In my post, “Getting the Love You Want … Over and Over Again,” I mention one of the most powerful intimacy tools in my marriage, which is writing a love letter. I write one every day to my husband. Now mind you, these are not lengthy missives. Some of them are just a few sentences. But I do think the brief expression of affection has made our connection much stronger. On some days, it is the only substantial communication between us, because our kids have an uncanny knack of interrupting all of our conversations.

But how do you go about writing a love letter? I found these eight tips on the site, Song of Marriage. This following suggestions are part of a husband’s guide. But I think they work for a wife’s as well.

Rule Number One: Make It Positively Personal

Anything put into writing can be read, saved and reread. The first rule for a personal love letter is to make it personal and positive. Love letters carry a message of worth from the writer to affirm the receiver. So, it is critical to make a list of the positive things about your wife that you want to affirm. Avoid any criticism, ambivalent remarks. Let them go and focus on the positive.

Rule Number Two: It’s About Her

A personal love letter is a direct communication to and with your wife. Use the word “you” early and often. Share your feelings. My parents have been married for more than 55 years. On my mom’s 80th birthday, our family gave personal testimonies that we taped and made into a DVD. My dad stood up and used the song, “You Mean All the World to Me.” He choked up with emotion in front of us all and it was so powerful to witness the love he had for his wife. Make your wife feel special, too.

Rule Number Three: Start with a Special Endearment

If you have a special name for your wife, use it. Write a personal greeting, like: – My most beautiful ______________ (your wife’s name) – Dear wonder of my life – You’re the best thing that happened to me

Rule Number Four: Make it Specific and Meaningful

With a little practice, writing a personal love letter can become a great habit! Make sure that the letter you write contains things that are specific and meaningful to your marriage, yourself and your wife. For example, you may write a personal love letter on the birth of a child, an anniversary, special thanks for favors done, or for any reason that you can find. (The more reasons, the more letters!)

Rule Number Five: End with Love

Avoid writing, “well, that’s about it.” Get creatively romantic. Use something that sums up your feelings and lets your wife know that you continue to love her. Use endings like: Forever Yours, All my love, With love forever, I am so happy you are in my life, You mean the world to me. Then, sign your name.

Rule Number Six: Make It Pretty

Wives love getting a special gift and the wrapping is often as important as what’s inside. In other words, unless you don’t have any choice, don’t write your personal love letter on the back of a paper bag. Make it pretty. Use special stationery (you can visit a scrapbook store and buy just one sheet for less than 50 cents.)

Or write your letter in a greeting card from Hallmark. Decorate it with a personal drawing like hearts or XOXO or use stickers.

Rule Number Seven: Special Delivery

Make sure your personal love letter gets your wife’s attention. Use surprise. Mail your letter in a special envelope, like Priority Mail or through Special Delivery. Put the letter under her pillow, in her lingerie drawer, on her dinner plate or at the breakfast setting. Use her favorite color envelope.

Rule Number Eight: Do It Again and Again

Trust and ongoing commitment rank high with every wife. Write another personal love letter when you go out of town (I give my wife a card for every night that I’m gone), on Monday mornings, when she’s doing the laundry.

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