Everyone argues from time to time, especially with their spouse. It’s only natural that when you spend so much time with the love of your life and go through all that life throws at the two of you, tempers flair once in awhile.

The important thing is not that you had a *gasp* squabble, but that you both suck it up and make it right afterwards. There are occasions when an apology isn’t needed because you resolved the issue together as adults. More often than not, though, you should probably apologize to mend any small tears you may have caused in your relationship. You should apologize if:

1. You raised your voice. You’re not entitled to raise your voice at someone else during an argument. The louder you get, the less you hear from the other person.

2. You cussed … at him, at the situation, or just in general. We all want to just throw our heads back and yell “FUCK!” at the universe once in awhile, but during an argument is not the time to do so. Pulling out your favorite four letter words during a spat immediately puts the other person on the defensive.

3. You overreacted or exaggerate. Think back to when you were thirteen years old and used to argue with your parents. Remember how everyone was out to get you and everyone hated you? Well, as you grew up, you learned that wasn’t true. Telling your spouse he never listens or doesn’t really love you is ridiculous… you know that when you’re calm.

4. You brought up the past. Women, let’s be honest, we love to do this because we remember everything. It’s not fair to bring up a past argument or perceived slight in the throes of a fight.

5. You lost it because the other person unknowingly hit on a sensitive issue for you. This one can be tough to catch because it requires a great deal of self-awareness. For example, I got into a heated argument with my guy because he said something that I didn’t hear. He genuinely thought I was ignoring him. I don’t hear really well out of one ear and it’s kind of a touchy subject for me. I hate missing things. So, put his reaction together with my sensitivity and BOOM. Yes, I apologized fifteen minutes later and explained myself.

6. You took your anger/frustration out on them over something completely unrelated. Customer or client yelled at you today at work? Stressed out about money? Worried about an ailing family member? Missed your flight? Sometimes it’s easier to blow up at a convenient target when you can’t deal with the real issue or problem.

7. You were being irrational because you were hungry/tired/exhausted. Hangry anyone? You wouldn’t like me when I’m hungry. (Sorry, I couldn’t help it!)  Seriously though, my blood sugar drops and I get a little on edge. Don’t let yourself get to that point!

8. You value the relationship more than being right. A relationship or a marriage is made of give & take. If you’ve gotten this far through the list and still don’t think you should apologize, you need to look at the bigger picture. Are you willing to hurt your partner to be right? Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy? There are times in life where you have to give up one for the other. Check out 5 Ways to Stop Being a Bitchy Wife for more tips in this area.

It’s easy to hold a grudge after a fight and just not talk to your spouse for the next two days. I agree that apologizing is hard but it’s a lot harder to mend a broken relationship. Lack of apologies, especially when you’re in the wrong, can be the undoing of a marriage in the long term. Go on, I promise you won’t die from saying you’re sorry. We’ve all been there at one time or another.

How are some other ways you know to apologize after a disagreement? When is the last time you had to say you’re sorry?

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