Dear Amy: A few months ago my girlfriend broke up with me.
She was right to do that.
I was unemployed at the time and took my frustration out on her, sometimes in psychologically cruel ways.
I have no excuse for this and since then I have deeply remorse for my behavior.
I desperately want – I need – to be forgiven and earn his forgiveness.
Problem is, I don’t know what to do, because she told me never to contact her again.
I have to respect his wishes, but my guilt is killing me.
I worried about making amends and trying to find ways to repent.
So, I guess my question is, how do you do this? Can you?
– Try to repent
Dear Trying: You can – and you do – feel genuine remorse for your behavior. Repentance is the act of recognizing, accepting and feeling remorse or contrition, committing to change, and then… change.
According to you, you have done all of these things. If so, you have both repented and you have also obtained forgiveness from your ex-girlfriend.
(Is she now bound to forgive you? No.)
The way to make amends is to change your behavior in a way that shows that you are a changed person, in order to behave differently in the future.
If you have done these things then you are good.
What you should NOT do is contact that person and tell them about any improvements in your life and character. She has asked you not to contact her, and part of your repentance should be to show that you can respect her wishes. For some people, after insisting on not having contact, even receiving an apology may seem like an added offense; if she is reaching out to you, you should be sincere.
Go ahead and do it differently. Let this be your reward.
Dear Amy: We recently received a “save the date” card (with an invitation to follow) for a 50th wedding anniversary party from my son-in-law’s parents. This party is organized by two of their three children, leaving our son-in-law aside. (Our daughter and son-in-law will be present, however.)
My husband and I find this rude and it bluntly means that they didn’t include our son-in-law in the planning and on the invitation.
We have no idea why, and really don’t want to attend this party, as it involves plane tickets, an out-of-state trip, and two hotel nights for us (plus a freebie ).
Our son-in-law agrees if we choose not to attend.
We are friendly with the in-laws, but we believe this is an unusual set of circumstances and an unnecessary expense for us.
I think the invitation was sent more as a gesture than an expectation as there was a handwritten note from one of the siblings on our reservation card stating that they understood if we didn’t attend no, which I also found strange.
We don’t plan to attend, how would you suggest we respond when the actual invite arrives?
– Keep the peace
Dear Keeping the Peace: I don’t find it strange – but gracious – that a host would indicate that your attendance at this out-of-state event is not mandatory at all and that you are off the hook if you choose to stay home. .
An invitation sent as a “gesture” rather than an expectation is just that – a gesture. And it’s a benign social convention that you have to appreciate, especially in this case, since you don’t want to go, anyway!
You don’t know why your son-in-law’s name was omitted from this invitation, but it may have been at his own suggestion and again – you’re in luck – you don’t need to investigate further.
RSVP your regrets quickly to the hosts and send a card directly to the lovely couple, congratulating them and wishing them the best for a happy celebration.
Dear Amy: Like other readers, I am very disappointed that you have shamed the mother who signed her “Blank Slate” letter for being an “inadequate parent”.
This woman was obviously in a difficult situation, and you made it worse for her.
Disappointed Dear: This mother abandoned her child, moved to another state, and was now giving up her parental rights.
“Inadequate” seemed like a fairly benign term to describe his choices.
Many readers were furious that I called her unsuitable, but I wonder if people would be so upset if I had used the same terminology to describe a father who had abandoned his child.
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