Restorations Therapy Blog

When Saying Sorry is Not Enough

by on Sunday, July 14th, 2019

When Saying Sorry is Not Enough

Couples tend to make the other say that they are sorry. You may realize that simply saying “I’m sorry” is not going to fix all of your problems if an apology is forced and no one knows what they did wrong. Instead of being pressured into an apology and hoping that will fix everything, it is important to go the extra mile to show your partner how sorry you are for your wrongdoing without always having to say “I’m sorry.”

The Problem with Apologies

While it is important to own up when you do something wrong, it may not be enough to tell your partner that you are sorry for your behavior. Especially if you are feeling guilted into an apology or forced to. This means that you are only apologizing because you know that it will prevent your partner from continuing to be mad at you. It is common for people to say “I’m sorry, but…” There should never be a “but” continuing with your apology because then that means that you are backing up your reasons for why you did what you did. Your partner will feel the insincerity of your apology which will take them longer to forgive you. Sometimes, it takes more than saying “I’m sorry” to fix the damage that has been done.

Do Not Repeat Back What Your Partner Says

It is possible that you feel too frustrated to listen to what your partner has to say about you. You assume that you will disagree and continue to fight. Instead of really hearing what your partner is saying, it is easier for you to just repeat back what they say. For example, if your partner says “You’re acting like a slob,” you have probably repeated back saying “Yeah, yeah, I’m a slob.” No one will think that you care about what you have to say if you are just repeating back what the other says. It is no different than when you are a little kid and your mother tells you what to say to the other kid who you made cry. Listen between the lines of what your partner is saying like listening to their tone and looking at their facial expressions. This will help you get a clear sense of what you did wrong.

Responsibility for the Impact

It is not always about whether you think what you did was right or wrong. Whatever you did probably made your partner cry or want to leave the house. Instead of trying to prove that you were right this whole time, think about the impact that your behavior had on your partner. You may not have meant to hurt your partner, but it happened anyway. That does not mean that you say to your partner “I’m sorry you’re upset.” That will make it seem like you are saying that your partner is overreacting to be upset about the actions you caused. Sometimes, you can still acknowledge to that person that you know they have been hurt and that you would never mean to make them feel that way. It is important that you try to sound sympathetic to their feelings. Tell your partner how you feel as a result of how they are feeling. That when they are in pain, you feel the same way too and that you will try your hardest not to do the same thing again. This will show how empathetic you can be.

Come Up with a Plan

Again, it is not enough to simply say that you are sorry to someone even if you mean it. Your partner needs to be convinced that you will never repeat the action that has caused them pain again. You should not promise that you will never repeat your action again if you know there is a good chance that you could. Be aware that you cannot change overnight and your partner cannot expect you to do that. You can let your partner know that you will actually listen to them speak and that you will think twice about the actions that you commit as you do not want to cause pain to the person you care about most any pain. If your relationship with that person is so strong, you both will not let it disappear.

Give Space

The most generous as well as the hardest thing you can do after an argument is to give your partner space. This means not calling them or texting them after you tried to make up with them. It may give you anxiety waiting for a phone from your partner telling you that they forgive you. If the fight involved your partner’s feelings being hurt, it will not be so easy to forgive and forget. If you live in the same house, you might want to consider staying at a friend’s house for the night if your partner has not decided to do the same. 

When you have hurt someone, you do not want to give them any pressure to forgive you. Otherwise, they will just forgive you only because your constant texts are telling them that they have to. You want your partner to be in a good frame of mind to forgive you. By acknowledging what you did to your partner and giving your partner time for forgiveness, your attempts will mean much more to them than simply saying you are sorry.

Located in Centennial, Colorado, Restoration Therapy works with patients who are struggling with addiction, intimacy disorders, and trauma who are seeking treatment. In order to offer patients a more holistic view on healthy sexuality, Restoration Therapy offers individualized and group therapy, workshops, psycho-educational classes, and more to restore the harm brought on by addiction and intimacy issues. For more information, please call us at (720) 446-6585 as we are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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