You know all about love languages. You and that cute husband of yours have sat side by side and taken the 5 Love Languages quiz. You are a “receiving gifts,” type of gal, and he is a “physical touch and quality time,” kind of guy. You two care about your marriage, go on regular date nights, and enjoy a healthy sexual relationship together. However, you two struggle with conflict resolution. Your feelings are hurt easily (way too easily, he would say), and he will never (never, ever, ever!) say he is sorry.
Whenever something goes wrong, you two find yourself stuck. You can’t seem to work things out and to figure out how to really make things better. You both love each other deeply, and have been patient enough to just brush things off, but you still carry a list of things he needs to apologize for around in your head, and he still feels like he hasn’t done anything wrong and that you are just quick to be offended over silly things.
You two need to figure out your apology languages.
Yes, it’s true. Did you even know you have an apology language? Did you even know that exists? You may be surprised to learn that each person has a different apology language – and knowing yours, and your husband’s can improve your marriage in dramatic (and helpful) ways.
You can start to learn better conflict resolution skills by first learning each other’s apology language. As you take the apology language quiz by Dr. Gary Chapman, consider the following questions:
A. What should an apology look like?
B. How do you know if an apology is sincere?
C. What will it take for you to receive an apology from your spouse, and to be able to move on?
Well, how did it go? Which apology language best describes you? Your spouse?
Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas authored the book, “When Sorry Isn’t Enough.” Their research helped them realize that there are five basic languages of apology:
1. Expressing Regret – feeling bad about what you have done.
2. Accepting Responsibility – admitting you were wrong.
3. Making restitution – making up for what you did wrong.
4. Genuinely repenting – choosing to make changes in the right direction.
5. Requesting forgiveness – asking for forgiveness.
Now that you know which apology language you speak and which one your husband speaks, you two will be able to figure things out much more quickly and invite true healing into your marriage relationship. You will learn that apologizing means taking action to fix things that aren’t helping your marriage. It means starting to recognize changes you need to make, and then making them. It means recognizing that sometimes you need to admit you are wrong (hard to do). It means being willing to do things you may not want to do, in order to demonstrate to your spouse that you are truly sorry. And, it may mean learning to physically utter those two simple words, “I’m sorry.”
A great religious leader, Thomas S. Monson, once encouraged all to,
“…Ever choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong.”
Well, friends, apologizing – sincerely (in your spouse’s apology language) – is choosing the harder right. So, go get to it, and invite true healing and real forgiveness into your marriage today.