how to respond to an apology

Sarah - posted on 08/12/2010 ( 20 moms have responded )

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So as I mentioned before, i called the cops on my mother. Since this time she has done everything she can to avoid my husband and i. if we contacted her or my sister (who still lives at home) she'd demand that we leave her alone or she'd literally run and hide. eventually my sister told me that my mother missed the kids and would like to spend time with them. i informed her that i didnt agree with or appreciate mom's behavior so until i got an apology and she admited that what she did was wrong i didnt want her around the kids. 1) because i dont want my children to think that sort of behavior is ok and 2) although highly unlikely, i'd like to think she would learn that her behavior was wrong.

Today i got a text message "i miss you and i'm sorry i entered your home against your will but i was mad you called the cops on me, i thought we had a better relation than that"

i prayed because right now my heart is hard towards her and i'd like to just ignore her. and although i'd like to aire my grievences to her i know it wouldnt make a difference. so i just need a lil input on how to respond. thanks!!

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Julie - posted on 08/13/2010

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Hi Sarah! I am sorry that this situation transpired the way it did. I can relate to the family fight. I just want to remind you that forgiveness is not to let others off the hook for their actions, rather it is for us to find healing and to not let the bitter anger consume us spiritually mentally and physically. The best thing you can do for your kids is to get your bible n show them what the bible says about the behavior your mother had but also show them in love how that is a place that they can pray for their grandma. Continue to pray about the situation ferverntly. Weed out the but in your mothers apology and accept the I'm sorry because that may be all she can give right now. Then pray for God to reveal to her the hurts that she inflicted on you and to strenthin your relationship once again. Then set boundries between the two of you. They are healthy to have with family.. Good luck!

Shelley - posted on 08/13/2010

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Hi Sarah this is such a hard situation without taking away from that the bible tells us alot about forgiveness. Matthew 18v 21-22 When peter asks,Jesus tells him to forgive not 7 times but 77 times.
Matthew 6v14 "For if you forgive men when they sin against you,your heavenly father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your father will not forgive your sins."
There are so many others pray for god help and guide you. Try to forgive your mother your forgiveness of her not just in this situation but for evey situaion throughout your life this will free you.

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Cyndel - posted on 08/27/2010

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I don't know the whole story, but I believe the best thing to do is meet with your mother (perhaps with your sister there) with out the children and talk face to face. In that situation you should be able to tell if your mother's apoligy is sincere or just a way to see the children. Also it will give you the chance to talk out what is going on with a mediator (your sister) there to give another perspective to both yours and your mothers. I hope this helps.

Rebekah - posted on 08/25/2010

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I do not think you were wrong in what you did nor wrong in how you are handling the situation. You have your own family now, so the family you grew up in is now your extended family. The decisions you make have to be to that end. We also have had to make some hard decisions regarding our extended families; decisions that were not understood by others but for the beneefit of my husband, myself, and our son (who is 4). My mother has a hard time with accepting personal responsibility and makes alot of excuses for herself and her behavior. She therefore will not usually apologize and when she does, she makes excuses for her behavior, as if she cannot help herself, which of course is untrue, since we are each responsible for our own lives. Prayer is the best way to start. Ask for wisdom. In James 1:5, God promises to give us wisdom when we ask for it, so ask and don't doubt that He will give you wisdom. Seek Him and follow through with what you are shown by the Holy Spirit in Scripture and theough prayer.

Sarah - posted on 08/21/2010

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i've told her i forgive her. and i am not angry at her about her actions any longer but i feel like every little thing she does aggrivates me...i didnt like her in the 1st place so this didnt help

Shana - posted on 08/21/2010

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I learned in my church if you can't forgive others God can't forgive Y0U ! i know its hard =( happens to me all the time but the christ thing to do is forgive & pray to God for strength but if you can't forgive it makes no sense pray because it will be invain.

[deleted account]

Just because you have forgiven someone doesn't mean that you set yourself up as a victim to them again.

You don't have to allow her to manipulate you as proof that you've forgiven her passed treatment of you.

Just yesterday I went off to complete a project for my sis even though we've not spoken in over a year. (She doesn't return my calls and rarely replies to my e-mails.) I went to her house and did the work she did not know how to do, but I did not take my child. I will not subject my child to even the possibility of repeating the cruelty she suffered there.

We will meet my sis and her family at the park or at a relative's house, so long as we can come and go as we please. I'm not mad at them, but I am wary.

Krys - posted on 08/19/2010

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Forgive me if i am wrong but, i think her apology turned into an excuse to say.."i miss you and i'm sorry i entered your home against your will but i was mad you called the cops on me, i thought we had a better relation than that"
That was like sayn srry but it was all your fault. Mayb that isnt the case but what she did was disrespect you and your family and further more if the relationship was "better" than that i would think she was the one that hurt it not you. She needs to understand how you feel and although i do agree to make up i just wouldnt give into her so quickly i am sure you are hurt by the thing she did but ask God to soften your heart and go from there.

Alison - posted on 08/19/2010

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Personally, I think you have two issues: 1) forgiving your mother, 2) letting your mother spend time with the children.

Trusting your mother with the children should not be dependent on your forgiveness. It is a decision that you must make with your head. It can be dependent on an apology and an admission of her wrong-doing.

As for forgiving, it is what Christ calls us to do whether or not the person offers a sufficient apology.

In all this, you need to consider what is in the interest of your children. If your mother cannot be trusted with your kids, you can set the condition that all visits be supervised. If she will not harm the children under supervised care, it is in the best interest of the children to maintain a relationship with their grandmother. Try not to withhold your children as a way to punish your mother.

I really hope that you are able to work this all out and your mother can regain your trust! All the best!

Rachel - posted on 08/19/2010

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forgive and forget.after all you only have one mom.can you imagine what a big loss it would be if god took her home and you NEVER told her you forgave her.

Gail - posted on 08/18/2010

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The truth is we really can't control anyone but ourselves. But that means it is up to us to set the boundaries. I suggest you read the book "Boundaries: When to say yes and how to say not ta take control of your life" by Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend. I'm not finished reading it myself yet, but it has already helped me tremendously.

Jennifer - posted on 08/18/2010

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maybe suggest a 'play date' where your mother has both kids for a pre-selected amount of time, then you and/or your husband picks up the baby and your mother spends the rest of the time w/ the older child.

Sarah - posted on 08/14/2010

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so now it gets even better. ugh!

my mother text me today asking if she could see my daughter, i told her yes if she took both the kids. my husband is very upset because she doesnt spend time with both of our children, she shows favoritism to my daughter and rarely spends time with our baby. so he requested that if she take one she take both but my mother informed me that they were going shopping, which of course wouldnt be fun for a 17 month old or them. i relayed the message to my husband but told him that since he was home he could make the final call. he let my daughter go w/mom...now i find out they never went shopping, they stayed home all day. granted, people are entitled to change their mind but mother knew my husband’s feelings so she purposely did not inform anyone that they didn’t go to the mall. The only way I found out is because I text my sister. My mother than text me an hr later with a lame excuse as to why they didn’t go. now i feel bad because I convinced my husband to give her the benefit of the doubt only to show her true colors once again. I’m concerned that I am looking for things to condemn her with but at the same time I know her history so it only seems right to be on guard and react to behaviors that I don’t agree with…ugh!

Sarah - posted on 08/14/2010

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you all have been very helpful.. thanks for the advise. 2 days ago i got her text, the following day she replied with an angry text but than she followed up with humbleness(sp). its obvious she acts out of anger with out thinking but that is human nature. i've had time to pray and let the holy spirit just do what it wants in regards to the situation so my heart has definetly softened. its difficult because i dont have a 'normal' mother/daughter relation with her so while i like her to be around and enjoy the kids it wouldnt bother me at all if she never came back around. but i allowed her to spend time with my daughter today, she even asked what guidlines to follow with her to that was another positive mark on her side....lets just hope it can stay that way!

Patricia - posted on 08/14/2010

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What Julie has said here is The Best Advice anyone can give. I don't know what happened but obviously it was severe enough to call the police and BECAUSE YOU HAVE CHILDREN this situation is one that I am FERVENTLY PRAYING for you for Wisdom and Guidance as you make this decision. Obviously you need to forgive her IN YOUR HEART and the LORD will help you with that. However my response to her would be ''Mom, I truly forgive you for what happened/what you did, etc. however it will take time to rebuild trust and reconciliation. Forgiveness MUST come from us as Christians HOWEVER Reconciliation comes from God.
In other words God can/will fix the situation ONCE you forgive but I KNOW from experience that The Holy Spirit Will Guide you as to how to deal with your mother. I am really sorry for you that whatever happened happened and I will not only Pray for you but for your mother as well.
God Bless :)

Jill - posted on 08/13/2010

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the bible says to forgive 70 times 70 times.... remember you will reap what you sow and the bible say to treat people the way you want to be treated.... forgive ... forgive... forgive... the more you do it the easier it gets.... we are all sinners just trying to make it in this difficult world.... God bless you and your decision

Jane - posted on 08/12/2010

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@Sarah - Don't feel guilty for not being ready. You can tell her that you still need some time to be able to truly accept her apology and when you do, you will be over and done with things. Sometimes it takes a little time to heal from the hurt. Recognize that while she may not be as sincere as you'd like but if she's saying it so she can see your kids...well, that's not a bad thing either!

Sarah - posted on 08/12/2010

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Jane, your very right. it is a black or white area. i guess i just feel guilty saying "no, i'm not ready"....almost like i'm being the childish one because i'm "holding out". obviously this was a big incident, people dont call the cops on their mother all the time so i feel i deserve time to deal with it. i dont feel her apology is sincere because i was earlier informed that she expected me to apologize...she's only saying sorry now because she hasnt seen the kids in weeks and she's desperate

Jane - posted on 08/12/2010

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If you accept the apology, then say "I accept your apology". If you're not ready to accept it, then say "I'm not quite ready...please give me some time". It's pretty simple....move forward!

[deleted account]

When I make my kids apologize, I have them acknowledge that the behavior was wrong. "Sorry" doesn't cut it here. Since this if your parent and not your child, I really don't have advice on how to handle that. Only you can judge if she is sincere.

Since she has made the attempt to apologize, perhaps you can meet up with her at a neutral location like a park, playground or restaurant instead of in one of your homes.

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