5 Ways Apologize To Your Boyfriend Or Girlfriend So They Know You Mean It

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How To Apologize To Your Boyfriend Or Girlfriend When Relationship Problems Require An Apology.

Whether it was intentional or unintentional, sometimes we simply screw up in relationships — it's a part of human nature. But learning how to apologize to your girlfriend or boyfriend so they know you mean it can help you fix it.

Not all apologies are created equal, and if your partner is holding a serious grudge, you'll need to know the most effective way to say 'I'm sorry,' so that they'll forgive you. 

RELATED: How To Apologize To Someone You Love So They Know You Mean It Sincerely

If you want to know how to apologize the right way, here are 5 ways to apologize to your boyfriend or girlfriend so that they'll forgive and forget.

1. Own up to it

There’s nothing more frustrating than when someone refuses to take responsibility for their behaviors and actions, especially when those behaviors and actions caused harm.

Often, we're so willing to overlook and forgive an error in judgment or a transgression, but we tend to hang onto it more tightly when the person who caused the harm refuses to own it. Owning up and apologizing promptly can solve relationship problems much faster. 

So, instead of blaming, making excuses, getting defensive, ignoring it, or assuming the other person doesn't need an explanation or apology, take responsibility for the part you played (whether it was intentional or unintentional) and own it.

2. Use their love language

Psychologist Gary Chapman, author of The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, explains that there are 5 different ways to communicate love. and the secret to a love that lasts is to communicate your love in the way your partner wants and needs to hear it.

So, when trying to fix a major screw up, the same idea applies. It’s not about communicating your awareness, understanding or apology in a way that works for you, but in the way that’ll resonate with the person you hurt.

Do they need a kind gesture or a sincere apology? Convey your message in a way that works for them if you want their forgiveness. 

3. Show remorse, empathy, and restitution

According to the Oxford Dictionary online, remorse is "deep regret or guilt for a wrong committed." Empathy is "the ability to understand and share the feelings of another." Restitution is "the restoration of something lost or stolen to its proper owner."

When it comes to fixing a major screw up, these three conditions work beautifully together and lay the foundation for forgiveness. Now, sometimes an action can’t be fixed. But in those cases, is there something you can do to show your willingness to right the wrong?

When used together, here’s what these three might sound like in an apology: "I’m so terribly sorry (remorse). I understand why you’d be upset. I get it and I’d be upset and hurt if you did that to me (empathy). What can I do to make it up to you (restitution)?

Wondering how to save a relationship when your apologies aren't working? Try saying sorry in a way that utilizes these three pieces. 

RELATED: The Right (And Wrong) Way to Apologize To Your Man

4. Learn from your mistake

Our actions emerge from our current level of awareness. When we’re coming from a place of fear and lack, our actions will represent that. When we’re in a place of love and abundance, our actions will represent that too.

A major screw up is most likely coming from a place of fear and lack. If it’s coming from love and abundance, it was most definitely unintentional. In either case, learn from it to make sure you don’t do it again.

Did you act without thinking? Fail to consider the consequences or your partner's needs? Did an inflated ego or pride cause you to say or do something you now regret?

Learn from it and implement a simple rule like: "Would I like that done to me?" If the answer is "yes", do it and if the answer is "no", don’t.

5. Forgive yourself

Once you’ve taken responsibility for your actions and behavior, communicated in a way the person you hurt will understand, were remorseful, empathetic, offered restitution and learned from it, there are still a few more things you can do.

Forgiveness takes time, along with consistent effort to repair the damage done, so have patience.

The bigger the screw up, the longer it can take because the person you hurt may be reeling from the shock, pain, or anguish you caused and has to find new footing as they readjust to what they’ve just experienced by your actions.

This process is now about them — as they learn what role they may have played, what changes they need to make to feel valued, safe and secure again. While they’re working through it and healing, changing and growing as a result of what they’ve just been through, now is also the time to work on self-forgiveness.

Sure, you may feel guilt and shame for the pain you caused, but that doesn't help anyone.

Learning how to forgive yourself can be a serious challenge. 

But, forgiving yourself allows you to use what you’ve learned to become a more awakened and enlightened version of yourself — and you can use your new awareness to not only ensure it won’t happen again.

RELATED: 10 Powerful Ways To Apologize When You've REALLY Messed Things Up

Dr. Debi Silber, the founder of PBT Institute, is a Transformational Psychologist, a health, mindset, empowerment, and personal development expert. She specializes in helping individuals and couples work through Post Betrayal Syndrome (PBS), a group of physical, mental and emotional systems that are typical to betrayal. To see if you or someone you love may be struggling, take her free quiz.

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This article was originally published at The Wellness Universe. Reprinted with permission from the author.