Screw up. Say sorry. Don’t do it again.
How hard is that?
I started to research this very tough subject and came across quite a few quotes that ran through about 5 steps each to help people say sorry and ask for forgiveness. And then it dawned on me, why in heaven’s name is it so hard to say sorry and mean it?
Stubbornness. Lack of caring about someone else. Self-centeredness and selfishness. Ego-centric personalities. All pathetic.
When I was little, I was taught, “If I don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” I was also taught, “If you hurt someone’s feelings or make someone upset, mess up, or say something mean, you say S.O.R.R.Y.” And mean it. and NEVER do it again. It’s as simple as that.
Why is it so hard?
In my humble opinion…
Because our generation (Gen X)got so used to hearing the sound of our own voices resonating over and over that “we are the best, ever, in the world” that we actually began to believe it.
And we’re a generation raising children under this same philosophy. It’s a little scary when you think about it because we’re also the generation that likes to reshare the quote “if you were spanked and survived, share this pic”.
And yet again, we are also the same generation that has parents that were some of the first generation that graduated from college, did better financially than their parents, thus we (my generation) had more financially stable (excessive) lives than our parents and grandparents, and yet we want to claim that we are down-to-earth.
If you call down-to-earth, having a maid visit your house daily to clean it and make dinner while your mom talks on the phone or goes to play golf (just fyi – this was not me – this was both of my ex-husbands), then yes, this is a decent portion of our generation.
Forgive me, because I love politics and am not meaning this to be political, but reality is reality…our parents flourished under Clinton (Bill). The economy did well, our parents did well, our parents bosses’ did well…everyone did well. And the argument will always be “which President did this come off of the heels of??”, yet the reality is simply…they did well, we did well, we had nice lives.
Yet, what are we teaching our kids? That excess is normal? That this is what should be expected and if you can’t provide it then you aren’t normal. That if you can’t provide this to your family, if you can’t minimalize or downsize or live under your means that you aren’t normal, that you aren’t enough…it’s tough and sad and has led to my second divorce.
My husband wanted an easy life ‘handed’ to him and I’m not easy. Not because I live an excessive lifestyle but because I wanted a partner, a guide, a leader, a “repairer”, not an easy-life-finder. I wanted someone that is tough. Someone that can handle life when it is amazing and when it isn’t amazing. Someone that could persevere to see the future and put family first instead of themselves.
And I guess I picked the wrong person.
Marriage isn’t easy. And his parents did a disservice to me and my daughter and my boys by teaching their son that if it isn’t easy to fix, then you run. That you find Mom to fix it for you (because that’s what she’s always done). Then you cut out early and find something else that’s easy.
And my husband did that in the way of finding “an easy” girl with no morals.
Because life was easy…he could demand what he wanted from her, make me feel less than enough and still feel good about himself.
And yet, when faced with the facts that he has screwed up royally, he still can’t say sorry. When I think about it, my soon-to-be-ex-husband has yet to say sorry either for everything he did to screw up our marriage and my life, the boys lives and the little redheads’ life.
I guess I’ve moved on from my ex-husband easier because I was the one to say “enough was enough” and it’s going to be harder because I don’t want to move on from Erik, but I have to face facts sooner than later. He won’t be the grown up and will always be a “peter pan”. Whether the Peter Pan syndrome is from nurture or nature, he’s a grown adult at this point and has to make his decisions on his own and face the consequences on his own.
My relationship with E is contentious right now and it’s purely because he has yet to say sorry for what he has done to ruin our marriage and relationship.
I have no idea what life would be like if he would just ‘own’ what he has done and say sorry. I think I could move on easier.
The one thing I know for sure is that my boys values will be different than their generations’ and even my generations’ values because they will own their mistakes and know how to say sorry…and mean it.