All couples fight from time to time, it is normal because no one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. In order not to let fights to ruin your marriage, you need to be able to apologize to your husband or wife. Here are some tips for apologizing to your spouse.
The easiest way to apologize is to say “I'm sorry” when you did something wrong. It is usually enough (of course, if you are sincere). Say it like you mean it. Actually, it's better to say “I apologize” because we say “I'm sorry” way too often, and the expression has lost its weight.
However, if you really messed up, a simple “I'm sorry” might not sound convincing enough, so you will have to be more creative. Dr. Gary Chapman, a relationship counselor, co-authored the book The Five Languages of Apology with Dr. Jennifer Thomas. The book focuses on giving and receiving apologies. Chapman and Thomas list five universal languages of apology.
Language #1. Expressing regret. Say that you are aware that you've hurt your spouse's feelings.
Language #2. Accepting responsibility. Spell out what exactly you've done wrong.
Language #3. Making restitution. Ask your spouse what you can do to make it up to them.
Language #4. Genuinely repenting. Express your desire to change behavior and never repeat the same mistakes.
Language #5. Requesting forgiveness. Apologize for what you've done and ask for forgiveness.
Sometimes spouses speak the same apology language, but it's not always the case. The key to apologizing is using the language your spouse wants to hear and not the language that resonates the most strongly with you. For instance, if you need to appeal to your spouse's emotions, express regret. If your spouse is a more rational person, accept responsibility.
Physical touch is also important. Most people need it when they are sad or upset. When your spouse accepts your apology, hug them or offer them to snuggle on the couch. It will bring you closer and will help you realize that the fight is really over. Never underestimate the power of touch. By the way, make-up sex is also an option!
When your spouse forgives you, do something nice for them. Buy flowers (many men love flowers, too!), cook a meal, plan a night out, etc. Just don't buy gifts instead of apologizing. Firstly, you cannot buy forgiveness. Secondly, if you do it every time you mess up, the gifts begin to lose their meaning.
Last but not least. You need to forgive yourself, too. Stop beating yourself up for what you've done and move on.
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