Posted on Saturday, February 12, 2011
in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social
If You Screw Up, Fess Up! Say “I’m sorry” and mean it!
In the classic 70′s romantic movie “Love Story” Jennifer Cavalieri said, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”
It’s a nice romantic notion to think if you really loved someone you would never say a hurtful word, always remember their favorite ___, text them back immediately, stop everything to take their phone call, always be certain to arrive when you said that you would, and never forget an item on the “pick it up on the way home” list.
I’ve met some saintly people like June Oulund, but I’ve never met anyone who loved like that.
We all should say “I’m sorry” and mean it.
In order to realign our love, I’ve had to say “I’m sorry” alot! but as the band Extreme sang, love is “More Than Words“.
In other words, “I’m sorry” is great, but if we mean “I’m sorry” it better be back with change.
When Amy and I were married she loved me and she believed that I loved her. Her faith in me and her faithfulness to be a role model for me have been beyond words, but even she failed to see how complicated love was.
It was in our third year of marriage as we were battling with my first year at TreeHouse and my first year of workaholism that we had some dear friends help us to communicate more effectively. I had to change many things. Sadly, twenty years later I am still working on them. On the other hand, Amy needed to change one thing, and she did.
Amy believed that “if I really loved her I would know…” what she felt, thought, needed, and wanted. Graciously, Amy was willing to agree that as I learned to love her I was not capable of mind-reading and that our love did not require romantic all-knowing omniscience.
In the years that followed we added to our shared expectations:
* We say what we need and we don’t assume the other knows it
* We try to help the other person get their needs met
* When the other person doesn’t respond after I state my need, repeat it
I wish it has been easier for me to be thoughtful. I wish that I was naturally romantic. I wish that I was a less self-centered person. I am not.
In order to be more thoughtful I’ve had to listen better to Amy’s “I wish” statements. In order to be more romantic I’ve had to read marriage books, books written by women for women and listen, listen, listen to you complain about the guys in your life, and then do what doesn’t come naturally to me.
Yesterday I wrote, “Do not try to change the other person, the change starts with ourselves.” And, for me one of the big changes has been “If You Screw Up, Fess Up! Say ‘I’m sorry’ and mean it!“
Excursus – Yeah, Amy, “I’m sorry”… again!