Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wedded Wednesday - Apologies

Wedded Wednesday is a collaboration
of married bloggers sharing their inspirations,
anecdotes, struggles and thoughts regarding
the amazing union of two separate people, as one.

I'll be the first to admit that I stink at apologizing. I cringe when I realize I have to admit I was in the wrong. In a heated moment, I feel passionately about whatever it is I'm saying or doing and can justify it 100%. But if you give me just 5 minutes to cool down and think rationally, I soon realize the error in my ways and become immediately embarrassed by my words and actions. This makes it very difficult for me to 1- admit fault, 2- say "I'm sorry,"  and 3- ask forgiveness of the person I've wronged {usually my husband}. I have gotten much better with my words and actions in a heated moment, which leads to fewer situations where I find myself in need of apologizing, but there are still moments when an apology is needed and I freeze.

I receive emails from Gary Chapman's ministries and the most recent one is copied & pasted below, regarding apologies: 
Is an Apology a Sign of Weakness?
Why then do some people find it so hard to apologize? Perhaps this is because they view apologizing as a sign of weakness. In reality, it is a sign of maturity. In an apology, I accept responsibility for my behavior. I'm showing that I value our relationship. Until you apologize, nothing is more important.

Requesting Forgiveness
Requesting forgiveness is one of the five apology languages. For some people it is their primary language. In their minds, if you don't request forgiveness, you have not apologized. One wife said, "All he ever says is, 'I'm sorry.' What is that supposed to mean?  Does he realize that he has done wrong? Does he want to be forgiven? Then why can't he ask for it?"  
The reason he does not "ask for it" is that he may not know that requesting forgiveness is one of five ways to apologize. Most of us only learn one or two statements of apology as we grow up. To make a successful apology we may need to learn to speak another language.  

Learning How to Apologize
When Dr. Jennifer Thomas and I wrote our book, The Five Languages of Apology, we discovered that people apologize in different ways. What one person considers an apology is not what another person is looking for. He says, "I'm sorry," while she wants to hear him say, "I was wrong." Or, she says, "What can I do to make things right?"  And, he is saying, "For a start you can tell me what you are going to do to make sure this does not happen again tomorrow."  None of us are experts on apologizing, but the good news is that we can learn.

Do you struggle with apologies, or is it something that comes easily & naturally to you? Do you struggle with the way that your significant other apologizes to you--you need or want to hear something OTHER THAN "I'm sorry" come from his/her mouth? If so, what is it that you wish would come from their mouth, instead of or along with "I'm sorry"? 


  1. I usually have to FORCE myself to apologize. It literally makes me cringe. I would definitely say that it makes me feel weak because Jared and I are both very stubborn. But I've actually learned that by saying if first, he usually responds with an even better apology that makes me feel really good.

  2. I am just exactly like you. In the heat of a debate, I am so passionate about whatever I am saying that I can't even see that I may be wrong. It takes a lot for me to apologize. Sometimes, I just want to hear "I was wrong, you were right" instead of "I'm sorry for continuing to argue with you." or "I'm sorry" in that huffy tone. BUT we are both guilty of doing that from time to time!

  3. I am like you too. I usually snap and then am convicted as soon as I cool off. I usually go outside or in my room and pray. As soon as I do that, I can say sorry pretty easily.

  4. Hmmm.....I have been wondering how to respond to this post. I think it is funny that I even have a hard time admiting that I have a hard time with the "S" word. I HATE SAYING I AM stupid because it is the easiest word to say, sorry....sorry...sorry...sorry. But I think we struggle with it because we want to "mean" it and when it does not have meaning...then why say it. ongoing battle within my heart for sure. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

  5. My husband is always the first to say he's sorry. Sometimes it makes me feel bad because even though I AM sorry, but it's just hard for me to get the words out. But when I do, things always get better. I just think about how much he means to me and how I never want to hurt him, and those two little words seem to come out of my mouth so much easier when I focus on how important our marriage & love is.

  6. Thanks for your sweet comment, Sarah--wish you could have been here too! LeAnna's visit was wonderful, I was thankful for the "retreat".

    Wow, very provoking post. I think forgiveness is unique because it's just hard--in the giving AND receiving of it. But oh, it teaches us so much.

  7. I got that same email, and it really made me stop and think. Justin is so good about saying "I'm sorry, will you please forgive me?"

    Sometimes, I mutter a less-than enthusiastic "Sorry", but I rarely actually ask for forgiveness...which is something that I want to change!


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