The over-apology

Perhaps it is me.  That may be my mantra, as I examine this marriage and my own life.  I at least can always be sure that I am involved in my emotions, actions and decisions yet sometimes it is so obvious that someone “else” is too blame.  This is how I feel about the “over-apology”.

An over-apology is when someone, perhaps my wife,  apologies every time she thinks there might be a disagreement.  It compounds when she guesses that I might be about to disagree and heads off the possible disagreeing statement with a preemptive apology.  Hence, assuming I am going to disagree, perhaps she see it as criticism, I hear, “oh sorry I know I shouldn’t”.  Then how is it possible for me to take a stand?  Instead I have to back pedal, if, of course, I was going to disagree with her.

I notice this most in public.  I must admit I am a bit of a price maniac.  I am all about the bargain and hate to pay “too much” for something.  This is facilitated by having a number brain, and often plays itself out in the supermarket.   I know, just off the top of my head, that organic peanut butter where we live comes in a few different categories, there is the O brand from Safeway which actually has cane sugar and palm oil in it, a good price for it would be $4, $3 would be grew occasionally 2 for 1 makes it about $2.70t… something more natural like Adams or fresh ground would be about $5.50 for 16 ounces so anything under $4.50 is great thus when I ask how much the peanut butter was and my wife has no idea, I will occasionally say something like, “Was it a good deal.” Of course she does not know.  I then may wonder about other items, like the 5 color, specialty noodles, which I know there is a stale bag of in the back of the cupboard, which was bought 6 months ago and never used.  Of course she will then apologize, “I am sorry I don’t know”  and  then I let it drop but my lovely wife is now feeling guilty and she thinks I am angry and the apologies keep coming.  I am saying nothing so she thinks I am mad and the apologies escalate.  I begin to think that those around us must assume I am an abusive husband because my wife is frantically apologizing to me.  Thus, I hiss, “stop it” and she continues to apologize for apologizing.  Like I said it is possibly my fault.


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3 Responses to The over-apology

  1. Jen says:

    Yeah… you might want to ease up on her a bit about the groceries/prices/things like that. Obviously it’s ok to be frugal, but she shouldn’t have to live on pins and needles over a couple dollars. Let your wife feel loved and safe, and remember that someday, when it’s all said and done, a dollar or two over peanut butter probably won’t be worth the distance it’s creating between you two.

  2. Shannon from mynewfavoriteday says:

    It sounds like this might be a therapeutic experience for you both. I hope it works out the way you want it to.

  3. Andie says:

    I say that to myself all the time. “Maybe it’s just me.” Bt I think it rarely is. There is usually someone else who recognizes the same thing.

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