Article: Hitched January

December 10, 2009, 10:22 am

The following article is exclusive to Hitched Magazine.

A Sincere Apology:  The Secret to a Strong Marriage
by Jenna D. Barry

Many of us are pretty good at telling our spouse “I love you” on a daily basis.  These three words are easy for most of us to say.  We say them as we leave for work, at the end of a phone call, and after a kiss good night.

It can be a bit more difficult to utter the words “I’m sorry.”  Maybe we don’t like to admit fault because we feel that it puts us in an inferior position.  I suppose we think it takes away our power and makes us weak.  So instead we keep silent, pretending we did nothing wrong, and treat the person we love the most… the worst.

My husband has always been quick to apologize, and that doesn’t make him weak or inferior.  On the contrary, it makes him an incredible husband who doesn’t let arrogance get in the way of  having a great marriage.  It takes courage to admit fault, and whenever he does so, I feel very loved.

In a recent TV commercial, a man apologizes to his girlfriend and she responds flirtatiously, “I like a guy who can admit he’s wrong.”  He grins and says, “I’m wrong a lot!”  We miss an opportunity to strengthen our marriage every time we decide not to apologize for being a jerk.  We also miss a chance to show our children what a healthy marriage looks like.

Here are some examples of apologies you can use to make your marriage stronger:
“I’m sorry I belittled you in front of the kids.”
“I’m sorry I gossiped to my friends (or mother) about you.”
“I’m sorry I made my parents’ needs a priority over yours.”
“I’m sorry I acted bossy and controlling this morning.”
“I’m sorry for spending a lot of money without discussing it with you first.”
“I’m sorry I expected you to read my mind; next time I’ll tell you when I need help.”
“I’m sorry I committed you to doing something (for my friends, parents, etc.) without asking you first.”
“I’m sorry I was impatient with you.”
“I’m sorry I put you on a guilt trip earlier.”
“I’m sorry I gave you the silent treatment.”

If you don’t like to apologize, then perhaps you can reduce the need to do it so often.  Most of us are more likely to say or do something inconsiderate if we’re feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, or hungry.  Pay attention to your body’s signals.  If you’re feeling grouchy around 3pm, eat a granola bar instead of yelling at your wife.  If you can’t keep your eyes open, take a power nap instead of glaring at your husband.  If your “to do” list is five pages long, then prioritize the tasks and ask for help (nicely) with the most important things.

Of course, apologies should be accompanied by a sincere effort to improve your behavior in the future.  It doesn’t do any good, for example, to apologize to your husband for disrespecting him in front of your kids if you continue to do it.

The next time you’re reluctant to say you’re sorry, remember this great quote (author unknown): “An apology is a great way to have the last word.”

Jenna D. Barry is the author of “A Wife’s Guide to In-laws:  How to Gain Your Husband’s Loyalty Without Killing His Parents.”  Find more at

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Buy the book!

You can have a GREAT marriage, even if your in-laws aren't so great!

Click here to buy the print version!

Click here to buy the e-book!

You may be quick to blame your in-laws for your marriage problems, but in reality the biggest part of the problem isn't your in-laws, it's your husband's loyalty to them.  When a man marries, he is supposed to transfer his loyalty from his parents to his wife. His behavior plays a key role in how well you get along with his parents.  The goal of this book is to help you gain your husband's loyalty.

If you are in need of hope and encouragement, this book is for you!  Jenna Barry offers hilarious, heartfelt advice about how to have a terrific marriage in spite of difficult in-laws.  As a wife who has personally experienced the despair that comes from having an unsupportive partner, she suggests specific things to say and do to gain your husband's loyalty.  This book won't teach you how to become best friends with your in-laws, but it will teach you how to think and behave in a new way so they no longer have any power over you.  A Wife's Guide to In-laws has over 40 cartoons, two fun chapters written just for your hubby, and worksheets to help the two of you reach loving compromises about common problem issues.

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About Jenna

As a wife of 22 years, Jenna D. Barry (a pen name) has learned how to gain her husband's loyalty through communication, persistence, and a whole lot of love.  She has familiarized herself with the needs and frustrations of other wives by participating in on-line in-law support groups and by talking to marriage therapists, friends, family, and co-workers.


Jenna is the author of the book, A Wife's Guide to In-laws:  How to Gain Your Husband's Loyalty Without Killing His Parents. She has been a radio guest on The Mike Bullard Show and her articles have been published in newspapers, websites, and magazines worldwide.  She writes monthly articles for Hitched Magazine and has been quoted in The Washington Times,, The London Free Press,, etc. She leads a support group for daughters-in-law right here.



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