Too Late For Apologies

It’s happened a second time. A former OW posts an apology to the betrayed wife, writing about how sorry she is for the pain she caused.

The first time I read one of these it wasn’t so much an apology as it was a list of things that she would like to say to the former wife. “I’m sorry,” was one of those things, followed by, “You’re welcome.”

Yes, honestly, you’re welcome. I’m sorry I fucked your husband. I’m sorry that when I finally figured out that he was married I continued to see him and fight for him and team up with him against you. But really, I did you a favor so… “You’re welcome.”

The reality was she ended up with an abusive, narcissistic asshole of the highest order. That fight she fought so valiantly? It didn’t yield the great riches she thought she was going to get. Soon into their relationship he began making outrageous demands and responding like a petulant teenager whenever she wouldn’t submit. Like a frog in that pot of warm water she sat there as he continued to turn up the heat, making more and more demands, taking over all facets of her life, and leaving her a shell of her former self.

The stories she wrote detailing the emotional and physical abuse, before revealing that she was at first an unwitting other woman, and then a full accomplice, were horrific. He really was an abusive piece of shit. I’m glad she got away.

Nonetheless, it takes a whole lot of hubris to tell the woman whose life you destroyed, “You’re welcome.”

The most recent one, also an unwitting other woman before joining forces with the married man, also experienced the love of a narcissist.

Like the previous apologizer she eventually realized the hell she willingly entered once she was involved with him. He wasn’t nearly as wonderful as she had thought he was back when he was lying to and cheating on his wife with her.

Therein lies my problem with these so-called apologies. They’re only sorry because the knight in shining armor turned out to be a doofus in a tinfoil hat. That hunk of gold turned out to be a sparkle covered turd. That’s the only reason they’re apologizing.

If Sir Doofus was still showering them with praise and gifts and lots of great sex instead of terrorizing them they wouldn’t think twice about the woman who was betrayed and discarded. They wouldn’t be a damn bit sorry about anything they did. My guess is we would hear a lot of, “You can’t help who you fall in love with,” or “It was fate,” or even, “I’m not a bad person! This doesn’t define me!”

Perhaps I’m being too hard on them. Maybe being lied to, cheated on, and abused has brought out their more empathetic side. Maybe their painful experience with the love of their life has taught them compassion. I don’t really know.

What I do know is it’s too late for apologies. You don’t apologize when you finally realize you didn’t actually win the prize. That’s not an apology; that’s remorse. For yourself. Apologies are more than words; they’re actions. When you don’t act until it’s your own ass in the fire you’re not sorry about what you did; you’re sorry it didn’t work out as splendidly as you were led to believe it would. “I’m sorry I didn’t get the Prince Charming I thought I was getting when I poached your husband,” is no apology at all. Acting like you did the betrayed wife a favor is adding insult to injury.