Knowing how to apologize to your spouse after a fight about money involves speaking her “love language.” That is, if your spouse loves physical affection, then you might make up after a fight faster if you hug, kiss, and caress her. If your spouse feels loved through “acts of service”, then you might be better off doing the dishes and cleaning the bathroom.
“What most people are looking for in an apology is sincerity,” says Gary Chapman, author of The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. “But how do you determine sincerity? Research has revealed that there are five basic elements to an apology. For an apology to be accepted, you need to speak the language that conveys your sincerity.”
But, you must be sincere! Making up after a fight about money is easier if you’ve built up a huge “bank account of love.” That is, the more positive emotions and “love currency” you have in your relationship, the easier it is to make up after money fights. To learn how to build love in your relationship, read 80 Ways to Say “I Love You”.
And, here are five steps to making up after fighting about money in marriage…
How to Apologize to Your Spouse After a Money Fight
1. Show genuine remorse. If an apology isn’t sincere, then it won’t be taken seriously. And if it’s not taken seriously, then it may be fuel for a worse fight! To make up after fighting about money, you need to show that you are sincerely, genuinely sorry. You’re not just sorry for what you said and did; you’re sorry for how this fight affected your marriage.
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2. Apologize for your part in the money fight. Did you lie about money? Provoke an argument about the credit card debt? Refuse to be honest about how you feel about your spouse’s spending habits or financial situation? Most arguments between couples – whether they’re fighting about money or not – are because of both spouse’s contribution. That is, money fights are rarely one person’s fault. So, apologizing after a money fight (or avoiding a money fight) may involve swallowing your pride and apologizing for your part in the fight.
3. Re-affirm the importance of your marriage. “Honey, I love you, and our relationship is very important to me,” is a great thing to say when you’re making up after an argument. Those are words all spouses love to hear. Make it a habit to tell your spouse how happy you are – even if you’re not apologizing after a money fight.
4. Touch or hug to reconnect. Even if your spouse’s love language isn’t physical affection, it’s a good idea to hug or touch after fighting about money. The physical contact will release the “feel good” hormones in your body (oxytocin), and reconnect you as a couple.
5. Discuss how to handle money fights in the future. This involves being specific and learn about what the money fight was about. Credit card debt? Sticking to the household budget? Spending too much money on a gift or event? Losing money by gambling? Part of apologizing to your spouse after a money fight is doing what you can to avoid the same arguments in the future.
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How do you and your spouse handle money fights — are you the first or the last to apologize? Comments and questions welcome below!