A friend recently asked me if I had done anything lately to upset my wife. Not only had I not upset her, but I had just arranged for flowers to be delivered to her. No special occasion–just telling her I loved her. I was ahead of the game. Maybe I was cocky. That’s normally when I fall on my face. I should have seen it coming.
The phone rang and she asked a simple question. There was a vital piece of information that I did not tell her that made a stressful day ten times worse. She was upset. My mind raced, “But I’ve been great. Why is she getting so upset?” I shot back, “Okay, I’m sorry!” The words were right, but my tone communicated something else entirely. What I really was saying was, “Back off!” and “Get over it!” Shockingly, that didn’t go well. Later, I gave her a meaningful apology. It was the apology she needed. Too bad it was the second one and not the first.
Telling your wife you are sorry in the right way has immense power. It can make the worst of fights evaporate into thin air. I would like to S.H.A.R.E. the components of how to apologize to your wife.
She can pick up whether or not you mean it. If you’re not feeling it, you need to do some more soul searching. Don’t just apologize to get past it or because it’s the right thing. There needs to be conviction. Think and, perhaps, pray until it arrives.
Place her in a position of importance. Do this not only with your words, but your body language and tone. Raise her dignity and worth above your pride. When you proposed marriage, you may have gotten down on one knee. Metaphorically do this with every apology.
Ask for Forgiveness
Actually ask the question, “Will you forgive me?” You are putting yourself in a vulnerable state. It is the question that invites her back into a right relationship. It brings back the connection and alignment with one another.
There are two ways to respond when we wrong her: Be remorseful or justify ourselves. One produces inner growth, the other is doomed to repeat mistakes. One raises the conscience, the other burns it away.
Work on understanding her point of view. Try to discern what she is feeling and why. Go there with her. More than anything, she probably feels alone. For the most part, women don’t like to be alone. Let her know she’s not.
Huddle Up Question
Role play how to give a proper apology.