I never apologize

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square

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I never apologize
« on: July 22, 2021, 10:56:30 AM »
I donít know whether to post this here or in Working On Us.

H has said multiple times that I never apologize, that he does all the apologizing.

Years ago, this seemed absurd to me. I apologized all the time. Iíd forget to do something I promised, or dropped something, or needed help and felt bad for asking, or a hundred other things. I apologized every DAY.

I noticed he never seemed to feel bad for making us late or forgetting promises or putting me out. When things got bad a few years ago, I trained myself to stop apologizing. It just seemed like a waste.

But, there is a type of apology he does make and I donít, and I realized that this is surely what he means. Not the every day, whoops, kind of apology. But the ďI screwed up. I was wrong.Ē

But.

I GENUINELY donít know if this is a fair criticism or not.

Maybe?

But I donít do these things. I donít have PD meltdowns. I donít do literally crazy things.

I screw up every day but they are of the forgot/dropped/stepped on foot/was late/whatever variety. I used to apologize right on the spot, but I see no evidence he cared either way if I did or didnít.

I donít know if I am remiss in not apologizing for the big things... or if itís genuinely possible that the imbalance is not in the apologies but in the offenses committed.

And there is also the issue of perception. If an innocent remark triggers a PD and they genuinely feel attacked, how do you sort the difference between preserving the relationship and feeding the insanity?

Thoughts? I know nobody can tell me whether I have some serious apolgizing to do, but any ideas or personal experience or observations appreciated.

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losingmyself

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Re: I never apologize
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2021, 11:28:34 AM »
I don't know, but I'll tell you my experience. I used to apologize for everything, and it seemed to fuel his anger, like I was confirming my horribleness.
Now, if I make a mistake, like every other human on the earth, I'll give a "Oh, wow, that was a mistake" Or something along those lines.
He never apologizes to me, so I won't apologize to him. Unless I do something that truly deserves an apology, then I will give ONE. No more. When he brings it up again, I say "I already said I was sorry for that, I'm not saying it again"
In my house, it is a waste. And fuel.

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Lauren17

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Re: I never apologize
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2021, 01:14:44 PM »
This one is tough.  As a whole, I think our culture throws around "I'm sorry" to easily.  I read an article a few years ago that was directed at women and our tendency to apologize for everything.  I really took that to heart and tried to drop those words from my vocabulary.  If I get up at the movies to go by more popcorn, I say "excuse me" as I walk by, not "I'm sorry."  If someone has to reach around my shopping cart to reach the mayo at the store, I say "Let me move that for you" not "I'm sorry" and so on.  I've also stopped saying "I'm sorry" for the innocent things I do that anger H.  No more "I'm sorry I made meatloaf for dinner when you wanted lobster tails"
At the same time, I've tried to examine the times that I do need to apologize.  Have I actually offended someone, either intentionally or not?  Is it something that I know was wrong in my gut, regardless of their reaction?  If so, I will apologize.  If not, I won't.
I don't think this has made a difference in my marriage at all.  But it has greatly changed how I feel about myself.
Iíve cried a thousand rivers. And now Iím swimming for the shoreĒ (adapted from Iíll be there for you)

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bat123

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Re: I never apologize
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2021, 02:30:40 PM »
Hi, Square.  Iíve struggled with this exact dynamic, too.  My uNPD husband has a narrative that HE apologizes but that I never do (like so many narratives that Iím supposed to just accept as truth!)   Iíll admit, apologizing can be hard for me.  And of course, existing within an unhealthy relationship, we often learn that apologizing can feel unsafe.  He does occasionally apologize if he specifically realizes that heís said something clearly hypocritical or false.  (He seems to have a certain code that allows him to say the most horrible things to me, so long as he feels he is being fair and honest.  Itís really quite fascinating.). I occasionally apologize, such as if I forgot to do something, etc.  I have found that over the past few years, as Iíve learned to detach and not get triggered into saying nasty things back to him, that I actually feel pretty good about my behavior and have less to apologize for than I used to.  I try to live by my values of treating others as Iíd like to be treated.. These relationships unfortunately tend to feature quite a lot of paranoia and false accusations, which also complicates things.   If I know in my heart that I  didnít intend any ill will, Iíll say something such as, ďI can see youíre really upset, but you arenít viewing this accurately.Ē  If he continues to accuse or demand apologies, Iíll try to redirect him, or just ignore him.  Itís very difficult sometimes, like dealing with a child.

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square

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Re: I never apologize
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2021, 03:25:42 PM »
Thanks so much for the responses. They were helpful.

I had two thoughts as I read.

1) It surely feels imbalanced to him that, when things go sideways, he is always the one coming to me to repair it (when it blows over). Whether there is an actual apology or not, itís him repairing and me, the queen, deciding if I shall accept it or not.

When I was younger and not OOTF, I didnít always accept his repair gracefully. While he would surely believe otherwise, I wasnít trying to squeeze all the grovelling I could from him. I was sincerely baffled and unsure whether I should accept it and move on. It seemed, just, not okay.

Now I accept any repair with MC. If I decide I canít live with it, Iím just going to get the paperwork, not drag out an apology. Iíve apparently decided to accept it, for now at least, so I accept it.

But there is surely an imbalance, and even if I have changed, the past imbalance also still colors things.

Maybe he is expressing that he wishes I cared enough about him to make an effort to repair, like he does. And even if it wasnít specifically an apology, at least to show the warmth and relief of reconnecting again. Instead of just MC.

I canít blow hot and cold, though, and I have explained this when he was receptive. I donít think he understood it fully, as I donít understand his emotions, but he understood it intellectually.

2) The other thought is that he might remember old wounds that Iíve not apologized for. I do not think I am causing any new wounds. Iím just a normal, annoying human being who tries to keep my annoying ways to a minimum. I *think*. See, H is actually more insightful than I am.

I apologize for the little things easily. The big stuff? Iím not great at it. In fact, Iím pretty bad at it.

I think I need to start emotionally working out an apology for old wounds. It doesnít matter which of us is more faulty, I meed to own my stuff.

Gulp.

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1footouttadefog

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Re: I never apologize
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2021, 08:39:50 AM »
Abracadabra, Open sesame, thank you and I'm sorry.

These are majic words that are supposed to make it so you can control the things and people around you. 

For pds the latter two phrases actually work.  It's about appearing as who they want to be seen as.  They are transactional and they keep score regarding their use.

PDs want to send thank you notes for a thank you note. Score keeping.  Apologies work the other way ods want to receive more than they give.  Shame and guilt and feelings of inadequacy are at play in most of what they do.

They learn to say them as toddlers. As majical phrases that make it all better.  It seems that most pds never mature emotionally and it seems that many if not most lack empathy.  Due to the lack of empathy, thank yous and apologies are all about the pd  and their feelings whether you say them or they do.

That he wants you to say it means his emotions are being triggered and you are supposed to make it better with mJic words.


I can totally relate to what Lauren says.

We are dealing with a thank you related pd game at my place these days.  Sigh.

Stay strong everyone.  Fightng sudden urge to get a Harry Potter wand from Universal Studios out and weild it with my next apology.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2021, 08:42:30 AM by 1footouttadefog »

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nojoy_in_this

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Re: I never apologize
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2021, 01:26:47 PM »
I am in the same boat. I get told I don't apologize. I used to take blame for everything and probably apologize. He is always the one to come back after a fight to make amends. I do realize that but I can't help but feel I don't want amends anymore. We just get over a fight so he can lash out at me again or punish me for weeks on end for something else. Where does it really go?

So maybe the deeper question is why are we not saying sorry anymore? For me sorry does not work anymore. I am just biding my time and he probably knows this and that is why he is making a point to point it out.


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square

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Re: I never apologize
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2021, 04:36:40 PM »
As an update, the last couple of blowups he apologized for. The one Iím in the middle of right now, he is clearly expecting an apology.

The issue at hand is he apparently wants me to initiate more ďchattyĒ texts to him. (Or, any, actually). He usually but not always checks texts on his work break (no other time).

Usually he will text on his break znd I almost always reply immediately. Itís then a 50-50 chance if heíll reply. He seems to have all notifications off so even if I respond in single digit seconds I think he doesnít see it unless he goes out of his way.

But I let him start. Why? Several reasons.

1) Sometimes I might need him to see a request, like bring home milk. If I text more than one text heíll only read the last one.

2) He has actively criticized my interests and conversational topics. Iíve learned to not share things Iíve read or listened to. We used to talk about current events but then he complained it was all we talked about so we lost that topic too.

3) He usually just complains about work, which is not a topic I enjoy. I am fine with him venting about specific incidents but ďI donít want to be here,Ē ďMake the clock go faster,Ē etc have no reply that I can think of, and just infringe on my own peace with no benefit to him.

So he wants an apology. Itís a BPDish issue, I guess he feels rejected or something.

But with the toxicity he puts out, I canít find it in myself to apologize for not being a constant source of joy and warmth to him. He does not like me. He has set his schedule so we literally never see each other except one evening on his day off, which I dread, because it can so easily go totally sideways.

If I just get criticized, how can I openly talk to him and share myself? How can I just put in a one way source of companionship and support and strength for him?

If I canít lean on him even a teeny bit, we are not a couple. He has decided that in a good marriage, a wife needs nothing.

Thatís not just conjecture, he recently told me that, that ďother families take care of themselvesĒ - in confusion I replied ďwe do take care of ourselves?Ē He replied ďno, other wives do.Ē

I admit, since I am disabled, he shops for groceries. He resents this enormously. Also he has to take the trash to the dump since the company I hired stopped wanting us on our route. (We live in an inconvenient spot).

To him, itís absurd that a husband should have to do anything, really. Wives should just take care of everything, whatís the point if sheís just going to add work? As if, if he lived alone, he would not have to shop for food and take care of trash. Granted, less volume on both.

He also resents having to work and considers it something he does for ME. When I have my own income. He thinks if it wasnít for me, heíd be free. No work, no trash, no groceries. Itís utterly bizarre.

I tell him from time to time, he is absolutely free to go. I tell him he can quit his job and go, and live his dream life. He gets half of everything, plus the car.

I donít know what stops him.

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tragedy or hope

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Re: I never apologize
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2021, 11:39:26 AM »
I raised three sons. I learned from listening to them talk and argue with one another etc...and my unpdh; that to say, "I'm sorry," to them meant I was a sorry ___ person in their estimation. Not worthy of their "respect." I tucked that away in my brain. I quit saying it. I was the only one in the house who said it.

I found that there are so many other ways to take responsibility for my bad behavior. Simply put, "I over reacted to what you said," or "I didn't mean to whatever..." but for me, sorry is a word like antidisestablishmentarianism. Rarely ever said and no one seems to know what it means anyway..

Unpdh may say "sorry," but when he does, I know he is sorry for his inability to control even my thoughts and feelings when I address his behaviors.
"When people show you who they are, believe them."
~Maya Angelou

Believe it the first time, or you will spend the rest of your life in disbelief of what they can/will do; to you. T/H

Family systems are like spider webs. It takes years to get untangled from them.  T/H

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Gettintired76

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Re: I never apologize
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2021, 09:37:31 AM »
OMG Iím feeling so much of this. I too am feeling this and hereís the twist, Iím the man in the situation, if that matters. But I like everyone of you have said am the one constantly apologizing and justifying myself. Didnít make what she likes for dinner, couldnít get every square inch of the house cleaned ďto her standardsĒ etc. She doesnít just convey dislike toward me, she shows complete contempt and detestation, and she has brought the kids into it. Thatís what hurts. She will work things around to where they are bound to fail, then blame me and have the kids blaming me and name calling. I used to constantly apologize but now just donít care if I do or not, thereís no point.

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blacksheep7

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Re: I never apologize
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2021, 11:24:15 AM »
As Acons we were groomed with guilt and shame to aplogize, even if we were not at fault.  I apologized too often with dh, an unnecessary bad habit especially that he doesn't for petty situations.
My bff apologizes too often with me.  I let her know.

The majic words of please and thank you do wonders.  Common respect.
I may be the black sheep of the family, but some of the white sheep are not as white as they try to appear.

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FayDHM

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Re: I never apologize
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2021, 11:41:55 AM »
Feeling this too. I am sorry youíre going through this. It is frustrating and infuriating sometimes.

In my experience, I get told I donít apologize (for ANYTHING) during or after a big blowup, when he needs a weapon. The fights usually happen when I tell him he did something to hurt my feelings!or acted in an unsavory way .  And, because he is never wrong about anything, he takes great offense that I would say otherwise. Then he makes me Ďpayí for the imagined transgression.

All I am ever asking for in these moments is that he take responsibility listen to where I am coming from, and work on not doing the same hurtful thing again. He doesnít shy away from Ďtalkingí about any of this or our relationship. We Ďtalkí for hours. Eventually after many hours (mostly me crying, asking for  change and trying to be heard)  we are exhausted, I feel worse, he issues a late Ďapology,í insists he understands my point of view, and then he kind of pouts for the rest of the day. Or he will sheepishly tiptoe around, almost like a little boy who knows he did something wrong, but canít just say ďIím so sorry. Youíre right, you deserve to be heard & it wonít happen again.Ē

But it does happen again. No lesson learned, no admission of fault, no changes in behavior, even if  I was promised them. No matter how much I have begged,  cried, or suffered, somehow I am the villain and he is the victim. Oh, and according to him, I never apologize,

A few years ago I just stopped expecting what I was never given. I need someone to listen to my honesty and not  throw a tantrum when I ask he just ask for basic equality. If I am upset, I need comfort. Iíve learned he isnít really capable of doing what I need in the moment.

But if mom or dad need emotional support, empathy, or a sympathetic ear - he is always there to comfort them. Itís a lifelong pattern he canít seem to break.
Gotta please mommy and daddy in order to keep their love.

If he asks me ďwhatís wrongĒ if Iím  or quite right, now I just lie and say I am ok. I know if I am truthful, I will just be
Met with hostility, so why torture myself? 
I have to comfort myself. I hate it. But I hate being invalidated even more. I hate the hypocrisy, why throw myself into a sea of it.

I have and do apologize for terrible behavior, because I actually feel guilty for saying nasty things. I feel bad when I act like a jerk.

Sometimes I still get triggered ad sucked into the fights. But I have also realized thereís some deeper issue within him that he just canít deal with. His pathological inability to admit fault defies logic and rationality. Some attachment issue, or arrested development keeps him paralyzed. He reverts tos child state during our fights,rebelling against me instead of his demanding parents, who are the real transgressors. He yells at one of them? then he calls to apologize. 

At this point, I just donít get offended anymore. Itís not about me. Itís his emotional stuntedmess, not mine. I wish it had not taken me20 years to understand this. My advice to you is donít get sucked into fights you will always lose. Apologize when you are genuinely at fault, but do not get bullied into one when you are not responsible.
Give up on ever trying to convince him to give you things he isnít capable of. You know the truth, just rest easy in that and let him deal with being powerless. There is power in liberating yourself from impossible expectations. Good luck.