I Said I Was Sorry

In my Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage seminar I explain in detail how a man’s brain tends to compartmentalize things. It’s like men have separate boxes in their heads for everything: money, sex, kids, wife, in-laws, etc. And for a guy these boxes don’t touch. He thinks about one thing at a time and then moves on to the next thing since one box isn’t connected to another.

Then I go on to explain how a woman’s brain is like a big ball of wire where everything is connected to everything and there is no compartmentalizing at all. Money can be connected to the in-laws and sex can be connected to the kids. Things can run together very easily in a woman’s brain.

These two very opposite ways of thinking and processing cause men and women to communicate in very different ways. There is one area this is particularly evident and often problematic–the apology. Because men have this unique ability to compartmentalize, a guy can go to his “apology box”, say he’s sorry for something he did, close that box and then move on to the next task or thing to think about. In his mind he took care of it, he said he was sorry, it’s done and life goes on.

Not so for a woman. When she has been crossed or hurt for some reason, the connections in her brain make it impossible to compartmentalize. She may attach all sorts of reasons, feelings, and ideas to that one incident. While her husband has moved on to other territory, she hasn’t because it may take her some time to process her emotions and thoughts. So when a woman is still upset, sad or hurt for a couple of days (sometimes weeks depending on the infraction) it is often a puzzle to the man. Guys will then perceive their wives as holding onto a grudge, being unforgiving and unwilling to move on, and they can become very frustrated. After all, he said he was sorry, why can’t she just get past it?

Because of the way women are wired with all these connections in their brains, it’s more difficult for them to get past the hurt. It’s actually a really good thing for you guys because this is what allows her to put up with your nonsense! You mess up and say and do hurtful things and she’s still there because women have this ability to form deep connections. It truly works for men this way, but when you do something extremely hurtful, it works against you; you will have to fix it, and that may take some time.

I hear tales all the time of men who have done hurtful things—huge things like having an affair or smaller things like saying something very mean and spiteful—and then they say, “I’m sorry” and expect it all to go away. When it doesn’t these guys get upset and throw it back on their wives because his wife “can’t get over it”. It just doesn’t work that way for women. Men need to learn that pushing her to “move on” isn’t the answer. The answer is for you to own the problem that you created.

It’s not her problem of unforgiveness. It’s not that she won’t accept your apology. She’s still hurting and it’s going to take some time for her to get over it. Men see absolutely no connection between the offense and the continued emotions. It’s like they dropped the atomic bomb but don’t realize that there is fallout beyond the initial explosion that they will have to keep cleaning up and dealing with. Men, when you hurt your wife and you see she’s still dealing with it, don’t you dare turn that around and put it on her. You look at your wife and say, “I see you are still hurting. I understand this is still painful. I realize I did this to you. I’m sorry.” Then shut up! Don’t defend yourself, make excuses or blame her. Every time you see it, you own it. Even if you have to do it a 100 times. That’s just the way it is.

Remember guys, when it comes to apologies, there is no “apology box” in your wife’s brain. Don’t make the mistake of thinking or saying, “I said I was sorry! Just move on!” Don’t put the rap on her, or she will end up thinking you are not sorry at all.

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53 Responses to “I Said I Was Sorry”

  1. Inusha says:

    Thank you Mark for this post. I have a blessed marriage and thank God every day for giving me strength and direction to do His will. You let me remind how God helped me some years ago when I was really heart. But my focus was on God and he showed me that forgiviness is the answer. I forgave my husband and still love my husband a lot, but I love God more. And now we have a blessed family with our 2 daughters and God as the center of our life. All from Curacao we wish you God’s Peace. Family of Peace.

  2. Melody says:

    You are a inspiration. What perfect analizing( you know what I mean).

    Saw you on life today..thnak you for allowing me to give my husband another chance…

    kind regards

    Melody Jacobsohn

  3. Jackie says:

    Thank you Mark for the inspiration. My husband has deeply hurt me and we have talked about the situation. He has apologized but there are a number of factors that we need to work on to get back on track.
    Then we both have to want to work at it together.
    As for the gentleman that was out of work on your other topic….
    Nothing’s Impossible, we are looking for new reps.
    Thank you again……I happen to catch you on LIFE one morning but I certainly enjoy your style of getting the message across-easy to undertstand
    Peace & Blessings

  4. Carolyn says:

    Thank you, Mark for helping men and women understand each other better. You apply these principles to husbands and wives, but can’t these principles work equally well in helping relationships between brothers and sisters, mothers and sons? There are many hurting mothers and sisters out there because their sons or brothers have treated them the same way many wives have been treated by their husbands, and these women just don’t know how to communicate and get through to them and be heard and understood. Thank you for your work!!!
    Carolyn

  5. Shirley Murphy says:

    I thank God for how he’s using you to help marriages and families, I was so excited when I first heard you on life today with James and Betty. As soon as God blesses us with extra money I’m going to order from your ministry. I love the way God uses you. My husband and I been married for 17 years and we need a lot of help, but we are better than we use to be. Listening to you is fun and exciting while learning about how to have a better marriage. Thank you so much. Can’t hardly wait to get my hand on extra cash to buy your dvds.

    Partners In Christ,

    Shirley Murphy

  6. Kelly says:

    Thank you for putting into words something I could not tell my husband. We recently dealt with this in the exact way you describe. He said he was sorry. I believed he was and he put an end to the activity that hurt me, but when I wanted to talk about it 2 weeks later he thought I was bringing up the past to hold it over his head. I only wanted to discuss all the emotional aspects of it I was still dealing with especially since there were still reminders of the offense on a frequent basis.

  7. Leslie Schmidt says:

    What a difference your Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage has made to our marriage. Your programs/books/DVDs are part of our learning in our counseling by Larry Bilotta while we were going through his Environment Changer/Chaos Kids program that saved our marriage. We were struggling and not knowing why. Now we use your favorite quips to remind ourselves to not be so serious and focused on what happened in the past. My husband even commented about some woman one day, “She must have extra wires in her brain,” so I know he gets it. Thanks for making learning enjoyable and not so stressful. You are helping many of us want to be friends again and not one of the divorce casualties as a result of dysfunctional families.

  8. Scott Blake says:

    I can see what you are saying, I made those exact mistakes and now I’m trying to save my marriage; I love and miss my wife as much today as when she filed for divorce and moved out. I had not talked to my wife in a year and a half, she refused to talk to me period. I asked for forgiveness for the mistakes I made and expected everything to move on. I made that error of blaming her for not moving on, BOY was I WRONG!!! I have now talked to my wife this week for a total of 45 minutes and I have taken full responsibilty for my mistakes, but only talking to her about our youngest having health problems, I’m afraid if I bring up us, she will pull further away. I pray to the Lord that she will fall in love with me again,this totally in God’s hands I have to let him fix it now. For all you husbands out there, don’t screw up like I did. I love my wife and miss her so much. Thank you Mark for your insight. I attended your seminar in Fargo last October and would welcome any advice from you on how to win back my wife, eventhough, right now she doesn’t want me in her life anymore. Thank you.

    • Skye says:

      Send her a long-thought out letter. In time she will read it. Apologize for what you have done, why you love and need her. Tell her what you are willing to change and how you are going to make those changes happen. Best of luck toyou.

  9. Kris says:

    Thanks for your insight Mark. I always enjoy your ability to put the reality of our daily walk into a humorous context …In truth much of the time the loving Savior causes us to view ourselves through this lens of humor, which somewhat softens the ‘blow’ of the truth about our flesh that otherwise we might resent .

    I wonder though how this concept of ‘compartmentalizing ‘ is reconciled with the calling that we be of ONE mind…that God is continually calling us to oneness in not only our relationships but our MINDS.

    The world tends to emphasize fragmentation …independence rather than interdependence…compartmentalization of our thoughts can be taken too far it seems to me in that it may become an excuse for going on doing what we do instead of becoming transformed by the renewing of our minds.

    I think your revelation regarding this difference in the ways men and women think is very good as it reveals the condition of the fallen, unsubmitted, and unrenewed mind . I wonder though if it is something that people may cling to rather than going on to “be not conformed to THIS WORLD [ and the perspectives of it ] to be renewed in the spirit of your mind’ as scripture holds us to.

    Please keep up the great work of briging about understanding for men and women along with the exhortation to GO ON to become LIKE MINDED not just in knowledge and facts but in that humility of mind that is to strive to become ONE in the knowledge by HIS instruction and working of understanding in all our ways according to the example and life of Jesus Christ through His Word which IS holy …and which is SPIRIT .

    His,
    KP

    • Brandon says:

      You can still be like minded and process thoughts completely differently. And I don’t think it has anything to do with men having a ‘fallen, unsubmitted, unrenewed mind.’ I just think we think differently because that’s the way we are made.

      and when the Bible talks about “renewing of your mind” I honestly don’t think it means “you need to think more like a woman.”

      I think the Bible throws more caution to the wind on WHAT you think about moreso than HOW you arrived there, via box or wire

    • Steve says:

      Kris,
      In my view, God wasn’t telling us to process the same or “uncompartmentalize” our thinking. I think the Savior showed us an example of this kind of compartmentalized thinking when he said, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” Period. Finished. Processed, closed, new-box time. That said, I am trying to learn to keep the “Apology box” open longer, until my wife tells me it is time to close it.

  10. Mark says:

    Some women never forgive. My ex wife said there is a limit. The problem for her was I committed adultery in her dreams. The dreams were so vivid. She forgave me several times, but as she put it, if I have affairs she will sleep with men. That’s what she did. She has sole custody of my 3 kids and I never see them, all because of unforgiveness for something that happened in her dreams.

    • Lance says:

      Hi Mark! Glad to hear your thoughts on marriage and divorce. I’m so sorry about the unwanted events! However, I just want to encourage you that “nothing” is impossible with God! He is bigger! He does work the impossible! I have seen Him heal many marriages of physical adultery! Jesus even raises the bar and says lust is adultery! So, in essence, we all are adulterers! Yes, commitment and forgiveness is the issue. Even though there is no “innocent” party we are responsible for our own sin before God. Thanks for Jesus!!

      Dreams and physical adultery is perfect ground for a miracle that only God can work! I just hope no one has really thrown in the proverbial towel! and even then God can do a miracle…

  11. Mayra says:

    Mark, You are so on the money with this one! I just wish my husband would “get it”. I pray he does!

    Please continue to be bold and do not conform to the “whimpy man-thinking” out there:)

    God bless you and your family!

    Mayra

  12. Marsha Hamner says:

    This is exactly the situation my husband and I are dealing with right now. It is like you saw into our home and picked this subject out just for us. thank you so much!

  13. Kris says:

    Thank you Brandon. I appreciate what you said about processing thoughts differently.

    Still do you not see how some people would use this as a way to avoid changing behavior. I have witnessed and listened to those who set their behaviors in this category …IE …Adulterous relationship was in the compartment ,….while the wife and kids of the marriage were in another! and the explanation was …..”I just didn’t think of them as effecting one another ! I was compartmentalizing ! “”"

    WOW! So what would YOU say to this person?

    Glad to have some dialogue on this ..

    • Dave says:

      I would say “No matter how compartmentalized the cognition of a sin, it was a sin and there will be consequences for the sinner and others. Regardless of one’s perception of what sins will effect who or not, when someone, man or woman, is acting out against God’s will, they need to recognize it and seek to know why they did it, what hurts are they acting out of – and be willing to go to any lengths to heal from those hurts. Otherwise the cycle of the sin will likely be repeated.”

      A friend of mine recently clarified something for me: for some Jesus is their Savior, not their Lord. But as the bumper sticker says, “God allows U-Turns”.

      • JoLynne says:

        I agree with you Dave many people say they love Jesus, but he is not their Lord. Many times our head gets in the way. We allow satan to make us think it’s about us! we just need to get out of the way of ourselves, so God can do what is needed.

    • Brandon says:

      Hey Kris I think it’s important to differentiate between cause vs justification. I believe if you look at what you are saying, you are stating that the ‘reason’ the man commited adultery was because his ‘box’ thinking. and therefore if he didn’t have his ‘box’ thinking, he would not have commited adultery. This is obviously untrue because women commit adultery as well. so if the box were the ’cause’ then why would these women have affairs as well?

      This man is not saying “oh if i would have known that I couldn’t compartment these two, then I wouldn’t have done it.” what is he doing is trying to justify his sins. and trust me, even if you take away the “box” thinking, he still would have found another excuse to justify in his heart what he knows he should not have done. so if he finds another excuse, should we then blame that excuse as causing ‘adultery’? for instance, he says “well it was a co-worker and we’re forced to work by each other everyday so it was inevitable!” should we therefore as a church ban all work activity with the opposite sex in any job situation? that would be ridiculous. why? because the excuse was never the cause.

  14. jeff says:

    I would say that human’s when given the opportunity will try to rationalize anything. It’s one thing for us (men) to be in our nothing box. Something women probably never will understand; but, quite another for us to stay in that box when engaged.

    I find myself apologizing to my wife often. Most times, I probably am not apologizing for what she needs. I’m apologizing for hurting her feelings; but, rarely for the action that caused those feelings to be hurt.

    Usually because I don’t quite understand how my actions hurt her — and because we communicate in such different ways that while she thinks she’s being crystal clear with me — I rarely fully understand what offended her.

    Sometimes the best thing we (men) can do is “shut up and listen”.

  15. Carol says:

    God bless you, God bless you, God bless you and God bless your wife, Debbie just as much because I’m certain you’ve worked as a team to get to where you are today. Here’s an example of how “I’m sorry” doesn’t help:
    Last weekend I desperately needed my husband’s help with something. Saturday he helped me through a difficult day of crying and actual physical pains from stress. The job could not be finished due to a computer problem out of my control. It was clear that I would have to finish the job on Sunday. He knew of my desperate need for help yet, as we went to bed on Saturday (proposing sex and being told ‘no’ by his still stressed out, crying wife) he informed me he would not be available to help me until Sunday evening. He hadn’t mentioned that fact prior to bedtime because he knew I’d be upset and he “didn’t want to fight.” He left Sunday morning while I was still asleep.
    I felt totally abandoned and deceived. I nearly had a break down. Sunday evening he said he was sorry however he has spent the entire week wanting reconciliation, while at the same time defending his actions and blaming me for absolutely everything.
    I very wise man, (Mark Gungor) has recommended that I kick the boy out or move out. I now also have two medical doctors and 2 mental health experts telling me the same because they are concerned for my physical and mental health. This problem has repeated itself for 25 yrs during which time I believed I was to accept his “I’m sorry”, forgive him as Jesus would and reconcile after every incident without consequence; following the “unconditional love”, “shut up and put out”, “let God worry about him”, teachings.
    Why haven’t I kicked him out? 1) I still love him. I still want the marriage to be repaired. 2) He’s made it clear that if I kick him out he won’t be back. 3) I am so worn down, physically, emotionally, and financially that I seriously don’t feel I have it in me.
    Sorry this is so long. Thank you for the blog.
    Besides my being an idiot, I wish I knew why I can’t bring myself to kick him out.

  16. floyd harding says:

    thanks for coming to sherwood oaks in bloomington,in…we really enjoyed your presentations…although we have been married for 55 years
    we learned one can always learn if one is willing to open one’s ears and eyes. thanks again ..hope you had a great flight home.floyd & pat harding

  17. Casey says:

    Mr Gungor, I believe you need to give credit, where credit is due….. the above information is based off the book by Bill & Pam Farrel; Men Are Like Waffles–Women Are Like Spaghetti.

    • Jenelle says:

      Casey, that certainly is food for thought…but I’m thinkin marinara sauce and maple syrup…uhhhh…I think I’m going to be sick…

      MarkG, thank you, though I find myself apologizing to those who hurt me. It is not gratifying to model good behavior to one who brings grief and resentment. It IS good to forgive and forget –but it is also good to choose friends and companions who seek to bring joy into the world and into my walk with them.

  18. Tim says:

    Thanks for the very helpful word about how women and men’s minds work. Qualified apologies are problematic especially when the heart is to defend your actions.

    Now, maybe you’re saying this to make a point here but wouldn’t you say that 100 times is big number? There is a limit. I think it’s reasonable for someone bring up a hurt as they work through their feelings but at some point it’s not helpful. There’s a line between communicating hurt and manipulation. I’ve had people in my life who wanted to harm me with my mistakes so that I would be punished and sin no more. Still, it seems like the key is that “she’s still dealing with it”.

    At some point you do have to move on… it just takes longer to move on than we like. I think that’s your point anyways.

  19. Bee MacGuire says:

    Thank you so much for those comments, Mark. So often when we women try to say we are hurt, it is interpreted as an attack, is countered by aggression, and the wound is made even deeper.
    There is so much kindness and compassion and justice n in that comment.Thank you again. It’s like suddenly having a knight in shining armour — as we learn to be our own.
    On the other hand, to get back to the subject of these Mars-Venus conflicts, my son Nicholas commented very young that all of our arguments (between those who
    love eachother) are based on misunderstandings. Often the first slight wasn’t meant to be a slight at all.
    Oh, THAT’s what you meant.
    Oh, THAT’s what you meant.
    And everybody turns out to be well-meaning, after all.
    What a profoundly healing experience when we get to that level.
    All innocent. All US.
    We have a saying in our house that goes like this:
    It’s not enough that I win, you, my brother, my teacher, my other self, you have to win too,
    or I myself lose.
    Ditto!
    Equality is the only relationship real love can tolerate. (All others require ass-kissing.)
    The term US is the only pronoun real love can countenance. All others are based on the politics of exclusion.
    Where do the boundaries of US stop? They DON’T!
    The only outcome of a confict real love can ethically accept is win-win.
    I love it that Christ hung out with blue collar people.
    He was never a scarlet robed, prince of the church, kiss my ring type, of the sort who practice
    the every opposite of his beatitudes,
    The greatest saints were known for their humbleness. In that profound humbleness lies their true power.
    Thanks again for all this, Mark.

    Much love
    xxxxx to you all,
    from
    Bee.

  20. Vinnie says:

    I’ve been to your entire course: Laugh your way to a better marriage, and yes I now see my wife in a different and better light. But boy-o-boy, it’s very difficult for my wife to say sorry for anything that she’s done wrong. She just simply beleives that she’s right in verything that she says & does, and that is difficult. Most times I can not tell her how I feel about something, because she will defend the thing I’m saying, even when it has nothing to do with her. Maybe woman should have an ‘apology box’, of vist their husband’s box sometimes.

  21. Daryl says:

    This is certainly the case in my marriage. I used to call my wife the elephant because she never forgets…but now I know and understand why. It is one thing to say you are sorry, which men have to be very good at, but it is quite another thing to continually reinforce those words with actions that speak how sorry we are. As with all your comments this is a general thing and I think most men recognize that women operate differently and it does take time to resolve the things we do or say. I think the ‘sorry box’ is an easy way to assuage our guilt and remove from men the obligation to work at the real sorry ….our actions!

    • Barb Porto says:

      Your poor wife, being compared to an elephant. That is not nice, but probably very acurate when it comes to the woman’s mind and all that she keeps filed away. I can totally relate to that! I feel sorry for the men in our lives though. =0(

  22. Barb Porto says:

    This is sooo funny. I know men and women are engineered differently, but you put it in everyday terms that apply too our daily struggles in anyone’s marriage. Grudges are hard to get rid off and although I forgive…………..I never forget.I have prayed over this issue for many years and after 18 yrs of marriage, I still struggle and have to bite my tongue at times.

    Thanks for your insight.

  23. Anon says:

    Words cannot adequately express how graciously overwhelmed I feel having just read this blog and, in particular, the final three paragraphs.

    Thank you Mark and thank you God.

  24. Kristi says:

    Just re-reading this after months of having it bookmarked… This is so good. The failure to understand this, which developed into a deeply rooted pattern, is a large part of the reason my marriage didn’t make it. I was so hurt, over and over (and there wasn’t just “I said I was sorry” but bullying and threatening),and after several years of it I just gave up trying and poured myself into being a mom. Now I’m a single-mom – a very happy single-mom actually, too. I don’t have to feel neglected, hurt, or unloved anymore. Anyway, I think this is very valuable information for anyone – male or female, and if I ever remarry, I plan to put it to good use. :)

  25. Mary says:

    this is such a wonderful article, I do not even have words to describe how totally “ON TARGET” your words are – -

    thank you!

  26. Richard says:

    Mark I or we (sometimes) see you at every opportunity and I learn something each time I hear you. In this case, when you talk about hurt at a deep level, in my marriage,that means anything; not cutting the grass when she want is done, losing my job, unloading or reloading the dishwasher, washing the dogs, etc. I think you get the point. I have never had an affair, although I have been accused of it many times. I have been married for 27 years, and so there is a lot of “I’m sorry’s” that have been said. You talk about saying it a 100 times, but when does it ever stop? Even now, in current arguments, I still hear about “things” I did in the first part of our marriage, that I have long forgotten. Every job I have quit, lay-off or been fired from becomes a “bat” when “anything” financial comes up. Sex in this house is non-existent because there is always a reason not to, “here is what you did today” syndrome. I agree with the comments the men have made, do women really forgive and when do they really move on?

  27. Genevieve says:

    Nice article. I believe all woman are not the same, so it is hard to generalize. My husband hurt me, he said he was sorry and I forgave him and moved on with our life. All done in about five minutes. My husband was not perfect and neither was I. Jesus forgave us all. Life is too short to spend it re-hashing old sins. There is much joy in life and much to do but satan wants to keep us miserable and non productive. Jesus died to give us an abundant life. He DIED. Brutally beaten and hung on a cross for us. And we can’t forgive the one person we stood in a church and claimed we were his help mate and partner and were going to love for the rest of our life?? I think the woman in this story needs to ask forgiveness for her unforgiveness. Follow Jesus not satan.

  28. JoDee says:

    love your insights! We have your DVD set and share it with family and friends every chance we get.
    I would love to interview you on my blog’s web radio show sometime and promote your DVD’s and programs!
    So glad to hear Debbie’s Kemo is over with- hope all is well in the future.
    Keep up the good work!

  29. Robyn says:

    Thank you Mark. I wish 30 years ago when my first marriage dissolved I would have had the knowledge I have now from listening to you. My parents stayed together because that is what you did(don’t get me wrong they had a great marriage) but they didn’t help prepare us for what you need to do to have a great marriage.

  30. Susan says:

    God is just AMAZING and some of his greatest miracles are in his timing and this message was the icing on the cake!!!

    I have been dating a busdriver for 2-1/2 years, who’s been divorced for 10 years and it has left him badly scarred. Not only from the wife, but the far greater damage was caused by the church and elders. I too have been a single mom for 27 years and stopped dating entirely 10 years earlier and have my own set of battle scars.

    God has been very clear from the get go as to my instructions; My plans for you are good and as you do what I tell you and watch what I do. You are show him the way back to Me by showing him MY love, as I love you.

    Hind sight is always 20-20 and I thank the Lord that I haven’t followed my instincts to drop him following the callous and cruel words that have been said when he lashes out in fear, as he attempts to push me away. The life lessons to me are that I experience God’s love for me as I see how I tried to push him away during the 20 years I back-slid!

    What God has taught me is to forgive him immediately and take the pain to HIM and HE will transform the pain into wisdom of either the pain causing the painful words or heal me by illuminating something of my relationship with the Lord or others!

    Yesterday my morning devotional God instructed me to confront an issue, before it even happened. My beau called to come by at 7:00 for supper, so I prepared a gourmet meal and kept it warm for 3 hours until I packed it up for another day. When he called at 10:30 to explain why he didn’t come by and ask me to keep him company for a couple of hours on the bus, I said it as OK, but would appreciate an earlier call next time, at which point it bacame my fault. I listened to another sermon while getting ready and it was on being patient and following God’s original call. I was surprised to recieve a little gift to make up for the inconvinience he caused by his bad manners we spent the time joking as I kept praying because my brain was comparing the gift to the inconvenience & pain. Your message made me laugh out loud!!!

    God is so faithful!

  31. Sandy muise says:

    This is my husband fred and I to a T. We both said after reading that mark has lived in our brains for the last 10.5 years. Bless you mark you have made a beautiful light at the end of the tunnel. I ask God to continue to bless your ministry.

  32. BK says:

    Hi Mark, I’m glad you dusted this topic off again. I just got done reiterated to my husband that his drinking and coming home late is causing US a big problem for the millionth time only to get the deer in the headlights response of, “I had no idea that my staying out drinking and missing the nice dinner that you cooked would cause a problem” response. He is such a great guy and we get along so wonderfully, except for this really detrimental problem.
    Not sure what to do other than to drag his butt to counciling again. He apologizes every day for the same issue!

  33. Paul says:

    Yesterday the enemy had me mention to my wife that she had eaten a cup of sugar for every day for 16 days in a row as I myself had accomplished too. I also asked her how her jeans have been fitting lately. The fact that I was eating sugary items with her made me feel reasonably safe mentioning this to her. The fact is that I (by God’s design) don’t seem to gain weight when doing so and my wife does and has recently spent her money on weight watchers program(s).

    Needless to say I blew it and I opened my apology Box and apologized before we went to bed. Also needless to say we had no itimacy and probably won’t have for the next 10 years. I am kidding (I hope).

    I read this article and apreciate your time writing it. I really have things to work on Mark.

    Respectfully,
    Fast-Burn metabolism friend that realizes life changes on a dime and I need to keep my mouth shut.

  34. Ed says:

    Mark, I understand the scenario in “I Said I Was Sorry,” but what would it look like if the wife hurt or offended her husband? How would that look in the “boxes” and “wires” world of husbands and wives?

  35. Havilah says:

    Mark,
    Thank you so much for the article you wrote called “I Said I Was Sorry”. I really appreciated your understanding of us women and the honest way you wrote to the man what to say in those times and what not to say to his wife while she’s still hurt over something he did.

    When I am hurt by something my husband does or says I would want him to say those things to me, it would help a million for me to heal and feel like he was really sorry and he cared. That would help our relationship volumes! I would feel understood and loved.

    Sometimes I don’t even know exactly what I wish he’d say in times when I’m feeling this way to help me to move on and let go and feel like we’ve resolved whatever the issue is, but now I know what I need to hear to help me. That helps a lot! Thank you!

  36. Mary Ann says:

    Thanks for the insight, it helps me to understand that I may take some time to heal when he had hurt me in a very big way. I grew up and played with brothers and so in a way I thought I was tough. I am reminded again that it may not be that I have not forgiven but just that it is pretty deep.

  37. John says:

    It is possible to train your brain to think in a different way about life and things. After say 30 years of marriage, you would think the woman would be able to forgive her husband much sooner, based on her new knowledge about how men think. Doesn’t it ever get any better, or is there no such thing as progress in “I’m this way, and you’r that way”? Always walking on egg shells is not happiness. And what if you say something stupid before she has forgiven you of the first offence?!!!! Give us men some hope.

  38. Susan Cottrell says:

    Mark, I love how you get the point across! I have a writing/speaking ministry on abiding in Christ in teen-raising and in marriage. The way I put it is that woman are relational and men are task-oriented — very similar to what you said — which is why God tells men to love women, and tells women to respect men, because that fits the two different mindsets. Bless our hearts, trying to slog through such fundamental differences!

  39. Colleen says:

    Another important thing about an apology is the difference between saying “I’m sorry” and “Please forgive me”. Saying “I’m sorry” tends to be a selfish way to apologize. It leaves the person saying it in control of the situation. Saying “Please forgive me” is a sacrificial way to apologize. It places the control with your spouse. You must wait patiently for the acceptance of the apology, and as you stated Mark, you may have to say “Please forgive me”, many many times. But when the forgiveness comes it is so cleansing and renewing you will understand why it was worth the wait.

  40. Julie says:

    What about when the woman feels she has hurt the man, and cannot get that out of her head. Does she bring it up over and over or just say I am sorry and drop it???

  41. Donna Halstead says:

    Upon reaching the age of 90, and still in one piece, I am no longer practicing my profession of Social Work and Marriage Counseling. I am however, fascinated with your ideas in counseling particularly the one of ‘let’s start with what is right about the marriage and not with let’ fix what is wrong’.

    A most novel idea and one I would want to learn more about were I still practicing and try to incorporate it into my profession.

    But now handicapped by health concerns, and burnt out re counseling since I majored in Corrections and have been working in Drugs and Alcohol programs plus prisons for both children and adults,I prefer to just retain my interests in latest ideas about how to help people and think how these ideas might be incorporated into the areas wherein I worked.

    Keep up the good work and will be following you as you continue to do so.

  42. Mark from Troy says:

    Just sleeping in the same bed is a good start. I read about men banished to couches or man caves for years at a time for doing a hurtful act. Time does heal most wounds. Sometimes you have to agree to disagree and sleep on it. I hope everyone has a great holiday season and I’m going to sleep on it.

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