How to treat your partner after hurting them

There is no such thing as a perfect partnership.

An angry black couple [Credit: The Rut]

One of the biggest emotional needs of everyone is the desire to feel secure in a relationship.

Your partner must know that you won’t intentionally hurt their feelings. So, this conversation may only be complete once you have reassured them that you will not intentionally hurt them that way again.

Apologizing to your partner and healing your relationship involves more than just saying “I’m sorry”.

Here's how to effectively start reconnecting again after you’ve hurt your partner:

  • Acknowledge their feelings

One of the first rules of getting back into your partner’s good books immediately is that you must be willing and able to acknowledge their feelings. Empathize with them, even if you feel that what they are saying isn’t valid.

Instead of trying to trivialize their emotions, let them know that you have heard what they have said and that their feelings are valid.

  • Give them some space 

One of the most difficult things to do after you hurt your partner is to give them space. At this time, you may be tempted to follow them everywhere, send unending texts, or randomly show up at their doorstep and demand their attention.


In many cases, you may need more results than this. Most times, what to do when you hurt someone is to give them some space. Your partner may want to be alone and figure some things out.

  • Take full responsibility for your actions 

Trying to roll the blame for your actions over to another screams irresponsibility, and you don’t want your partner to get the wrong impression. Resist the urge to explain away your actions.

At the same time, don’t try to blame them for your actions. Don’t say “I wouldn’t have done that if only you had stayed quiet.” Instead, take full responsibility for your actions already.

Taking full responsibility can be challenging and ego-bruising, but this action can immediately improve your relationship. Your partner needs to be reassured that they are with someone who can own up to their wrongdoings.

  • Apologise

A person’s body language can determine whether their apologies will be accepted.

Hence, your apology must be accompanied by gestures and body language, showing that you are sorry for your actions.

Your partner can interpret a smirk as a sign that your apology is fake. A great apology is usually accompanied by a sullen look, few heartfelt words, and bowed shoulders.

  • Try not to get sexual 

“Make-up sex” has reportedly been the healing balm for many relationships going through hell. The challenge with having make-up sex too early is that it is like covering a gaping wound with a band-aid. The fact that it is out of sight doesn’t mean that the wound is healed.

Having make-up sex too soon might even be a form of procrastination. The problem remains there, but you choose the easy way out. The hurt starts festering and may explode sometime in the future. At that point, addressing it may become impossible.

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