You know how sometimes your husband says something insensitive that hurts your feelings and then you get all mad and pretty soon you are having a little spat?
Then, since you are parents, life happens, you get interrupted, and you head to bed later that night with the issue unresolved. You are stewing, but wonder if he even remembers anything happened. You think about that sage marital advice about never going to bed mad and decide it’s stupid because you are super tired.
Well, don’t roll over just yet.
“What?” you say, “Apologize? But he’s the one that said… He should be the one apologizing!”
But wait a minute now. Remember how you tell your kids that you don’t care who started it?
Well, that applies to grown-ups too. If you say something unkind, you apologize. End of story.
Now if you are one of those rare saints who never stoops to saying something unkind in return when your feelings are hurt you can quit reading right now.
Yeah, that’s what I thought. You’re still here.
One night after the above scenario played out at my house; I felt I was going to need to get things resolved before I could sleep, but was not up for an argument. I’d been sick, the toddler had been in our bed the night before, and it was just one of many nights I wanted SLEEP! I am not sure how or why I decided to apologize even though I felt like I had more right to be upset than him, but I did. It blossomed into a great conversation, and we both went to sleep at peace afterward.
To give this a shot yourself, think of whatever you said that probably didn’t need to be said and was potentially hurtful, then sincerely apologize for that. It may open up a conversation without launching into an attack by bringing up what made you mad first. As the conversation develops, be sure to include how you felt about what he said that upset you. Otherwise, you might realize later you are still irritated. Now, unless your husband is a true jerk and not just an occasionally and momentary one like most, he will probably be a lot more open to understanding your feelings and returning the apology after you’ve given one of your own.
A quick note to my husband and all others who read this, and for any feminists who are planning to give me a huge blast in the comments: It’s an equal opportunity strategy. I highly suggest men give it a try too!