We all make very serious mistakes from time to time. However, sometimes your mistake hurts someone you love, like your significant other. When you mess up, you need to apologize, but you also need to apologize properly. Here are five ways to show your spouse that your apology is genuine.

Look Them in the Eye

Be mindful about your gaze and look your partner directly in the eyes when saying "I'm sorry." It looks suspicious when somebody decides to look off to the side when they apologize, and your partner might not believe you if you can’t bring yourself to look at them. Plus, a deep gaze helps establish a serious connection when talking with someone. This connection can help you reconcile, overcome your argument, and move forward with a stronger relationship.

Control Your Tone

The way you speak will have a strong influence on how your conversation goes. If you have to apologize, your spouse is probably already angry or upset. They may even spew some venom your way when addressing what you did that made them mad. You need to be the bigger person and not match an angry tone. You also need to be careful not to get too defensive. Instead, maintain your composure and speak with a certain level of contrition in your voice. This helps keep the problem from escalating.

Take the Situation Seriously

Some people are naturally light-hearted. This can be a great way to get through the difficult parts of life, and your sense of humor might be one of the things your partner loves most about you. However, it can be frustrating when your partner is already upset. Be cognizant of your partner's feelings and take the situation seriously. If you laugh or make jokes, it can make the other person feel like you are discrediting their feelings or that your apology is not sincere. Safe the jokes for a better time when they can help your partner, not hurt them.

Change Specific Behavior

If you are sorry for what you did, you will show that by changing your actions. If your partner feels like you don't contribute enough around the house, don't just say sorry. Get up with the kids in the morning, change diapers, cook, and do the dishes. If your partner feels like you go out with friends too much, make time to stay home with them more. These actions will get you much further than words and will show your spouse that you truly care about them and about strengthening your relationship.

Demonstrate Your Love

Do things to demonstrate your love for your partner that don't necessarily have to do with your indiscretion. Sometimes a small but meaningful gift can go a long way towards soothing battered feelings. After an argument, consider getting your spouse roses in a box for next day delivery. You can have these delivered home or to your partner’s workplace. While the gift shouldn’t be a bribe or a cop out, you can use it to show your spouse how much you love them.

Apologizes are only words, but actions show someone that your words are coming from deep down in your soul. With the right behavior and a good apology, you can move past the fight and strengthen your relationship.

Author's Bio: 

Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University and now enjoys writing about health, business, and family. A mother of two wonderful children, she loves traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can find her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.