Being dumped and being blocked.

Dear Amy: “Trying to Repent” wanted to apologize to his former girlfriend for his abusive behavior during the relationship. Your advice NOT to contact her was well-put.

A woman I dated in the past reached out and apologized for the way she handled things.

I was genuinely upset she messaged me and waited two weeks to respond.

She told me she apologized because she felt “bad” about how she handled things. How self-serving.

A person’s decision to try to grow should not come at the expense of someone else being victimized a second time.

— No Contact

No Contact: Absolutely. (c) Ask Amy

Ouch.

I’d say it has a lot to do with how much time has passed. If it’s been a few days, then why not apologize? If it’s been much longer, then yeah, it should be kept under wraps.

Hmm. I’m guessing that she dumped him. And he’s not over it yet. I sense some latent hostility. Maybe she actually handled it as well as anyone could, given the circumstances.

If it were me, I’d love to get an apology from someone who’s wronged me. If Nate were to apologize for accusing me of throwing msyelf at him when I was actually concerned about saving our friendship, I’d be grateful (inasmuch as I can imagine this unlikely scenario actually occurring). I’d probably reply, thanks, I appreciate it! We can move forward with blessings, or whatever.

I will say, though, that I can’t speak for what other people would want. I’m honestly not sure. But there’s one situation where you should probably never apologize, and that’s where the other person doesn’t even know what you did. I reconnected with someone from my church youth group several years ago. She said:

Meg, I’m sorry about how we all used to trash-talk you behind your back. In our defense, you were an emotional mess. We were just being immature. Sorry!

And I was like… say what?! There I was, nice enough to never gossip about anyone in high school, and then that happened. Oh, okay. Nice. Thank you. I ended ties with her, needless to say.

She told me she apologized because she felt “bad” about how she handled things. How self-serving.

A person’s decision to try to grow should not come at the expense of someone else being victimized a second time.

I’m not sure if she was trying to grow. I think she was trying to give him more closure, like, I’m sorry I’m not better at handling that sort of thing, and I wish I could’ve done it in a way that would’ve hurt you less. Because this doesn’t strike me as a growth situation. It’s more like he’s insanely angry over being dumped, and she’s trying to assuage his bad feelings, but the fact is that dumping someone isn’t the sort of thing you should have to apologize for. (Am I wrong?)

It’s a hurtful act, and it’s devastating to the other person, but it’s unavoidable! There’s no way around it. You can’t not dump someone if the relationship’s through. And unless his ex handled it as badly as Carrie’s boyfriend in Sex and the City, who dumped Carrie via a post-it note; making Carrie to have to convince a police officer–from the back seat of a squad car–of the post-it breakup so he wouldn’t arrest her for smoking weed, then she didn’t handle it that badly.

Yeah, this isn’t about apologizing. It’s about breakups. I’m not sure I’ve ever dumped someone. It’s hard to think about ever having to do it. No matter what you do, someone’s going to get hurt.

Dear Amy: I have been trying to figure out how to deal with family members who decide to cut off all communication with me without explanation.

One episode happened with my niece, who is in her 30s.

The last thing I said to her was, “Would you like to come over to visit?”

Her response was, “Why do people keep trying to make me do things that I don’t want to do?” And that was the last time she talked to me.

She blocked me from her social media and hasn’t responded to any text message or phone calls.

It has been almost three years.

Just a few months ago my youngest sister out of nowhere cut me off from her social media.

I asked her why and she said, “I don’t want to share my life with you right now.”

I asked what I did or said and she said, “I’m asking for some space.”

It has been almost four months since that happened.

I’ve asked my other sister and our mother what I did, and they’ve responded that they don’t know.

This sister recently traveled to our area. When she was visiting with my mother she wouldn’t allow me, my husband or our children to go over to my mother’s house.

My mother allowed her to take this control.

My children were upset that they weren’t allowed to visit their grandmother.

I still have no idea what I did that caused any of this.

My little sister still talks to our two other sisters.

This is really hard for me because I’m 20 years older than this sister, and I was like a second mom to her. I did so much for her growing up. Up until recently we were close, or so I thought.

What did I do?

— In the Dark

In the Dark: Insisting on distance when there is discomfort (or conflict) seems to be built in to the basic emotional operating system for some families.

In your family’s case, your mother’s choice to give in to your sister’s control over who visits her own household speaks volumes.

The passive-aggressive silencing technique and avoidance might extend back to previous generations.

You are obviously bugging these younger family members, and my instinct is that if you are substantially older than they are, and if you see yourself as a mother figure to them, you are most likely weighing in on their choices and intruding on social media, where the tone of a comment or reply can easily be misunderstood.

This is — at best — uncool. At worst, it is intrusive and embarrassing.

Your sister has asked for “some space,” and you should respect her request and give her space.

And because your family members are volatile and avoidant, you should review your own tone on social media and elsewhere and consider doing things differently. (c) Ask Amy

There are a few clues here.

My children were upset that they weren’t allowed to visit their grandmother.

Really? The kids couldn’t wait a week or two for their aunt to go back to her hometown? Either these kids are spoiled with grandparent visits or, more likely, the letter writer was playing the victim just a tad bit there.

“Why do people keep trying to make me do things that I don’t want to do? […]

“I don’t want to share my life with you right now.” […]

“I’m asking for some space.”

It seems as if the letter writer is a nurturer who’s being too nurturing. She’s rather smothering, I sense. I think Ask Amy’s social media advice was good, because the letter writer might not understand how she comes across on social media, and people are blocking her.

But if the letter writer’s this obtuse about her personality, I’m not sure what can be done to help her.

I’ve asked my other sister and our mother what I did, and they’ve responded that they don’t know.

Oh, trust me, they know. They’re just feeling as helpless as I am right now, because I can’t think of any useful advice for how someone can change her personality. One option would be to see a therapist and ask him/her if she’s coming across as being smothering.

In your family’s case, your mother’s choice to give in to your sister’s control over who visits her own household speaks volumes.

Good grief. Would I visit my mom if my sister were there? No. Would my sister visit my mom if I were there? No. It’s not hard to share parents. Parents often have this secret agenda of getting all their kids together, but parents also often have unlimited time for all their adult kids.

This has been fun!

4 thoughts on “Being dumped and being blocked.

    1. Oh yeah, for sure!! But my sister and I don’t resent letting the other one visit! If my dad says he’s going to visit Ellen and Li’l Sweets, I always tell him to have a good time! So I was sort of turned off by the letter writer’s acting all victimized by her kids not having access to their grandparents for however long!

      Liked by 1 person

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