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  • Olivia Sanders
    Olivia Sanders

    What are some effective ways to apologize to your partner in a relationship?

    No one ever likes feeling like they're in the wrong and being forced to apologize for something they may not have done wrong in the first place. No two apologies are alike, and depending on the type of relationship, the approach needed to make the apology effective might vary. After all, sometimes saying “I’m sorry” isn’t always enough.

    Apologizing in relationships is a tricky art. Being conscious of the situation is critical. On a very basic level, it involves admitting fault, seeking out forgiveness and taking responsibility for the wrong committed. However, there's a certain finesse to it; an intuition of knowing what to do and say based on the particular situation.

    One such sentiment often present at the time of apologizing in a relationship is guilt. You’re trying to make amends, yet you’re feeling a great amount of shame for messing up. That said, we developed a list of effective ways to apologize:

    1. Use your words. An apology is more meaningful when expressed in words as vocalized apologies actually help reduce hostility. Listen carefully to your partner and acknowledge their feelings once said. Speaking with intention is key. Avoid using the word "but" as it can come across as non-genuine.

    2. Make amends. Being sincere about your mistake, remorseful for your actions, or offering some form of restitution for the hurt done showcases the fact that you truly recognize the mistake that was made and are doing whatever is necessary to make it right. It could be as time consuming or involved as writing a letter, buying flowers or candy, or as simple as expressing your love.

    3. Abide by no means no. Understand and accept that your apology might not be accepted immediately. Respect their decision to not readily forgive and apologize again if they need you to, only after they have vented their feelings in full.

    4. Be extra aware of body language. Your body language says more than words and could be interpreted differently if you’re not mindful of what your body is doing. Aim to make eye contact, express vulnerability through your posture by leaning into the conversation, and use a more gentle tone when speaking.

    5. Be consistent in your actions. Actions speak louder than words. Your partner may be unable to forgive you until they see tangible change occur in the nature of your relationship. Showing your commitment to rectify the situation can go a long way towards changing their perception and suggesting the wrong act was simply a one-time fluke.

    Apologizing to your partner in a relationship effectively requires compassion, understanding and courage. Admitting your wrong, understanding the gravity of what you did and expressing genuine sentiments of regret and sorrow will always shine brighter than any elaborate attempt to make things right without exhibiting sincere emotion. Taking ownership of your mistake, being aware of your mannerisms and being persistent in efforts to restore the relationship are also critical for success.

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