Communication Breakdown with Husband

Updated on January 06, 2010
J.D. asks from Marietta, GA
4 answers

Ladies, I know you can help! How do you tactfully tell your husband that they are wrong and should apologize? He has real issues claiming responsibility for mistakes in general and I cannot remember the last time he apologized for anything; to the children, when it's obvious, he will, but never to me. How do I explain this is a matter of respect?

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So What Happened?

I told my husband how I felt disrespected when he could not find fault in himself, only in others. I explained I wanted him to take responsibility for his actions and how they affect our family, including me. He's a little sarcastic about "being wrong" but at least he's starting to admit it, and I'm working to be sure I admit it to set an example:)

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answers from Atlanta on

Men respond to respect, women respond to love. As a woman who works you are also wanting respect, and to teach it to your children. You can lead by example, but don't expect your husband to really get it easily, it doesn't appear to be a part of his character. I add the "please"onto the end of my hb's demands to our son as a reminder that he should have said please. Yet if I forget the please I am disrespectful! Read Love & Respect for great insights into how this issue divides and can unite hb and wife.

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answers from Atlanta on

I used to have the same trouble. In counseling, I learned to state the behavior as I saw it, express how it affected me, and what I needed (him to recognize the behavior and accept his part to apologize if warrented, discuss the outcomes, etc). Every time, without fail, I never let it go.

We moved from no apology to an apology for my feelings. Then it took about 5 years of me saying "I don't need an apology for my behavior or my response, I only need recognition of your behavior and apology for what you own".

It takes time and diligence, but if having the consisent discussion about it does not work, there is an awesome counselor (wish i had known about him then) named David Woodsfellow. He counsels couples in a very different way addressing certain behaviors - worries about why they are there later - in order to save marriages from the spiral. It is a little more expensive up front, but wow, i have seen it work so well.

Best of luck in the discussion. Don't drop it, it will become a seething problem and fester.


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answers from Spartanburg on


I think the best approach is to share with him how you feel when he doesn't apologize to you. "I feel demeanored when I don't receive an apology or sympathy from you"... use "I feel" rather than using "you do" which can be interpreted as accusing...
A second approach would be to illustrate how you feel when the same situation happens among your children, when they one needs to apologize to the other...
Not sure if this is of much help?



answers from Sumter on

Sorry to tell you this he's not going to apologize.I guess it's in their nature,and they will take the argument before they apologize.I hate to say it just let it go..been there done that.Just walk away...

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