Relationships: The Art of Making Up

We’ve all heard jokes about make-up sex being the best sex. It may be true, if we actually heal, and allow the other person to heal after an argument before moving to the bedroom.

There are some key elements we all need to practice in order to perfect the art of making up:

The first step is learning to admit our mistakes. This means taking responsibility for things we have said or done, without making excuses or trying to lay blame elsewhere, especially on our mates.

How we respond to given situations in our relationships is a conscious choice that each one of us makes. We have to stop and remember that even if we feel provoked by the other person, losing our tempers is a choice. We can’t make excuses, or say things like, “You made me lose my temper.” No one can make you do anything. You alone are responsible for the consequences of your actions.

When you need to admit you were wrong, think about how the other person feels. No one is going to believe that we truly care about him or her if we don’t respect that person enough to take responsibility for our actions and attempt to repair hurt feelings.

The next step is actively to avoid repeating behavior that causes strife in our relationships. If our partner is upset by something we do or a particular word or phrase we use that causes offense, we should have enough respect for our mates to try to curb the behavior. If we continue to do upsetting things, our loved ones will stop believing our apologies. If we are genuinely sorry, we need to try to do better.

Next, on the list is the actual apology. How we apologize to someone we love may be the most important element. It requires apologizing, sincerely, without qualifiers. A quick, “sorry,” is not good enough, and neither is “I’m sorry you got your feelings hurt.” The latter implies that the other person is at fault. When we really want to repair our relationships, we have to be willing to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes, and treat him or her the way we would like to be treated.


One afternoon a woman gets a call from her child’s school. The caller doesn’t give much information but asks the mother to come in to see the principal. Worried, Mom calls Dad at work and explains the situation.

Mom soon learns that there is no problem; the principal simply wanted to switch some classes around. Mom is relieved but soon gets busy helping the kids with homework, sorting laundry, cooking supper, and she forgets to call Dad back to let him know everything is okay.

When Dad phones, he is rightfully upset. If Mom tosses him a smug “sorry about that,” or makes excuses, the evening could prove to be a rather cold one. However, if Mom says, “I understand why you’re upset. I would be if it were the other way around. I am really sorry,” and means it, she may very well diffuse the situation.

Being accountable for our actions, avoiding those actions, and learning to apologize sincerely, will help insure that we honestly repair hurt feelings and misunderstandings, so we can move on to better things.



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