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GREAT verbal APOLOGY (written APOLOGY is also here!)

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(Scroll down to another post for the great WRITTEN LIST of THINGS THAT HURT YOUR WIFE.)


This is the step apology method written to Jeffintexas and Duhman. It might be a good reference tool... Dory (NOTE: This is for individual things that go wrong in the day... this not to be confused with the APOLOGY LETTER


At the start of her vent, try reciting Phil 4:13 "I can do everything in Him who gives me strength" NIV and also PRAY. Make the best heartfelt apology that you can: Include in your own words, (1)a recount what she said to you that hurt (this tells her that you were listening), (2) Apologize for it, acknowledging how it hurt her. (3) Offer an explanation only if there's a really good one (do not anticipate that she HAS to accept it right away. and If there is no good reason, then totally skip (3). (4) Offer amends for the present - as to what you can do to help the problem today. (5) Offer the steps you need to take or are taking to re-assure her it won't happen again in the future. (6) Touch and hold her, or look into her eye if she likes this while you are saying this to her. Discover her love language on this. (7) Reassure her that she is the most beautiful woman inside and out and you can't imagine life without her, nor would you even want to. (8 Be prepared to get her a tissue if she needs one.


To recap in shorthand: 1) recount, (2) apologize (3) explain ? (4) present amends (5) future amends (6) connect (7) reassure (8 tissue.

1-5 are the most important

6-8 is bonus


Healing her is your challenge, your "mission", your calling to grow into a Man of God. View the "final frontier" as the depths of her heart. She wants you to "know" her. This is why God gave Eve to Adam. The enemy wants you to believe that this is too hard and he invokes fear into you. The wrong message of manhood has been placarded into every corner of the world. But in reality, this is the mission (not "impossible") that makes a man real. Defeat the enemy. Look past "the world", pray past your fears and make it happen! So you're afraid, then ... "Do it afraid!" (


Push past the edge of fear, and just do it!

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An apology letter that your wife wants and NEEDS to hear! Joel Davisson


To my sweetheart,

For over 26 years you have sought a dream.

You married me with an expectation of living "happily ever after".

You expected to have my sole attention. To be loved, honored and cherished for the rest of your life.


You wanted to be a mother and raise children with a dedicated and devoted father who would love you all and provide safety and security. A man who would fight for you. A man who "looked out for you" with every fiber of his being - without being asked.


You wanted a husband who would submit to you so you in turn could submit to him. A man bonded to you so closely there was trouble knowing where you ended and he began. A man who would battle on his knees in the spirituals so that you and your children could sleep easily at night. You dreamt of so many things..


As you painfully know - I have not been that man.


Worse than that I have been a man who has betrayed you in the most intense and intimate of ways. I have turned to others and the deepest of sins rather than look to you. I have caused you such pain that I can only just begin to imagine it and the utter desperate struggle for life I have forced you to undertake.


There was nothing wrong with your dreams.


A man totally dedicated to God and bonded to you could have delivered such dreams to you. You could have overlooked his imperfections knowing that his heart was yours and yours alone.


I am sorry ____.


I am sorry to have shattered your dreams so thoroughly and thoughtlessly.

I am sorry to have soiled your virtue in the gutter and brought filth and death under your roof.


I am sorry to have not bonded with you and forced you to battle life alone. To battle motherhood, a disabled son and a life threatening illness -alone.


I am sorry for seeing everything as more important or interesting than you.

I am sorry.

Beyond that - as if you could be expected to bear more:

I have offered you my whining and justifications instead of acceptance and understanding.

I have offered you harshness instead of a safe place.

I have offered you my weakness instead of my strength.

I have tried to do life and healing via rules and analysis instead of giving you my very heart.

For these too I am very sorry.

There are so many areas and places and things that my sins and inactions have damaged that I couldn't hope to list them all. To try is to trivialize some and forget others. To think that a single sorry is enough is woefully inadequate. The size and breadth of what I have and haven't done is staggering.


I know before God you have found the strength to forgive me. Thank you.

In the future:

I will be dedicated to you alone.

I will continue to speak out and to live my apologies.

I will see you and bond with you.

I will affirm you and your delightful femininity.

I will bring you my strength and masculinity.

I will need you.

I will battle for you and the family.

I will trust you.

I give you my heart and life knowing it is in safe hands.

You are the most beautiful women that I know or will ever know.

I will love you and work for the rest of my life to bring healing for my hurts against you.


David - Your man after God's heart, and your heart.



Note from Joel and Kathy; Men, you can do this. To a hurting wife: if your husband gives you an apology that uses some, or a lot of the terminology of the above letter, then this is a good thing. Sometimes a hurting wife will say, "You copied that from that newsletter, your apology therefore is not sincere. Yes, your husband's apology should be customized to your situation, but the wording in the above letter is excellent and you will want to accept your husband's efforts with good faith. Many times a man is not good at expressing these types of things, so if your husband is willing to put his name on this apology, then that says alot, in most cases.

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What IF though, an apology came but the heart with it lasted as long as it took him to speak the words. I have felt pressured that one apology is supposed to sooth over everything and I'm supposed to be magically healed! It's like I told him "you're apology lasted as long as you were in the room"! Then it was back to "what I did to him".

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Wives who are still calm can try this for husbands who are pretty good at listening.... this CAN BE combined with the tile method above.


1. Explain what bothers you in terms of what you "see".


i.e. - when I "see" the dishes in the sink after you eat a snack....


2. Use an "I feel" statement.


i.e. - I "feel" (discouraged, hurt, angry, sad, you-fill-in-the-blank, etc)


3. Ask directly for what you want.


i.e. - I would appreciate it if you would put your dishes into the dishwasher and start it if it is full of dirty dishes.


4. Be silent and let the "pregnant pause" do its thing. Sometimes, when we go on and on with a rant, we lose them (we get that glossed over look from them) - esp on the "easier things" like this. Hopefully he will fill this silence with, "Sure honey, sorry I missed that. Thanks for pointing it out."

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Believing God for Miracles in Marriages


PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:25 am

i gave an apology similar to that and my wife said she accepted it, but it doesnt make anything better and she's still divorcing me and leaving asap


Perhaps you are already divorced by how, however please remember that you are not relieved of trying to bring healing to your wife, until she is remarried or dead.

one day at a time, something of kindness and goodness without strings to let her know you DO love her and want to cherish her, living with understanding with her, providing and protecting her.


It WILL be worth it --- her response is not your responsibility, but your "keeping on" keeping on is!


May the Lord receive all of the glory.


June of Ward & June

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That would not be an apology. Words must be follow by actions that show the repentant offender is committed to change in order for the apology to be acceptable.




Obedience is better than sacrifice. Meaning...obedience in the first place is better than having to make up for it later (a sacrifice to cover the mess-up).

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This is similar to the apology letter. It was the vows I wrote to my husband a week after he left me. Since finding this ministry I think this should be his vows to me


From this moment forward I will keep these new vows

I promise to honor, respect, and support you.

I promise to stand beside you and always be there for you

I promise to speak encouraging words to you and about you

I promise to go with you wherever and whenever you ask

I promise to listen and be silent when you speak

I promise to respect your decisions, hold you up and defend you

I promise to comfort, confide in you and love only you

I promise to be kind, slow to anger, and think before I speak

I promise to be truthful at all times and be understanding

I promise not to be critical and judgmental toward you

I promise to put you first, love and adore you

I promise to forgive at all times and not harden my heart

I promise to pray for you and with you everyday

I promise not to break this covenant between you and me

I promise to rely on God for strength and direction always


When he returns home the man of my dreams and we renew our vows this is what i think we should promise to each other

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You are right - those are to be his vows toward you. If a woman offers this to her husband, she creates a monster.


Yes, a wife needs to walk in the fruit of the spirit and not be critical but she can't give carte blanche.


A critical spirit is bad, such as "You don't do anything right" - or to the man who is truly working hard to earn a living, "Why can't you earn a decent living like everyone else!" (when in reality, half the country is in debt and distress).. or if you are critical of the way that he takes a drink of water and it is not just a simple "would you please not swallow so loud" but instead it is a ripping critical spirit and approach.


However, a wife MUST speak up when it is relationship issues and she must require a husband to be a good husband; not just offer free honor and respect irregardless of his actions.

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written to LotOfWorkToDo: (his apology letter is below as well and was wondrously accepted by his bride (who had left him in Dec 09 and divorced him July '10) and is being healed by him yielding to the Lord and being humble bit by bit

This is what I believe you MUST DO:

#1 -- rewrite the lists of 100+ hurts that you did to her during the course of your marriage.

#2 -- THEN, go through the list one by one, placing the "feeling" words of each as to how it hurt HER.

#3 -- THEN, after completing the list with the hurt feelings, add how what you can either do to make amends, of how sorry you are about it (using other feelings words, too, besides "sorry") and of how it has broken your heart also to know that you have harmed her.

#4 -- THEN, after re-reading the lengthy #3, write out a "pledge" to bring healing to her heart, as best as you can, with God's help and thanking L to being open to receiving your apologies and the restitution == and the Encouragement that you will be there for her, no matter what

THEN, give her this indepth apology.



TRUST JOEL on the fact that the husband SHOULD NOT BE using tough love on his extremely wounded bride -- not at this stage -- your divorce went through only three months ago (although it may seem like eons).


Read through the threads on this forum about what to do when a woman yells --- (BE GLAD) -- take it like a man (and I'm glad you did), and let her know you fully agree with her, owning up to the tremendous pain that you caused to her [it is important that you remember that we are NOT chewing you out about this, because much of it you were unaware of what you were doing was hurting your bride, but NOW you do, because you are maturing into a Chrislike man] -- and accept whatever chewing out of you she wants to do. You deserve it -- she needs it... and she need to know you are still going to be there loving her and humbled by the fact that she is still talking to you at all.


Ask her AFTER DOING ALL #1-#4 and giving her the apology if there is any way at all possible that you can do something to show her that you mean this apology... if she would like to spend a few days at an Intensive (in separate rooms) where she could be reaffirmed in knowing that it is NOT HER FAULT.


As a Christian woman - and she is -- rest assured that the Lord is doing a work in her heart, and it is taking some time.


Continue being sweet, honoring her boundaries, blessing her in every way possible, with kindness, gentleness and joy.


IN THE MEANTIME, please get closer to God through His Word and in ministry to the less fortunate (or something that both YOU and L would have in common OR whatever missions your pastor might encourage that does not involve single women).


These are my opinions, and if you choose to do them, you have LOWTD



God cares more about your marriage being restored than you do, so you know that it is a LOT! "Trust the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path."


Praise God from Whom all blessings flow,


June of


from Joshua of Joshua & Kimberly



Even a perfectly done L.O.V.E.R., can still be a lame apology if it is by rote or rehearsed. It accomplishes nothing but to frustrate a wife. Typically, it is begrudging or patronizing.


The most powerful apology a man can make to his wife is one that is genuine sincere, and believable. It will always include two components: A BROKEN HEART over the pain he has caused, and a TRULY REPENTANT SPIRIT, that includes a change of heart, mind and direction.


Brokenness and repentance not only move God's heart, but also the heart of a wife. This kind of apology will accomplish 4 things:


(1) It reassures his wife she is safe; he gives her hope he will not continue wounding her in these same ways.


(2) It communicates to her that he understands his sin.


(3) It acknowledges, by his visible contrition the pain he has caused her.


To distinguish from empathy as opposed to contrition as to not confuse my meaning here is that empathy is something a husband will mature into. Feeling her pain is not necessary for a husband to apologize properly. Often men have a difficult time at first getting truth from their head to their heart. It is completely understandable however for men to know the difference between right and wrong or those behaviors, attitudes and words that wound a wife and others. To deny this is to NOT be contrite.


Having sympathy for a wife is, feeling the same as, without necessarily feeling her actual pain. One can have an understanding of what a hurt may feel like and this is what I mean in validating her right to feel hurt and to be wounded. It is similar to having co(m)-passion means that one is moved by a wife's need. This understanding means he can relate to and care about that she IS hurt.




1. sincere penitence or remorse.

2. Theology...sorrow for and detestation of sin with a true purpose of amendment, arising from a love of god for His own perfections (perfect contrition), or from some inferior motive, as fear of divine punishment (imperfect contrition).


(4) It comes forth from his heart and spirit man and will touch her in the depths of her spirit. It will unleash healing waters that will wash her wounds. The impact can be immediate.



Edited by Pure in Heart
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Posted 02 November 2010 - 12:20 PM

I'd thought I'd post the final version of the apology letter that went out yesterday with some comments:


At first I did not understand the purpose of doing this again as I wrote one several months ago and was told, "don't send me any more letters." I now see several purposes for this letter:


1) It lets my wife know that I am serious about winning her heart;

2) It lets my wife know that I am recognizing and taking ownership of my actions, the things that I did to cause her pain and forcing her into making these difficult decisions;

3) It lets my wife know that I am beginning to feel her pain;

4) As I apologize for the things that I'm seeing I did, and acknowledging the pain I caused, it helps bring healing to her heart;

5) It shows my wife that I am taking responsibility for my actions;

6) It helps me take responsibility and through this process internalize changes that need to take place for me to become the man God wants me to be and hopefully the husband that my wife needs me to be.


The first couple of letters that I sent were hand written and thrown together quickly. This letter took hours of thought in writing, reflecting on my actions during the time we were married and what I've learned in the ten months we've been apart. This process brought pain to my heart which I am sure is nothing to the pain that I inflicted on my wife as we men are not wired to FEEL LIKE A WOMAN is wired to feel.


It is only by God's grace that I was able to put these words together with some help from Joel and June. I thank you both for your input. May God continue to bless you.



November 1, 2010


Dear L,


As I look back at the twenty-two years, three months and fifteen days we lived under that same roof as husband and wife you were absolutely amazing; you went above and beyond your responsibilities by loving me unconditionally and you endured more than any woman should ever have to by the pain I caused.


It was not your responsibility to love me unconditionally, the way you did, rather it was my responsibility to love you unconditionally and you were let down as I failed miserably. Your only responsibility as a wife was to be a helpmeet to me – to reflect and reveal the things in me that God wanted to change so that we could live a life that would glorify Him and in doing so have an outrageously happy marriage.


You supported my dreams of building a business as your dreams of returning to Israel after we were married were shattered.


As my wife you took great care of me following my heart surgery and later that year helping me throughout my cancer treatments. Regretfully you were not treated with the same loving care that you needed when you were going through your health issues.


And let me not fail to mention that you took amazing care raising our children; you were always there to meet their needs and make sure they were ok.


Having spent these last ten months reflecting on my actions as your husband, I’ve come to recognize that even though I did good deeds, I failed to do the most important things – I failed to love, honor and cherish YOU!!


This time has given me the opportunity to reflect on our marriage and recognize that even in the actions you took, in separation and divorce, you were still being my helpmeet as these actions caused me to examine my behaviors and attitudes.


I realize that I failed to fulfill the promises I made to you before we got married, promises that could have blessed you by showing my love for you instead of neglecting those promises which were so hurtful to you:


• by failing to put God first; seeking wealth rather than God and trusting in my abilities to make money rather than trusting in God to provide for us;

• by seeking the things of this world rather than spending time seeking and getting to know you better;

• by failing to take you back to Israel as we had discussed before we even started our courtship.


Not only did I fail you by shattering your dreams of marriage, I failed to provide the simple things that were most important to you - to be loved and treated kindly. Instead of doing that I hurt you in the following ways:


• When you wanted to take a walk on the beach during our honeymoon you were met with rejection because of my selfishness having wanted to sit and relax;

• Without considering that you were waiting for me I often came home late from work without giving you the courtesy of a simple to call which probably made you feel as though I didn’t consider you important;

• You were humiliated in public as I often spoke at you rudely and with inappropriate tones out of my childish need to feel more important;

• By giving you looks of “disappointed” or “disgust” I probably made you feel insecure and unloved;

• You were made to feel as though what was important to you was not important to me as you only wanted to pray and have God as the center of our home and I often rejected you by not taking the time to pray with you;

• You were treated insensitively when you were sick, or simply not feeling well, which probably made you feel as though you were a burden to me;

• You deserved a husband that was patient, one that would sit and listen as you shared your heart, dreams and visions. Instead, you were stuck with me and my impatience which I believe made you feel uncared for and insignificant;

• Instead of taking care of you when your back was hurting, out of selfishness I asked you to make arrangement with friends to help you get the care you needed rather than canceling my trip and taking care of you as I should have which I’m sure made you feel not only unloved but also like a burden and uncared for;

• Instead of joining you for walks when you asked you were met with rejection because I was too immature to put you first, failing to recognize the opportunity to spend time talking and getting to know you;

• The little things you wanted to do to bless me, eyebrow, because they were things that were important to you, were met with my childish rejection because you wouldn’t do things that were important to me;

• Things that you needed help with around the house were met with procrastination instead of my seeing these things as ways to bless and honor you which probably made you feel as though I did not care about you;

• There is not one time that I can think of that I did something around the house, that I knew needed to be done (vacuuming), without you asking me which probably made you feel over burdened and uncared for;

• Instead of sitting and listening to you patiently when you wanted to sit and talk you were met with impatience due to my immaturity which probably made you feel unloved, rejected and alone;

• During our times of struggle you deserved to receive encouragement and instead were made to feel isolated, alone and fearful of our future;

• Instead of making you feel secure, I was critical of the way you did things keeping you off balance and feeling insecure;

• When you wanted someone to listen to you as you shared about the problems you were trying to work out, I gave you advice on how to fix those problems which must have made you feel helpless and frustrated;

• Rather than taking responsibility for my shortcomings, I shifted the blame to you which I’m sure made you feel extremely frustrated and hurt;

• I defiled myself and our home by bringing pornography into it which I believe made you feel rejected and insecure in your ability to satisfy me;

• Even worse, I blamed you for it by telling you if you met my needs I wouldn’t have needed that – I believe this made you feel as though I stuck a knife in your heart; you probably felt rejected and disgusted;

• You were made to feel rejected when I put television and computer games ahead of you;

• You never felt able to settle in and make a home in my quest for bigger and better which probably made you feel unwanted and unappreciated as all you wanted to do was make the house we lived in a home for our family;

• You were made to feel scared, and in fear for your live, as I always drove too fast;

• And worse, I blamed shifted my inconsiderate driving practices to you and blamed you as needing to get over your fears – I believe this made you feel angry at my inconsiderate and immature attitude toward you;

• It was also immature of me to blame you for wanting me to do simple things like use my directional, (a good example of being a helpmeet, God wants me to follow the laws of the land). This probably made you feel unimportant and uncared for as I refused to listen, honor you and make you feel safe;

• You probably felt like a burden because I was a terrible caretaker after your surgical procedures;

• I failed to lead our family, as I promised, in the ways of the Lord which I believe made you extremely frustrated and disappointed;

• You made you feel inferior sexually which must have made you feel rejected and insecure;

• It also probably made you feel insecure and rejected when I would make comments about other women’s hair or take a second look;

• You were made to feel humiliated as I often spoke rudely to you or yelled at you in public places;

• You were also made to feel humiliated and embarrassed as I often spoke rudely to you in front of our friends;

• You were made to feel rejected, manipulated and controlled as I would give you the silent treatment due to my immaturity knowing I was wrong and not wanting to admit it;

• By failing to give you the praise you deserved in doing everything you could to make our house a home you were made to feel unimportant;

• You were made to feel rejected as I gave up pursuing you as I did when we first started courting;

• You were also made to feel rejected and unwanted when I failed to date you regularly;

• As it was not you place to initiate sex, you were made to feel rejected, when I stopped initiating sex, and insecure, when I made you feel inadequate in our lovemaking;

• I failed to initiate life into our marriage by becoming content in sitting at home and doing nothing but watch TV – I believe this made you feel rejected and angry causing you to wonder if this was all there was;

• You were made to feel rejected when I lied to you and told you I accepted the horrible life we were living and that I accepted that we were stuck in this marriage and simply had to endure it because of the covenant we made;

• Knowing that you felt overwhelmed, I still failed to help you with Max and Chloe which must have made you feel alone;

• In my selfishness I also bought furniture without considering you, this probably made you feel as though you didn’t matter.


All I can do is apologize for these things and the countless other things I’m sure I’ve missed to cause the pain you feel. It was not my intention, nor did I purposefully want, to bring you this much pain. These were simply the actions of a self-centered, immature man; a man who needed to grow up and recognize that he is not the center of the universe; a man who is now painfully aware of the things he did to hurt his bride, the love of his life and regrets them to the core of his being.


Throughout these years I always considered myself to be a good husband only to learn how deceived and flawed I was in my thinking. I falsely believed that a good husband was defined by doing the basics that should be expected of any man: such as not going off with other women; working hard to provide for their family; not raising their hands to their wife or children; not squandering money on drugs, alcohol or gambling; making sure there is food on the table, cloths on his families backs and a roof over their heads. That is such a shallow description of a husband. I have learned that any man can do what I did. He can do all of these things and still not do the most important things. In my ignorance, I did these things, while in the more important areas of marriage and human dignity for a wife, I failed you.


For all of my married life, I hung my hat on the fact that I could CLAIM that I was a good husband because of the good things that I had done. I recalled you saying, “You’re like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, I never know who you’re going to be,” when Joel pointed out the Jekyll-Hyde version of the abuser. I treated you in all of the bad ways that I listed to make you feel horrible and worthless. After that I would then do my "great husband" things so you would realize how fortunate you were to have me. That was my twisted way to "keep you" in the marriage. It is so clear to me now.


So the bottom line of all of the good things that I did is this – Yes, I should have done them. But I ruined all of the good I was doing by hurting you in the many ways that I have listed above (and you could probably list so many more ways that if I was aware of them it would take a much longer letter to write). My list of things that I did to hurt you could probably be doubled or tripled.


If there was any way I could turn back time, knowing what I know now, I would do it all different. Instead of being the narcissistic man that I was, putting myself ahead of you, I would lay my life down for you the way Christ laid His life down for us.


So this is my covenant to you. In addition to correcting all of the things that I did wrong in our marriage, if we were to get back together in God's sovereignty at some point in time, that I will fix all of these things and I will still do those good things that I did. I will continue to be faithful to you as far as never being with another woman; I will work hard to provide for our family; I will not squander our money on vices; I will always do what has to be done to make sure there is food on the table, cloths on our backs and a roof over our heads.


In addition, I promise you this, I will:


• Lay my life down and PUT YOU FIRST;

• Be an initiator instead of a responder;

• Be a kind, caring man;

• Start and end our day with prayer;

• Be active to pursue you mentally, emotionally, relationally, sexually;

• Value your opinions above mine in all of my (and our) decisions;

• Sit with you and listen to you tell me about your day before doing anything else;

• Help you create the home you want;

• Take walks and exercise with you;

• Affirm my desire for the woman you are;

• Acknowledge my need for you as my helpmeet;

• Eliminate the things that you feel need to be eliminated from my life;

• Love you and work the rest of my life to make up for the pain I’ve caused you.


I cannot undo the past, but I can do everything in my power to make up for it in our future. While still being committed to the few good qualities that I had as a husband, in the future, I covenant and promise that all of the hurtful things that I did will be a thing of the past. You will always have a voice. You will not have a husband who hurts you and gets away with it.


You are the only woman for me. You’re beautiful, kind and caring. My heart will always belong to you.



On the first print I signed it - With All My Love, Ira. I than printed the last page again and simply signed my name. I did not want to put the pressURE of her reading "Love" in the letter. Deep in her heart she knows I love her. I could be wrong but I feel this one word, "love" - in this letter, would have been too hurtful and could have possibly negated everything else I wrote, for she may read that and think, "if he really loved me, how could he have done all those hurtful things to me?"


As much as I want to tell her how much I love her I know I have to be patient and wait on God's prompting me, in His time, to say it and/or write it. God will know when she IS ready to hear it. I have come to recognize that telling her how much I "love" her after she left, and was in so much pain, probably brought her even more pain and was a driving force to her putting up a thicker wall of protection around her heart.


Joel said,

Posted 01 November 2010 - 02:58 PM

Your letter is absolutely wonderful now.

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Joel and Kathy Posted Today, 12:30 PM

Just a quick note - well, now that I have written it, it is not such a quick note after all!


Men will often not have:



It acknowledges, by his visible contrition the pain he has caused her.



The apology information should exclude this portion.


So it would read like this:





Even a perfectly done L.O.V.E.R., can still be a lame apology if it is by rote or rehearsed. It accomplishes nothing but to frustrate a wife. Typically, it is begrudging or patronizing.


The most powerful apology a man can make to his wife is one that is genuine sincere, and believable. It will always include two components: A BROKEN HEART over the pain he has caused, and a TRULY REPENTANT SPIRIT, that includes a change of heart, mind and direction.


Brokenness and repentance not only move God's heart, but also the heart of a wife. This kind of apology will accomplish 4 things:


(1) It reassures his wife she is safe; he gives her hope he will not continue wounding her in these same ways.


(2) It communicates to her that he understands his sin.


(3) It acknowledges the pain he has caused her. (Instead of It acknowledges, by his visible contrition the pain he has caused her.)


(4) It comes forth from his heart and spirit man and will touch her in the depths of her spirit. It will unleash healing waters that will wash her wounds. The impact can be immediate.





The problem with a husband apologizing for a wife is a large one. If a man is sincere, there will often be no "feeling" behind it. On the other hand, if a man is not sincere, there will be the identical lack of feeling.


At the same time, a man can apologize with a ton of emotion and even tears and not truly be sincere. Does anyone truly believe that Jimmy Swaggart was sincere when he stood and cried in front of the country? It was a great performance - and though we cannot judge his heart, we can judge his actions. He stayed in ministry - no ACTION of recognizing the damage that he had done to his bride and to the world.


So this bringa a quandary: If a wife does not feel the apology, that does not mean that it is not sincere.


What can a wife do in this situation?


1. She can say "I appreciate that you are saying you are sorry - but I don't feel it. Would you take 24 hours and try to give me a better one - one that I can feel?" And wives, DO appreciate the fact that he is making an effort. the worst of husbands won't even try.


2. Husbands, you can ask your wife to again try to explain to you how she feels. Often it takes days for a wife to "get across" to her husband how she feels. No closure can come until she knows that he knows how she feels.


3. If a husband still cannot get a "feeling" apology that works for his wife, a wife can ask him to do something to show his sincerity.


In our recovery days, I did not give Kathy a sincere apology for the adultery. We had no help. We had no one to teach us how to do so. The truth is that I could not face the humiliation of fully embracing the wounding that I caused Kathy from the adultery - so even at best, there is no way that I could have presented her with a sincere apology at the time.


One day I asked Kathy, "Did I ever give you a sincere verbal apology for the adultery?" (Yes, I had given her a few "top of the head" apologies.) She said "No - but you LIVED the apology."


In other words, my ACTIONS spoke my apology.


In one case that we oversaw, a wife said to her husband, "I appreciate your apology, but I just don't feel it. But if you would get me some flowers and candy, I will accept that as an expression that you are sincere and will get over it."


Sounds simple, right?


Not for an unrepentant man.


No candy. No flowers.


Long story.. but to make it short, she reminded him for days, I spoke to him twice and said "get your wife some flowers and chocolates!" After a couple weeks, he declared divorce: "I will do what I want to do, when I want to do it and you have nothing to say about it."


They ended up divorced. She did EXACTLY what we teach and her husband disqualified himself and ended up declaring divorce.


For a wife of a passive guy, it won't be "do the dishes and laundry and I will believe you." Most passive guys love to do the dishes and laundry. For a passive guy, it might be "Give me 30 hugs, smiles and kisses today and I will believe you!"


For an aggressive guy, it might be "do the dishes and laundry and I will believe you."


For another guy, it might be flowers and candy.


For another guy it might be "take the day off of work and spend the day with the kids so I can relax in the tub."


A wife will normally know what would be a sincere action from her husbannd that would express a true repentance.


For Flyboy, it was "take a lie detector test and drop out of nursing school". (A porn guy should not have a job in nursing.) At this moment, his decision is to continue the nursing schooling rather than continue the marriage.


This may sound like it is letting a man off the hook - but you can see, in the case of Flyboy and the flowers and candy guy, this actually goes straight to the heart of the matter. If a man is sincere, his ACTIONS will prove it. Not his feelings or "show" of emotions.


We are ALL FOR a man having feelings and/or a "show" of emotions if they are able to have that when they express an apology. However, sometimes that is just not going to happen - even when a man is FULLY sincere. A more realistic emotion for a guy versus tears of remorse would be an overwhelming feeling of horror over the impact of what he has done to his wife. I do not recall and maybe Kathy would, but I don't recall if I ever cried over the adultery. But I have had a feeling of horror (my best way to describe it) over what it did to her.. how unfair it was, how badly I violated and betrayed her and dishonored her.. Horror would be the best word. That depth of feeling which took years for me to get to caused me to live in a way that will never cause Kathy to feel insecure. I would never have a facebook account other than for marketing purposes. I would never hide my phone from Kathy. I would never walk down the magazine aisle of a grocery store. I would never sit down and browse through a victoria's secret catalog or the women's section of a JC PENNEY's catalog for that matter!


Remember... men change from the outside in, in general. Women change from the inside out, in general. Asking a man to FEEL and then act is unnatural. That statement is not complete as you cannot ever completely seperate the two.. so you have to hear the "heart" or "spirit" of what is being said. If a guy enrolls in the military and normally sleeps until 1 in the afternoon, he will not "feel" like getting up at 5 am - but he will be FORCED to do it. After a while of being FORCED, he will end up WANTING to get up at 5 am. He would be a changed man. NOT because he WANTED to change - at first - but becuase he was forced to change. Yes, after a few weeks, he would personally start WANTING to get up at 5 am.


If his commander was a woman, and if she were to approach this from a "feeling" perspective, she might sit down and explain to him why he should want to get up at 5 am... and it would float off of his back like water off of a duck's back.. and he would not change. He would not get up at 5 am.


In the area of apology and feeling: We do want a wife to encourage a husband to continue his journey to getting his head connected to his heart.. .that is part of the helpmeet plan.. however she must realize that a husband may be fully sincere years before his apology connects to a place of "feeling". So don't judge his sincerity by the feelings he has or does not have. Judge his sincerity by his actions. However, explain to him that even though he may be sincere, his lack of feeling is not helping you to find closure in your own heart. Ask him to keep trying - but don't hold the judgement over his head of "You are not sincere." Sadly, a wife cannot tell if a husband is sincere based on the "feeling" or lack of feeling behind his apology.


When a wife is able to get closure from either actions or in some cases the "feeling" behind a husband's apology, then she will not suddenly be "over" it in most cases. Normally there is a season of time... a few hours or a few days.. when she is still nursing herself (Abigail refers to this as "self-soothing" and allowing herself to grieve the disappointment of being hurt yet again. During this time a husband must be over compensating by being extra loving, extra gentle, extra kind. A wife during this time might say things like "I am still hurting - so just love on me." - Kathy would go through this process of allowing her self to come back to a happy place over a few days but she would not bring it up anymore. Yes, I would be kissing cold cheek for a few days.. and being overcompensating with lots of hugs, cheek kisses, cuddling in bed, rubbing her back and legs gentle... and over the few days, between her self-soothing and my continual attention, she would heal up.


Note that this healing process would start after she knew that she got all she could get from me - and in most cases, it was not a "feeling" from me. Instead it was that I finally verbally acknowledged to her that I understood what she was trying to tell me as to why it hurt, why I was wrong to do it and why my motives were not good behind what I did to hurt her.


However, after she would get this across to me.. sometimes in a few minutes, sometimes a few hours, sometimes up to a few DAYS.. uncomfortable days.. and I would finally "get it" - then she would shift into the recovery mode. Self soothing and me soothing her from without.


Now we know that my going into overdrive on overcompensating with extra hugs, kisses, kuddling etcetera was all increasing Kathy's oxytocin. Now we understand the WHY of this process and why it brings healing to a woman's heart.


Had Kathy rejected my efforts at overcompensating once the recovery began - or had she just given up on explaining to me for the 20th time - WHY and everything else that goes along with that of why and how she was hurt etcetera.. then we would have ended up in stalemate.


They are frustrating times. Kathy would talk, I would apologise and she would say "no, you are not understanding". I would say something like "Ok.. I thought that I did. Can you explain it to me again?" Note that these are not word for word... these are the gyst of our comments to each other.


Sometimes, things are simple. The whole Lover thing can be done and the whole thing over in five minutes. Sometimes the whole lover process can stretch out for days..




Offer an apology.




She realizes you still don't have a clue.




Offer an apology..




She realizes you still don't have a clue.




offer an apology




She realizes you still don't have a clue.




offer an apology




AHA!!! You got it. FINALLY!




Repent - changed actions.


The GREAT news is that down the road, you will only go through this once a week instead of daily..

then once a month

then once every few months or maybe twice in a month and then none for a few months

then once every six months.

then once a year...


and life keeps getting better in between until you can say "We are living an outrageously happy marriage!"


Men - be GLAD that you are married to a woman. She has lots of feelings. You have to grow up and mature to have a happy wife!


Women - be GLAD that you are married to a man. If not, he would quit his jobs every time the boss hurt his feelings. (Yes, women have to act like men in the workplace - they have to just "get over it" even when a boss or co-worker does not offer an apology) But the point is not that.. the point is: Be GLAD that you are married to a man.


Men marrying men and women marrying women is just wrong.


Having a man who acts like a woman in the marriage is just wrong.

Having a woman who acts like a man in the marriage is just wrong.


This is really not rocket science.. BUT it is complicated for couples in the beginning of recovery - that is why we have group calls six nights each week and a 24/7 online forum.

Love and Blessings!



Joel of Joel and Kathy


Click www.GodSaveMyMarriage.com for Q and A, special "For Men" section, Weekend Marriage Intensives, books, DVD set and other marriage materials!



Other J&K products: www.cafepress.com/joelandkathy

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  • 1 month later...

for those husbands whose minds wander -- even when they think they are trying to listen, but zone out... here is an article that is generalized for when listening to a "speaker" --

try some of these methods when listening to your bride and see if it makes a difference. NO ONE LIKES to be talking, especially about how they are feeling, and to be ignored.

REMINDER, HUSBANDS, you are NOT ALLOWED to talk about your feelings for at least SIX months after this recovery process has actually begun, some of you are still in the starting blocks because your abuse has continued.


Top Ten Listening Techniques


Listening seems like a simple process and yet so many of us are more

eager to talk than to listen. Someone once said we were given two ears

and one mouth for a reason. What better gift could you give to your

family, friends, peers and bosses than to listen to them so that they feel

really heard? Here are some tips:


1. Stay present – Don’t let your mind wander. Many are composing a

response before the speaker has a chance to completely finish his/her


2. Make eye contact – Let the speaker see your interest by regularly

making eye contact.

3. Ask questions for clarification – This is not your time to respond.

Get really clear about what is being said. If you don’t understand,

ask questions in an open non-charged manner.

4. Acknowledge feelings – If the speaker is telling you something about

his/her feelings, acknowledge them. You don’t have to agree to show

that you see the speaker is upset or happy about something.

5. Restate or paraphrase – Make sure you are getting the information

the speaker is presenting by periodically repeating what you hear in

different words the speakers. “Let me see if I’ve got it so far?”

6. Seek first to understand and then to be understood - Before you

state your thoughts and ideas make sure you totally understand and

acknowledge the speakers thoughts.

7. Give nonverbal feedback - While the speaker is speaking, be sure to

smile, nod, frown, shrug your shoulders, or raise your eyebrows –

whatever is appropriate.

8. Silence – Don’t be afraid of this. Periods of total quiet will

allow you and the speaker to think about what was said. When you are sure

the speaker has completed his/her thoughts on the subject it will be

time for you to comment.

9. Take in all the information both verbal and nonverbal – Focus on the

meaning of what is being said and also what is not being said.

10. Get permission – Sometimes people just want to be heard. At other

times they are seeking advice. Give advice only when requested and

only after the person has had a chance to give you the whole story. If

you are not sure, ask if the person is looking for your input.


and another article:

Prepare with a positive, engaged attitude


Focus your attention on the subject

Stop all non-relevant activities beforehand to orient yourself to the speaker or the topic

*Review mentally what you already know about the subject Organize in advance relevant material in order to develop it further(previous lectures, TV programs, newspaper articles, web sites, prior real life experience, etc.)

* Avoid distractions

Seat yourself appropriately close to the speaker Avoid distractions (a window, a talkative neighbor, noise, etc.)

* Acknowledge any emotional state

Suspend emotions until later, or

Passively participate unless you can control your emotions

* Set aside your prejudices, your opinions

You are present to learn what the speaker has to say, not the other way around

Actively listen

* Be other-directed; focus on the person communicating Follow and understand the speaker as if you were walking in their shoes

Listen with your ears but also with your eyes and other senses

* Be aware: non-verbally acknowledge points in the speech Let the argument or presentation run its course

Don't agree or disagree, but encourage the train of thought

* Be involved:

Actively respond to questions and directions

Use your body position (e.g. lean forward) and attention to encourage the speaker and signal your interest Follow up activities


Give the speaker time and space

for rest after talking

Express appreciation for the sharing

to build trust and encourage dialogue

Check if you have understood

* Restate

key points to affirm your understanding

& build dialogue

* Summarize

key points to affirm your understanding

& build dialogue

* Ask (non-threatening) questions

to build understanding


Continue dialogue:

* Reflect on your experience

to demonstrate your interest feedback)

* Interpret

after you feel you have grasped content

* Apply what you have learned

to a new situation


another link with good ideas on "reflective listening"




obviously, men, 20/20/20/20 -- don't forget them! They are IMPORTANT, too!




June of

Edited by Ward & June
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  • 3 months later...
Pure In Heart Posted Yesterday, 03:29 PM

L-LISTEN~~~~~My love, I HEAR what you are telling me hurts you. In case I missed anything of understanding your heart let me say back to you what I think you are saying to me. What I hear you saying to me, is that the deception, lying, the pornography and adultery has so crushed your spirit and heart, so grieved the Holy Spirit that you can no longer go on in this marriage the way it is. You can not live with a man who treats you with disdain, ignores your heart cry and only thinks about himself. There is no love, no comfort, no safety for your heart. There is hardness everywhere and no soft place to land. You have wept and cried out to God, you have blamed yourself and my actions brought torment and fear into your life.


O-OWN YOUR SIN AND OFFER APOLOGY~~~~~I take responsibility for my sinful attitudes and actions against God and YOU. I have unleashed against my own flesh and blood, the torrents of hell instead of life and strength. I own my grievous sin that has left you out in the cold, devastated and left you on your own to fight for your life and survival and the survival of our child. I own my faults and failures that have brought our marriage to this place of destruction. It is MY fault. My behavior darling, has decimated your heart. I have lied, cheated and left you for dead emotionally, spiritually and financially. I have abused you in countless ways. I have blamed you and manipulated you all of our married lives. I am selfish and think only of me and how my actions only effect me when in truth I am reaping what I have sown. I have dragged you into my cesspool of sin and caused you to suffer untold grief.


V-VALIDATE AND NAME HOW SHE FELT~~~~~When I did_________(action or attitude, SIN) YOU felt___________. When I lied to you, you must have felt so betrayed. You can not even trust your own husband, the one who is supposed to honor you and cherish you. You can not even believe a word I say, and feel so ALONE in this world. The pain your heart must feel and the burden of feeling unloved gives you every right to want out of this marriage, to be angry at all the abuse I have heaped on you. I have done this to you ALL of our married lives. You must feel as if your hope is deferred and that your dream has been laid waste. You have carried the reproach and shame of MY SIN upon you. Knowing I was not even MAN enough to change my life, you thought it was you who needed to change and the anguish of feeling that somehow you fell short was a lie and a burden I put upon you.


E-EMBRACE HER DURING AND/OR AFTER YOUR CONFESSION~~~~~Hold her hand, move close to her. Sit at the table or on the couch and lean into her, have eye contact.


If she does not want you to touch her then ENCOURAGE her instead. Give life-giving words of affirmation. Such as: Sweetheart, I would be nowhere without you. You are here and that shows me what a woman of faith and mercy you are. If it were not for your relationship and faithfulness to God, I would be going to hell. You are the most beautiful and amazing woman I have ever known. What an undeserved gift from God you are to me.


R-REPENT~~~~~Repent means to change your mind which leads to a change of direction. Tell her what you plan on doing to change. Reassure her of your undying commitment to God and her. Tell her you will from now on do ANYTHING God and she asks of you. That you will Read, post, get on calls, give her 20/20/20/20 everyday of her life. That you will hear her and make-up to her ALL you have done to wound her. That you are giving your life back to Christ. Tell her everyday until she believes you are a man of your word by showing her real change by your ACTIONS AND FOLLOW-THROUGH. TURN AWAY FROM YOUR SIN. Replace that old behavior with loving actions everyday of your life until you take your last breath.


Now, be a MAN and stand up for the Name of Jesus and live what you believe. She does not want to hear your excuses, or whining, grumbling, murmuring or complaining.

She does not want to hear you why you sinned and why it was okay or you have a good reason for dragging Christ's name through the mud. She does not want your excuses why you think you get to hurt people and wound, abuse and disregard others, justifying your SIN, especially toward your WIFE. She DOES NOT WANT to hear it and either does God.


Are you a man enough to take the heat of the battle against your flesh? You are either a man of LOVE or you are a man who hates God. YOU DECIDE.



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perhaps you could work on rearranging the sentences so that it is not such I I I



you wrote:

I am sorry that on our honeymoon, I rejected and hurt you. I imagine that made you feel unwanted and unattractive.


On your honeymoon should have been the time for you feel beautiful and sexy, and yet I rejected you making you feel unwanted and unattractive.


if you will do that with the other lines that begin with "I" -- you will see how the VALIDATION will become more her-focused.




June of

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What about things you can't remember? My child says I told him when he was in 5th grade his dad and I had given up on him I can't remember saying this, thinking this and can't imagine myself saying this, but he is wounded about this and brings it up over and over. How do I make amends? Take his word for it?

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