View Full Version : Making amends

01-05-2012, 02:30 AM
In the aftermath of the breakup with my boyfriend and recognizing a lot of the things I'd done wrong...I've come to realize that this is not the first time these issues have come up.

With my last ex, I basically demonized him in my head after the breakup because I was so hurt; I convinced myself that everything was his fault and that he was the instigator of everything and that I was just caught up in it all. I made him out to be the bad guy. And then I got into another relationship right afterwards, far before I was healed enough to do that; I then worked out a lot of the issues in that relationship with my current ex. Which he was...oddly understanding and awesome about, but that was unfair to ask of him as well.

We did talk now and then after we broke up (this was a year and a half ago) but eventually I ended it because I got jealous once he started dating someone else...I wasn't totally over him, and talking to him hurt. It was also somewhat unhealthy (we would text constantly all day), so in that respect I'm glad he's out of my life. I don't think he feels angry or bitter towards me anymore since he's tried to contact me since, but I've basically ignored him and not wanted to talk to him at all.

I don't regret the relationship ending, as it was unhealthy in a lot of ways (and he did cheat on me and I lost my trust for him, which was a big factor). However (and this is something that took me a long time to acknowledge) I was complicit in making that an unhealthy relationship. I was not completely innocent, and I did play a role in it. It could not have been easy dating someone who had a raging eating disorder; it also couldn't have been easy dating someone who was completely passive and could not stick up for herself, who was ultimately self-destructive and drowning in her own problems. Yes, he had many issues of his own. Yes, he really liked getting his way, would take advantage of my doormat-ness, and we were ultimately incompatible. But it wasn't just him.

I have treated him like everything was his fault and we had a pretty big falling out about a year ago when I said I couldn't be friends with him anymore. He has texted me a few times since but I haven't responded.

I want to apologize to him for my role in the relationship, because I never have and it took me a long time to see it. I demonized him when he didn't deserve it, and I want him to know that. I don't feel like he has the same emotional power over me anymore so I don't think contacting him would have the same effect on me that it would have awhile ago, and we've both moved on and done other things with our lives. Mainly, I just want to say I'm sorry and acknowledge my role in how destructive our relationship was, both for him and for myself.

Fishies: good idea or bad idea? Do you think I should do it?

01-05-2012, 08:00 PM
What do you hope to accomplish by apologizing? Are you hoping to rekindle the romance? The friendship? What happens if you find out he is happily with the same girl and they are very serious? I guess I ask whether apologizing is a. about you and b. going to set you back. It's great when you run into someone organically and you have the chance to say very easily, "hey, I wanted to apologize if I came across harsh, I was obviously not over you and I hope you are happy and enjoying your live." and mean that statement. If you are seeking information or looking to prove that you in a different place, then it's not sincere yet.

As long as you are seeking to connect with him, you aren't over him.

01-05-2012, 09:50 PM
Sflathinker, those are all really good questions. I don't want to rekindle the romance. I guess there is a little part of me that wants the friendship, but that could potentially be a bad idea as well. If he's happily with the same girl, he is with the same girl. It's not as if our lives get put on hold when a relationship ends but after reading your post I'm thinking maybe apologizing would be more beneficial to me than him. It's great that I can recognize my own mistakes and acknowledge them to myself, but I guess I can liken it to that scenario when one partner apologizes to the other for cheating in order to make themself feel "less guilty" (obviously not same scenario but similar sentiment).

Maybe it's sort of telling that I want to do this immediately after a breakup- my emotions are pretty raw in acouple ways too. Maybe I"ll wait afew months and assess how I feel then. In the meantime I will bring this up with my t and see what she thinks.

01-06-2012, 07:49 AM
If you've never read "The Four Agreements" try it. There's one agreement that says "Don't Take anything personally." Basically...you didn't wrong him by demonizing him. You needed to do that in order to help you move on. You had to see him in a negative light in order to stop loving him at that time to try to move on. That's why friendships with recent ex's is usually a bad idea. Better to trash the guy, or mourn the relationship with something else, (like a girlfriend) rather than the guy himself. Hopefully you've learned something from this and your next relationship (and you) will benefit. We don't have to go backwards to apply what we've learned, but we are granted the courage, insight and emotional stability to take what we know into who we are NOW for our continued journey.

01-06-2012, 11:51 PM
Hmm...interesting. I never really saw it that way, that demonizing him was a step in moving forward - maybe that's related to the fact that I tend to feel guilty and "wrong" re: anger. But I like the sentiment of moving forwards, not backwards, with what we have learned - probably the biggest thing that's coming from all this is that it's a HUGE learning experience.