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About 5 years ago I was menopausal and regret saying some really hateful things to a mutual friend about a woman that I have known for 30 years. We were never really close, but her daughter made my daughters life terrible when she was in high school. Needless to say, I regret it because it deeply hurt the woman and she ended up telling alot of people about it and it hurt my reputation with those people. I feel like I am very disliked by them and this affects my daughter when it comes to these people's daughters too because they snub her. I haven't told my daughter what I did and she wonders what she did wrong when these people ignore her . I feel so guilty and I have tried to be nice to the lady, but she really doesn't want a thing to do with me. I feel really bad about it and do know that I wasn't wrong with my feelings about her or her daughter, but I do regret saying hurtful things to the mutual friend and remain friends with her in spite of what I know she repeated to the woman. I am having a hard time forgiving myself and yet am I remorseful because other people took the woman's side and that's why I regret what I did?
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I believe that I can help.
Five years ago you were under the influence of menopause related moods, probably depression, which made you very irritable. You had some issues with a certain woman, which you hold today, and vented your feelings to a so-called friend. She was the one who spread the stories
She might have not even got them straight.
She probably did get them straight because they were hateful, I admit
You did nothing terrible, but the woman you talked about proved herself as bad as you had originally thought, and proceeded to try to destroy you, and succeeded with a few of her friends.
I remember asking myself why I would tell a person that I knew would repeat it. I guess I wanted the woman to know
The things that you said may have been hateful but they were true, and her actions have confirmed the nature of her character.
I know it made the woman very hurt and I believe her friends came to her aid
She did find out and you have paid some consequences. Unfortunately they affected your daughter.
I was terrible to have openly gossiped behind her back
Why did it hurt the woman, do you think? (Remember your friend passed the gossip on knowing it would cause damage).
Because she repeated what I said to her friends?
Do most people keep that to themselves?
So it was the other woman who spread the evil stories that she heard. People who want to prevent problems among others keep stories to themselves. Those that wish to harm others gleefully gossip.
You cannot undo what happened. You cannot take back what you said.
Who is guilty? Me who said it or the mutual friend who repeated it?
It would have hurt me if reversed
You can explain to your daughter what had happened so she understands how she got caught in the middle.
I am ashamed of myself
The mutual friend caused the trouble. You were indiscreet or naive for trusting her but SHE is the one who hurt the other lady.
Then you are forgiven because you admit your part of it. When you repent, God (and hopefully man) forgives you.
Why is it that she is not in trouble with the woman then? They are friends
Because she made YOU out to be the evil one while she played the role of her "protector" by "warning" her.
Yes, she should never have repeated this to her.
It was not only an act of betrayal towards you, but a malicious and hurtful act towards the other woman. She did wrong two times.
Unfortunately this kind of betrayal happens because people either don't think or they have malicious intent.
Do you think this mutual friend feels bad. She claims to be such a good person, yet I do know that she has done this to others. Do I need to apologize to the lady for my words or drop it?
Whether or not she will accept your apology I would do so.
I have asked God for forgiveness and I have tried to be kind to the lady. She did come to a function that I was a part of. She is still cold to me, but I still really don't care for her
Do I fess up to everything or just tell her that I am sorry for hurting her?
I have no clue what the mutual friend told her
I know it was bad though
I would carefully write a letter, in your own hand, telling her that you still regret talking about her behind her back and after five years it troubles you greatly. Tell her that you have realized how wrong you were and have repented to God in your prayers and have asked Him for forgiveness and now you are asking her for the same, with deepest apologies. Don't bring up the details or try to blame the other woman (who is the most guilty party. Send the letter with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and ask her to find it in her heart to forgive you;.
Ok thank you
Whether she does or does not is irrelevant and it should put an end to YOUR guilty feelings.
You are obviously a very good and moral and kind person who thinks about the feelings of others. You are dealing with people who may be less than you are in this spiritual dimension. Forgive yourself as God forgives you. If she forgives you she will be doing the only right thing.
I believe that you can sort this out successfully, and to that end I shall keep you in my prayers.
True I have written her how sorry about wishing things were different but I didn't come right out and say it. Do I write again?
Yes. Take your time and tell her again, and you can include the following verse:
– “...and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.”
Do this, and then move on. You will have done all that you can.
Yes thank you. I will have to find the right timing because I don't want to keep pushing this on her