J and I had problems with apologies. I wrote an entire paper on on “submissive sorry” (it’s been submitted to the Journal of Submissive Studies; I’m still waiting for the double-blindfold peer review reports). That was observation, but this is advice for everyone. Okay, maybe not everyone — maybe just anyone who finds themselves in a situation where they need to apologize to me.
Apologize for your fuck up, but also, acknowledge whatever inconvenience, annoyance, hurt, or anger your fuck up caused. Apologize for that too.
Sure, you feel bad (for fucking up), but your partner feels bad too (because you fucked up). Since you’re the one who did the fucking (up), now is not the time to be a self-centered narcissist.
It never makes me feel better to know that my partner feels really, really bad about whatever it is. That actually makes me feel worse (for a number of reasons). What makes me feel better is acknowledgement of what I’m feeling.
FYI, if you fuck up and your partner is comforting you (instead of the other way around), then you suck at apologies.
If you fuck up, fix it. If it’s possible to correct the mistake, then do that. If it isn’t, then focus on making your partner feel better. If you’ve hurt feelings, mend them, or otherwise do due diligence to provide whatever happiness or distraction to pull your partner out of the emo weeds.
If you’re sorry — actually sorry — don’t do it again. There’s a difference between saying you’re sorry to smooth things over and being genuinely sorry that you fucked up. Being genuinely sorry means you’ll do your best to avoid fucking up again.
If you’ve fucked up again in the same way you’ve fucked up before, maybe you need to be proactive about avoiding future fuck ups. Make a plan with concrete steps, points for decisions, questions to ask, and/or partner check ins. At least try — make an effort — particularly in situations that feel familiar, in situations where your partner doesn’t quite believe your apologies because your frequent fuck up. Be honest enough with yourself to know where you’re likely to fuck up, and take steps to fix it. Actual steps. Seriously.
Share your plan with your partner. Even if it doesn’t work out, knowing that you’re actively trying to work on things goes a hell of a long way to mend hurt feelings and extend a line of goodwill credit for future fuck ups.
Though it’s not quite a fuck up/angry parter/”I’m sorry” situation, this post by Tom Allen is fucking brilliant on course corrections, especially when it comes to D/s style relationships and mismatched expectations.
What Tom did was pretty fucking cool — he has honest with himself about his own actions and expectations, and realistic about his partner’s. Something wasn’t working, so he tried something else. He didn’t just hope. He acted. He took deliberate steps, and good on him for it (and bonus, there’s lots of promise for a positive outcome for both he and his wife).
Anyway, go read it. Seriously.
More on Apologies…
It hurts to feel this and it’s compounded by the fact that I made you a promise and I broke it. I lied. I fucked up. I’m sorry…… [read more]
I was wrong. I called it in sadness and anger, in immaturity, and in an overabundance of emotion. I’m sorry…… [read more]
After a year-long observation of a submissive male, I present my findings on the various stages of submissive “sorry”..… [read more]