As a culture, we seem to have become accustomed to apologies. So much so, in fact, that we now almost expect them.
Sitting in a coffee shop, the other day, I overheard a lovers argument. The woman proclaimed: ‘…the thing that upset me most and made me cry was that you didn’t even say you were sorry…’
Sitting in disbelief, I wondered: that was really what upset you most?
From my perilous eavesdropping skills, I was able to ascertain that he had cheated by making out with another woman (I was on campus, these were college idiots, so you know where this came from and went to…)
I began to think – in this situation, sorry really isn’t going to be sufficient. One would think, especially in cases of infidelity, that the hurt would be too severe, fresh or painful; this isn’t a forgive, forget, move on scenario. The forgiving partner needs to first understand why anything even occurred to begin with – at this point, apology sincerity shouldn’t factor into any discussions. Paying too close attention to a follow-up apology, is simply bound to allow the infidelity to occur again; and it’s second occurrence is simply a mask to an ongoing issue.
In most cases, the issue isn’t about whether the cheating individual is apologetic or sorry – why wouldn’t they be; whether they’re sorry for being caught, or truly remorseful over their actions. Really, the larger issue at hand is whether anything has changed – because if not, they’re simply bound the repeat the same mistake.