Do you struggle to apologize to your significant other?


Does it seem that your partner often struggles to fully forgive you for wrongdoing?


The practice of sincerely apologizing is crucial to healthy relationships. No one person is perfect, and every partner is bound to make a mistake at one point or another. Try utilizing the list below to make sure that when you apologize, your loved one takes it to heart.  


1. Do not continue making the same mistake. This may be the most critical element to offering a sincere apology. If you truly regret wrongdoing and recognize the impact it had on your partner, you will do everything in your power to avoid the same pitfall in the future. Apologizing for behavior only to repeat said behavior the next week takes the credibility out of your words. Worse, it will be far more difficult to make amends the next time around. 


2. Make it definitive. Simply saying, “I’m sorry,” may seem like a quick fix, but without details, it will sound disingenuous. Demonstrate that you grasp the effect your transgression had on your loved one by fully acknowledging what you did that caused pain, and your intent to avoid a recurrence. 


3. Make the apology face-to-face. Texts, emails, phone calls, or messages sent through a mutual friend may make an apology appear half-hearted. Show respect and be sure to address your faults in person.


4. Don’t pass the blame. No matter your partner’s place in the wrongdoing, if you are choosing to apologize, be ready to take complete responsibility. An apology is not the time to point out how you were also wronged or what your significant other could have done differently. Acknowledging your mistake while criticizing him/her will water down your message. 


5. Include a plan of action. Demonstrate the full scope of your remorse by recognizing why your action was wrong and sharing exactly how you will act differently in the future. This may assure your partner of your dedication and provide a sense of security. 


6. Choose your timing wisely. Allowing too much time to lapse before addressing the issue will reflect poorly on your intentions. However, apologizing too soon denies your loved one the chance to process and communicate his/her pain over the wrongdoing. Take a beat and come back in decent time to apologize, making space for your partner if (s)he still has some lingering resentment. Accept that those emotions are a result of your decisions and do not pressure him/her to immediately forgive and forget. 


Learning how to make amends with sincerity is a valuable relationship tool. Simply expressing that you are sorry often does little without proof of sincerity. You can demonstrate that you understand the scope of the wrongdoing by taking full responsibility without blame, acknowledging your partner’s right to feel angry, and formulating a plan to avoid similar mistakes in the future. Apologizing can be a humbling experience, but it is pivotal to promoting healthy relationships that can last the ups and downs of life. 


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