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Ex-files: Should you apologize?

“I’m sorry if I ever caused you any pain”. These 8 words popped up on my text messages last week. I didn’t recognize the number, but I didn’t have to. I knew who it was from. I knew why he was saying I’m sorry. I knew that I was not going to reply back.

After years of holding animosity, the text message actually brought closure. Closure I didn’t even know I wanted. Maybe apologizing for your romantic crimes is a good idea? When break ups get messy, people get hurt. Would it be that hard to make amends and let the person know you really felt bad for the way you treated the?

Do you ever regret the way you ended things with someone? Do you feel bad about how you handled situations in the past? Do you think you should apologize to the person?

Has an ex ever reached out to you to apologize for hurting you? Do you think it is appropriate to respond? Would you forgive them?

By Wise Diva, Misadventures in Atlanta Dating Blog

209 comments Add your comment

Lily

July 10th, 2012
7:12 am

Diva, yes. There had been many attempts to talk and reconcile. At that time, I couldn’t do it. I’d encountered people far worse, wrote them off and moved on. Not the same for him. I believe he came to realize attempting to reconcile only made things worse. So he grew silent too. I wouldn’t talk or respond to him, neither would I let it go like he wanted. I couldn’t. One fine snowy day about a year later, on his birthday, there it was. A text asking first if we could meet. A second text stating he didn’t want to lose me. A final text saying it was important that we at least remained friends. I still couldn’t. I didn’t respond but it sufficed. In spite of it all, he has been the most honorable man I know, yet. As evidenced by all of his efforts. At that point it was the unspoken thing that melted all the animosity and hurt. I didn’t respond because I didn’t exactly know how. I didn’t think it was wise to go back. But for a long, I yearned to.

No, he wasn’t perfect but truly honorable.

Lily

July 10th, 2012
7:23 am

And what the fallout was about? Nothing remotely close to actions we see skirted and displayed. Nothing along those lines.

Good day!

Blackfoote: The Real Blackfoote

July 10th, 2012
7:32 am

Honest men will say I’m sorry I did you wrong and accept the fallout. Controlling men will hit you because they are cowards and can only relate to you this way. A rat (been here before) will duck and dodge until the heat has cooled. Blaming your actions on youth, inexperience, and the cards you were dealt is a bonafide cop out.

Do you ever regret the way you ended things with someone? Yes
Do you feel bad about how you handled situations in the past? Yes
Do you think you should apologize to the person? Depends who it is
Has an ex ever reached out to you to apologize for hurting you? No I didn’t need it.

Good Morning:

Blackfoote: The Real Blackfoote

July 10th, 2012
7:35 am

Well dern Lily bested me again.

Lily

July 10th, 2012
7:37 am

@Blackfoote, I have to come back and say out, EXCELLENT EXCELLENT post! Yes, I beat you, again :)

Blackfoote: The Real Blackfoote

July 10th, 2012
7:47 am

Lily howdy Ms. Lady, one of these days I’m gonna get on first. That’ll probably be the day you’re on vacation……..LOL

Destiny

July 10th, 2012
8:08 am

It’s never the break up, its always the lies and deception. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Like Miss Lily said just be Honorable. I dated a man who pursued me for months and when we finally establish what I thought was real, I find out he is cheating. Don’t call me your girlfriend, dont say were are exclusive, don’t take me to meet your family and friends if its not real. My plan is to forgive someday, but until then Love is on Vacation.

Destiny

July 10th, 2012
8:12 am

One last thing, being the main is not all thats it’s cracked up to be. The other woman will know all about you, but you are kept in the dark. smdh

ATL Guy

July 10th, 2012
8:33 am

I was seeing a girl in High School and we dated 2.5 yrs but different Universities. The distance caused the relationship to not work out and I broke it off. She got me an early leather jacket for a Christmas Gift and I told her I’d give it back because I felt bad keeping it. She told me no, just keep it was this awkward scene with her crying in a restaurant. She did nothing wrong but it was circumstance. Was really the hardest breakup for me because it wasn’t anything she did wrong. I knew she was stressed with final exams and with the breakup so I got her a $100 massage from Spa Sydell as a Christmas Gift even though we broke up. Thats the only breakup I felt bad about and wanted the best for her

Mom's Words

July 10th, 2012
8:39 am

after an ugly falling out with a former and a distressed college semester, my mom advised, “a man will say he’s sorry, a boy won’t”. Never looked back!

Fred G. Sanford, Jr.

July 10th, 2012
9:14 am

Apologize to an ex? Probably not at this phase of my life. After years have passed, it’s probably best to leave things as they are. I think I’ve tried it once or twice in the past, only to get an “oh… ok… thanks” type of response.

SlimUno

July 10th, 2012
9:34 am

Good morning,

Yes I’ve been on the receiving end of an apology for previous mistakes made concerning a relationship. Many times, like BF said, during the ordeal, responsibility is not taken by the person(s) that committed the infractions(s). Receiving the apology does not erase the hurt, disappointment or anger but in some way it does provide a hint of closure because that person is finally, even in a small way, saying hey I messed up and i’m sorry for any hurt I caused you…It’s like finally accepting the fact that they had a hand in the demise of the situation.

GracieL

July 10th, 2012
9:34 am

It would have been nice if he had apologized. It was around that time that I realized he is a sociopath. Caught red handed in a multi-pronged lie, playing multiple women, (learn your pocket technology, dumb-azz — your own “smart” phone just blew your cover on FB), he quickly turned it around on ME, cussing me out like I was the evil one. He knew I had done nothing deceptive, misleading, or in any way unkind to him. I didn’t chase or stalk him in any way. He KNEW he was the bad guy, pursuing me, pretending to love me, then caught in all his lies, and he responded by viciously attacking me. (Not physically, but what he did was almost as bad.)

An apology wouldn’t have made it all okay, but it would have helped me heal, just a bit. But that will never happen, because that’s how sociopaths are: No conscience. No empathy. Plenty of game. Lots of charm, lots of lies. If this sounds like someone you’re involved with — if you’ve been ignoring that little voice inside you that knows something is wrong — please… run away NOW and ever look back.

You don’t need this kind of damage.

ATL Guy

July 10th, 2012
9:41 am

So I heard about the ‘For Love & Hip Hop’ show and watched some of it yesterday. Reading the responses above it just reminded me of that episode. Its probably the worst show I’ve ever seen because of the way it protrays the African American community in our City. Its Pathetic & I’m surprised I’m not hearing more of the black community speaking out against these shows where its almost accepted to be cheated on over and over again then continue to go back. Not to mention every woman on that show are single moms. How come V103 is promoting this trash and not condemning it ???

Single and Happy

July 10th, 2012
9:45 am

Once you have really moved on with your life, you don’t feel the need to apologize, nor are you thinking about them owing you and apology.

Blackfoote: I'm The Zinger With A Dinger

July 10th, 2012
9:53 am

In essence it is proper etiquette to apologize for any bad conduct or behavior not just in dating. Do people apologize every time for hurting you no they don’t, would it depress me if they didn’t no. Women it’s a little different in they would like some closure in some way or another.

disco

July 10th, 2012
9:53 am

good morning.

I’m all for sincere apologies but fake A apologies get no love from me. don’t apologize because you think it’s the right thing to do but you don’t really mean it. don’t apologize because you think somebody is weak and will melt and cave behind a daggone apology. don’t apology in an attempt to get sympathy sex. sometimes it’s best to just chalk things up and go your separate ways. no apologies necessary.

ATL Guy

July 10th, 2012
9:58 am

Agree – Apologize if its Legit over conversation. But, after that just keep it moving and cut ties. Its only fair to eachother to live life and find the true relationship that will be meaningful

SlimUno

July 10th, 2012
10:00 am

AG – People have been speaking out against it…Did you hear Rickey Smiley ranting about it this morning saying he just can’t sell out for everything. When the show first aired, he had all the women come on the show but he admits that he had not watched it until last night. So now he’s apologizing for having them on the show because he does not support that.

Natasha

July 10th, 2012
10:01 am

@Mom’sWords This sums it up here>>>> “a man will say he’s sorry, a boy won’t”.

@Fred G. Sanford Jr. You apologize for yourself, not for their response. It doesn’t matter what their response is. You ask for forgiveness if you were in the wrong, therefore you’ve done your part.

SlimUno

July 10th, 2012
10:01 am

No conscience. No empathy. Plenty of game. Lots of charm, lots of lies.

Yup, pretty much sounds like Stevie J :lol:

Blackfoote: I'm The Zinger With A Dinger

July 10th, 2012
10:02 am

ATL GUY
I’ve never seen the show you’re talking about, though there is I’m assuming a large population of people that watches it. Looking at young girls who don’t have a clue about what’s going on in society besides the drama they create makes for a ratings bonanza. That’s all it is showman ship to make cash.

Blackfoote: The Real Blackfoote

July 10th, 2012
10:08 am

Forgot to adjust my moniker.

Blackfoote: The Real Blackfoote

July 10th, 2012
10:09 am

That’s it.

ATL Guy

July 10th, 2012
10:12 am

Haha Slim – Thats what made me think of that show!

Agree Blackfoot, but its setting an example none the less. I’m not sure how far off that stuff is from what I see on a day to day basis. I’ve made it a point for a long time to cut drama out of my life. Helps me focus on whats important and gives some perspective. I’m not black, but this kind of show upsets me because any positive step fwd this seems like two steps back. Its just a bad look and really sets a bad precedent

Celisea...tiptoeing through the tulips headed for vacay!!

July 10th, 2012
10:13 am

Morning!

I don’t think you should flip back through your rolodex, smart phone, black book or whatever your means for tracking contacts and hand out a grove of apologies. But on the scale of grand, being able to make amends for the wrong you caused, is commendable to say the least.

I like what Blackfoote said, stop blaming and take accountability for your own actions. Stop worrying about how it’s recieved. If you caused the demise, then own it. People make mistakes but people also grow and learn. Taking responsibility is not a sign of weakness but rather a step towards getting better. If you can display that kind of quality then that’s what life and living is all about.

To what GracieL said…..There are so many people that operate under counterfeit. When you see it before your very own eyes, that’s all that runs through their veins and apparently a way of being for them, leave it alone. There are plenty that sport in making fools out of women (or men) and feel good getting it done. But that’s them. As the good book says, leave them to their own devices. Leave those folks be and let them do what they do. You’re only obligated to take responsibility for you and what you do. If making amends is it, then you shouldn’t feel lesser of a person for doing so.

Blackfoote: The Real Blackfoote

July 10th, 2012
10:21 am

ATL Guy it is upsetting to come this far only to see teenage girls put their stamp on a trashy thug life. Thank to the 90’s videos for what we are getting today.

SlimUno

July 10th, 2012
10:23 am

I don’t see how your man/woman getting another chick or getting preggo by another man, is not a dealbreaker. I guess love/stupidity is one helluva drug. lol

I actually personally know a chick that was pregnant at the same time her bf had another girl pregnant. They are still together too and have since had another kid after all that.

Blackfoote: The Real Blackfoote

July 10th, 2012
10:27 am

Cely you’re leaveing for vacay enjoy lady, I need another one too.

Mike P

July 10th, 2012
10:27 am

Apologize for what? All the decisions, behaviors, experiences, and all of my interactions with others are all apart of what makes me, ME. If my words (stating what is true for me) or my decision to leave your sorry behind hurts you; that’s your problem, not mine. When I go ghost on you, I’m gone. There’s no point in going back.

Apologize for being me? NEVER!!!

disco

July 10th, 2012
10:29 am

slim – we call that phenomenon “project twins”. I won’t front. we’ve got several pair in our family. it is what it is. the babies get here regardless of how they got here but I’m with you. I wouldn’t be the woman that stuck around. dude, his other girl and his other baby could have at it.

Celisea...tiptoeing through the tulips headed for vacay!!

July 10th, 2012
10:30 am

Blackfoote – Honey I’m so stoked right now that I could burst at the seams…lol I have stuff everywhere but I’m not packing until Sunday night. I NEVER pack days ahead. I have shopping bags and “stuff” everywhere. The place where staying is absolutely gorgeous. I cannot wait to eat myself into oblivion, spend myself into oblivion and all the other stuff that’s gonna take me into oblivion….lol It’s not the place, it’s getting away. Aaaaah yeah!

Where did you go for vacay?

Robert

July 10th, 2012
10:30 am

@SlimUno – “No conscience. No empathy. Plenty of game. Lots of charm, lots of lies.
Yup, pretty much sounds like Stevie J ”

I am embarrassed to watch that show. It depicts Black Men as opportunist, unfaithful
and irresponsible fathers. Real Black Men who has morales and values will not let a “Bama” like Stevie J near his daughter or sisters. ATL is typical for stereotyping Black Men and embarassing Black Women. Enough is Enough.

SlimUno

July 10th, 2012
10:35 am

disco – I knew there was a term for that but I just couldn’t remember what it was called lol. The other child comes to stay with them for periods at a time because the mom is a hot mess. She had like 5 other kids and is not sure who all the fathers are. Thats sad, too damn sad.

Robert – I would not just limit the embarrassment of Black women and men just to Atlanta. It happens all over…we just so happen to live here. Stevie J is playing up the role of the ‘playa pimp’ type dude and we all know that lots of sexploitation occurs here…Strip Club capital of the world no less.

GracieL

July 10th, 2012
10:36 am

Celisea @ 10:13,

Thanks for that! The sociopath slithered in and out of my life for years, always playing on my compassionate side with some new crisis or tragedy, always going the extra mile until he whittled away my skepticism with custom-crafted gestures of sincerity. You’re right, it’s a game to them. (Set ‘em up, knock ‘em down, laugh like he11.) If they can get you one more time, it adds to their score. The oxy addiction he developed caused his game to fall off a bit, and I was able to glimpse things the last time I hadn’t seen before — specifically, how truly sadistic he is.

The apology I really need is the one I give to myself. How can I do that? Letting him in one more time was unforgivable. I will never trust myself again, and hence… remain walled up behind intense shame and regret. I’m not a stupid kid; there was no excuse. There is no fix for this.

Blackfoote: The Real Blackfoote

July 10th, 2012
10:38 am

I stayed home this time, the heat was just too much to bear going any where last week. When I heard it reached 106 I put everything down and out of the way and chilled on the sofa trying to stay cool.

Robert

July 10th, 2012
10:39 am

What is wrong with our Black Women who will allow “Stevie J” or anybody with the lure of $$$ to treat them this way because of money or fame? Gold diggers…ATL is full of women who want other peoples money and will do anything to get it.

I meet a lot of young men in ATL who have this desire to become a record producer, artist, performer or entertainer based on some false fantasy. It is not based on real life experiences. No one wants to put in the required work to be successful. Everybody wants the rewards regardless of how they get it.

kimmie

July 10th, 2012
10:45 am

Morning All!

The time to apologize is around the time the infraction took place. When years have passed, well it’s time for both parties to have moved on unless something requires you to still see this person, like a child you had together. I mean it’s nice that you finally got a conscience, and I’ll accept your apology but I’ve moved on. Sanford, that “oh okay thanks” response is about the best you can hope for. What do you want?

I’ve never had any to come back later and apologize. Most would never admit they were wrong anyway, but I’m one that really doesn’t need MORE closure. I claimed the closure for myself by moving on and living well!

Can we please not get into ANOTHER discussion about that TIRED show?

kimmie

July 10th, 2012
10:47 am

Robert – One thing THIS proud ATL woman, and every other ATL woman & man I know refuses to do is take responsibility for other folks negative behavior! Period! We are too busy out here getting it done and being about it, not just talking about it!!

Blackfoote: The Real Blackfoote

July 10th, 2012
10:48 am

Robert
I can’t say the little A is full of gold diggers, what I will say is we have a ton of copy cats. I agree with you they want rewards but ignore what it takes to receive them, other than cracking somebody over the head.

Celisea...tiptoeing through the tulips headed for vacay!!

July 10th, 2012
10:52 am

THANK YOU!!! Please change the topic. I’m not embarrassed at all for other folks behavior. It speaks nothing to who I am as a person. The same thing displayed on tv, exists all around us and in some of us. You want to fix society? Start with yourself.

GracieL – NEVER let them make you think your eyes are playing tricks on you. If you saw it, you saw it. Don’t beat yourself up for someone’s crazies and the fact that they played on your desire for them. Let it make you stronger the next go round :) We won’t EVER be free of mistakes because we’re human. That’s not the issue. Learning what to do or not, the next time is all that matters. You don’t need a apology for that :)

SlimUno

July 10th, 2012
10:53 am

Mike P – I don’t think the topic is about apologizing for being YOU…we are all going to be ourselves but as you (generally speaking) get older, I’d like to think growth, responsibility and accountability aren’t beneath us. So if you did some unethical, harsh, ill-intented actions, there is nothing wrong with recognizing that fact and being big enough to apologize for it.

And just because someone from the past apologizes to you, does not mean you are accepting their behavior or have to get back with them trying to run off into the sunset. lol

Celisea...tiptoeing through the tulips headed for vacay!!

July 10th, 2012
10:53 am

And there’s bad in every race. It ain’t all the time black folks that need saving.

GracieL

July 10th, 2012
10:56 am

Robert,

Do you think maybe there’s a sense that, for some women, success IS defined as “winning” or “keeping” the man with the money? That is the traditional, old-school definition of success for women, before we became “liberated” and all. (Yay! Now I get to work all day, pay all the bills myself, cook, clean and raise kids with little or no help from anyone. Wooo-Hoooo!) It’s only in the last 50 years or so that the definition of success has changed for women. (Mad Men is a real eye-opener to just how close we are to a whole different reality.)

Do these women think of themselves as traditional?

SlimUno

July 10th, 2012
10:56 am

aaaAAAAAMMMMMEEEENNNNN! ;-)

Celisea...tiptoeing through the tulips headed for vacay!!

July 10th, 2012
10:58 am

I didn’t think either the post was saying apologize for being who you are…unless of course…. lol I was touched by Diva’s post (shet up), because I’ve been there. When a dude knew you were the cat’s meow and took it for granted and lost you. Well, being the man you came to love and know, he came back to make amends. What’s wrong with that? Only a heartless person can go through life intentionally bringing harm and feel nothing for it. Heck you ain’t got to apologize but at least come to terms with how you’re living…if that’s the kind of person you are. I don’t think an apology is so much about the other person but about you and what you come to realize.

disco

July 10th, 2012
10:59 am

slim / mike p – I think I understand where both of you are coming from. like mike p I won’t apologize for being me and I know I rub a lot of folks the wrong way just in general. have I done some things that might warrant an apology? tons. will I apologize for them? likely not. even if my actions are wrong, if I think I’d do the same thing again there’s not much point to apologizing. I hear myself saying “I said it and I’ll say it again” or “I did it and I’ll do it again”. often people don’t want you to apologize for your actions so much as they want an apology for their reaction to your action. they want you to apologize because they feel bad. I’ve long held that I’m not responsible for anyone’s feelings. they better learn to check them at the door. lol. of course, that’s just me.

Celisea...tiptoeing through the tulips headed for vacay!!

July 10th, 2012
11:06 am

Today is a new day….everyday is a new day. Yesterday (literally and figuratively) is gone. No point fretting over what you didn’t do or should have done or should not have done. Tomorrow never comes and all you can do with that is live in the now :)

Okay that was mushy but you can’t be held hostage to the mistakes of yesterday or yesteryear. Extract what you need and move it along.

ATL Guy

July 10th, 2012
11:08 am

Well its insecurity and being naive to think you’re going to change someone. Women think with their hearts and have this vision of how it’s gonna be, but it doesn’t happen that often. I tend to have paralysis by analysis, look at every angle before making a decision. If more people took a step back to look at the big picture … might save some future drama

ATL Guy

July 10th, 2012
11:10 am

I think its ok to Apologize at the moment if its deserved, but seeing an ex years later and trying to dwell back on it then it doesn’t make sense. Its so much easier to just cut ties with breakup so it doesn’t get messy and both sides just move on