I think obviously there are good and not so good parts to your letter. If you don't want to end the relationship whether it is your intention or not you can't tell by the letter. Your purpose has to be foremost and then your issues with her. This dictates the words and intentions in a letter, and it determines how the reader will perceive your complaints. So with that said you made your frustration clear and your comments concise. I learned a lot from this. If however you want the marriage to stay together then your letter comes in part across as very cynical and you appear very fed up. It doesn't invite the reader to say this is constructive criticism. If you are staying together then try to mellow some parts and if you are breaking up then by all means leave it the same. It was very well written.
If this is helpful press accept
Here it goes,
I’m going to let you have it completely unfiltered. You are good at throwing the kitchen sink at me, any time, on any occasion, now I’m going to do the same with you. I feel like I’ve let you get away with a lot of nastiness directed at me over the years and have always been the one to come back, swallow my pride, and make the relationship work. But we are at a new low & I guess my patience is starting to run out.
Honestly I don’t want to divorce but also don’t want to live in fear of your anger for the rest of my life. That’s as simple and truthful as I can put it. I want you to accept my criticism, commit to being more humble, & listen to me without getting angry all the time. I don't want this letter to make a divorce inevitable but feel like our relationship isn’t where I want it to be.
This got kind of long, guess it’s my chance to vent all the things I never get a chance to say because you dominate all conversions. Whether with me, arguing or not, or any conversation with anyone else. You only seem to be happy when you are talking and directing the conversation. If you cared to listen and let others in (me) you would make a much better connection and get a much better feeling out of relationships.
Mainly I’m tired of you not listing to most anything I have to say. You make the worst assumptions possible and refuse to take me literally. I am patient and persistent so I sometimes get you to understand what I’m saying, but only for short periods of time until I say/ do something or you find a reason to justify throwing all away in an angry fit. You can be arrogant with me, have no modesty or humility and don’t seem to notice that or care to change. It makes living with you, raising a family and dealing with each other on a daily basis very challenging.
Over the years I have let all of it go to keep the family together. You have never really had time for anything but your own emotions, even reading this I bet your reaction is purely anger that anyone could think this of you, especially your husband who is supposed to love and support you. Well, I think I have a unique perspective and am well qualified to comment on your disposition as we have been through a lot together. As far as support, the best thing you could do for yourself is learn some humility. If you listened to some constructive criticism and took it to heart you would make the connection you are looking for and be a much happier person. Your next reaction is to justify your anger by saying it’s a product of your life experiences. Well great, I’m stuck with an angry bitter wife who looks for reasons to get angry w/ me and when angry will disregard anything else that is going on so everyone knows you are angry. How many fun events have we missed because you are pissed at a me? You constantly say you want to spend quality time with me so you will feel loved & appreciated but never make any time for such occasions. Babysitter? Can’t find one, let’s do lunch? Rather go to the gym, agate hunting, or just go home. Any time we do make plans there is always the very real possibility you will get upset moments before we need to leave and either be angry during the whole event making everyone around you uncomfortable and alienating any friends we may have or just cancel all together because you are too upset to even try and be polite. Doesn’t matter if the kids or anyone else is involved, if Lisa’s angry then f**k it.
If you don’t consider yourself an angry bitter person, look back at our relationship, especially the last 5 or so years. Can you say you are calm and reasonable or ever willing to cut me any slack? Honestly I don’t think you have any idea how bad you treat me or any perspective on what kind of a wife / mother you are. Your negative assumptions and all-encompassing anger block the love coming from me. “I’ll never be the wife/ mother you want me to be” well I guess that’s starting to sink in w/ me. It’s hard for me to believe because what I want is a loving wife who is kind and gentle, cares for her family, and can put others needs before her own. (Now you can start saying to yourself that’s bullshit he wants a servant so he can do whatever he wants and I have to do everything!)
Honestly I feel like I am a reasonable person, slow to anger, and willing to do anything for my family. I’m not perfect, I sometimes say cynical things out of frustration that can hurt. I feel like they are minor splashes in the ocean of marriage, you take them as tsunamis. I have always tried to get my exercise and social interactions around outside activities like kayaking, golf, hiking, camping. Unfortunately we have never been able to share those experiences and you don’t seem willing to try and be involved. “Oh what, I’m just going to sit there on the beach in the sun with the kids while you have fun for an hour?!) I guess I’ve justified it by thinking you would like these activities but for the fact that I am proposing them, with my friends. You getting on board would wound your pride and make you feel like a servant, I attribute that to your arrogance. You seem to be willing to do anything to express and justify your anger, that puts people off and makes it hard to even have friends. You are a bully in dealing with me and constantly threaten divorce over even the slightest perceived grievance. “I can’t believe you would even ask me if I put that in a bag, do you think I’m stupid” You can assume the worst intentions in me, then proceed like you are correct and I have the worst intentions. That’s not fair. . As I mentioned before, you don’t seem to have any humility or care that you don’t. Just because it pops into your head doesn’t mean it’s correct or you should act on it. A little patience, self-control, humility goes a long way.
If you are still reading here is a proposed list of expectations I have for my wife (you) and some commitments I am willing to make. When I feel like things are out of control I try and fall back on something basic that I know will work and build from there. That is what I am attempting to do here. I do want to work things out and feel like there is a chance we can be happy together! I will list specific behaviors and actions and try not say things like “make me happy” or “spend time together”. Instead something like “have lunch together one day a week” or “ go on a date once a month, alternating who makes the arrangements”.
Love my wife and kids
Treat the family with respect, take their side, & support them
Will work a fulltime job to financially support wife & kids.
Pay the rent and bills with that income
Not do anything stupid financially so as to jeopardize the house
Not leave the family
Help with the kids activities as much as time allows
Help out around the house as time allows as a secondary responsibility. A request for help would be answered with help.
Take care of the house and keep it in working order to the best of my abilities
Support kids activities like sports, music, scouts, ect. I want them to be exposed to all kinds of opportunities as time allows.
Pay for the food on the table and clothes for the kids.
Raise kids to have respect, manners, and be responsible
Love husband and kids
Treat family w/ respect, take their side & support them, assume the best
Will work to keep the house in order & clean
Will contribute financially as available, the more time at work means less time for the house and kids but more money available.
Wife should feel like the kids and house are her primary responsibility. As the kids get older there is a better opportunity for more work.
Teach the kids to have manners, be neat & clean, have respect and look the part when in public
Be involved in kids school
Help find friends and activities for the kids, take them to and from friends and activities so as to facilitate their social interactions
Be kind and gentle, don’t yell at the family
Basically we are in it together as a team. Each member has their role to play to make the family successful. This is my first crack at such a “contract” and my thought is it’s too specific and I’d rather be more general. But I don’t think we are currently giving each other enough benefit of the doubt to talk generally and taking too many opportunities to poke a finger in each other’s eye and say gotch’a.
Anyway, I do love you despite any mean things I say above. I have put a lot of time and effort into our relationship over the years. That means a lot to me. I think if you are willing to admit to some of the accusations above (like you could be a bit more humble & listen better) and I can commit more effort to spending time with you we can work things out and be better husband & wife, friends, and parents to our wonderful kids!
Change strong statements like "dominate" and "throwing the kitchen sink at me" or having no humility. Don't resort to insults even if your intention is otherwise. Example: I am stuck with an angry bitter wife - mine: I feel that you are angry and bitter and that spills over in our relationship. Words like arrogance and bully are going to anger her and she won't listen. Eliminate the insults and replace words that are about how you feel or just take that out entirely. In your list, eliminate the few things that will make someone feel like a servant even if that is a mis perception - cleaning (that should not be in there; that is everyone's job). Be careful what you list in general. If something is both of your obligations then don't put it on her list. I dont know if I like the list in general.
Hope this is not too critical