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Build a bridge or let it go?

(23 Posts)
waytheleaveswork Sun 09-Aug-20 19:32:35

Monumental friendship fallout from a split 2 years ago. Have had great advice when posted on here before.

I left an abusive marriage, told joint friends the extent of the abuse, a few of whom didn't believe me, were judgmental and even got in touch with my parents after believing DH to suggest I was mentally unstable (!)

I ended contact with 4 friends after some misguided and inappropriate comments and messages from them, asking them to give me some space and privacy. Obviously that was very hurtful to them and they reacted badly.

I'd like to get in touch to a) apologise for the hurt I caused and b) wish them well. It is very painful to know I have hurt them, even though they were total bellends. I did what I had to do to survive, but can now acknowledge how my actions were felt as unkind.

WWYD? Send a brief message, or let it go?

I do not want a friendship with any of them, but would like to make amends.

OP’s posts: |
CleanAndPaidFor Sun 09-Aug-20 20:11:54

So just to be clear- these are people who didn't believe you when you were in distress, and behaved like bellends? Why do you feel
the need to make amends, OP?

waytheleaveswork Sun 09-Aug-20 20:15:22

Because reflecting on my own behaviour, I can see that I hurt them. I have since heard that they are still upset at my decision. And whilst I stand by it, I wonder if an apology would be a positive final note to end the friendship on.

OP’s posts: |
ConstanceSalinger Sun 09-Aug-20 20:26:43

Let it go. What are your plans for making the bridge, why do you want to be in contact with such awful people again? It was two years ago! Make new friends who don't tell tales to your parents.

waytheleaveswork Sun 09-Aug-20 20:30:44

I don't know. I like to think of myself has a thoughtful and empathetic person, so it is hard to be the bad guy in the eyes of others.

I have lots of excellent friends who totally nailed in that awful time, and many new friends.

I guess I keep wondering if I need to make amends for upsetting them.

OP’s posts: |
CodenameVillanelle Sun 09-Aug-20 20:32:03

No way - these are your boundaries and they are yours. You need to keep to them. Have any of them apologised to you??

HoneyWheeler Sun 09-Aug-20 20:35:04

You are allowed to enforce a boundary - they are allowed to feel however they want about it. It doesn't mean you were unkind or mean. You did what you had to do to protect yourself.

I wouldn't reach out because it is about 95% certain to not go the way you hope it will.

BadTattoosAndSmellLikeBooze Sun 09-Aug-20 20:39:02

You behaved how you did because they behaved inexcusably.
If they contacted you to apologise, you could possibly acknowledge your behaviour as not being perfect, (if you feel that way, I personally feel your actions were understandable) but that’s not the case. They haven’t contacted you. And they’re still upset. How do they think you felt? No way should you apologise in my opinion.

waytheleaveswork Sun 09-Aug-20 20:41:15

Thank you, that's all very reassuring.

I guess I know how convincing he is. I didn't realise what was going on until I left, so I can't really blame them for not believing me. From the outside we were the perfect couple and he was the nicest guy.

OP’s posts: |
Iloveacurry Sun 09-Aug-20 20:43:04

No I wouldn’t. They didn’t believe you and thought you were mentally unstable. They should be apologising to you.

ChickensMightFly Sun 09-Aug-20 20:43:13

I can see why you feel the way you do. It rankles when someone views your behaviour through their own prism and draws conclusions about you which are basically unfair. Or if they pushed you into an out of character reaction and then blamed you. Especially if you pride yourself on taking good care of your friend and relationships. Also, you want to reframe what happened, to give them peace of mind by giving them context and reflection which will allow them to understand and therefore smooth away those bad feelings.
You could have a try, but there is a risk that you will only make things worse. If their recollections are hazy, or part of their upset was due to a misunderstanding, your explanation may not resonate and improve things. If their opinion of you is now entrenched, they may filter whatever you say through that and misinterpret the unexpected message as your attempt to 'whitewash' your past. If they are suspicious of your motives it might colour how they read the message and make them 'read between the lines' in a way which is unfavourable.
Or, you could pull it off and they may feel relieved that you pulled the thrown thorn from their paw. But even if they do they are unlikely to let you know, if the relationship has no future they would likely not respond, leaving you not knowing and therefore feeling even worse.
I think your desire to get in touch is understandable but, sadly, unadvisable.
Unfortunately, call it a shrapnel wound, but I think it is battle damage you need to bear can the risk of making it worse is high.

PoodleMoth Sun 09-Aug-20 20:44:00

They are the bellends not you! With friends like that you don't need enemies. I would never apologise, you did nothing wrong. If they are upset it is their own doing.
Well done for getting out of your relationship.

BadTattoosAndSmellLikeBooze Sun 09-Aug-20 20:44:53

I can't really blame them for not believing me.

Actually, I think you can.

I hope you’re in a better place and are happy now. You don’t have to make everything ok, especially when the fault was not on your part.

ChickensMightFly Sun 09-Aug-20 20:45:20

Oops.
...'cos the risk of making it worse is high.

waytheleaveswork Sun 09-Aug-20 20:48:22

That's such a bang on response @ChickensMightFly, you have articulated my thinking exactly.

I am so happy in my life right now, and I feel sorry for them in a way. Their actions were really quite odd, and perhaps reflect some of their own fears and insecurities about their own relationships.

Thank you everyone - I know you're right. The social conditioning to smooth things over runs deep, but it is not achievable here.

OP’s posts: |
ChickensMightFly Sun 09-Aug-20 21:03:45

flowers
Glad your abusive past is behind you. Onwards and upwards, scars to show you lived to tell the tale and all. 😉

gavisconismyfriend Sun 09-Aug-20 21:10:08

I don’t think it sounds as if you were in the wrong or need to apologise for anything. But imagine what the text would look like if you did decide to apologise, given that you have no desire to rekindle the friendship “Hi, I want to apologise if I hurt your feelings when I said I needed space. I’m genuinely sorry if I upset you. However, I still don’t want to be friends.” It doesn’t really work. It certainly won’t make them feel better, more likely they’ll feel this justifies their behaviour previously and it will make you look like you’re losing the plot and leave you open to all sorts of recriminations. Don’t do it OP. You’ve moved on, best to keep going forwards.

waytheleaveswork Sun 09-Aug-20 21:23:03

very true @gavisconismyfriend - probably wouldn't do wonders for my supposed insanity to be sending weird shit like that!!

OP’s posts: |
gavisconismyfriend Sun 09-Aug-20 21:26:14

@waytheleaveswork grin. You sound great. Hope you’ve got some lovely friends now.

Crinkle77 Sun 09-Aug-20 23:56:19

You haven't got anything to apologise for. They were supposed to be your friends but chose not to support you. They should apologise to you.

BlessYourCottonSocks Mon 10-Aug-20 00:04:00

Agree with everyone else. These people not only failed to support you and have your back, but by the sound of it actually made life harder and more stressful for you by their words and actions.

Don't build bridges, build barricades! Sounds like you made the absolutely right decision and if they are hurt then perhaps they should do a bit of soul searching and reflect on their own behaviour.

lyralalala Mon 10-Aug-20 00:49:54

Have they ever apologised to you?

lilylion Mon 10-Aug-20 02:46:22

Do you think a window should apologise for smashing when someone throws rocks at it?

You’re the window, not the rocks. Don’t apologise to the rocks flowers

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