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Suggestions for asking for forgiveness?

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  • #88460
    Anne
    Participant

    It’s a bit of a tricky one, this. It was a very unhealthy relationship, a bad breakup, and trying to “be friends” afterwards didn’t work out – partly because I oscillated between wanting more-than-friends and disliking him because (the heart of the matter) I didn’t respect him anymore, and partly because he didn’t make any effort. That’s not unique to me – he doesn’t have any friends to speak of, likely for that same reason, from what he’s told me.

    After a while of always being the one who initiated contact, and getting short replies (or no reply for days/weeks), I put it to him that we should stop being friends. I can’t continue to have time for people who don’t have time for me and keep my self respect intact, if that makes sense? He responded in quite a hurt way, said it wasn’t that he didn’t have time for me, he’s like this with everyone… and also, that I’d been very judgemental of him during our “friendship.”

    The judgemental thing is a fair comment, to an extent. He made a life-changing decision that goes against my values, and I was very, VERY harsh with him about it. I’ve also called him out on a few other things that I felt were disrespectful to his girlfriend, but again… it’s not my relationship, so maybe not my place to judge?

    I do find this difficult, because in my circle of friends, we have absolutely no issue with saying “I think you’re being a bitch/dick/whatever”, but we love each other anyway. And we know that. I think my mistake was in assuming that he would know that my criticism of his actions wouldn’t change the fact that I cared about him. And also, my words were really harsh, so it’s probably not surprising.

    Sooo… how do I apologise? Given we’ve stopped talking, SHOULD I even apologise? I don’t want to reopen any old wounds, but I also don’t want to leave any damage if I can avoid it. Above all, I don’t want to do the bullshit thing of apologising just to make myself feel better if it’s going to hurt him more. I don’t actually feel bad in myself – I know it was a mistake, and I should have handled things better, but I’ve forgiven myself and am ready to move on. I just want to make reparations, if possible.

    #88461
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Anne:

    Maybe in the future, a year from now, or so, you will see things clearly enough to figure out these things you are trying to figure out now. As is, you are not experiencing the mental clarity that you need, in my evaluation, to evaluate the situation correctly enough. Therefore an apology will be unbaked and not a good idea.

    I think you need TIME and distance from him to see clearly what is happening now (see it from a point in the future). If I was you and felt that I have to tell him something, I would say that I am confused and do not see things clearly and need the time and distance to see clearly.

    One thing that clouds your view is your own ambivalence about him, wanting him still as a boyfriend at times, that motivation still exists. You didn’t give up on him yet.

    anita

    #88464
    Anne
    Participant

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful response, anita.

    I think you’re right on every point. Intellectually, I don’t want him as a boyfriend, but I must admit there is a very, VERY small part of me that still daydreams about what might happen in the future, particularly when I’m not enjoying my present very much!

    I need to appreciate what I have, focus on my own journey, and let everything else take shape as it will.

    Thank you again 🙂

    #88465
    anita
    Participant

    You are welcome, Anne. When the present is not enjoyable, we do tend to daydream, fantasize about a better, enjoyable reality.

    Please post anytime.
    anita

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