Things are going to go wrong. At some point in your marriage an apology will be necessary. You can’t avoid it, no matter how hard you try. In fact, trying too hard can sometimes be a direct route to needing an apology. Now it may seem like a simple thing. “I’m sorry” can be really easy for some people. For those of us who have a hard time with saying it, we have other issues that we have to work on. This is just about the anatomy of an apology and what we all need to be looking at when we issue one to our spouse.
The very first thing is admission. “I was wrong.” This is like the first step taken to overcoming an addiction. You admit that you have a problem. An apology is necessary because a problem exists. So you have to admit that there is a problem and that you take blame for all or part of it. You can apologize without admitting that you were wrong, but most of the time, you were – so just admit it. Be prepared that this can be a humbling experience so if you have a lot of pride that will hinder you, make sure that you go to God and get His assistance.
The second part of an apology is affirmation. “I understand.” What do you understand? Do you understand why your spouse is angry or upset? Do you understand why your spouse acted or reacted the way that they did? Affirming what your spouse is feeling shows your love for them. You may not agree with them, but they have a right to their feelings. Sometimes we don’t understand how our spouse feels and if this is the case, you will need to have a discussion with your spouse before you can affirm their feelings. Again, this can be a difficult thing, but God is always available to help.