Three simple words, but they might be the hardest words to say. They make your palms sweat and your heart beat a little faster. You consider, reconsider and consider again before you let them escape your lips. Should I say it? Maybe he should say it first? Why do I have to be the one to say it? You give in and you say those three words . . .
I am sorry.
And it's like a cool breeze on a hot summer day. The tension, still there, but just a little lighter. Still upset or hurt, but not as angry. Why are those words so filled with relief, yet so hard to say? One word. Power.
When you were young and played capture the flag, cops and robbers or, like our precocious group, find and grind (a story for another day), the captor had the power. The captured person had none. They were at the mercy of the captor. Likewise, "I am sorry" causes one to flinch because power has been shifted to the recipient. Now they can decide to accept or reject. Who would want to give up power? But there is power in just saying those words.
In 2005, an article was posted about a couple, who at that time, had the world's longest marriage. At the time of the article, Percy and Florence Arrowsmith were about to celebrate 80 years of marriage. When asked what was the secret to their success, Florence said, "If you've had a quarrel, you make it up - never be afraid to say sorry."
Florence hit it on the head. Don't let your fear of saying "I am sorry" prevent you from moving into a better place in your relationship. For me, that's a hard pill to swallow, but I plan to make it until death does us part.
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