Before marriage, an apology is effortless. In fact, you never want to see the other person hurt and so it is easy to apologize even when you are not at fault. At that point, you are constantly longing for each other and there is no chance for grudges. One will not think deeply about any hurt and mistakes will also be excused. However, everything changes in marriage, mostly because you now live together and see each other every time. The longing has reduced, and you can now think deeply about things. Instead of letting go, you keep pondering on the hurt, and the more you think about it the more painful it becomes. Suddenly there is a drastic delay in apology and forgiveness in the home.
The delay in apology can also be influenced by pride and ego. “How dare he/ she talk to me in that manner? I won’t accept that! He/ She must realize their fault and come to apologize”. The interesting part is that you are both waiting for each other to apologize first and as a result, nobody apologizes.
Hurt hits different in marriage. There is already an established covenant and 100% intimacy, therefore if the other person does something bad, it pains more than one can imagine especially when that behaviour is recurrent. These are some of the reasons apologies and forgiveness are scarce in marriage.
Before we talk about when to apologize, let us talk about forbearance. Forbearance is giving room for mistakes before it happens and not reacting negatively. You recognize that the person is not perfect and therefore you create room for errors before it occurs and then handle it with love. This is one of the secrets to a peaceful home. Do not always expect perfection from a human being, make allowance for forgiveness and correct in love. In short, forgive before the mistake is made.
Read also: To live or not to leave
When should I apologize?
Sincere apology and repentance should be abundant in marriage. Although no one is perfect, you are not expected to capitalize on your shortcomings and own it like a badge of honor. The moment you notice that your actions have upset the other person, you should be quick to apologize. This should be repeated as often as you go wrong, even if it is a hundred times in one minute. Not only should you apologize, but you must also put in the work to ensure you do not repeat the upsetting act. Do not be quick to apologize and then repeat the same thing. True repentance is turning away totally from that bad act and never redoing it. Every apology should be accompanied by true repentance.
How should I apologize?
Everybody has an apology language. We all have a way we want to be apologized to. As someone who is truly sorry, you must find out what melts the heart of your spouse, and you must sincerely offer the apology. It is compulsory that you deeply express regret and remorse to your spouse and ensure that they accept it. It should never be taken lightly; a lot of effort is required. This is important to ensure continues peace in the home. When apology is not properly done, that occurrence becomes a reference point in the next disagreement. However, when done well, there is a chance for forgetting the pain and hurt.
In conclusion, it is important to note that nobody gets a trophy for being right in an argument. “A soft and gentle and thoughtful answer turns away wrath, but harsh and painful and careless words stir up anger.” Proverbs 15: 1.