When I was married I used to get flowers.
I love flowers. One of my dream jobs has always been to work in a florist shop. Flowers make me smile. Flowers always seem to be so happy. How can anything that smells that good be sad?
When my friends came over and saw my beautiful bouquet’s, they would tell me what a wonderful husband I had. He must be so romantic! How nice he thinks of you so often!
The only problem was that it was all a lie.
I only remember getting flowers on special occasions and when my then husband did something he shouldn’t have done. Like forgetting the fact that he took wedding vows in front of God.
The flowers were his way to apologize.
Don’t get me wrong, the flowers were beautiful. I could have eaten in fancy restaurants on a weekly basis for months at a time with what was spent on those flowers.
While my friends thought I was married to the most romantic husband ever, I hid the truth of what my marriage really was; a sham.
The flowers were his way of saying he was sorry for his improprieties. As a wife, I bought it. Hook line and sinker. I wanted to keep up the image too.
I thought he was really sorry and showed it by stopping at the florist to show me his love, forgetting that the florist was on his way home and all he had to do was pull in the parking lot. Flowers were his simple way to undo the damage he had caused.
But apologies aren’t shown by how much the sorrowful person spends on you. Tiffany’s doesn’t write apologies. They may help with the burn, but if amends aren’t made and actions don’t change, all you’ll get is a lot of jewelry to make you look like the person you aren’t but think you want to be.
Jewelry just isn’t my thing. But flowers were. And I thought he was really sorry because he bought me things I loved.
The problem with his apology was, his actions didn’t change. What he said and what he did were not in alignment.
His Sunday office hours with his secretary didn’t cease. The frequent “business” trips with unknown participants never stopped. His cell phone never left his side. Things didn’t change.
His apology was just a way to eat his cake while me, the chump, played along.
Apologies are not apologies unless they are heartfelt, honest and the person apologizing changes his or her actions so the apology won’t need to be repeated.
An apology shouldn’t make the one being apologized to feel guilty. Apologies show emotion. Apologies are not vague. They are succinct and to the point.
The following examples are of some half baked apologies:
“I hope you can move on. I am praying for your happiness” – This is not an apology. It is a way to turn an event around and make you think you have misjudged the wrong doer as someone kind.
“I didn’t tell you because I knew you would be angry” – When an apology is only made because the perpetrator was caught red handed, it is not an apology. It is acknowledgment that they got caught and are truly sorry they did.
“Okay, Okay! I said I was sorry!!!” This is not an apology. It is a way to get you to shut up and leave them alone.
“I don’t see what the big deal is” is just another way to not apologize. It is a way to put the onus back on the one who you need to apologize to.
“I’m really sorry for the way things turned out.” No apology here, just a way to get out of a situation they don’t want to take responsibility for. If they felt responsible, it would sound like “I’m sorry for what I did.”
And it is certainly not an apology when days, months or years later, the perpetrator wants to come back into your life and be friends.
Without honesty and truth, there is no relationship. Time does not equate to an apology. Sure, forgive, move on and let go of the fact that an apology was never made. Go grab the wonderful life you deserve. Don’t wait for an apology, you may morph into a zombie.
If a person can’t ever apologize and take responsibility for their actions, how can there really be a true friendship? Aren’t friendships, and any relationship, built on trust? Can you trust anyone who can’t own what they did and make amends when what they did was hurtful to you? I can truly be kind to those who never apologize. My kindness is heartfelt and real. However, the relationship will only remain on the surface until amends are made.
I hear so often to “just let it go” without a definition of what that really means. For me, letting it go is just that, letting the relationship go. It’s gone. It’s no longer here.
Knowing that, I can move on and form new relationships with people like me who try to be honest, loving, kind and open hearted and know when they are wrong and have enough character to admit it.
And by the way, flowers are not an apology either.
What non-apologies have you received?