Why Is It So Hard To Say I’m Sorry?
Such a small phrase, seemingly easy enough to say, yet in marriage these words have a huge impact, whether said or especially, not said. Every couple has their marital battles, but I am willing to bet that if we all had the time to talk about these specific words there would be too much to say about them.
I admitted the other night during our marriage ministry, that I wish my husband said, “I’m sorry” more often.
In response my friend Thomas inquired, “How do you let him know that he hurt you or that you want him to apologize?”
My husband grinned; interested to know how I would answer the question. I smiled in embarrassment, realizing that I usually don’t communicate to my husband how or why he hurt me; instead I isolate myself from him, leaving him clues hoping he would see that things between us are not ok. I suppose this is the “mind game” that men refer to about women, but I never intend to play a game, rather I see it as necessary to seriously push us apart in those moments.
Thomas mentioned that men cannot read minds, encouraging me and the rest of the women at the table that if we share with our husbands when we feel hurt, our husbands will try and fix it. Of, course that does not happen in every relationship, but most of the men nodded in agreement.
A husband or wife may not be willing to say these words if they do not feel they were in the wrong, leaving the other person unresolved with their hurt feelings. Some may say them too fast, giving the impression they do not care about what happened, eager to move-on, again missing the point that feelings need to be validated.
Whichever way you typically respond to your spouse in your marital relationship, specifically with “I’m sorry,” the bottom line is that these words do need to be said, sincerely, and most likely often. Despite whose fault it is, the fact remains that feelings get hurt and need validation. The good news is that we have time to work on our approach to saying these words, and hopefully we will be great communicators in those crucially emotional times.
As we continued the table discussion on apologizing, we also talked about forgiveness. I loved what my husband mentioned about it. He questioned our cultures way of thinking in that we wait for an apology and then forgive.
Especially in marriage, how often do we wait for our spouse to apology before giving grace and forgiveness?
However, my husband reminded us that Christ died for us, to cover our sins. He died and gave us the gift of grace long before we even sinned. How powerful a depiction of sacrificial love! In marriage, if we can forgive our spouse even before they wrong us, we are then exemplifying the same love as Christ! That’s powerful and very difficult to do; yet the reward is beyond words!
Many times we sit and contemplate whether our spouse deserves forgiveness. Do we deserve Christ’s forgiveness of our sin? Absolutely not! Grace and forgiveness is not about what somebody deserves. They are powerful and life changing when they are given even when someone does not deserve it.
When you are in an argument with your spouse, a fight, or if you are hurting in any way because of your spouse, both of you need to stop and evaluate your love for each other, for it says in 1 Peter 4:8 “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”