I absolutely LOVE when one of the readers from this blog send me a topic or a question(s) that they want me to answer. Not only does it give me things to write about, but it causes me to think…sometimes it challenges me and it makes me cry, but I need that. I need to grow. I need to learn. So all that being said…let’s jump in to the messy.
- Can you fantasize what it would feel like had Erin actually tried to apologize and put forth effort to rebuild trust?
- Can you relate to her as a human?
- Can you remember why you liked her?
- Does what she did with your hubby mean that your good memories of her have to be bad now?
- Would you feel any satisfaction if you know you would be able to call the shots, set the pace, define the boundaries if you gave that 2nd change?
- Would you like to see her squirm?
- What do you recommend to those in the position of wanting to rebuild and can’t?
- What does it take for the bad person to redeem themselves?
First, before I start digging in… WOW. What a list of questions.
- I have fantasized for years that Erin apologized. Wondering what I would say. Wondering how I would react. To be honest, I honestly think that an apology from her would have depended on the timing of when it happened. In my opinion, she’s had plenty of times throughout the last decade where she could have said something. We’ve been in the same spot multiple times over years. Immediately after I found out about their affair, she blocked me on all forms of social media, blocked my phone number…in my eyes, she didn’t want to apologize. I realize that at that point she was worried that I would do something.
So what if she reached out now? I honestly don’t know. I’d question the timing. Why now? I realize that we are all on our own paths. Maybe something clicked and she finally realized that you can only run from the past for so long. Maybe she realized that our time on Earth is limited. I’d like to think that if she came to me and honestly apologized for her part in the affair and destroying our friendship, that I could be the bigger person and accept her apology.
Part of what makes it hard for me is the realization that she was my friend too…my best friend at the time and she threw away the trust that we had.
2. Of course I can relate to her as a human. It would be hypocritical for me to say otherwise. I’ve been there. I’ve been the mistress. I’ve been the person who has hurt others based on my actions. I also understand that we have lots of other things in common – we both musicians, we both had similar jobs in the past, we both have kids, we both had similar faith, we both had similar upbringings, we both had similar dreams, we both… the list could go on and on. We were best friends. We expected that we would be best friends for our entire lives. We had dreams that would have involved staying best friends forever. So yeah…I can relate to her as a human.
3. Yes, I remember why we got along. We were similar. We were sassy and not afraid to say something that would make others blush. We would laugh all the time. We’d drink and hang out. We’d go shopping and to movies.
4. Are the memories tainted? Slightly. I’d like to think that she liked me for me and that what she had with hubby was separate. I’d like to think that she wasn’t using me to get to him. But I honestly don’t know. That’s the thing about not getting an apology or anything…I have never heard her side of the story. And as much as I love my hubby, let’s be honest…he’s a guy…and he wouldn’t know if it hit him in the head.
Again, if I had received an apology, I’d like to think that my answers would be slightly less pessimistic.
5. There are parts of me that miss my friendship with her. If she apologized years ago, would I have wanted a friendship with her again? Maybe. If we could truly work together and heal together. Would it work now? I don’t know. I want to be the bigger person, I want to say “of course we could work it out”. Do I trust her? At this point, no. I haven’t seen anything that makes me think she learned anything from what she did. Hell, I don’t even know if she views it as a mistake.
6. I have spent years wanting her to squirm. I have spent years wanting revenge on her. I have spent far too much time and energy wanting the worst for her. Now? There are moments where I have to remind myself that needing her to suffer doesn’t get me anything or anywhere in my life anymore. I want to question her and understand her why. If that makes her squirm, then so be it.
7. Apologize. Be ready for the hard questions. The hard conversations. But don’t push it. You can’t put a timeline on healing. And unfortunately those of us who have made mistakes sometimes will not have the ability to rebuild. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t grow and learn. Sometimes we close ourselves off from the apologies of others not because we don’t want to hear it, but because we don’t trust ourselves to reset the boundaries and learn from the past. History will only repeat itself if we don’t learn from it the first time.
8. Honesty. Truth. Openness. Growth. Transparency. Apologizing. Understanding. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve been given when it comes to those things are “don’t say the word ‘BUT’ because it sounds like you’re trying to justify it…and even if you’re not, they’ve stopped listening by then.” How true.
“I’m sorry, but I love you”
“I had an affair with him, but I didn’t mean to hurt you”
“I lied to you, but it was a mistake.”
Who cares what the second part of the sentence says. When you are the person who was hurt, all you hear is the first part. Change the narrative.
“I love you and I’m sorry I hurt you.”
“It was not my intention to hurt you by having an affair with him.”
“I made a mistake by lying to you.”
Don’t push the blame off on something/someone else. Be an adult and own up to it.
Those are just my quick answers. Who knows…maybe I’ll have more to add at some point, but keep bringing on the hard questions.