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May 8, 2009

Should I write a letter to my ex-boyfriend’s mom?

Question: My boyfriend and I broke up 6 months ago. Haven’t spoken for 3 months. He is now getting married. Anyways, I am starting a new chapter in my life and somebody suggested that I let go of things from the past and write a letter to anybody I might have hurt. She and I didn’t have the best relationship and her son and I also went through some rough times. I would like to simply apologize to her and explain that I always had good intentions. Do you think this is okay or am I crossing a line by writing her?

Answer: You broke up 6 months ago and he’s already getting married to someone else? Interesting. I’m sure there’s more to that part of the story, but since you didn’t provide details, we’ll move on. I also find it interesting that in trying to start a NEW chapter in your life, you’re digging back into your past, and trying to make amends for people you may have hurt. (Is this some sort of post-breakup 12-step program?) What have you been doing in your life to have hurt people?

Since your relationship was with the son, I also find it interesting that you seem to think you may have hurt his mother? How much contact did you have with her? How involved was she in your relationship? You didn’t say how your relationship with her son ended; if you were the dumper, would she have somehow taken personal offense to this? Personally, I think it seems unlikely, unless she is an abnormally sensitive person.

The thing is, your relationship has been over for ½ a year now, and besides this, he is getting married to someone else. Not only are you starting a new chapter, but he is starting one too – with a new person to boot! Your relationship with his mother was never that great, and it’s unlikely that you rehashing old arguments and past problems at this point in the game is only going to make things worse. When the relationship is over, people move on; they don’t usually write letters of apology to the family members.

Bottom line: Do I think you’re crossing a line? Yes, a line of expected propriety. Her son is done with you, and it’s likely she believes she is, too. Whatever harm you did to her (or you believe you did to her) is in the past, and it should stay there. Everyone should move on now, and that includes you.

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