How to apologize…

In case you’re wondering, on a scale of 1 to 10, the moment you realize you’re a terrible husband is somewhere around “watching a puppy get hit by a car.”

My natural instinct was to apologize.

But how do you apologize for so many years of being a moron?

I had no idea.  Plus, I wasn’t ready to say it out loud.

For once I was thinking clearly.  I decided not to apologize.

Instead, I decided to just start being a better husband.

Simple enough, right?

So I did.

I didn’t say a word.

I just started doing more.

Less than two days later she thanked me.

That felt awesome.  It was working.  I was being a better husband!

Then she asked me a question I wasn’t ready to hear: “What happened?”

“What are you talking about,” I asked.

“You’ve been so wonderful this weekend,” she replied.  Yes, those were her exact words.

That felt pretty good.  And bad.  If she notices enough of a difference in less than two days to ask “what happened,” she must have been pretty frustrated for a while….

I had a decision to make.  How do I respond?  The truth was “Yes, something happened.  I realized I was a moron and I’m really, really sorry.”  But it was too soon.  I wasn’t ready.

I paused.  And then I decided against saying anything.

“Nope, nothing happened,” I casually responded.

Then I changed the subject.

She knew I was sorry.

I didn’t need to say it.

Because I showed her.

When’s the last time you said you were sorry?    Did it do anything?  (HINT: If you’ve apologized for the same thing more than once, that’s an indication that the apology was short lived at best.)

What could you do today to show her you’re sorry?

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12 thoughts on “How to apologize…

    • Thanks Anita! It’s been a difficult balance to strike for me, knowing when to say I’m sorry or when saying it won’t be or do enough. But sometimes it fits just right, as long as I follow it up with showing her that I meant it.

  1. Okay, this is awesome! I might have to accidentally forward it to my husband! Saying sorry means nothing if there isn’t a change. Don’t get me wrong, my husband is amazing and loving and kind. But there are things he ALWAYS apologizes for and never changes. So the words sorry mean nothing really!
    Great post!

    • Thanks, Corie! Apologies are a tough one for me. Anita made a great point above, too. I’ve mentioned before here that I am nervously curious about how to help wives share my stories with their husbands without having them think they’re being called a terrible husband!

      Definitely let me know how it goes. I’m still new in the process of doing things right and exploring the emotions of how to hear (and deliver) that message in a loving way. I’d love to hear stories of what works and doesn’t. Good luck! And remember, our egos are fragile! 🙂

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