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Home / Relationships

How to master the art of apology in your relationship

 You don't always have to be right when solving an issue with your partner (Image: Shutterstock) 

Have you done something wrong that warrants an apology?

I bet that is not your first apology and will definitely not be your last.

If you have been in a long term committed relationship or marriage, by now you already know that there is no perfect relationship and every once in a while, you or your partner will stumble.

And here is the thing, mistakes are a part of life and we all make them.

So, whatever you did through omission or commission, saying sorry may be the one word that saves your relationship from that painful divorce or breakup.

But before we get to that part, you must understand that some mistakes are more serious and may not be easily forgiven or erased by a sorry.

Infidelity and physical abuse for instance may require a bit more effort and it is not a guarantee your partner may accept your apology.

That said, here is how to make a heartfelt apology to your special someone:

  • Admit you are wrong

What are you apologizing for if you don’t admit your mistake? It beats the purpose. You must accept you did wrong, own up to your mistake and take responsibility for your actions.

That way, your partner will be able to see that you have taken accountability and that you are genuinely remorseful and sorry.

  • Let them see you are sorry

This is not the time to blame others or a situation you were in to justify your actions. You must show that you are aware of how you went wrong, use ‘’I’’ when saying sorry and do not try to shift the focus from what you did.

Avoid guilt tripping your partner by accusing them of having done the same in the past but rather make it about you and the mistake and let them know how sincerely sorry you are.

 When you apologise ensure your partner sees that you mean it (Image: Shutterstock)
  • Acknowledge their feelings

At this point your partner is definitely not amused by your actions and they may be reeling from physical or emotional pain or both.

Help them understand that you are aware of how your actions made them feel and take full responsibility for hurting them.

It is also important that you assure them that it will never happen again.

  • Be better

Do not bother apologizing if you will not change. The best apology you can actually give your partner is through your actions.

Let them see that you are doing your best not to repeat your mistakes by putting certain measures in place.

If for instance you cheated while at a wild weekend out with the girls or boys, you can choose to ditch them altogether. Or if you forgot to carry out a chore like paying for bills, set some reminders so that it never happens again.

This way, your partner will be able to forgive you and move past what you did because you have taken the necessary steps to ensure you do not commit those mistakes again.

  • Give them space

You must ask for forgiveness and deal with the consequence. They may not be ready to forgive you immediately depending on how much you wronged them and that is perfectly fine.

Give them time to process and help them understand that you are sorry then wait it out. Don’t rush them to accept your apology and expect things to go back to normal at the snap of your finger.

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