Have you ever heard those words or spoken them? Why is it that so many times we need to come back and say again, “I SAID I was sorry! What more do you want me to say?”
The Apology is needed in every marriage tool box. Why? Because we all mess up. We all make mistakes, and do things we promised not to do. We say things that are insensitive and hurtful, and the list goes on.
Generally speaking, we are not very good at apologies. We often mouth the words but true repentance is far from reality. Inwardly we are saying, “I’m sorry, but ….” So our spouse doesn’t believe us for a minute and thinks if you were REALLY sorry, you’d stop doing whatever and quit making lame excuses. Ouch. I guess it doesn’t look like I’m really sorry.
How do we apologize? I mean REALLY apologize. So that it is accepted. How do I honestly convey my regret?
Fortunately, there an app for that!! Oops, I mean a book for that. There may be an app for that, but for now a book will do. I’m referring to The Five Languages of Apology Amazon by Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas. Yes, you’re right. This is the same Gary Chapman who authored The Five Love Languages.
What an insightful book. It looks into the ways that we typically apologize, our apology temperament if you will. Here are the five languages of apology:
- Expressing Regret – I am sorry
- Accepting Responsibility – I was wrong
- Making Restitution – What Can I do to make this right?
- Genuinely Repenting – I’ll try not to do that again
- Requesting Forgiveness – Will you please forgive me?
Most of us are looking for an apology to be sincere. An apology that has an excuse built right into it is worthless. You are simply absolving yourself on the back end of a hollow “I’m sorry”.
We also like to hear the offender take ownership of what happened and not spread the blame onto others.
There are a series a questions in the book that help you identify your particular language of apology or what’s important to you when someone is apologizing to you. Is it enough that they express regret, or is it important to you that they also clearly accept responsibility.
And so, I’m sorry for not going in to more detail in this blog. I know it’s my fault and I could have done a better job. Next time I will. Will you please forgive me?
Now, go home and tell your spouse you’re sorry.