Sometimes, I’m just so embarrassed and hurt by something he has done; I can’t even bring myself to tell him. I want him to know he hurt my feelings, but I’m scared.
I don’t want to hurt his feelings because that will hurt my feelings. This cycle continues for many years.
We’ve talked about it on many occasions. He admits that it’s his issue too.
But the thing is, I believe in the principle of the Golden Rule, you do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I am not expecting an apology for every little thing that he does.
If he hit me in the face, I would tell him he hit me in the face.
While I don’t want him to apologize for every little thing (you shouldn’t have to apologize for every little thing), I do think he needs to show some remorse and not only apologize for the wrong he has done but shows me he truly regrets what he has done. We all need to be willing to apologize, even if we don’t mean it.
I think of it as an act of goodwill toward your partner.
Here are some tips on what to say if you want your partner to apologize for a particular action.
Research things for yourself before bringing them up. You will gain more respect for your partner if you know the whole story of what they did and why.
Tell him that you have found out that he did something that made you feel uncomfortable. He may have forgotten to mention it to you, or he may have been trying to act like he didn’t do it.
Just be clear that you have been searching for information and that you still want him to apologize.
Ask for your sympathy and forgiveness
Many couples don’t find it easy to apologize and ask for forgiveness. If you don’t try, it is not going to happen.
Start with simple things like asking for forgiveness for a verbal or physical attack on you. Ask for forgiveness for something that he has said.
Asking for forgiveness doesn’t mean he has to do the same. Sometimes we are not ready to be forgiving.
Ask for forgiveness as a sign of your love and the ability to admit when you have been wrong. If your partner does not own up, apologize for your own lack of forgiveness.
It’s not always a sign of bitterness, but the ability to forgive and forget.
When I have been upset and have asked him to say he is sorry, I have been met with resistance. Sometimes it can be because he knows he should say he is sorry but didn’t want to upset me or did not know how to explain himself without hurting my feelings.
I have found this to be the biggest problem, not that he doesn’t care, but he didn’t know what to say. Don’t expect your partner to come up with words that are not in his vocabulary.
He may have to think of a way to explain why he feels guilty and why he isn’t sorry. Maybe he thinks you are accusing him of something he didn’t do.
He may want to apologize for a comment that he made earlier and didn’t realize it was hurtful. He may be afraid that if he apologizes, you will feel bad for bringing it up, and you will drop the issue.
If he feels that he should apologize, suggest some words that you would like him to say. For example, a word that means: “I am sorry I did XYZ.”
Or he may want to say something more like: “I am sorry that I said XYZ, it was not my intention, and I shouldn’t have said it.”
Catch him off guard
If your partner does not know how to apologize, give him a hard time to make him think. If you have had a hard day and are angry, ask him if he had a rough day, and if he did, ask him what he did to upset you.
If he says nothing, continue to be angry. If he says he is sorry, ask him why he is sorry.
If he says he should have said something different or did not mean to hurt you, say that’s ok and ask if he wants to hear what you would like him to say. You can explain that it is not because you want to get angry with him, but because you feel sorry.
Get him to tell you why he is sorry. Then be prepared to ask some questions and listen to his answers.
When he says he is sorry, his words mean something to you.
When you think about how much you want your partner to say he is sorry, maybe you can see why we may feel such a strong need for it. It makes us feel safe and loved.
It gives us a sign that we have been heard and that our partner cares about us. It shows that we are important enough for him to apologize.
It makes us feel important enough for him to ask for forgiveness. There is an old saying: “The love you take is equal to the love you make.”
When he shows he cares and is willing to make an effort to make things right, there will be a chance for forgiveness to take place.
Have you ever had to ask for forgiveness? If you did, how did it work for you?
If you could say you never had to apologize, would you? How would your partner react if he was told he should apologize?