April 25, 2006


Let me start out by saying that we all make mistakes--it’s just a part of being human. I make more mistakes than I care to admit, and I’m sure many of you can say the same…if you are being honest.

So if every one of us (yes, I do mean everyone) makes mistakes, then why is it so hard to apologize? It’s as though people think that if they don’t mention the mistake, their partner won’t notice it. I can’t tell you how wrong that thinking is. Trust me: your partner notices!

Mistakes come in all shapes and sizes from forgetting to put the garbage out, to calling your partner a jerk, to yelling at your child things you swore you would never say. Some mistakes are oversights; some are hurtful, toxic daggers that damage relationships. All warrant an apology.

If you have a hard time apologizing, you have two choices if you want to be relational.
You can either learn to apologize, or you can stop doing behaviors that warrant an apology.

Learning to apologize is the easier solution because… it is do-able. I will teach you how to apologize right now--ready? Take a deep breath, remember that you are human, go to your partner, open your mouth, and in a loving, sincere voice form the words “I am sorry.” It will go a long way if you also let your partner know that you will do your best to not do that behavior again. Once you are done, pat yourself on the back for being a grown-up and taking responsibility for your mistakes.

The saying, “Love is never having to say you’re sorry” is the sentiment of an entitled human being, not a loving partner. It’s absurd to think that you could hurt people who love you and not apologize…because they love you. That’s crazy. Listen, we are human beings, not God. As long as that is the case, we will be making mistakes. It is time we all learned how to mend those mistakes and give our loved ones the healing--from us-- they deserve. If you refuse to say you’re sorry, you’re re-injuring your partner and compounding your mistake by not owning it. Step up and own it--your partner will feel better and so will you.

Challenge: Step up and apologize when you make a mistake and see what happens.


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