Just like quarrel and fight didn’t ruin the magic enough, you would have to deal with your partner’s unhappiness because you didn’t apologize ‘the right way’. Here’s how to say sorry, and say it right.
You can actually get into more trouble for apologizing wrongly than not apologizing at all, and you don’t necessarily have to be dealing with a crazy partner to experience such a turn of events.
As if a fight didn’t ruin the magic enough, you would have to deal with your partner’s unhappiness because you didn’t apologize ‘the right way’. Here’s how to say sorry, and say it right.
· First of all, you have to admit that your partner is hurt. This isn’t the time to bring out a PowerPoint presentation of how they are being irrational, or of how you’re right and they are wrong. What matters is they are hurt, so apologize for their pain. Who is wrong or right can be discussed later when tempers are calm.
· Sometimes people say sorry just to stem their partner’s complaints of how badly they have been treated. The moment their partners open their mouths and say ‘Honey I really didn’t like…’ they supply a perfunctory sorry; never mind that they don’t know what exactly it is they did wrong. Saying sorry just to prevent conflict doesn’t help; you only postpone the conflict.
· You really have to know EXACTLY what you’re apologising for, so you don’t do it again. Apologizing for your partner’s hurt feelings is the first step, you have to establish clearly what it is you’re apologizing for.
· Here’s the thing about apologies; they are more effective when they aren’t apologies to the same old issues. You can’t apologise five times in two months for the same thing, your partner will think you actually take delight in apologizing. Instead, why don’t you do try and do better? As an alternative to walking through the door and meeting a sulky partner, you can have a really good time if you come bearing the groceries she asked you to get, Santa style.
· Finally, it goes without saying that you ought to mean your apology. Even if it has to take you a full week to see why you have to apologise, do it. Be at peace with yourself about giving that apology, it cannot be bullied out of you.