"I’m sorry you feel that way" is so not an apology.  "I’m sorry I hurt you" is its first cousin.  Dishing out these overused phrases, even in sincere tones, doesn’t work, simply because they don’t imply wrongdoing.  And yes, that’s what it’s about, admitting you were wrong. Chances are if you’re a friend or a loved one, we know your intentions weren’t to hurt us.  We get that without your having to say it.  So don’t apologize, insisting you hadn’t meant to hurt us.  That’s not the point.  The point is, you did.  And I’m not talking about the times when we were oversensitive or maybe hormonal.  I’m talking about black and white wrong.  When you lost your temper and screamed for us to "shut the fuck up," due to your frustration.  When you RSVP’d yes to a wedding and then didn’t show up, without a phone call or real explanation.  For a whole long list of other things that will never pass for gray.  Your behavior and attitude sucked, and we want a genuine apology that, your behavior, not our feelings, needs to be altered.  We don’t want to hear a "well, I’m really sorry you feel that way."  That’s not an apology.  It’s "sorry" masquerading in polyester clothing.  It’s synthetic. 

In college, I once played Tracy Chapman’s "Sorry" on my boyfriend’s answering machine.  At that time in my life, music was an acceptable form of communication.  John Cusack started a trend.  Outgoing answering machines blared music instead of instructions about leaving a message.  I might have occasionally still dotted my "i"s with bubbles. It worked for me, then.  It’s easier to apologize to people you know have an easy time saying it.  It’s the stubborn people, who insist they’re right, listing excuses, who don’t make it easy for us.  We don’t want to give in, even when they might be right.  No one has better excuses than I do.

Now, it seems, I apologize all the time.  I was once in a bathroom stall, wiping, and a co-worker accidentally pushed the door open, and we both at once apologized.  I don’t know why it slipped from my mouth so suddenly.  I had nothing to be sorry for, yet there it was.  That easy.  With a stranger.  Now, I say it almost as easily, when it shouldn’t be, but it’s mostly to stunt a fight.  It really isn’t always genuine.  Because what they see as black and white wrong, I see as gray.  I apologize because we pick our battles, because sometimes it’s just not worth it to me.  So I’ll spit it out there.  Say I’ll work on it, repeat myself until they believe me.  It’s easier.  And it’s harder.  Because it’s what my ex did to me.  Pacified me to my face, then did what he wanted to anyway.  And that’s the line, right there, thick and yellow.  People, no matter what they say to you, will do what they want to do, and they will sometimes find a way to do it behind your back.  And it sucks when you know you’re doing it, placating.  They’re being unreasonable, but at the end of the day, you’re being a liar.  Who’s going to remember any of it anyway? Let’s just stop fighting.  Sometimes it’s the answer, but it’ll never last.  Not really.  It will start a pattern, etched right on that polyester ruse of an outfit.

Phil never apologizes.  Actually, if he accidentally steps on my toe, he’ll say it.  But when it counts, when I really need to hear it, he won’t say it. He might say, "I hear you, and I understand," but even that comes after a day of silence.  He won’t admit when he’s wrong.  Instead he’ll insist his intentions are what matter.  The problem is, his intentions are what matter… to him.  I want an apology that means, "what I did, after hearing your point, was wrong.  I could have handled things differently, and next time, I will try something else, or I’ll keep how you feel in mind."  Some barter, some give, some slack, an exchange, so everything can feel equal.  I’m not perfect either.  And it is easier to say so to someone who also has no problem admitting when their behavior has been less than ideal.  I will work on this because I want to, but I’m certain that I won’t be kicking up a cloud of "sorry I hurt you."  If anything, I’ll apologize for my behavior, not feelings.

I’ve decided to let two friends go this year, mainly because, I knew, no matter what they said, their actions spoke way louder than any words, and quite frankly, their apologies were limited, at best.  It wasn’t gray area, either.  They were black and white wrong, and the sad bit is, they were both being themselves.  And I should have caught on much sooner before noticing the very illustrative straw.  I didn’t need to execute any exit strategies this time.  And I’m not sorry for that.  I let each of them know my life is too short to hang on to people who don’t want to change.  And while it makes me feel sorry, I’m not.



  1. I've not yet learned to pick my battles.

    And Phil's "I hear you, and I understand" is sooo much better than "Oh, stop being so dramatic."

    I think it's time for another Mars/Venus cliche.

  2. I really hate it when people do that too. It is exactly like they are taking no responsibility for what they say. It is almost as of they think someone else said it. Meanwhile, you are the one hurting. I truly think "sorry" is the most misused word in the English language. Can't someone come up with something better? How about saying something like, "I should not have done that." Leave the sorry out of it and own it.

  3. It's passive-aggressive and tons of men do it.
    Especially when you have a daddy role thrown in there.

    It's kind of demeaning too. As if your feelings need to be apologized for. I hate that sh*t.
    Just admit you're wrong, say you're sorry and move on.

  4. I don't want to hear sorry, it means nothing. It is just a five letter word. I want to know you mean it and I want to see it, change the pattern that created the need for sorry in the first place. I think this is also why I have a hard time saying sorry. Sure, for small things, even when it is not necessary, I can do it. But when we are embattled, it is difficult to get out. Maybe that is my stubborn Aires personality, or that I see little value in the saying "sorry".

  5. It's too grey or all of that. Sometimes your feelings of hurt are just wrong. Sometimes people have no reason to feel hurt and their feelings are stemming from something else. That doesn't make your feelings wrong, but it doesn't make them right either. It makes them your feelings – irrational by nature. Sometimes the person causing you to experience such feelings is wrong. Was it wrong that they did it; was it wrong that they made you feel that way; was it wrong on both counts? It's all based on circumstance.

    Sometimes the right answer is, I'm sorry I made you feel that way. It doesn't make your feelings right, but it does validate them. Sometimes (oftentimes) both people are wrong, and sometimes one is more wrong, or less right, than the other.

    I agree on the letting go part, though. However, there's duality in it too, as the people you let go of probably would have liked you to change as well.

    This is a very blurry topic.

  6. My ex boyfriend always hated when I would say "I'm sorry, but…" He really taught me to leave out the "but" and just keep the "I'm sorry". Even now, those two words are much harder for me than those other three.

  7. At first I thought it was me, always ending up with guys who were somehow never wrong. That’s not true, they knew they were wrong but rarely apologized. After having this discussion with a few friends, it seems like most men can't apologize. I don’t know if it makes them feel like they lose ground every time they admit they were wrong? I end up apologizing instead. I'm at fault too, I should stick to my guns more. Ending a fight instead of resolving it doesn't solve anything. (I still think my ex was a d-bag for never acknowledging that he might be wrong about something. He made me second guess my own actions, instead of taking responsibility for his own. God help his next "girlfriend.")

    As far as letting go of friends, good for you. Quality over quantity, it has to be that way with friends. You don't need filler friends. Letting go shows that you're growing. You respect yourself enough to expect more out of people.

  8. I think that saying something like "I understand," "I hear you," or "I'm sorry that I hurt your feelings" is sufficient in some circumstances. Sometimes the other person *doesn't* think they did anything wrong and you simply have a difference of opinion. I do think that acknowledging what your saying is important.

  9. It's hard when your husband won't apologize, even when it's apparent he should. I certainly used to have the mindset, "Well, we both may be wrong, but I'm not going to apologize until he does first." It never got me anywhere, except to have the fight linger until we pretend nothing ever happened in the first place. Then the resentment sets in. Pride is always seen as arrogance, but being prideful is more than that. Pride is not admitting you're wrong. Pride is justifying your side of the fight and not thinking about the other person. Pride is thinking to yourself, "she knows I'm sorry, so I don't have to say it." Everyone battles with it. I know I do.

    When I fight I get quite passionate about my feelings and I tell my husband how I've been hurt by him, naturally. I've learned it is not low, or bad to be the first to apologize, even if he was the one that started it. After it all, I try to humble myself before him, to show him I really am sorry for my part of the fight. Inside, I may be screaming to tack on a "I'm sorry, but…" and go on, but you know? what's the point? He won't get the revelation I am seeking from him to see my point of view. It will just start the argument again. And I am genuinely sorry when I fight with my hubby, because I hate fighting with him. I love him. And you're right, never apologize for your feelings, you have the right to have them. I apologize for my actions, and if my husband is too prideful to say he's sorry, even after I have, then that is something he needs to work on, but I don't need to point that out. Like you said, actions speak louder than words. At least I know I did the right thing by apologizing for whatever actions I did, and my conscience can be guilt-free and pride-free. It's not about being righteous, but it's the right thing to do.

    Oh, and if someone opens the door to your stall again, just scream. Scares the person to death.

  10. I will say this- you're going to end up fighting more than you ever have while pregnant.
    I could be wrong but all we did was fight when I was pregnant.

    And the three months after the baby was born were hell too.
    More fighting.
    And lack of sleep, depression from the hormones and my body having just gone through a train wreck certainly didnt help.

    It will get better though. As long as he's at least being open and communicating is truly all that is important and all that -will- be important once the babies get here and your world is turned upside down.

  11. After posting an "Eviction Notice" to my Ex on my blog, he sent an email. He wanted to apologize. He was sorry he hurt my feelings when he told me last year I was too fat [at a size 12] for him to find me sexy for the long haul. Um, the apology should be for having the thought – not for saying the words aloud.

  12. Sorry Steph. Even though you let two go….that just leaves more room for new and wonderful friends to enter.

    Off topic: Do you love Austin, New York, or San Francisco more? I want to move somewhere warmer and I really want to move to the San Francisco area. Does anyone have any thoughts? Is it affordable?

  13. I don't think there's anything wrong with saying "I'm sorry I hurt you." That acknowledges guilt. Did you mean to say "I'm sorry you're hurt"? Anyway, yeah, sometimes obviously the "apologizer" is saying "I'm sorry I have to be having this uncomfortable conversation with you" or "I'm sorry you're not able to see me as the far less flawed person I know I am" more than anything else.

    I worry I'm one of those women who say "sorry" all the time when there's nothing to be sorry for and therefore come across as a doormat. Sorry to bother you, sorry I don't understand, sorry sorry sorry. Ugh. Not sorry!

  14. I think apology without accountability is empty. I heard a great speech about how there are different cultural norms for apology — apparently they do it best in Japan.

  15. Great post.

    All I want to do when I come home from work is throw on sweats and a tank top and lounge around — the opposite of my worklife. I've taken to apologizing to my fiance when he comes home to my ragamuffin-ness, even if I've just prepared a dinner of beef tenderloin with cognac-dijon sauce and parmesan-rosemary mashed potatoes, as I found myself doing last week.

    Now, he's never said anything to make me feel like I shouldn't be able to wear whatever the hell I want to wear, but I think dating someone so remarkably sensitive, decent and moral has strangely chipped away at my confidence and self-esteem, maybe because I don't feel like I'm good enough for him.

    I make excuses when I order a martini with dinner (he doesn't drink). I look sheepish when I come home with a bag filled with turquoise and green ornaments from Pier 1, even though they were bought with my money. I've taken to hiding purchases in the car, thinking he'd be upset I were spending money when I'm still knee-deep in credit card debt. I've started drinking my martinis in the kitchen when making dinner so I, ironically enough, don't seem like a lush.

    We apologize for things that aren't our fault because we feel guilty for doing things our way, for expecting things to be the way we want them to be. We start doubting our moral right to be who we are. We cheerfully apologize to the salesclerk who took 20 minutes to void the item she mistakenly rang up twice. We respond to co-workers' e-mails with the material they asked for and sign the whole thing with a "thanks" when it was us doing them the favor.

    I've made it a point in my life to be overly cheerful to counteract the draining negativity I grew up with. And for the most part, I think kindness and civility, no matter the cost, are crucial for keeping life bearable. But I've also found one can take on too much of the (really non-existent) burden, looking inward when one should be looking outward.

  16. I too have recently let a friend of 20 years go. Something happened that was the last straw, but it was a gradual thing. Her "DRAMA" was more important than mine. When Ihad good news, she couldmt muster up more than a "Cool!" in reply. I dont have time for that or energy for self absorbed people in my life. And it is true, that it leaves more room for new friend!

  17. You probably don't want to hear this, but I'll say it anyway. While in therapy with my family many years ago, his psychologist told me something that has stuck with me through the years. While people may say hurtful things, it's not their responsibility to make us feel any better. Your reactions and your feelings are on you. While I agree that there are times other people's behavior needs to change, and that at times, you must let people go from you life in order to stop feeling wronged, it is ultimately on you how you feel. No one else can be responsible for your feeligs but you.

    Still, I sympathize, and I agree. I would rather not have an apology than one that means nothing to them, and even less to me.

    Hope you're feeling a little more cheerful soon.

  18. I have found that sometimes I have to ask for an apology from someone who hurt my feelings or did something wrong. Some people find appologizing to be an act of weakness or have learned that appologizing makes them seem "less than." And some people are simply so thick-headed that they don't know when they've done something out of line. Usually, actions DO speak louder than words, and that hurts too, but it really does allow for clarity.

    Asking for someone to do more than simply acknowledging your feelings takes a lot of strength and self respect. If Phil hurts your feelings Steph, I mean really screws up, ASK him for an appology. But do pick your moments so he doesn't feel like he is appologizing for every little thing.

    And lastly, does he want to always be right or does he want to be married? My mother told me to stay away from men who can't appolgize.

  19. I spent a brutal summer losing three very good friends. I was sure of my decision at the time but it still hurt. Honestly, life happens and you eventually move on.

    As for Ms. Exit Strategies, I'm in the same situation right now with a VERY old friend from the 2nd grade. What to do…what to do…?

  20. Good for you. All of it. I think you're absolutely right. Learning to really hear each other and sincerely apologize are two very important aspects of a marriage. My husband and I had to learn this in the first year or two of ours…a tough lesson, but completely necessary.

    And you're smart to let certain friends go. I've had to do this, and it is never fun, but you're doing the right thing.

  21. Stephanie, I know how you feel! I've been going in circles over this with my boyfriend for two years and it irritates me to no end. I find myself fighting with him because it just doesn't seem like a big deal to him and he never can say he's sorry. This is our only problem in the relationship but it holds us back so much. I wish I knew the answer….for both of our sakes!

  22. Cassie-
    I lived in NY and now live in SF. I love it here, but it is almost as expensive as New York and pretty much sixty degrees 365 days a year, which is warm in January, but not so much in August when everybody else you know has put away their sweaters. That said, there are lots of cities that make up the Bay Area and if you go to the East Bay (Berkeley, Orinda, Lafayette) or South Bay (Silicon Valley) or Marin, the weather improves dramatically, even if the prices of homes aren't that much better.

    I was in NY for the marathon last weekend and realized how much I missed it- the fall colors and the constant human energy. But SF feels like home now.

    Good luck finding a place!

  23. Cassie, having been born in Boston, grown up on Long Island, New York, then living in South Florida before moving to San Francisco two years ago, I can say without any doubt SF is my favorite place (except for the food) to have lived. My favorite seasons in NY are Spring and Fall, and that's what San Francisco is all year round. Never too hot and never too cold. Yet, if you want snow, you can drive to Tahoe and if you want heat, you can drive to LA (or the East Bay).

    Stephanie, sorry about the above- hope you don't mind. I actually appreciate when people say they're sorry they hurt my feelings. Agree that "I'm sorry you feel that way" is a total cop-out. Most of the time actions speak louder than words. But sometimes, you just really need the words too.

  24. Interesting post… I find that my man apologizes too much, and it becomes insincere- a way of getting me to move on and shut up. I guess its the job of finding the balance between really apologizing and admitting wrong doing and not giving in just to move on from the problem…

  25. I hadn't expected such a strong reaction to one of your posts whilest I was wasting time at work today…
    My Ex used to think he could do whatever he wanted as long as he said he was sorry later. I drank and drove home drunk..sorry. I'm having an affair with a married woman from work…sorry. I lied…sorry. I shoved you around…sorry. I wonder if being with someone who refuses to apologize is better than a very hollow, meaningless apology that someone thinks makes whatever they do ok.
    (The best part is, now he is sorry. Sorry he screwed up and that the grass isn't greener. I'm really glad his sorry ass his gone!)
    Sometimes your posts are really cathartic for me – thank you.

  26. "I'm sorry that you felt that way" is lame. It's a passive aggressive way of not taking responsibility for ones actions. Those are the times when sorry is necessary & essential to the other. Then there's another "sorry." One that slips from your mouth when you wonder why you said it in the first place- really has nothing to do with being sorry. This kind of sorry has everything to do with giving up power. Sometimes saying sorry is akin to giving up power- especially in a close and intimate relationship. When more than validation is what you need, "sorry" seems to be so difficult for the other to give.

  27. Perhaps I am the odd duck here but this posting concerns me. I am a woman who has been married for thirty years. Some of these years were blissful…other's were not. We've been rich, poor and in between. We've laughed, cried, fought and made up all in an hours time. Our hearts have swelled with pride at our childrens accomplishments and been broken by these same childrens antics.

    The point? It is wrong to share these intimate feelings where your relattionship is concerned. You two have now become one. It is a betrayal when you write about personal issues concerning your relationship.

    Soon you will be a mother and your responsiblities will widen, as will your scope of wisdom. You will learn that not only must you protect your children but you must also protect their father. He matters. You matter. But what matters most is the two of you entwined…for better or worse.

    Your writing is delightful…but choose carefully when spilling marital blood.


  28. "It's passive-aggressive and tons of men do it."

    Or maybe it's a control issue, and tons of women do it. If it is true that men don't apologize enough, then it is probably equally true that women want apologies for differences of opinion, or want an apology when no intention act was performed.

    IMHO, you need to differentiate between major and minor, intentional and unintentional. Missing a wedding is big, and needs a real apology. Accidently stepping on someone's toe because you both tried to fit through the door at the same time is small and unintentional. That requires more of a 'whoops'. This is like the law. If there was no intention, there's no crime. Unless it was a wanton and reckless disregard for your feelings.

  29. i think the most important thing is that he hears you. not all sorries are sincere. Actions speak louder than words. It is tiring to be a right fighter. everyone of us have flaws and it's worth giving people we love the benefit of the doubt and not assume that there is something vindictive or clever behind the lack of verbalised apologies.

  30. I have just recently discovered this blog. It helped me get through some tough days.

    I hated Love Story because of the line "Love is never having to say you're sorry". When things are so close to the heart sometimes it's the most important thing you can say, and hear.

  31. i let go of two friends a couple of years ago because when they would hurt me they would make me feel like it was my fault. and while i was willing to drop everything to help them, they couldn't even pick up the phone when i was going through a drama … and when i would get upset, they made me feel like i was asking too much and should be sorry. screw that.

  32. dear stephanie,

    thanks to you for teaching me that bloggers are not a bunch of IT-staff or other nerds posting next to a one-week-old-pizza. because of your blog, I started my own, real blog. I don't know if it will ever become something like a book, but up until now, it feels like it will. I have been writing since I was five years old, and finally there is a way to do so that does not worry me more than it pleases me. But I would never have thought of trying it without you. Again I have to say, thank you. Yes, there is something that Europeans (if that is the truth and not a stupid cliche) never will quite feel the same about in the american way of and to self-esteem (that "I know that I am a whole person, it was a long way and I am proud of it"-thing, this is a to narrow way to describe it and I know it) – or perhaps, we feel it but are somehow embarrassed to write it – anyway, it seems to be just the thing I needed to make me finally start. I never wrote anything in english, now you made me do even two things new in my life, and I like them both. I love to read your blog anyway – which is another thing: that we don't have to agree with what we read to like it very much.

    All the best to you and your family. I know that everything will be beautiful and serene. (If serene is the word I was looking for.)

  33. Dear Stephanie,

    I want to thank you for making me write my very own, real blog. I always thought that blogs were something for nerds with pizzas from trias beside them, but you made me think again. And again. And then a hundred times. Sometimes I flinch, perhaps it is something about the american way of and to self-esteem (that "I am what I am"-thing), but most times I smile and want to caress my little white ibook while I read what you write with so much warmth, truth, and style. And you did not only make me think about writing my own blog and finally doing so, but you made me write the first text in english I ever write out of school or university. That is two new things in my life you made me do and enjoy.

    I whish you and your family all the best. I simply know that everything will be fine, and more than fine, beautiful and serene (if serene is the word that I am looking for).

  34. I agree completely with M…eventhough this is your forum, it is a betrayal to dish on your husband here. I imagine it causes even bigger problems if he reads it. It seems a bit passive aggressive too… like, tattling on him.

    I am apologizing for this sounding harsh. I have tried to find softer words. Words hurt, words heal. We should all strive for the latter.

  35. @ Grace Marie,

    I've lived in Japan, Tokyo, for 3 years. They have BUSINESSES that 'do apologies' for you.
    You can hire an actor who will bow and weep and grovel and the whole shebeng, to do the apologizing for you.

    In Japan, it's such a huge thing to lose face, the actual saying "I'm sorry" is enough. You don't have to mean it or anything, just saying it out loud is enough.

    Quite the opposite of your post…

  36. As soon as I'd read this post, I thought – they're going to trash Phil and what do I see in the very first comment?

  37. Stephanie- I have not read your book but I intend to. I do however, read your blog everyday and have developed a sense for the kind of woman that you are. Sometimes I, like the other readers, have noticed your somewhat routine complaining about Phil but it bothers me somewhat that readers are questioning his actions and your complaints about them. They should know, as I do, that from your past actions it is clear that you would not remain in a relationship that wasn't fulfilling and loving, pregnant or not. So I have faith that your complaints are just that complaints, not innuendos to a deeper dissatisfaction or cries for help. After all aren't women always complaining about men being too perfect and too nice sometimes? It's these flaws and imperfections that show us that men are human and we love them for it because as we have all been saying we hate men that think they are never wrong and are perfect. Could you imagine if they were never wrong, now THAT would be fucking annoying. I agree with whoever said you should be honest with friends you are dumping because you are giving them valuable advice. Speaking of valuable advice: I am a 22 year old mother of a 2 1/2 year old who is sneaky, curious, and masterfully genius who is also loving, and caring but finds herself getting into trouble more often than not. Her father and I are not together anymore although I knew that would happen from the moment we met but I am now in a relationship with someone I love who raises her as his own (and SHE raises HIM as her own)and we fight about her quite frequently. You and Phil's relationship will suffer terribly during the first 2-3 years of your childs life. There will be arguments about who changes more diapers, who gets less sleep, and who can get them to eat better (times TWO!) and it will be difficult and you will be hormonal and probably hate life for a while but TRUST ME in the end once the terrible twos are over and you can sit back and watch how beautiful your children are as they become independent and your job as a parent takes less and less energy your relationship will blossom and it will be worth all those nights spent with backs to each other, on couches, or at friends' houses. I'm not envious of you, as you will have twice the stress and grief but I am at the same time envious of you because you will have twice the hugs, twice the i love yous, and twice the sorry's. Because when my daughter says sorry to me for something she may or may not have done on purpose, when she probably has no grasp of what it means to be sorry, her little eyes twinkle with a bit of sadness that her mommy may be hurting and those words can dry tears and melt your heart. So just saying sorry isn't always that bad after all.

  38. Natalie, what a beautiful post.
    I have to admit, I am could sometimes class myself as one of the readers who occasionally worry about Stephanie’s insights to her relationship. I have read this blog for a few years, and now that she is beginning the life of a committed marriage and children that she has wanted for so long, I wish her all the best. When I read posts that indicate that she is unhappy or down, I begin to over-analyse, thinking of the things that she doesn't write about. But your post made me stop and think. Stephanie is an incredibly strong person (anyone who has not read her book, do so!) and she would not be in a relationship unless she was happy and getting what she needed. Your post also made me stop and think about my relationship. I am currently engaged and getting married in 5 months. Like all couples, we have our down moments. If I was to blog these moments, then I am sure people would begin to worry and over analyse me! And there would be no need! I am incredibly happy. Ups and downs are part of all relationships, and communication always requires work and understanding. Stephanie, I love your blog and book. Thank you for sharing these parts of your life, please do not let others stop you from sharing!!

  39. I certainly hope Stephanie doesnt stop sharing. She's got me hooked on here now.

    I like that someone is writing the truth and admitting it's not all sunshine, rainbows and Leave It to Beaver. She's sharing real life.

    More blogs would be successful if they took this approach.

  40. I agree that she should not talk about problems with Phil in her blog. However I have to disagree with Natalie. After reading the book, I worry that Stephanie WILL stay in a bad relationship. The whole time I was reading about the first marriage I was yelling "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!? LEAVE HIM! HE DOESN'T LOVE YOU, HE TREATS YOU LIKE CRAP – LEAVE HIM!" It wasn't until the last straw on top of the 10 crates of straw that she finally did leave him. I wonder if other people who read the book are thinking the same thing – how could she even marry him after all the lies?!?

    Stephanie – when we know these personal things about you, we're going to form opinions. If you don't want to hear how much people worry about you with Phil, then you should probably keep the problems to yourself.

  41. I'm sorry, but readers have every right to be concerned. I am sure that blogging is not the central part of Stephanie's every day. And the fact that she so frequently references discontent with Phil, is either passive agressive or something she badly needs to release. Either way, it's paramount in a way that is concerning. We know her story, we know her pain. So if readers react to the consistent references to Phil's failings, there is reason behind that. I can't conjure up issues I have with my husband that I need to share with strangers, much less more than once. So we all want to be sure she is okay, that its just hormones, or that they are seeking the therapy they need before embarking on the most stressful time in their lives. Its not attack on Phil, it's caring for Stephanie.

  42. FWIW, to see it from the Mars perspective, guys generally don't apolgize to other guys, nor do they expect apologies. You bump into a guy at the bar or on the subway, and it's a cursory 'sorry' or 'excuse me'. I am continually amazed at things my wife will apologize for. Things that she didn't do on purposes, accidents that are just a fact of life, little things of almost no consequence. Just a Mars/Venus thing.

  43. Are you guys in couples counseling? It seems like you spend a lot of time wishing and hoping for Phil to be a better communicator (and he also spends a lot of time frustrated that you aren't better) but wishing and hoping (and blogging) are not the same as doing the real work of learning to communicate.

    It's not hormones, it's not pregnancy. It's real differences between your personalities as individuals, married or not. Why haven't you guys done this together?

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