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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.