Have you ever tried to apologize to someone and they will not accept your apology? Maybe you have been using the wrong language.
That’s right, according to author and marriage counselor, Dr. Gary Chapman, there are five languages of apology. Research indicates that satisfying apologies are quite different for different people.
An acceptable apology for you might not work for your spouse. Just as you need to know your spouse’s love language in order to communicate your love for him/her, you need to know your spouse’s apology language; so that when you ask for forgiveness when you have hurt him/ her, they will accept your offer.
The five languages are: Expressing regret
(I’m really sorry.) Accepting responsibility
(I was wrong.) Making restitution
(What can I do to make it up to you?) Expressing the desire to change
(I don’t want to repeat my mistake.) Requesting forgiveness
(Will you forgive me?)
The most important elements of apology are sincerity and follow-through. An apology should come from your core value and sympathize with the effect of your behavior on your spouse. State how important your spouse’s wellbeing is to you. State how sorry you are that you’ve done something to hurt your spouse. Ask how to make it up to your spouse. If the offence is recurring, have a plan of action to improve your behavior.
The apology should not be contingent on your spouse apologizing, be tempered by excuses, have element of blame, or seek immediate forgiveness.
If you are receiving an apology, don’t see it as an opportunity for retaliation or revenge. Mastering the art of apology will do wonders for your martial relationship.
Learn more about communication in your marriage-Make plans to attend the Worldwide Marriage Encounter in September.