Your spouse has done something wrong. Maybe they’ve said something hurtful, lied to you, or forgot to do that thing they’ve been promising to do. But maybe they’ve done something as harmful as had an affair or started gaslighting you to the point of emotional abuse.
Is just hearing “I’m sorry” enough to bring healing? 

Usually not. 

In fact, saying “I’m sorry” but never changing anything is not truly being sorry. And, as the one on the other side of the injury, you need to know that as much as they do.
Now, we’re not talking about occasional slip ups and needing to be perfect, but we are talking about a spouse potentially using “I’m sorry” for manipulation and control. 

Reasons why your spouse might apologize and not necessarily mean it.

  • It’s easier and they want to avoid conflict or just sweep it under the rug.
  • They’re trying to keep the peace and want you to move on, so they feel better.
  • They’re trying to manipulate and dismiss you.
  • They’re trying to appease you with words because they really don’t want to change.

Here is the truth….The only time when “I’m sorry” really means anything is when they’re actually ready to change!

If you’re in a situation where there are constant apologies and promises of change, but change never comes, that’s a clue you need some help. You’re likely dealing with avoidance, passivity, or emotional abuse. And while not every lack of change means emotional abuse is present, it does mean there’s an issue that needs to be dealt with.

Whether your spouse is a conflict avoidant people pleaser, or whether they are narcissistic and believe everything revolves around them, change is required for an apology that you can really believe in.