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Sam Dobson Writes: Apologizing In Relationships Makes Everything Better (well, almost everything)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Apologizing In Relationships Makes Everything Better (well, almost everything)

Being in a committed relationship can be amazingly loving, it can also be frustrating and heartbreaking. As I’ve preached a hundred times, relationships (even the super healthy ones) take work. Of course it shouldn’t be all work and I will argue that the work part should be a much smaller fraction of the relationship than the love and play parts. Nevertheless, fights are inevitable and an apology is the means to an end.

Apologizing In Relationships

First, let’s talk about the fights. Every relationship will have moderate conflict. Those that don’t consist of arguments aren’t real and the people in them aren’t being honest. Think about it. In the very beginning of every relationship you have ever been in, isn’t it all about hiding the crazy and letting your partner think you are the coolest, most easy-going girlfriend or boyfriend ever? As time goes on, you start to get more and more comfortable with each other and the "real you" comes out. It’s only normal for two people coexisting in the same place every day to get on each other’s nerves. You will fight over whose turn it is to do the dishes or if the expensive cable package your partner wants is a necessity. This is a natural part of living with someone.

Now that we know fights will in fact happen in our relationships, how do we handle them? The best way to handle an argument with your significant other is different for every couple. You should understand how your partner handles this kind of stress and be respectful of it. Some people prefer to stay calm and silent for a day to cool off and get over it. Others want to talk (or shout) it out. No matter how you choose to handle it, the important part is that the two of you keep communicating. Do you know why your partner is upset and do they know why you are upset? Not talking about your issues will result in one thing, having the same fight over and over again. Trust me, nothing is more frustrating than repetition of the same argument.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.            -Albert Einstein

If you are stubborn like I am, it may be harder for you to lay your sword down first. I’m not saying that I’m never wrong, I’m wrong all the time and I have no problem admitting it. It’s just that the spirit of the fight, anything hurtful that may have been said, I hold on to all of that. It’s not healthy, I know, and I assure you that I am working on it. It’s much healthier to apologize and get it over with. 

*Once you know what the fight is about and you know it will be resolved, swallow your pride and take one for the team. 

*Chances are, the second you apologize, your partner will too and the fight will be history. 

*Take the time to calmly discuss the argument and do what you need to do in order to avoid similar disagreements in the future. 

I promise you that your relationship will be healthier and happier if you aren’t too stubborn to say you’re sorry first. 

Apologetically yours, 



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