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AIBU -to expect "sorry"?

(37 Posts)
Jillybird Sat 10-Oct-20 17:42:22

I'm checking to see if it's me being unreasonable.
The basic question is: is saying 'I feel terrible about it' the same as saying 'I'm sorry'?

Maybe I'm splitting hairs, but if I had moved into my partner's house and taken advantage of all his/her furniture and household goods and had to purchase nothing at all and proceeded to damage much of that person's property because I was so lazy, clumsy and careless I couldn't be bothered, say, to take the permanent black ink to the sink to refill my pen, but do it in the sitting room with resultant drops on the cream carpet, then I would feel mortified and couldn't stop saying I was sorry and would offer to pay for a replacement carpet. Or, just for instance, I got completely paralytic drunk and fell through the middle of a glass-topped coffee table, smashing it to bits and somehow escaping with my life when just one of the massive glass shards could have pierced a vital organ. If I had done that at 2 am and my partner had jumped out of bed and spent the rest of the night picking me out of the glass, collecting the glass in a box, vacuuming up and making everything safe so neither of us could hurt ourselves, I'd have been very apologetic. If, in addition to that my partner had stripped me off because I had wet myself, and washed me down and then held the bowl while I was sick, I think I might have said sorry. I might not have angrily said "I feel terrible about it. I'm willing to pay up to £200 for another table or to get it repaired". I think I'd have been so mortified I'd have said, "Please choose whatever you want, either a new table or have this one repaired." I don't think I'd have added, "Hang the expense"!

I don't feel I'd have tried to make my partner feel he's asking rather a lot or that I was being the magnanimous one offering to purchase new or repair - so long as the cost isn't too great ...

So, since it wasn't me and it was him, I can't accept that him saying "I feel terrible about it" is the same as saying "I'm sorry" . Saying he feels terrible merely invites me to say, "that's OK, think nothing of it" in an attempt to stop him feeling terrible. There doesn't seem to be any acknowledgement of my feelings, especially when he puts a price on how much he's prepared to pay!

I'm asking because we have just had another set-to. He said, "How many times do I have to say I'm sorry?"
Me, "You haven't said sorry once."
Him: "Yes, I have, I said I feel terrible about it".
Me, "That's saying how you feel, it's not acknowledging how I feel".
Him: "It's the same thing".
Me, "No, it's asking me to say; don't worry about it"

So, would you use "I feel terrible about it" in place of "I'm so sorry"?

CanadianGran Sat 10-Oct-20 17:47:00

Wow. Not a good place to be in.

You need to re-evaluate the relationship, and your tolerance for disregard. Because the way I read this, he has no regard for you or your house.

Poppyred Sat 10-Oct-20 17:47:31

If he has done all of the above I would get rid..he’s a liability! 😂😂

Lucca Sat 10-Oct-20 17:47:39

Why are you still with this person. I would not put up with drinking for a start,

Mildmanneredgran Sat 10-Oct-20 17:50:09

No, I don't think it's acceptable to say "I feel terrible about it" instead of "I'm so sorry". Given the list of incidents posted, I think you have a bigger problem than what someone says after the event....

lemsip Sat 10-Oct-20 17:53:15

No it is not the same!

welbeck Sat 10-Oct-20 17:55:47

you just have completely different ways of living.
did you not notice this before he moved in.
i note you say partner rather than spouse, it ought to be that much easier to turf him out, as he will have no claim on your house or possessions.
your life does not seem to be enhanced by having him there, does it ?

Scribbles Sat 10-Oct-20 17:59:20

Sorry is as sorry does. There is no point in him saying the word when he clearly isn't feeling the emotion and continues to behave in what most reasonable people would regard as a completely unacceptable manner.
Personally. I'd give him his marching orders and no, YANBU.

Chewbacca Sat 10-Oct-20 17:59:51

No Jillybird, "I feel terrible about it" is not the same as "I'm so terribly sorry for what I've done. I'm embarrassed about my behaviour and the trouble I've caused you. Please, can you forgive me?" I have to say that you're far more forgiving than I would be in those circumstances; he'd have been out on his ear on the first occurrence of showing disrespect in my home. Are you sure that you're up for this kind of behaviour? Is it worth it? Because it doesn't sound, from what you've said that he has much respect for you, your home, your generosity in allowing him to stay or even much self respect. I think I'd be reconsidering......
And as you've posted this in aibu...... no. You're not.

Spinnaker Sat 10-Oct-20 18:00:02

Get rid asap. He's taking you for granted big time and not affording you the respect you deserve - especially putting up with all that's happened so far.

BlueBelle Sat 10-Oct-20 18:03:54

I think different people express themselves very differently I don’t really think it makes much difference if he says ‘I m sorry’ or ‘I feel terrible for doing that I ll pay for the repairs’
I think women often have a better way of expressing themselves than men so I don’t personally see that as a big problem kinda splitting hairs


Why on earth are you living with an uncaring careless alcoholic
It’s actually laughable (if it wasn’t so sad) that you are not complaining about all the awful things he’s doing and his behaviour but the way he’s apologising afterwards !!!!

NannyJan53 Sat 10-Oct-20 18:25:05

You are not being unreasonable. It seems like he does not respect you or your home.

Time for serious thoughts and discussions on the way forward and your future.

Urmstongran Sat 10-Oct-20 18:28:46

Time to turf him out. You’re being walked on. Possibly you already know this.

Tangerine Sat 10-Oct-20 18:30:22

Even if he does eventually say "sorry", I think you should think carefully about continuing with this relationship.

NanTheWiser Sat 10-Oct-20 18:33:23

He said it ANGRILY??? Show him the door - it won’t get any better...

harrigran Sat 10-Oct-20 18:40:33

Time for that conversation where you tell him "on your bike" I think.

Doodledog Sat 10-Oct-20 18:40:33

How long have you been together, and was this all part of a one-off episode, or are the drunken incidents a regular occurrence? Do you drink with your partner, or does he drink alone? Are you angry about the damage to your property, or about the drinking?

I think a lot depends on your lifestyle together. If your partner is living with you and you drink a lot together it is different from if he has moved in and gets drunk regularly while you don't. If the damage happened when you were both drinking, but he happened to be the one to fall on the table, it's not fair to keep reminding him that you own the house and paid for the furniture. In fact who paid for what isn't really the issue in any event - it's the behaviour that matters.

If he regularly causes damage when drunk, and you have asked him to stop drinking, or if he drinks a lot more than you and you feel that your lifestyles are incompatible, then it might be better to ask him to leave.

It really doesn't matter what any of us on here would do - it comes down to what you feel is acceptable - but for what it's worth, I think that saying he feels terrible about it is tantamount to an apology, but I would expect to see that backed up with a change in behaviour to show that he means it.

GillT57 Sat 10-Oct-20 18:40:34

You are not being unreasonable in seeing the difference. By saying he "feels terrible about it" he is inviting you, intentionally or unintentionally, to say "please don't feel bad", this is NOT the same as apologising to you. So, when he is not being tight with his money, a slob with your property, so pissed that he smashes the house up, what does he do then that is so marvellous that means you stay with him?

Maggiemaybe Sat 10-Oct-20 18:47:31

I’m trying to be charitable here, Jillybird. Was the getting drunk, falling through the table, wetting himself (ugh) and being sick (double ugh) all on the one occasion, totally and completely out of character, and never, under any circumstances, to be repeated? If so, there’s a chance that you might be able to get over it and perhaps even overlook the lack of a proper apology, if he seems to be genuinely sorry and does pay for the damage.

If this is his normal behaviour, why are you putting up with it?

The pen and ink incident I could get over - yes he was thoughtless, but accidents do happen. Would it be worth contacting your insurance company?

sodapop Sat 10-Oct-20 19:28:03

Pretty much what I thought Maggiemaybe if it was a one off incident you could possibly get over it. If its an ongoing issue then you need to think long and hard about this relationship Jillybird. He is thoughtless and inconsiderate to say the least.
I would be fuming too.

Jillybird Sat 10-Oct-20 19:49:27

Thanks, everyone. Funny how you think you've written a thorough explanation and then realise from people's replies that there are other scenarios.

Yes, he is an alcoholic. I have not had a drink since Christmas. I won't have it in the house, because it feels unkind when he can't/shouldn't touch it. He goes to his boat and sometimes drinks there (not always). Mostly he thinks I don't notice, but on the occasion in question, he'd been missing for five days, then appeared after I had gone to bed.

I met him in 2001 when he was sober, although we were in the same class when we were eleven. He can be sober for several years at a time, then just when I relax he falls off the wagon again.

Unfortunately, due I'm guessing, to a combination of factors; alcohol abuse, serious head injuries (smashed skull thrice - coma for two days) and possibly a hereditory factor, he's now clearly got some brain damage and I feel cruel putting him on the street.

I post here because sometimes I question whether it's me who's being unreasonable. When you live with it for so long things become normal...

It's kind of everyone to put their thoughts down and I have found it helpful to read them. It's good for my mental health to breath a sigh of relief. It's no good me trying to reason with him, so venting on here is definitely helpful. Thanks again, everyone, and have a lovely evening. X

Nonogran Sat 10-Oct-20 20:21:14

Ooooh Jillybird, you are so kind to hang onto this chap but in your shoes I would help him to find somewhere else to live & support, even love him, from a distance. He's a liability and why should anyone spoil your home & possessions as they have currently been spoiled and broken? You've probably worked hard to pull your home & sober life together & I see a rod for your back in the future as you venture deeper into living together. He is being disrespectful to you & your home. I would be maddened by that. I do hope you are not someone who thinks "he's better than nothing?" Please think your options over very carefully regarding how you see a future with this guy. The fact you've contributed to GNet means you're not sure of him .... Perhaps best to call it a day? Be strong & good luck to you both.

Urmstongran Sat 10-Oct-20 20:22:51

How sad really that you had to meet him again just when he was sober. A lot of anxiety and stress for you since then I dare say.

Good luck going forward anyway.

Urmstongran Sat 10-Oct-20 20:25:12

The alcohol has probably affected his brain more than the head injury and coma. It will continue to do so.

EllanVannin Sat 10-Oct-20 20:26:58

Good Grief !!