Tuesday, August 10, 2010

It's so hard to say . . .

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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  1. You know this hits home for me, lol. So often (too often) I find myself thinking "Im not about to apologize, he's the one in the wrong." Oh, or my favorite "He's the one that started it!" Mature, right? lol. And all for what? So we can keep being mad, and waste time that could be spent having fun,, and laughing with each other.

    So often, we want to wait on the other person to "give in" and lay their cards out. THEY have to be the ones to say im sorry first. But why does it even matter? Are we keeping score?

    Like you, I want my marriage to be forever, and silly pride is the LAST thing I want getting in the way of that!

  2. I have a hard time saying sorry as well. I am working to get get better at it though.

  3. Christina - Where is the offering plate cause you are preaching in my post? LOL. Are we keeping score? That IS the question. If the outcome is for both of us to be happy, that's what we need to worry about not I said sorry twice and you said it 10 times so I win.

    Margaret - "Sorry" is hard, but it really is like magic. A genuine sorry trumps all.

  4. Oh, you hit the nail on the head. I am sorry is so hard to say...usually when you really mean it and it is deserved. I think part of "growing up" is really learning how to say it, and meaning it.

  5. I absolutely agree. A true apology must come with sincerity. I believe that you become empowered when you are sincere.

  6. Everytime I think about something it appears on your blog, LOL ;0.

    I was thinking how good I feel everytime I make peace or I say sorry to people. Showing emotions is also be able to say sorry when you think is the right think to do.
    I am normally very proud and find it hard to say sorry but I have learnt. The other day I said sorry to my mum because she felt hurt by my behaviour, she said she was never going to talk to me again and I said that was fine. But then I was missing her, I wanted to phone her but she phoned me first. We both apologised and now I have a great smile on my face because the weight on my shoulder has been lifted.

  7. I used to be terrible about saying I'm sorry, but it's gotten a lot easier with time. Maybe because as I've gotten older, my relationships have gotten more secure and it's not as scary of a thing to say. I don't know. This was a great post!

  8. Wow, what an amazing post! You know, my physical therapist likes to tell his clients that he has been married for 32 years. And I love to hear it! Its so great to hear couples who work on their marriage and are willing to say those three words when appropriate. I like your observation of how those three words affect our power in a relationship (I am guessing this insight comes from the social worker in you ;)). But a healthy marriage does take a lot of balance in power throughout many aspects of our practical responsibilities and also emotional feelings.
    When I hear my physical therapist tell other patients that he's been married 32 years and then smiles with pride, I believe that some day, John and I will be able to say that too. And I also believe, from a religious standpoint, that our marriage will be sealed into the eternities and that brings me so much joy. I feel so blessed by just the presence of my husband in my life each day.
    Ok... long comment but I really appreciated your post and, as usual, they make me reflect.
    PS I hope to make a post soon using that Mama Kat prompt that you used about our first dance at our wedding reception.
    See ya around Janel!

  9. This is such a powerful post. to Apologize is to express humility. Likewise the person who receives an apology should practice grace and not be merciless.

  10. That's everyone. This post topic actually came to me while I was in church. Call it diving intervention, LOL. CK, I hope you do that wedding dance post!!

  11. You are right. I'm sorry becomes especially important for your children to hear. WHen I say it, my boys throw their arms around me...

    You're a smart woman.

  12. So right you are... Admitting that we were wrong or that we hurt someone is one thing, but saying the words out loud is something else entirely.

    I appreciate you writing about this. The next time I need to apologize for something, I will remember your post!

  13. Wow, very inspirational!!! I just love your writing skills. You have a way of drawing people in to your words and what you're trying to express. Beautifully written!

  14. What a great post. I think if more people had that mindset, the world would be a better place.

    Stopping by from SITS.

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  16. You will be surprised how easy it is to say I am sorry and move on. I use to have a hard time with it, but after I got married, I let all of that go. You have to live with this person day in and day out. You can either walk around mad with bad energy surrounding you, or let it go and move on. I hope to live a very long time and see my great-grandkids one day. You can't get there with stress and anger! Let it go!!

  17. I'm quite proud...it's VERY hard to admit my own wrong doing. But I do realize that the more I admit I'm wrong, the better my relationships.

  18. Sorry? Is that even in our female DNA dictionary? LOL My husband has perfected the art of "baby, you're right" even when we both know full well that I'm wrong!! It ends the fight, and I can feel good about myself, reason #231 that I love me some him.

    Don't judge us, it works! LOL

  19. Its such a good topic to share!!! It's so true in relationships, those words and its power to redeem and set free, to close and seal pain, to move from negative to positive. Our language created the perfect expression and if only more of us would use it...Keep practicing those three (hard) little words, so that the habit becomes easier and you get closer to reconciliation in your relationships sooner.
    Great post, as always!! Don't worry, with your faith and those words, you'll make it til death..;-)

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  21. I believe we are sometimes afraid of saying "I am sorry" because we fear not being forgiven. I too used to have a hard time saying it, but as the years go by it gets easier especially if we really mean it.

    Great post!

  22. Good morning! I'm a new follower from the Sunday Social!

    What a great post, and you're absolutely right. I've found as I've aged that it's gotten easier to not only say that I'm sorry, but sincerely mean it and learn from my mistakes.

    Lucy's Human

  23. Sometimes you don't mean to keep score, but when you harbor pain and surround yourself in that moment with doubt, fear and grief, it begets more pain and grief. Just like how happier thoughts and counting your blessings becomes contagious, so too can be reaching out of that bad place to forgive, become humbled and break free from the entrapment of feelings which rob us of peace.

    Great post and great conversation. Thanks for starting this dialogue and our deep thoughts. I'm following you through Lucas' Journey with SPD, and I'm glad I found you this morning. Hope you can visit my site sometime.

  24. Wonderful post, I do have so much of a hard time with "I'm sorry" and I think we all do at times. Very delightful words, great writing skill and something I will come to visit often.

    New follower from Lucas's Journey. I am getting started as a terminal blogger and would appreciate if you could follow, if you have the time.