Receiving an Apology

Accept the apology gracefully. It will impact if you will get apologies in the future – arguments and injuries are inevitable in a marriage.


If you make it hard to apologize, your spouse will be less forthcoming in the future.

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 your spouse a chance to apologize and explain.

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

(If it becomes a pattern, then that may be a bigger concern, of course depending how they wronged you.)

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.

Don’t interrupt while they’re apologizing unless they say something especially thoughtless.

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 receipt of the 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.”

Tell the other that you forgive them. This will be cathartic for both of you. You will be able to give up some of your resentment and begin healing your wound.

They will be able to begin letting go of the guilt they feel for hurting you.

Trust that the incident will never reoccur. Try to put it out of your mind completely and focus on the positive aspects of your relationship.

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.

Truly accepting an apology means that you have thought it through, acknowledged that the other person made a mistake, and embraced the fact that they are sorry. While you might still be a bit angry, you are on your way to letting go of that in favor of a solid relationship once again.

Saying that you accept the apology means that you are willing to put an end to the argument in such a way that it will not continue to be an issue going forward. Do not keep bringing up the issue or continue reminding them about what happened.

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