25 August 2009, 08:58
I wonder if you have any advice, or could perhaps write some advice on this subject for your site for everyone to benefit from.
I broke up with my boyfriend at the end of May. It was mutual. At first we agreed to be friends, & we even still went on a pre-planned holiday together. We had a lot of fun, although we argued & cried a bit too. He was still calling & texting me about cool things he’d read or something, & I was still calling him for advice. On the surface, our friendship looked like it was set to go. But underneath, I was angry. I was angry at him for all the things about him that made it sure we were never going to work out. Now I know that those things weren’t his fault: that’s simply why we didn’t stick together.
...But I got really, really drunk one night & sent him a large amount of horrible texts. Things like, “If you’ve pulled tonight, I bet she’s ugly.” Things like, “I’ve slept with a lot of people since we broke up.” (True, & he knew it would be true.) &, “At least I’ve known I’ve wanted to sleep with Dan for the last two years”. Ouch. I spent the next two days ringing & texting apologising, but he didn’t pick up or respond until he let me know he was changing his number, & to never contact him again.
I’ve had an urge lately to just tell him I’m sorry. We don’t live in the same town & I’m not likely to bump into him for a long time. I’ve been messaging one of his friends, someone I always liked & respected. He has been a huge help, & asked my ex on my behalf if he would accept a call from me.
He said, “No way”, & that’s all the friend relayed. I found out this morning. I am really confused at my emotions & just don’t know what to do. I know we weren’t mean to be, & I know I need to accept the consequences of sending him abusive messages, but why can’t he accept I made a mistake & listen to my apology?
Part of me thinks it’s because he is still wounded & suffering after the break up. It’s really hard, though, to not be able to contact my ex boyfriend, not even to say sorry. It’s really hard that I feel he hates me. Nobody wants to feel hated. I feel like he has banished me wrongly. I feel like he has judged me wrongly.
How do you deal with this? I would appreciate any help whatsoever.
Thank you so much.
Oh sweetness! Honestly, I think the best thing for you to do is to forget any of this ever happened. I hate to say it, but I think you have really dug yourself into a very deep hole.
Okay, let’s look at the facts. I understand that you want to apologise to him, & you want him to forgive you, but I think it’s important to look at why you feel so strongly that you need him to accept your apology. I think you want to apologise to him so that you will be able to assuage your guilt in some way. I could be wrong, but I don’t think your intention is really to make him feel any better. Maybe you’re just lonely & want to reach out to him. There’s nothing wrong with that but given the circumstances, you need to stop. You say you sent texts that said sorry, so how is saying it over the phone going to be any different? You have already expressed your regret. It hasn’t made any difference. He still doesn’t want anything to do with you — & that is entirely within his rights.
Think about it. If your ex-boyfriend had sent you similar text messages — while you thought everything was hunky-dory between the two of you, & that you were going to be best friends forever — you would feel horrible. You’d wonder what you’d done wrong. You’d wonder whether your ex had been thinking those things the whole time you’d been together. You’d wonder why you’d wasted your time with him if that was the truth. You wouldn’t want anything to do with him — & again, that would be totally within your rights.
I have written (extensively!) on the subject of not being friends with your ex immediately after a break-up, for reasons exactly like this. You need time away from one another to allow yourselves to deal with the emotional fall-out, because it can be so very ugly. Better to leave your ex-lover with a fuzzy, semi-pleasant memory of your relationship, rather than a painfully clear image of you as a monster! You can say horrible things about your ex to your best friend if you must, or write it down in a journal, but it really should never travel any further than that.
I think you need to take a big breath & back away. Stop contacting his friends, too. That could get awkward really quickly, if it hasn’t already. It makes you look a bit like a stalker, & who knows what the friend’s motivation is in talking to you? Maybe he is interested in you himself. If he is, Do Not Attempt. Do Not Pass Go. Do Not Collect $200. This whole experience has been bad enough — do not compound it by cozying up to his friend. Even if his friend isn’t interested in you, again, look at the situation objectively. If your ex-boyfriend — who had hurt you — was grilling your friend for information about you, you’d be really mad at both of them. Ultimately, his friend shouldn’t really be speaking to you at all. This is new territory — now we’re talking about loyalty between friends, trust issues, & privacy. Aie aie aie.
You also need to respect your ex-boyfriend’s boundaries. Usually, when people say, “Never contact me again”, they mean it. Don’t be one of those insane girls who gives other girls a bad name. Honestly, please trust me when I say that no good can come of this situation. Don’t let your raging emotions get the better of you. Even in the best case scenario, how well could this go? So you say you’re sorry, then what? Bunnies fall from the sky? That’s probably not going to happen. Cut your losses, & forget about it. No kidding.
If you feel like you’re going totally crazy, you need to find something else to do with your mind & your time. Take an acrobatics class, paint your bedroom psychedelic colours, join a croquet team, build a rad treehouse, write fan letters to George Michael… whatever. You just need to occupy yourself with something other than thinking about your ex-boyfriend. Enlist the help of your friends; tell them you need their help keeping your mind off him. Go for long walks, write a book, go out dancing with your best friend every night for two weeks if that’s what it takes: you just need to get over the situation & stop obsessing about it. Do whatever it takes to move forward.
You’re right when you say that no one wants to feel as if they’re hated, but when you treat someone badly — as unfortunately, you have — you have to expect (& accept) that there are consequences. You know you’re a good person & you feel like that should be obvious to everyone around you — but when they see behaviour which conflicts with that, it makes sense that it would colour their perception of you. This can be hard to accept, but it’s just a reality.
The most important thing now is that you maintain your dignity. That’s ultimately what it’s about. Yes, it has been pretty bad so far, but it could get a lot worse — so prevent that by abandoning your quest to get him to forgive you. It will definitely not happen if you continue on this road, but if you just drop it, there’s a chance that things will fix themselves.
Regardless, you may never be able to patch up this situation, & I think it would help you to come to terms with that. Take this for what it is — an unfortunate, difficult & painful learning experience — & move on. Hopefully you will never make a similar mistake again. If you do, at least you know the likely outcome, & there will be no surprises next time!
I’m sorry this has happened to you & him. We all act a bit nutty after a break-up, it’s pretty inevitable. You’re not a horrible person, you just let your anger get the better of you. It’s not the end of the world, & you’ll be okay. Be good to yourself, & forgive yourself for what you’ve done. (That might be what you’re really looking for while you’re trying to get his forgiveness, anyway.)
That’s my advice. Nonpareils, what say you? Have you ever said something you regretted to someone who was important to you, & were you able to salvage the situation? How did you do it? Has anyone ever done this to you? Are you still speaking? Let us know!