How To Apologize When Your Wife Is Really Mad At You

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How To Apologize To Your Girlfriend Or Wife When She's Mad

As you know, relationships take a lot of work. And at times, they're downright hard.

And in every relationship, there will be disagreement and sometimes you may even argue. 

According to a UCLA study on commitment in marriage (which followed 174 husbands and wives for their first eleven years of marriage), couples who actually lasted did three important things during conflict: 

  • They compromised during the conflict
  • They were able to make sacrifices when engaged in conflict
  • They continued to view themselves as a team

And it seems this approach really does work because another study also discovered that couples with a democratic approach — where both seek to compromise and talk to each other with sensitivity toward the other’s feelings — were much more likely to succeed in their relationships.

RELATED: If Someone's Apologies Start Out With These 12. Phrases, They're Not Being Sincere

The takeaway — disagreements are inevitable in our closest relationships, but they do not have to lead to a conflict. 

In fact, authors of the study indicated that, in the relationships that ended, the couples were not determined to do the hard work involved in resolving their conflict. 

In the relationships that ended, couples had trouble apologizing for causing hurt and moving on. They were unable to move out of their corner and could not shift their thinking from one of them winning and their partner losing. 

Successful couples focus on keeping their relationship strong.

The reality is: We hurt each other in our close relationships. Sometimes we do it on purpose. However, often we have no idea what just happened, but we know our partner is upset and hurt. 

So, what should you do if you realize you've hurt your significant other and now she's upset with you? First, you need to apologize. 

Yes, when your girlfriend or wife is mad at you, you need to apologize authentically.

Then you need to re-connect and turn that "I want to win" sentiment into "I want us to win, together". 

RELATED: These 6 Apologies Are Slowly Killing Your Relationships

Here are seven steps to help apologize and reconnect: 

1. Find out what's really going on.

A good first step is to find out as much as you can about what just happened. If you know what hurt your partner, give her a chance to talk about it. Or, if you don't know why, ask her to share her feelings and give her a chance to talk about it. 

This is not the time to defend yourself; it is a time to listen. Your partner would not be upset without a good reason, and now is the time to find out what that real reason is. Even if it was an unintentional hurt, she's still wounded and you need to know more about it.

2. Give her some space, if needed.

Depending on the level of upset and how your love handles hurt feeling, she might need a while before she's willing to talk to you about it. 

So back off and grant her time and space to think.

3. Talk the issue through and clarify anything you're uncertain of.

Once she shares her feelings about the matter, ask questions to clarify anything you don’t understand. 

Before going any further, make sure you've allowed your partner to fully express how she feels and to tell the whole story.

RELATED: 7 Phrases Couples In The Best Relationships Say Frequently

4. Find out if there is more to the story.

If there is more to the story that she doesn’t know, ask if she is willing to hear what you know that she may not. BUT, be very cautious here that you're not:

  • Trying to protect yourself or cover up what you've done
  • Attempting to minimize her upset
  • Blaming her for being upset
  • Stirring the pot and doing it to her all over again
  • Being defensive

5. Begin repairing the damage.

As soon as you can, sincerely apologize for what you've said or done (even if you did not intend to hurt her).

Let her know that you get it — she feels hurt and you're sorry. Acknowledge that you understand why she's upset, or why she feels the way she does and that you want to do everything you can to fix and repair the damage done.

6. Ask if there is something your wife needs from you.

Make it clear that you want to fix things, so if there is something she needs from you to help make things right, you're willing to do it.

RELATED: 4 Easy Ways To Make Your Wife Feel Appreciated 

7. Talk about future steps.

ou know that your partner understands that you "get it" and has accepted your apology, it's time to talk about the future. If you learned something or figured out something new that you think might help in a future situation, bring it up and see if she agrees.

If you have some ideas that might help the two of you handle a similar situation in a more productive manner, share your idea and ask for her input. If you have ideas about how she could play a role to avoid a situation like this in the future, talk about your ideas. But be careful not to shift the blame to her!

Couples who are successful in their relationships learn how to problem solve, to accept responsibility for their actions, and to forgive each other. 

Depending on how severe the offense is, it may take some time to repair the rift completely. 

Exercise patience while waiting for your partner to fully forgive and let go of a hurt. This is a time to treat her the way you'd want her to treat you when she hurts you. 

It takes effort and plenty of hard work to repair the damage we inflict (however accidentally) without making things worse. But when we do it right, the making up process is quite rewarding and fun!

RELATED: How To Forgive Someone And Let Go Of Anger (Without Letting Them Fool You Again)

Drs. David and Debbie McFadden are a husband-and-wife team specializing in helping struggling and distressed couples throughout the US and Canada.  Contact them for a free 20 minute consult to learn about their couples’ intensive program.