“It doesn’t matter how heartfelt an apology your partner makes to you if later he takes it back. And he doesn’t have to come out and say, “I don’t feel sorry anymore about what I did” or “I didn’t really mean it when I apologized.” He can retract an apology in any of the following ways:

  • Saying later that you shouldn’t be so upset about what he did and that you should be over it by now (and it’s even worse if he says this in an angry, impatient, or judgmental tone)
  • Saying later that he felt pressured into making an apology “because you wouldn’t leave me alone about it” or similar words
  • Repeating the behavior that he apologized for, and then acting like that shouldn’t bother you
  • Blaming you now for what he did in the incident that he had apologized for (for example, if he goes back to saying that you drove him into cheating on you, or if he says that you are the cause of his legal problems because you “had him arrested” for abusing you)
  • Saying “I’m constantly having to apologize to you!” as if somehow it’s your fault that he keeps treating you so badly

    There are good reasons why his apologies don’t affect you much anymore, and why you trust him less and less over time. He keeps knocking all the meaning out of his apologies, and then pitying himself when he sees that saying “sorry” has stopped working.”

    Daily Wisdom For Women Involved with Angry and Controlling Men, by Lundy Bancroft