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Apology Advice


Jobeatcher27
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I cheated on my ex-boyfriend of 3 years. Two years into our relationship we had a stressful break up. We stopped talking to each other for around two months and did not fully get back together until several months after that. Looking for some support after our break up I found some new friends who I was initially platonic with. After my ex and I eventually made up, I kept talking to those friends. No cheating had occurred up until what was the last month of our relationship. 

Overtime, those platonic friends shifted to being more than that. I exchanged lewd images and messages with one of them. it was no excuse for that I did. I felt horrible and was ashamed for what I did but did not seek any kind of help or admit what I did. I tried to hide it and lie about it. Eventually my cheating came to light and we broke up. I apologized in the moment and after the fact, but in all truth what I said was not entirely genuine.  

I feel as if I apologized just for apologies sake,  not because I understood the weight of my cheating. Our last communication was him telling me that he hoped I got better and wishing me goodbye. 

Since we ended things, I started going to therapy to deal with my underlying issues. I have been in therapy for around 4 months now. While I cannot say I am totally better, being in therapy has helped me realize and come to terms with the amount of damage I caused my ex. I know what I did was horrible. I regret hurting him every day. 

I want to know if it would be too painful for him if I sent a genuine apology letter. I want to preface this by saying I have no intention on writing him to beg to get back together (as much as I would like to do that I know I permanently messed up our relationship). I want to write him something admitting my responsibility and seriously apologize for the hurt I caused. I do not want to make things any worse than I already have. So, if it is alright what kind of things should or should not say? 

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Writing the letter would be for your benefit, not his. If you want to write the letter, do so, but don’t send it to him. The best way to show your respect for him is by honoring the end of your relationship and moving on with your life. 

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32 minutes ago, Jobeatcher27 said:

Two years into our relationship we had a stressful break up.

Focus on why you broke up and became on/off. He was not a monk when you were apart, so it seems strange that you need therapy for "guilt" rather than why you were in this dysfunctional on/off relationship in the first place.

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10 minutes ago, jul-els said:

Writing the letter would be for your benefit, not his. If you want to write the letter, do so, but don’t send it to him. The best way to show your respect for him is by honoring the end of your relationship and moving on with your life. 

I think if I did go through writing it, the content would be more aimed at taking responsibility for what I did more than seeking forgiveness. I don't want sympathy or forgiveness. I messed up and figured if this was the least I could do to ease the pain I caused, I should take advantage of it.

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3 minutes ago, Jobeatcher27 said:

I think if I did go through writing it, the content would be more aimed at taking responsibility for what I did more than seeking forgiveness.

I understand this, and understand the impulse. But you don't need him—or, really, anyone—to validate that taking of responsibility. You are doing it, right now, and that is wonderful. 

4 minutes ago, Jobeatcher27 said:

I don't want sympathy or forgiveness.

You deserve both of these things, though, being a human being. You made a bad choice, as humans do. Along with the taking of responsibility, I hope you're finding a path toward self-forgiveness. One bad choice does not define you. 

5 minutes ago, Jobeatcher27 said:

I messed up and figured if this was the least I could do to ease the pain I caused, I should take advantage of it.

Totally get this way of thinking, and have been in versions of your shoes. Took me a while to understand that the pain we inflict on others, be it pain big or small, is ultimately not for us to ease. You have apologized. You are not a monster. Trust that he knows all that on some level, and is on a journey to easing the pain in the ways he sees best fit. To think you have the power to ease it is to give this bad choice of yours too much power, if that makes sense. 

 

 

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While I do understand that you want to be a better person, I also dont think that he would like to hear from you. What you did was bad and hurtful. Lots of cheaters dont even understand that and always find a reason to justify cheating with BS excuses. You do understand that you did hurt somebody with your actions. Unfortunately, the damage has already been done. You made a wound and he has already been hurt. You contacting him now would just reopen that would, not heal it. Because there is probably nothing you can say to close that would. 

Actions and consequences. Sometimes we need to live with consequences of our bad choices. This is one of those situations. So, live and learn. If you seek forgiveness you would have to forgive yourself in time. And to try to not make the same mistake again in the future. 

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1 hour ago, Jobeatcher27 said:

I think if I did go through writing it, the content would be more aimed at taking responsibility for what I did more than seeking forgiveness.

He has his closure. It's not up to you to reopen it for your own guilt.

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I think very often, people apologize to make themselves feel better.

Your ex told you he hoped you got better and he wished you goodbye, leave it at that.

The best apology is to never make this mistake again and to become a better version of your previous self.

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I would let him heal without interruption, and I'd trust that if the right opportunity ever presents itself in the future for you to express anything more, you'll recognize it.

Good job on the work you've done. Your focus at this time is best used on healing yourself, and be kind to yourself while you do that.

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6 hours ago, Jobeatcher27 said:

I apologized in the moment and after the fact, but in all truth what I said was not entirely genuine.  

I feel as if I apologized just for apologies sake,  not because I understood the weight of my cheating. Our last communication was him telling me that he hoped I got better and wishing me goodbye. 

What's done is done and you've made your apology.

As mentioned, he hopes you get better and said his goodbye.

Leave it all alone now.  No more contact is necessary.

And now you focus on YOU, as you are. ( and how about you do NOT get involved anymore for a while?  This behaviour is no good on anyone 😕 .  And if you are feelings guilt or regrets, I'm sure it is weighing on you and you really should work on your issue's).

 

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15 minutes ago, Andrina said:

Another bad result could be that he's enjoying a new chance at happiness with a new lady, and that lady questions the relationship when he hears from his ex--a rude intrusion into their bliss.

Such an important call out. How many posts stem from the crash and burn provided by an ex reappearance 

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You've already apologized and both of you went your separate ways.  Leave it at that.  Don't explain nor apologize to your ex.  He's done with you as you should be with him. 

All you can do is learn from your mistakes, learn how to be empathetic, learn how to possess emotional intelligence (Google 'emotional intelligence) and become a better person for yourself and others. 

Learn to forgive yourself instead of tormenting yourself with a guilt laden soul.  Forgive doesn't mean condone nor forget.  Forgive means to move on.  Start anew with a clean slate.  Change your ways.  This is how you heal. 

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On 8/10/2022 at 11:39 AM, Jobeatcher27 said:

I cheated on my ex-boyfriend of 3 years. Two years into our relationship we had a stressful break up. We stopped talking to each other for around two months and did not fully get back together until several months after that. Looking for some support after our break up I found some new friends who I was initially platonic with. After my ex and I eventually made up, I kept talking to those friends. No cheating had occurred up until what was the last month of our relationship. 

Overtime, those platonic friends shifted to being more than that. I exchanged lewd images and messages with one of them. it was no excuse for that I did. I felt horrible and was ashamed for what I did but did not seek any kind of help or admit what I did. I tried to hide it and lie about it. Eventually my cheating came to light and we broke up. I apologized in the moment and after the fact, but in all truth what I said was not entirely genuine.  

I feel as if I apologized just for apologies sake,  not because I understood the weight of my cheating. Our last communication was him telling me that he hoped I got better and wishing me goodbye. 

Since we ended things, I started going to therapy to deal with my underlying issues. I have been in therapy for around 4 months now. While I cannot say I am totally better, being in therapy has helped me realize and come to terms with the amount of damage I caused my ex. I know what I did was horrible. I regret hurting him every day. 

I want to know if it would be too painful for him if I sent a genuine apology letter. I want to preface this by saying I have no intention on writing him to beg to get back together (as much as I would like to do that I know I permanently messed up our relationship). I want to write him something admitting my responsibility and seriously apologize for the hurt I caused. I do not want to make things any worse than I already have. So, if it is alright what kind of things should or should not say? 

It’s probably not ok. This has nothing to do with him and more about you getting things off your chest because you want to or feel like it after the fact. He may have long moved on and receiving any word from you is extremely unwelcome. It may also cause a ripple effect while he may be in a new relationship and consider how inconsiderate that would be to the person he’s dating or may potentially be building a new life with.

The chapter has closed and ended. Write a letter but don’t send it. Burn it or shred it when you’re done.

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I don't think he's gonna give a rat's butt about you admitting all responsibility. His focus is on himself to get over the hurt and come to terms with it in his own way. Let him think whatever and move on with his life. You have your own self to deal with, stick with your therapy, learn, grow and move on.

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I think it's fine to apologize. I don't think it's selfish. I think you want him to know that you're genuinely sorry. If I were in his shoes, I'd appreciate it. And it wouldn't make me feel manipulated or obligated to get back together with you.

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