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He said, she said

Just say ‘I’m sorry’

by: Leah Oathout/Production Manager
Matt Miller/Staff Writer


Graphic by Leah Oathout

M: In my own personal opinion, our country as a whole has a rather tough time admitting to any wrong doing more now than ever. Everyone is always so quick to find fault and/or blame so that they themselves will come out clean as a whistle. There is hardly any humility found in the human race these days.  Whether it be on the job, in the classroom, on playground, or even in your relationship, a little adult behavior can go a long way.

With all that being said, as a man I stand in awe at what the fairer sex tries to pull on all of us.  Ladies, men are simple creatures. Our minds think about four things: beer, sports, sex and work. I have no problem apologizing if I accidentally tossed a white sock in with the colored laundry.  However, I do not need to be torn in half over it, especially when it did not affect your clothing one bit.

On the flip side, when a man corrects a woman, the woman instantly thinks the man is being vicious.  In every relationship I have been in, I have apologized ten thousand more times than the woman ever has. I feel as it has become expected of the man to always apologize to the woman. When has a man ever held anything over a woman’s head for years on end?

We all make mistakes and I have no shame admitting when I am wrong; but when talking to most male friends of mine, many of them state that they ended an argument with the woman by apologizing just for the sake of bringing the scuffle to a halt. Females seem to feel some sense of accomplishment when they get that unfelt “I’m sorry” from a man.  Like they are high-fiving their own brain and stamping the victory seal right through the man’s heart.  When, in turn, the man still thinks he was correct, but, as all males do, “admits” to being wrong just to cut down the argument time and move on to better things.

Ladies, a little respect and humility goes a long way with the boys.  When we constantly are reminded of our mistakes, even if we feel we made none, that is when the flowers, hot dates and affection start to diminish in favor of uncomfortable silences and much less time spent together.

L: I have spent most of my life as “one of the guys.” As such, I would like to think I understand the male sex a little better than some women. But there is one thing I have never figured out; why it is so hard for men to say “I’m sorry” and really mean it?

Here is the common scenario I hear about or experience. The man does something the woman does not like and she confronts him about it. The man usually answers one of two way. One, “It’s no big deal,” or two, “I’m sorry, but…” He will shift the blame or change the topic. Sometimes, he will respond with an angry, “It’s not my fault!” or “Stop nagging me.” Occasionally, he will actually reply, “I’m sorry. I won’t do it again.” Yet the behavior will be repeated over and over.

Guys, when you apologize to a women, you are making a promise not to repeat the mistake. No matter how small or inconsequential it may seem to you, it is obviously important to the woman or she would not have brought it up. If you want to keep a good relationship with her, be she a coworker, a sister, a best friend, a girlfriend, or a wife, you must keep your “sorry promise.”

Now, ladies, there is a difference between holding a man to his word and nagging at him. The former is for serious situations that have lasting impacts on your relationship such as risky gambles, black-out drinking, or crude and hurtful jokes. The latter would be things like occasionally forgetting to lower the toilet seat or rinsing out the coffee pot. Sometimes men just cannot break a habit because they do not know any different. My father, for example, came from a family where emptying pockets was part of the duties of the person washing clothes. My mother, on the other hand, grew up in a home where clothes were washed as-is, regardless of whether or not the pockets were empty. They have been happily married for 26 years and my father still occasionally forgets to empty his pockets. My mother playfully harasses him, but has chosen to let the matter lie.

Admitting that you were wrong is never easy for either sex, but it is important aspect of a good relationship. So is being open about things that bother you. Just remember, if you say you are sorry, you are making a promise not to repeat your behavior. Do your best and keep that promise.

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