If you are looking for a relationship game changer, then learn how to properly apologize.

Do spouses need to apologize to each other when they hurt their spouse’s feelings and/or do something wrong?


I have noticed in my personal and professional life that many people struggle with apologizing.

As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Florida, I have the opportunity to hear many spouses apologize to each other. Many times, in session, it is apparent that the apology does not sound sincere, genuine and without blame. With a few tips, I can help the couples with their apologies.

When a proper apology is given, forgiveness can happen and couples heal. I see this happen every day.

Do you and your spouse disagree? Of course you do. You are both individuals with your own thoughts, feelings and opinions. That is ok.

How you disagree is important. If it is done with respect, willingness to listen to another’s perspective, empathy and validation then the disagreement will be an opportunity of growth and connection.

Are you wondering how to give a proper apology to your spouse?

Tips For a Proper Apology

  1. Take responsibility for your role in the hurt without being evasive, deflecting blame, excuse making or bringing up what the other person did. This will get into a tit for tat cycle and that it not a healthy place.
  2. Resist using the word “but” in the apology. It is a small and powerful word as it nullifies the words that come before the “but.”
  3. A sincere apology is where you admit your mistake and the negative impact it had on your spouse. You are expressing your regret and remorse. For example, “I am sorry that I said something offensive about your job, I can hear that I hurt you and that was wrong of me.”
  4. Offer an explanation but not an excuse. You can explain your emotions while refraining from justifying your words and/or actions.
  5. Make amends, agree to make changes in the future and request forgiveness.
  6. Follow through with the changes. Show your spouse that you truly meant what you said. The follow through helps to build trust. That will show your spouse that when an apology is needed in the future (and it probably will be needed) that they can count on you to keep your word and the behavior will change.

Benefits of a Proper Apology

There are benefits for the spouse receiving the apology, for the spouse who apologized and for the marriage.

For the Spouse Receiving the Apology

The spouse being apologized to will feel heard, validated and respected. Hopefully, the relationship was built on safety and respect and a sincere apology helps that type of foundation to grow.

A proper apology helps the spouse to be able to release any hurt and resentment that they felt. This will help in the future to hopefully prevent rehashing the past because it was handled in a meaningful, healing way.

For the Spouse Who Apologized

The person who apologizes will grow as a partner. They will understand that they are not “perfect”, they can make mistakes, make amends, change their behavior and it can be ok.

For the Marriage

A sincere apology provides strength and connection to the marriage. Marriage is not meant to be void of conflict and hurt feelings. How the conflict and hurt feelings are handled and repaired is what is important when moving forward in a healthy relationship.

Keep In Mind

These tips can be used in any relationship. A sincere apology is an effective way to repair. Remember the apology needs to come with the follow through. Please keep in mind that the best apology is changed behavior.

I truly believe, “A heartfelt apology with changed behavior is a gift to you, your spouse and your marriage. It is a relationship game changer.”

If you are looking for more relationship tips, read my blogs. You will find helpful practical tips that will be useful to your relationship today.

If you live in Florida and are looking to work with a professional who has been working with couples on their relationships for almost two decades, contact me, I can help. I Transform Relationships, one relationship at a time and yours can be next.

Your Relationship Expert,