She lived in fear of his shifting moods, his volatile temperament, his insistence on steering even mundane exchanges down a confrontational path that, on occasion, he would resolve with punches, slaps, kicks, and sometimes try to make amends for with polluted apologies, and sometimes not.
I'd say that while it's normal to long for an apology, if you really need it, you're not ready to speak to whoever harmed you. Non-apologizers tend to walk on a tightrope of defensiveness above a huge canyon of low self-esteem - they just can't listen to anything that's going to set them off balance. So focus on what you say for your own sake, because you need to hear your own voice telling the truth.
The sense that in his mother’s view, he had let down his family just by being who he was… was a failure of acceptance that he was never going to get over. He just wanted to live, honestly and out front, with no apology. Like everyone else. To love who he loved, be who he was… but society had a different standard.
The best apology, I think, was from my husband, Steve, who slept with a close friend of mine decades back, when we were committed to being life partners but not yet married. And many of the factors that made Steve's apology so healing are universal. One important thing is that he confessed to the affair, rather than my discovering it. He looked deeply into his own history in terms of why this happened, but he never used that history as an excuse.
I do not plan in any way to whitewash my sin. I do not call it a mistake, a mendacity; I call it sin. I would much rather, if possible - and in my estimation it would not be possible - to make it worse than less than it actually is. I have no one but myself to blame. I do not lay the fault or the blame of the charge at anyone else's feet. For no one is to blame but I take the responsibility. I take the blame. I take the fault.
Request an apology when you believe you deserve one, but don't get in a tug of war about it. Instead, be a role model and tender a genuine apology yourself when an apology is due. Your willingness to apologize can be contagious and models maturity for your partner. Also, your non-apologizing partner may use a nonverbal way to reconnect after a fight, defuse the tension, or show you he's in a new place and wants to repair a disconnection. Accept the olive branch however it's offered.