Saying sorry is tough. Like real tough. I remember being little and having to tell my sisters sorry for bickering, or sorry for calling them a mean name, and it wasn't easy! I remember writing letters to my parents as an apology because I just couldn't get the words to come out of my mouth.
But I've sure come a long way.
I am great at saying sorry now. I don't mean to brag, but I'm pretty sure my husband and I are the best at saying sorry in the entire world. Well, maybe that's a stretch, but we're amazing at it! And if you're not, don't worry...it will come with time. It was not until marriage that I truly mastered the art of the apology!
But for the past couple of days as I've been preparing and thinking about what I want to write about in this article, I've really been contemplating why "I'm Sorry" is so difficult for all of us to say!
A Promise is Forever
The words don't just mean that you are truly sorry for what you did, but act as a promise for the future. Those two words (or three, depending how you say it), are your vow and your promise that it will never happen again. Whatever you did or whatever you said will never occur for as long as you live. Now that's deep!
You prepared for years and years for your marriage, in order to be sure that you wanted to make a promise for forever, and now in just two little words and in an instant, you have to make another promise for forever?
"I will never disrespect you for the rest of my life."
"I will never swear while we are arguing"
"I will never again in my entire life, take my feelings out on you."
"I'm sorry" is a vow for forever. And that is a big promise to make and to keep! And to take it one step further, it is generally thought of as admitting guilt! And that is why it is so hard to say.
It's Just Too Easy
I'm going to take a step back to where I told you how my husband and I are so fantastic at apologizing to each other. And I am not going to take those words back. But I am going to tell you why this skill has actually had a negative affect on our marriage.
1) The second I apologize, the conversation is over. We rarely discuss what has happened and talk together to resolve the conflict. "I'm Sorry" is the only resolution we have in place and it generally ends there. It is our "get out of jail" card...and that is not a good thing!
2) "I'm Sorry" does not stick forever. Because we don't discuss our disagreements and just end them with the apology and go about our day like nothing occured, nothing is ever fixed. And then, the same exact argument occurs over and over again. We do not keep the "I'm Sorry" vow that we've promised.
"I'm Sorry" Is Forever
This short little phrase is one that is imperative in every marriage. But for us, we've gotten too good at it...we just sweep the rest under the rug. Don't get me wrong, I am a strong advocate of apologies, but I am a stronger advocate of apologizes that mean and last forever, and then lead to a healthy marital conversation in order to improve for the future.
No matter how great or how bad you are at apologizing to your spouse, never get too good at the art of the apology. Whenever you apologize, mean it. And vow to make it last forever.