is your partner better at apologizing than you are?

the third installment in a week-long series exploring the rituals of apologizing

i was going to write today about how my husband is a better apologizer than i am.  because he is.  and i'm trying to get better at it.  but as i was writing a whole big post about that, i figured out something brand new, so now i want to write about that.  here it is:

i am mostly bad at apologizing in this circumstance: when i do something wrong even after a little voice in my head tells me not to.  if i know, on some level, in the process of doing something, that i probably shouldn't be doing that thing, i fightfightfight against the inevitable "i'm sorry" later on.  okay, that's confusing.  here's what i mean:


  1. i bring up a controversial/tender/challenging thing with my husband at the wrong time.  i know it's the wrong time because there's a wise and experienced voice inside my head saying, "don't bring this up.  it's the wrong time."  and then i tell myself we don't have any other time because we must talk about this before [insert someone else's deadline], and i bring it up anyway.  in case you're curious, wrong times include but are not limited to: while racing around to get ready in the morning, ten minutes before we go to sleep way too late in the first place, and three blocks from arriving at someone else's house.
  2. i get mad at my husband for an inadequate, underwhelming, or distracted response, and i await his apology.  this may involve my snippily clomping around the house and/or sitting like a statue in the car.
  3. i wait for my husband to ask me what's wrong, and i tell him how mad i am.
  4. i hear his points about my timing in bringing up the aforementioned controversial/tender/challenging topic, and i have a flashback of that little voice in my head telling me the very same thing before i did it.
  5. reluctantly, i consider the idea that i might be the one who needs to apologize.  this could take 10 minutes or several hours.  all of it takes place in silence.
  6. and finally:  i say that i'm sorry.


all of this seems completely counter-intuitive to me, but after replaying several tapes in my head, i'm pretty sure it's true.  a revelation!  cool.  okay.  good information.


and that makes me curious:  when are you the worst at apologizing?