December 11, 2013
Filed In: Marriage
Masculine pride will tell you that apologies are weakness. It will tell you that the person who apologizes first, loses. Masculine pride has also gotten you into a few tight spots before, hasn’t it?
My wife and I learned something very important early in our marriage. We’re bad at fighting. I would withdraw because I wouldn’t want to make her more mad. She’d shut down because she needed more time to think. What we had was a failure to communicate. Over time, we’ve gotten better. Thankfully, I learned a few things along the way.
The biggest threat to your marriage doesn’t come from the outside. It doesn’t come from her catty cousin or your bumbling friends. It comes from unresolved arguments. Like a festering untreated wound, it only causes more and more marital discord. When you refuse to treat the wound, you let it get out of hand. It will completely destroy your marital peace.
By time you get to the point of an argument where you assign blame, it’s usually pretty deep into the discussion. You may be in so thick of a forest that you can’t really remember what this fight is all about. Even if you aren’t the original person at fault, you probably hurt your wife by mishandling the process. After all, is there really a correct way to handle a fight?
The important thing to know about apologies is that they are almost like ice breakers. When one side concedes fault, it makes it easier for the other party. Then they can feel secure enough to apologize and the situation can be resolved. I’m not saying that men are always wrong, but I am saying that we don’t have to peacock with our wife. We can lead well by readily acknowledging that at some point in the process, we injured her, though we didn’t want to.
Most importantly, apologies can’t be fake. Don’t say “I’m sorry” to just resolve the fight. It won’t work. Trust me.
Marriage is give and take. We can give her a great gift by taking responsibility first.