Dear Husband

I am not certain that I could ever describe or explain exactly what it is that attracts me to you and keeps me so in love with you, but it is something so strong and deep that I don’t believe I could ever not love you. This has been true for many years, even through all the years in which we had no contact with each other.

During the early years of our relationship, we shared such an amazing connection. Our relationship was really about each other and we were drawn together with such force that I felt we would always understand one another and would always work to keep our relationship at the forefront. I believed that you would always put me and my feelings and needs first as I would do for you. I felt that you and I were in agreement that the adult relationship in our family was the most important relationship we have and that it would require on-going maintenance and nurturing.

And then we introduced each other’s kids into the relationship.

It quickly became clear that what was most important to you was your kids happiness and their feelings and attending to your relationship with them began to take priority over our relationship. When your kids are in the house, it is all about them and their needs, wants and feelings. Being an adult means that I have to accept, understand and support that. What’s more, my kids should understand and accept that as well. After all, my kids are 2 years older and are with me more often.

I know that you appreciate any efforts I make to build connections with your kids. However, it isn’t really required in your mind. What is most important is your relationship with them, not that we work together to build any type of family unit that includes all of us as equals. And making efforts to encourage your children to view me as anything other than your wife, isn’t important. Ensuring that your children acknowledge my contributions to their well-being in our home is not a priority and doesn’t seem to have any value.

I know that if I try to tell you how I am feeling about these things, you will get angry and defensive. You will see me as being selfish and will feel that I am forcing you to chose between me and your kids. You will not see that your actions are interfering with my ability to bond with your children because it leads to me feeling resentful towards them. You will turn this all around and attack me and my kids. And I will be left feeling even more rejected and confused than I do now.

On Mother’s Day, when you had an opportunity to acknowledge my role in your kids lives, or to recognize my skills as a mother with my own kids, you chose to go out with your mother and leave me alone with my kids. I spent the day doing what I do every day – doing laundry for me, you, my kids and your kids, cooking for my kids, driving them to soccer and cleaning up the house. You said “happy Mother’s Day” to me, but there was no gift, no card, no flowers, no dinner, no words of thanks for all that I do for your kids, no acknowledgement of my role within this “family”, no words of appreciation for all I do. You did however, buy a card for your mother (which you signed from you alone) and you bought a card for your mother from your kids. How much more effort would it have taken to buy a card for your wife?

So what do I do with all of these feelings of loneliness, sadness, and disappointment?

When Father’s Day roles around next month, I know that I will have to give up half of my weekend alone with you so that you can have your kids there, knowing that you are gone all week long, every week. I know that I will take them out to buy a gift and a card for you and I will also buy a card for you that say’s “To my husband on Father’s Day” and will acknowledge all that you do within the entire family as a father. I will cook you a nice dinner and will do everything I can to ensure that you feel honoured on this day. And I will do it all because I want you to feel loved, appreciated and acknowledged on the one day of the year that is set aside for just this reason. Even if you are not the father of my children, you are my husband and you are a father and I want you to know that I think you are great. But I know that I will do all of these things with a little bit more bitterness than I did the year before.

And how do I tell you that all of the things that I do, are the things that I actually need you to do for me? And when Mother’s Day comes around next year, will you remember how special I made Father’s Day for you? How do I remind you that I need your acknowledgement, and perhaps a bit of acknowledgement from your kids, next year?

With love,
Your Wife

~ by Stepfamily Letter Project on May 13, 2009.

3 Responses to “Dear Husband”

  1. It’s funny how we treat people the way we want to be treated. When I find myself comforting my boyfriend, it’s because I want to be comforted. I’m not sure why men get so defensive, but I’ve seen it in most of my relationships. It makes it extremely difficult to work through things. Good luck, I feel your pain!

  2. Bless your sweet heart. You sound like an amazing unselfish woman, understanding and caring. I’m sorry your husband hurt you with his thoughtless ways.

    You do the right thing on Father’s Day (you know it’s right and good and helps teach his children to honor him on that day).

    I would suggest that you allow a month or so go by after Father’s Day and then, when you are in a good place mentally and your husband is more open to hear what you need to say, SHARE your heart with him and tell him you don’t think it’s fair to not be honest and tell him what you need or what he may have never actually even thought about. I hope you have a wonderful special Mother’s Day next year because of your honesty and hopefully your Husbands Desire to listen and do the things that honor you.

  3. Wow! I could have written this letter word for word. I, too, had the same Mother’s Day as you, only swapping out soccer practice for Church. And, my daughter made her biological Father a “Happy Mothers Day” flower pot at Sunday School instead of me because she hadn’t seen him for a while. One slap in the face after another. Keep you chin up and I truly hope you have a great Mother’s Day next year….you deserve it!

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