Saying "I'm Sorry" vs. Asking for Forgiveness

Saying “I’m Sorry” vs. Asking for Forgiveness

I had the most amazing/eye opening conversation the other day and I simply had to share it.  It was this thought provoking discussion on the difference between saying “I’m sorry” versus asking for forgiveness.

As many of you know, I’ve worked hard to become a better apologizer in my own marriage.  As a middle child, I have some stubborn characteristics and admitting when I’m wrong is probably one of the places I’ve pushed myself to grow and change the most.  Because it’s honestly the place I’ve struggled the most.

And as you’d expect, you DO need to learn to be great apologizers in your own relationships, because quite honestly, we’re constantly injuring each other. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. The majority of the time, the injuries caused in love are unintentional and relatively unnoticed (by us), but to our partner, they can be extremely hurtful.

And unacknowledged injuries can build up over time and create a great deal of resentment.

So how do you work to soothe and heal those injuries? You have to know the difference between saying “I’m sorry” and asking for forgiveness.

When you say “I’m sorry”, it tends to be quick. It’s an acknowledgement that you caused injury, but it lacks understanding of the pain it caused your mate.

Asking for forgiveness is way different and way deeper than saying “I’m sorry”. When you ask for forgiveness, not only do you acknowledge that you’ve caused hurt, but you also work to understand the pain it caused your partner, how it impacted them and are clear of what that experience was like for them.

Asking for forgiveness is about moving into your partner’s experience and perspective.  It’s not about “me too”.  It’s actually not about you at all. It’s about them. 

And asking for forgiveness doesn’t come with an expiration date.  Yes, it’s best to resolve injuries and hurt in a relatively short amount of time. But if you’ve missed the opportunity to ask for forgiveness, there is no time like the present.

So go ahead, see what happens when you shift away from “I’m sorry” and move to asking for forgiveness. It has a tremendously different and beautiful outcome.

And, if you find yourself stuck in learning how to ask for forgiveness, or don’t believe that there is a difference between saying “I’m sorry” and asking for forgiveness, please reach out; anna@myhappycouple.com or 916.955.3200.  We can help you learn the delicate art of asking for forgiveness and you’ll be able to see first hand the powerful difference it makes.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours,

A