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emilyrose's avatar

Have you ever apologized for something many years after it happened, or been apologized to after many years?

Asked by emilyrose (2266points) December 22nd, 2008

I just wrote an old friend on Facebook apologizing for being really mean when we were ten. Before I went through my mean phase, we were the very best of friends. Her sister found me on FB and then my friend “friended” me or whatever you call it. I felt like I was in that scene in Billy Madison if you recall it. Anyway, it felt good acknowledging that I had hurt her and I wished her happiness in life.

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21 Answers

Raggedy_Ann's avatar

Yes, actually I have.

emilyrose's avatar

@raggedy—care to share the story? How did the person respond?

MrItty's avatar

My former best friend and I had a falling out in 2002. It was over what I maintain was a misunderstanding, but she thought I had evil intent. Earlier this year, she apologized to me after rethinking and discovering some new information. We’ve been rebuilding the friendship ever since.

emilyrose's avatar

@mritty—great! It’s amazing how misunderstanding a situation can really cause problems

googlybear's avatar

My brother-in-law apologized to me shortly after his father passed (ut had been about a 5 year fight)’s just too bad his dad didn’t get to see him stop his silly fight…

Raggedy_Ann's avatar

It is between me and my sister and I would prefer to leave it at that. Sorry.

janbb's avatar

Yes – I have had both experiences and both are too personal to share.

nocountry2's avatar

A good friend in high school wrote me five years after my parents died (when I was 19), apologizing for dropping away and explaining how she just didn’t know how to handle it and felt like a terrible person;

An ex-boyfriend who became a best friend who I had a major falling out with wrote 5 years later, apologizing for being an ass and that he had always wished me well;

A best friend from college that I had a another major falling out with (now that I think about it, these were all about a year after my parents died) recently came back into contact via some mutual friends.

And yes, these all have their satisfactions, but the problem for me is that I don’t really know how to be friends with these people anymore, now that the time has passed and what exactly the new dynamic of the friendship looks like.

jsc3791's avatar

My ex feels the need to apologize to me every year or so after our break-up. I sort of resent it because #1 no apology is needed and #2 it makes it sound like it was all his choice.

I do think apologies make a difference though, no matter how much time has passed.

jessturtle23's avatar

I have had lots of people apologize to me as part of their 12-step program. The weirdest one was a guy apologizing to me for smoking in my house one time when I had a party. I didn’t even remember it. He didn’t mention how he threw my best friend on the ground one time (who was a girl) and hurt her pretty badly in a drug-induced rage.

bythebay's avatar

@nocountry, let the new dynamic be whatever you’re comfortable with. If there are trust issues give them time to heal; if it’s simply that a lot of time has passed and you welcome them back but don’t know how to include them in your new life; do it slowly so you both have time to adjust. It won’t be the same as before, but it might be better!

To answer the question; yes. I had another mother apologize to me 5 years after a very heated and divisive discussion about gay acceptance. Odd, since neither of us are gay. But her beliefs came from a religious stand-point and mine from a purely human rights stand point. She apologized after learning years later that her own son was gay. It was painful to hear the horrible strain in her voice, but I welcomed the apology. A little slice of humble pie is good for you sometimes

MrItty's avatar

Oh that reminds me of another one, bythebay. When I was a teen and told my mother that my new g/f was bisexual, my mother made some remarks that pretty plainly told me that if I was bi, she’d disown me. That hurt more than she ever realized, and she didn’t apologize for it until about 10 years later – when my cousin came out of the closet.

bythebay's avatar

@Mr: ...I imagine that those closets cause many apologies to be rendered over time!

cdwccrn's avatar

I tried to apologize to a former serious boyfriend for the tacky way I broke up with him in college. I sent a heartfelt letter. It was not well received. .

emilyrose's avatar

@nocountry—I also don’t think you have to be friends with any of these people. The woman I wrote to, for example, we will never be friends again, not in a bad way, but we live across the country and probably don’t have anything in common now that we have grown out of barbies. If I run into her we’ll chat or get a friendly coffee, and that’s that.

shadling21's avatar

@jess – That is bizarre and terrible (“bizarrible”?). It’s weird when people feel guilty for something tiny for such a long time, and it’s not even something that made you angry or hurt.

I was in love with a boy who told me that he didn’t like me. I was extremely distraught. Three years later, he apologized and told me that he had lied to me. He’d liked me when he said he didn’t, and he liked me still when he apologized for his behavior. I forgave him, but couldn’t go so far as to renew the spark we once had. I turned him down, that time…

SuperMouse's avatar

No, but I am still waiting for an apology from my best friend all through elementary school. We were inseparable from kindergarten through six grade. In seventh grade she dropped me like a hot potato with no explanation whatsoever. Thirty years later I am still bitter and I want an apology!

srmorgan's avatar

A solid friendship usually transcends the gap caused by the arguement or disagreement.

My problem lately has been wanting to apologize to a woman whom I broke up with many many years ago, for a very silly reason, which she took very hard.

I acted cowardly with her when I was 20, I feel terrible about it 39 years later, and she wouldn’t remember me if I sat down on her lap.


augustlan's avatar

I have. I highly recommend it!

emilyrose's avatar

Update: I heard back from my friend. She thanked me for the note and gave me her # for the next time I’m home. It was a very authentic communication and that makes me happy. I admitted to having been insecure and she said she understood that because of course she had/has her own insecurities.

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