Accept an apology gracefully

How you accept an apology from your spouse will impact if you will get apologies in the future; after all, arguments and injuries are inevitable in a marriage. Accept the apology gracefully. If you make it hard to apologize, your spouse will be less forthcoming in the future.

Accepting the apology gracefully and forgiving is actually a sign of strength and wisdom; you are strong and wise enough to understand that people make mistakes.

Apologies usually come when you are upset – not the easiest time to actually hear someone out. But for the sake of your relationship, at least give the other person a chance to apologize and explain.

Step back and think about the whole person, not just this part. One mistake is just one part of the whole person.

Listen calmly to the person’s apology. Let them complete their apology before responding with your own thoughts. Pay attention to what they say – their apology might reveal that they see the situation that led to your being hurt differently than you do. Pay special attention to why they say they’re sorry – it will give you some insight as to what is important to them; something you might keep in mind in the future.

Don’t interrupt while they’re apologizing unless they say something especially thoughtless. If they’re being sincere in their apology, they deserve, at the very least, to be listened to. Don’t interrupt to dispute details during the apology. (In a separate discussion later, you can clarify those details.)

Accept the apology when it’s sincerely given. You can tell the difference. If it wasn’t given honestly, there was no apology, thus nothing to accept. Don’t just say “Oh forget it,” “You don’t have to apologize,” “It was nothing.” It’s too easy to go there when everyone is clearly uncomfortable. But you both know it really was something. A fuller apology includes the words “I accept your apology.”

– “We all make mistakes. I accept your apology.”

-“After thinking it through, I realize this was just a misunderstanding and that you didn’t mean to hurt me. I accept your apology.”

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