Saying “I’m sorry” means setting aside your pride even when you think you’re right

When my wife and I first became engaged back in the year 2000, she was the first of three daughters to make her way down the aisle. And as with many first time mother’s-of-the-bride, her mother had her own vision for our upcoming nuptials – which is only natural. But her ideas didn’t necessarily align with those of my wife.

My wife is a very loving, compassionate and patient person, but she’s also very head strong and not afraid to tell you what she does and doesn’t want – especially on her wedding day.
Tensions began to build, words were said on both sides, and it wasn’t long before any and all forms of communication ceased.

But during my wife’s bridal shower something amazing happened. Her mother pulled each of us aside individually and whole-heartedly apologized to both of us for what had transpired – proclaiming that losing the two of us wasn’t as important as being right. I remember both of us being overcome by her sincere display of affection.

Admittedly her mother wasn’t the only one at fault in this situation (I’m sure I didn’t help matters). But the point is that assigning blame was not important. What was important was someone putting aside their pride and mending a relationship that was just too priceless to lose. To this day I have a great deal of appreciation, admiration and respect for my mother-in-law for putting her love of family ahead of her desire to be right. I’m sure it took a lot of courage for her to do what she did – more courage than I find in myself at times.

The words “I’m sorry” have been two little words human beings cannot seem to bring themselves to say with any ease. When one thinks of the simplicity of these two words you might be asking yourself why so many of us have a problem utilizing them. I mean any 3rd grader can spell them and they’re one of the more easily pronounced words in the English language. So why the issue?

The answers are endless I’m afraid.

It’s amazing to know that two words could mend a family strife, reunite best friends and even heal a broken heart if done in a timely fashion, and yet they lay dormant most of the time.

Some of us truly believe that if we pretend as though nothing ever happened that troubling situations will just disappear, but that’s not reality. When something is done to us by someone who cares for us, pretending the problem doesn’t exist is not a solution but a sign of weakness. Sometimes one of the most courageous things you can do for yourself is to forget about being right and instead be a person of selfless character.

Fred Rogers once wrote, “Honesty in love is often very hard. The truth is often painful. But the freedom it can bring is worth the trying.”