Marital Conflict: How to Apologize

How to Apologize

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/64790922@N07/ (changes are mine)

One of my strengths is perseverance. I can push through and finish most things as long as there’s an end in sight.

Unfortunately, this strength has a dark side: stubbornness. That ability to dig in my heels and hang in there until the bitter end? It becomes the “but you…”s and “I do everything“s when conflict arises in my marriage.

Now I know you aren’t stubborn… but just in case, I wrote this post! I’ve already told you how to fight when you’re married. This time, I want to focus on how to apologize.

There are 4 words you need to learn when having an argument. “You’re right.” andย “I’m sorry.”

Because in every disagreement, your partner is telling some truth. They may not be communicating everything the way it happened or acknowledging how it made you feel. Regardless, there is something in their words that is true. You can hear it when you listen for words that are really saying:

You hurt me when…

I felt disrespected because…

I have been trying really hard to…

And you need to start apologizing by saying, “You’re right.” and then continue by summarizing what they’re right about. For example, “You’re right. It was disrespectful for me to blame you for a trial we’re both facing.”

Then the magic words.

I’m sorry.

And you need to mean it. Don’t say it with sarcasm. Don’t say it to start another sentence of the argument. In other words:

After you say you’re sorry, STOP TALKING.

You’re done for a bit, and it’s their turn to talk. This will revolutionize how your conflicts end. In fact, your husband or wife might just stand there speechless for awhile themselves. Try it – it’s pretty fun to see their face when they’ve actually been heard!

And you have set the pace for the conflict to end amicably, not to mention quickly. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Challenge: Try it this week, and let me know how it goes!

8 thoughts on “Marital Conflict: How to Apologize

  1. Jamie

    Perfect! I learned this the hard way over the last couple of years and it really does work! Thank you for the reminder. I needed it! It really is fun to watch the look on their face when you say it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Lori Ferguson

    Great post – and apologizing is always a requirement in marriage. (sometimes I think the longer you’re married, the more important it is. LOL) I think your point about sarcasm is especially relevant.

    My favorite resource about apology is a book by Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas: “The Five Languages of Apology: How to Experience Healing in all Your Relationships”.

    Thanks!

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