Quite often the tension and stress following a harmful conflict/upset is not bearable for long.
The drain on our energy emotionally and physically exhausts us. The tendency is to end the tension and return to comfort level that existed before the upset. What we usually experience is an apology, which is a necessary part of the repair. However a simple “I’m sorry” does not aide in the learning but it does help to reconnect positive feelings. It is a band aide that does little to promote growth and intimacy.
This may sound different to some but I ask you to consider this idea. The actual “I’m sorry” is not as important as the explanation and description of what happened. What I mean by this is; When a partner has understood something about themselves and been able to take responsibility by explaining what happened, then there is a greater possibility that they will be able to correct their behavior the next time.
This does two things. Firstly, it acknowledges any harm that was caused and encourages the harmed party that this behavior is less likely repeated because learning has taken place. Secondly, and not the least unimportant, it allows the person to forgive themselves and accept their imperfections. Accepting our imperfections and actually expecting them to happen will reduce the self-critic and encourage movement sooner.