My Husband Never Apologises

By Daily Graphic
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Dear Nana Ama,

We've been married for seven years and we have two beautiful daughters. My husband is usually very caring, (when he is not angry), provides for the family and helps me with the house chores which I appreciate very much and always tell him so.

There is one problem which keeps occurring over and over and I'm beginning to wonder if it will ever change. Since we got married my husband has rarely apologised.

When he gets angry he says very hurtful things and I sometimes wonder how he could say those things to me and later expect me to forget about them. He will not talk with me for days or weeks depending on the gravity of the situation and sometimes when he is angry he will not talk about what is bothering him.

Even when he is obviously wrong he will never say he's sorry. Rather, to make amends, he often will buy me gifts and take me out later to appease me when he has 'thawed', but to say he is very sorry for hurting me, that will not escape his lips.

I know I cannot change him by force so I try to quickly apologise whenever I'm wrong so that hopefully he can learn from me how to apologise but that has not worked.

I'm at a loss as to how to handle the challenge of someone who when there's a problem won't like to talk things out and then when he is wrong doesn't want to apologise for the hurtful things he says when he gets angry.

Akosua, Accra.

Dear Akosua, Have you tried telling him when there is no argument and everything is fine between you, how his not being able to apologise and the hurtful things he says make you feel?

It's possible he does not even know the extent to which his attitude is affecting you.

You must try and find the right time to talk about what is bothering you without making him feel defensive.

When you are not having an argument and everything is fine between you as I said earlier, tell him you appreciate his love, care and provision but you are hurt by his words when he gets angry. Explain that none of us is infallible and so you would appreciate it if he apologises when he realises he's hurt or offended you.

I believe he will think about it in his sober moments and hopefully begin to make amends. Change may not happen overnight but with time and constant practice it may get better especially if he admits to himself that he has to work on his attitude.

If talking to him does not help, you should consider going for counselling to help you both work things out.