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How do I get my husband to take responsibility for things he says or does when we have arguments?
Married Life / 1:45 PM - Thursday May 28, 2009

How do I get my husband to take responsibility for things he says or does when we have arguments?

When my husband & I get into arguments, we say & do stupid, petty things. BOTH OF US. But when I say or do something & then regret it, I say I'm sorry right away. I honestly feel bad & wish I hadn't. But my husband will tell me he doesn't want to talk to me & he'll ignore me. That makes me all the more angry! He'll even take it so far as to say he wants to get a divorce because he's sick & tired of our problems. But I CAN'T get him to realize that I'm not the only one in this marriage. I mean, I'm not arguing with myself! He's told me he didn't grow up saying "I'm sorry" to family or anyone. I've told him thousands of times that when you love someone & you hurt them, you're supposed to say you're sorry. He says that gets old fast. I have acknowledged that I can act immature sometimes, and I also take responsibility for my actions & what I say. But he can't, it's like he thinks he's perfect. How do I get him to take responsibility for his part & admit when he's wrong?? I feel like I'm the only one here trying in our marriage & it doesn't work that way!

- Asked by ndngirlntx, Female, 36-45, Student

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this pattern should stop before you both ruin your marriage, walk away becasue after a while the petty stuff no matter how much you apologize stays with you and will erode it.. you two need to learn to fight fair go to a counselor if need be but responsbility or not you are on a road to killing what you have , words DO hurt and once they are out.. sometimes all the sorrys in the world can't remove them.

- Response by smartblond, A Sweet Sarah, Female, Who Cares?, Charlotte, Self-Employed

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It's evident that you want to make your marriage work and not take the easy exit. Good for you. This is really a tough one :/

Why not tell him that you feel like you are the only one trying?
If he just blanks you on that one then although childish start giving him a taste of his own medicine. Silent treatment is a terrible thing, when he does it to you just ignore him, get on with what you are doing like nothing happened and you will see how he comes around.

- Response by turndial, A Thinker, Female, 29-35, Dusseldorf, Student

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You two need a wife to husband/husband to wife dictionary. My wife and I (married almost 23 years) have had our share of huge arguments. A person can feel bad, regretful, sorry, but not be willing or able to say it. Time and effort will bring you both greater understanding of each other's communication styles. It means compromise. Sometimes you might want him just to say "I'm sorry," but it's clear he doesn't speak that language. He won't say it and doesn't want to hear it. He might say or do something else that means "I'm sorry" and if this is the case eventually you'll know what that is.

I don't want this to be all about me but I'll share an example. I'm the one who'll say "I'm sorry" but my wife won't. She'll call me at work the next day and not say anything for a few minutes. Soon we start talking and remember that we are partners. That's how we end our arguments.

Or maybe he likes the line from the movie Love Story: Love means never having to say you're sorry. Can you accept that?

You also seem to be making some assumptions, like "he thinks he's perfect." That might not be what he thinks. Or maybe he's making assumptions about you that, if you heard them, you might disagree with.

Since you are still together, I hope that the arguments end, even if quietly, without a formal conclusion. If you feel like they don't end or continue to fester, you should talk about it with him, maybe talk to a counselor.

Good luck!

- Response by anteus, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 46-55, Teaching

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The only way to create a change in someone else is to make a change in ourselves. When you and your husband get into an arguement, stop saying and doing something that you regret. (you can only control yourself) If he wants to ignore you to cool down, let him. Many times our partners or just people in general respond to something we have said or done. When we change how we handle a situation, most of the time it creates a change in the another person. Just try it. Good luck!

- Response by birdland, A Thinker, Female, 56-65, Who Cares?

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I know exactly what you mean. I have been "arguing" this point for 13 years. My husband's argument has always been that it's always MY fault so there is no need for him to apologize for anything. We even took this issue to marriage counseling. After several months of the counsellor pointing out things that she felt he was responsible for he called it quits. I have come to accept the fact that he will never say he is sorry. However, I have also come to see the things he does that let me know that he is sorry. I guess there is something to be said for "Actions speak louder than words". Some things just aren't worth arguing about (like trying to get him to SAY I'm sorry).

- Response by jadealso1, Female, 56-65, Administrative

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Well I guess my question to you is does "sorry" even mean anything if you continue to make the same mistakes. You said that both of you say and act inappropriately when you fight. Saying sorry really doesn't mean anything seeing as the same thing just happens again and again each time you fight.

I think what you want is for his to take responsibility for his actions as well as his words. I'm not sure that sorry is always the response needed here, but instead the two of you really need to work on your communication skills as well respect issues within the relationship. There is no reason from either of you to say hurtful things to each other when you fight. You both need to learn how to fight fair, and contructively. Also it seems as if you both have different "fighting" styles. He prefers time to cool off, thus telling you to leave him alone, before he can address an issue whereas you want to beat a dead horse right then and there and fight it out. You two will have to come up with a compromise on how you can best handle your differences.

You two have alot of issues and saying "I'm Sorry" is a small one compared to the lack of communication going on here.

- Response by kdtxchic30, A Thinker, Female, 36-45, Who Cares?

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Its sounds like your marriage would benefit from some counseling.

I honestly don't think that this is something that you're going to be able to resolve otherwise. You'll continue to be the one who apologizes, and he will continue to be the one who deals with things by not talking to you.

Ask him to go to counseling with you.

- Response by piscesrising, A Thinker, Female, Who Cares?, Boston, Internet / New Media

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I'm around people like that as well, and from what I have understood they dont feel they need to say I'm sorry because they did not actually mean anything bad by saying it. Problem is that when they say I want a divorce in anger, that hurts a lot for the receiver. What you feel in the moment you hear something, whatever they meant or rather what they mean now, is a valid feeling that you experience, that is caused by them and you cant read minds.
He needs to understand how his behaviour makes you feel, and the only way to do that is to explain it to him while you are both calm. And you both need to stay calm.

- Response by klaxometro, An Alternative Girl, Female, 36-45, Who Cares?

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No one knows better how to push your buttons like the one you are with. Saying I'm sorry means you wont do it again. You need to talk about your problems before fighting begins. If you wait till there is fight, someone will say something they do not mean and the whole thing starts again.

- Response by Amiejo76, Female, 36-45, Food Service

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My s/o is EXACTLY like that. And you are EXACTLY like me. The difference now is that I no longer go out of my way to apologize. Seems to go against the point as he takes it a strength to his side of the arguement. For example he will say things like..

We have to go over our budget - you spent a lot of money this month...

The money he is referring to is - $800 I gave him to pay off some of the bills, the $340 I spent on groceries - $300 I spent to buy our new kitchen set (which he said we needed) and the $600 I put towards my bills.

I freaked stating how dare he suggest I spend too much money and that I gave all this money to our household. It was his problem that he spent the money I gave him on something else.

He then said, I did not say you spent money - I know you gave it to me and that I am wrong for overreacting -

I told him well then it is just as easy to say - you gave a lot of money...

THe arguement was just left - I know I am right and screw him if he cant get it together lol

Does any of this sound familiar lol

- Response by wasaga, Female, 46-55, Toronto, Self-Employed

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