The 3 hardest words

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I am sorry.

Or maybe it is, I was wrong.

Three seemingly simple words. Why are those so hard to say for some people? My husband has done something that has hurt my feelings. And I believe that on some level, he was somewhat aware of how his actions affected me. I did briefly elaborate when he asked me if I was mad. I explained that I was not mad, but that I was hurt. It was left exactly like that – he had to leave and do his thing, and I had to catch the bus to get to my thing.

My husband is a wonderful, generous, reliable, and kind person. When I need help, he helps me. When I am worried about something, he comforts me. We laugh together and we support one another. We both understand give and take and compromise. Perhaps that is why we have never had any blow-outs over the course of our relationship. As a person, my husband is diplomatic and chooses his words carefully. You probably cannot find a single person that has anything bad to say about him. Because he never offends, he has no reason to make apologies.

But in this instance, he made a judgement error which ended up hurting me. Nothing catastrophic or detrimental to our relationship, but worthy of those  3 words. I know I won’t get them, without asking for them. Or maybe he could say those 3 words, but they would be followed with a but. He is by no means a know-it-all, but he prides himself in doing his research, being objective and logical, and not making errors. He is capable of and confident enough to defend his position. Oh, there would definitely be a but in this. I’m not sure what his defence would be.

I sense that he knows he should just say the words, because he has been trying to get close to me. It has not been 24 hours yet, but I do not think an apology is forthcoming. My choices as I see it are that I can continue to wait it out and drive myself to an internal fury and outward frustration. This would merely be punishing myself, which doesn’t make sense. I could force an apology out of him, but in my opinion, if you have to make someone apologize, the apology is meaningless. Or, I can write about how I feel, like I am doing right now, and then just let it go. Like I said, I had already explained to him why his actions had caused hurt. Through his current actions, I sense he is trying to make things right between us. I’ll let him decide whether he can let go of his pride and just say the words. I’ll even accept 2 little words – lo siento. I know it’s hard for him. So in this case, if he can’t, he can’t.

And no, I’m not letting him off easy, because he will still need to live with it. Sure, he may find a way to justify why he wasn’t wrong to himself, but he knows. In all my years with him, and in the many more ahead of us, I do not predict there will be many times where he will have to apologize to me. In marriage, a happy marriage, you sometimes need to choose your battles. There are no set rules for what is battle worthy. You have to take things case-by-case. You have to think not only about how it affects you now, but if and how that behaviour may morph into something else down the road. Some of you may think that by not getting that apology today, it is allowing, validating and condoning the same behaviour in the future. Yes, there is some truth to that. If the issue was bigger, I would do something different. But I knew who my husband was before I married him. And one thing I have learned through observation is that you cannot expect to change a person by marrying them. I love him for all of his amazingness, and for his few flaws, just as he loves me even for my occasional craziness.

So what now? I will give him the usual morning kiss and we can start our day.

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