31 Days of Stuff I Wish You’d Quit Saying: Day 30 “I am sorry you…”

Or “I am sorry but…”

I literally just did this.  “I am sorry you…”  This is not an apology.  Just be sorry.

When Justin and I first got married, this was our battle zone. And it was the hill I was willing to die on.  We’d fight. He doesn’t like to fight so he would “apologize” to get it over.  But his apologies only ignited in me the wrath of Medusa.

“I am sorry that you are unreasonable.”

“I am sorry you are so emotional.”

“I am sorry you thought throwing that brush at my head was an effective means of communication.”

“I am sorry that you thought involving the police in our argument was reasonable, now officer if you could remove these handcuffs…”

Needless to say, we are a passionate couple, in need of therapy.

So, I offended someone and was called out, and I did this: “I am sorry but…”  I know better.  It is rude and further insulting.  And it made me examine the sorry.  If I offend someone, and I am sorry for my words, I can flat out say, “I am sorry.” I can even go as far as to say, “I am sorry, and I will immediately change the verbiage I used.”  But if I meant what I said?  Then how do I accurately convey that type of apology?

I am sorry but…

I am sorry if…

I am sorry you…

Ick.  Sorry, but those are sorry apologies.  That is no way to build up relationships or be granted forgiveness.  And I literally just did this.  And I was genuinely sorry.  I wasn’t sure what I was doing for today’s post until I typed that very sorry, “Sorry.” I wish my response had been, “This was not my intended voice for this piece.  I am sorry I offended you.” And although the reader may think I am a blubbering fool, I wrote a second apology.

In an apology, there needn’t be an explanation.  I think the explanation should come before the apology if you want to effectively convey your remorse.

“I was very angry with you.  I threw that brush at your head because I was frustrated.  I am sorry.”

“Involving the police was dramatic.  When you made fun of me for catching the kitchen on fire, I was embarrassed.  I am sorry.”

But a “sorry” followed by explanation is a passive-aggressive apology.  Second only to:

“I love you, but…”

Oh. My. Word.

And I am guilty of this too.  But when I think about that?  I am HORRIFIED.  It insinuates love with a condition.  And I know I have used this with the kids as a means of correction, but that is just bottom feeding parenting.  Ew!


“Son, I love you, but if you cook a pound of bacon after midnight one more time, I am going to beat you with a frying pan.”

“Sophie, I love you, but if you don’t stop singing 1980’s one hit wonders, I am going to cry.”

“Sam, I love you, but if I have to see you naked one more time today, I am moving out.”

To put a condition on my love is more than juvenile. And it is simply the arrangement of the words and the habit in which I speak them.


“Luke, stop sneaking out of the window or I will staple your head to the carpet.  I love you.”

“Maggie, there is a significant time difference in England and Texas. Stop face timing me at 3:00 am with all your suite mates gawking at me, or I am going to fly there, kick your lung out, and beat you with it. I love you.”

“John, when you go to the grocery store for bread and milk it does me no good if you sack the bread with the milk.  It makes me want to pummel you.  I love you.”


Over the course of the years, my husband has gotten much better at apologizing and has moved on to “One Minute Managing.”  As I recall, my dad used to do this too. And now, Luke has caught on.  I am not sure this is a good thing, but it is very effective.

Luke:  Mom, I appreciate you ironing my pants.

Me:  Oh!  You are so welcome.

Luke:  My mocha frap doesn’t have quite as much whipping cream as I like.

Me:  Uh.  Okay, I will put more tomorrow.

Luke:  Great!  The toast is perfect.  It is so nice of you to bring me breakfast after swim-team.

Me:  I’m happy to do it.

Luke: Hey, have you ever thought of ironing with less starch?

Me:  Uh… sure.  I will use less.

Luke:  Awesome.  You’re doing a great job mom!

Yup. I drove home vowing to be better!  I will try harder!  I will use less starch and more whipped cream and… wait, just a second!  It occurs to me I am a 44-year-old barista and laundress with $80,000 in student loans and a master’s degree working for a 15-year-old who has $7.28 in change in his underwear drawer and a bad case of acne.  Looking back over this, it’s a shame tomorrow is the last day of the challenge. I should read “The One Minute Manager” and I might need to do a post on not saying overexaggerated and dramatic threats to my kids. I love you but, sorry, we have run out of time.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…” Ecclesiastes 3:1

May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained.  Love, Jami

About jamiamerine

I am a wife, mom, & seeker of joy! I love to share funny and inspirational tales with my fellow moms. I fully believe that God intended laughter to be a form of rest and worship. I have a few kids. I have a few years on me. I have a great husband. And I love to laugh. I studied home economics in college, I can cook just about anything, but do not ask me to sew. In my graduate work I studied education and human development, I consider my life continuing education, my children are my ongoing thesis. If they survive that, I will let you know! I write non-fiction for laughter, respite, and inspiration. I also am in the process of submitting my first fiction mystery and have two more in the works! Mom life is hard work. My prayer for my readers is that, even if it you just have five minutes, you can be inspired and encouraged today. Keep it short and sweet... rest in Jesus girlfriend.
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7 Responses to 31 Days of Stuff I Wish You’d Quit Saying: Day 30 “I am sorry you…”

  1. Nancy Kirk says:

    This is fantastic!! You are so spot on! I did scare my dog busting out loud on your comment about Sophie!! I love that she is always singing, even while in the middle of a game in PE!! One of the very few things I miss about being completely out of education!! Give her a hug, please!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ren says:

    So cute! First, I LOVE how violent you are! I always think of myself like Jo from Little Women, “I rather crave violence”. Second, that “sorry” and “love” advice is good. I do start with “I’m sorry for_____*period*” Or “I love you *period*” I let those statements stand alone and give them space to allow for the person to whom I’m speaking to know that I’m sincere. THEN, I talk about why I did what I did, or what I need them to understand. I don’t think the order is so much important as the sincerity in which you speak them. I only use those first, because it’s disarming. It takes me out of a place of opposition and immediate makes it clear that I’m coming to reconcile. I find everyone’s emotions settle down when I start with what they need from me before I talk about what I need from them. It’s effective with the children and when my husband and I both practice it after an arguement, it sets the tone- we’re reminding each other that we aren’t the enemy and that even though we’ve disagreed, we love each other and want to fix what’s broken.
    THOUGH, I totally caught on to the apology thing when we were first married, I stopped letting a blanket apology work LOL I made him tell me what he was sorry about and if it didn’t come close or if he had to admit he was just apologizing to shut me up, then we’d have some work to do 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ren says:

      AND, on that same vain. . . I don’t make apologies to smooth things over. If I apologize it’s because I’ve been convicted of the need. I don’t apologize to people to make them feel better. That’s when I *don’t* start with “I’m sorry”. That’s when I start with, “I’ve noticed that you seem to be mad at me, let’s talk.” If by the end of the coversation, an apology is cleary in order, I’ll give it. If by the end of the conversation I’m not seeing a need to apologize. . . I don’t 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Teresa says:

    I love your writing so much! Thank you for being so open and honest about all you share. I got called out for saying “I’m sorry but” by a non Christian friend I was ministering to. She was right and I took it as constructive criticism. The mean part of me wanted to say “hmm since you think you want all information blunt and direct….I’m sorry but some people are over sensitive and need to get over it already! Lol!

    Liked by 1 person

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