My Boyfriend Never Apologizes!

Published on: May 21, 2014

Question asked by Julie Anderson: My boyfriend is a successful business man, not well educated but a rough diamond who has worked hard to get where he is. So he is the ambitious, take no crap kind of person.

My problem with him is that he never apologizes!

Not that he has ever done anything really bad, but just if he says something a bit selfish or hurtful. He can’t just say ‘sorry about that’. He just tries to explain why he said it, rather than saying sorry. Is this just his personality do you think?

Hi Julie,

As you mentioned, your boyfriend is a self made man who has marched up the ranks through his effort and self-belief.

The fact that he is a successful business man in spite of not being highly educated would definitely act as a “confidence” booster for him and may even make him feel a little “cocky” or boisterous at times.

Yes, this is a personality trait

There are many men and women who are usually “non apologetic” for their actions, even when they know deep down that they are in the wrong.

This is a personality trait and it has nothing to do with what the person really feels.

So your boyfriend might actually feel bad about hurting you but would shy away from apologizing because he finds it “alien” to him to say sorry.

Guys who are non apologetic are usually called “head strong”. Basically this means that a guy is so confident of himself that his ego becomes rock solid, so it cannot take the bludgeon of apologizing to anyone.

You can observe your boyfriend and notice that he hardly apologizes to anyone, either consciously or unconsciously.

This is because his brain is wired to a “strong” or “blown up” self image which cannot condescend to saying “sorry”.

Is this is a negative or positive attribute?

This can be looked at as both a personality flaw and a positive attribute.

It’s a “flaw” because there is a tendency to hurt people by this attitude. It’s a “positive attribute” in the sense that such a person is usually very “confident” of himself and hence is more “stable” and dependable.

Is it not true that you feel highly secure and protected in the company of your boyfriend?

But of course it can be very hurting to be on the receiving end of this behavior. If he says or does something harsh, knowingly or unknowingly, and does not tender a word of apology it can be irritating and hurtful at the same time.

Tips to deal with this behaviour

Here are a few tips on how to deal with a “head strong” boyfriend.

1.) Look at the “pros” of this personality trait

The fact that your boyfriend has such a confident self image works as a great boon for your relationship.

He is very less likely to end up “unsuccessful” or aimless because by his very nature he will try to protect his self image and bolster it. He will be driven by success and power, qualities which many women love in their man.

The fact that he has a “strong” ego would ensure that he won’t let anyone trample him or victimize him.

2.) Don’t take his “unapologetic” behavior too personally

If you start thinking that he is being “intentionally” rude to you then you are going to have a hard time with him.

You must understand that this is his personality trait, which means that this behavior of being unapologetic is inherent in him. Can you really blame a person for his unconscious behavior? You can of course, but it’s like banging your head against a wall.

So the best recourse is to ignore this part of his behavior and not take it too personally.

3.) Avoid asking for an apology

Most “head strong” guys end up in situations where their girlfriend, or wife, asks for an apology and they don’t feel like tendering one.

Eventually they might give in and apologize, but it would also make them feel resentful and angry inside. These negative emotions are best kept out of a relationship.

So when you know your boyfriend has a hang up with apologizing, it’s best to avoid asking for one even if it feels completely warranted.

Just accept whatever explanation he has to give as his way of apologizing.

4.) Don’t hold any resentment for his behavior

It quite natural to feel irritated and frustrated with your boyfriend when he does something harsh and fails to apologize. Holding such emotions, however, can be detrimental to the health of your relationship.

It’s best to forgive this “unconscious” behavior on his part and not feel resentful or victimized.

You can call it his personality trait, his conditioning or his attitude, but the bottom line is that it’s “ingrained” in him to the point where he can’t be otherwise.

  • Julie Anderson

    Thank you for your advice – I think you got him spot on. I’ll try to accept him for what he is and not take it too personally.

    • Melissa

      How did that work out for you? It’s been 3 years since your post and I truly and genuinely interested to know if you could just accept or if you realized the behavior is not something you could continue to accept. Thanks for your time in advance!

  • Anita

    I think your boyfriend not apologizing for his behavior or remarks indicate someone with a fragile sense of self esteem.

    He may be successful at work – so are lots of well adjusted people, who say they are sorry when in the wrong but are not arrogant to think they are above everyone else. He may have been brought up not to say sorry – spoil children do this!

    I live with a sister who thinks it is ok to go around doing or saying whatever she wants without an having to say she’s sorry when her remarks and behavior impacts on others and me.

    People who think they don’t have to apologize think they are a cut above the rest of us “mortals”. This is just an indication of a rude, spoilt and arrogant personality who have issues in their self worth.

    He may be “successful” in his working life but what would happen if everything he worked for vanished? A little humility and saying “I’m sorry” does not diminish a person’s stature – it enlarges it! Saying “I’m sorry” shows maturity, self respect and accountability! All are hallmarks of a highly evolved, responsible and mature individual with a strong sense of self worth who feel they will not diminish when they apologize.

    • Melissa

      What you said Anita, was spot ON! Thank you for saying what you did bc I truly needed to know what I just read was not correct. My boyfriend never apologizes and knows that I’m hurt from what he said or did and that refusal to apologize it’s so painful it’s hard to just ignore.