Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What Women Want Out of "Sorry"

My husband and I have issues. No matter which trivial thing we're arguing about, the point when everything escalates usually erupts from a lack of an apology.
Women's feelings are much more robust than men's. Maybe that's not an unconditional statement, but for the general population, I think that it's safe to say.

Men, you have to learn this. Know that your timing, tone of voice and treatment of her after an argument is just as crucial, if not more, as before or during the argument.

When my husband and I fight, I feel wounded. It's like I need a mourning time. My passion for him overflows through words and tears. I mourn over the time we lose fighting. We could have spent that time cuddling, and now it's gone, I think. But you know what makes me feel more wounded than anything? The sense I feel when it seems my husband does not react remorsefully when he sees he's hurt my feelings. Reacting remorsefully means he shows he cares that I'm upset, whether I'm right or wrong.

I get it. I'm probably more fragile than some women and much more fragile than him, but that doesn't take away the fact that he's hurt me. And actually, this remorseful reaction could be applied to situations where the husband has not done the hurting. Men, when a woman is upset, there are specific actions you can take to actually improve her feelings. Don't think whatever you say or do doesn't matter. It matters a lot.

Caress her. Kiss her. Hug her. Make her feel secure. Tell her you're sorry she's upset. Tell her you don't want to fight. Tell her you feel bad that you've fought too. A nice whisper works well in these situations.

I'd like to take full responsibility of my actions as well. Obviously, I value talking through feelings and apologizing. I believe no argument - big or small - should be left open, without a closing apology from both ends. Think of elementary school.

"Johnny, tell Suzy you're sorry. Now, Suzy, tell Johnny you're sorry."

Of course, I speak one language and my husband speaks another. When I think I'm helping him understand why I'm upset and what he can do to make me feel better, he gets defensive and thinks he can do nothing right on his own, which makes me think, Well, you didn't this time. That's for sure. But, I have to remember we both perceive words differently. If he's feeling attacked, he has a right to feel upset too. In my opinion, it's easier to console a sobbing, needy girl than a pissed-off, frustrated man. But apparently, I'm biased. :)

My husband and I don't get into these situations too often, but it is the basis of most of our arguments. What God's revealing to me is that I can't make Micah change, and God doesn't want me to. It's His job. The Lord calls all of us to lay our burdens at His feet. So, that's what I'm doing.

Lord, I give you all of my pain, suffering, analytical thoughts about what my husband's thinking and why he does what he does or doesn't do what he doesn't do. I give you my own sins and thank you for wiping my slate clean every morning. I pray you show me the things I need to change in my life to make me a better wife and woman. Give me the words to say. Calm my rabid emotions. Comfort me when I feel insecure and rejected. Remind me that neither my husband nor I am perfect, and we live in a fallen world, so that's why we argue. I praise you, Jesus, for your grace, especially in the times when I feel graceless.

4 comments:

  1. Amen! I will pray that with you.

    My husband doesn't apologize (we actually wrote a post about it a long time ago). Well, he will say that he is sorry that he caused me to feel bad or that he DIDN'T DO something but he never apologizes for anything he says. His stance is that he said something, he meant it. We never have really heated arguments, though, so he never says anything that I find cruel. I am SUPER sensitive and being that I love him so much, he definitely has the power to hurt me more than anyone.

    In the beginning of our marriage (almost nine years ago), things were much more dramatic. In time, everything kind of soothes over.

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  2. Ah that's good to know. Sometimes, I forget that we've been married for less than a year. We dated for five years, and I've been with him since I was 16. I also have a tendency to put all my hopes and dreams in him instead of in the Lord.

    You've been married for nine years - that's fantastic! I can't wait to say that we've done that. :)

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  3. Praying for you and your husband, Amber. Our spouse is a beautiful gift from God to us and I love that even in your hurt, you recognize the blessing that he is. I think a lot of women respond the same way to a fight. Everyone needs to apologize and talk it out. What went wrong? How do we prevent this issue in the future? That's just how we're made. Men tend to just slip into their man cave or detach from the situation until the storm blows over. That's how they're made. :)

    On February 2nd, my husband and I will be celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary. In the 13 years we've been together, we've endured one major life crisis after another. Serious heart problems, child custody battles over my step-daughter, a legal nightmare from a mistaken identity situation that finally cleared itself up, and more recently my husband's 3 years of recession related unemployment.

    We've learned over the years that the little spats aren't really even worth getting upset over. It's the big stuff we have to work extra hard to not only draw close to each other in, but also to lean into God for strength, guidance, patience, courage, and protection. In those storms, our marriage faces the greatest test and so far we've been stronger than ever. So when I'm about to get upset about something non-crisis related), I try to ask myself...is this really worth the heartache?

    You have a beautiful blog here and I'm checking out faithvillage.com right now. :)

    Blessings,
    ~Rosann

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  4. Wow . . . I'm so glad you shared that. Thank you for your prayers and encouraging words. I'm so happy to connect with like-minded Christ-followers, especially women who are fighting to be the best wife, mother and women of God they can be.

    You're totally right. Little fights are the worst. Life is too short to waste time on things that are so trivial, and for the most part, we do pretty well not sweating the small stuff. But it's definitely a great reminder for me.

    I appreciate your taking the time to read and comment and such. I look forward to reading more of your own blog and getting to know you better. Again, thank you so very much. :) :) :)

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