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How to properly apologise to your spouse

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Charles Ighele

How to apologise should be one of the elementary things people should teach themselves before going into marriage.

I strongly believe that anybody who does not know how to properly apologise is not mature enough to get married.

About twenty-six years ago, I had cause to mediate in a quarrel between a man and his wife. I had never met them before neither have I heard of them.

It was one of their concerned neighbours that informed me of the imminent breakup of her neighbours’ marriage. She gave me the house number and off I went.

The man opened the door, when I introduced myself as a pastor and said I would like to have a discussion with him and his wife.

The wife came from one of the rooms and I told them the purpose of my visit. He opened up and narrated what was going on.

All that was needed to settle the matter was an apology from his wife. She vehemently refused to do so.

At a stage, the man left the house and I found myself alone with the wife trying to make her see the ninety percent of where she was totally wrong in the matter.

She no gree at all at all. She was only seeing the ten percent of the matter where her husband was wrong.

I started crying. The agony in my heart and the tears that came from my eyes turned out to be a sign that God called me to be of help to singles and couples in their marital destinies.

When she saw my tears, she knelt down and said, “Pastor, pastor, I will apologise to my husband. Pastor, I am sorry.”

About thirty seconds later, her husband walked in and she apologised to him.

The man was confused as to whether to accept or reject the apology because it was like he was not used to his wife apologising to him.

Instead, he wanted to know what happened that made his wife to apologise less than five minutes after he went out. I explained.

While apologising, it is wrong to say, “If I have offended you, forgive me.” Never use the word “if” because the word “if” is conditional and it’s not a sign of true repentance.

For example, if you commit any sin against God, you are not likely to say “our Father in Heaven, if it is wrong for me to steal, forgive me.”

Instead, it should be as the Publican prayed in Luke 18:13 “God, be merciful to me…” James 5:16 tells us to “Confess your faults one to another…” People who do not know how to repent cannot know how to confess their “faults to one another.”

This, therefore, makes it difficult for them to apologise properly without holding anything back.

While apologising, some people will say, “Forgive me. I’m sorry but it was the way you raised your voice that made me reply the way I did.”

That is not an apology at all. You are only being stubborn and giving excuses to justify your action. It takes a developed mind to know how to apologise without giving excuses.

Simply begin to rewire your whole system and learn to say, “I can see that I have offended you. I’m very sorry.

Please forgive me.” For how long should one apologise? Be mature, keep your own pains to yourself and keep apologising until your spouse accepts your apology.

If it’s taking your spouse time to accept your apology, never flare up by saying, “after all, what is it? I have been apologising and you are still sulking. I am tired of apologising. Na wetin sef?” Love you.


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