Do not make a promise that you cannot keep.

How to Apologize for Breaking a Promise to My Boyfriend

by Kathryn Rateliff Barr

Broken promises occur for many reasons including over-commitment, unforeseen circumstances and even pure selfishness. If you have broken a promise to your boyfriend, but your intentions were good -- say, there was a family emergency -- then he should have no trouble understanding. However, if you have broken a promise because of bad judgment or recklessness, then you have some work to do to gain his trust back. Remember that broken promises wear away at trust, and trust is the foundation for healthy relationships.

1. Tell Him Early

Give your boyfriend advance notice if you have to break a promise. This will let him know that are considering him and it gives him a chance to make alternate plans if need be. Let him know why you can't follow through on your promise and try to reschedule if you are able to. Be clear and tell him as soon as you can.

2. Following Through

If you are good at making promises, but poor at following through, the trust in your relationship is at stake. Your boyfriend may struggle to trust you to take care of important things. Before you make a promise, be sure you are promising something that you can follow through with. If you mistakingly promise to do something you are unable to do, apologize right away and help find a solution to the problem, if you can.

3. Motivation

We tend to make more promises to the ones we love, explains an eHarmony.com article, "Why Do Those That Love You Make Promises They Can't Keep?" If you make promises simply to make him happy, consider how he might feel when you have to break a promise that you are unable to keep. Michelle Gielan, in her "Psychology Today" article "Why Keeping Your Promise is Good for You," advises that, if you have broken a promise, ask for an opportunity to make it right. Explain that you didn't mean to make him feel badly when you broke the promise. Then, follow through! This time, make good on your promise and put it on your phone's calendar. Don't forget to set a reminder!

4. Get Help

If you have eroded your relationship with broken promises, you might consider professional help. Broken promises work to destroy relationships and self-esteem. To avoid breaking promises, enlist friends and loved ones to act as an accountability system. Have them keep you accountable for every promise you have made so that you feel some healthy pressure to follow through.

About the Author

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.

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