For most of us, offering an apology feels awkward or uncomfortable.

For one thing, we don’t have a lot of practice.

For another thing, the concept of apologizing is often associated with being “bad” or “wrong.” Does this concept match for you?

I invite you to consider thinking about an apology as your behavior that says, “You matter to me. I am sorry for doing or saying something that has hurt your feelings or made YOU feel badly.”

There is nothing in that sentence of intention about YOU being “bad” or doing anything “wrong!”

8 Simple Steps to Offer an Apology to Your Partner:

  1. Take a deep breath.
  2. Remind yourself that your partner is not the enemy.
  3. Remind yourself that your partner is a person you cherish and value; and whom you wouldn’t hurt for anything in the world.
  4. Remind yourself that getting angry with your partner when they tell you that you said or did something that hurt them, is very common.
  5. Keep breathing!
  6. Now, repeat after me:

“I am sorry that what I said (or didn’t say) or what I did (or didn’t do) made you feel like I don’t care about you.

It was not my intention to say or do anything that would upset you or cause you hurt.

What can I do or say right now to repair the hurt in your heart?

I care about you. It matters to me that you are hurt. I want to make the hurt better.”

  1. Now, take another deep breath and be quiet.
  2. Allow your partner all the time he or she needs to let your words sink in and start to soothe the hurt; and salve their wounded heart.

That’s all there is to it!

I invite you to practice this new relationship success skill often, in the privacy of your own, safe space. Allow these words to become more comfortable to say and this new behavior to become more familiar to do.

Then, make an apology to your partner at your very next opportunity.

Remember, only YOU can make it happen!

Original Content by Jackie Black, Ph.D., BCC