DEAR ABBY: After 16 months of casual dating, I married my ex-wife. We met through Facebook. Unfortunately, we couldn’t make the marriage work, and after two years, we divorced.
That was two years ago. It was my first marriage and her second. I was angry that we couldn’t make it work, and I blamed her for it. I felt hate and disgust for her and blocked her out of my life.
One night, I was bored and decided to go back through all my old Facebook posts. When I reached the year my ex and I began talking and reread the posts from after we were married, I realized that it was my fault our marriage failed. My ex-wife loved me so much you could feel it through her posts to me, but I didn’t reciprocate that love. I feel horrible that I didn’t recognize it during our time together.
She has since moved on and is getting married next year. I want her to know how sorry I am for giving up on us and apologize for all the hateful things I said about her. My feelings have nothing to do with her moving on. I am truly happy for her.
Should I tell her how sorry I am, or must I continue to live with the shame I feel? It’s tearing me up, but I think it may be best to leave her alone. – It Was My Fault
DEAR MY FAULT: I don’t think it is ever too late to offer an apology. You and your ex have both grown since the divorce, albeit in opposite directions. Write her a letter, tell her you are sorry and wish her well. It’s the right thing to do, but do not expect absolution.
DEAR ABBY: A few years ago, my two best friends had milestone birthdays within a few weeks of each other. Wanting to do something special, I splurged for a weekend in Vegas for the three of us. I bought first-class plane tickets, high-end hotel rooms, spa appointments, the best seats at a show and paid for all our meals – including dinner at an expensive steak house. While I could afford it, the weekend cost me several thousand dollars.
Fast-forward a couple of years to my milestone birthday. One of them sent me a card, and they split the tab for my lunch at a fast-food restaurant. There were promises of something more special to come. While I didn’t expect the extravagant experience I gave them (our financial situations are different), I thought they might plan lunch or dinner at a nice restaurant. Since then, nothing more has been said or done.
This was a couple of years ago, and I still can’t let go of my hurt and disappointment. We’ve been friends for more than 20 years, but I’m thinking of ending the relationships. Every time I see them, I wonder if our friendship is one-sided. How can I get past this? – Disappointed in Dallas
DEAR DISAPPOINTED: Your mistake was going over the top with their birthday splurges. When you do something nice for someone, you shouldn’t expect reciprocation. Concentrate on the positive aspects of your relationship with them, and let the rest go.