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How to reject an apology

LindaLee's picture

SD37 & her father had a falling out several years ago. She tried to forbid him from maintaining a relationship with her soon-to-be ex husband (they became GOOD friends during her marriage.) After 9 months, DH finally called her, she came over, she cried, apologized for her behavior and they made up.

Last July, SD37 verbally attached me in front of her father, and WE haven't spoken to her in 8 months. DH really never understood her slights to me, but this was right in front of his face.

I have told DH if he wants to clear the air with her to go right ahead, but she is not welcome in our home, and he agrees. So I hope to never have anything to do with her again. She ruins EVERY relationship she touches; parents, cousins, step-brother...

We will be seeing her weekly at the SGKs baseballs games. DH will barely say hello to her, he tries to avoid her at all costs. In the unlikely event she approaches us, what do you say when rejecting a fake apology? "You'll never change?" "Too little, too late?"

My DH's feelings are "If she can't have a relationship with us without all the drama, then he doesn't want a relationship with her at all". Or is that the appropriate response?

Iamwoman's picture

"Thank you for the apology, it is much appreciated, and this gives me hope. I look forward to seeing your words of apology put into action over the long run, so that one day I can have enough trust to rebuild our relationship."

This puts onus on the person who is apologizing to change their behavior over a period of time (which usually these type of people can't do, because it's never sincere), and also lets her know that while you accept her words, words are not enough.

The best part is that if she takes you up on your challenge of proving her apology through action, then it's a win/win for all!

lieutenant_dad's picture

I like this a lot.

OP, I understand where you are coming from. My SSis was (maybe still is) a horrible person. She has found Jesus and thinks that because He has forgiven her that the rest of us need to. She has apologized to some of the people she has wronged, but she still doesn't understand why they won't forgive her. Probably because, while she has made smarter choices, she has continued to make really risky choices. She also won't own up to her own failures (oh, and they are spectacular) as a mother, and her MOTY portrayal on social media just adds fuel to the hatred fire.

Giving your SD the option of showing her sincerity through action provides the best option.

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

If he want's a relationship with the child, he has to have a relationship with her unless he wants to just be a stalker at ball games. Really how does he expect to remain a positive point in the child's life if he can't even say hello to his daughter like an adult?

Your basing all this on events that happened then were ignored by BOTH parties for months on end. Yeah SD felt dad should be on her side with the ex. How many of us over here cry about our partner's in laws still being friends with BM? General society pushes the idea that we have to pick sides and we must drop everything to support another. Your DH ignored his child for 9 months.

Then yes she lashed out at you and YOU haven't spoken to her. Nor do you intend to. All fine and dandy but clearly this isn't a cut and dry issue because there is a grandchild involved. How do you think that's going to go as the child get's older, "Mommy why can't I stay with granddad? Why do you never go to your dad's house? Why does granddad hate us?" Because it wont stay between the adults. The kid will be impacted and your partner's relationship with that child will suffer.

You don't have to accept an apology but don't keep the fight going by attacking her back. Decide what matters more. Being petty children or being civil for the grandchild. I'd say figure a way to handle her presence before this cost DH his relationship with his grandchild.

LindaLee's picture

We have a relationship with the grandkids, actually they're sleeping over next weekend. Like I said, we kept a relationship with our son-in-law and my DH explained that to his daughter. YOU brought him into our family, don't expect us to cut him out of our lives. When SD goes haywire on her mom, BM calls the son-in-law so she can get the grandkids.

For the 9 months they didn't talk, the SD was 33 years old, hardly a "child". And it was for something she did that was mean & hurtful to her father.

And btw, my mom remained friendly with my ex, and even went to his wedding.

michen's picture

I would be pissed if my father was buddies with my EX. What did he expect her response to be?

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

My grandparents made it clear to my mom that after her and my father (their son) divorced, she was still their daughter.

They did this very publicly because of me. I expressed worry that after their divorce I would have nothing to do with HIS family because me and him aren't close. I couldn't bare the idea of my mom being punished for this and I could imagine them accepting me without her.

My mother was and is close to my dad's family. She didn't do anything wrong. As it is my grandfather has pretty much disowned my dad and made it clear that he knows it's my dad's fault they got divorced.

So my point is. Many in-laws stay connected after the divorce because of the kids for one thing and second they have their own relationship with the other parent.

BM's own family has made it clear they will not cut ties with my SO. They like me and think she's being a horrible excuse for a mother. They also recognize that my partner WILL help maintain the bond between the children and the grandparents. If they suddenly reject him that means losing ALOT and the kids are the ones harmed in the long run. My partner didn't do anything wrong so there's that too. They know their daughter was the abusive cheater.

sammigirl's picture

I have been divorced 38 years and my Father is still friends with my Ex. Doesn't bother me, as long as I don't have to encounter my Ex, which I do not. I control that. My Father is not dictated to about his life for sure. He wouldn't put up with it from me; nor would I attempt to tell him who to associate with.

I believe the SD is the problem here.

Curious Georgetta's picture

If all involved could grow up rather than just growing older, these situations could be resolved.

If you begin by assuming that the apology , if offered,will be fake you may be creating your own self fulfilling prophecy.

If a apology is offered in a civil manner, you should accept it in a civil manner. You and the SD
do not ever have to become friends or to like each other. But you can agree that you both love your husband and both recognize that the man wants to see and interact with his grandchildren.

There are no winners in your current situation only losers. No one is required to be the better
person when everyone agrees to be civil. Civility
does not require you to like or approve of someone
generally quietly tolerating them for short periods of time is all that is required.

Should your husband's relationship with his grandchildren have to strained and restricted because 2 grown women cannot be civil in each other's presence.

Dovina's picture

The OP would know her SD far better than you do. To be verbally attacked among many other uncivil behaviors, OP is being realistic in forecasting the sincerity or the civility of the apology . I think its quite civil of the OP to accept an apology along with a precautionary answer. There is nothing uncivil about that.

Also should OP and her husband's relationship be strained and restricted with the grandchildren because 1 grown adult daughter does not behave appropriately? Because that is what has happened.

secret's picture

If she brings it up: "That's nice" à la Mrs. Brown... and leave it at that.

If she pushes.... "with all due respect, we didn't come here to clear the air, we came here to support GK for his/her game. Now is not the time."

If she continues to push: "you've talked the talk, now let's see you walk the walk"

If it's an apology, take it at face value - no more, no less.

Some people will take an apology at face value, and never really interact much with the person in question. When they do it's civil - they seem to develop a mutual understanding that though they don't get along, they're not out to get each other. Or, rather, no LONGER out to get each other. They can co-exist in the same environment, crossing paths occasionally, and being civil when they do.

Other people hold ridiculous grudges about ridiculous things that carry over in all their later actions, like an obsession. It eats them up inside, they take every opportunity to erase you out of their environment, and even if you notice, you won't care... because they're clearly the miserable one.

Which one are you?

notasm3's picture

I have not heard one peep of apology from ss32 or his GF this past year since their hideous home invasion. The snotty Gf has told others that “notasm3 just needs to get over it.”

I am so over the fact that these two losers even exist. And there is a grandchild - but that does not mean that I have to accept aholes in my life. DH can go see his son whenever he wants. I don’t think he’s seen his grandson for several months (he’s 2), but that is nothing that I have any control over.

I did not produce SS or the GS. They are literally nothing to me. I don’t wish them ill. They are just not relevant in my life at all. DH is a grown man who can manage his own relationships. If DH’s relationship with his son and GS suffers that is 100% on them. I haven’t laid eyes on the losers in almost a year. My only requirement is that they are not allowed in my home. I’d be an idiot if I let people who totally ransacked my home and stole things back in my home.

Goodluck's picture

That is an awful to know a family/s member has done this to your own home.

I KNOW that feeling notasm I know the feeling all too well.

"I’d be an idiot if I let people who totally ransacked my home and stole things back in my home".

YES MA"AM ^^^^^

twoviewpoints's picture

I looked up your July incident as I was curious what more was to this than the example of your DH still being polite to his ex-son-n-law.

Link if anyone else wants to read more on the SD in OP's life:

It rather sounds like Dad and daughter may have had a somewhat stressed relationship for quite sometime. Clear back into high school years. I can see where you likely are hesitant of an apology being sincere. Kind of like 'been there, done that'.

Some people just go through life full of drama and being high conflict. One finds themselves crossed between wanting to keep giving the person a second (and third and fourth ) chance. Why? Because you (her father in this case) loves his child and would like for things to be different, yet know if you invite that person back in all the drama and heartache comes along with it.

It was a very generous of you to include your SD in the cruise last summer. After she having deliberately excluded you several times, you still tried to do what you thought was right and include her in the celebration cruise.... and you got kicked in the face.

I don't know what to tell you about the possible apology you think may come when ball games start up, except for the mother has every right to be the person attending the games for her children. I believe that if you and your husband go and attend the game you both must be willing to be civil. No, not buddy buddy forgive and forget. But these are her children and you and grandpa should stay away from the ball game if you can't politely say 'hello' if approached , maybe some small meaningless chat (great game, beautiful day type thing) and let her go on her way to her seat.

A child's baseball game is no place for family drama. Nor is it a place to attempt to work things out and especially not a place to have another show down.

It's perfectly ok to not want your SD in your home. It's also perfectly ok to not communicate with her if she calls you. Block her. However, with the ballgames you are entering her so to say territory (her children, their games). Did she invite you and your DH to the games? Has she made a point of letting you know where and when they are? Have the grandkids called or contacted you about their games? There should be no reason Grandpa and you can't go , bring chairs, sit quietly on the side and cheer the kids on, but you shouldn't expect much to come from it nor should you go if you can't be civil and just be a part of the cheering fans rooting for the kids.

If the SD approaches and asks to sit by you and her father and tries to discuss the situation, I think Dad can freely say 'now is not the time, but you can call me one evening if you'd like to talk about it'. And basically dismiss her.

Goodluck's picture

My DH's feelings are "If she can't have a relationship with us without all the drama, then he doesn't want a relationship with her at all".
But he knows he cant have a relationship without the drama. History has proven that correct?

Frankly my dh and I would avoid being near her at all costs even it that meant not going to the games. EVERY WEEKEND.....don't you have anything else to do?

Do you want her to start the drama at the baseball field too. In front of the Grandkids?

You and dh have put your hand on the red hot burner a thousand times. Maybe 'this' time the same red hot burner wont be as hot as the last?

Say nothing sd and go buy an RV. Spend your weekends traveling. Don't forget to send the Grandchild post cards and mail him souvenirs.

TAKE control of your life back. Nothing less is a bunch of drama your buying in to which leaves dh and you partly to blame.


btw my dh and I are Grandparents as we do NOT do garbage like this in our lives. We just don't. IT IS A DECISION WE MADE.

notasm3's picture

I love going to college baseball games. My DH and I go to the SEC baseball tournament most years. But the idea of going to kid baseball games is like a fate worse than death. I would gladly skip those.

Goodluck's picture

^^^^^THIS^^^^ I agree.

Fate worse than death to kid baseball, kid football games. All that stuff. Goodness it is mostly adults behaving badly.

Kids are super cute, it is the parents that ruin it.

This post's OP and dh, sd drama is the perfect storm. YIKESSSS

sammigirl's picture

If my SD57 ever apologizes, which she will never do, my reply: "Actions speak louder than words." while I look her straight in the eye. No further comment is needed.

Even if my SD apologized, I will never engage with her in any way, because she only puts on a phony front and has never changed in the 38 years that I have known her.

I will never go back to the passive aggression that I endured for 30+ years before I disengaged. I will stay disengaged at any expense and my DH knows it.

Acratopotes's picture

Well if she comes and apologize, smile and say... accepted and exchange a couple off words.

Do not open your house immediately, SD must proof she's sorry and re-build the trust... if she faked it she will flip soon enough.

LindaLee's picture

Thank you everyone for responding, it has given me some very THOUGHTFUL insight. My initial response was to attack back, but that keeps the fire burning. If she EVER apologizes, better to respond with a simple "Thank you" and move on.

DH was friends with SIL, played softball together, golfed, fished & wasn't about to give up his "friend", nor should he. My mom remained friends with my EX, even went to his wedding.

We get the gkids for sleepovers once a month, or whenever we ask our SIL. He invites us to his house for Christmas Day, the gkids birthdays, gives us the gkids baseball schedule, tells us when they have school plays... He is family. SD would tell us the day before, if at all.

There is no hostility when we see SD at the games, we just don't acknowledge each other. And we all go over to the dugout after the game and congratulate the gkids. This season, I'll put my big girl panties on and try and exchange a couple of words about the game and see if that eases the tension. We don't have to be buddies, but we can be civil.