Love Means Hav­ing to Say You’re Sorry

Women's Health (Malaysia) - - KNOW IT ALL -

Mak­ing amends with the per­son you love and adore and see naked on the reg­u­lar— what could pos­si­bly be hard about that? Ac­cord­ing to psy­chother­a­pist Louann Smith, LCSW, apolo­gies are ex­tra tricky in ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ships, where emo­tions run hot and you have a his­tory.

Smith’s golden rule for be­ing truly con­trite: “You can only apol­o­gise for one thing at a time for it to re­ally stick.” When you’re say­ing sorry for your spe­cific screwup, don’t let it be­come a door­way to other is­sues in the re­la­tion­ship. That’s where those an­noy­ing “buts” come in (“but you al­ways…”).

If you’re due an apol­ogy, re­alise that men are typ­i­cally raised to avoid shar­ing vul­ner­a­bil­ity, says Lerner. “Many men say they’re wor­ried that ad­mit­ting they’re sorry will un­leash end­less anger and crit­i­cism.” So lis­ten with an open mind, don’t in­ter­rupt and avoid sham­ing him fur­ther—you want this to be such a pain­less episode that he’s will­ing to ex­pe­ri­ence it again… and again.

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