Monday, September 20, 2010

Do I owe him an apology?

About a month ago I wrote about living life with no regrets. One of the items I talked about was making amends. I wrote, "If my past actions or words have harmed others, apologies may be in order. Or not, as apologies can be tricky. I have to judge for myself if an apology will help matters or only drudge up old wounds better left alone. But, I definitely have to forgive myself! Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes. Unfortunately, righting a wrong is not always feasible. There may be some past action that cannot be righted; so if there are, I must forgive myself, and let it go." I've been thinking that I need to apologize to my ex-husband as the failure of our marriage wasn't all his fault (mostly but not all). It's taken over 20 years for me to admit my part in the failed marriage and I've been thinking I should apologize for my part but I never see him and don't know where he lives.
Then, lo and behold, today I ran into him at the Social Security Office of all places. Mike and I were there to order a new Medicare card as Mike has lost his wallet which had the Medicare card in it. Paul was there with his fiance so I did not approach him. He saw me and made eye contact but didn't say a word. Perhaps if it had been just the two of us, I would've approached him. As I thought about it, I was afraid that I might actually choke on the apology. So I got to wondering if I even owe him an apology? Then I realized that to "make amends" is not the same thing as to "make an apology." To "make amends" for something you've done means you make up for, or compensate for, the injury, insult, infidelity, or aggression you have perpetrated. The point is to make the sorry situation right, not to unload your guilty feelings on the other party. It's been over 20 years since that marriage disintegrated and there is no going back, so there is no way to make amends for it. But I guess it is still possible to apologize.

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