A friend once asked me if I had done anything lately to upset my wife. At the time, not only had I not upset her, but I just had arranged for flowers to be delivered to her. No special occasion. I wanted to tell her I love her. I was ahead of the game, I thought. 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. I hadn’t told her a vital piece of information and that made a stressful day ten times worse. She was upset.
Telling your wife you are sorry the right way has immense power. My mind raced. But I’ve been great. Why is she so upset? I shot back, “Okay. I’m sorry!” The words were right, but my tone communicated something else entirely—“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 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.
Your wife can sense whether you actually mean it. If you don’t mean it, you need to do some more soul searching. Don’t just apologize to get past the fight 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 with 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?”. When you do, you put yourself in a vulnerable state. The question invites her back into a right relationship with you. It brings back connection and alignment with one another.
There are two ways to respond when we wrong our wives: be remorseful or justify ourselves. One produces inner growth. The other dooms us 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. Let her know she’s not.
Sound off: How do you give a meaningful apology?
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Is it ever hard for you to apologize? Why?”