Friday, October 16, 2009

Sometimes apologies piss me off.

When I first told Shelle that I was interested in providing a guys point of view for this blog, one reservation I expressed was that I might have to hold back a little bit when discussing certain things that directly concern Veronica and could be construed as speaking negatively about her. When she and I first started blogging, we pledged to each other that we would not air our differences or disrespect the other on our blogs. Any time I write something about her that she might perceive as negative, I’ll ask her to read it first. I hope you’ll like what I like, but not at the risk of disturbing the domestic bliss I enjoy.

I’m not saying that I’m holding back at all in addressing this topic, but since it’s my first time contributing to Real World: Venus vs. Mars, I wanted to put that out there so that you understand why I might sometimes use general examples. Okay then….

Apologies are tricky things. Given too readily and I don’t think it’s sincere, do the same ‘thing’ over and over again, apologizing each time, and it’ll just piss me off. Very rarely is Veronica reluctant to apologize and at times apologizes when one isn’t called for. A benign example that actually happens in our house might go like this:

Me: hey honey, there are no more cans soda left in the fridge
Veronica: I’m sorry, I should have noticed and put some more in
Here is how it could have gone:
Me: hey honey, there are no more cans soda left in the fridge
Veronica: Well, you’re the soda drinker and took the last can. You
should have noticed and done something about it. You dumb ass…

Sometimes, she is too freakin’ nice, and lets me get away with crap. I think she was infused with an over-abundance of good old Catholic guilt as a kid growing up in a community with a large Jewish population. If anyone knows guilt, it’s Catholics and Jews. Even worse, her mother is a Brooklyn Eye-talian who went to Catholic school
for 12 years. The woman is a master with guilt. Veronica is a peace-maker and often works to placate others in order to maintain domestic tranquility. Me? Not so much. I hold stuff in, then get pissed off and blow up. So perhaps it’s partly my fault that she apologies so readily.

On serious matters when an apology really is appropriate, she is good, very good, at letting me blow off steam, then approaching me and offering a sincere apology. I hope I do the same for her when I need to. And believe me, there are times when I need to….

So, dear readers, how about you and your spouse, what do you think?



Chief said...

See, that makes me crazy. I can't stand it when someone apologizes all the time for everything. I think it is a habit for people but it drives me crazy!

Steph said...

I'm the peacemaker too. Sometimes I will go along with something even if I don't love it b/c I want there to be peace.

When DH appologizes you know it's for real b/c he's not one to say sorry about small things.

Anonymous said...

anything that is over used loses its effectiveness.

LOL @ the convo.

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

New follower and love this blog. Okay..I tell him he is wrong and he apologizes. That's how we roll!

WannabeVirginia W. said...

Couldn't agree with you more with the catholic guilt. Although I have divorced myself from the dogma, I am still racked with guilt! Guilt is tattooed all over my body.
As far as apologies are concerned my partner use to constantly apologize for everything. He would have apologized for world hunger. For me, I only apologize for the negative outcomes of things I had control of... :)

sorry these are just my thoughts (just kidding) lol

Anonymous said...

I've always told the kids/husband not to say the 's' word unless you mean it. It makes us all think about what we're saying for a second, so when the sorry is said the second time, it is truly heartfelt. If after that self examination, we decide we're not really feeling it, we're usually able to share a giggle or two.

Hubman said...

Chief- it drives me crazy too. The only thing that is worse is when someone apologies for doing something to annoy or hurt you, then keeps doing it. Are you really sorry then?

Steph- nothing wrong with being a peacemaker, but trying to do so all the time can cause other problems, right?

Sage- you should hear some of our real conversations!

Lee- welcome, thanks for joining the fun! Sounds like you have your man well trained! ;-)

WannabeVirginiaW- "I only apologize for the negative outcomes of things I had control of... "- I like that!

Hubman said...

BLTN- I like that approach and will remember that for my son. Who is *always* sorry he forgets to feed the dog. Every. damn. day!

ZenMom said...

Hey Hubman! Welcome to VM! So glad you agreed to contribute. Hope to see more of you! ;)

As to this topic, ironically, I'm kind of the same as Veronica.

As I said ysterday, in the heat of an argument, I am terrible at admitting that I'm wrong.

But, in the day-to-day? I'm always saying "I'm sorry" for little things like that. The ZenHusband used to get on me about it, saying things like, "You don't have to apologize for every little thing."

So, I explained to him, sometimes I'm not apologizing per se, it's more just like I'm expressing sympathy.

Like in this exchange:

- "We are out of soda."
- "Oh, I'm sorry."

It's not that I'm apologizing for not anticipating his need for soda. It's more that I'm just saying, "Bummer, that's rough, I feel for you."

I wonder if maybe some of Veronica's "Sorrys" have a similar impetus?

Then again, as a fellow Catholic-School survivor (Yeah, I know my family is not Catholic. It's a long story.), I can relate to that Catholic guilt, too. Damn, but they know how to do that, but good.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Okay Hubman.

This is how I see the apology thing. I actually use to apologize a lot because I got the outcome I wanted from it.

You have to remember if you know at all that I get mad and then I'm over it like 5 seconds later. So I found out early that apologizing diffused tension or situations that caused tension.

If I was first to say I'm sorry, even though I did nothing to warrant an apology, then the person that tended to hold a grudge or was to prideful to actually say sorry would calm down and everything could return to normal.

I never felt like I was taken advantage of because in the end I won and life could go on.

My husband is like you in the way that after we got married it would bug him that I would do this in close family and friend situations. I would apologize for no reason other than I didn't want to fight any longer... because I was done with it, I had had my say, we had argued and I was done. He would say, "Don't apologize if you did nothing wrong!"

Since I have gotten older I don't apologize as much just because... I apologize most definitely when I'm in the wrong though and try very hard never to do the wrong again.

But old habits die hard... and like ZenMom said, sometimes the I'm sorry is just more to say... dang I'm sorry that sucks for you.

Great post Hubman!!!

Susan said...

I love your version of how the soda can apology could have went!

Espeically the "Dumb Ass" part.

Love it... and I'm trying it out this weekend - I'll let you know my husbands response.

PS... I think it's important to know when real, sincere apologies are needed. The more sincere and specific, the more meaning it has.

Anonymous said...

Dumb it!

I get mad easy and get over it easy but I will say sorry I if feel that I hurt someone.

I totally agree with Susan on the sincere apologies!

Missty said...

Oh great post. And I would so do the same sorry for the sodas.

I think most or many women tend to nurture and be pleasers, to our kids and our man. So, with the soda, its a sorry for maybe I feel for you. Or dang it, I wish I had noticed we were out - to take care of you. (the little things that make you happy.)

For big things which are so rare - We tend to be pretty even on saying sorry. Whoever did the wrong usually knows it and fixes it.

And for sons... I wish it was as simple as not feeding the dog - don't even get me started at apologizing at the moment. grr.

Anjeny said...

I love that "how it could have gone" conversation, Hubman.

My hubby tends to do that too, he apologizes too much. Even when it's not even his fault and usually his apologies are over the same thing.

It's really great that you and the wife had made an agreement to never talk bad about each other on your blogs.

Another Suburban Mom said...

To the ladies who defended me on the Soda, you are right, it is more of a time when I should use bummer.

I will also admit that I place a high premium on peace and quiet and will use an apology to get me there quicker.

However, I think that I will turn off the apology button more in the future.

April said...

I too am a serial apologizer. I will say I'm sorry for everything, like your example of the soda. I'm not REALLY sorry, but I say it just to say it. And I didn't grow up in a Catholic or Jewish home. It used to drive my ex-husband crazy. I remember in high school the gym teacher yelled at me for saying sorry too much. I said, "Sorry coach!"

I'm sure it's annoying and it's a habit that I need to break.

Fortunately Joe hasn't said anything to me about it, so maybe he doesn't notice.

As for him, he is the one who apologizes for the same things over and over again. I just said to him the other night, "How many apologies to I have to accept? When are you just going to stop doing what you're doing?" (not that what he's doing is bad by any means, I'm just mentioning it here because it's relative to the post)

Just Jules said...

I will say I am sorry five times in a row to the cat for stepping on it's tail even though the stupid thing threw itself at me (that cat will be the death of me)

I think like zen mom said, it is not necessarily an apology in little cases as it is an expression.

Disclaimer now: I was born, baptized, confirmed, and married a Catholic....forgive me Father for I have sinned, my last confessional was... oh wait- wrong place....

ok that out of the way. I will apologize easily to petty things, and I will apologize to smooth things over. but, rarely rarely do I easily apologize for something when it matters. Weird huh? I know. Now this is with my hubby. However, rarely have I mis-stepped in the first place. Seriously - I am very careful about what I say and how I say it.

As far as my husband. No apologies, rarely. (maybe that is why I am not so giving with mine) if it is an apology it is more of a self pity slam against himself - a true Minnesota trick. An "I suck" which leaves the receiver either saying - yeah you do, or more likely in this state, oh no, you don't suck... it is all me.....

Now to other people such as friends or my children the apologies come a bit easier.

Just Jules said...

so the moral of my story was - my hubby and I don't apologize well to each other. the end. we suck.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

In every relationship before WonderWife™, apologies from me were rare--cause nothing was ever really my fault. (Seriously, I was perfect!)

However, I have learned to man up and say I'm sorry for something I've done or not done. I hate fighting over nothing.

My MIL, however, is a chronic over-apologizer. I'll come home and say, "Oh, you made steak for dinner." And she'll reply, "I'm sorry." Yes, she apologizes for cooking me steak dinner.

Shirley said...

We're not great at saying I'm sorry....but then I can't remember the last time we argued about anything.

But the conversation in our home would have gone:

Hubby: There are no more cans of soda in the fridge

Me: That's what ice is for.

Hubman said...

ZenMom- Veronica means those little apologies in the same way, as an expression of sympathy

Shelle- glad you liked the post, and thanks for inviting me to participate!

Susan- you just "met" me and you already know I'm a dumb ass? You're quick!!

DirtySide- you too with the dumbass? lol...

Missty- to be honest, the apologies over little things are no big deal, it's the ones for big things that matter, and on those Veronica and I agree!

Anjeny- I couldn't imagine bitching about Veronica online, which made having that agreement very easy to do

ASM- hello love! And to the rest of the readers who may not know, Another Suburban Mom IS Veronica.

April- I'm like you and how you are with Joe- don't apologize if you're going to keep doing the same thing!

Just Jules- Maybe your hubby is never wrong? *ducks head*

DGB- you're perfect? me too! ;-) And what's with the MIL apologizing for cooking a steak? Are you a vegetarian?

Shirley- perfect response!!!

April said...

We say sorry & thank you at our house when it is appropriate. We sometimes hold grudges for a few hours and go to bed angry. {GASP} We are human. I used to be the "fix-it" wife, mom, sister, daughter & friend. I burned myself out! Now I am re-teaching my boys that it's ok to be mad and then apologize if you hurt someone's feelings. But just feel! About the soda cans....if you drink it, replace it! That's the rule in our house! No apologies necessary!

April said...

Sorry, forgot to follow...J/K!!!! hahahaha!!!

clan of the cave hair said...

Apologies that start with "I'm sorry that YOU..." are the one's that piss me off. In fact, they are partially responsible for a divorce early in my adult life. Any apology that starts with "I'm sorry that YOU..." is just as good as no apology at all.

Now, in my relatively healthy marriage, I find myself in a different situation where apologies are very rarely offered, and its partially a professional hazard (husband works in a job where Hell will freeze over, melt, have a mudslide, and freeze over again before ANY person in his occupation will admit to being mistaken.)which makes it very difficult when an apology is really necessary to make the peace, but there is not one from the offending party forthcoming. I do from time to time apologize for things I didn't start, and often that apology is met with an "I was wondering when you would apologize" which is hard, because my thought behind being the first to apologize is often in hopes that at least I'll get an "I'm sorry too, I know I was partially at fault on this one." (Which sometimes, but not always, will happen.)
Its interesting to read that apologies given too frequently might upset some people. I'll have to find an opportunity to ask my husband about his feelings toward that. (because I may be guilty. ;) )

SupahMommy said...

there's a turn off button for apologies?

never knew

found you from chief.

April said...

Jules: Joe is guilty of saying the "I suck" thing too. Only he said, "I'm a dick!" and then I'm all "No baby! You're not a dick. I love you!" Until yesterday. I asked him to drive somewhere with me (it's a long drive) and he said no, because he didn't feel like. Now, I rarely ask him to make this drive that I have to make 4 times a month. I was pissed because he didn't have anything to do but sit at home and how many times do we do things for them when we don't feel like it?!?!

So I left and stewed and then called him and was all, "How happy would you be if I only did things for you when I felt like it?" And he said, "I appreciate all of the things you do for me." I replied, "This isn't about appreciation although I'm thankful you appreciate me. This is about you doing things for me when you don't feel like it, which I don't ask you to do often. And we've had this conversation before, so it's not new to you or anything." He said, "What do you want me to say babe? I'm a dick." (Normally this is when I'd be NO BABY YOU'RE NOT A DICK!) I said, "You're going to officially be a dick if you keep on not doing things because you don't feel like it. Because let me tell you something, tonight, I won't feel like cooking you dinner and I don't think I feel like washing/folding/hanging your clothes. You get the picture?" Him, "Yes baby. I love you."

The End.

April said...

ps. I know it's a stupid argument, if you can call it that, but it's the point behind it. Ya know?