This is what an apology should not look like.
Nobody is perfect and it’s OK to make mistakes and offend your partner. However, the manner of your apology, and not just your decision to apologise will determine whether or not you’re forgiven, and whether your relationship will move forward or hit a snag at that stage.
Here are the wrong ways to apologize:
1. Point out they once did the same thing to you
It doesn’t matter if this partner once did the same thing to you. When apologizing, no need to mention that. Offering a qualified apology washes away its quality. Just take responsibility and offer a remorseful one.
2. Remind them of how good you’ve been
That you have been good for so long does not excuse you from apologizing and doing it right when you have messed up. No matter how good you have been to your partner, the possibility of making mistakes is still there, and your partner retains the right to be hurt, even if you stepped on their toes only once in a while.
3. With a nasty tone
An apology doesn’t mean anything if you say it with an attitude. People notice it if your words are “I’m sorry” but your tone is “screw you.” The words aren’t enough. Tone is everything.
4. Laying blame on something else
Accept responsibility instead of blaming it on the shitty day you had at work – people have terrible days every time and never take it out on their partners. Don’t blame it on alcohol or mood or other things either.
Just take responsibility for your actions.
5. Making it out to be a smaller deal
Don’t try to downplay what you did. All the talking in the world won’t minimize the pain you caused the other person. You can’t get someone to rationalize away their feelings. If you are apologising, don’t do it with the intent of making your partner feel like they are overreacting. Their hurt feelings are valid and you should acknowledge that.