I hurt a friend today. Doesn’t that suck? I’m not sure there is anything quite so agonizing as knowing that you have upset someone you love. My offense was unintentional--a result of my own inability to manage my life and my time--but I don’t think that the thoughtless nature of my transgression lessened her distress any.
Thankfully, she called me on it and we were able to talk. I’m usually a pretty straightforward person (past friends have told me that I handle tense situations more like a guy--deal with it then forget it) so I didn’t have any trouble trying to communicate my deep regret at the fact that I trampled her feelings. But I can’t help wondering if she would have understood me better if I struggled. If I cried. The truth is: I can’t eat, I can’t sit still, and I can’t think about anything else. I’m afraid I’m effectively ruined as a contributing member of society until I can know without a doubt that she has forgiven me.
And who knows? Maybe she won’t.
Isn’t it amazing how complex we are? How deep our emotions go and how tied they are to events, relationships, and perceptions from yesterday and as far back as our childhood? A husband leaves his dirty shirt on the floor and his wife sees disrespect written all over the wrinkles of the discarded garment. It’s not just a crew neck in a heap, it’s a blatant disregard of who she is and what she does. She’s convinced she’s being trampled on and ignored. She just knows that this one small act of selfishness is indicative of their entire relationship: he doesn’t care. And the sad truth is, he does care. He just wasn’t thinking in the moment he dropped the dirty laundry a foot from the hamper. Maybe he was being selfish. Maybe he was daydreaming. But whatever the reason, the bottom line remains: his insensitivity to her needs created a rift that could have been easily avoided.
Anyway, I’m the inconsiderate husband in this little scenario, and since I don’t have much experience in this realm, I’m struggling. How can I make it up to her? Or is this one of those situations where only time can heal all wounds…? Sigh.
My friend is not much of an internet girl, so there's no chance she'll read this, but if a public apology would help I'd write: I'm an inconsiderate shmuck. I am so sorry I hurt you. I will do my best not to make such a dumb mistake again, but since I'm far more fallible than I usually like to admit, I'll probably disappoint you again. I hope we can work through that together. But for now, I just hope you can forgive me. I absolutely, unequivocally love you to death... Thing is, I already said all that to her and more. I hope she was listening.