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Marriage Monday | Apologies

He fell asleep the other night holding my hand. I’m not sure how he cares so well for me.⠀⠀ Within twenty minutes of me waking up the next morning, the fourth thing out of my mouth is “I’m sorry.”⠀⠀ How do I so quickly do or say selfish things that require an apology? I think I say ‘I’m sorry’ more than I say ‘I love you.’⠀⠀ And I think it’s a good dang thing to practice apologies. I greatly value the opportunity to talk through our misunderstandings, hurt, and faults. To genuinely listen, complain, practice grace, and experience forgiveness. To not just say ‘Oh, it’s okay’ when that’s not the truth. But to make space to talk through our mess ups, express our anger, and give accountability.⠀⠀ We’re taught our manners at an early age. I say ‘I’m sorry’ and you say ‘I forgive you.’ We expect this exchange and are conditioned to follow through the motion without much extra thought or conversation. This moves with us into adulthood, and before we know it we don’t know how to actually say what we feel in conflict in our relationships cause we never really practiced it. We’ve been passing out in-genuine I’m sorry’s and I forgive you’s for years, foolishly thinking saying the words were enough to become better. We cross it off and call it good.⠀⠀ I’ve been reflecting lately on the possibilities of a more proactive approach. How can I choose love first to help avoid the need to apologize later.⠀⠀ If I could give advice to unmarried people, learn to share your hurt and frustrations. And learn to give a real honest apology. The kind that doesn’t require anything else. I see how viral this skill is in marriage, and if you can work at it in your relationships with family and friends, it will be a great aid in such an intimate relationship as marriage.⠀⠀ ⠀

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