Author Topic: Would you apologize on your spouse's behalf? Update (Examples) post 20  (Read 6402 times)

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Danika

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I can think of several instances in my life with various couples but I'm not sure the specifics are necessary. Let's say that a good friend of yours was hosting an important event. And your spouse either purposely or thoughtlessly offended this good friend. If at some point you were discussing this with your good friend and learned that your spouse had acted like a boor, what would you do to preserve the friendship?

I imagine you would bring this up with your spouse, right? Let's say your spouse didn't think it was that big of a deal and didn't think an apology was necessary. Would you just stay silent, or would you try to apologize to your friend and make things right somehow?
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 05:23:38 AM by Danika »

cicero

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Re: Would you apologize on your spouse's behalf?
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2013, 06:40:26 AM »
the specifics do matter because it depends on what was said, and where you present when it happened but in general i don't apologize for grown ups (unless they have a severe mental handicapped). I used to - but I don't anymore.

actually, now that i am thinking about it - this did happen to me with my then-husband who verbally attacked a good friend (they had a dispute over money, each felt that they were correct, he ended up driving out to her house where she was alone, demanding she pay him and yelled at her). My then-husband was totally and 100% wrong though he felt that he was right. I didn't apologize to my friend because i didn't do anything wrong. I did tell her "i heard both sides of the story and i believe you are right. I understand you don't want to have anything to do with husband. I would be happy if we - her and i - could somehow continue to be friends"

since we ended up divorcing not long after that, it didn't matter much. but I would say something like that to your friend.

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Hmmmmm

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Re: Would you apologize on your spouse's behalf?
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2013, 10:36:38 AM »
I think an apology would depend on the severity of the situation but trying to stay with your example.

Friend is hosting an anniversary party. DH has one too many glasses of wine (but honestly I'm more likely to be the one to have one too many) and makes a comment about being suprised the couple lasted as long as they did in front of the hostess.  I hear about it the next day from another friend. I say something to DH, he says he doesn't remember saying it, and anyway it was just a joke. The next time I see the hostess I'd probably say "I hope you weren't too offended by DH's attempt at bad humor but I'm truly sorry if you were."






Zilla

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Re: Would you apologize on your spouse's behalf?
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2013, 10:40:48 AM »
If this is a good friend and you think your spouse behaved poorly, no I don't think you should aplogize for him.  Especially if he thinks he has done nothing wrong.  If friend brings it up, I would just comment, "I am married to him and cannot control him." and leave it at that.  Don't get further involved.
 
If you think your husband didn't behave poorly or was misunderstood, I might explain it to friend so he or she won't judge him in the harshest light possible.  So not necessarily apologize, but explain with facts.  If friend still insists he is wrong, then agree to disagree and bean dip.  But in either case, you don't apologize.

bah12

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Re: Would you apologize on your spouse's behalf?
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2013, 10:41:36 AM »
I think the specific situation matters.  In most cases, I would hope that I wouldn't hear about my husband's behavior second hand and I'm not sure (again depending on what it was) that I would automatically assume that my husband needed to be apologized for.

But, hypothetically, if it were by best friend who said my DH said something harsh or acted in a boorish way (so, now we have two people I trust almost implicitly), and I had no prior knowledge of the incident.  I might say something like "Really?  Wow! That's a terrible thing to say/act.  I can't imagine what he was thinking because that isn't like him at all.  Do you want me to talk to him for you?  He owes you, at the least, an explanation."

So, not dismissive of my friend but not exactly throwing my DH under the bus either. 

Zilla

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Re: Would you apologize on your spouse's behalf?
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2013, 10:47:32 AM »
I think the specific situation matters.  In most cases, I would hope that I wouldn't hear about my husband's behavior second hand and I'm not sure (again depending on what it was) that I would automatically assume that my husband needed to be apologized for.

But, hypothetically, if it were by best friend who said my DH said something harsh or acted in a boorish way (so, now we have two people I trust almost implicitly), and I had no prior knowledge of the incident.  I might say something like "Really?  Wow! That's a terrible thing to say/act.  I can't imagine what he was thinking because that isn't like him at all.  Do you want me to talk to him for you?  He owes you, at the least, an explanation."

So, not dismissive of my friend but not exactly throwing my DH under the bus either.
And as the OP stated that the husband was spoken to and refuse to aplogize and doesn't see anything wrong.  What do you do then?  Now friend is expecting you to wrangle your dh into speaking to her.  I think it's best just to not get involved and change the subject.

SiotehCat

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Re: Would you apologize on your spouse's behalf?
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2013, 10:49:37 AM »
I would apologize for my DH.

If my DH offended someone that I cared about, whether he thought he was right or wrong, he would also be apologizing. I would make sure of it.

dawbs

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Re: Would you apologize on your spouse's behalf?
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2013, 10:53:10 AM »
I see nothing wrong w/ apologizing for adults.

If my mom does something awkward and embarrassing, I'd tell my friend "I'm sorry, I know that was uncomfortable"
Same w/ a spouse.  It's not a replacement for the spouse's apology, it's my apology for putting my friend in contact w/ someone who did something bad/awkward/hurtful/embarassing/whatever.

Bethalize

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Re: Would you apologize on your spouse's behalf?
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2013, 11:09:59 AM »
I would let my friend know that I thought an apology was warranted and that I was personally sorry that the incident had happened.

I've just fired (well, as much as you can fire an independent contractor without a pre-pay contract) a sporting coach because their business partner was egregiously obnoxious to a beginner. The coach didn't get in contact afterwards to say that the incident shouldn't have happened and that they were sorry it had happened or offer to make reparations on behalf of the business, so I am left assuming that they are fine with behaviour that I think is completely unacceptable. Filing official complaints unacceptable. The coach didn't personally commit the transgression, but you can bet your little sugar cookies that I see them as a unit and as responsible for what happens on the event that they are responsible for. I don't care to associate with someone who tolerates such behaviour.

So yes, apologising because of a spouse is important or you are tarred with the same brush.

gorplady

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Re: Would you apologize on your spouse's behalf?
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2013, 11:30:42 AM »
I would apologize for my DH.

If my DH offended someone that I cared about, whether he thought he was right or wrong, he would also be apologizing. I would make sure of it.


My partner is fairly clueless when it comes to interpersonal relationships. He oftentimes will do/say things without always thinking of the consequences and can irritate people inadvertently. I don't/won't apologise for him, nor will I make him apologise.  I am not his mom.

I do let him know if someone approaches me about it and I do tell the other person that they need to talk to him, but I'm not going to apologise for him.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 02:55:15 PM by gorplady »

Zilla

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Re: Would you apologize on your spouse's behalf?
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2013, 11:39:11 AM »
I would let my friend know that I thought an apology was warranted and that I was personally sorry that the incident had happened.

I've just fired (well, as much as you can fire an independent contractor without a pre-pay contract) a sporting coach because their business partner was egregiously obnoxious to a beginner. The coach didn't get in contact afterwards to say that the incident shouldn't have happened and that they were sorry it had happened or offer to make reparations on behalf of the business, so I am left assuming that they are fine with behaviour that I think is completely unacceptable. Filing official complaints unacceptable. The coach didn't personally commit the transgression, but you can bet your little sugar cookies that I see them as a unit and as responsible for what happens on the event that they are responsible for. I don't care to associate with someone who tolerates such behaviour.

So yes, apologising because of a spouse is important or you are tarred with the same brush.
How does this even compare to a spouse situation?  This is a business transaction you are describing and of course you would expect an apology from the coach!  And you are 100 percent correct to fire him.
 
But in the OP's situation,  a wife and husband isn't the same person.  It's unfair to tar the wife for something the husband did.  Especially if the wife takes care to separate the husband from friends in future situations.  It isn't always a given that spouses will get along with everyone.  And if you married that spouse, I am sure they are a decent person or else you wouldn't have married them.  In the end, you are stuck in between two people  And it's best to let those two people handle it and not get involved unless you are willing to lose one of them.

Lynn2000

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Re: Would you apologize on your spouse's behalf?
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2013, 12:18:10 PM »
I think Bethalize's situation is relevant in that if the wife stays silent as her friend complains about DH's behavior, it could lead friend to think that the wife completely agrees with what her husband did/said.

I don't know that I would apologize "on behalf of" my spouse--that makes me think of, "Bob said to tell you he was sorry" or "Bob's really sorry for what he said."

But if my friend was complaining of an insult from a third party that I didn't even know, I could easily say, "I'm so sorry they said that to you! That's awful!" So I think I could reply in that vein if she were talking about my spouse. It would probably be more like, "What? That's a weird thing for him to say. I don't know what he meant by that," in a disapproving tone. Or if she was really upset, something like, "I'm so sorry you were hurt by his comment! I didn't hear it and I really don't know what he meant by it." I guess I wouldn't take the extra step of promising to do something about it; but I would definitely ask my DH about it later and see what the deal was, and decide how I wanted to proceed. Depending on the situation I might strongly suggest he apologize directly to friend, or that they not socialize together for a while, or just advise him that she doesn't find that particular topic funny and now that he knows, it would be mean to bring it up again with her. And I wouldn't want to be married to someone who was deliberately mean.
~Lynn2000

Zilla

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Re: Would you apologize on your spouse's behalf?
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2013, 12:29:48 PM »
I think Bethalize's situation is relevant in that if the wife stays silent as her friend complains about DH's behavior, it could lead friend to think that the wife completely agrees with what her husband did/said.

I don't know that I would apologize "on behalf of" my spouse--that makes me think of, "Bob said to tell you he was sorry" or "Bob's really sorry for what he said."

But if my friend was complaining of an insult from a third party that I didn't even know, I could easily say, "I'm so sorry they said that to you! That's awful!" So I think I could reply in that vein if she were talking about my spouse. It would probably be more like, "What? That's a weird thing for him to say. I don't know what he meant by that," in a disapproving tone. Or if she was really upset, something like, "I'm so sorry you were hurt by his comment! I didn't hear it and I really don't know what he meant by it." I guess I wouldn't take the extra step of promising to do something about it; but I would definitely ask my DH about it later and see what the deal was, and decide how I wanted to proceed. Depending on the situation I might strongly suggest he apologize directly to friend, or that they not socialize together for a while, or just advise him that she doesn't find that particular topic funny and now that he knows, it would be mean to bring it up again with her. And I wouldn't want to be married to someone who was deliberately mean.
Right in the business transaction she described, she fully expected an apology from the coach and received none so she fired him.
 
In a friend vs spouse situation, discussion is warranted.  I can't see the friend tarring her friend with the same brush as the husband without a discussion happening.  Two different situations.  And furthermore, if the friend immeadiately does tar them both like that, then he or she isn't a true friend.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 12:34:52 PM by Zilla »

onyonryngs

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Re: Would you apologize on your spouse's behalf?
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2013, 01:10:52 PM »
I'd express my dismay at the situation so the friend knew that I also thought DH was in the wrong, but he's a grown man and can do his own apologizing. 

Lynn2000

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Re: Would you apologize on your spouse's behalf?
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2013, 01:37:59 PM »
Right in the business transaction she described, she fully expected an apology from the coach and received none so she fired him.
 
In a friend vs spouse situation, discussion is warranted.  I can't see the friend tarring her friend with the same brush as the husband without a discussion happening.  Two different situations.  And furthermore, if the friend immeadiately does tar them both like that, then he or she isn't a true friend.

Well, I guess I was picturing it as, Insulted Friend is trying to have a discussion with Wife about Husband's behavior, and Wife just keeps bean-dipping or says nothing in response. So Insulted Friend might conclude that Wife agrees with Husband on the matter (or doesn't think it's a big deal), and then Insulted Friend is mad at both of them.

I suppose I was picturing something similar with Bethalize--that maybe she said (emailed, etc.) to Coach, "Hey, Business Partner was insulting," and Coach was like, "Huh. Nice weather we're having." Naturally leading Bethalize to think that Coach either agreed with the insult, or didn't care much.

Thus one might conclude that when one's partner has insulted someone, bean-dipping or ignoring is not the way to go, even if you have no intention of actually apologizing on your partner's behalf.
~Lynn2000