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One of the first things we do when a man gets involved with this ministry is have him write an apology letter to his wife. Typically, the first draft of the letter is all about him. Understandable, since the man has no experience with any of this. However, in order for the letter to be healing to his wife, it has to be about HER. We typically go through this on just about everybody's thread, critiquing and going through the rewrites, and we generally end up saying just about the same things over and over. So in order to save myself some typing ;) I'm going to pull examples from various threads, along with the advice we gave and the rewrites.

 

Please go through this thread and use the suggestions to work on your own letter. Then, when you've gotten it as good as you feel you can get it, post your letter on your thread for us to go over.

 

We strongly advise against sending your letter to your wife until we've given it the OK.

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One man's first letter:

 

D,

 

I've been thinking about your pain, what I've put you through, and you deserve an apology for the broken promises and the broken dreams I offered you.

 

I promised I'd be a teacher, but I didn't keep my promise to you. You had hopes I'd be faithful, steady, and committed to YOUR financial future. I wasn't.

 

You told me you wanted more children. I didn't act to find additional work, nor support you on this. How much pain did I put you through?

 

You've sought my physical and emotional attention many times, and I didn't see it. I always made it about me, and I ignored you. I emotionally abandoned you, and that’s a horrible truth.

 

I have been harsh with you verbally and passively instead of accepting you in your weaknesses. I have not been safe around you.

 

I put my fist in our bedroom door, and I didn’t fix it. Did me leaving it there leave a fear in you? That was very, very wrong.

 

I broke the glass stovetop in anger. I’ve only heard from Joel Davisson how it affected you. I didn’t realize you were so scared by that act. I’m sorry I traumatized you so.

 

 

I have blamed you for your distance from me instead of realizing I had forced you to distance yourself.

 

I have watched and read pornographic materials while I've made little effort in getting to know the REAL you--a girl who hurts and is wounded herself. I was wrong.

 

I have offered you my weaknesses instead of my strength. I have continually tried to meet my own emotional needs first instead of yours.

 

I've been so very passive with you. I made you initiate activities, outings, and family gatherings. I waited for you to do it, knowing you would if I didn't.

 

I tired you out, making you the family's leader. You continually verbalized I should be doing it. I didn't. I made you my emotional caretaker, and I criticized you, both verbally and silently, for not being there—for me. This was an abdication of my responsibility to you.

 

I started arguments, got happy when you'd react, and then watch you weep as you left. It was so cruel. I saw your disappointment in me, and passively celebrated. I'd made you my "momma" again. I got critical of you when you didn't want to "play the role". In truth, I celebrated since I was getting revenge, passively, on my own mother, which you’re well aware of. This is wrong, plain wrong, for I was abusing you.

 

I expected you to initiate, you to lead, you to direct our steps, and.........you weren't made that way. No woman is. You expected me to do this, while I constantly worked against you.

 

I’ve said numerous times “I’ll change”, and I didn’t stick with it. I’ve seen your disbelief in the last months about my intentions this time, and it makes perfect sense. I didn’t keep my word many, many times, so actions were the only thing that could be believed.

 

I didn’t make our marriage fun, but rather expected and wanted you to be my momma and my therapist. I drained you, and would criticize you if, in any way, you didn’t fill my insatiable cup.

 

I’ve often said “I love you” so you would say it to me. Again, I “should” on you. I had put an insurmountable load on you.

 

I’ve not danced with you. You’ve said numerous times through the years you wanted me to take you dancing.

 

(End, so far)

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Suggestions made by helper:

 

Too many I's.

 

For example, instead of your first paragraph you might say, "You have received nothing but pain, broken dreams, and broken promises in this marriage. You deserve an apology. " See how that takes you completely out of the picture? You don't need to remind her that you're the one who did all that stuff. Trust me, she knows. rolleyes.gif

 

You also need to include, to the best of your ability, how you think your actions made her feel. You won't get all of that right, but she needs to see an attempt. Words like unsafe, insecure, ignored, worthless - anything you can imagine she may have felt. You did that when you talked about putting your fist through the door - excellent! Just get more of her feelings in there.

 

This is a really good first attempt - I like the way you've broken it down to individual items instead of lumping them together into one long paragraph. It feels like you're taking each one seriously instead of trying to gloss over them.

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His rewrite:

 

D,

 

You have received nothing but pain, broken dreams, and broken promises in this marriage. You’ve been abused by me in so many different ways, and it has also become an accepted pattern for us. I want to apologize for these things I’ve done.

 

You married a man promising to be a teacher, and the promise wasn’t kept. You had hopes I'd be faithful, steady, and committed to YOUR financial future. It didn’t happen like that at all. This has created great insecurity which you’ve shared with me numerous times. This was a recreation of your own family’s dynamics, and I took away your hope of a different life. You were left alone to work this out, and I still see fear in your eyes some days regarding money.

 

You said you wanted more children. Additional work wasn’t sought by me, nor were you supported emotionally. How much pain did I put you through?

 

You've sought my physical and emotional attention many times, and it was disregarded. It was always about me, and you were ignored. You were emotionally abandoned or abused, and that’s a horrible reality. Many times you came to me airing things, for you just needed to vent. You received harshness when you needed comfort and safety, weakness and insecurity in place of strength and love. This hurt you terribly. I wanted you to stuff it down inside, like I’d done. It only stunted you, for you were abandoned emotionally and left to suffer alone. All the escapes, whether it was food, video games, gambling, or weekend getaways, were a result of me abandoning you.

 

I put my fist in our bedroom door, and didn’t fix it. Additionally, the glass stovetop was broken by me in anger. I’ve heard from Joel Davisson how it affected you. He communicated it really scared you.

 

Your husband has watched and read pornographic materials while making little effort in getting to know the REAL you--a girl who hurts and is wounded herself. This was wrong. You need attention, affection, tenderness, and safety. I suspect I only triggered your own horrible memories at times, for your body language was screaming at me, many times, to get away during intercourse. I saw fear and pain in your eyes nearly every time. You needed healing, and it was dismissed.

 

You were given the unspoken mandate to be my “emotional caretaker” and were criticized, both verbally and silently, for not being there for me. You’d then watch me start arguments, get excited when you'd react, and you’d weep as you left. It was so cruel. You’d be deeply disappointed, yet I passively celebrated, for you’d been “momma” for me. This is wrong, plain wrong, for I had abused you. You aren’t my mother.

 

You were forced to initiate activities, outings, and family gatherings. This tired you out, making you the family's leader. I’m finding out women weren't made that way. No woman is. You are a responder by nature.

 

I’ve said numerous times “I’ll change”, and didn’t stick with it. Your disbelief in the last months about my intentions this time makes perfect sense. I didn’t keep my word many, many times, so actions were the only thing that could be believed. Again, I took away your hope.

 

You were told “I love you” many times in hopes of receiving a similar return. It laid a heavy, unfair expectation on you, for nothing was given to you when I spoke. I suspect I created a deep insecurity in you, for you weren’t made to initiate, to bring life into our relationship. I was.

 

You’ve not been danced with like you’ve requested over the years. Numerous times you’ve wanted me to take you dancing. You’ve shared, in referencing (our daughter), that you were still a little girl yourself. You weren’t treasured, protected, or valued by me, your husband. This cut your feelings of self-worth down low.

 

I’m sorry for doing these things. They were all wrong.

 

 

 

Your husband,

 

(end of letter)

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Suggestions are in pink within the body of the letter:

 

D,

 

You have received nothing but pain, broken dreams, and broken promises in this marriage. You’ve been abused by me in so many different ways, and it has also become an accepted pattern for us. I want to apologize to you for these things I’ve done.

 

You married a man promising to be a teacher, and the promise wasn’t kept and that promise was broken . You had hopes I'd be faithful, steady, and committed to YOUR financial future. It didn’t happen like that at all. This has created great insecurity which you’ve shared with me numerous times. This was a recreation of your own family’s dynamics, and I took away your hope of a different life. You were left alone to work this out, and I still see fear in your eyes some days regarding money.

 

You said you wanted more children. Additional work wasn’t sought by me, nor were you supported emotionally. How much pain (did I) (must I have)put you through?

 

You've sought my physical and emotional attention many times, and it was You were ignored and disregarded. It was always about me, and you were ignored. You were emotionally abandoned or and abused, and that’s a horrible reality. Many times you came to me airing things, for you just needed to vent and be heard and to know that your feelings were important to me. You received harshness when you needed comfort and safety, weakness and insecurity in place of strength and love. This hurt you terribly. I wanted you to stuff it down inside, like I’d done. It only stunted you, for you were abandoned emotionally and left to suffer alone. All the escapes, whether it was food, video games, gambling, or weekend getaways, were a result of me abandoning you.

 

I agree with what you said about maybe this could send the wrong message. maybe? You have been forced, by my actions, and abandonment, to escape into things such as video games and gambling, that have hurt you even more, and who could blame you for wanting to escape?

 

I put my fist in our bedroom door, and didn’t fix it. Additionally, the glass stovetop was broken by me in anger. I’ve heard from Joel Davisson how it affected you. He communicated it really scared you.

 

Again, well done for picking up on how this sentence is wrong. maybe something like- with the help of the ministry, and in particular Joel davisson, I have begun to realise how these actions of mine scared and intimidated you, which of course is what I intended, I see that now. I wanted to control so many things, and used violence these things to that end. I'm so sorry I scared you so much.

 

Your husband has ????? I have watched and read pornographic materials while making little effort in getting to know the REAL you--a girl who hurts and is wounded herself. This was wrong. You need attention, affection, tenderness, and safety. I suspect I only triggered your own horrible memories at times, for your body language was screaming at me, many times, to get away during intercourse. I saw fear and pain in your eyes nearly every time. You needed healing, and it was dismissed.

 

You were given the unspoken mandate to be my “emotional caretaker” and were criticized, both verbally and silently, for not being there for me. You’d then watch me start arguments, get excited when you'd react, and you’d weep as you left. It was so cruel. You’d be deeply disappointed, yet I passively celebrated, for you’d been “momma” for me. This is wrong, plain wrong, for I had abused you. You aren’t my mother.

 

You were forced to initiate activities, outings, and family gatherings. This tired you out, making you the family's leader. I’m finding out women weren't made that way. No woman is. You are a responder by nature.

 

I’ve said numerous times “I’ll change”, and didn’t stick with it. Your disbelief inability to be able to trust me in the last months about my intentions this time makes perfect sense. I didn’t keep my word many, many times, so actions were the only thing that could be believed. Again, I took away your hope.

 

You were told “I love you” many times in hopes of receiving a similar return. It laid a heavy, unfair expectation on you, for nothing was given to you when I spoke. I suspect I created a deep insecurity in you, for you weren’t made to initiate, to bring life into our relationship. I was.

 

You’ve not been danced with like you’ve requested over the years. Numerous times you’ve wanted me to take you dancing. You’ve shared, in referencing (our daughter), that you were still a little girl yourself. You weren’t treasured, protected, or valued by me, your husband. This cut your feelings of self-worth down low.

 

I’m sorry for doing these things. They were all wrong.

 

 

 

Your husband,

 

(end of letter)

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More suggestions, in red this time.

 

D,

 

You have received nothing but pain, broken dreams, and broken promises in this marriage. You’ve been abused by me in so many different ways, and it has also become an accepted pattern for us. I want to apologize to you for these things I’ve done.

 

You married a man promising to be a teacher, and the promise was broken. You had hopes I'd be faithful, steady, and committed to YOUR financial future. It didn’t happen like that at all. This has created great insecurity which you’ve shared with me numerous times. This was a recreation of your own family’s dynamics, and I took away your hope of a different life. You were left alone to work this out, and I still see fear in your eyes some days regarding money.

 

You said you wanted more children. Additional work wasn’t sought by me, nor were you supported emotionally. How much pain did I put you through?

 

You've sought my physical and emotional attention many times, and you were ignored and disregarded. It was always about me. You were emotionally abandoned or abused, and that’s a horrible reality. Many times you came to me airing things, for you just needed to vent. You received harshness when you needed comfort and safety, weakness and insecurity when you needed strength and love. This hurt you terribly. I wanted you to stuff it down inside. It only stunted you, for (I just thought she might feel that you see her as "stunted" or flawed. Every wife desires that her husband sees her as beautiful, perfect in his eyes.) You were abandoned emotionally and left to suffer alone. You were forced, by my actions and abandonment, to escape into things such as shopping and gambling, that have hurt you even more. (Does your wife agree that she has "escaped" into these things? Or will she feel you are condemning her when you bring this up? If this is a possibility, you might leave out the whole "escape" sentence. The following rhetorical question would be fine on its own, I think.) Who could blame you for wanting to escape?

 

I put my fist in our bedroom door, and didn’t fix it. Additionally, the glass stovetop was broken by me in anger. With the help of the ministry, and specifically, Joel Davisson, I’m learning how I purposefully used violence to intimidate you. I see it now. I wanted to control so many things, and used violence for that end. I'm so sorry I scared you so much.

 

I have watched and read pornographic materials while making little effort to get to know the REAL you--a girl who is hurt and wounded herself. This was wrong. You needed attention, affection, tenderness, and safety. I suspect I only triggered your own horrible memories at times, for your body language was screaming at me, many times, to get away during intercourse. I saw fear and pain in your eyes nearly every time. You needed healing, and instead my dismissive attitude piled on more abuse. I am so sorry.

 

You were given the unspoken mandate to be my “emotional caretaker” and were criticized, both verbally and silently, for not being there for me. You’d then watch me start arguments, get excited when you'd react, and you’d weep as you left. It was so cruel. You’d be deeply disappointed, yet I passively celebrated, for you’d been “momma” for me. This is wrong, plain wrong, for I had abused you. You aren’t my mother.

 

You were forced to initiate activities, outings, and family gatherings. This tired you out, making you the family's leader. I’m finding out women weren't made that way. No woman is. You are a responder by nature.

 

I’ve said numerous times “I’ll change”, and didn’t stick with it. Your inability to trust me about my intentions this time makes perfect sense. I didn’t keep my word many, many times, so actions were the only thing that could be believed. Again, I took away your hope.

 

You were told “I love you” many times in hopes of receiving a similar return. It laid a heavy, unfair expectation on you, for nothing was given to you when I spoke. I suspect I created a deep insecurity in you, for you weren’t made to initiate, to bring life into our relationship. I was supposed to.

 

You’ve not been danced with like you’ve requested over the years. Numerous times you’ve wanted me to take you dancing. You’ve shared, in referencing (our daughter), that you were still a little girl yourself. You weren’t treasured, protected, or valued by me, your husband. What a blow that must have been to your feelings of self-worth.

 

I’m sorry Wife's Name. All these behaviors of mine were SO wrong.

 

 

Yours,

Your Name

 

This is the version that was sent to his wife.

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Another man's original letter:

 

PammySue,

 

Another year has passed since a letter was written to you asking for your forgiveness and another year where failure as a husband has been revealed to me. Where you failed to receive honor, and treatment with understanding, where you were failed to receive love and harsh treatment by your husband, this is being revealed to me daily and I ask you to forgive me for failing, you, our children, and our marriage.

I was not the man or husband I promised you to be. I was not the man you needed me to be. I failed to be your source of life and strength. I failed to protect your heart. I failed to listen to your heart and meet the needs you were begging me for.

 

I am sorry you were not asked to be my wife when we first discovered we were pregnant with Timo. I had paid for the divorce from Mike, because I did not want you to be legally married to another man when you gave birth to my son, yet I did not ask you to be my wife until almost a year later. You had to worry if your son would grow up with a father instead of having the security that I would be there for him, Cain, Kyle and you.

 

I am sorry I never adopted Cain. Kyle had his father, Timo had his, and yet Cain had to grow up without the security of having one of his own. Cain called me Dad and I called him son. I love Cain just as much as I would if he shared the same blood as me but he must not have felt that because I never adopted him. The pain in his heart caused pain in your heart. I am sorry to have caused either one of you that pain.

 

When I asked you to be my wife you said yes. You had dreams for our life together and for our family and I had made a promise to you to be the man to make all of those dreams come true. I had promised to treat you like a queen. I had promised to keep your thoughts, desires, and feelings and cares as important to me as they were to you. You dreamed of a wonderful marriage and that I as your husband would always be the man of your dreams. I failed to be your knight in shining armor. I am sorry for failing to meet your dreams.

 

I am sorry for not showing you enough attention. You had asked me over and over again that you were hungering for my attention. You asked me to do all the romantic things I did for you before we were married and I would try but eventually would slide back to my same old routine and I made it your responsibility to pull me back in when I began to slide. It is my responsibility to be the initiator and not the responder and for that I ask you to forgive me.

 

I ask you to forgive me for not showing you enough affection. I needed to show you how important you were to me. I didn’t show you as much as I needed to, how proud I was of you. You needed to feel that I was a man who would always take care of you, and protect you. I am sorry for failing to meet this need.

 

I am sorry for my use of pornography and self gratification. This too was extremely selfish and hurtful towards you. Thinking of me and failing to see the effect it had on you. This was infidelity in our marriage. A gift to be shared with my wife and images of women other than my wife was a betrayal towards you. You were cheated out of intimacy and sexual emotions. I was bonding with myself instead of you. I am so sorry for humiliating and disrespecting you.

 

I am sorry for putting my own selfish needs in front of yours. You had asked me for help with things, for us to spend quality time doing things together and I always made excuses so I could veg on the couch and sit in front of the TV. I am sorry for not helping you with things that were important to you.

 

I ask you to forgive me for failing to be a good financial planner for our family. If I had been a better manager of our money I could have taken you and the boys on more vacations, we would have had more money to go on more dates, we would not have to struggle to just meet basic needs, and you could have had peace to not worry about how the bills were going to be paid. I blamed you for our financial problems and tried to control you by placing you on an allowance and taking away your debit card. You were made to feel like a child who was not responsible with money. I am sorry for not trusting you with the money you worked so hard to make.

 

You worked hard to bring in more money and rather than showing you how proud and thankful I was of you, I continued to make you feel guilty. Every time you were called into work, got a phone call at night, or worked from home, I made you feel guilty. I made you feel like your work was more important than me or the kids. You worked very hard to advance in your career and to overcome your past and instead of supporting you, I pouted like a little boy who was not getting enough attention from mommy. I am sorry I acted so childish. If I had been more ambitious, I may have advanced my career, and not been so jealous of yours. You supported me every time I started a new job or a new career path and I failed to do the same for you. I am truly sorry for that.

 

I am sorry for being passive in our marriage and as a father. I made you bear the responsibility of making most of the household decisions and when things didn’t turn out right I was able to blame you. I should have shouldered most of the responsibility and worked with you to make decisions together. I was too insecure as a man and afraid to fail that I left most of the decisions to you. I was weak, selfish, and very immature. Pam I am so sorry.

 

I ask you to forgive me for my failure to be wholly committed to the family. I did not bond with the boys. As their father, I should have taken them on camping trips, sporting events, Boy Scout functions, etc. I left it up to you to help build the racecars for scouts, chaperone events, take them to basketball games, and church functions. I did not involve myself in School Projects or school functions. I did not read to the kids before bed, have family meetings, attend sport events, play games, or go out for walks or bike riding with the boys. I failed to learn how to handle my anger. I am sorry for not being totally committed to the family.

 

I am sorry for making you feel undeserving of me. I know it is me who is undeserving of you, and I always knew it. My insecurity caused the self fulfilling prophecy. It was your outgoingness, sense of humor, intelligence, and beauty (inside and out) that attracted me to you. You are all the things I wanted to be. People are just drawn to you, with good reason. I was so sure that once you realized what a truly wonderful person you are that you would start to ask yourself why I am with this guy. I let everyone convince you how lucky you were to have me as a husband. I failed to show everyone that I was the lucky guy all along. Even though you knew the truth all along, I failed to set everyone straight and I failed to truly be the husband that everyone thought I was. I worked so hard to not lose you, when all along I should have been working hard to keep you. Pam, I am so so sorry.

 

Everyone we knew, were fooled into believing that your husband was a great guy. You were manipulated into believing that there was no reason for your unhappiness and that there must be something wrong with you for not being happy. In reality the effort was not put in by the man who was suppose to understand and meet your needs. Your heart knew you were not happy and trying to figure out the reason why must have been frustrating for you because your heart knew the real man you were married to while everyone else kept telling you that you are married to a great guy.

I am sorry for have been possessive and co-dependent on you. There was many times where you wanted to go out and do things with other people without me. I made you feel guilty or pouted like a little kid if I could not go with, or if I did not want to go, I made excuses as to why you shouldn’t (money, family time, etc.). You had interests which I did not share in and rather than trying to share your interests, I minimized or made fun of them when I should have learned to share them with you. I also did not discover any interests of my own and you were made to feel that you were responsible for my happiness. This was a heavy burden to carry, and I am so sorry to have put that upon you.

 

I am truly sorry for all the games and manipulation I have done over the last two years. I was such a fool. Moving out, selling the house, and filing for divorce were all games I played to try and force you back to me. These games did not draw you closer but only pushed you closer to Dan. I should have seen this as your final cry out to me to become the husband you always needed me to be. You were just seeking what you should have been receiving from me. The love, attention, being pursued, feeling cherished, are all things you deserved and I am sorry I did not give them to you. I am sorry you needed to look for what you so richly deserved elsewhere.

 

The suicide attempt was the most foolish of them all. That is the ultimate act of selfishness. I am so sorry for what I almost did to you and the boys who I love so much. Thinking of myself and only wanting my own pain to stop without thinking of the pain I would have caused you and the boys and what hurts they would carry for the rest of their lives. I can make lists of all the selfish acts I committed but none as bad as that. I am truly sorry.

I am sorry for the email I sent to Dan. Things were said in the email about you that were hurtful, that is not even a strong enough word to describe the contents of that email. I can’t even think of the right words to say how selfish, inconsiderate, mean, ugly, terrible, horrible things which were put in that email. I had caused so much damage to your heart already and that was the final blow. Whatever small part of your heart was left that I had not destroyed, that email probably finished the job. I am so sorry to have hurt you.

 

I could write for months specific ways I have damaged your heart over the years. I am repentant of failing you as a husband. I am sorry for all the times I was not a positive influence to you. I am sorry for all the times I did not control my temper. I am sorry for all the times I broke your confidence. I am sorry for all the times I did not admit when I was wrong. I am sorry for not always being kind and compassionate to you. I am sorry for all the times I was not truthful and honest. I am sorry for not always being generous. I am sorry for not always being a man of integrity. I am sorry for not always being protective of you and your feelings. I am sorry for not being the man you needed me to be. I should have been your source of life and strength. I failed you and I am truly remorseful.

 

Pam, I never really understood the depth of the pain I put you through. I am so disgusted with myself. You are an amazing woman and I will always be grateful for our marriage and the life we shared together. You have always been a blessing to me; I should have been a blessing to you as well. I am so sorry. You have experienced so much pain. I have so much regret in my heart. I have so much remorse for the ways I have hurt you. Please forgive me.

 

I Love You PammySue

Joe

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Advice:

 

 

OK, here we go. I'm not going to pick apart your whole letter, but rather show you some examples of what I mean, and then you can go through and rewrite it.

 

The first paragraph is pretty good. You start losing it in the second paragraph.

 

Quote

 

I was not the man or husband I promised you to be. I was not the man you needed me to be. I failed to be your source of life and strength. I failed to protect your heart. I failed to listen to your heart and meet the needs you were begging me for.

 

You needed a husband who would be your source of life and strength. You needed a man who would listen to your heart, meet the needs you were begging for, and protect you. That isn't what you got.

 

Your version is all about you - what YOU did wrong, etc. Do you see how my rewrite focuses on her? That's what she needs to hear. You don't need to remind her of all the things you did wrong. Trust me, she knows. She wants to see that you understand what your actions did to her.

 

 

Quote

 

I am sorry you were not asked to be my wife when we first discovered we were pregnant with Timo. I had paid for the divorce from Mike, because I did not want you to be legally married to another man when you gave birth to my son, yet I did not ask you to be my wife until almost a year later. You had to worry if your son would grow up with a father instead of having the security that I would be there for him, Cain, Kyle and you.

 

How do you think this made her feel? You got one piece of it - the worry for her sons - but there are a lot more feelings that you're missing here. I'm sure she thought you didn't want her, that she was good enough to have sex with but not good enough to marry, that she was stupid for getting pregnant, etc. Try to address some of those feelings.

 

Take each paragraph and focus it on her and her feelings as much as you can. Take out as many references to yourself as possible. Obviously you can't take them all out - there is no way to say I'm sorry without referring to yourself - but do the best you can. Then post your rewrite here and we'll go over it again.

 

In general, though, you did pretty well for a first attempt. I like the fact that you've put in specific instances - so many guys just say I'm sorry I hurt you, which could mean anything. The more she sees that you really do understand what you've done, the more healing the letter will be for her.

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Second draft:

 

PammySue,

Another year has passed since a letter was written to you asking for your forgiveness and another year where all the ways your husband failed you have been revealed. Where you failed to receive honor and treatment with understanding, where you were failed to receive love, and where received harsh treatment by your husband, this is being revealed daily and forgiveness is not deserved for failing you, our children, and out marriage but you deserve an apology.

You were promised a husband who would meet your needs. You needed a husband who would be your source of life and strength. You needed a man who would listen to your heart, meet the needs you were begging for, and protect you. That isn’t what you got.

 

You were not asked to be my wife when we first discovered we were pregnant with Timo. You may have felt unwanted or not good enough of a woman for me. You must have felt as if I thought you were good enough to have sex with, but not good enough to be my wife. You were almost forced to divorce Mike, because the father of your child did not want you to be legally married to another man when you gave birth to his son; however you were not asked to become a wife until almost a year later. You had to worry if you son would grow up with a father instead of the security that you, Kyle, Cain, and Timo would be taken care of.

 

Cain was never adopted. Kyle had his father, Timo had his, and yet Cain had to grow up without the security of having a father of his own. Cain called me Dad, and to me he was my son. I love Cain just as much as if we shared the same blood; he may not have felt that because I never made it legal and gave him my name. The pain in his heart caused pain in your heart. Neither one of you deserved to feel that pain.

When you were asked to be my wife, you said yes. You had dreams for our life together and our family. You were promised that the man you married would make all of those dreams come true. You were promised to be treated like a queen. You were promised that all your thoughts, desires, feelings, and cares would be shared and would be just as important to your husband. You dreamed of a wonderful marriage and of a husband who would be the man of your dreams. Your knight in shining armor failed to meet your dreams. I am sorry for failing to fulfill your dreams.

 

You were neglected the attention you needed. Over and over you begged the man you married for attention. You heart was hungering to be pursued just like before we were married. You needed to feel desired and wanted. You needed to feel cherished and adored. You begged for the romance to return like it was before you promised you hand in marriage. This should have been eagerly given to you but you had to ask for it. You should have been responding to being pursued, instead you had to initiate. For that I ask you to forgive me.

 

You did not receive enough affection. You are a very important person. You needed to feel that you were cherished by your husband. You needed to know how proud he was to have you as a wife. You needed to know that you would always be protected and taken care of by your husband. These were needs you failed to receive.

The use of pornography and the selfish act of self-gratification was another major source of pain in your heart. You needed to know that you were the most attractive woman to your husband. You needed to know that you were the only woman of your husband’s desires. You needed to feel loved. This was a betrayal to you. Not thinking of you and the effect it had on your heart was disrespectful and probably humiliating for you. You were cheated out of intimacy and sexual emotions. You needed your husband to bond with you and not selfishly bonding with himself. Sharing yourself with your husband was a precious gift to be cherished and it was made to seem like it wasn’t good enough. This was infidelity in our marriage and this was a hurt you did not deserve. I am sorry

 

You wanted us to spend quality time together. Doing things together was important to you. You wanted help from your husband, you did not need it but you wanted it. Simple tasks like working on the pond, clipping the dogs’ nails, putting up Christmas lights and working in the yard were tasks that you wanted to do together. Your husband failed to give you this help and quality time and instead made excuses to sit on the couch and veg.

 

You were made to feel irresponsible with money. You were treated like a child and were given an allowance. You were made to feel like you could not be trusted with the same money you worked so hard to make. The truth is that your husband was a poor financial planner and should have managed our money better. You and the boys missed out on family vacations, you did not get many dates with your husband, and you had to feel the stress and worry of how the bills would get paid. Just to meet basic household needs should not have been a struggle. You had to feel stress, worry, and fear every month of whether or not we would continue to have a home to live in.

 

You worked so hard to advance in your career and you needed to feel validated for your accomplishments. You needed to feel how proud and thankful your husband was of you. Instead you were made to feel guilty. When you were called into work, did work from home, or got a phone call from work at night, you were made to feel that you were putting your job before your family, and the reality was that you were working hard for your family. You needed to feel validated for all the success you achieved and overcoming your past and putting it all behind you. Your husband, who should have been cheering you on and been your support pouted like a little boy who did not get enough attention from mommy. You deserved admiration from your husband for your ambition in your career. You felt that because of your husband’s insecurities you had to downplay your achievements.

 

You were made to bear the responsibilities of most of the household decisions. This made you feel as if you were to blame if things did not go well. You needed a man who was strong and not passive. You needed a man who could shoulder most of the responsibility and communicated with you to make decisions together. You needed a man who was confident and secure. You needed a man who was not afraid to fail, who was not weak, selfish and immature. You were not able to feel safe and protected.

 

You did not have a husband who was fully committed to his family. Many times you felt the burden of taking on the role of mother and father. The boys should have had a father bonding with them. Their father should have been doing things with them such as camping trips, sporting events, scouting functions, etc. In addition to being a mom you had to take on the responsibilities of a dad too. You had to take on the responsibilities of helping to build racecars for scouts, chaperoning events, taking them to basketball games, and church functions. You needed the security of knowing that the boys had a father who would be involved in their lives. A father who would read to the boys before bed, have family meetings, attend sporting events, play games with the family, or go out for walks or bike riding with his sons. You did not have assurance that your husband would lead his family with love instead of with anger. You did not have the safety of a man who would teach his sons responsibility without raising his voice. You did not have the comfort of having a fully committed man to his family.

 

You felt the uncertainty of whether you deserving enough of your husband. It was your husband who was undeserving of you. You are a blessing and a gift I did not deserve. Your outgoingness, sense of humor, intelligence and beauty (inside and out) is what attracted me to you. You are all the things I wanted to be. People are drawn to you, with good reason. I was so sure that once you realized what a truly wonderful person you are, you would ask yourself “Why am I with this guy”. I let everyone convince you how lucky you were to have your husband. You husband was the lucky man all along. You knew the truth. You needed your husband to stand up for you and be honest about what a fantastic woman you are. You needed a husband who would be honest about who he was and how lucky he was to have such a blessing of a wife.

 

Everyone was fooled into believing your husband was a great guy. You were manipulated into believing that there was no reason for your happiness. You felt there must be something wrong with you, like a brain tumor for not being happy. You head was manipulated, but you heart recognized the truth. Trying to figure out the truth was frustrating for you. Your heart knew the real man you were married to, while everyone else kept telling you that you were married to a great guy.

 

You had a possessive and co-dependent husband. You needed to go out and do things with other people on your own. You needed independence sometimes. You were made to feel guilty, when your immature husband pouted like a little boy if he could not go with mommy. You had to endure excuses as to why you could not go or why you should not go, (money, time, family, etc). You had interests that you wanted to pursue; you needed a man who could share in these interests with you. You felt as if your interests were not important or silly. You wanted a man who had not only shared interests with you but had his own as well. You felt as if you were responsible for my happiness. This was a heavy burden you had to carry, one that you never deserved to have been put upon you.

 

There have been so many games and manipulation put on you, especially over the past 2 years. You needed me to be strong for you and instead I behaved like a fool. Moving out, selling the house, and filing for divorce were all forms of foolish manipulation and games that the weak pathetic man you married played to force you back to me. This action made you feel controlled and did not draw you closer to me but only pushed you closer to Dan. This was your final cry out to me to become the husband you always needed me to be. You were just seeking what you needed and what you should have been receiving from me. You were seeking what was promised to you on the day we married. The love, attention, being pursued, and feeling cherished, are all things you deserved, and I am sorry I did not give them to you. I am sorry you needed to look for what you so richly deserved elsewhere.

 

The suicide attempt was the most foolish and selfish acts of manipulation of them all. That was the ultimate act of selfishness. I am so so sorry for what I almost did to you and the boys who I love so much. It was selfish and a failure to think of the pain I would have caused you and the boys, and what hurts they would carry for the rest of their lives. Lists could be made of all the selfish acts I committed, but none as bad as that. I am truly sorry.

 

There are no words I can even think of to describe the remorse I feel for the email I sent to Dan and copied you in on. Things were said in that email about you that were hurtful, and that word is not even strong enough to describe the contents of that email. I can not conjure the right words to say how selfish, inconsiderate, mean, ugly, terrible horrible things which were put in that email. There was so much damage to your heart already, and that was the final blow. Whatever small part of your heart was left that I had not destroyed, that email probably finished the job. I am so sorry to hurt you.

 

Months of writing can go by with specific ways your heart has been damaged over the years. I am repentant of failing you as a husband. I am sorry for all the times I was not a positive influence to you. I am sorry for all the times I did not control my temper. I am sorry for all the times I broke your confidence. I am sorry for all the times I did not admit when I was wrong. I am sorry for not always being kind and compassionate to you. I am sorry for all the times I was not truthful and honest. I am sorry for not always being generous. I am sorry for not always being a man of integrity. I am sorry for not always being protective of you and your feelings. I am sorry for not being the man you needed me to be. I should have been your source of life and strength. I failed you and I am truly remorseful.

Pam, I never really understood the depth of the pain I put you through. I am so disgusted with myself. You are an amazing woman and I will always be grateful for our marriage and the life we shared together. You have always been a blessing to me; I should have been a blessing to you as well. I am so sorry. You have experienced so much pain. I have so much regret in my heart. I have so much remorse for the ways I have hurt you. Please forgive me.

 

I Love You PammySue

Joe

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Better! A couple of little tweaks . . .

 

Quote

 

You were manipulated into believing that there was no reason for your happiness.

 

I'm thinking you meant unhappiness there?

 

Quote

 

Pam, I never really understood the depth of the pain I put you through. I am so disgusted with myself. You are an amazing woman and I will always be grateful for our marriage and the life we shared together. You have always been a blessing to me; I should have been a blessing to you as well. I am so sorry. You have experienced so much pain. I have so much regret in my heart. I have so much remorse for the ways I have hurt you. Please forgive me.

 

Take out the lines I crossed out. She won't care how disgusted you are with yourself or how much regret and remorse you have. Also, don't ask her to forgive you. This will feel like you are requiring a response and will put too much pressure on her. End it with something that says you are committed to making it up to her, helping her heal, etc.

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Next draft:

 

PammySue,

Another year has passed since a letter was written to you asking for your forgiveness and another year where all the ways your husband failed you have been revealed. Where you failed to receive honor and treatment with understanding, where you were failed to receive love, and where received harsh treatment by your husband, this is being revealed daily and forgiveness is not deserved for failing you, our children, and out marriage but you deserve an apology.

 

You were promised a husband who would meet your needs. You needed a husband who would be your source of life and strength. You needed a man who would listen to your heart, meet the needs you were begging for, and protect you. That isn’t what you got.

 

You were not asked to be my wife when we first discovered we were pregnant with Timo. You may have felt unwanted or not good enough of a woman for me. You must have felt as if I thought you were good enough to have sex with, but not good enough to be my wife. You were almost forced to divorce Mike, because the father of your child did not want you to be legally married to another man when you gave birth to his son; however you were not asked to become a wife until almost a year later. You had to worry if you son would grow up with a father instead of the security that you, Kyle, Cain, and Timo would be taken care of.

 

Cain was never adopted. Kyle had his father, Timo had his, and yet Cain had to grow up without the security of having a father of his own. Cain called me Dad, and to me he was my son. I love Cain just as much as if we shared the same blood; he may not have felt that because I never made it legal and gave him my name. The pain in his heart caused pain in your heart. Neither one of you deserved to feel that pain.

 

When you were asked to be my wife, you said yes. You had dreams for our life together and our family. You were promised that the man you married would make all of those dreams come true. You were promised to be treated like a queen. You were promised that all your thoughts, desires, feelings, and cares would be shared and would be just as important to your husband. You dreamed of a wonderful marriage and of a husband who would be the man of your dreams. Your knight in shining armor failed to meet your dreams. I am sorry for failing to fulfill your dreams.

 

You were neglected the attention you needed. Over and over you begged the man you married for attention. You heart was hungering to be pursued just like before we were married. You needed to feel desired and wanted. You needed to feel cherished and adored. You begged for the romance to return like it was before you promised your hand in marriage. This should have been eagerly given to you but you had to ask for it. You should have been responding to being pursued, instead you had to initiate. For that I ask you to forgive me.

 

You did not receive enough affection. You are a very important person. You needed to feel that you were cherished by your husband. You needed to know how proud he was to have you as a wife. You needed to know that you would always be protected and taken care of by your husband. These were needs you failed to receive.

 

The use of pornography and the selfish act of self-gratification was another major source of pain in your heart. You needed to know that you were the most attractive woman to your husband. You needed to know that you were the only woman of your husband’s desires. You needed to feel loved. This was a betrayal to you. Not thinking of you and the effect it had on your heart was disrespectful and probably humiliating for you. You were cheated out of intimacy and sexual emotions. You needed your husband to bond with you and not selfishly bonding with himself. Sharing yourself with your husband was a precious gift to be cherished and it was made to seem like it wasn’t good enough. This was infidelity in our marriage and this was a hurt you did not deserve. I am sorry

 

You wanted us to spend quality time together. Doing things together was important to you. You wanted help from your husband, you did not need it but you wanted it. Simple tasks like working on the pond, clipping the dogs’ nails, putting up Christmas lights and working in the yard were tasks that you wanted to do together. Your husband failed to give you this help and quality time and instead made excuses to sit on the couch and veg.

 

You were made to feel irresponsible with money. You were treated like a child and were given an allowance. You were made to feel like you could not be trusted with the same money you worked so hard to make. The truth is that your husband was a poor financial planner and should have managed our money better. You and the boys missed out on family vacations, you did not get many dates with your husband, and you had to feel the stress and worry of how the bills would get paid. Just to meet basic household needs should not have been a struggle. You had to feel stress, worry, and fear every month of whether or not we would continue to have a home to live in.

 

You worked so hard to advance in your career and you needed to feel validated for your accomplishments. You needed to feel how proud and thankful your husband was of you. Instead you were made to feel guilty. When you were called into work, did work from home, or got a phone call from work at night, you were made to feel that you were putting your job before your family, and the reality was that you were working hard for your family. You needed to feel validated for all the success you achieved and overcoming your past and putting it all behind you. Your husband, who should have been cheering you on and been your support pouted like a little boy who did not get enough attention from mommy. You deserved admiration from your husband for your ambition in your career. You felt that because of your husband’s insecurities you had to downplay your achievements.

 

You were made to bear the responsibilities of most of the household decisions. This made you feel as if you were to blame if things did not go well. You needed a man who was strong and not passive. You needed a man who could shoulder most of the responsibility and communicated with you to make decisions together. You needed a man who was confident and secure. You needed a man who was not afraid to fail, who was not weak, selfish and immature. You were not able to feel safe and protected.

 

You did not have a husband who was fully committed to his family. Many times you felt the burden of taking on the role of mother and father. The boys should have had a father bonding with them. Their father should have been doing things with them such as camping trips, sporting events, scouting functions, etc. In addition to being a mom you had to take on the responsibilities of a dad too. You had to take on the responsibilities of helping to build racecars for scouts, chaperoning events, taking them to basketball games, and church functions. You needed the security of knowing that the boys had a father who would be involved in their lives. A father who would read to the boys before bed, have family meetings, attend sporting events, play games with the family, or go out for walks or bike riding with his sons. You did not have assurance that your husband would lead his family with love instead of with anger. You did not have the safety of a man who would teach his sons responsibility without raising his voice. You did not have the comfort of having a fully committed man to his family.

 

You felt the uncertainty of whether you were deserving enough of your husband. It was your husband who was undeserving of you. You are a blessing and a gift I did not deserve. Your outgoingness, sense of humor, intelligence and beauty (inside and out) is what attracted me to you. You are all the things I wanted to be. People are drawn to you, with good reason. I was so sure that once you realized what a truly wonderful person you are, you would ask yourself “Why am I with this guy”. I let everyone convince you how lucky you were to have your husband. You husband was the lucky man all along. You knew the truth. You needed your husband to stand up for you and be honest about what a fantastic woman you are. You needed a husband who would be honest about who he was and how lucky he was to have such a blessing of a wife.

 

Everyone was fooled into believing your husband was a great guy. You were manipulated into believing that there was no reason for your unhappiness. You felt there must be something wrong with you, like a brain tumor for not being happy. You head was manipulated, but you heart recognized the truth. Trying to figure out the truth was frustrating for you. Your heart knew the real man you were married to, while everyone else kept telling you that you were married to a great guy.

 

You had a possessive and co-dependent husband. You needed to go out and do things with other people on your own. You needed independence sometimes. You were made to feel guilty, when your immature husband pouted like a little boy if he could not go with mommy. You had to endure excuses as to why you could not go or why you should not go, (money, time, family, etc). You had interests that you wanted to pursue; you needed a man who could share in these interests with you. You felt as if your interests were not important or silly. You wanted a man who had not only shared interests with you but had his own as well. You felt as if you were responsible for my happiness. This was a heavy burden you had to carry, one that you never deserved to have been put upon you.

 

There have been so many games and manipulation put on you, especially over the past 2 years. You needed me to be strong for you and instead I behaved like a fool. Moving out, selling the house, and filing for divorce were all forms of foolish manipulation and games that the weak pathetic man you married played to force you back to me. This action made you feel controlled and did not draw you closer to me but only pushed you closer to Dan. This was your final cry out to me to become the husband you always needed me to be. You were just seeking what you needed and what you should have been receiving from me. You were seeking what was promised to you on the day we married. The love, attention, being pursued, and feeling cherished, are all things you deserved, and I am sorry I did not give them to you. I am sorry you needed to look for what you so richly deserved elsewhere.

 

The suicide attempt was the most foolish and selfish acts of manipulation of them all. That was the ultimate act of selfishness. I am so so sorry for what I almost did to you and the boys who I love so much. It was selfish and a failure to think of the pain I would have caused you and the boys, and what hurts they would carry for the rest of their lives. Lists could be made of all the selfish acts I committed, but none as bad as that. I am truly sorry.

 

There are no words I can even think of to describe the remorse I feel for the email I sent to Dan and copied you in on. Things were said in that email about you that were hurtful, and that word is not even strong enough to describe the contents of that email. I can not conjure the right words to say how selfish, inconsiderate, mean, ugly, terrible horrible things which were put in that email. There was so much damage to your heart already, and that was the final blow. Whatever small part of your heart was left that I had not destroyed, that email probably finished the job. I am so sorry to hurt you.

 

Months of writing can go by with specific ways your heart has been damaged over the years. I am repentant of failing you as a husband. I am sorry for all the times I was not a positive influence to you. I am sorry for all the times I did not control my temper. I am sorry for all the times I broke your confidence. I am sorry for all the times I did not admit when I was wrong. I am sorry for not always being kind and compassionate to you. I am sorry for all the times I was not truthful and honest. I am sorry for not always being generous. I am sorry for not always being a man of integrity. I am sorry for not always being protective of you and your feelings. I am sorry for not being the man you needed me to be. I should have been your source of life and strength. I failed you and I am truly remorseful.

 

Pam, I never really understood the depth of the pain I put you through. You are an amazing woman and I will always be grateful for our marriage and the life we shared together. You have always been a blessing to me; I should have been a blessing to you as well. I am so sorry you have experienced so much pain.

 

I Love You PammySue

Joe

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And Tim's suggestions:

 

PammySue,

Another year has passed since a letter was written to you asking for your forgiveness and another year where all the ways your husband failed you have been revealed. Where you failed to receive honor and treatment with understanding, where you were failed to receive love, and where received harsh treatment by your husband, this is being revealed daily and forgiveness is not deserved for failing you, our children, and out (sp) marriage but you deserve an apology.

 

You were promised a husband who would meet your needs. You needed a husband who would be your source of life and strength. You needed a man who would listen to your heart, meet the needs you were begging for, and protect you. That isn’t what you got.

 

 

 

You were not asked to be my wife when we first discovered we were pregnant with Timo. You may (delete the word may - it gives you an potential out) have felt unwanted or not good enough of a woman for me. You must have felt as if I thought you were good enough to have sex with, but not good enough to be my wife. You were almost forced to divorce Mike, because the father of your child did not want you to be legally married to another man when you gave birth to his son; however you were not asked to become a wife until almost a year later. You had to worry if you son would grow up with a father instead of the security that you, Kyle, Cain, and Timo would be taken care of.

 

How would she have felt because of this? You acknowledge the wrong doing but aren't validating the pain your caused. I would imagine this would cause an incredible amount of rejection and abandonment.

 

Cain was never adopted. Kyle had his father, Timo had his, and yet Cain had to grow up without the security of having a father of his own. Cain called me Dad, and to me he was my son. I love Cain just as much as if we shared the same blood; he may not have felt that because I never made it legal and gave him my name. The pain in his heart caused pain in your heart. Neither one of you deserved to feel that pain.

 

When you were asked to be my wife, you said yes. You had dreams for our life together and our family. You were promised that the man you married would make all of those dreams come true. You were promised to be treated like a queen. You were promised that all your thoughts, desires, feelings, and cares would be shared and would be just as important to your husband. You dreamed of a wonderful marriage and of a husband who would be the man of your dreams. Your knight in shining armor failed to meet your dreams. I am sorry for failing to fulfill your dreams.

 

You were neglected the attention you needed. (sentence fragment) Over and over you begged the man you married for attention. You heart was hungering to be pursued just like before we were married. You needed to feel desired and wanted. You needed to feel cherished and adored. You begged for the romance to return like it was before you promised your hand in marriage. This should have been eagerly given to you but you had to ask for it. You should have been responding to being pursued, instead you had to initiate. (again - I believe you should try to identify the wounding this would create)For that I ask you to forgive me.

 

You did not receive enough affection. You are a very important beautiful, warm loving person. You needed to feel that you were cherished by your husband. You needed to know how proud he was to have you as a wife. You needed to know that you would always be protected and taken care of by your husband. These were needs you failed to receive.

 

The use of pornography and the selfish act of self-gratification was another major source of pain in your heart. You needed to know that you were the most attractive woman to your husband. You needed to know that you were the only woman of your husband’s desires. You needed to feel loved. This was a betrayal to you. Not thinking of you and the effect it had on your heart was disrespectful and probably humiliating for you. You were cheated out of intimacy and sexual emotions. You needed your husband to bond with you and not selfishly bonding with himself. Sharing yourself with your husband was a precious gift to be cherished and it was made to seem like it wasn’t good enough. This was infidelity in our marriage and this was a hurt you did not deserve. I am sorry

 

You wanted us to spend quality time together. Doing things together was important to you. You wanted help from your husband, you did not need it but you wanted it. Simple tasks like working on the pond, clipping the dogs’ nails, putting up Christmas lights and working in the yard were tasks that you wanted to do together. Your husband failed to give you this help and quality time and instead made excuses to sit on the couch and veg.

 

You were made to feel irresponsible with money. You were treated like a child and were given an allowance. You were made to feel like you could not be trusted with the same money you worked so hard to make. The truth is that your husband was a poor financial planner and should have managed our money better. You and the boys missed out on family vacations, you did not get many dates with your husband, and you had to feel the stress and worry of how the bills would get paid. Just to meet basic household needs should not have been a struggle. You had to feel stress, worry, and fear every month of whether or not we would continue to have a home to live in.

 

You worked so hard to advance in your career and you needed to feel validated for your accomplishments. You needed to feel how proud and thankful your husband was of you. Instead you were made to feel guilty. When you were called into work, did work from home, or got a phone call from work at night, you were made to feel that you were putting your job before your family, and the reality was that you were working hard for your family. You needed to feel validated for all the success you achieved and overcoming your past and putting it all behind you. Your husband, who should have been cheering you on and been your support pouted like a little boy who did not get enough attention from mommy. You deserved admiration from your husband for your ambition in your career. You felt that because of your husband’s insecurities you had to downplay your achievements.

 

You were made to bear the responsibilities of most of the household decisions. This made you feel as if you were to blame if things did not go well. You needed a man who was strong and not passive. You needed a man who could shoulder most of the responsibility and communicated with you to make decisions together. You needed a man who was confident and secure. You needed a man who was not afraid to fail, who was not weak, selfish and immature. You were not able to feel safe and protected.

 

You did not have a husband who was fully committed to his family. Many times you felt the burden of taking on the role of mother and father. The boys should have had a father bonding with them. Their father should have been doing things with them such as camping trips, sporting events, scouting functions, etc. In addition to being a mom you had to take on the responsibilities of a dad too. You had to take on the responsibilities of helping to build racecars for scouts, chaperoning events, taking them to basketball games, and church functions. You needed the security of knowing that the boys had a father who would be involved in their lives. A father who would read to the boys before bed, have family meetings, attend sporting events, play games with the family, or go out for walks or bike riding with his sons. You did not have assurance that your husband would lead his family with love instead of with anger. You did not have the safety of a man who would teach his sons responsibility without raising his voice. You did not have the comfort of having a fully committed man to his family.

 

 

I am going to stop here - the letter is very good. The things that I am concerned with is that while you are stating a lot of things she needed there is no identification of what the specific pain caused by the lack of meeting her needs. Therefore you are missing the number one ingredient in the lover apology - the validation. The most important thing you can do is acknowledge the actual pain in her heart. This is the really hard part, cause we guys compartmentalize pain, women do not.

 

Also, I believe you should not use the word "needed", while subtle - I am sure these are needs she still has, and by keeping them in the present tense it sets up the fact that as you become the man God called you to be, you will be the husband she NEEDS you to be. - kind of like the example Kathy gives when the word "could" is used instead of the word "would".

 

Also, I am thinking you should end the letter on a more positive note. - Being the the ultimate goal is bring the healing to her heart that will be the foundation for the restoration of your marriage, I think you need to address the things that God is bring out of darkness for you. I understand where she is with her walk with Christ, so you can make it subtle. Because you have been separated so long I believe it would be safe to share your epiphany. Hopefully a female helper will be able to chime in on this.

 

 

You felt the uncertainty of whether you were deserving enough of your husband. It was your husband who was undeserving of you. You are a blessing and a gift I did not deserve. Your outgoingness, sense of humor, intelligence and beauty (inside and out) is what attracted me to you. You are all the things I wanted to be. People are drawn to you, with good reason. I was so sure that once you realized what a truly wonderful person you are, you would ask yourself “Why am I with this guy”. I let everyone convince you how lucky you were to have your husband. You husband was the lucky man all along. You knew the truth. You needed your husband to stand up for you and be honest about what a fantastic woman you are. You needed a husband who would be honest about who he was and how lucky he was to have such a blessing of a wife.

 

Everyone was fooled into believing your husband was a great guy. You were manipulated into believing that there was no reason for your unhappiness. You felt there must be something wrong with you, like a brain tumor for not being happy. You head was manipulated, but you heart recognized the truth. Trying to figure out the truth was frustrating for you. Your heart knew the real man you were married to, while everyone else kept telling you that you were married to a great guy.

 

You had a possessive and co-dependent husband. You needed to go out and do things with other people on your own. You needed independence sometimes. You were made to feel guilty, when your immature husband pouted like a little boy if he could not go with mommy. You had to endure excuses as to why you could not go or why you should not go, (money, time, family, etc). You had interests that you wanted to pursue; you needed a man who could share in these interests with you. You felt as if your interests were not important or silly. You wanted a man who had not only shared interests with you but had his own as well. You felt as if you were responsible for my happiness. This was a heavy burden you had to carry, one that you never deserved to have been put upon you.

 

There have been so many games and manipulation put on you, especially over the past 2 years. You needed me to be strong for you and instead I behaved like a fool. Moving out, selling the house, and filing for divorce were all forms of foolish manipulation and games that the weak pathetic man you married played to force you back to me. This action made you feel controlled and did not draw you closer to me but only pushed you closer to Dan. This was your final cry out to me to become the husband you always needed me to be. You were just seeking what you needed and what you should have been receiving from me. You were seeking what was promised to you on the day we married. The love, attention, being pursued, and feeling cherished, are all things you deserved, and I am sorry I did not give them to you. I am sorry you needed to look for what you so richly deserved elsewhere.

 

The suicide attempt was the most foolish and selfish acts of manipulation of them all. That was the ultimate act of selfishness. I am so so sorry for what I almost did to you and the boys who I love so much. It was selfish and a failure to think of the pain I would have caused you and the boys, and what hurts they would carry for the rest of their lives. Lists could be made of all the selfish acts I committed, but none as bad as that. I am truly sorry.

 

There are no words I can even think of to describe the remorse I feel for the email I sent to Dan and copied you in on. Things were said in that email about you that were hurtful, and that word is not even strong enough to describe the contents of that email. I can not conjure the right words to say how selfish, inconsiderate, mean, ugly, terrible horrible things which were put in that email. There was so much damage to your heart already, and that was the final blow. Whatever small part of your heart was left that I had not destroyed, that email probably finished the job. I am so sorry to hurt you.

 

Months of writing can go by with specific ways your heart has been damaged over the years. I am repentant of failing you as a husband. I am sorry for all the times I was not a positive influence to you. I am sorry for all the times I did not control my temper. I am sorry for all the times I broke your confidence. I am sorry for all the times I did not admit when I was wrong. I am sorry for not always being kind and compassionate to you. I am sorry for all the times I was not truthful and honest. I am sorry for not always being generous. I am sorry for not always being a man of integrity. I am sorry for not always being protective of you and your feelings. I am sorry for not being the man you needed me to be. I should have been your source of life and strength. I failed you and I am truly remorseful.

 

Pam, I never really understood the depth of the pain I put you through. You are an amazing woman and I will always be am so grateful for our marriage and the life we shared together. You have always been a blessing to me; I should have been a blessing to you as well. Things are happening in my life that are exposing me to what a proper husband and father look like. Through these teaches I am seeing the pain and suffering I created in your life. I am so sorry you have experiencedto have caused (by this you are taking ownership) you so much pain.

 

 

 

 

I Love You PammySue

Joe

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Final draft:

 

PammySue,

 

Another year has passed since a letter was written to you asking for your forgiveness and another year where all the ways your husband failed you have been revealed. Where you failed to receive honor and treatment with understanding, where you were failed to receive love, and where you received harsh treatment by your husband. This is being revealed daily and forgiveness is not deserved for failing you, our children, and our marriage but you deserve an apology.

 

You were promised a husband who would meet your needs. You need a husband who would be your source of life and strength. You need a man who would listen to your heart, meet the needs you were begging for, and protect you. That isn’t what you got.

 

You were not asked to be my wife when we first discovered we were pregnant with Timo. Youhave felt unwanted or not good enough of a woman for me. You must have felt as if I thought you were good enough to have sex with, but not good enough to be my wife. You were almost forced to divorce Mike, because the father of your child did not want you to be legally married to another man when you gave birth to his son; however you were not asked to become a wife until almost a year later. You had to worry if you son would grow up with a father instead of the security that you, Kyle, Cain, and Timo would be taken care of. You felt an incredible amount of rejection and feared that another man in your life would abandon you.

 

Cain was never adopted. Kyle had his father, Timo had his, and yet Cain had to grow up without the security of having a father of his own. Cain called me Dad, and to me he was my son. I love Cain just as much as if we shared the same blood; he maynot have felt that because I never made it legal and gave him my name. The pain in his heart caused pain in your heart. Neither one of you deserved to feel that pain.

 

When you were asked to be my wife, you said yes. You had dreams for our life together and our family. You were promised that the man you married would make all of those dreams come true. You were promised to be treated like a queen. You were promised that all your thoughts, desires, feelings, and cares would be shared and would be just as important to your husband. You dreamed of a wonderful marriage and of a husband who would be the man of your dreams. Your knight in shining armor failed to meet your dreams. I am sorry for failing to fulfill your dreams.

Over and over you begged the man you married for attention, you were neglected the attention you needed. Your heart was hungering to be pursued just like before we were married. You need to feel desired and wanted. You need to feel cherished and adored. You begged for the romance to return like it was before you promised your hand in marriage. This should have been eagerly given to you but you had to ask for it. You should have been responding to being pursued, instead you had to initiate. You felt less loved and you did not feel special. You asked yourself, “Why am I no longer a priority to my husband?” In your heart you long to feel that your husband could not wait to see you again, that you are always first in his mind, and he is constantly trying to win your heart over and over again, just like before you were married.

 

You did not receive enough affection. You are a very beautiful, warm loving person. You need to feel that you are cherished by your husband. You need to know how proud he is to have you as a wife. You need to know that you will always be protected and taken care of by your husband. These were needs you failed to receive. You need to feel appreciated; you need reassurance that your husband needs an emotional connection with you. You need to hear more than just the words that I love you. You wanted to be touched in loving non sexual ways. You need to feel good and cared for. You wanted a stronger bond with your husband; you need your husband to show his love, closeness, and affection.

 

The use of pornography and the selfish act of self-gratification was another major source of pain in your heart. You need to know that you are the most attractive woman to your husband. You need to know that you are the only woman of your husband’s desires. You need to feel loved. This was a betrayal to you. Not thinking of you and the effect it had on your heart was disrespectful and humiliating for you. You were cheated out of intimacy and sexual emotions. You need your husband to bond with you and not selfishly bonding with himself. Sharing yourself with your husband was a precious gift to be cherished and it was made to seem like it wasn’t good enough. This was infidelity in our marriage and this was a hurt you did not deserve. I am sorry

 

You wanted us to spend quality time together. Doing things together was important to you. You wanted help from your husband, you did not need it but you wanted it. Simple tasks like working on the pond, clipping the dogs’ nails, putting up Christmas lights and working in the yard were tasks that you wanted to do together. Your husband failed to give you this help and quality time and instead made excuses to sit on the couch and veg. You felt a lack of togetherness in our marriage. You wanted to know that your husband wanted to give you his full attention. You wanted your husband’s undivided attention; you did not

deserve to compete for the attention of your husband with the television, or the computer.

 

You were made to feel irresponsible with money. You were treated like a child and were given an allowance. You felt controlled and restricted. Emotionally your heart was being abused. You were made to feel like you could not be trusted with the same money you worked so hard to make. The truth is that your husband was a poor financial planner and should have managed our money better. You and the boys missed out on family vacations, you did not get many dates with your husband, and you had to feel the stress and worry of how the bills would get paid. Just to meet basic household needs should not have been a struggle. You had to feel stress, worry, and fear every month of whether or not we would continue to have a home to live in.

 

You worked so hard to advance in your career and you need to feel validated for your accomplishments. You need to feel how proud and thankful your husband was of you. Instead you were made to feel guilty. When you were called into work, did work from home, or got a phone call from work at night, you were made to feel that you were putting your job before your family, and the reality was that you were working hard for your family. You need to feel validated for all the success you achieved and overcoming your past and putting it all behind you. Your husband, who should have been cheering you on and been your support pouted like a little boy who did not get enough attention from mommy. You deserve admiration from your husband for your ambition in your career. You feel that because of your husband’s insecurities you had to downplay your achievements.

 

You were made to bear the responsibilities of most of the household decisions. This made you feel as if you were to blame if things did not go well. You need a man who is strong and not passive. You need a man who could shoulder most of the responsibility and communicate with you to make decisions together. You need a man who is confident and secure. You need a man who is not afraid to fail, who is not weak, selfish and immature. You were not able to feel safe and protected.

 

You did not have a husband who was fully committed to his family. Many times you feel the burden of taking on the role of mother and father. The boys should have a father bonding with them. Their father should be doing things with them such as camping trips, sporting events, scouting functions, etc. In addition to being a mom you had to take on the responsibilities of a dad too. You had to take on the responsibilities of helping to build racecars for scouts, chaperoning events, taking them to basketball games, and church functions. You need the security of knowing that the boys have a father who would be involved in their lives. A father who would read to the boys before bed, have family

meetings, attend sporting events, play games with the family, or go out for walks or bike riding with his sons. You did not have assurance that your husband would lead his family with love instead of with anger. You did not have the safety of a man who would teach his sons responsibility without raising his voice. You did not have the comfort of having a fully committed man to his family.

 

You feel the uncertainty of whether you were deserving enough of your husband. It is your husband who is undeserving of you. You are a blessing and a gift I do not deserve. Your outgoingness, sense of humor, intelligence and beauty (inside and out) is what attracts me to you. You are all the things I want to be. People are drawn to you, with good reason. I was so sure that once you realized what a truly wonderful person you are, you would ask yourself “Why am I with this guy”. I let everyone convince you how lucky you were to have your husband. You husband was the lucky man all along. You knew the truth. You need your husband to stand up for you and be honest about what a fantastic woman you are. You need a husband who could be honest about who he is and how lucky he is to have such a blessing of a wife.

 

Everyone was fooled into believing your husband was a great guy. You were manipulated into believing that there was no reason for your unhappiness. You felt there must be something wrong with you, like a brain tumor for not being happy. You head was manipulated, but you heart recognized the truth. Trying to figure out the truth was frustrating for you. Your heart knew the real man you were married to, while everyone else kept telling you that you were married to a great guy.

 

You had a possessive and co-dependent husband. You need to go out and do things with other people on your own. You need independence sometimes. You were made to feel guilty, when your immature husband pouted like a little boy if he could not go with mommy. You had to endure excuses as to why you could not go or why you should not go, (money, time, family, etc). You had interests that you wanted to pursue; you need a man who could share in these interests with you. You felt as if your interests were not important or silly. You want a man who not only shares interests with you but has his own as well. You felt as if you were responsible for my happiness. This was a heavy burden you had to carry, one that you never deserved to have been put upon you.

 

There have been so many games and manipulation put on you, especially over the past 2 years. You need me to be strong for you and instead I behaved like a fool. Moving out, selling the house, and filing for divorce were all forms of foolish manipulation and games that the weak pathetic man you married played to force you back to me. This action made you

feel controlled and did not draw you closer to me but only pushed you closer to Dan. This was your final cry out to me to become the husband you always needed me to be. You were just seeking what you need and what you should have been receiving from me. You were seeking what was promised to you on the day we married. The love, attention, being pursued, and feeling cherished, are all things you deserve, and I am sorry I did not give them to you. I am sorry you need to look for what you so richly deserve elsewhere.

 

The suicide attempt was the most foolish and selfish acts of manipulation of them all. That was the ultimate act of selfishness. I am so so sorry for what I almost did to you and the boys who I love so much. It was selfish and a failure to think of the pain I would have caused you and the boys, and what hurts they would carry for the rest of their lives. Lists could be made of all the selfish acts I committed, but none as bad as that. I am truly sorry.

 

There are no words I can even think of to describe the remorse I feel for the email I sent to Dan and copied you in on. Things were said in that email about you that were hurtful, and that word is not even strong enough to describe the contents of that email. I cannot conjure the right words to say how selfish, inconsiderate, mean, ugly, terrible horrible things which were put in that email. There was so much damage to your heart already, and that was the final blow. Whatever small part of your heart was left that I had not destroyed, that email probably finished the job. I am so sorry to hurt you. You deserve to know that your husband will fight for your heart and your marriage and family. This letter was damaging to you, and the validation you received was that your husband would not fight for your heart, but continues to damage it. Your heart is fragile and precious. It deserves to be cherished and adored by your husband, not trashed and stomped upon.

 

Months of writing can go by with specific ways your heart has been damaged over the years. I am repentant of failing you as a husband. For all the times I was not a positive influence to you. For all the times I did not control my temper. For all the times I broke your confidence. For all the times I did not admit when I was wrong. For not always being kind and compassionate to you. For all the times I was not truthful and honest. For not always being generous. For not always being a man of integrity. For not always being protective of you and your feelings. For not being the man you needed me to be. Your husband should have been your source of life and strength. You were failed and I am truly remorseful.

 

You did not feel like you were first in the life of your husband, you did not feel that your needs were a priority to your husband. You deserve a husband who will give everything to meet the needs of his wife. You need to feel that the man you gave your life to will put your needs above his own. You need a man who will pursue you with passion and show

 

excitement to be with you. You need your husband to communicate how important you are to him in not just words but actions. You need a husband who will always study your heart. Who will always talk to his wife about her fears and feelings. Get to know your thoughts and reactions to meet your deepest needs. You need to know that you are always first in the mind and heart of your husband, even when the business of life tries to compete.

 

You deserve praise and recognition for everything you do for the marriage and family. You need a husband who is sensitive to the needs of your heart. You deserve praise and admiration from the man who promised it to you. You need the assurance that the man you vowed your life to will invest all of his time and effort into your life and will lay down his life for you. You deserve praise and recognition for everything you do.

 

You deserve the strength and leadership from your husband and the father of your children. You deserve to be praised by your life mate. You need to know that your opinion matters and is hugely respected.

 

Pam, I never really understood the depth of the pain I put you through. You are an amazing woman and I amso grateful for our marriage and the life we shared together. You have always been a blessing to me; I should have been a blessing to you as well. Things are happening in my life that is exposing me to what a proper husband and father look like. Through these teachings I am seeing the pain and suffering I created in your life.I am so sorry to have causedyou so much pain.

 

 

I Love You PammySue

Joe

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One thing, guys - plagiarism is still not cool, even though your high school English teacher is not reading over your shoulder. The letters I've posted are examples. They are not meant to be copied word for word. Write your own letter.

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Sometimes what a wife really needs is a letter to her own family or to other people in her world who think she's the crazy one. My dearest friend needed that - her family actually told her that if she and Steve ever divorced, they would disown her and keep him! This is the letter that Steve wrote to her family:

 

 

Melissa's Family:

 

I am writing this letter to explain to you the person that your daughter married - this is not going to be an easy letter to write, nor is it going to be an easy letter for you to read. You will not want to believe what I have to say, but I promise you, it is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. This is probably the first real truth that most of you have ever seen or heard from me.

 

I am not the "good man" that you think that I am - I have NEVER treated your daughter kindly, at least within the walls of our home. In your homes, I appear to be the "Greatest Husband Ever Created!", but it is only surface level and is only for appearances sake to make myself appear great in your eyes - usually, I am treating Melissa horribly at the same time (or was before we arrived). I act like everything is great, and work very hard at making Melissa look like the "bad guy", like she is "hyper-sensitive", or that she "wears the pants and tells me what to do".

 

She is NOT a control-freak - I am; I always NEED to be in control of every conversation, argument, and situation, to the point where I do not care what anyone else thinks about Melissa, as long as I get my way. I will "push her buttons" in ways that no one else can see, just to "set her off" in front of everyone, while I remain calm and cool and look like the "great, peaceful presence in the marriage". My method of control is "under the surface" and very passive - I use subtlety to control conversations with Melissa, confusing her to the point of appearing crazy to others and to herself! If you are surprised by this, or are having a difficult time believing me - that should just show you how good I am that this!

 

I know that Melissa has tried to explain some of this to you all over the years, and that you just didn't believe her - I can understand that. I am a deceitful person, and purposefully did all that I could to try to paint myself in such a good light that NOTHING Melissa would say could convince anyone differently. Well, I lied to you - all of you. I wanted so badly to be accepted and loved that I would do anything, including divide my wife and her family, to feel that acceptance from all of you. I am a very insecure person, and just don't love myself enough to feel accepted without "proof" - I simply had to make you like me, and was fine with sacrificing your acceptance of Melissa to gain your love. I never realized how much I was hurting Melissa by my selfishness - I guess that's the definition of selfishness, isn't it?

 

In any relationship, there are times of conflict and disagreement - unfortunately, in our relationship, I wouldn't allow us to discuss anything that might have caused me discomfort. If Melissa brought up a topic (completely valid, mind you) that I didn't feel comfortable discussing, I would change the subject without caring about her feelings or I would say something, then change my story, then change it again, then deny that I changed it or said the original thing, until we were arguing about my changing the subject, instead of the actual subject. We fought over my changing the subject (this is called "manipulation" and I rock at it) instead of the true issue, which never got dealt with and just lingered within our relationship and within Melissa's heart. This built up so much resentment within Melissa that I believed I might never get back to the point where she could trust me in a conversation, and I can't blame her. No one can destroy this much trust and still expect to be allowed to participate in a loving relationship - I have no idea if she will ever have the grace to forgive me and allow me back into her heart. I did this our entire marriage, and still do at times - I am working hard now on changing this behavior and truly listening to Melissa for the first time.

 

Our relationship has never had truth in it - since the start, I was hiding something from Melissa. At first it was the porn, and then it was the pain and shame I had inside. Melissa would do ANYTHING to help me to heal from my past, but I would never be honest enough with her to let her close enough to me or to understand my pain. I have not shared my life with her - she has been more of a roommate than a wife, more of an acquaintance than a close friend. Even during conversations where she KNEW that I was lying about something, I would not share more than she already knew. I never REVEALED anything to her, she always EXTRACTED information from me. So much of her desire for a marriage lies in honest, straight-forward conversation, and that is one of the last things that I have wanted to give her. I have protected the garbage that I have inside to the point of collapse of our marriage; the truly sad thing is that when we actually pry open my shell long enough to dig out some of that "highly protected garbage", it is just junk with no value to anyone. I have protected the pain and hurt and misery inside myself like it is the secret to life as we know it - again, just pure selfishness and self-protection at the cost of Melissa and our relationship.

 

Melissa has always had the best interests of our marriage at her core - she has tried EVERYTHING that she could think of to get me to see how much I was hurting her, and how poorly I was valuing our marriage. I would not listen - I would apologize enough to smooth over the issue at hand, promise to change, and maybe even change for a short time; but, before too long, I would revert back to my hurtful ways, and bring more pain to Melissa. When she was hurting, I would typically just go on about my life as if nothing is wrong, or act like it was her deal. There were times when she was hurting SO bad that she was lying on the floor crying, and I would just sit and look at her - I was never empathetic to her pain, and would rarely comfort her when she was hurting. When we would talk about my behavior later, I would typically defend myself, make excuses, and turn the entire issue around onto her. I would constantly confuse her during conversations, even ones about simple, basic, common-day topics, by restating things that I had just said or by telling her that I didn't mean what I just said or by saying something and then denying that I just said it. I drove her into depression by my actions, my neglect, my distance, and my lack of caring - she has been on the verge of insanity and suicide countless times during our marriage; if not for the kids, I think that she would have died to stop the pain long ago.

 

I am sure that you will read this letter and think "It can't be that bad" - well, it can be, and it is. Melissa is miserable, unhappy, and hurting. We have reached the end of the line - we have been getting help from a great marriage ministry (http://godsavemymarriage.com), but there is a lot of hurt, pain, anger, and other things to work through before we will ever be happy. The pain in our marriage has been my fault - I also hold the key to healing it. Part of that is to admit to all of you the truth about me and our marriage, and to help you understand what Melissa has been through, and why she isn't the person that she should be. You need to believe this letter and embrace Melissa - regardless of what happens to our marriage, she needs to know that you (her family) love her more than anything else, and accept her UNCONDITIONALLY. She bears NO FAULT for our marriage situation - I cannot emphasize this enough! I never engaged into this marriage with everything I have - I always held something back. Melissa put everything in, and got hurt more than a human being should have to hurt as a result. This isn't her fault - this is mine, 100%.

 

One thing that I ask of all of you - if you have questions or comments or want to discuss this letter, please call or email me, not Melissa. This letter is about me answering for what I have done to you, her family, and you deserve the truth as much as she does. I promise that I will answer any questions that you have truthfully and that I will listen to whatever you have to say. I am deeply sorry for the pain that I have caused Melissa, and the walls that I have created within your family.

 

Steve

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  • 2 weeks later...

Throwing this in just as a reminder - if you are giving your wife an apology other than the apology letter, it should follow the LOVER format.

 

L = listen

O = own the behavior (don't argue or defend) and offer an apology

V = validate her feelings - give her some indication that you understand how your actions made her feel

E = embrace if she will let you, encourage if she will not or if you're not physically together

R = repent (turn around, don't repeat the same action), make restitution if needed

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