Getting into arguments and disagreeing is common in any relationship, but what about those times when you do or say something that legitimately hurts your partner?
Now, this doesn’t refer to a bad joke or not cleaning up this or that or something silly; If the person you’re dating is getting upset over little things, you might want to take a step back and reevaluate things.
No, what I mean is something more important, things like you’re talking to an ex when you said you wouldn’t do that anymore, keeping secrets or lying, doing anything that could and would hurt him and maybe even know it when doing these nasty things.
Finding a way to show you’re sorry can be difficult and may take a while, but if the relationship is strong and worthwhile, you’ll get through it; there are some easy and rational things to do when apologizing to your partner and here they are!
Listen to him.
It’s easy, but it’s also going to be pretty hard because you’re probably going to hear everything you’ve done and it’s not going to be nice.
He’s going to need to talk about it, expose everything, tell you how it made him feel and you want to know, you’re going to sit down and listen, that’s your job right now.
You will want to defend yourself, but being aggressive can make the situation worse, and while you should be active in the conversation and tell your side of the story, his side has to come first.
Face it, every part of you should seem interested in what he has to say – body language says a lot and if you turn around or walk away it will look like you don’t care.
Being fully involved in the conversation will also help you in the long run, it will help you take it all in and remember the next time something comes up that could cause your partner great inconvenience.
There will have to be a lot of reassurance and let him know that what he is feeling is justified and correct.
Don’t say things like “I’m sorry you feel that way”, this implies that it’s his fault for feeling the way he is feeling, not yours.
The best way to look at this step is simple – how would you like to be treated if things were reversed?
That makes sense, right?
You would like to be heard and told that you have every right to the emotions you are feeling; it sucks to have someone who has hurt you ignoring how they are feeling and ignoring you like it’s not important; so don’t do it with your partner.
But remember, acknowledging your partner’s emotions won’t make them magically disappear; he still needs time to process and deal with everything so he has time to resolve the issue.
Apologize and Be Sincere
This part can be tricky and take a while, depending on the circumstances of your situation and why you want him to know that you’re really sorry.
First and foremost, show him that you didn’t do what you did to hurt him in the first place; it goes back to validating their feelings in everything and shows that you know you did something wrong.
Second, don’t apologize if you’re not serious; what validity does an apology have if it is empty.
And third, don’t manipulate him to forgive you; this is not going to help either of you and could potentially make things worse.
Rushing or pressuring them to accept your apology can lead to resentment and this is unhealthy.
You can do little things to physically show you’re sorry if you can’t find the right thing to say – make him his favorite dinner, plan a really nice thing he likes, or just show love and reassurance because he’s going to need it.
Not apologizing can be a game-changer for some, so make sure that when it comes time to apologize, you’re doing it sincerely and from the heart.
Give him space
Sometimes the best thing to do is to step back and give him time to process everything.
This can be the hardest part because you probably don’t want to do this, you want to talk and explain, but if he’s not ready for that conversation, it won’t be productive.
How much time he needs will vary from person to person and depending on the situation, expect him to contact you or contact him after a while to let him know you are thinking about him.
If he doesn’t respond, don’t give up, but don’t force either.
If you share a house together, this can be a little more difficult, so leave the room or go for a walk around town, and let him spend time alone in a space he’s comfortable with.
The time you spend apart will help you both understand your feelings and emotions so that a constructive and hopefully positive conversation can take place.
Something that can be forgotten in all this and forgive yourself; this can be just as important as receiving forgiveness from your partner.
If you hold on to the guilt of hurting him, it will become toxic for you, your partner, and the relationship.
Looking inside yourself and seeing what you can work on to not keep repeating old harmful behaviors can work wonders and help show your partner that you really are sorry.
All of these things can apply to many different situations in a relationship, not just when there is a fight, the two of you are a team and there needs to be respect and understanding.
Sometimes we are idiots, we let pride get in the way and we hurt the person we love, so it’s up to us to fix it and correct it.
You have to remember why you are in the relationship in the first place; you love and care about your partner and their happiness should be important to you.
If you consider these steps and use them to apologize, you can start to recover what was broken.