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How would you receive an apology from the OW, over a decade on?

(52 Posts)
AwayAndRunUpMaHumf Wed 20-May-15 22:22:52

About 12 years ago, I was in a long term, 8 year + relationship. I met a man who was in more or less the same situation, we fell for each other and started seeing each other, not on a regular basis at first, but it gradually increased. Neither couple was married, nor had any children.
However, we are all from the same, smallish town (although some parties have moved away), and even now I am married to someone else, have children, I still feel guilty about how I treated/ disregarded her and feel an inclination to apologise.
I was fairly young at the time (not even mid 20s) and although not using my age to excuse my behaviour I was probably very naive about the effects of my actions.

How would you feel if you received an email apology in these circumstances?

VanitasVanitatum Wed 20-May-15 22:25:03

Did she definitely know about you? Sounds more like something you'd be doing for yourself than her.

hmc Wed 20-May-15 22:25:03

I'd ignore it and think - who the fuck does she think she is. Don't pick at a scab in a needy quest for closure

AwayAndRunUpMaHumf Wed 20-May-15 22:28:25

No, she knew who I was and exactly what I did to her. I guess I just don't sit easily with the guilt I felt afterwards. We crossed paths a few times over the next few years and she was always very civil, suppose that made me feel worse.

AwayAndRunUpMaHumf Wed 20-May-15 22:29:40

I suppose, reading that last post, makes me realise it would be to assuage my guilt, rather than any benefit to her.

hmc Wed 20-May-15 22:30:44

Maintain that polite distance. i doubt she wants to dissect the past and has probably tried to forget it

LynetteScavo Wed 20-May-15 22:31:16

I would think you were needy and attention seeking throwing yourself back in my face just when I'd forgotten you ever existed.

Cabrinha Wed 20-May-15 23:23:00

I'd think it was very self indulgent and definitely serving your own needs - so I'd think your selfishness hadn't changed.

I'd think you were doing it for the attention. It would be unlikely to make her feel better. She's either moved on - in which case your apology isn't really needed; or she hasn't - in which case you'd be poking a wound.

dangerrabbit Wed 20-May-15 23:33:11

Why not write the letter, put it in an envelope, then post it in the shredder? That way you can express your feelings without reaching her in real life.

CultureSucksDownWords Wed 20-May-15 23:37:38

I would delete it once I realised what it was about, and aim to forget about it entirely. Because as the PP has said, it would be all about you. No benefit to the wronged party at all.

AlwaysOneMissing Wed 20-May-15 23:41:07

I'm going to go against the grain here and say that actually I would appreciate that.
It would help me forgive and forget if I knew that OW was genuinely sorry and feeling guilty all these years later.

handfulofcottonbuds Wed 20-May-15 23:46:33

Don't do it

MyRightFoot Wed 20-May-15 23:57:20

i agree with always, i would welcome an apology as long as it was totally sincere.

iwashappy Thu 21-May-15 00:16:24

I think you are risking re-opening old wounds for her but I would rather know that you were sorry and regretted it and that it was still affecting you all these years later which would suggest genuine guilt on your part.

As quite a period of time has elapsed I would hope for her sake that she has now totally detached from her ex (assuming they did split up) so you are less likely to upset her now so it may help her in some way to know that you are genuinely sorry.

If you are hoping to get a reply from her where she accepts your apology and thus eases your guilt I think you will be disappointed.

Meerka Thu 21-May-15 08:34:56

I think that a short, heartfelt apology is risky but a risk well worth taking. It might open old wounds but it might also be very healing for her.

She might not be able to respond though, that would be a bit too much to expect. You were much younger, but your behaviour (and his!!!!) has to have hurt her very much. An apology might help some healing.

NorahDentressangle Thu 21-May-15 08:38:15

I think it needs to be done face to face to mean anything.

springydaffs Thu 21-May-15 08:53:16

I'd like an apology in her position. It may be a small consolation you've suffered all these years - justice, y'know? Or is that just me.

But I'd want it kept very short and factual with not a trace of emotion ie not about you - re I regret it, I was young and thoughtless, I am very sorry. She may or may not respond, that's her prerogative. I wouldn't expect a reply.

A teacher apologised to me - 'we let you down' - long after the event and it felt more about her guilt than about me? So that felt like an added burden but at least it was a validation and has gone a long way with me.

springydaffs Thu 21-May-15 08:54:05

I think f2f is better, too.

CultureSucksDownWords Thu 21-May-15 08:58:37

Surely the matter is/was between the woman and her partner at the time? It's irrelevant who he cheated with really, if not the OP then it would/could have been someone else.

If someone tried to have a face to face meeting with me in this situation, I would simply say no thank you, you have nothing to say that is relevant to me.

RedRugNoniMouldiesEtc Thu 21-May-15 09:15:34

I would assume (correctly it seems) that you were feeling guilty and wanted to feel better about yourself. Which would make it self indulgent. After 12 years it's quite likely she's moved on with her life and won't want it dragging up along with the old feelings the situation created.

I agree with pp, write a letter and shred it. You have no place in her new life.

AwayAndRunUpMaHumf Thu 21-May-15 11:06:53

Face to face isn't an option, she now lives elsewhere in the country and is married, I think with a child now. We do have mutual friends in our home town and, yes, I regret acting like such a bitch to her back then.
Neither of us are still with the man, and I think we've probably both had a lucky escape to be be honest, he turned out to be very immature and selfish and seems to still be the same, years later (yes I know, I should have known that was the case).

I think I'll just write a letter then tear it up, I don't want to make it all about me. I certainly don't want to upset her after all these years, I don't even know if she would give a shit.

MiddleAgedandConfused Thu 21-May-15 16:29:45

Why don't you send her an anonymous bunch of flowers?
Will make her day and you will feel a little bit better.

Claralikessage Thu 21-May-15 16:56:15

I often wonder does the by H's ex OW ever feel quilty (and this was 9 years ago) and would most definitely like an apology. The thing is I know she is not sorry and has completly moved on (whereas I still have moments of upset over it) . She is now with a man who recently left his wife.
so yes, in my opinion, if you are really sorry, write the letter and post it.

handfulofcottonbuds Thu 21-May-15 17:01:16

Anonymous bunch of flowers? confused good grief, way to mess with her head even more and cause potential problems with her husband when he asks who sent her the flowers!

OP - go with your last post, those of us who have been cheated on are discouraged in sending anything to the OW and instead to write it down and tear it up. Works the same for you.

I hope you find peace.

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