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to think this is not how apologies work?

(62 Posts)
lastnightiwenttomanderley Fri 05-Aug-16 06:58:32

It has come conversation that DH thinks you only need to apologise 'if you have done something on purpose'.

My thinking is that you apologise if something you have done negatively affects someone, regardless of the original intention. So, bumping into.someone, forgetting to do something etc. all would have a quick 'oh balls, sorry, I forgot' or something.

By DHs logic you'd either never apologise or if you do, then it means you've set out to do something deliberately, which isn't particularly nice!

The problem is, he knows I think differently so when I try and (gently, not patronisingly or aggressively) probe his stance he gets quite defensive and snappy. It's become an issue as there are times when he has (unintentionally) hurt or upset me or others but doesn't apologise and vehemently states his case for not doing do, thereby turning something small into a bigger disagreement. I'm not suggesting he should constantly apologise and I'm by no means perfect but it just seems unnecessarily confrontational.

Have I got this all wrong?

NorksAreMessy Fri 05-Aug-16 07:04:09

You are right.
He is being a dick.

soundsystem Fri 05-Aug-16 07:04:25

I'm with you. If I've upset someone, I'll apologise. I don't go around with the intention of upsetting people, so for me it's to do with their perception, rather than my intent, if that makes sense.

I'm very much of the opinion that life's too short for arguing and holding grudges, though, so I'm happy enough to apologise if it sorts a situation, even if it's not really my fault.

Some people do seem to think apologising is a sign of weakness, though.

You're not wrong!

Although I don't know if I prefer your DH's approach to mine.
If I have to hear one more 'I'm sorry you're upset' instead of 'I'm sorry I've upset you' then I'll end up threatening to ram my DH's half hearted apologies somewhere very painful wink

Walkacrossthesand Fri 05-Aug-16 07:06:31

There are nuances to 'I'm sorry' - from apologising for having done something, to expressing condolence. The key thing is the recognition of the other person's feelings - doesn't sound like your DH gets this. Does he lack empathy generally?

Bluewombler2k Fri 05-Aug-16 07:08:58

I agree. I also think an apology means nothing if it's followed by a 'but..'

ineedamoreadultieradult Fri 05-Aug-16 07:10:02

I pretty much had this exact conversation with DH yesterday he also added even if he has hurt my feelings he should not have to apologise as I know he is sorry as I know he loves me hmm It also transpired that his desire not to apologise trumps my desire to be apologised to so I have to accept I will not receive an apology as he 'doesn't apologise'. Your not wrong but also not alone if that helps cake

Jenny70 Fri 05-Aug-16 07:13:40

You're right, you apologise if it's your fault (or might be eg. bumping into someone), regardless of the intention.

If you step on someone's toe, you'd say sorry - even if you didn't see them when you stepped back etc. You'd say sorry if you were late, even if the reason for being late was out of your control (bad traffic, car wouldn't start etc).

If you've done something on purpose, and it was your intent to hurt/offend etc, then the apology is pretty insincere anyway - if you were deliberately stepping on someone's foot, being late because you couldn't be bothered leaving on time, or saying something offensive, putting sorry at the end doesn't really make it better.

Ifailed Fri 05-Aug-16 07:26:01

Your DH has it completely the wrong way round; apologising for doing something you intended is insincere, and presumably is only done if caught out, it is hollow. Apologising after accidentally doing some harm is acknowledging your mistake and showing genuine regret and care.

Mjingaxx Fri 05-Aug-16 07:29:34

This is basic stuff which you teach kids when they are about 3

Is he a normal emotionally functional person otherwise? I don't know how you can be bothered to have such idiotic conversations with adult human beings who are supposed to be your life partners

43percentburnt Fri 05-Aug-16 07:36:33

I've tried to type out a few responses - but words have failed me!

walterwater Fri 05-Aug-16 07:43:24

I have a (not very good) male friend who behaves like this. It used to drive me crazy but now i just accept that's how he is, although it's one of the reasons we are not better friends. I do sometimes wonder if it's a 'male' thing and women are more likely to try to smooth things over!

cexuwaleozbu Fri 05-Aug-16 07:46:49

He is a dick.

Believeitornot Fri 05-Aug-16 07:48:13


Do we have the same dh!? My dh is like this. He also qualifies his apologies with "I'm sorry if". Don't bloody qualify them.

He also struggles to apologise to the DCs when he accidentally hurts or upsets them.

He also struggles with empathy and for years I thought it was just me being over sensitive as I'd take into account other people's feelings but now I'm not so sure.

LemonRedwood Fri 05-Aug-16 07:49:25

I spend half the time in the school playground telling children that even if it was an accident you still have to say sorry.

He is BU.

FiveFullFathoms Fri 05-Aug-16 07:49:30

He's being ridiculous.

I stepped someones's hand a couple of weeks back. I didn't realise she was sitting on the floor and I stepped back. I obviously didn't intend to hurt her but I did so apologised profusely. Would he honestly just shrug and walk away? He sounds like a bit of a dick who refuses to take responsibility for his actions.

I'm genuinely curious as to how far he would take this? If he caused a car accident because he momentarily lost concentration or was distracted, would he say sorry or show remorse? Or would he refuse because he didn't set out to hurt anyone?

Pearlman Fri 05-Aug-16 07:52:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

whattodowiththepoo Fri 05-Aug-16 07:55:15

So do people think you should apologise if you don't mean it? I apologise for pretty much everything but I don't disagree with your DH.

lastnightiwenttomanderley Fri 05-Aug-16 07:57:03

This is why it's starting to concern me.
We have a 1yo DS who I don't want to grow up thinking the same!

He has struggled with anxiety in the past (overbearing mother) and about a year ago made a conscious decision to be more assertive, which I fully support. However I think he has confused assertiveness with authority, arrogance and always being right. It's becoming a very unhealthy pattern but I don't know how to nip it in the bud as his new approach just causes him to rile against any form of implied criticism along with accusations of me not supporting him or that I always have to be 'right' hmm . I feel like I can't have a normal conversation with him anymore as it's so one way.

junebirthdaygirl Fri 05-Aug-16 07:57:37

I read somewhere that men find it a sign of weakness to apologise and when women apologise to them what they really mean is. " you will be sorry!"

Littlecaf Fri 05-Aug-16 07:58:16

Why can't people be nice to each other?

Just say sorry. Who care if it was intentional! You DH sounds like not s very nice person OP.



Branleuse Fri 05-Aug-16 07:58:19

My 8 year old still has this logic unfortunately, but I expect her to have more manners by adulthood. Your dp is being weird

CaptainCrunch Fri 05-Aug-16 07:58:55

He sounds like an arse, I couldn't live with someone like that.

Pearlman Fri 05-Aug-16 07:59:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lastnightiwenttomanderley Fri 05-Aug-16 07:59:32

pearlman you have summed it up perfectly!

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