Saying sorry is hard, but it’s necessary for a strong relationship. If you struggle with apologizing in a way that is true to yourself here’s something to try: state your intentions behind your actions as well as your feelings for the effect that those actions had on your partner. For instance, “I’m sorry you feel like I’ve been avoiding you. I didn’t intend for that to happen, I was just very focused on my work. What can I do to help you?” This way you hear them entirely without defending. You acknowledge that you have room to grow, but also that your heart is in the right place. You are in this relationship because you love them, and emphasizing that always helps during a disagreement or when your partner says that something you did or said hurt them.