Ways to Say “I’m Sorry”

 Creative Ways to Say I’m Sorry

I don’t know about you, but my marriage isn’t perfect all of the time. Issues come up and luckily we talk them through. But there are certainly times when one of us sticks our foot in our mouth. My amazing spouse can recognize when he is in the wrong and quickly says I’m sorry. I’m a tad more prideful and I take a little longer to say I’m in the wrong. Breaking the ice isn’t my strong point! I’ve got a few flaws, please tell me I’m not the only one who likes to think they’re right all the time! Today I’m sharing a BUNCH of “I’m Sorry” ideas that are sure-fire ways to help all of us!

Make it right and say "I'm sorry"! Use these cute and clever ideas to get things back on track! #apologygifts #apologyletters #Imsorrygifts

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There is a quote I love that breaks down the steps on how to say I’m sorry and apologize to your spouse perfectly, it goes like this: “‘I’m sorry’ is a statement. ‘I won’t do it again’ is a promise. ‘How do I make it up to you?’ is a responsibility.”

These are steps to certainly follow when you are saying sorry and asking forgiveness. Be sure to follow each step, add in a peace offering, forgiveness, and love to fix any sticky situation. We will cover the following topics:

How to Say I’m Sorry

One of the hardest things to do during an argument is to step back and look at the situation from your partner’s perspective. Put your own feelings aside and really put yourself in their position. Normally, it’s not until much after the fact you get a chance to calm down and realize that you need to say I’m sorry. There are also times when you make a mistake and you know you need to say sorry right away. We all make bad choices, but making a mistake that hurts your partner can really cause harm to the relationship. Before you actively apologize consider the following advice:

How to Say Sorry

  • Lose your pride. The number one thing that gets in the way of a heartfelt apology is pride. We can be truly sorry, but our pride can easily get in the way of us following through with our apology or can give off a vibe that can cause our spouse to not feel that we are truly sincere. Pride can be ugly, and the first step to a confident apology is forcing that pride to take a back seat to the importance of a healthy relationship with your spouse.
  • Know that it’s okay to admit our faults or our mistakes. In reality, doing so makes us a better person, our humility shows that we truly love our spouse, and allows us to learn from the experience as a couple. Sometimes this also means saying “I’m sorry” even when you may not feel you are to blame for the situation.
  • Use your spouse’s apology language. Dr. Chapman, the author of The Five Love Languages, also wrote another amazing book called The Five Languages of Apology. He discovered that not only do our spouses need to receive love in the “love language” they relate to, but they also need to receive apologies in their “language of apology.”
  • Sometimes adding a little humor is the perfect way to break the tension, and get closer to the “making up” stage of the situation. This is a tricky thing though because you have to know your spouse well. When some people are hurt, they are not in the mood for humor at all, and it to them it is a sign that you aren’t taking the situation seriously. I would save the humor for more minor grievances like saying you’re sorry for a snappy remark, or fighting about whose turn it was to change the baby’s diaper. If the apology is for something more serious like a betrayal or an ongoing issue you are having, humor may not be the way to go.

How to Apologize

No matter the reason why the steps for saying I’m sorry are very much the same in most situations. Here is a break down of what your spouse is wanting when they are owed an apology.

How to Apologize

  • Recognize your error. The worst thing you can do is try to apologize and when pressed, “sorry for what?”, you can only respond, making you mad. Think about it. Put yourself in your partner’s shoes and think about how it feels for them. Reflect on more than just what was said or done. Try to dig deeper and see what the effect those things had on your partner. What other issues could the mistake or argument have triggered them?
  • Think before you speak. If the first words out of your mouth are, “I’m sorry, BUT…” Then you need to take some time to continue to think about your apology. A true apology should be focused on the feelings of your partner. If you are still trying to prove a point during your apology, that is not the proper way to say I’m sorry.
  • Say more than just “I’m sorry”. A proper apology should contain more than just those two words. You should express the reasons why you are sorry, what you have reflected on, and how you hope to change the behavior in the future.
  • Validate feelings. If you are needing to apologize and wipe the slate clean, you need to be prepared to respond to and validate their feelings. Take ownership of the hurt you have caused. Don’t try to minimize how they feel. Give them a chance to express their feelings and hurt. It may not feel like it, but this is a key step toward starting fresh.
  • Don’t get defensive. As you apologize and let your partner express their feelings and frustrations, stay calm. Of course, it is natural to want to defend yourself, but this will only inflame the situation. Relax, and continue to try and see their side. Staying calm is crucial. People tend to mirror emotions. If you remain calm and humble, your partner should soften. This is the first indication that forgiveness will soon follow.
  • Set out a clear plan for change. Whether you made a mistake, or a minor argument resulted in harsh words, resolve to change. How will you learn and grow from this issue? Laying out a clear plan of action that will prevent the hurt from reoccurring will mean more than just saying, I’m sorry.
  • Move forward. Decide now that you won’t bring up this past hurt. Make sure your partner feels the issue is fully resolved and talked through. Once all of the hurt feelings have been purged and validated, move on. This can be something simple like giving a hug or something more silly like dancing it out. Whatever you do, do something together that reconnects both of you. You never want to just walk away from a serious conversation. Connect and grow your relationship from here.

Apology Gifts

This collection of “I’m Sorry” ideas is sure to help you with the peace offering portion of saying I’m sorry. Are you ready to break the ice? Get those pens out and take note of your favorite ideas, I’m taking notes right along with you!

Apology Gifts

  • Making up is easy to do when you attach an adorable printable on a board game. Check out our Sorry – Game On for the printable!
  • Create an I’m Sorry phrase with scrabble pieces, leave it on the counter with a flower or yummy treat.
  • Secretly make the steamy Game of Love to help ease the tension and break the ice. Fold back the sheets just a tiny bit so a bit of the game is visible, just enough to get their attention and tease them a little. Leave a big note on top of your honey’s pillow that says “I’m sorry, let’s make-up!!!!
  • Grab a kiddie book like The Berenstain Bears Say I’m Sorry! Write an inscription inside the book letting your sweetheart KNOW how much you love them & that you are sorry for being so stubborn & admit that you messed up.
  • When saying “I’m sorry” isn’t enough, you will need to figure out how to make things right. When Sorry Isn’t Enough: Making Things Right with Those You Love is the perfect read that will help you figure out what it will take to apologize to your loved one.
  • Present The Five Languages of Apology: How to Experience Healing in All Your Relationships book to your sweetie. Write an inscription explaining how sorry you are on the first page, close the note promising to improve and work on your behavior, and invite your honey to read it with you.
  • Become Shakespeare. Find a book of apology poems such as “This is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness” and insert a poem of your own apologizing for your mistake.
  • Purchase an Apology Pad and use it to explain your behavior. Sign and date the time of the incident. Along with your mistake and then mark off all the reasons you behaved poorly. A fun way to express that you were in the wrong!
  • Write I’m sorry all over white wrapping paper. Wrap up a gift and present to your sweetie.
  • Create an I’m Sorry candy gram to give to your babe. Use candy to express your apology. Ideas such as, “I’m such an airhead, I’m sorry for making 100 (1oo grand) mistakes.” Try to pick out some of their favorite candy when making your gram. For a few more ideas take a peek at Candy Heart Message and The Valentine Date for a little help with your candy gram.
  • Fellas this one is for you…Attach this little note to a ring pop, “They say the best way to make up with a girl is to buy them a RING, I hope they’re right!”
  • Buy a package of gummy bears. Present them with this note, “I’m sorry I’m being such a BEAR during this rough patch, I don’t mean to be so gruff with you. Please forgive me and I’ll try harder to be your care BEAR!”
  • Give a Snickers bar with this note, “Sorry for what I said when I was HUNGRY!” If you don’t get this, you have to watch this Snickers Commercial for a good laugh and an ah-ha moment.
  • Wrap a Symphony candy bar with scrapbook paper. On one half of the paper write, “You deserve this chocolate bar because…” On the other half write down a checklist of reasons why you are sorry, such as “I messed up”, “I’m sorry”, “I promise to try harder”, or “I want to get out of the dog house”. For more candy bar and free printable ideas take a peek at Candy Bar Love Notes.
  • Attach this note to a package of M&M’s, “I MUST say I’ve MESSED up a lot! Enjoy a little bit of chocolate, it makes everything better. I love you!”
  • Search for an ‘I’m sorry’ printable or quote and find the one that explains your feelings perfectly. Print, frame, and write “I’m sorry” with a dry erase marker on the glass.

More I’m Sorry Gifts

Saying I’m sorry can be hard, awkward, and just plain stressful. Break the ice and show your spouse you really care with a thoughtful, I’m sorry gift. These apology gift ideas will help get you on your way back to a clean slate and happier times ahead!

More I'm Sorry Gifts

  • Attach a note on a new pair of your spouse’s favorite socks saying, “I am sorry for my mistake but if you give me another chance I am going to knock your SOCKS off.”
  • Pick up a new pair of flip flops and place this note on them, “I FLOPped things up, I’m sorry for letting you down. Please forgive me and I promise to do my best to make things FLIP instead of flop.”
  • Make a T-Shirt with the words, “I’m Sorry!” written on it – you can use markers or paint. Wear it underneath another shirt and when your spouse comes in, strip off the top shirt to “reveal” your secret message.
  • Purchase I Love You Pillowcases. When you can’t get up the nerve to say I’m sorry place these on your pillows and they help you say I’m sorry and I love you! Use fabric markers to write an “I am sorry” message on the back of the pillowcases.
  • Grab a roll of toilet paper and write this note on it, “Sorry I made your day CRAPPY!” Make this roll extra special by unrolling the roll and writing little love notes on a good portion of the roll.
  • Buy your honey’s favorite bandaid brand and tape this note to the box, “I apologize for HURTING you, how can I make it better?”
  • Did you forget a big date? If so, pick out a delicious smelling candle and place this note with it, “Sorry I forgot your birthday/our anniversary. Light this candle, blow it out, and make an extra wish. Today I’ll make your WISH come true!”
  • Make an I’m sorry and I love you breakfast! Some ideas you could use are the I Love You With My Whole Heart Cereal and A Hearty Breakfast.
  • Grab a bottle of sparkling cider, soda, or bubbles and attach a note that say’s “There’s nothing a little BUBBLY won’t cure.”
  • Write this note “Let’s CLEAR THE AIR, I’m sorry I let you down,” and attach it to a yummy smelling candle, Febreeze, or perfume.
  • Glue buttons on a card with this note attached: “Sorry I pushed your BUTTONS.” or attach note to a button flower, button up shirt, or bag of buttons.
  • Etch I’m sorry on a wine glass and give it with the following paragraph written on a note inside the glass. Present the gift while you are holding a drink and be the first to use it…
    • “FORGIVENESS GLASS. You are probably wondering why you would receive just one glass as a gift, but this is a very special type of glass. It is called the FORGIVENESS GLASS. May this be the least used gift you get. It has just one use. As in any marriage, small arguments, disagreements, and even large scale fighting occur. With these also comes tears, harsh words, walls of silence, etc., and happiness is gone. When you two are angry with each other, one of you should get this glass, fill it with any liquid, from water to sparkling cider, bring it to the other, and the two of you share forgiveness. It does not matter who was right or wrong, do not count those times. Instead, count the blessings you two are sharing as husband and wife…….Be the first one to fill it up and say I’m sorry.”
  • Present an adorable stuffed animal with a free printable that will win your spot right out of The Doghouse.
  • Leave a note saying, “Sorry I put my FOOT in my mouth”give with a coupon for a pedicure by you.
  • Before your spouse returns home, cut out different colors of paper hearts. Create a heart trail beginning at the front door. Snake the trail throughout the house, into different rooms, and ending in the bedroom. Pick different areas of the trail to place apology notes. At the end of the trail stand waiting for them with two glasses of your favorite bubbly drink, a peace offering gift, and apologize again in person.
  • Show your darling you appreciate and love them with a day that’s filled with their favorite things. Boys and Girls Night Out is a creative date that will give you a few activity ideas to make your spouse happy.
  • Collect a few of your spouse’s favorite things and place them in a basket. Attach a note that says “You are my FAVORITE thing and I appreciate you. Please forgive me for (blank).” Check out this post for a free printable to help you figure out your spouse’s favorites-A Few Of Our Favorite Things.
  • Present a flower or bacon bouquet for your loved one with an ‘I’m sorry’ note attached.

Cute and Clever Apology Letters

A little letter can go a long way when you’re in the doghouse! If you put in the effort to be cute and clever when saying “I’m sorry,” it will get you a lot further than just words alone!

Cute and Clever Apology Letters

  • Make an old fashioned morse code into a REmorse code sorry note. Use an old ticket stub or find antique looking paper, cut it to resemble the size of a telegram. At the top of your note write “I’m sending you a remorse code” below that use dot’s, dashes, coma’s, and backslashes for the middle message, representing your remorse code. The last line is for your ‘I’m sorry’ message.
  • Create a secret code message for your spouse to figure out. Write down the alphabet A-Z & assign a symbol to each letter. For example: A = @, B = $, and so on. THEN – write an apology note to your spouse using the symbols, give him/her the key to the secret message & have them decode the message.
  • Use a Secret Message Writing Set to write an ‘I’m sorry’ note with magic markers. Leave the pen for your sweetheart to find the message.
  • Leave your spouse this adorable Reservation At The Heartbreak Hotel love note the next time you need to apologize for a mistake.
  • Write a letter to your spouse with words of thanks and sorry’s. The first sentence will be a ‘thank you’ sentence, the second an ‘I’m sorry’ sentence, the third a ‘thank you’, and so on. For example, ” Thank you for being my everyday real hero. I’m sorry for always wanting to be right. Thank you for constantly making me proud to be your spouse. I apologize for being so set in my ways.” Continue going between thank you’s and sorry’s until you’ve said I’m sorry completely.
  • An “I’m sorry” message in a bottle is a quaint and simple gesture to say “I’m sorry.”
  • Create an apology ticket. Fill out the name of the offender and the recipient, a “statement” of what you’ve done wrong, sign, date, and give a report number, create an “excuse” box with reasons why you’re sorry, an “I feel” box with reasons you feel bad, a “please forgive me” box with reasons why you’re asking for forgiveness, and a section for “notes”. Hand over your Official Apology and say, “Sorry.”
  • Write down all the reasons you love your honey on sticky notes. Stick them anywhere and everywhere you can think of. On one of the notes write I’m sorry, let’s make love not war. Take a peek at Quick Gift For Him: List His Best Qualities for an easy idea to get you started on your notes.
  • Surprise your sweetie with a secret ‘I’m sorry’ message on a banana. Take a peek at the Banana Love Note post for instructions on how to make these banana notes.
  • Another banana idea: grab a banana and make a banana split, attach a note that says, “Sorry I SLIPPED up!” on their spoon.
  • Pick up your sweetie’s favorite box of cereal and tape this note on the front of the box, “I’m so CEREALOUSLY sorry!!!”
  • Sift through these Clever Candy Sayings for Every Occasion and find the perfect apology printable note to pair with a candy.
  • Make an ‘I love you, I’m sorry breakfast’. Use a sausage for the I, a heart-shaped cookie cutter to make a heart shaped egg, and a cookie cutter shaped U for a pancake or cut a toasted bread into a U shape. Place breakfast on a plate with a sticky note attached that says, I’m sorry.

More Apology Letter Ideas

Let’s face it, marriage is a long-haul. You both continuously make mistakes, work through them, and grow together as a couple. In the course of your relationship together you are going to have to say, “I’m sorry” thousands of times. Lucky for you we have tons of ideas for making an extra effort and a memorable apology letter for all the times you mess up!

More Apology Letter Ideas

  • Prepare a romantic crab dinner or a gift card to Joe’s Crab Shack with a note on your sweetie’s plate that says “I’m sorry I’ve been CRABBY, let’s make up!
  • “Can we just ERASE it and start over?” Write this note on a chalkboard and leave an eraser hanging over the chalkboard.
  • Get out of the Dog House using this cute idea! Write an apology letter to your sweetie, and use these downloadable printables to show them you really mean it and will take the time to make it right.
  • Set the scene: Have a makeshift mic, speakers, and ‘I’m sorry’ song on cue. When your sweetheart walks into the room, switch on the song and start lip-syncing until they can’t take it anymore! Song ideas: Brenda Lee-I’m Sorry, Elton John-Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word, Lee Brice-Hard to Love, Chicago-Hard to Say I’m Sorry , Bryan Adams-Please Forgive Me, or Justin Bieber- As Long As You Love Me (Fast forward it to 3:35 minutes and rap to Big Sean)
  • Send an ‘I’m Sorry’ song to your honey’s email with a note about why you are sorry. See above for a list of possible songs.
  • Look up and link to a youtube video that says “I’m Sorry” or “Please forgive me” for you to play/send to their spouse.
  • Remember the movie “Say Anything?” There is a section in this movie where the main character serenades the girl he loves with a song playing on a boom box. Recreate this scene for your darling. Grab a boombox (this might be difficult to find if you can’t find one draw one or use an iPod with speakers), hold it over your head while standing outside your house. Play an ‘I’m sorry’ song to serenade your honey with. Continue blaring the music until they come out and listen to the song with you.
  • Write a cute apology note, tie it to your cat/dog’s collar & send them into the room towards your sweetie. If you have a disobedient pet, take a photo and send it to them instead.
  • Take a photo of yourself with a pouty face, a kiss face, or a shouting face attach a note that says, “I’m sorry, please give me another SHOT?”
  • Make a Banner that reads, “I’m Sorry.” Get on your knees, clasp your hands together underneath the giant banner. It might be corny but unforgettable!
  • Before blowing up balloons write messages on strips of paper explaining how bad you feel for the mistake you’ve made. Insert these message strips into balloons. Blow them up and write ‘I’m sorry’ on each balloon. ‘I’m sorry’ attack the room, or place them in the vehicle, or send them to their work.
  • Another cute idea is to Raindrop Love your room for them to unexpectedly discover. They will feel showered will love, and ready to forgive you!
  • Lighten the mood by giving an Apology Ticket after a disagreement has occurred. Simply fill out the printable and give it to your spouse for a unique and clever way to say, “I’m sorry!”

I’m Sorry Quotes for Him

Sometimes it’s hard to gather the right words to apologize when you’ve hurt the one you love the most. A quote can have a powerful way of touching your heart, and expressing the perfect emotion and sentiment. We have collected great I’m sorry quotes for him, but really they can be great for anyone!

I'm Sorry Quotes for Him

  • “I’m sorry that I’m both your umbrella and the rain.”― Tablo, Pieces of You
  • “Proper apologies have three parts: 1) What I did was wrong. 2) I feel badly that I hurt you. 3) How do I make this better?”― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
  • “Apologizing does not always mean you’re wrong and the other person is right. It just means you value your relationship more than your ego.”― Mark Matthews
  • “We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.” ― Anais Nin
  • “No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.” ―Unknown
  • “The best apology is changed behavior.” ― Unknown
  • “Apologies don’t mean anything if you keep doing what you’re sorry for.” ―Unknown
  • “When a person tells you that you hurt them, you don’t get to decide that you didn’t.” ― Louis C.K.
  • “We repeat what we don’t repair.” ― Christine Langley
  • “You can’t change what you refuse to confront.” ― John Spence
  • “Only if we fought just as hard to understand as we do to disagree.” ―Unkown
  • “Your apology needs to be as loud as your disrespect was.” ―Unkown
  • “Forgive me, if I stumble and fall, for I know not how to love too well, I am clumsy and my words, do not form as I wish, so let me kiss you instead, and let my lips, paint for you, all the pictures, that my clumsy heart, cannot.” ―Atticus

I’m Sorry Quotes for Her

Let’s face it, a beautiful quote can put things in a way that we often can’t. A quote that is poignant and to the point has a way of putting things in perspective and makes us reevaluate. Scroll through these I’m sorry quotes for her to be inspired and left thinking.

I'm Sorry Quote for Her

  • “The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to forget is the happiest.” ― Unknown
  • “The true mark of maturity is when somebody hurts you and you try to understand their situation instead of trying to hurt them back.” ―Unknown
  • “I’m so sorry for not stitching up your wounds. I was busy bleeding too.” ― Leeza Jayde
  • “In marriage, I’m sorry is just a humbling way to say I love you.” ― Bethany Grow
  • “A strong relationship requires choosing to love each other even in those moments when you struggle to like each other.” ― Dave Willis, The Seven Laws of Love: Essential Principles for Building Stronger Relationships
  • “Old ways won’t open new doors.” ―Unknown
  • “You can decide whether or not to apologize, but you don’t determine what hurts and what doesn’t. The best you can do is make it right. Ultimately, what says so much of who we are. Some clean up the streets while others throw trash from the window.” ― JmStorm
  • “I’m Yours. No Refunds.” ― Unknown
  • “You will continue to suffer if you have an emotional reaction to everything that is said to you. True power is sitting back and observing things with logic. True power is restraint. If words control you that means everyone else can control you. Breathe and allow things to pass.” ― Warren Buffett
  • “Storms make trees take deeper roots.” ―Dolly Parton
  • “One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” ― Bryant McGill
  • “Each Morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” ― Buddha
  • “An apology is a good way to have the last word.” ― Unknown

Did you find a favorite or two “I’m Sorry” ideas? I know I’m saving a few favorites for all the future moments that I will need to apologize, you should save a few when you need to apologize to your spouse, too! Before you know it, the two of you will be making love, not war! You know what they say, making up is the best, so go get making up!

About the Author: Michelle

I love anything that sparkles, everything dealing with love, warm summer rays, and my hot hubby. I find balance in life by staying physically fit and keeping it real. My purpose in life is cherishing my marriage and making our adventure shine!

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15 Responses to Ways to Say “I’m Sorry”

  1. So glad to have seen this lovely list. They gave me more humility spirit. I have to say kudos to you. You were right when you say “making it upon to someone is a responsibility.” This is where many people get it wrong in relationships: you offend your lover, say you won’t do such again theatrically and then you are back into same error the next moment. Complete apology is the one that has the responsibility of making it right – that’s what you’ve written here! Heaven on earth would be our experiences if we can be humble enough to take the responsibility of making things right. I want to duff my cap for you once more. Great job Michele.

  2. I love all of these ideas! I used the idea for the socks and decided to create a sticky note of my own with that same wording! The link to it if you’d like to see it! I thought it was adorable! I’m going to make an I’m sorry basket of candy with the candy saying printables and fill it with new socks and some other little things of his to apologize. Even for the simplest I’m sorry, I like to say a BIG I’m sorry. I don’t like fighting at all. Thank you for the ideas!


  3. I manage a chocolate foot company and at least once a week I get an “I stuck my foot in my mouth” or “I’m stepping up to say I am sorry” order!

  4. What AWESOME ideas!!!!!! I hope I won’t ever have to use any of them {lol} BUT, if I put my foot in my mouth, I am super excited that I have such a great resource to go to! MWAH!

  5. This is so great! I am sitting here telling my hubby all the cute ways you suggest to say “sorry”! I’m also thinking of ways to make this into a wedding gift for my soon-to-be-married son. Thanks for this and also the website. I know how much work they are and I appreciate you doing it!

    1. I think giving this as a wedding gift is a fabulous idea!!! Pair all these ideas up with #51 for a wedding gift and I think the couple will be in marital bliss forever! I think I’m totally going to steal that idea! Congratulations to your son on his wedding! xox