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Ask Rafael M.T.Therapist Your Own Question

Rafael M.T.Therapist
Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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Should I apologize to me ex?

Customer Question

Should I apologize to my ex?

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 1 year ago.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

Customer:

Hi

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Could you please describe the situation?

Customer:

Yes. Thank you for talking with me, btw.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hi, thank you for joining the chat

Customer:

It's a long story, so it may take a bit.

Customer:

A year ago, I broke up with now ex-bf.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

No problem

Customer:

I was suffering from deep depression due to lack of work opportunities and general discontent with myself.

Customer:

This had been going on for some time.

Customer:

The thing is, I feel extreme guilt about the whole thing.

Customer:

One, I really loved him. I still do. But my negativity and mental health issue had gotten so bad that I felt like I couldn't havndle a relationship.

Customer:

Two, he kept trying to make it work. I didn't take a hint. Then, when he started to ignore me for long stretches, not answering emails, etc, I finally snapped and wrote a break up email.

Customer:

He said he still wanted to be friends and maybe try again, but then he never initiated a conversation after that. When I stopped writing to him, I never heard from him again.

Customer:

I understand that the shock must have hurt him horribly.

Customer:

But I can't let him go, in my heart, because I still love him so much, and I feel so horrible for dumping him like that.

Customer:

What do you suggest? Should I write him a letter of apology? I don't really know what to do at this point.

Customer:

I'm afraid if I do, he will be disgusted and think it's more for me than him, which is admittedly partially true. By now, he might be over it completely. I still feel guilty, though.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am so sorry to know how depression and life issues around employment and other stressors deeply affected you, to the point of being unable to cope with further stress and the challenges these relatiohsip presented at that time.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Sure, I do totally support your plan, since it seems fully consistent with what happened, your feelings and expectations. I think you need to tell him what happened, to clarify things, to apologize and tell him you still care. It would not ensure he would give you another chance, but it would allow you to take good care of this situation, and you would be doing your best to promote this new chance for the relationship,then it would be up to him if he wants to work on it or not.

Customer:

Isn't a year late a bit late?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I believe this i snot only good but necessary and fair, for you to take good care of yourself, and also to take good care of what was left without a real solution, like pending. You would not be pushing him at all, but making it clear you needed to apologize, and make it clear you still feel the way you feel towards him, and in case he happens to feel the same, you would love to have a new chance, and if not, that you respect him and wish him the best.

Customer:

I was reading this thread on a relationship forum, in which people were relating instances of an ex coming back to them and apologizing a long time after a breakup. The general consensus was that they had already moved on and either didn't care, thought it was creepy, or were disgusted because they thought the ex was simply doing it to clear his own conscience.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

When it is about showing you are truly sorry, it is never too late. You would be honest, not pushy about sharing what you still feel and expect, but being %100 respectful and assertive about it, it'd be an invitation he would decide if he want to take and work on it or not.

Customer:

I took his lack of contact as a (nonverbal) statement that he's done with me. He did say that he wanted to be friends and stay in touch, but his behavior wasn't consistent with his words. I fear that he was so badly hurt that he just couldn't stand it any longer and had to go no contact.

Customer:

I'm afraid that if I send the letter of apology, I'll just be reopening new wounds.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I believe self-neglecting that way, by denying your right and need to have a clear and healthy resolution-clarification about what happened is never something selfish or wrong, but necessary. Independently of his reaction, if you do it right, you would be taking good care of yourself, and that's never wrong but necessary.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

That would make perfect sense, and that'w why your apology should not depend on his openness or willingness to give you another chance at all. This must be very clear in your message.

Customer:

I forgot to mention: I did apologize to him - for using email to break up. This was right after the breakup. I also mentioned my mental health woes as a reason for why our relationship didn't work out. But I didn't apologize for

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

It all depends on how assertively or not you do it. One way would allow you closure and ability to move on, while the other would be disrespectful, perpetuate a dysfunctional approach.

Customer:

But I didn't apologize for not trying harder to make it work.

Customer:

For not appreciating him.

Customer:

And his efforts.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Then you have very good reasons to do it now. As long as it is real, honest and not dependent on him giving you another chance.

Customer:

Would you agree that this is more for me than for him?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Absolutely, and I do not see anything wrong with it, it seems necessary and fair. If you do it assertively, you would be also doing what is right for him to know that you acknowledge what happened, take full responsibility for it, and hope things work well for him.

Customer:

Judging from your previous cases: can you tell me how people generally take it when exes send an apology letter a long time after the breakup?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

It would all depend on how assertive and mature they happen to be. An immature person would not take it well regardless of how assertively and gently you do it, while a mature person would validate it as a necessary step for you to clarify things, get closure and have the chance to say you are sorry for your own action, since you would be taking full responsibility about them. If you do it that way, and not as a way to manipulate him, and he happens to be assertive, he would take it as something positive, Either case, you have no control of his reaction, but need to focus on taking good care of yourself and this seems as a necessary step for your own healing process.

Customer:

One last thing: I have reason to believe that he have a new relationship. Do you think it's still wise to go forward with this?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

If you believe that, then it would not be wise for you to ask him another chance now, that would be disrespectful and manipulative, but not sending an apology and wishing him the best.

Customer:

Fair enough.

Customer:

Okay, I think we've covered everything now. Thank you so much for you guidance. I truly appreciate it.

Customer:

Good night. :)

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You're very welcome. Take gentle care. Good night :o)

Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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