Diffusing Words: “I’m Sorry”

How do you break the impasse?  How do you press beyond the juvenile instinct to ‘shutdown’ and not engage your spouse concerning a contentious issue, after a perceived offense or volatile disagreements?  How do you recover when you’ve shared harsh words, made serious allegations or questioned one another’s competence or virtue?

You just do it!

Humility is a great virtue.  It isn’t just that it demonstrates good social decorum.  Being humble is a result of an awareness that others have equal value with us in terms of their ideas, perceptions and contributions.

So, we swallow our pride and destructive need to be ‘right’ and we do the thing that is ‘righteous’.  We apologize for our words, tones or actions that have caused offense.  We ask the other’s forgiveness and find a way to resolve the unresolved.  If applicable we make amends or restitution.  We reaffirm our commitment to respecting and honoring our spouses.  Hard words, absolutes and false accusations threaten trust in a marriage when partners perceive the other has their best interest at heart.

“You never follow up on your promises” sounds like “You are a liar!”

“I’m concerned that you may not have enough time to do or finish this.  What can I do to help?”  is a more constructive line of dialog and more likely to produce results.

What do you do if the other isn’t receptive to your overtures of reconciliation (Read: “Spouse is being a big ‘ol woozy baby and holding a grudge”)?  Having shared genuinely your desire to reconcile and/or find resolution, you make sure your spouse understand that you are waiting for them to respond.  Until then, just be kind, nurturing and loving…but give them their space.  A rational person will come around sooner than later if fuel isn’t being added to the fire.  If they insist on being irrational, they’ll just have to stew until it is unbearable or it consumes them.

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Welcome and thanks for giving us a once over! Our blog celebrates and honors sexual intimacy in the context of marriage.

3 Responses to Diffusing Words: “I’m Sorry”

  1. Jessica says:

    Well…if you’re both irrational…eventually one of the two ends up cracking up…which in turn makes the other person laugh…and by that point you don’t even remember what it was…exactly…you were fighting about…

  2. thepurebed says:

    True enough, dear Jessica.


  3. Andrew John says:

    There’s a good ebook that’s free to help pastors and their wives with discouragement and burnout. You can find it at http://www.stoppastorburnout.com. It’s quite helpful.

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