Are You Waiting for an Apology That May Never Come?

When two characters are at odds in a movie or a television, it follows their self-discovery and, at some point, they express their heartfelt feelings and apologize to one another. The music swells, they hug and all is well again. This rarely ever happens in life. Some people are not equipped to express their feelings while others are not equipped to apologize.

It takes a great amount of humility, self-awareness and self-esteem to admit your faults and to apologize to someone who you have wronged. While it makes sense that people should apologize, it goes against our culture as a society. We live in a culture where people prove their faults and apologize for almost nothing. If you actually get an apology, you should consider yourself very lucky.

If you believe someone wronged you and you are waiting for an apology, you could be waiting a very long time. It’s not because you don’t deserve it, but because the person may not even know how to. It’s easier to blame someone else or prove your actions than it is to humble yourself and offer an apology. The problem is not just that they won’t apologize. The problem is that you can’t control their actions.

You can stay stuck because you can’t get past the issue that you have with the person. While you continue to wait and your feelings remain unresolved, you are carrying around the anger and attracting the same situation into your life over and over. You will continue to face it until you can let it go. If you put your ability to let the situation go into the hands of the other person, you will never be free until they apologize.

Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.  ~Paul Boese

So, how do you resolve it? If you can ask for an apology, ask for it. Don’t expect the person to willingly offer it. If you don’t get one, you have to find it within yourself to let it go. You have to figure out what you can live with that will allow you to forgive the person. Generally, someone who cannot apologize is someone who doesn’t want to seem weak or give up control which is a sign of low self-esteem. If nothing else, you can be the mature person in the situation and forgive them. You can also be an example. You can apologize for the part you played in the situation, even if it was holding a grudge. To be very clear, forgiving someone doesn’t mean that you have to continue to expose yourself to the person. Forgiving is like writing off a debt for your taxes. It’s off the books, but it still happened. And, you wouldn’t continue to extend yourself to someone who owes you a debt. It’s your choice if you want to wipe the slate clean, but it is not required of you.

The easiest way to let go of the need for an apology is to realize that as long as you are waiting for it, you are holding your feelings hostage. You are putting yourself in someone else’s control because as long as they withhold the apology, you can’t move on. If you want to be free, you have to let go of the need to be right. What you will find is that once you let go of the need for the apology and change your focus that you will allow happiness to flow into your life.

Are you stuck waiting for someone to apologize? Can you forgive that person today and move on with your life? If you can’t speak to the person, will you write a letter to the person expressing your feelings and let the issue go? Let’s talk about it. Share in comments.



  1. Hello, thank you for your post.
    Yes, I’m still waiting for an apology. Most of the times I feel like I’m whining about it and a cry baby but the fact is that this grudge won’t go away. I feel bad because I’m not able to move on, even after trying for several times over the past 2years. Every time I have forgiven him, a new breach is opened through which he sneaks into and I’m helpless again, having to go to the process of acceptance of his mistakes and of forgetting all over again. se-ve-ral times. It’s tiring. I feel like he will never understand, even after words and words of explations about what I’m going through. There’s no email I could write anymore, they are all hopeless, so instead of writing him I came here.

    I couldn’t sleep thinking about this situation and feeling tremendously bitter. I’m constantly checking for his answers and tried actually to cut off all communication for sometime but finally relapsed. Sometime ago, 6months more or less, things were changing and I had found someone with whom I really had hit it off right away and there was a good vibe going on though it was so sudden and he could become so clingy that sometimes I had the impression he was not so self-assured, which can put you off of someone. Unfortunately the previous one came back ‘from the dead’ and I, still nurturing feelings for him, let him mess up with my head once again. And wronged me once again, that’s all he does.
    I regret it. Got more attached to him once again and now I actually don’t want anyone in my life and won’t allow anyone in my life for a very long time – unless it is him. But I know he will not BE.

    Now I stand in this no-go zone and can’t really see a way to forgive him. I cannot see a way to let it go.

    I really liked the wise post which prompted me to speak out about my problem with forgiveness. Thank you.

    • Thank you for your comment. I appreciate that you took the times to express your thoughts. If I understand your situation, it sounds like you have someone in your life that is disrespecting or hurting you, but doesn’t apologize or does but then commits the same or another hurtful act. You’ve tried to move on, but you still have feelings for this person. Let’s take the focus off of him and put it on you. The question you should ask yourself is why are you involved with someone that continues to disappoint you. Is this the type of relationship you want for yourself? If the answer is no, you have some decisions to make. Are you willing to walk away from this if he refuses to be accountable for his actions. You can speak with this person and tell them that you will not allow him to disappoint you any further and play with your feelings. You can either cut off all communication with him until he is ready to treat you with respect or if you think he really has a problem, you can both seek counseling together. If someone is willing to disappoint you, they are making a choice to not care about your feelings. If that is not okay with you, you should leave that person to figure out what he wants in life. However, you should not stop loving because of one person. There is someone for you that will love you, respect you and make your feelings a priority.

      • Thank you for the post.

        I have an ex who absolutely ruined my life. This happened 6 years ago. She was much older than me (7 years older), I was just 22 and very inexperienced. When she broke up with me, she wrote me a long email promising me that she would always be my friend. She said “there was no way I could possibly lose her, not the way that you fear.” However, we are not in contact at all.

        I feel in this time I have made major efforts to improve myself as a person. I have been in counseling for a long time. I have made major life changes (becoming more socially conscious, going to the gym, forgiving others, etc.). I have apologized to this person via email, for my own part in what happened. She said she had forgiven me a long time ago. When I asked her if she’d like to have a cup of coffee, she said she didn’t think it was a good idea and farewell.

        I still feel a very deep pain over what happened. I feel she made a promise to always be my friend, and that promise has not been fulfilled. I feel to some extent she took advantage of me, as someone who was 7 years older than me and knew what she was doing when I didn’t. I feel I am owed an apology. I even asked my counselor about asking for an apology. He told me I shouldn’t ask for one because “I won’t get the closure I am really looking for.”

        I still regularly lose sleep over this person. I’ve never been able to have a successful relationship again. I really haven’t been able to trust anyone else again.

        I guess I’d like to know if you think asking for an apology here is worthwhile. I don’t know how to move on.

      • I think the question you should ask yourself first, is why do you need the apology and how do you think it will make you feel? If she does apologize and it is insincere, will that make things better or worse? What words do you think you need to hear from her that would make you feel better about the situation? The problem with asking for the apology is that you have to be prepared that you may not hear those words. Her experience of the relationship may be different than your own and she may not feel the need to apologize.

        One thing you can do is once you figure out what it is that you need for her to say to you, so you can move on and let this go, say it to yourself as if she has said it to you. You do deserve an apology, but, unfortunately, you don’t always get one. Sometimes, you have to apologize for that person, so you can move on with your life. It may feel unfair, but if you don’t, you will remain in a prison while she is off living her life. If you want to move forward, find a way to make peace with it and let it go.

        Going to therapy and all the things you have mentioned are a huge step in the right direction. You have to understand that you’ve done nothing wrong. And, also know that you don’t need her friendship. You will make friends who won’t take advantage of you as you progress in your self-journey.

  2. […] actions is the clearest way for each party to know where they stand and not have to second guess. Are You Waiting for an Apology That May Never Come? – Dyanne Brown The article in the link above is interesting and talks about how waiting for an apology can hurt […]

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