The Big Three Course Corrections in Marriage.
In this series we are looking at three time tested ways to make a course correction in your relationship. A course correction is simply changing the direction you are going. Consider an ocean liner for a moment. If it finds itself off course it will take action to change that course and get back on track. But with the ship, as in relationships, that change is not instantaneous. By small degrees it will turn and reset for the proper destination. In other words, the effects will not be felt immediately. That needs to be kept in mind.
The first course correction is probably the hardest but also the one with the biggest impact on the course of the ship, ah I mean the relationship.
An apology is a course correction
While you might not see the need to apologise in/during/after an argument it is considered a course correction. Just because someone else may have been wrong doesn’t mean that you don’t need to apologise for the part you played in the argument. If you have hurt your partner’s feelings, if you have said something that you later regret then these are opportunities for a course correction.
An apology has the power to stop an argument in its tracks. An apology can change the direction of an argument and even lead to resolution. In fact, when an apology is used correctly it has the power to bring about the change you were fighting for. If you are in the habit of digging your heals in, or stonewalling and waiting for your partner to make the first move then you could be waiting a long time, and when an apology does come it is often weak and without real meaning. Nobody believes it.
Apologies are best said as soon as you recognise that you have overstepped the mark. Apologies are hard particularly in an argument. They are not impossible however. A well placed apology can soften your partner and help restart the discussion. Apologies have a lot of power if they are used genuinely. A sincere apology can often mean the difference between the breakdown of the relationship or its rebuilding. One thing is certain, without apologies all relationships deteriorate to where they cannot be rescued.
Apologise for your part in the argument. Taking responsibility for your part kills the blame game and an apology is one way of doing that. If an apology is a course correction then having to apologise means you somehow got off track. Admit it, own it and move back into constructive conversation by apologising. The only people who really truly find it hard to apologise and mean it are kids. Are you kid? Perhaps you have been behaving like one. Adults apologise and as you are an adult you can apologise.
An apology is a course correction forcing you to take a detour from the road you were on. That road was going where it always goes. To a dead end and a broken relationship. An apology is a course correction getting you back on track. Use the apology as a course correction to build and safeguard your relationship.