How to Write an Anniversary Letter for Your Husband

Give a permanent reminder of your love.

A smiling woman holds an envelope.

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Another year down, and many more to go! One of the most important marriage milestones is your wedding anniversary. Whether you’re celebrating with a romantic anniversary date or a thoughtful gift, the occasion is also the perfect opportunity to put pen to paper (or, you know, fingers to keyboard) and share your appreciation for your partner in a special anniversary letter.  

“When we’re talking, we move quickly and can get stuck on our words,” says relationship therapist Elizabeth Earnshaw. “Writing gives you a slowed-down opportunity to share what you really think, and to get a grasp on the words that best explain how you feel.”

Meet the Expert

Elizabeth Earnshaw is a licensed family and marriage therapist based in the Philadelphia area. She is Head of Relationship Health at virtual premarital counseling service OURS and the author of I Want This to Work: An Inclusive Guide to Navigating the Most Difficult Relationship Issues We Face in the Modern Age.

Still, no matter how strong your feelings are, it’s not always easy to encompass all that your spouse means to you within the confines of a single card. If you could use a little inspiration to jumpstart the process, you’ve come to the right place. Read on for Earnshaw’s top three things to include in an anniversary letter to your husband, tips for thoughtfully complimenting your partner, and a template to use if you’re really stuck. 

Why Celebrate Your Anniversary? 

“Ritualistic behavior is very important in a marriage,” says Earnshaw. “It gives you more to look forward to, and creates a united concept of your relationship.” 

Whether your rituals are small (sipping coffee in bed on Saturday morning) or big (booking a weekend at your favorite beach resort every year), the goal should always be the same: to savor time together. When you compound these rituals with reflection on what makes your relationship special, your anniversary becomes the ideal opportunity to reinforce why your marriage remains a worthwhile endeavor even through tough times

“The more couples are able to look back on the early years and think about the good, the better place they’ll be in,” Earnshaw adds. And if you put all that “good” in a letter, your partner will be able to revisit the memories long past your anniversary—and they can re-read it when they need a little pick-me-up!

What to Include In Your Anniversary Letter 

These three things help tie the past, present, and future together,” says Earnshaw. 

Reflect on Favorite Memories

Relationships are often the most exciting at the beginning. As we lock into long-term partnerships, it can be bolstered by regularly calling upon those times to remind us of the initial spark. For Earnshaw, this is best accomplished in an anniversary letter by addressing two distinct categories of the past: 

  1. The Long Past. This might be when you first met, shortly after the birth of your first child, the first big trip you took together, or any other core foundational memory that significantly deepened your bond. “This creates a longer history together,” says Earnshaw, which confirms the specialness of your relationship.
  2. The Current Past. For this portion, reflect on your most recent year together. What did you accomplish or weather together? It could be major, like buying a house or moving to a new city, or something smaller, such as taking online cooking classes. Either way, these more recent memories affirm that you’re still moving through life together.

Say What You’re Proud Of 

What has happened in the past year that makes you proud of the relationship, and proud to call this person your partner? What issues did you overcome? What new skills did you learn? All humans emotionally benefit from feeling seen, and the recognition of your shared accomplishments will give you both something to feel warm and fuzzy about. 

Share Hopes for the Future 

What are you looking forward to? What are you excited about? Retiring early, raising children, traveling the world, building a business…whatever you dream of, don’t forget to cap off your anniversary letter with a look into the years to come.

Tips For Writing Your Anniversary Letter

Be Thoughtful With Compliments 

Yes, you may still be totally smitten by your husband's dazzling smile or piercing blue eyes, but now is not necessarily the time for superficial sentiments. “Talk about characteristics that are core to the person,” says Earnshaw. What drew you to them, and what do you continue to appreciate about them as the months and years go by? Maybe it’s their generous heart, or ability to have fun in any situation. If it’s been true since day one, it’s worth including in your anniversary letter.

Go With Growth Qualities 

At the same time, an anniversary letter is an excellent time to share ways your partner has leveled up over the past year. “It’s been amazing to watch you take to that leadership role at work, or set better boundaries to become happier,” Earnshaw offers as suggestions. By calling attention to the ways they’ve changed for the better, you’ll be validating the work they’ve done on themselves—and personal development is crucial for overall relationship health

Highlight Their Impact 

“People are altruistic by nature,” Earnshaw says. “They like to know they have an impact.” In your letter, talk about why your partner’s core characteristics make your relationship good. “Here’s a quality, and because you have that quality, here’s how it benefits our marriage,” she offers as a loose structure.

Anniversary Letter Template 

Dear [Partner’s Name] —

PARAGRAPH 1
From the moment I met you, you’ve always been [insert core characteristic]. From here, share an anecdote that highlights how that characteristic showed up in a nice memory from your early years
.

PARAGRAPH 2
Explain how this core characteristic has again shown up within the past year. Discuss how it makes your relationship better. 

PARAGRAPH 3
Look to the future. Choose a shared hope or desire for the year or years to come, and address how the core characteristic mentioned earlier in the letter will help you accomplish this goal together.  

All my love, 

[Your Name]

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