When you should offer an apology in your relationship

Squabbles in your relationship are gonna happen. Be sure to talk with — not at — your partner, and consider offering up an "I'm sorry."

Rumors are swirling that Rihanna and Chris Brown might reunite. She has said publicly that being single is overrated, but there has to be more to it than that. I would assume that a heartfelt apology from Brown about his reported physical abuse that led to their break-up years ago played a big part. So how much power can an apology have? Of course, physical abuse is the extreme, and there is no question that an apology was vital in that case, but what about smaller transgressions? When is saying you’re sorry a good idea?

There are many things that can make one partner or the other angry and upset: he forgot to call; she was late and left him waiting on the street corner; he promised to do an errand but got caught up at work. When couples sit down to talk about these issues, so often they simply talk at each other. “How could you forget to mail my invitations?” one will ask. “How can you not understand that my boss needed me and then the post office was closed?” the other will counter. In these situations, there is no attempt to consider the other person’s feelings or show any empathy. If this sounds familiar, it might be time to consider offering an apology.

People think of an apology as an assertion of wrong-doing. Think of it instead as a healing balm to soothe your partner’s upset feelings. You had every intention of mailing those invitations. You may feel that the outcome was out of your control. Lots of times we do or don’t do things that hurt our partner’s feelings because we believe that we had no other option at the time, and it was in no way intentional. But you can still be sorry that your partner’s feelings were ruffled. Once the apology is offered and the wronged party feels heard and understood, you can then, hopefully without anger, get your communication back on track and discuss what happened so that you might prevent it from happening again.

In my practice I have seen an apology clear the air instantly. It is a declaration of caring about your partner’s feelings. It can be the magic key that opens the door to reconnecting.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

VIDEO: Police seek suspect in molotov cocktail attack…

Police released surveillance video on Wednesday in hopes of tracking down a man who threw a molotov cocktail inside a Brooklyn corner store.

Local

City Council budget asks for 1,000 additional NYPD…

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito unveiled the City Council's budget priorities on Wednesday, including the extra cops for the NYPD at a cost of $94.3 million.

Local

Behind the costumes at the Brooklyn Cosplay Fashion…

Echo Chronum, 17, is a quiet and reserved Brooklyn high school student who often buries herself in her homework. But there is another side to…

Local

Reddit helps man locate missing mother in New…

The Reddit community helped Josh Goldberg find his missing mother on Tuesday.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

Books

A debut novel about fate, love and moving…

Pia Padukone talks about her debut novel, "Where Earth Meets Water."

Movies

Review: 'The Railway Man' is a literal-minded look…

In "The Railway Man," Colin Firth plays a WWII vet suffering from massive trauma acquired from his days as a beaten POW.

NBA

Phil Jackson talked to Steve Kerr, pushes for…

Knicks president Phil Jackson spoke to the media for the first time since firing head coach Mike Woodson on Monday.

MLB

Fantasy baseball: Searching for early season prospects

It’s relatively rare for a mediocre 30-year-old hitter to suddenly go nuts offensively for 162 games. That’s why minor league prospects are so exciting.

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC 'targeting' US international Mix Diskerud

Metro New York has learned Mix Diskerud has drawn “interest” from the expansion MLS side, NYCFC.

NFL

Jets announce they will return to Cortland for…

The tradition of holding camp in Cortland began in 2009 when Rex Ryan wanted to get his Jets away from the distractions of New York City.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."