This morning my husband lost his temper for a second and raised his voice, urging us out the door. He got our son strapped in his seat and made his way back towards me in the garage. As I walked out he stopped and said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t need to yell.” “It’s okay,” I said.
It WAS okay. I meant it. He WAS sorry. He meant it.
Then tonight he got on me for yukking it up with my sister on the phone and talking about adult topics within earshot of our daughter. I didn’t even think about it until he brought my inappropriate behavior to my attention. I sighed and said, “Sorry, I’ll watch what I’m saying around her.”
I WAS sorry. I meant it. He knew I did.
This week we celebrated ten years of marriage. Someone asked me what advice I had on having a good marriage. I laughed because I really don’t feel like an authority at all. We just happened to find each other when we did. But, if I had to give any advice, it’s this:
Say you’re sorry and mean it. Don’t say it to pacify the other. Mean it when you apologize. If you’re the spouse accepting the apology, truly accept it. Don’t hold a grudge about it.
That melodramatic movie from the ’70’s got it all wrong. Love means ALWAYS having to say you’re sorry. It means saying it over and over again and meaning it each time. I am a flawed human married to another flawed human. Then we went and created two little flawed humans. I can think of no better example for them than to admit when we’re wrong, apologize, and forgive.
If there is anything I’ve learned in the past ten years, it’s that. Happy Anniversary, Greyson! There’s is no one I’d rather be a flawed human with than you. Here’s to many more years of apologies.