(Whenever I conduct couples workshops, at some point I ask the participants to write letters of gratitude to one another. This is often a powerful experience for the couples. One husband wanted to share his letter with my Strengthen Your Relationship blog readers. As you read this letter, think of your own relationship; envision your partner/spouse and all that you are grateful for. Making the conscious effort to acknowledge each other in this way feeds the foundation of your relationship).
A letter of gratitude from a husband to his wife:
You continuously see the best in me, even when I don’t think there is any good to be found. You see possibilities when I only see hurdles. I’m a better person because of your love, your encouragement, your honesty, your support—you challenge me beyond the status quo that I’m so willing to accept. Even when you yell (yes, I know I drive you crazy at times), I still know that you love me. I’m not sure how you’re able to show anger and love at the same time, but somehow you do. And that makes me feel a sense of security so special that I can’t put it into words.
With you I feel safer than I’ve ever felt in my life. This emotional safety net has brought out parts of me I didn’t even know existed. I’ve grown and continue to grow as a person because of your love.
I know I can be challenging at times (can’t we all?). On my worst days I’m moody, narrow-minded, impatient and selfish. You’ve said so yourself; and I love and respect you for speaking this truth about me (though, of course, I recoiled and protested when I heard those words come out of your month). But you’ve never focused or gotten stuck on this unappealing truth about me. You named it, voiced what felt unacceptable to you, and then gave me space to wallow in my self-doubt.
I still hear your words: “When you’re done protesting against life, I’ll be here waiting for you.” And you were waiting like you always have been. I’ve come to fully trust that you will always be there for me, through the good and the bad.
I love your toughness and your softness, your kindness and your “don’t mess with me” attitude. Your smile, laugh, intelligence, creativity and thoughtfulness have made each day together an adventure to relish. Long ago, you made it a habit to point out all that you love about me and all the reasons why I’m “the right person for you.” I will never tire of hearing this (I think you realize that). And now it’s your turn to hear why you’re so good for me. I hope you read and reread this letter for the rest of our lives. In writing this, I know I’ve missed things, probably very important things, so consider this letter of gratitude a work-in-progress.
With deepest love and appreciation,
A Grateful Husband