Imagine this. You are stressed and tired. You’ve been working all day, and have come home to hungry cranky kids and a hungry cranky partner. You’re feeling pretty hungry and cranky yourself. You go upstairs to change and, as you pull your nice comfy t-shirt out of the drawer, an envelope falls out onto the floor. You bend to pick it up, and see your name on the front of the envelope. You recognize the handwriting as your partner’s, and as you open it, get a little nervous. Your partner never writes letters to you. What the heck is going on? You rip the letter out of the envelope and find the following words:
My love – I just wanted to write you a letter to tell you how much I appreciate you. Things have been so crazy lately with our schedules and all the running around we’re doing… Please know that I am so grateful to you for the things you do for me and our family. You are so loved by me.
What would you think if you received that letter? What would you feel? What would you do?
You might think, as I would – wow! This is new! How nice! You might feel pretty darned good to receive a love missive such as this, unexpectedly and really, as you think about it, much needed. You might smile and go right downstairs to hug your partner, hugging your kids too on your way. And then you might decide to write and hide a letter of your own.
Imagine writing your own letter now. What would you say to your partner? Where would you hide it?
This small act, of writing a letter to your partner, has great power. It has great power because it signals attention. It has great power because it signals intention. It has great power because, with pen on paper, comes greater attention to words and a different kind of thought processing than comes with writing a quick text. It has great power because you will be waiting for and anticipating your partner’s reaction. You will be actively thinking about your relationship in a positive way.
Well, you might be saying right now, that’s all very well and good, but I’m not feeling that connected to my partner right now. In fact, a long laundry list of complaints might be emerging from your mouth right now, a laundry list which might prevent you from writing this powerful letter of attention and intention.
And I am here to tell you that there’s no better time than now to forge that reconnection. A letter can be a great entry into this! For example, you could write,
Things have been so disconnected lately. I want you to know that I appreciate you and love you! I want to work with you on making things better. What about you? Let’s figure out a time to talk about this.
This is the thing, the very very big thing: Relationships need work. They need work, especially with all the demands placed on them today. They need attention. They need intention. Without this intention and attention, the very real danger appears of disconnection to the point of disengagement from the relationship and no longer wanting to be in it.
Sometimes, all it takes is a letter to get this reconnection going. Even if things are going well in your relationship, a letter signals attention and intention – things that relationships thirst for in our busy scheduled lives. I invite you to try it today and see what happens.