Thursday, June 16, 2011


Have you ever heard the saying "Love means never having to say you're sorry."? It's actually a line from a book and a 1970 movie, and I've heard it here and there in various contexts. Two years later, the phrase was repeated by Barbara Streisand's character in another movie, to which her costar Ryan O'Neal responds, "That's the dumbest thing I ever heard."

I have to say I agree with his answer. Since being married, I've learned that "I'm sorry" is one of the most important, and necessary, things I can say to my husband. I don't think I say it too much because I think overusing it just becomes a trite cure-all phrase, and because I try my hardest to not do or say too many things in the first place that I'm sorry for. But there are definitely times where I have to put my pride aside, get a little perspective on the situation, and turn on the empathy. It might be easier to just disregard the situation, and when the bad feelings subside, just go back to life as usual as if nothing happened. But, as I'm sure you all know, that doesn't make it better in the long run.

I recently read an article titled "Making a Marriage Work" where Elder Pinnock lists ten ideas to not only make your marriage work, but to strengthen it (I highly recommend reading it individually and then as a couple). The seventh idea is:

"Say, 'I’m sorry,' and really mean it. Contrary to a popular saying, love, in part, means learning how to say 'I’m sorry.' So often when we make mistakes, even innocent mistakes, damage has been done and an apology is in order. Along with learning to say, 'I’m sorry,' husbands and wives must learn to say, 'I forgive.' Jesus taught that to be forgiven by our Heavenly Father depends, in part, on our ability to forgive those who trespass against us. Some of the strongest marriages of which I am aware have been between partners who could say, 'I am sorry,' and who forgive each other."

So, if I could re-write the saying based on my own experience, it would say something like "Love means saying you're sorry even when it's the most difficult thing you've done in a long time and it wasn't your fault to begin with and you want to sulk until the other person comes to you and apologizes and you don't want to talk about it and you don't care about being sorry because you just want to be right."

Now that's TRUE love.

1 comment:

  1. Did you know that it was Ryan O'Neal's character in Love Story that delivers that line? That's why it's so funny that he says it's dumb in "What's Up Doc?"

    And I definitely like your saying better :)