Wedding Woes

"Give him a chance"...NO

Dear Prudence,
Thirteen years ago my parents divorced after I discovered he had been having a long-term affair with another woman. It left my mom a wreck, and I decided to cut off all contact with my father after he turned vengeful toward me for having found out his affair. I was 14 years old, and a family therapist supported my decision as my father’s behavior was out of line. During the first few years he sent emails asking to see me. But whenever I saw him it ended in tears and disappointment, so I stopped replying to his emails entirely. Today my mom is still a wreck, but I somehow managed to turn out OK. I excelled in my studies, have a wonderful boyfriend, friends, and a good job. My father recently sent an email asking to meet as he has realized he acted wrongly and would like to make amends. My feelings of anger toward him are almost gone and I know deep inside he is a good man. Nevertheless, I’ll never be able to forgive him for how he treated me or my sister. I just feel sadness over the situation and can’t really see how meeting him could do any good. Still people keep telling me I should give him yet another chance. What should I do?


Re: "Give him a chance"...NO

  • I error on the side of meeting him to hear him out. It has been 13 years and you never know how a person has matured and changed, or maybe they haven't but you will never know unless to talk to them.
  • If I had a friend in a similar situation and they ASKED me what they should do, I'd probably ask them what they have to lose, but a a few hours of time ,to hear him out.  

    But the pushy, "you should hear him out" stuff grates me.  Armchair relationship management is annoying.  
  • I think that people always imagine this final moment of "forgiveness" and reconciliation.  But forgiveness doesn't really work that way, you have to do it over and over.  Basically the periods in between get longer, so it eventually feels totally resolved, but those emotions can come back in a heartbeat.

    I think I'd tell her to go since she's not angry right now.  It might start a bridge, especially since he seems contrite and wants to build a bridge as well.  But if she really really doesn't want to, tell him no, I'm not ready and I'll contact you when I am.  That way, she's back in control of the situation, which might also help her.
  • GBCKGBCK member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    Do the people saying she should give him another chance know the extent of his assyness?  I find they usually don't.

    But I would say, if you want to hear someone toxic out, you meet in public and bring a witness.
    Or, hell, hear hm out via email first.  Someone who is remorseful will put the apology in writing and know not to be super pissy that they're being ngored, because, ya know, they're actually REMORSEFUL for being an asshole.
  • How does she know that deep inside he is a good man?  What does that even mean, anyway?  If you keep all your "goodness" buried down deep and are nothing but an ass to everyone around you, aren't you just an ass, period?
  • GBCKGBCK member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    If you lick the ass enough, you get to a chewy shit filled center.
  • To forgive simply means you are willing to move on and not let the anger and hurt eat at you and determine the direction of your life.  It does not mean you are saying "What you did is okay."  If you at all feel like meeting with him is something you might want to do, I'd do it.  You can forgive and still be careful.  Your dad needs to earn your trust and respect, and it's okay to let him know that.  Repairing a relationship can take a lot of time and effort, and sometimes it only partially heals.  I had a rough relationship with my dad for different reasons but he died before we could ever reconcile.  I held on to resentment, hurt, and anger, and at the time I thought I was justified- maybe I even was.  But now, 8 years later, I wish I had been able to put all that aside and at least try to have some sort of relationship with him because now we'll never have the chance.
  • Just because you meet up with him to hear him out doesn't mean you are giving him a "second chance". I think if you are even considering should. I lost my father when I was 13 years old to a car accident. It was agonizing losing him so suddenly but the one thing I am grateful for is that we had a good and stable relationship before he passed. No one but you can make the decision to meet up with him but are you going to go 10 more years wondering what-if? I also think that being able to talk to him face-to-face so that he can physically see how hurt you were/are over it all will help alleviate a lot off of you.
  • MNNEBrideMNNEBride Midwest member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    Reading comprehension is at an all time low.
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