It's been a pretty rough time lately. A discouraging time for Tim, and because I love my husband, it becomes a discouraging time for me. It's hard to know the right words, and sometimes it simply doesn't matter what I say. He's upset and he's negative. I do understand why. It is frustrating to watch the field you've worked in all your life simply 'dry up' and disappear. But then to find yourself unable to switch fields because your potential employers see you as someone who will leave to go back to the higher paying jobs as soon as you get the chance, well...the fact is, this is a tough time for Tim. This is the longest that he's ever gone without working and he's getting upset about it all. So, I've been trying to say the right words and the encouraging words but I've also been studying hard and fretting over finals, and distracted, so I don't think that I've been all that supportive lately.
An interesting thing happened. While we were preoccupied, something happened. I was done wrong as the saying goes, a virtual 'slap' from a corner that I would have never expected a slap to come from. I was shocked wordless. I spoke with the person, and told her that what she had said was not true. That's all really. The following day, I got a call. There were tears, and the person said, "I'm sorry. I'm really sorry. I've been thinking about it a lot, and I feel awful about it. I should have never said that."
I waited, but there was no 'but'.
I make no secret of it. Tim and I are surrounded by some very angry people, and our experience with apologies is, "Well, I'm sorry, BUT..." and then the person goes on to tell you exactly why you 'had it coming', so to speak. An apology that doesn't apologize for anything. An apology that doesn't make you feel better, although it seems to comfort the apologist.
But this time, there was no but. There was an apology that was heart felt. I was comforted by the words, and I was able to say, "I'd like to just get past this..." and she said, "I would too," and so we did. By the time we hung up the phone, we both felt better.
It is such a simple thing to say 'I'm sorry,' but when the words come from the heart, it can make a profound difference. Hearing them makes a person feel like she matters.