John F. Kennedy and Jackie Onassis had one of history’s most complicated marriages, and this week a love letter from the former First Lady to her husband offers a rare look inside their relationship. The three-page note, which was written in either 1957 or 1958 when Kennedy served a senator from Massachusetts, is heading to auction as part of a sale of Kennedy memorabilia from RR Auction.
“I can’t help it if when I go away from you I write stiff letters – it is hard for me to communicate – which you do so beautifully,” Jackie writes at the beginning of the letter. “I know everyone says married couples should never separate – as you get off the same wavelength…but I think it is usually good when we go away from each other as we both realise so much.”
“We are so different,” she continues. “But I was thinking this trip – that every other time I’ve been away, you would write ‘don’t ponder our relation too much’ etc. – and now I don’t as one doesn’t ponder anything that is a part of you.”
Jackie is open with her husband about the fact that their marriage may not be what either of them expected. “You are an atypical husband – increasingly so in one way or another every year since we’ve been married – so you mustn’t be surprised to have an atypical wife. Each of us would have been so lonely with the normal kind. I can’t write down what I feel for you, but I will show you when I am with you.”
She signs it, “All my love, Jackie.”
RR Auctions estimates that the letter will sell for upwards of $20,000. Read it in full on their website.
“[The letter is] pretty incredible because she was a prolific letter writer. We get lots of letters from her. We have her talking about the president. We’ve seen letters talking about the assassination or his character, but we’ve never had a letter from Jackie written to Jack,” Livingston told People of the piece. “She’s talking about their marriage and their relationship. It isn’t about visiting the in-laws or something. It is a love letter,” Livingston said. “She loved him, and it shows there.”
The auction is currently open for bidding and will close on November 7.