It takes a lot of work to maintain a marriage. You occasionally take advantage of or hurt one another -- it's bound to happen, as the ones you love most are capable of causing the most pain. If you've made a mistake, no matter how big or small, you need to get your wife to forgive you in order to have a happy and successful marriage. This requires some work on your part, and your efforts must be sincere in order to succeed.
Apologize to your wife. This needs to both include and go beyond saying "I'm sorry." A real apology also involves telling your wife why you are sorry. You must express understanding about how your actions have made her feel and why it's a problem that affects her and your marriage as a whole.
Change your behaviors. If you are really sorry for what you've done, you must demonstrate that you'll make choices with her feelings and best interests in mind. You must also show your wife that you value her feelings. It's wise to have regular conversations about the state of your relationship.
Listen actively to your wife while conversing. Active listening entails showing empathy with her thoughts and feelings. For example, phrases such as "that must have made you feel angry" or "I understand why you feel this way" show your wife you're interested in what she is saying and that you respect and understand where she is coming from. Show your wife love each day by telling her how you feel, giving small signs of affection and generally being appreciative of her time in your life.
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Baird Daily is an English instructor. She is published in the "World Literary Review" and has written about music and arts for the "Daily Athenaeum." She holds a B.A. and M.A. from Western Virginia University and is a doctoral student at the University of Kentucky.
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