You’ve undoubtedly heard the old adage about how couples should never go to bed angry. It’s good advice, but sometimes it’s hard to follow it. You might need a few days, and that’s okay. The most important thing is clearing the air when you are ready to do so.
A great way to think of an apology is as a way of not letting any negative feelings simmer under the surface. Talk them out, apologize and make up quickly if you can, and move on with your life in a more positive direction. If you’re feeling particularly bad about something, here are some tips for saying ”I’m sorry” to your partner:
Don’t say it if you don’t mean it
Saying ”I’m sorry” isn’t just about feeling bad for having hurt someone – It shows that you care about your partner enough to apologize for all the trouble you caused – When your partner says ”I’m sorry”, say it back without hesitation – Don’t ever say ”I’m sorry” when you don’t mean it, or else you’ll risk seriously hurting your relationship and eroding trust between the two of you.
Write them a letter
This is a good choice when you’re having trouble expressing yourself verbally. Sitting down with pen and paper can help you organize your thoughts so that you can convey your feelings more clearly. You may also find that writing allows you to process things more deeply than talking allows for. If you were on the receiving end of the fight and don’t feel like there’s any point in writing anything, try saving this suggestion for after some time has passed and conversations between the two of you have had time to become less volatile.
Gift something personal
It doesn’t have to be something expensive or fancy. A gift card for your partner’s favorite restaurant or a small trinket from their childhood might mean more than anything else ever could. A personal memento that reminds your partner of a special time in your relationship will mean so much more than some random store-bought item that anyone could get at any time.
Let them process things on their own
One of the worst things you can do after fighting with your partner is to come right back and try to resolve it right away. All humans need time to process things, and during this time they’re not going to be open to a conversation—not that they’d be any good at it in this state. Instead, you should give them some space when they need it, and then come back once you’ve cooled off and are ready to talk about the problem from a more rational perspective.
A big part of this is giving your partner room to breathe; when you’re fighting, life is suddenly turned upside-down with an argument about something that may have been building for weeks, months, or even years. Don’t push them: you should allow your partner some time alone to process any problems the two of you might have and only come back to talk about it once you’re able to control your feelings.
This may be difficult if you have the urge to go running after them and beg for forgiveness, but it’s important that you let them take the first step in resolving things. If they don’t seem ready to talk, just give them some space.
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