This Is Why Apologizing To Your Partner Is So Damn Difficult

Arguments are inevitable in relationships, and if you want to smooth things over and keep your relationship strong long-term, apologies will also be inevitable. Even though we all know we’ll have to say we’re sorry to our significant others at some point, this is why it’s often so hard to say that itty bitty word:

You don’t always mean it. Let’s be totally honest — we’ve all apologized to someone when we absolutely did not mean it. Whether we toss out a quick “sorry” to keep the peace or move on from what’s clearly a dead-end argument, it doesn’t matter. It’s easy to say, but so damn hard to feel sometimes.

He’s often the one in the wrong. You’re having an argument with your boyfriend. You’ve clearly laid out all of your (valid) concerns, but he’s still not getting it. In fact, his counter-arguments are making ZERO sense. You can tell nothing’s working, so you let it go and apologize even though he’s definitely at fault. Wrestling your ego and admitting fault sucks, but sometimes, it’s the only way to move on from things and get back to normal.

It doesn’t always help. Imagine offering a genuine “sorry” to your partner about something you’ve done, only for him to respond by completely rejecting your apology. Apologizing is often a gamble because you never know if it’ll make things better or worse.

You end up saying it when you don’t need to. Are you a chronic apologizer? You know, one of those people who say “sorry” about every little thing, no matter how irrelevant it is? It’s generally not a problem, but being that way in a relationship can do more harm than good. When you say it even when you don’t need to, it ironically becomes that much more difficult to say when you’ve actually screwed up.

You don’t say it enough. On the flip side, some people seem like the word “sorry” doesn’t even exist in their vocabulary. When you aren’t used to apologizing, forcing it out is that much harder. Just like exercise, apologizing is something you should do in moderation if you want it to be a healthy and easier part of your life.

It invalidates your views on the issue. As much as it’s often necessary, apologizing usually means admitting you were wrong, which isn’t easy for a lot of people to do. Sometimes it’s necessary to stand firm on your side of the argument, especially if it’s important that the other person understands where you’re coming from. Dropping the issue with a “sorry” when you truly aren’t will backfire since it sweeps the problem under the rug temporarily, but sometimes it’s necessary to swallow your pride and admit that your view on the issue wasn’t correct.

It makes him think he was right all along. We’ve all seen that obnoxious, smug look of victory on a guy’s face when he’s listening to your apology after an argument. From a friend or family member, it’s easy to brush off. For some reason though, when it comes from a boyfriend, it’s a different story. It can make it that much harder to admit fault, but if you want your relationship to survive, both of you need to handle apologies correctly whether they’re being given or received.

It leads to resentment. Sometimes an apology feels like a last-ditch effort to stop a spat from turning into a blowout argument. You don’t feel like repeating yourself, and he’s just not getting it, so why bother? Knowing that apologizing when you don’t feel like you’re wrong can make you resent your partner if you do it too much, though, and if you want to avoid that, it can completely turn you off from saying you’re sorry at all.

It’s easier to keep your true feelings bottled up. A discussion turns into an argument, which leads to hurt feelings and an insincere apology. But instead of saying sorry when you don’t feel it, it’s just easier to keep your feelings to yourself. It seems like a reliable solution at first, but the issues will come back to the surface with a vengeance and might bring some irreparable damage with them.

He might expect you to apologize 100 percent of the time. Now that you’ve conceded once, what’s going to stop your partner from thinking it’s your job to do it in every argument you have? That fear is often enough to keep a person from giving in even once, even though it’s usually an unfounded worry. It might be irrational to believe that one apology will mean that your partner will never be the one to say he’s sorry, but once the thought creeps into your mind, it’s hard to shake it out.

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