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Love #4 - Apologies

When I was a kid I read the book "Love Story", saw the movie and even read the book about the making of the movie. It was the story of a young man from a very rich, aristocratic, Waspy family who falls in love [hence the name of the book and film] with a poor Italian girl from a broken family. His family was not pleased - to say the least! Anyway to make a long story short the girl gets sick and dies. [That dying scene was sooo moving. I was crying bucketfuls. Not only that but even the cameramen and others in the room during the filming of the scene were crying!!]

The young man leaves the hospital and meets his father from who he had been estranged in the parking lot. The father understood that the girl had died and felt HORRIBLE for all of the anguish he had caused his son. He said to his son "I'm sorry." The son put up his hand as if to say "Stop" and said "Love means never having to say you are sorry". They embraced.

Great flick. Bad lesson. As I once heard from a wise man: LOVE MEANS ALWAYS HAVING TO SAY YOU ARE SORRY!!! Even if you are right. Apologize. Enjoy being wrong. Make the other person feel that they are right. That is soooo mature.

It will improve your relationships. Try it.

I agree with having to say sorry. I do it and I have a great relationship. However, why say sorry if the other person was clearly wrong?

from kallah to kallah: my rav quoted rav yitzchak bernstein ztz"l as having told him shortly before his wedding that the key to a happy marriage was saying sorry. my rav responded that that was obvious, to which rav bernstein said (imagine irish accent here)"you don't understand- it's about saying sorry even when you're right!" if being right is going to damage the other person, it is better to be wrong and avoid that damage, even if fact and logic dictate that you are right.

I understand that saying sorry is a must, but I do believe there are sometimes when you are talking to a friend who can never be wrong, you knew they are wrong in what they say, because you know for a fact they truth, why say sorry?

i don't think you have to be self-effacing and always be wrong for the other person. but you have to take into account damage control- if you let them be right, and they will in turn head for disaster, then keep insisting you are right, say sorry you have to do this but you don't want to see them hurt etc. but if there is nothing more that makes you right other than the facts, and you will do more damage in insisting on your way, it is wiser to apologize and sacrifice logic (and a piece of you ego)for the health of the relationship.

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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