How To Apologize When You're Both Wrong

Many couples don't know the best way to apologize when one of you is clearly wrong, but the other person isn't. In fact, mistakes happen every day.

The old saying that "people don't like to hear no" is absolutely true. A simple "I'm sorry" is usually sufficient, but sometimes not enough, explanation.

Why apologize?

Sticky note with apology

Apologizing shows that you have listened and are remorseful.

Apologizing shows respect. Apologizing shows that you care about the other person and the relationship.

Apologizing shows that you care about the other person and the relationship. Apologizing demonstrates love and compassion.

Why apologize when you're both wrong?

Certain situations warrant a second thought before you say you're sorry.

  • When you know that you are actually right
  • When you don't want to fight or end the relationship
  • When your spouse is extremely angry at you and trying to cover up their anger
  • If you were both wrong
  • When you're not sure
  • When the situation is entirely your fault (like using a pot or pan to light the stove)
  • When you didn't think the other person would know
  • If you're dealing with difficult circumstances like health problems or health problems involving your spouse
  • If you're afraid of the other person in fear of the consequences of not apologizing
  • When one of you has an attitude (either yours or the other person's)
  • When you've been drinking or under the influence of alcohol
  • When you're unsure about what the other person will or won't understand
  • When you don't know what to say

These situations all warrant the possibility of being wrong, so why not find the opportunity to be wrong?

With apologies for the shameless bragging and the bragging about reading two books at once. This isn't bragging, it's truly one of the better things I've ever done.

A huge part of understanding our partners is recognizing the common ways in which we're wrong. But there are also multiple ways that we're both correct.

Two ways we're both right

sign, sorry, character

Two scenarios can occur when we both are right, even when we're wrong. You might even say that it's a fifty-fifty chance that you're both correct.

When we both are right, there's no need to apologize. I know that it sounds odd to both apologize and be right, but I don't think this is always the case.

When we both are right, we've actually agreed to disagree. I can give you all the reasons why your argument is wrong, but it doesn't change that you both see things differently.

If I know that you know that I am right, then I don't feel like I need to apologize because we've established that we both see the situation differently.

My wife and I rarely argue, and when we do, we pretty quickly concluded that we're both wrong. But, there are some times when we're both right and we both need to apologize.

When we both are wrong, and we both need to apologize

man, sorry, apology

You can be both wrong and need to apologize to your spouse and your spouse's spouse. It's not uncommon, but it's also not ideal.

The point is that you are both wrong.

Here are some scenarios in which you need to apologize and need to apologize to both people.

  • If you've let your spouse know that you've been in an accident that resulted in serious injury or death
  • If you've let your spouse know that you've lied to them
  • If you've let your spouse know that you've been disrespectful
  • If you've let your spouse know that you've been selfish and unkind
  • If you've let your spouse know that you've been jealous and have treated your spouse poorly
  • If you've let your spouse know that you're having an affair
  • If you've let your spouse know that you've been unfaithful
  • If you've let your spouse know that you have become a grump
  • If you've let your spouse know that you're nervous about a sexual interaction or a potentially romantic interaction
  • If you've let your spouse know that you're worried about the future
  • If you've let your spouse know that you're just plain depressed and you need some attention
  • If you've let your spouse know that you can't sleep and that you've begun to worry
  • If you've let your spouse know that you've neglected a loved one
  • If you've let your spouse know that you've become an alcoholic or have an addiction problem
  • When you've both been right but your spouse takes it the wrong way

You might've been thinking that you've both been wrong, but your spouse might think you were right in the way that you interpreted their actions.

You may feel justified in feeling that your spouse is insensitive or just plain wrong when you believe that they did something horrible.

I'd argue that they were probably right to say or do what they did, but you might've concluded that they were in the wrong way that they did it.

One spouse might've been upset because their spouse left the toilet seat up. The other spouse could've been frustrated because their spouse had wanted to meet for lunch, but you weren't available.

You might've decided that your spouse was being inconsiderate, but your spouse might have just been putting you first.

If you've both been wrong, but you apologize to one person, don't apologize to the other person. If you've both been right, you both apologize to each other.

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