Recovering from the Relationship Blunder

by eHarmony Staff

Recovering from the Relationship Blunder

Without a doubt there are some nasty men out in the dating world. Guys who use, abuse and laugh about it later; but they are the exception. The much more common man is maybe just a little careless with his comments. Perhaps he just doesn’t think it all through. He’s a little too frank, a little too honest. Or maybe it’s what he does or doesn’t do. Maybe his eyes linger on the attractive waitress, or he just can’t remember to hold the door and let her walk in a room first.

Whatever the cause, this good-hearted, hapless fellow ends up in the doghouse. Here are a few suggestions for recovering from the relationship blunder.

1.    Learn to apologize

If you watch public persons who violate their marriage vows, get caught and then take to the public airwaves to apologize, you’ll notice an interesting trend. Many of these apologies aren’t apologies at all. Oh sure, the guy looks contrite, but if you listen he’s actually blaming his circumstances for his indiscretion. They go on and on about the hounding paparazzi, the pressure, and the power that breeds entitlement and a sense of being above the law. This is not how a real man should apologize.

You apologize by taking FULL responsibility. You don’t say, “I hadn’t eaten well that day” or “I was busy with work.” You just say, “This is all on me. I screwed up. I’m so sorry to put you through this. There’s no excuse, and I’m going to work hard to never do that again.”

2.    Happily Accept The Consequences of Your Actions

If you’ve committed a blunder, there are going to be consequences. It’s cause and effect. Stand up tall and accept them. In fact, invite them. Saying something like, “I know that hurt your feelings. That’s the last thing I ever want to do. Let’s think about how I can make good on this” can let her know that you’re ready to bend over backwards to do penance for your misdeeds.

3.    Prove You Get It

There are two parts to getting forgiveness – The Apology and Changing Your Ways. It can be difficult to prevent low-level mental lapses, like perhaps calling her by an old girlfriend’s name, but more substantial blunders should be tackled with a plan. Are you always late? Set up an online calendar that text messages you 15 minutes before important appointments. By creating a plan and explaining it to her you’re letting her know that you care enough to work hard at avoiding future trouble in this area.

4.    Let Your Past Help You

Relationships don’t happen in a vacuum. If you’re normally a thoughtful, respectful man, bring that up in your defense when discussing a blunder. She may need to be reminded that you’ve never made a similar mistake in the past. Let your track record speak for your good intentions.

It’s also a good idea to work on extending the benefit of the doubt to each other. When your love does something that seems thoughtless or hurtful, agree to give that person a pass until proven otherwise. Agree to assume that rather than being malicious, the person committed the blunder accidentally or without intent to hurt you. After all, 99% of the time that’s exactly what happened. By letting a track record of love and respect supersede a snap judgment, each person will save themselves a great deal of anger.

5.    If You’re Not at Fault, Speak Up

Being willing to apologize when you’re wrong, gives you the right to stick to your guns when you’re not wrong. For some men, their entire relationship is a long series of, “I’m sorry” statements. You’ve got to be willing to stand up and say, “This isn’t my fault.” You’re not there to be a kick dog or to help someone avoid responsibility for their own shortcomings.

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