If you are spontaneous and creative, you might like to do this exercise often. If you find it difficult to put your love and appreciation in words, this might offer you a great opportunity to work out those creative muscles.
I'm sure you have a whole lot of love for your spouse. But time can wear on your love, and without positive reinforcement of that love you can both end up feeling drained and dry about each other. This exercise is called: A love letter.
You may be thinking that writing a love letter every day could take some time. That's true, but the love letter exercise is actually spoken, not written. So it won't take as long as you think.
Now I know some of you, whether you are male or female, might be thinking I am asking for pages of poetic rhythm and rhymes. I assure you that is not the point at all in this exercise. The point is to creatively, verbally share a love-thought you have about your spouse.
Most of us think about how we love our spouse throughout the week. This just lets you put that love through in a candy wrapper so it's sweeter when your spouse hears it. Also, remember you also get to hear a love thought wrapped up daily as well. This actually gets fun as you do it on a regular basis.
What I love about this exercise is that it forces you to think about your love for your spouse regularly. This is intentional, reinforcing to both of you how much you love each other.
For this exercise, face each other and maintain eye contact. One spouse completes this sentence: "If I were writing you a love letter today, it would say ...." After one spouse has finished their love letter, the other spouse completes the same sentence.
Here's an example.
James: "If I were writing you a love letter today, it would say that I loved you before I met you. When I met you, the beauty of your heart captivated me. I love just watching who you are—mother, friend and lover—so to say 'I love you' is too small, for I am still discovering the beauty you are." (It's OK, men, if your love letter is different. After all, you are you, and you are the one she loves.)
Jackie: "If I were writing you a love letter today, it would have to say 'Thank you.' I don't know that I have ever thanked you for holding me when my world or my heart is coming apart. Thank you for all the mundane, everyday things you always do, and thank you that you do all of these things without the many thank-yous you deserve to hear."
This exercise is another one that can blow you away. No matter what happened that day, you could be fortified by having your spouse speak his or her love letter to you.
The idea here is that we all are so in love, but we don't regularly prime the pump by saying how we feel. This exercise communicates to the other person the depth of how we feel. When you do this regularly, all of life seems just a little easier, burdens lighter and life just so much sweeter.
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books including, Servant Marriage, The 5 Sex Languages, Sex, Men and God, Intimacy; and his latest, Worthy: Exercise and Step Book. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at email@example.com.