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Question
Posted by: DeeDee | 2012-03-26

Husband

Hi Doc

Please advise if this is a proplem? My husband can never bring himself to say " sorry" . In an argument he will admit that he is in the wrong, but will never say sorry, instead he will make a joke of the situation, and expect everything to be " fine" . This bothers me as I was not brought up like this. Last week we had an arguement and not talking for 3 days.....he just sent an sms saying " sorry"  but I would like for him to say it in my presence. This all caused another argument with him saying I don''t know what I want. Am I being un reasonable?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Its not just husbands who often show this failing ! To find it annoying nios of course highly natural. You hint, perhaps acidentally, at an important aspect of the problem - you say you were not brought up like this. Probably, he was. Some families share this clumsiness about admitting error and apologising. Sometimes there were stern parents who punished excessively any possible failing.
So, to become annoyed is natural. Maybe you are being a bit unreasonable in expecting him to behave naturally in the way you have learned to do, and to change the habits of a lifetime, and to apologise according to a script you lay down. I suspect that the SMS apology was a very important step and difficult for him to take. Respond well to this, and you will encourage him to say sorry, in one way or another, more often and more easily. Respond frostily, and you will confirm his trained assumption that its dangerous and has unpleasant results, to apologise

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Nini | 2012-03-26

I agree. You wnt him to say sorry, and when he does so you are not happy with it. Now I totally understand that you want him to say it to your face in person, but perhaps just the mere fact that he said sorry over sms is certainly a step in the right direction? I mean you say he never says sorry, so I assume this must a first. So as doc says, respond well to it and show him that you appreciate his gesture, and then with the positive response, perhaps over time he wont feel afraid / belittled / defeated for apologising.

Cut him some slack and rather see this as a step towards him perhaps learning to apologise.

Reply to Nini
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012-03-26

Its not just husbands who often show this failing ! To find it annoying nios of course highly natural. You hint, perhaps acidentally, at an important aspect of the problem - you say you were not brought up like this. Probably, he was. Some families share this clumsiness about admitting error and apologising. Sometimes there were stern parents who punished excessively any possible failing.
So, to become annoyed is natural. Maybe you are being a bit unreasonable in expecting him to behave naturally in the way you have learned to do, and to change the habits of a lifetime, and to apologise according to a script you lay down. I suspect that the SMS apology was a very important step and difficult for him to take. Respond well to this, and you will encourage him to say sorry, in one way or another, more often and more easily. Respond frostily, and you will confirm his trained assumption that its dangerous and has unpleasant results, to apologise

Reply to cybershrink

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