dsc

Why Do Men Refuse to Apologize ?

By Jim Duzak

Dear Jim: Is there something about men and apologies? In twenty-two years of marriage, my first husband never once apologized to me, at least not in a sincere way. The most I ever got from him was that “if” he offended me, then he was sorry. Now I’ve remarried and guess what? My new husband is the same way. He tells me I’m too sensitive, or that I ought to know when he’s just kidding, or that I shouldn’t take what he says personally when he’s in a bad mood. When someone calls you “stupid,” or makes insulting remarks about your appearance, I don’t think it’s being overly sensitive to take offense and to demand an apology. Do you agree? (“Deb”)

Dear Deb : Yes, I do agree. Your experience may or may not be typical, but there’s no question that many men have a hard time apologizing, not just to their wives but to anyone. There are all kinds of reasons---a need to always be “right,” a lack of awareness of other peoples’ feelings, a fear of looking weak---but there are no excuses. Hurtful words or hurtful actions require a genuine apology and a genuine effort to avoid committing similar offenses in the future.

And you’re right. The so-called “conditional” apology (“If I offended you, then I’m sorry”) is not an apology at all. In fact, it adds insult to injury by implying that no reasonable person would have taken offense, and that the only reason you did take offense is that you’re thin-skinned or can’t take a joke.

But it’s not enough that I agree with you. Unless you come up with a way to nip this in the bud, your current marriage is going to be as frustrating as your first marriage evidently was.

What you should do is stop the conversation the moment you feel you’ve been insulted. If you wait till the next day or the next week to express your displeasure, your husband will deny that he said what you’re accusing him of saying, or he’ll say you’re taking his words out of context. You don’t want to get into a shouting match with him, or lose your moral authority by trading insults, but you have to let him know that his words are unacceptable and that you want an apology.

What you should do is stop the conversation the moment you feel you’ve been insulted. If you wait till the next day or the next week to express your displeasure, your husband will deny that he said what you’re accusing him of saying, or he’ll say you’re taking his words out of context. You don’t want to get into a shouting match with him, or lose your moral authority by trading insults, but you have to let him know that his words are unacceptable and that you want an apology.

Good luck, Deb, and please let me know if this helps.

Legal Disclaimer- Important Information Regarding the Use of This Website

This website is intended to provide general information only. No legal advice is provided or intended to be provided on this website or through communication with any representative on behalf of Divorce Support Center. Each case rests on its own unique set of facts and the general information provided in this website cannot be relied upon to make legal decisions. Other laws not addressed in this website may govern your case. While the information provided in this website is believed to be accurate, the law is constantly changing and no information contained in this website may be relied upon. Visitors to the website use the information contained herein at their own risk. Visitors to the website are urged to seek out competent legal counsel who can apply the current law to the unique facts of their case. No warranties or guarantees, either express or implied, are given.
 
Under no circumstances does this website, directly or indirectly, including but not limited to, communication by any means to or from Divorce Support Center , establish or intend to establish an attorney-client relationship between you and Divorce Support Center , as Divorce Support Center is not a law firm, and therefore does not and cannot render legal advice to the general public and is not engaged in the practice of law. Should you desire legal representation, Divorce Support Center may be able to refer a licensed attorney in your area, upon request.
You are here: Home Park Blog Why Do Men Refuse to Apologize ?