Why Is It So Hard to Say I’m Sorry?

BY: - 6 Jun '13 | Marriage

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Why is it so hard to say I’m sorry. And I’m not talking about a fake I’m sorry just to shut the person up.  But, a true to life, I’m actually really sorry. One Valentine’s Day, my wife and I got into this HUGE argument at The Cheesecake Factory about my spending habits and I KNEW without a shadow of a doubt I was right…that is until I got home and checked the checkbook and I was completely wrong. I sat on the couch for a good 2 hours before I could muster enough energy to get up and go to apologize, even though I knew I was dead wrong. So what was my problem? Pride was my problem.

The definition of pride is excessive belief in one’s own abilities, that interferes with the individual’s recognition of the grace of God. It has been called the sin from which all others arise. Pride is also known as Vanity.

Wow…the sin from which ALL others arise. I’m here to let everyone know that there’s NO WAY that you can have a successful marriage, if you’re full of pride, because that’s going to stunt the growth of your marriage.

The funniest thing to me about saying I’m sorry is I’ve seen folk do literally EVERYTHING to try to say I’m sorry…without saying I’m sorry! Do you know how many times my wife and I were beefing and hours after not speaking, I walk in the room like “you want something from the store?” What I’m really saying is “I’m sorry” but since folk absolutely refuse to muster those words, me offering to get her something from the store is a peace offering that I want her to take as an apology. But at the end of the day, it’s not an apology.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. – Proverbs 11:2

There have also been SO many times that my wife and I were arguing and I felt like God was telling me to go upstairs to squash it… but 9 times outta 10, I didn’t. Then hours later, when I’m finally ready to apologize, now she’s looking straight, which in turn makes me even more angrier that I swallowed my pride (but I swallowed my pride when I wanted to, not when God told me to) and now she’s upset? Which just makes the anger and the argument last even longer than what it should have lasted.

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About the author

Rahaman "Kil" Kilpatrick wrote 27 articles on this blog.

Rahaman "Kil" Kilpatrick is a relationship coach, producer, writer, photographer, director and co-creator of Marriage Exposed. He has been married 13 years to his beautiful wife Tanya and they have a beautiful daughter together, Naomi. Through Marriage Exposed & coaching couples with Dr. Roz, Kil encourages people to always continue to fight for their marriages and relationships.

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8 WordPress comments on “Why Is It So Hard to Say I’m Sorry?

  1. Gee James

    Peace. Nice article brother.

    I like the example of the ‘peace offering’… I think many of us are guilty of similar things and I like how you explained it and said it’s good but not good enough. I agree. Keeping our pride at bay definitely helps relationships stay positive and healthy.

    I’m surprised that you suggest that people give this half-built apology –> “I’m sorry if I offended you”

    It’s not something I support. Being wrong and being offensive is very different in my mind. What helped me with with apologies is knowing that to be offensive is very easy and we are offending someone almost all of the time. It’s not about being in the right, and most times when I look back … I would do things differently in life.

    I support apologizing as you say. Good stuff and keep up the insightful writing brother.

    Peace.
    Follow me! @CMediaUSA
    -Gee James

  2. Gee James

    Peace and nice article brother.

    I like the example of the ‘peace offering’… I think many of us are guilty of similar things and I like how you explained it and said it’s good but not good enough. I agree. Keeping our pride at bay definitely helps relationships stay positive and healthy.

    I’m surprised that you suggest that people give this half-built apology –> “I’m sorry if I offended you”

    It’s not something I support. Being wrong and being offensive is very different in my mind. What helped me with with apologies is knowing that to be offensive is very easy and we are offending someone almost all of the time. It’s not about being in the right, and most times when I look back … I would do things differently in life.

    I support apologizing as you say. Good stuff and keep up the insightful writing brother.

    Peace.
    Follow me! @CMediaUSA
    -Gee James

    1. Kil

      Gee,
      I wasn’t saying that saying “I’m sorry if I offended you” is a half built apology. I was saying that in life sometimes we say something that has offended someone and we don’t even know it. There have been plenty of times that I found out later on down the line that something I did 5 years ago hurt one of my closest friends. So when I said I’m sorry that offended you wasn’t a halfway apology at all. It was a true to heart apology, I guess the way I’m built is I don’t do half stuff…either I’m apologizing or not. So when I challenged the readers to do that it’s because I’m sure a lot of us have beef with people and in our mind it’s THEIR fault and in their mind it’s OUR fault. I guess I assumed that if you get the gist of the article it’s to stop being fake and be true to yourself and your loved ones. If folk get that then their shouldn’t be any more half apologies IMO.

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5 Cue Cards for New Couples

BY: - 6 Jun '13 | Marriage

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TNMCoupleHappyBlue

By Christina Steinorth MA MFT

Here’s a piece of folk wisdom nearly every newlywed has heard: “If you can survive the wedding, surviving the marriage will be a piece of cake!” Weddings are indeed stressful because they involve a massive amount of planning, cooperating/compromising with your spouse-to-be, the convergence of diverse family and friends, decisions about religion and family traditions, and of course, lots of money.

After the wedding, many newly married couples experience what social scientists call “the honeymoon phase”–a period of several months in the beginning of marriage, characterized by passionate love and intense happiness. But in my experience working with couples, I’ve found that new marriage also comes with new stressors.

To sail through the first few months of marriage with minimal problems, here are 5 Cue Cards, or quick behavioral prompts, to help you navigate around the most common obstacles to newlyweds’ happiness.

Cue Card #1: Managing your own family is your job.

Even in well-adjusted and accommodating families, social slipups will occur. You or your spouse will inevitably get your feelings hurt by someone in your extended family or your partner’s family. If your relative acts in a hurtful manner, it’s your responsibility to address the issue with the offending family member and, if warranted, to ask that person to apologize to your spouse. When you manage your family, you show respect for your love partner.

Cue Card #2: Keep disagreements between you.

When you have a disagreement with your spouse, one of the best things you can do for your marriage is to not talk about it with your family of origin. Families can be a wonderful source of support, but in new relationships it’s essential for a couple to establish an identity that’s separate from their respective families. This engenders trust in one another, strengthens your bond, and helps you make decisions that are right for the two of you, free of outside meddling and the resentment that can create.

Cue Card #3: Establish your own family traditions.

When holidays come around, it’s normal for new couples to grapple with whose family they’ll visit, which traditions to adopt, and how to juggle in-law demands. A good solution is to choose one holiday a year to establish your own tradition, and then alternate other holidays between families. This way, everyone gets to spend equal time with you. You can avoid the stress of having to travel to multiple holiday events. And it gives you an opportunity to create a holiday that’s all your own–with the food, friends, fun, and rituals you get to choose together.

Cue Card #4: Don’t take it personally.

One of the best ways to get your marriage off to a good start is to practice this one behavior over and over you master it: Pause before you take what he or she said personally–it’s usually not about you. When your partner is angry, sullen, or rude, stop and ask yourself, “Did she/he do or say this to be mean or to hurt me?” It’s not easy to do, but if you can get good at controlling your knee-jerk reaction, it gives both of you the opportunity to find out what’s really going on, and to talk about it calmly and with genuine concern.

Cue Card #5: Let unimportant things go.

Before you engage in an argument, try to stop for a moment and ask yourself, “How important is this?” It’s inevitable that you’ll get on each other’s nerves. And it’s common to want to control your partner’s behavior. But try to put the issue into the context of your entire relationship and then pick your battles wisely. This single piece of advice will help you minimize the number of arguments you have, and you’ll learn how to love each other for who you are and the way you are.

Christina Steinorth MA MFT is a psychotherapist and a popular relationship expert on radio and in print. Her advice has been featured in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Woman’s Day, Cosmopolitan, and The Chicago Tribune, among many others. Her new book is Cue Cards for Life: Thoughtful Tips for Better Relationships (Hunter House, 2013). Learn more at www.christinasteinorth.com.

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