Is it a good idea to apologize to someone for some betrayal or hurt inflicted that you inflicted, many years prior?
If someone had really done me wrong, I would appreciate an apology, ten, twenty, thirty or more after the fact, provided it was clean. Clean, meaning that the person wants to express their regret without expectation. This is rarely the case.
Occasionally someone writes for advice about contacting a lover they dumped years ago. Invariably they’re alone and getting older. They claim to just want to apologize, but it’s clear that conscious or otherwise the person would really like the dumped party to come back and love them again.
This is almost always a bad idea. The contact is rarely welcome and it seems unfair. It’s very simple. If you like your bridges, then don’t burn them. If you do burn them, then deal with it.
When you deal someone a death blow and they manage to survive it; they may forgive you but most are not going to want to go another round, years later. They’ve healed and they want to stay that way.
I think it’s telling, people may want to go back and apologize, but they almost never offer to make some type of reparation, even if they are in a position to do so.
Would you appreciate an apology 10 or 20 years after the fact or would you prefer to let sleeping dogs lie? Can you see your preference in your chart?