When you apologize to your spouse, what do you say?

For many, the answer is: “I’m sorry.” But do you tell them what you are sorry for? An apology has more impact when it’s specific.  “I’m sorry that I got home late. I know that you worked hard to be ready on time, and I show up 30 minutes late. I feel bad that I’ve made you wait. I hope you will forgive me and we can still have a good evening.”

This apology communicates that you are aware that your behavior inconvenienced your spouse, and that you feel badly about it.  Here’s an apology that you should never use: “I’m sorry that you got hurt.” That shifts the blame to your spouse. It’s far better to say, “I’m sorry that my behavior hurt you.”