Elton John was spot on.

That simple 5 letter word can be buried pretty deep and even when we try to dig it up, we find it getting stuck in our throat on the way out!

Sorry really can be the hardest word.

We’ve just finished with the NBA finals on network television and a 30 second ad during commercial breaks cost advertisers a cool $435,000 – that’s $14,500 per second.

During the NBA finals there were lots of inspiring ads, making us feel that we can conquer the world if we drink a certain drink or wear a certain shoe but it struck me that the most poignant and powerful ads were from corporations who were saying sorry to their customers. Wells Fargo, Uber and Facebook all used prime time TV slots to apologize, to say sorry, to say they got it wrong, to admit that they screwed up and more importantly for them and their shareholders, to ask us to trust them again.

There are barriers that have to be overcome if we are to trust a company that betrayed our trust. We need to know what steps they’ve taken to change their culture, what processes are in place, what personnel changes have happened and what safeguards will stop it happening again.

Marriage is no different.

We don’t blindly trust someone who has hurt us or betrayed us without appropriate due diligence but we won’t ever take those steps if we don’t first hear those two game changing words – “I’m sorry”.

I need to say these words more than I do. I occasionally, only very occasionally need to hear them from my patient and clearly evident “better half.” 

What do you need to say sorry for today?

Is it something you said 5 minutes ago or something you did 5 years ago? Was it a spur of the moment uncharacteristic outburst, or years of habitual sin that has pushed your marriage to the brink of disaster. 

Words don’t matter if we don’t mean them or if we don’t take the necessary steps to back them up, but know this – your words matter! Saying “I’m sorry” might feel like the hardest words, they may even feel costly to your pride, but as some of the biggest corporations in the world can attest, you can’t afford not to say them!