Why Guys Suck At Apologizing

I thought apologizing was a natural response when you’ve messed up. As much as it sucks, I make sure to tell people “I’m sorry” whenever I hurt or offend them, even if that wasn’t my intent.

So there’s nothing more annoying than a guy who refuses to say sorry, especially in a relationship. When you’re always the one apologizing, it can make you feel like your concerns aren’t justified, even if they are. Plus, women are always portrayed as erratic and over sensitive so when we can’t even get an apology, it makes our feelings seem less respected.

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I talked to a few of my girl friends who expressed the same irritation with men and their apparent inability to say two words. And according to Sam Marguiles, a divorce mediator and counselor, we’re not imagining it: most men just don’t know how to apologize.

It’s crazy because it genuinely contributes to the end of relationships and Sam sees it in divorce counseling all the time.

“Breakups develop over many years,” he told Galore, “and I see it routinely as something that has caused the relationship to weaken.”

The absence of an apology can make a small, easily fixable problem become a problem that affects the status of the entire relationship. So why don’t guys just do it?

Basically, guys and girls are socialized to view apologies differently. For women, we see apologizing as a way of reconnecting with the person that we hurt, even if we didn’t mean to hurt them. So like, they suck but we’re usually not going to hold back an apology, especially not from a romantic partner.

Men, on the other hand, see apologizing as something larger than that.

“Men view an apology as a loss whereas women view apologies as a way to reconnect,” Sam told us. “So, for men it’s a loss of status for us to apologize.”

So it can even feel humiliating for men, even though it’s so freaking easy to do. Some men even backflip around actually apologizing by saying something like: “I’m sorry even though I don’t think I did anything wrong.”

Which is way worse. Honestly, apologizing is unavoidable if you want to date someone seriously. Every relationship is going to go through its share of arguments but a sign of a healthy relationship is that you continuously work at fixing them.

“If you have someone who never apologizes then eventually, the partner becomes increasingly distant and alienated,” Sam told us, “So if you’re not continuously rebuilding, eventually you find out there’s nothing left.”

If your partner finds the words themselves to be hard, there are some alternate forms of contrition that he suggests, like flowers or back rubs or doing the dishes. Ultimately, though, his recommendation if your partner isn’t one for apologies?

“Get a new partner.”

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