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Heartfelt apology, did anyone receive? Did it help?

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cantaccept posted 8/17/2013 15:35 PM

I was wondering if anyone had received a truly heartfelt apology.

Did it make a difference to you? Did it help?

We have been reading "How Can I Forgive You" by Janice Abrahms Spring.

She really emphasizes the importance of a full and complete apology.

H has told me that he know that I want/need this and he is working on it. He has been saying this for a few months now. It hurts that he hasn't followed through.

I guess I was just wondering if it even matters.

LosferWords posted 8/17/2013 16:00 PM

Janice Spring's book is awesome. I can't say that enough times.

I am still in the process of forgiving my wife. She continues to apologize. Usually she does so when something triggers me, and I am hurting from something she has done to me in the past.

So for me, it's not the full and complete apology that makes the difference, it is her genuine apologies during the times I am hurting. Makes a huge difference.

She did also include a complete and detailed apology with the written timeline she gave me. That was helpful, but not as helpful as her continued and consistent apologies.

Ultimately I hope to get to a point where neither my wife or myself are apologizing to each other anymore.

whattheh posted 8/17/2013 16:14 PM

I've received a full and complete apology which helped by setting a foundation for us to build from as we go through our healing journey.

But it's also important to me that I receive continual apologies as things crop up. My fWH hasn't always consistently done this but he's working on it and it is helping (now that he's getting with the program... :)

The book is great and has been the most helpful one yet. We have just started reading it together. I told my fWH from the start that I didn't want to fake forgive him (same as her cheap forgiveness in book).

Her idea that genuine forgiveness must be earned resonates with both me and my H. And that both parties have to participate... This book is the only source I've been able to find on "How" to forgive.

All the pop psych and culture crap you read online about forgiveness didn't make sense to me so I couldn't execute it.

[This message edited by whattheh at 4:15 PM, August 17th (Saturday)]

ohiocarrie535 posted 8/17/2013 16:28 PM

Yes I have got many tearful heartfelt apologies. They do help. But his actions are what count the most. And he is following up with those too.

ccw82 posted 8/17/2013 16:40 PM

My question: what really constitutes a "heartfelt apology"??? How does the BS know it's genuine and heartfelt, and that the WS isn't just saying something they think the BS wants to hear?

Secondly, how does the BS know what the WS is apologetic for? Is it really for what they did to cause so much anguish to their BS, or does it swing more in the direction of "because I got caught"?

cantaccept posted 8/17/2013 17:39 PM

I'm not even sure it's about the apologies. I wonder if it's about knowing what he thinks now, what he feels now about how he was thinking then.

Does he believe that how he was thinking then was wrong?

Does he really understand the devastation?

Why is it so hard to apologize?

Maybe it's wanting to hear how much it hurts him to see me struggling through each day?

Hearing that he can't believe that he left me like that, so alone.

Maybe I need to talk about every single thing that happened that hurt me and be comforted for each thing.

It is a tough week. Our 11th anniversary is on Wednesday and his a started two days later. A year ago this Friday.

I can't get it out of my mind. I was clueless. I thought we were doing better.

heforgotme posted 8/18/2013 07:07 AM

Our therapist has recommended the book, "The 5 Languages of Apology" (written by the love languages guy) to us. Perhaps reading this would help your husband.

However, this:

Does he believe that how he was thinking then was wrong?

really worries me. I would think that he would have at least made this much clear to you by now.

And yes, the apology is important.

VD2012 posted 8/18/2013 10:48 AM

My wife has apologized many times and says sorry for a variety of elements regarding her affair all the time.

It took her months to do so but without my asking about a year ago my wife took me aside and gave me the most heartfelt "speech" she's ever given me. She's not good with her words, especially in regards to emotions, but she honestly blew me away with her compassion for me, her obvious guilt, the very apparent remorse she was feeling, her empathy in understanding the pain she put me through and the general very real honesty I'd never gotten from her before. It was a very important moment in regards to us reconciling.

A few months later around our wedding anniversary she also gave me an even more elaborate and thought out (this time written) apology that also included new vows to me. There's been plenty of other times where the sincerity in her eyes, voice, words and body language has moved me. Her doing these things has been a very helpful part of healing for me.

One thing that is important for me is my wife never cried before. She only ever got teary eyed a few times during our relationship and only cried a handful of times (almost entirely because of deaths). On D-Day she turned into a sobbing uncontrollable hyperventilating mess, openly weeping and begging me to forgive her. She didn't cry once after that until the day in question when she just poured her heart out to me and told me how sorry she was. Since, it's been an uncommon but frequent enough sight.

Through counselling she's gotten more in touch with her emotions. She often gets sad and cries when thinking of what she's done or telling me how she's sorry. It's nice to see.

Anyways, back to the point, yes it was very helpful and every apology I've received in whatever incarnation they've come in has helped me a great deal.

MCJLM posted 8/18/2013 11:12 AM

My spouse used a good analogy recently. He said to imagine if you threw a cup against a wall. It would shatter. He asked what would happen if I apologized to the cup for breaking it against the wall. Nothing, it would still be lying there in pieces. To actually fix the cup, I would have to find the pieces, pick them up and glue them together. My take on it....words are just words to him. Although sometimes helpful and don't go unnoticed, actions far out weigh what my words can do.

krazy8516 posted 8/18/2013 11:22 AM

My spouse used a good analogy recently. He said to imagine if you threw a cup against a wall. It would shatter. He asked what would happen if I apologized to the cup for breaking it against the wall. Nothing, it would still be lying there in pieces. To actually fix the cup, I would have to find the pieces, pick them up and glue them together. My take on it....words are just words to him. Although sometimes helpful and don't go unnoticed, actions far out weigh what my words can do.

I. Love. This. Every word of it. I have received (what I believe to be) a very honest and heartfelt apology from my WH for breaking my heart. But his actions that back it up are far more important.

It's like this: before I discovered the A for sure, I questioned my H about his behavior several times. He would get angry and assure me nothing was going on. But actions speak louder than words. He could deny it until he was blue in the face, but his actions told a very different story. Same goes for now - he can say anything he wants and it all sounds nice, but the effort he's really putting in shows in his other interactions with me, and means so much more.

wolf_heart posted 8/18/2013 11:51 AM

What I would like to hear and haven't is an apology when we are having fun. I know that sounds strange. However, it would be so nice to hear him tell me how sorry he is that he would have missed this or that moment with me. That he made a huge mistake and risked that wonderful moment we are sharing.
After all it isn't like I am not thinking about the A even in those moments. It would be nice for him to acknowledge that he risked missing them.

He lied so often and so completely that when I am in pain I find it hard to believe his apologies. I need them when I am not in pain as well. I have told him this time and time again and still nothing. He says he doesn’t think that way. Well, I feel that someone committed to reconciliation and making things right after they have betrayed you would change their thinking to help you heal.
So, truly heartfelt apologies are nice, but it is the little “ah ha” moments that I feel would help me.

Good luck. I think apologies when we aren't triggering or crying would be nice.

I did just get that book and plan to read it. Glad to hear it is a help to others.

sisoon posted 8/18/2013 12:17 PM

Got lots of sincere apologies - after all, it's been 2.5+ years.

Once in a while an apology helped me through some feelings. Most of the time, it just triggered thoughts of 'you knew better when you did this why didn't you just not cheat?'


womaninflux posted 8/18/2013 13:40 PM

In SA counseling, this is part of the disclosure process.

It does help...and it helps to hear it repeatedly. Once is not enough. MC emphasized this to SAWH in a recent session: What your wife is experiencing is a trauma. You may have to tell her 1000 times the answers to what she is asking.

TxsT posted 8/18/2013 13:54 PM

I have gotten the best apology a BS could ask for. Janise Abrahms books are incredible. Please also read "after the affair". Both are in site full for both the BS and the WS.

The way we read the books was I, the BS read them first. Then I highlighted what pertained to me and to us ( not all the info pertained to us). Then I went back and wrote notes and or questions in the margins for my WS to read and answer. He then read the book and responded to the comments, answered my questions and asked his own. At first my WS was point blank about his responses but, as we slowly progressed through the book and saw I was not attacking him or putting his opinion down he really opened up. We had some incredible conversations after that.


GraceisGood posted 8/18/2013 14:29 PM

Yes, actions are important, but some of us really need the words. People can do the "right" actions for the wrong reasons just as they can say the "right" words and not really mean them.

I need words, I need to know the reason behind my H's actions. I cannot figure that out without him telling me, otherwise I am just guessing and I could be guessing wrong.

Also, in Spring's book, she speaks about how important it is for the wounded one to have the perpetrator really see/witness and understand the pain they caused and how and why it hurt the wounded. To have ones pain witnessed, validated, and understood is deeply healing for some of us and is more than just "actions" but words verifying this happening are important.

I also agree that there needs to be more than just one apology, but how many I could not say, we are all different, and some may be able to heal with just one, and some may need numerous large and small ones.

He has been saying this for a few months now. It hurts that he hasn't followed through.

Have you checked in with him to "remind" him or to find out what the hold up is. I can understand needing some time to really understand why and what he is apologizing for, to do justice to your pain, to really pay attention to the things that specifically are important to you, but we all have limits, and perhaps you need to set a deadline, such as you would love something by labor day, or Halloween?


TXBW68 posted 8/18/2013 15:32 PM

We were separated for 10 months. He showed no remorse for the first 6, then he started pulling his head out of his ass and we eventually started dating again. He has been back home for 6 months now.

He has apologized multiple times but I have never "accepted" them or told him that I forgive him. Until 2 nights ago.

I have been watching his actions for months now. He is completely remorseful now. He has changed so much. Gone are the days of putting every one and thing above the marriage or the family. He has returned to the man I married all those years ago.

I have been having thoughts about forgiveness lately. What it means to me if I say those words before I'm ready. Friday night we were laying on the bed talking about our day. I started asking him questions about our relationship and the person he was during the affairs.

He answered my questions for the millionth time. I finally pointed out how much he had learned and matured over the last year. Then I told him that I needed a heartfelt apology. If he couldn't do it, then I would understand.

He did apologize. For everything - pre, during and post affairs. I knew from his eyes and his words that it was sincere. When I stopped crying, I told him that I could never forget but I can finally forgive him and that I accepted his apology. He was stunned and couldn't do anything but squeeze me tight!

His affairs and the fallout will always be a part of our history. But his apology and my forgiveness finally makes me feel like we are no longer "trying to reconcile". I feel like we are "reconciled" now. We can be a couple again. We can finally continue on with our life together.

My belief: I think the heartfelt apology and forgiveness come in time for both sides. And I do think they are important to get closure and move on together. I just worry about the people that find out about the affair and 2 days later say they have forgiven and are reconciled. I think it takes time to process all of the feelings that go along with an affair.

I hope my story helps you some...

TICKED OFF posted 8/18/2013 15:37 PM

Yes I got many, many times over. But in the end I don't think that the "heartfelt apology" was anything more than a way to ease his guilt and justify his actions.

RockyMtn posted 8/18/2013 15:39 PM

He has been saying this for a few months now. It hurts that he hasn't followed through.

I know this feeling well. I asked for a love letter shortly after D-Day 1. It took him months to do it. And MC had to prod him. This from a man who used to write me songs and letters all the time. It was the agonizing waiting that was the worst. I mean, i know these things aren't easy - but pull one friggin' all nighter and get it done. I always thought, "you would have done it by now if you cared."

I did tell my WH that I want to hear I'm sorry frequently. And I have received a few heartfelt apologies. They are nice. But they don't compare at all to the times I catch him reading her at SI, making us an MC appointment, taking the kids so I have time to myself when I'm grieving, etc. In other words - the actions express that he is sorry way more than the words, "I'm sorry."

LA44 posted 8/18/2013 15:44 PM

Yes and Yes.

I have received many verbal apologies and one letter specifically apologizing for his behavior of the past, for the way I, his wife and mother of our kids was treated and for what I experience on a day to day basis.

It was a really beautiful letter. Part of the reason why I wanted this letter is obvious. I also wanted to see if he really "got it". It seemed he did but it would be interesting to read an updated version to see how his thoughts have evolved.

I don't think there is any harm in saying to your H that you would like the letter by...pick a date. No point in feeling hurt that is hasn't come up. You have been through enough as is so just express your needs.


RockyMtn posted 8/18/2013 15:44 PM

Have you checked in with him to "remind" him or to find out what the hold up is

Grace, that seems logical. And I think it is good advice for day-to-day things in our marriages. Our spouse can't be a mind-reader and we may need to clarify what we want or need.

But I will say this for myself - when it comes to important things, I hate reminding. It feels cheap. It feels like the onus is back on me to get XYZ done. The WS is an adult. If cantaccept has stated clearly what she needs - then he needs to get it done. He can set a reminder in his phone if necessary. But they are reading a book about apologies. She says she wants one. He says he knows she wants/needs one. I just don't think a reminder is required and it may make cantaccept feel like the apology, when it comes, only came because she forced it.

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