Heart, Spirit & Mind

When apologies are only words


Unhappy coupleAll relationships have their ups and downs.  The best way to handle problems is to communicate with your partner. However, sometimes it isn’t easy to express yourself, especially when you try to bring up a problem and your partner:

  • Gives you the silent treatment
  • They bulldoze you
  • They minimize your feelings

If you are in a relationship with someone who stonewalls your attempts to discuss issues, then it can lead to major problems in a relationship.  It can be very difficult to solve problems when your partner does not want to be aware of the issues, does not want to be accountable or responsible toward you or about themselves.  Sometimes, they have the uncanny ability to disconnect themselves from their actions and act as if nothing happened at all.

People with dysfunctional communication styles often believe can ignore their problems, or, if they chose to not acknowledge them all, pretend they don’t exist.  This is a form of placebo feeling like they are erasing the past.

With such an attitude, they operate in their own private bubble doing and saying whatever they please no matter what you say, or how much you protest.  They don’t want to discuss anything that may force them to be accountable for their own behavior and actions, especially when they have behaved badly.  They refused to be challenged and will try to penalize you for attempting to do so.  They will create so much conflict that you come to feel the effort is not worth the aggravation.  Essentially, you give in. If your partner does not understand what they did to cause you hurt or to fracture your relationship, then there is no way to prevent it from happening again.

People who want to be in an honest relationship are prepared to be honest with themselves and their partner. They know that conversations can sometimes be uncomfortable. They know they sometimes are to blame and have to admit fault.  People who refuse to acknowledge any of these things are dangerous people to involved with.

When you continually sweep the issues under the rug, pretend there isn’t a problem, and a myriad of other methods to not address problems, you become disconnected from your actions.  This in turn makes it difficult for you to see how you behavior impacts others as well as how it impacts you.

People like this always think the problems that keep reoccurring in their life are due to bad luck and someone else’s problem. They never look at themselves as the source.  They think in the short-term and never think about consequences.  They do whatever they please and try to rewrite history to suit what makes them feel more comfortable.  The distort the real version of events in order to make themselves look like victims when often, they are the persecutor.

We have all met people like this.  You meet a guy who tells you he is broken-hearted. His long-term girlfriend dumped him for another guy.  He feels victimized and betrayed. When you get to the meat of the story, you find out that he treated his girlfriend terribly and cheated on her multiple times.  Yet to the world and himself, HE IS THE VICTIM.

People like this will often try to screw with your mind.  They will tell you one thing, and then immediately tell you something that contradicts it. And then they will claim they never changed their story.  No one should feel they have liberty to feed you an alternative realty and wound you in the process.

People who act out of love, care, trust and respect don’t behave this way.  Anyone who expects you to disregard their contradictory actions does not have your best interest at heart. It’s best to not allow people like this to bully you into returning into a relationship where you weren’t treated with decency. Don’t even try to rationalize such behavior because people like this never feel enough consequences to behave properly unless you remain firm in your right to be treated with respect.

If you feel ill at ease and unhappy, it is a sign that things are unresolved. Don’t allow them to minimize how you feel. You should call them out on their behavior and if they aren’t willing to work with you in resolving things on an equal playing field, then they don’t deserve to be in a relationship with you.


  1. Hi,
    Thanks for the write-up. I felt as if I was reading about my girlfriend. I have been trying to find an explanation to this. My girl friend gets angry easily, finds it difficult to apologize. We cannot sit down to solve issue, cos she flares out or claims what I am complaining about is not true or what I said she said is not true or tries to rationalize what is clearly wrong. Any time I tried to correct her on issues, it leads to argument because she doesnt like criticizim
    I tried to be soft with her and patient with her. But the more I do, the more she does things with impunity. I realize I was losing control of the relationship but when I tried to put my feet on ground, it leads to argument such that we are about to break up.

    Although I have seen that sometimes, she tries to change but I can see it is very difficult for her. Maybe she has formed a personalty.
    I stil love her but I am worried that what could happen if she doesnt change
    What do you advice?

    • People don’t change unless they really want to change. The root of most conflict is almost always based on insecurity which is based on fear. If she gets angry easily it may be because she feels your comments are a referendom on her. It may be your delivery, or, it simply may be that she isn’t emotionally mature enough to handle constructive criticsm.

      People’s personalities are pretty well formed by the time they are 25. It takes a tremendous amount of work to truly transform oneself and most of the work usually involves work on self. If you still love her and you think it can work then go to couples therapy and learn how to better communicate with each other in ways that don’t put the other person on defensive. Things like, “When you say this thing, I feel this.” Always turn things around and use the “I” voice rather than “You”. Your last sentence however sounds like you already know what is necessary to do, but are looking for advice to steer you on another path. Only you alone can make those decisions and part of that may very well be accepting inconvenient truths. This is all I can go with. Your message was short and not detailed. Feel free to write more if you want to clarify.

  2. This is a very good website. I’m just curious, what do you do when your children treat you this way?

    • It’s a little harder with children because you can’t expect them to have the same level of emotional maturity as an adult. It can be very, very difficult. All you can do is set the example. In fact, you MUST set the example so that they are not disabled as adults. And then, you suck it up.

  3. While many of these strategies could apply in my situation but how do you walk away from your children? Thank goodness I have a very loving and supportive husband.

    • If they are adults, then you clearly articulate what is acceptable and what is not acceptable to you and then you take action. Family counselling could be a good course of action if they are amenable.

      Sometimes, people will come around, albeit kicking and screaming when you set boundaries.

  4. I’ve lived with the father of my kids 10 years since I was 21 at first I would get hurt of his action which are pretty much matches this but I didn’t open my eyes until 2 years ago . I’ve matured so much and he continues the same only has changed a little bit. Going out with his friends doesn’t take me anywhere now that I tell me he has more than before but all of a sudden back to his friends when he has a family . I’m very exhausted over it . I want us to work and see potential but he ignores all I say . I told him I was leaving and he just said I was crazy then I pointed out why I was leaving Bc he is not making a change he continues to put his friends first and pretend to be single( Bc only a single person goes to bars often) and also told him that he says very mean things at times and all he said was “I love you ” I don’t even know how to respond to that ?

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