Husband Refuses To Apologize: My Husband Never Apologizes For Hurting Me

Is it difficult for your spouse to apologize and tell you that he (or she) is sorry? Or is it hard for you to offer an apology?

Some individuals can say "I'm sorry" easily while others can't ever seem to choke the words out. When a spouse is reluctant to apologize, the partner inevitably ends up carrying emotional baggage from the resulting hurt feelings, resentment, and anger.

It's often easier to offer an apology to a total stranger or a casual acquaintance than it is to a spouse. Usually, in those cases, whatever we have done--temporarily blocked the aisle with our shopping cart at the grocery store or bumped into someone in a hallway--was done unintentionally.

There's normally not any feeling that one person did something to the other in a personal way. Instead, it feels like an accident, a momentarily distraction, or a misjudgment of visual space.

But when things happen between two spouses, an oversight or mistake can take on more personal tones and meaning. A spouse may harbor strong feelings that whatever occurred was deliberate and intentional.

When intense feelings are triggered and the emotional climate becomes either icy or raging, the offending spouse may retreat, not knowing what else to do. Or he (or she) may be afraid of doing the wrong thing and making the situation worse.

Some spouses view apologizing as a sign of weakness that brings about a loss of power and status. A spouse with this perspective may equate apologizing with admitting inadequacy and incompetence, and thus, be reluctant to apologize for mistakes, failures, or misjudgments.

To others, it's humiliating to have to apologize. They may have been ridiculed and criticized harshly by their parents when they made mistakes growing up, and, as a result, they try to avoid admitting to mistakes and the unpleasant feeling that brings.

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Accepting responsibility for personal actions and decisions is challenging for some spouses. They operate in denial, as though by not admitting fault they haven't done anything "wrong." It's almost as though they are afraid of owning any inappropriate behaviors because then they might have to take responsibility for other actions, also. So it's just easier to avoid and deny than to admit responsibility and apologize.

If a spouse views apologizing as "all or nothing"--that the person who is "wrong" has to ask for forgiveness from the one who is "right"--that can also make the task more daunting. So can viewing the person who apologizes as the "loser" in an argument or dispute, while the one accepting the apology is the "winner."

What Can You Do if It's Hard for Your Spouse to Apologize?

The following five tips offer specific actions that you can take:

1. Become comfortable with saying, "I'm so sorry for my part in what happened between us" or 'I'm so sorry for my part in the misunderstanding." That acknowledges that two people are involved in what happens in relationship interactions and makes it less threatening for each to accept personal responsibility.

2. If your partner refuses to make an apology for behavior that deeply hurt you, ask her (or him) if she at least regrets what happened. Some spouses will find it easier to say "I really regret what happened at the party" than "I'm really sorry for my behavior at the party."

3. Practice being the kind of partner that you wish you had. Apologize readily and model healthy behavior for your spouse. Be open about your feelings when it's hard to apologize.

Say, "I don't know why it's so hard to apologize sometimes--but it is. This isn't easy for me to say because I'd rather blame you than look at myself, but I am truly sorry for the things I said last night."

You can't control what your spouse decides to do or not to do, so focus on what you do have control over--your own reactions and behavior.

4. Write your spouse a handwritten letter (pen and paper--no emails) sharing your feelings and say that in order to move on, you really need some sort of acknowledgement of your feelings and the hurt you have experienced. State that it's important for you to know that your partner cares about your feelings enough to apologize or admit regret for what happened.

5. Remember that if your spouse can't apologize to you, it doesn't necessarily mean that your spouse doesn't love you. In some cases, it can indicate a callousness and indifference to the partner's feelings. But in other cases, it can indicate a lack of relationship skills or unresolved individual issues.

Your best strategy may be to see if your partner will agree to some marriage counseling sessions to improve communication and intimacy. Then, address the issue in the counselor's office where your chances of being heard and opening the door for positive change are greatly increased.

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If you are in search for ways to save a marriage, you will find lots of tips that may or may not work. The best thing that you can do in this regard is to sort everything out and relate them to your situation and to what you are going through. You have to understand that every relationship is different. Others might have gone through minor problems that got out of hand and resulted to divorce while others can handle even the biggest hurdles and do everything in their capacity to make everything work out.

If you are on this quest for some reasons or another, this only means one thing. You are having a problem with your own relationship. The good thing about this is that you are open to try anything, hence your search for ways to save a marriage.

Where do you start your search about the topic? Here are some recommendations that you may opt to apply on your own endeavor.

1. You can start at home by browsing on various web pages on the Internet that deal with the topic of different ways to save a marriage. You must research hard until you find a situation you can relate to. You have to very vigilant about the matter. If you think you already have enough on your hands, quit the research and start applying the techniques that you have found on your own dilemma.

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2. Together with your partner, you must seek counseling. A professional might help in enlightening you both on matters that you may have a hard time accepting or even discerning. You have to go through this together. This way, you will both know about what can be done. And if you are serious about keeping the marriage intact, nothing should stop you from trying the things you have learned to help you resolve that conflicts that you are faced with on your relationship.

3. Try reading books about relationships. Although it is still better to experience things in order to fully learn from them, sometimes, you have to gauge what can be done by being open to what others might say about the matter. You must not take everything in the book seriously. You know your partner better than the author of the book. You can apply the tips but do it on ways that you will be able to relate them on your own relationship.

4. There is no problem that could be bigger if you and your partner will only talk things out. Your partner is your best goldmine of information about how you can save your relationship and make it last. You have to speak up as to what you think about the things that you have been through and the things that you may be faced with in the future. And not only should you learn how to voice out your concerns, you must also perfect the act of listening.

You have to accept that nothing is perfect. This way, you won't expect too much from each other.

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Marriage should be a wonderful institution. Two people in love, sharing with each other, doing for each other, enjoying the life that they have set out to make together. Certainly if you've made it to the alter, there had to be something special between you. At least that's the way it's supposed to be. So why is it that as soon as something goes wrong the first line of attack is the bedroom and who's not going to be sleeping in it that evening?

It isn't just a stereotype. All too often whenever there is a problem in someone's marriage, the first casualty of the marriage is what goes on between the sheets. You would think that if you really wanted to get back at your spouse for whatever he or she did, you would cut off the food supply first. After all, isn't that the quickest way to cause death so you don't have to go through a messy divorce?

The truth is, we do use sex as a weapon when there are problems in our marriage. But not just a weapon. It seems it's the only weapon. It's the first thing that goes through our mind when we've been wronged. "No sex for you". Or, if we're the one who did the wronging, "No sex for me". We know it, we expect it and we dread it. It's as if we had our life support cut off and we're on our last breaths. It makes you wonder why sex is the first thing that gets hammered in a marriage.

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Well, the answer is really very simple. As a species, we have been created with a very strong urge to have sex. If you think sex doesn't literally control our lives, at least when we're young, take a look at all the advertising with the half naked women parading around hawking the latest body wash or whatever it is. Take a look at the Miss Universe pageant that was recently on. The fact is, sex rules our lives. It's one of the main reasons we get married, though most won't admit it. So when there is a problem in the marriage, instead of trying to get closer and more intimate, in an attempt to remember why we love and want each other, we cut ourselves and our spouses off from the one thing that brings us closer than anything else.

Logically, it makes no sense. Emotionally, it makes all the sense in the world. When we're hurt, we want to hurt back. We often look for the means to cause the most hurt without actually causing physical pain. Cutting off our spouse (not literally) is the first thing we think of. Sadly, it is the most effective.

Unfortunately, this is a cycle that doesn't end. The spouse lashes back by trying to think of the next best thing to deprive their significant other of. And it just goes on and on until ultimately it spirals out of control.

Wouldn't it be great if we could all just get along and make love?

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There are many reasons why people get divorced but it seems to be far easier now than in our parents' day! Irreconcilable differences are a popular one but any union between husband and wife is going to lead to problems at some stage. Life is not that simple anymore, particularly when children are involved. Financial pressures are another major cause of breaking up, especially if bottled up inside. Ask anyone who has been married for a long period of time and they will tell you that compromise is the key. So before going down the divorce route, use the following information to try and save the marriage first.

When someone has an addiction, in order to overcome it they first have to admit that they have a problem. Marriage difficulties should be treated in the same way. Talk to your partner and be honest with them. You may find that it's just a simple misunderstanding or that he or she was totally unaware of the situation. Take control together to clarify and rectify any issues where possible. By not facing the problems or putting your head in the sand you risk making things worse.

Marriage guidance counsellors specialize in helping couples open their eyes to these circumstances. They act as a type of impartial referee and use open questions to help each spouse give their point of view. It's only when all the problems are out in the open that solutions can be explored. Hopefully the relationship you have allows you to communicate without a judge.

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A common reason for a stale marriage is a lack of spice. All work and no play! Perhaps you both need a holiday or a weekend away to help you both remember the good times. If getting away is impossible at the moment then try something spontaneous. Dinner followed by a show, an unusual gift, hold a surprise party, anything romantic that you think your partner will enjoy.

It's likely that if the marriage has reached an awkward stage, communicating may be difficult. There might be outside influences, such as family, that are driving a wedge between you both but persistence is the key to success so if one approach doesn't work then try another. Talk to your friends and family for advice or suggestions.

When you feel you have explored all the avenues without success then a counsellor is the next best option. Hopefully your spouse will agree to seeing one, it depends on the relationship of course but even if they refuse to attend, make sure you go. It's a start and the counsellor may be able to suggest some ideas you hadn't thought of. If possible use one that has been recommended by a friend or colleague. Sometimes it needs somebody totally neutral to give clarity.

There may be a host of reasons why the marriage is breaking down but if you want it to work, then you have to work at it.

Saying or doing the wrong thing can actually cause your spouse to feel even more distant from you. You can make your spouse fall back in love with you, all over again.

You don't have to worry about whether your spouse is on the brink of asking you for a divorce. You can control the situation and use specific techniques to naturally make them fall hopelessly in love with you.

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