I thought I'd start a new thread devoted to the subject of writing letters to our WASes. I've been on this BB for over a year and I've seen countless Newcomers who are newbies desperately trying to get through to the wayward spouse that the M can be salvaged.
When I was new to the BB, I was in so much pain, turmoil, felt utter despair and was desperately trying to get my WAS to realize that our M can be salvaged through honest introspection and communication. It was through the wonderful support of other DB veterans such as Ellie, Sage, Eyesopened, StubbornDyke, and JJ that I realized that writing a letter to my spouse will only serve as a painful reminder of our fractured M. Actually, writing a letter to the WAS is classified as a R talk. I've discovered through time that initating any form of R talk early in the stages of separation will only backfire as it puts unneccessary pressure on the WAS.
Many WASes are extraordinarily pained people with raw and tender emotions from all the arguing, fighting, bomb dropping and feeling totally helpless in working on the M. Any letter writing to the WAS can be very guilt-inducing and it only serves to push them further away. When DBing, one must constantly stop and think: Will this action bring me closer to the goal? Personally, asking this question each time I consider undertaking any action and/or communication with my spouse has saved me countless times from making what could be considered destructive mistakes that could damage the marriage's chances of healing.
Many of us are anxious to convey our intermost thoughts on love, commitment, desire to really work on the marriage and get through to our WAS that we are willing to move heaven and earth to restore the marriage and/or family unit. The problem with this approach is that it only serves to reinforce the WAS' mind of why we didn't do that stuff earlier when they voiced their concerns and/or unhappiness with the M. They walk away with a huge bundle of resentment and wounded emotions.
The advice I've received from DB vets and I am going to pass it on to the newbies here is this: You can write a letter to your spouse and PUT IT away. As time goes on, you can go back and re-write it as many times as you can. It could be the expression and pouring of your anguish, hopes & dreams and desires. Or it could be a forgiveness letter to the WAS who betrayed and wounded you in unimaginable ways. Forgiveness is not a one-step process, but an on-going process as you reach for new, higher levels of understanding and awareness as you go further along on your path. It can be a very cathartic process that benefits only YOU.
The bottom line here is this: DO NOT send the letter to your WAS. Instead, utilize and implement the techniques outlined in the DR book. They are solution and action oriented in turning around the M. Actions speak louder than words. I have, personally, come to the conclusion that writing letters to our spouses is a form of control in a way that we have this set of expectations that they will come running back into arms if they could only understand the depth of our pain and anguish. We can only do one thing that can actually save the M which is a display of quiet courage in letting the WAS go and allow them to work through their pain and confusion. Our job is to support them on the journey through our own loving actions and words. They need the soothing balm of love which emanates from loving thoughts that translates into loving words and actions.
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