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Why Men Won't Say, "I'm Sorry"

Updated on February 26, 2012
His kryptonite? Apologizing.
His kryptonite? Apologizing.


This is not another gender biased blog. I understand that no one likes to be wrong. I am not here to say that men make mistakes more often than women, or that “mother always knows best.” I believe that both genders are equally flawed. But with that said, have you ever noticed that men are so resistant to the apologetic phrase, “I’m Sorry,” that women are beginning to wonder if they could say it even if they wanted to?

No matter how great your relationship to “man”kind is, every couple is prone to an argument now and then. Statistically speaking, at some point your man was wrong. Chances are, he never admitted to it. I think I may know why.

My husband and I don’t argue often. So when we do, we have to make it count. Some arguments only last a few minutes, but ours can take days; the two-to-eight hours of actual confrontation, plus the 48+ hours of emotional turmoil that follows an argument of that size. One of those arguments led to a discussion that went like this: “I should have been happy,” I told myself and my brother, who I looked to for emotional support coupled with masculine insight. “We had a long talk. We both agreed that changes needed to be made. I apologized for what I did wrong. But he never came out and said he was wrong. He never even said he was sorry for what he did.” I complained. “Well, did he change his behavior?”Jim asked. “Yes. But he won’t say that he was wrong and he didn’t apologize!” I persisted. “Why does that matter so much to you? He changed his behavior right? Obviously if he changed what he was doing based on what you said, then his actions acknowledge that he was wrong and he is sorry.” Jim’s words echoed through my mind, but it wasn’t enough. “I just want to hear it!” I cried with the hopeless desperation of a strong willed child who wasn’t getting her way. My brother laughed and then he explained the way men admit defeat in a way I will never forget, the way I want to share with you.

Jim said, “Christy, have you ever seen a football game? (Obviously, the answer was yes.) When one team loses, do you ever see them walk up to the winning team afterwards and say, “You won. We lost.”? No! Of course not! That would be humiliating. Besides, everyone in the game knows who won and who lost, who made which mistakes. Men never talk about what they did wrong. That would be emasculating. Do you know how we know that they know they made a mistake? The next time they are in the game, they fix their mistakes by doing something different. They change. That’s the way men say they’re sorry. Don’t make him say it, you’re just being proud.” Jimmy was right.

Making a guy say he is sorry is like making him say he is inadequate. According to author Kay Arthur, man’s top two fears are as follows;

#1.)Fear of being inadequate and

#2.) Fear of being controlled by a woman.

Deep down every guy just wants to be a hero. If he’s your husband, then he wants to be your hero. Heroes rescue damsels in distress, stop the bad guys, and protect their fellow citizens from looming disaster, but they don’t go around advertising their weaknesses. If anything, they hide them like a well kept secret, as if the whole world will fall apart if anyone finds out.

Next time you and your Super Hero have a major argument, pay less attention to what he says and pay more attention to what he does. If he starts spending less time on the couch and more time helping with the dishes, maybe you were right and he was wrong. Just don’t expect him to say it!


Doesn't it feel good to get along?
Doesn't it feel good to get along?

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    • profile image

      lucy 

      3 years ago

      i recently contacted a doctor named Ekaka i find his email: ekakaspelltemple@yahoo.com on the internet so i decided to contact him for help in my relationship he ask me to send him my details which i did after that he told me that the gods revealed something to him and he told me everything that was revealed to him and he told me what he was going to do that after three days my relationship became sweet again and the person that was behind my problem came to beg me for forgiveness which was my mother in-law. i and my love are happy again including my mother in-law and we are planning to have a party for this Xmas.... thanks to Dr. Ekaka.

    • Christy Stewart profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Stewart 

      6 years ago from Virginia

      You represent your gender well. I agree that not all men refuse to apologize, which is why I switched the title from Why men CAN'T apologize (implying that all men can't), to Why men WON'T (in an attempt to explain why those men who don't, won't apologize. Humbleness is not gender biased, and I appreciate yours ;)

    • profile image

      anonymous guy 

      6 years ago

      as a man i recognize that you r totally correct men are unjustifiably proud and i believe weak in this sense i my self never hesitate to say i am sorry when i am wrong. there is no excuse for not being openly appologetic when one is wrong none whatsoever no matter what gender you may be female or male

    • profile image

      Lou 

      6 years ago

      Ditto James' comment!

    • Christy Stewart profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Stewart 

      6 years ago from Virginia

      Thank you Ann and Jimmy! Your support means the world to me!

    • profile image

      Ann Solinski 

      6 years ago

      Again, excellent! When I saw your post's title, I am thinking, "Uh, oh, she didn't take that 'verbal sabatical!' I am guessing you never saw the "Happy Days" episode where Fonzie had to say he was "w-uh-w-uh-w-uh-rong." It was a visual and aural moment I'll always remember. Sometimes we just have to let 'knowing' be enough.

    • profile image

      James 

      6 years ago

      Great blog

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