Please Forgive Me. (This Relationship Is Worth Saving!)

Dr. Mel Luthy, Chief Editor

Sample Letter #1

I saw the look in your eyes today when you finally realized what I had done. Your pretty mouth dropped open slightly and you were at a loss for words. You didn't need to say anything, anyway, because I saw it all in your eyes--betrayal, disillusionment, revulsion. In that moment, I just wanted to crawl under a rock somewhere and hide. But now that I understand the gravity of what I've done, my actions have filled me with self-loathing and remorse. It's difficult for me to look in the mirror and I'm not proud of the man I see there when I do.

I have no excuse for what happened and saying "I'm sorry" hardly seems adequate. But if you could forgive me this time, I promise you this will never happen again. Both the suffering that I've caused you and the misery I feel now show me that breaking my word causes too much damage to both of us to ever want to do it again. Whatever selfish gratification I thought I'd gain by my foolish act has disappeared like a wisp of cloud under the noonday sun. All that remains is guilt and a stronger resolve to be not only the man you want me to be, but to be the man that I want myself to be.

I know it may be difficult to believe right now, but I really do love you and have honestly never loved anyone else. In the past year, we've become so much a part of each other's lives that I really can't imagine my life without you anymore. I don't think it would benefit either one of us to give up on this relationship yet because we've both invested so much of ourselves into it already and our good times have far outnumbered the bad. What few problems we've had in the past have been minor and we've been able to work through them with very little trouble.

I would give anything to pick up where we left off--just doing everyday things like coming back to the apartment after work, kicking back on the couch and sharing the ups and downs of each other's day. I enjoy taking turns at being chef (when we don't order pizza) and appreciate your willingness to watch a game with me once in a while. We had already started to plan our summer vacation together before this happened. Wouldn't it be great if we could still get away together for a while and try to put this behind us?

I know I'm really expecting a lot to ask you to continue making plans with me, but the alternative is too painful to even consider. Please remember all the good times we've had already, as well as all the good times that are still out there waiting for us to discover. I promise you a faithful companion who has learned his lesson and is more determined than ever to make you happy and stand by you as long as you will have him.

I know that you've gone to stay with Jan for the time being and I've given her this letter to deliver. I will call you there on Saturday afternoon and see if you would be willing to go out with me so we can have a serious talk. I can only hope...

Sample Letter #2

I'm really sorry that things kind of got out of hand the other night. Even though we feel very differently about the importance of budgeting and putting away money for a rainy day, I don't think it's something that should get between us. There are plenty of things that we do agree on, even when it comes to finances. I'm really glad that we see eye to eye on the importance of working hard, for example. It's more important to me that I know that with you I'll never have to worry if you'll pull your own weight when it comes to earning a living. You have such a strong work ethic (even if you do spend money as fast as you earn it) and that means so much to me.

You know I have strong opinions about some things (and express them stronger than I realize sometimes), but we rarely have disagreements like that one. We have always talked things out in the past, and I feel bad that we left things as we did. But maybe we really did just need the time to cool off. I think it is normal, even healthy, that we have different ideas about things--think how boring it would be if we always thought the same about everything! As they say, variety is the spice of life. We just need to remember to keep things in perspective, and not to take things too seriously.

In any case, I apologize for anything that I said that offended you. I didn't mean it. I know that you really do understand my need for financial security. I love you, and that is the only thing that really matters. Everything else, big and small, will work itself out in time as long as we are willing to give our relationship our best efforts. Matt, thank you for being so good to me, and for being so patient with me. It means so much to me, and I love you for it.

How about coming over to my place Friday for dinner? I'll make your favorite--chicken parmesan--and we can have that spinach salad that you like so much. Hot-from-the-oven French bread is always good, too, and dessert is negotiable!

Sample Letter #3

I know what I said hurt you deeply. The moment those words left my lips I knew that I couldn't act fast enough to retract them. Your reaction was justified. If someone whom I cared about had said such things to me, I would have reacted the same way. "I'm sorry" doesn't seem to be adequate. I wish I knew how to say it better. I've relived that moment over and over and wondered how I could have been so insensitive. I don't think I have ever been so disappointed in myself.

I'm nervous about asking you to forgive me. I'm sure that you've suffered a great deal because of me, and asking for forgiveness is so much to ask from you. I also know that you might find it hard to believe my promise that I will learn from my mistake and never repeat it. I truly never want to put our relationship on the line again. I hope you can believe that.

Right now, I believe in "us" because of our past ability to work through our problems. I know we have never faced a challenge so difficult before, but I feel that we have been with each other long enough to know how to try. We know how to lift each other, forgive each other, and end up stronger. That ability can only come from love. And that is what I feel for you--a love than is deeper than I have ever known; a love that can close this wound.

I love you--please believe me. I love you for your giving nature, for helping me through finals, for staying up late and typing my thesis; for the long walks; for talking about dreams and fears and hopes and hurts. We've shared so much. Let's share healing, too.

Before this happened, we were planning a trip to the desert this weekend. I know it's a lot to ask, but I was thinking that it might be an ideal place to sort this out and give me a chance to make amends. If you'll come with me, I think we can bury this thing in the sand and come away happy, with our love intact--maybe stronger than before. Would you be willing to try? Can you give me another chance? I promise you will find a better me.

I will call you on Thursday at 7:00. Please be home. Until then, I will be hoping and praying we can put this behind us.

Sample Letter #4

I am sorry. I don't want you to think that I'm saying those words lightly. I really mean them. I am so sorry. I know that what I did was wrong and I know that it hurt you deeply. I'm not sure what I was thinking, but I do know that I never wanted to hurt you. I wish I could take it back, but I can't. All I can do is try to show you how much I regret what I've done and ask for your forgiveness.

I love you. We have certainly had our share of problems in the past, but we've always been able to work through them. I think we're actually stronger because of them. I hope that this situation is no different. I will do whatever it takes for you to trust me again, so that we can go back to the way things were.

We've had too many good times together to break up over this. I take full responsibility for my mistake, so please don't give up on me now. Remember the good times like when we went parasailing in Florida or when we bought our dog. Remember how happy we were? I know it can be that way again. Please forgive me.

I want to see you this weekend. I want to start making it up to you. How about if I make dinner at my place and we rent a good movie? We can cuddle up on the couch under a big blanket and just enjoy being together. Think about it, and I'll call you tonight.

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