Ask Amy: My son’s wife overheard what I said, but I’m not ready to apologize
She has always been hostile to me, and I want assurance she’ll accept my apology.
I also intend to apologize to her after I have been reassured that she will accept my apology. I intend to mention that I do not understand her coldness and hostility toward us.Upset MILYou should call your son and speak with him about this. Ask him to pass the phone to his wife. Your apology should be direct and sincere: “I am so sorry you overheard my harshness at Christmastime. I’ve been searching for ways to be closer to you, and this is definitely not the way to go about it. I’m very embarrassed and feel absolutely terrible about this. I hope you can forgive me.”Read more: Mercury News »
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Ask Amy: Is it rude to cover my mouth to thwart a lip-reader? The day before they were supposed to return home, my cup was full and some steam escaped in the form of harsh words to my son about her, which she overheard. Since then, I have written a long email to my son to apologize for my ugly words against the woman he loves. I also intend to apologize to her after I have been reassured that she will accept my apology. I intend to mention that I do not understand her coldness and hostility toward us. So far, my son has not replied; it’s been a week. Any advice on how to reconnect with them? Upset MIL Dear Upset: You should not wait for assurance that your apology will be accepted before offering one. Nor should you double down and place any blame on the person you’ve offended. You should call your son and speak with him about this. Ask him to pass the phone to his wife. Your apology should be direct and sincere: “I am so sorry you overheard my harshness at Christmastime. I’ve been searching for ways to be closer to you, and this is definitely not the way to go about it. I’m very embarrassed and feel absolutely terrible about this. I hope you can forgive me.” If you are unable to do this by phone, you should write directly to her. Dear Amy: I have a blessed life. My spouse and I have a wonderful relationship, I’m financially secure, and I enjoy going to work every day. While it may not be truly idyllic, it’s pretty close. One of my dear friend’s life is the complete opposite. He is still searching for that perfect someone. He hates his job but isn’t able to move, and his current finances are a mess. When he vents, I listen and give advice when asked. When he asks how I’m doing, my life is pretty positive, and while he says he’s happy for me, based on his non-verbal communication, I get a sense that I’m taking a screwdriver to his gut and am twisting it. How do I talk to my friend? Am I allowed to share news only when it’s negative? I don’t want to add salt to his wound, but that’s what it feels like when I share. Wondering Dear Wondering: First of all, I give your friend credit for actually asking about you! So often when people vent, they forget to show any interest in the person receiving the vent. You don’t need to hide your own blessings under a bushel, but I do think it is important to read the room. Ask your friend: “How does it feel for you when I share stories about my own good luck when things are going well? I do not want to add to your burdens in any way.” Related Articles