How to write a Letter to your partner about a problem

In this article, I want to give you an overview why Letters are so beneficial, why they have a psychological advantage over talking or a text messaging and I will even give you a little Blueprint how to write them in a way your partner will most likely appreciate it.

A lot of the time we are not able to really express what we want to say to our partner. Most of the time it will be because of external circumstances – maybe you are apart for a long time or you both are just in a stressful time in your life. Also, there are a number of circumstances where you can have time to relax but not the privacy to talk about your problems, wishes or desires.

Despite these external problems there are also a lot of internal problems that are a burden on our coimmunication. Some people simply shut down if you talk with them. They can listen to you but they are not able to formulate a response. And then in other situations you need to convey a lot of additional things about your thinking before you can make your point.

In all these circumstances a Letter is a great tool to use for you and your partner.

Aren’t letters a thing of the Past?

Quite a lot of people think that “Letters” are a thing of the past and not a good tool in today’s digital age.
I mean we can make voice recordings, have instant text messages and are connected around the clock over the globe…
So why write a letter, right?

First of all, when I talk here about a “Letter”, it can be in digital form – an email or a shared document is as much a letter in today’s world than the pen&paper form from the last century!
So don’t get confused or think you have to go back to the 1950s to convey your thoughts in this kind of way. Just open a Textpad and write down what you think about.

What benefits has a Letter?

Letters have Multiple benefits.
For starters, you can present your own viewpoint and arguments in a way that is consistent and without getting interrupted or sidetracked by questions from your partner.

You can explain why something is very important to you.
After all your partner sees that you put time and effort into your letter. It’s hard to dismiss something or see it as less important when you made the Letter especially for a specific topic you wnat to discuss.

It also gives you the opportunity to see for yourself how you present your argument and how you sound when you do.

Quite a few letters were written and then discarded because the people who wrote them realized they were talking about the wrong points in them.

You can also share the letter with another person to make sure it conveys what you want. In fact I always reccomend that you share the letter with another person before you send it to your partner if the circumstances allow for it.

Letters have also the benefit of being time insensitive – because it is a long letter there is no expectation to answer it directly.
If there was you would use a normal text-message – right?
So you give your partner time to digest, think and respond and don’t put additional pressure on them.

What should I put into a Letter?

If you are bad at communication or if you just don’t know how to start a Letter I can give you a little Framework how to write them.

Step 1:
Explain why you write this letter and also what you hope to
achieve?

Step 2:
Explain your problem/thoughts on your topic. Be elaborate and put in your logical thinking but also your feelings. If you have conflicting feelings be sure to include them so your partner knows about them.

Step 3:
Explain how you think your partner can improve the situation or address the topic in a good meaningful way.

Step 4:
Tell your partner how you think they feel about this whole topic. Try to be understanding of their position and their feelings.

Step 5:
End on a good and positive note if you can – for instance, make a point about how happy you are in the relationship, that you are positive that you both can solve the problem or how nervous you are sending this letter but just hope for the best.

Things you should consider

There is a lot you can do with a Letter – there is also a lot you can do in a wrong way, so let me also explain what kind of mindset you should have when you write your letter and what you should avoid!

Make sure you explain everything as detailed as possible from your own perspective – don’t assume your partner knows how or what you think! – You wouldn’t need to write the letter in the first place if that was the case, so assume your partner missed something and you don’t know what exactly.

A letter is also not a debate or an “I beat you to the punch” kind of format. A letter should always about enriching your communication and resolving problems in a consensual way.

Never attribute bad intentions to your partner if you discuss a problem.
Never set Deadlines or Ultimatums – if you do, it comes over as blackmail instead as a try to communicate.

From my own Experience

I never thought even 3 years ago that I would actually be a good writer or that I can use words well. It was never my focus and my gift/curse is in totally different areas.

That said I always liked to convey my thoughts and ideas via text. Maybe that was out of neccessety because with [C] I needed to communicate in a format that she can have time and space to ponder aboput it and than come back to me with her thinking.

With [SD] I had a lot of long emails – part of them with discussions about play ideas but also with discussions about our lives, problems and how to resolve them.

These two tought me that there is value in a Letter – that there is another mental component in play that you don’t get via normal texting.

Its true, black on white words can’t convey everything – sometimes it is better to use your voice so the other person hears you shaking and knows how important something is. But there are a lot situations where a well crafted letter can move mountains just because somebody sat down and took the time to actually think and formulate the problem.

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