorry that I have made you feel that your words do not matter. I am sorry for making you feel that you are not important. I am sorry that I have not allowed you a voice in our family on many occasions.
I apologize for hurting you. I recognize my own selfishness as the cause of much of my behavior. I see where my own mis-trust and fear of losing control of the situation as cause for hurting you. My own hurt, has hurt you. You are the only one I love and care about, yet I have pushed you away.
I know we have a long path ahead of us. I know you do not trust that I will be a different person or that I have changed. That is OK. I will give you all the time you need to trust me again. I know it will be hard for you to open up again, but I hope with my intentional efforts over time, you will allow me back in. I know that we can get back to that point where you can trust me again. I know that one day we may be able to experience the joys of talking about even the hardest of subjects and knowing that we have each other’s back and are there for each other.
I commit to hearing you. I commit to allowing you to share your disagreements without criticizing you. I commit to validating your opinions as equal to mine. I commit to even having conversations where all I do is choose to listen to you and your perspective and recognize that you are not wrong, we are just different (sometimes…very different). Finally, I commit to not pushing you to open up too quickly and allowing you time to heal. We will work things out. Together, we can get back on the same page. Together, we can experience the joy, hope, and love that we used to feel.