We’ve all been there -- gotten into a petty argument with our spouse because we’re tired or irritable; forgotten an anniversary or birthday; or maybe just been a bad listener or not pulling our weight in chores or household responsibilities. There are plenty of ways to find yourself in the doghouse with your spouse (and to varying degrees of trouble).
But, luckily, there are just as many ways to pull yourself back out -- the size of the gesture and seriousness of your apology will depend on how badly you messed up. Remember, whether you deserve your place in the doghouse, being the one to take the blame and apologize will ensure a long and happy relationship.
Here are some ways to get yourself out of the doghouse:
Everyone loves to receive flowers -- they’re a beautiful symbol of your love and commitment. You can go traditional and send a bouquet of red roses or get personal and send an arrangement that is uniquely tailored to your spouse.
If you really want to get creative and send a lasting gift, consider giving flowers or a plant in a pot that your spouse can replant. Turn your relationship drama into a lasting and beautiful memory of your love. Flowers are the ideal apology because your spouse will think of you every time they look at the bouquet (Bonus Points: If you send them to the office, they have a reason to brag to their coworkers about what a wonderful partner you are). They’re a small gesture, but flowers can a long way.
You may not realize it but maybe your issues or your spouse’s anger stem from not having enough time together. A lot of people find that they end up in the dog house when they’re overwhelmed with work, taking care of the kids, etc. If this is the case, plan a special night out for both of you.
Plan a trip to the movies or the theater (especially if you haven’t been in ages), visit a new or favorite restaurant, or do something really over-the-top like going dancing or taking a romantic picnic in the park or a trip to the beach. If you have kids, take care of all the babysitter arrangements so your spouse doesn’t have to do it.
Plan the perfect romantic evening for the two of you where you can enjoy each other’s company and your spouse doesn’t have to lift a finger to make it happen -- bonus points if you find ways throughout the evening to delight and surprise them. You can make date night extra special by including the previous two tips: a date plus flowers and an outpouring of physical affection is sure to be a fast train out of the doghouse.
Do a Little Extra Around the House
Yes, our lives our busy, but if you forget to take out the trash, fold your laundry, wash your dishes, or even pick up some extra groceries on the way home, it may send your overwhelmed spouse into a tailspin. If this is what got you into the doghouse in the first place, don’t only do your chores, take over some of theirs.
If they come home to find the dishes done, the kitchen sparkling clean, and the living room vacuumed, imagine their gratitude. Go the extra mile and fold and put away their laundry or put clean linen on the bed and leave a mint (or flowers and chocolate!) on their pillow.
Cook Their Favorite Meal
For many of us, the path to our hearts is through our stomachs. And nothing is better than our favorite home-cooked meal. If you want to get out of the doghouse, spend some time slaving away in the kitchen perfecting the most tantalizing meal for your spouse.
Really go all out -- open an expensive bottle of wine, make them delectable appetizers, prepare their favorite entree, and don’t forget to include a mouth-watering dessert. If you take the time to make a meal and present it to them in a beautiful setting at home, they won’t be able to resist forgiving you. Make it even better by making sure the kitchen is spotless when you’re done.
Write a Heartfelt Apology Letter
Maybe you need to apologize for something in particular or just have trouble expressing yourself verbally. Write your spouse a letter that tells them how much you apologize for whatever got you in the doghouse.
Don’t stop with an apology--write them a letter recounting how much you love them and why; share stories of your favorite memories together, writing down every detail of special moments together; or take it a step further and write a poem. Make a list of all the reasons your spouse makes your heart go boom.
A handwritten letter shows not only that you are thinking about your spouse, but that you are willing to take the time to record your feelings for them. It will be a beautiful keepsake for your spouse to pull out and read anytime you hit a rough spot -- therefore, writing a letter could have the potential to get your out of the doghouse multiple times in one go.
Make a Big Romantic Gesture
If you’ve really messed up and you need to do something big to get yourself out of the doghouse, then consider a romantic gesture. The best thing about romantic gestures is they need not be huge or expensive, but merely something sweet and thoughtful.
Pull a classic “Say Anything” and serenade them with a boombox and their favorite song when they come downstairs in the morning. Create a romantic scavenger hunt (maybe even use a trail of flower petals) that ends in an apology (if you really messed up, maybe be waiting with a present like jewelry or something sweet). Do something silly like spelling out “I’m Sorry” on their car with food. If you go over the top with a romantic gesture, your spouse won’t be able to resist being disarmed and accepting your apology.
There are countless reasons we end up in the doghouse. If you find yourself there, try one of these tried and true methods to turn an apology into a special memory with your spouse.