How to Apologize Even When You Didn’t Mean To Cause A Problem: Couple’s Communication Counseling Verbatim
Posted Mar 03 2009 2:20pm
If you’ve accidentally done something your partner is angry about, you may think you should be forgiven automatically, just because your intentions were good—or at least not malicious. Your partner may disagree.
Just admitting that you have done something is NOT the same thing as apologizing to your partner for your behavior. And just saying “I’m sorry” may not be enough either.
She: (really angry) You don’t give a rat’s ass about what I’m talking about do you?
Me: (to him) Now she is back to telling you about her resentments. It’s because you haven’t apologized. You admitted that you caused the problem, but that’s not the same thing as apologizing.
He: I told her that I do it in other situations. It happens over and over again.
Me: Do you know what an apology is?
He: I thought I told her I made a mistake and that she’s right.
Me: You told her about what was going on in your mind. That isn’t an apology. It may be part of an apology. But you’ve left out any thing to do with her feelings about the problem you caused. You’re only talking about yourself.