What do you do after you’ve said something hurtful, and a simple “I’m sorry” won’t cut it? Here’s how to recover from some of the most common hurtful phrases, so you can get out of the doghouse and move on with your relationship. These come from the book Emotional Fitness for Couples, by psychotherapist Dr. Barton Goldsmith:
First: How do you take back saying “I hate you”? Dr. Goldsmith says for starters, you need to admit how immature those words sound! So, say something like: “That was so childish of me to say. I’m embarrassed! Can you forgive me?”
Next: How do you recover after you’ve threatened to “break up” with your significant other? Dr. Goldsmith says no matter how long you’ve been together, it’s unacceptable to use the “b word” unless you really mean it - because it shatters your loved one’s trust. So, you need to make it clear that you know how wrong it was to say. Try something like: “I overreacted and was being dramatic. I promise I’ll never say that again.”
Next: How do you take back calling your loved one a “jerk”? As it turns out, Dr. Goldsmith says people will usually forgive you for calling them names if you call yourself the same name.
Because that sends the message that you don’t really believe what you said. So, try something like: “You know what? I’m the jerk for saying that! Shame on me."
Finally, how do you take back a hurtful insult that was below the belt? Dr. Goldsmith says the key to keeping your relationship on track after an insult is to offer specific examples of why what you said was wrong! In other words, start by saying: “I’m sorry, that was a low blow.” Then, list all the ways you believe your significant other is actually awesome.