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experience of apologising / being apologised to after long time(12 Posts)
Hi, (name change)
Anyone been in a situation where they have apologised or been apologised to from a former friend, years down the line?
Complicated situation that’s been causing me a lot of anxiety and guilt since a teenager, always wanted to apologise to a former friend from years ago and to explain things, but never have. Can’t really let it go as there is still a chance of potentially bumping into the person and some vague social connections there which are why it still causes me anxiety as I just don’t know how I would deal with any face to face interaction/confrontation. I don’t really feel like I have anyone to talk to and avoid bringing it up as it gets me down, but can’t deal with the idea that someone out there thinks badly of me, but does an apology years down the line make me any better? For years I’ve been wanting to write a Letter but I think I’m just scared of unearthing bad feelings again.
Realise I’m not giving much away here but just wanted to hear of other people’s experiences.
I received an email totally out of the blue from an exboyfriend 15 years after it ended. He apologised for treating me so badly. Although it brought up all sorts of feelings i'd buried, I did appreciate it and has helped the way I view the past. It is highly unlikely we'll ever bump into each other but that made me value the apology more, he didn't need to write to me and there was nothing in it for him. Good luck with your decision.
It'll depend a lot on the personality of the other person.
If I were the other person, I would not really be interested in talking to you or having it brought up. It would bring up bad memories that I would not be interested in dwelling on. I would think you were doing it for yourself, to make yourself feel better.
I can't say whether I think you are over reacting or not but I do want to say be careful writing down and sharing anything that could make an old, forgotten mistake a new public embarrassment.
I was on the other end of that situation,received an apology from a former friend 15 years after the fall out.
It took me by surprise, in short term stirred up the emotions from the past but in long term it was a great thing, made me feel better, restored my faith in humanity if you like.
Ultimately if the person cared about you and apologised years later it means it is important to them and tgey are good person and regret things gone wrong in the past.
I think if an apology comes as much from a place of wanting to give the other person peace then a letter is a good thing to do.
If you’re only apologising to assuage your own conscience then you’ll come across as being self and needy with no regard for them and it'll make things worse.
So if apologising do so seeing it from their point of view and don’t get caught up in talking about your own feelings.
I think apologising years later can be a really good thing and healthy for both parties. I had an ex boyfriend apologise to me several years later after a specific event. It did bring up some emotions and I was shocked by it but ultimately it was very helpful and meant my view of our relationship was much more positive. The only thing I would say is that it should just be a straight apology, quite simple and not too wordy. Don't view it as a chance to 'explain yourself' as that could just make things worse for the other person and isn't really the point of apologising.
One of the best apologies I ever received was from someone who said 'I'm sorry for xxxx and I'm also sorry for the other ways I hurt you that I'm unaware of' I found it helpful even years later when I remembered ways he'd upset or hurt me and it was much better than if he'd dissected our relationships and gone through different ways he thought he'd hurt me or tried to explain them
I apologised to an ex boyfriend for treating him badly. He appreciated it very much and we became friends.
It can be good for both parties.
I think if it is a genuine apology then there is no harm in sending them a message or letter. But make sure it is actually an apology, and don't expect a reply or an acceptance of your apology. Don't do it if you want a certain type of response because you may not get it.
When I was pregnant with DD I didn't tell many people, and I don't have social media so no announcement anyone could have seen. I told one friend from school and she proceeded to tell all the bitches who bullied me horribly during sixth form, once we left school I didn't have anything to do with them anymore as there actions had caused me a great deal of MH problems. Lo and behold they all started sending me texts (stupidly hadn't changed my number) saying they would love to come and see the baby, and they were sorry we hadn't spoken for so long, no mention of the horrible bullying, no apology. So I didn't reply, they didn't deserve my time then and they certainly don't now because they want something to gossip about, it just felt like a massive intrusion onto my now much happier life without them in it. I didn't want to be reminded of their existence let alone see them or let them meet my baby. It's fairly likely I will bump into them over the festive period, but I will not be engaging with them at all.
I think it also depends what you are apologising for, with some things people won't want anything to do with the person contacting them whether it's an apology or not, and it might make them feel uncomfortable that you've suddenly popped up.
I think a genuine apology can be a good thing.
I got an apology from someone via Facebook around 15 years after I last saw her.
She slept with my then boyfriend and at the time it caused quite a lot of friction in our friendship group, with some mutual friends cutting her off.
For me, I was more pissed off at him.
She said she'd felt guilty about how badly she'd hurt me for years.
The thing was I hadn't even thought of her for ages. Very much in the past for me.
The apology didn't make much of a difference to me but it helped her resolve what were clearly some deep felt emotions so I'm glad she got some resolution.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Thanks so much everyone, really good to hear your thoughts. I agree that trying to ‘explain’ things does look a bit needy and selfish and just a simple apology is best, I’m not expecting anything back or a response, more just to draw a line under things I suppose and I also just want to deal with my own guilt and feelings on the issue.
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