Saying, “I’m sorry,” is a way to smooth over any tricky situation between two people. Only, it’s become so commonplace it really has little meaning anymore. I am reminded of a time when a young Sascha would hurt her younger brother, Aaron. While he was crying, she would say, “Sorry,” then giggle because she’d one-upped him, once again.
I think it’s about time we returned the integrity befitting the genuine apology to bridge the gap which can appear between two people, who through no fault of their own, found themselves on opposite sides of a fence.
In contemporary society, when someone apologizes, it’s not uncommon for it to be followed by “but” which pretty much nullifies the apology.
Whether you forgot to pick up the dry-cleaning or had a torrid affair, knowing how to authentically say, “I’m sorry,” with a degree of decorum and authentic open and honest remorse with a bit of repentance thrown in for flavor will likely earn you’re another chance and potential forgiveness.
If you’re expecting your partner to lend an ear to you, it’s best to start off with honoring and validating his or her perspective, even if it is not in harmony with yours. Understanding where he or she is coming from is an important part of creating the connection necessary to rebuild and repair the relationship, whether or not any actual crime was committed.
Empathy goes a long way in expressing that you know what it must feel like for your partner, what he or she must be feeling. Let him or her know how you might feel if the roles were reversed and you believed your partner had done the same thing you’ve done or are being accused of.
It’s not just enough to say I’m sorry, your apology must be associated with some demonstrative action, if you’re ever to have any hope of forgiveness. So, man-up (or woman-up) and pledge to make the future different by committing to do something on your partner’s behalf which will help to rectify or repair the damage. It doesn’t have to be a monumental promise, but something that moves you closer together, not further apart, and signifies your commitment and ability to change.
If you’re looking for forgiveness, practicing a little humility and asking for forgiveness will go a long way toward getting you from where you are to where you’d rather be. Clearly, it was not your intention to hurt or let down your partner, nonetheless, here we are, and your partner is feeling slighted or betrayed by you. A little validation, expression of your intention, and asking forgiveness could be as easy as, “I’m sorry. I understand how you feel. I never meant to hurt you. Could you forgive me?”
If you’re apologizing and asking for forgiveness, you will be looking for one of two positive responses, “Yes, thank you, and I forgive you.” Or, “Thank you for sharing, and I will need time to think about all of this. I will get back to you on that.”
Either of those responses will have you on the road to repair and rebuilding the relationship and recovery from your faux pas.
Keep this in mind if your partner comes to you, saying, “I’m sorry,” and asking for your forgiveness. When you forgive, do not badger your partner over past transgressions. Forgiveness requires your letting go of your partner’s transgression. If you do, you only increase the possibility of being disappointed or hurt again.
We all make mistakes. You have a far better chance of your relationship healing, growing and thriving by forgiving your partner and moving forward in love.
Every relationship is built between only two people. If one of the partners refuses to participate in the relationship, there is no relationship.