My sister is going through an amicable divorce. She moved out but it’s not final yet.
I ran into my brother-in-law’s brother. We usually celebrated holidays with her soon-to-be ex and his family, so I blurted out that I hope he has a good holiday and I’ll miss seeing him. It was obvious he knew nothing about the divorce. I left the conversation and he called his brother who called my sister.
My brother-in-law is mad at me for telling this news. He wants an apology and I think I should give it to keep things amicable during their split. How do you say you are sorry for something that you don’t really think is your fault, but you regret doing anyway?
“I’m sorry, I had no idea I was putting you in an awkward spot.”
But, seriously dude?
Re: But, seriously dude?:
My parents separated in January and started divorce proceedings immediately. My father told nobody in his family. His mother continued to call “their” house, and my mother would just say he was at work. Finally, she called on Mother’s Day, and my exasperated mother just laid it out. “He moved out in January, [MIL]. We’re getting divorced.” Seriously, people — own your own s(p)it!
— Exasperated Too
Yes, thank you. Secrecy and privacy are not the same thing.
The brother-in-law wants an apology? For what? His soon-to-be-ex-wife told her sibling she was getting a divorce. It was already “out there” as public information. At some point the brother-in-law’s brother inevitably was going to find out, one way or another. Keeping it a secret was the brother-in-law’s issue.
Exactly and totally.
But the sib just wants to avoid blowing this up and complicating things for the sister. Thus my non-apology apology, which puts the issue away without any admission of guilt.
Re: “Non-apology apology”:
Since when did apologizing for hurting someone’s feelings become a “non-apology”? I can be genuinely sorry that I hurt someone’s feelings, but not sorry about the actual thing I said.
I understand this type of non-apology is an issue in the public sphere when a person says a racist /sexist thing (or worse, is caught harassing someone), and instead of saying, “I said a racist thing and I am sorry,” the person says, “I am sorry if anyone was offended.” But in everyday life, I think there is value in apologizing for hurting someone’s feelings, even if the action that caused hurt feelings is not apology-worthy. Am I missing something here?
— Genuinely Sorry
This wasn’t about feelings, though; this was an “I had no idea you didn’t tell your own brother you were getting a divorce” issue. The brother-in-law wanted to control a narrative that wasn’t fully his to control.
To answer your question, though, yes, hurting someone’s feelings — even with no ill intent — always gets a genuine note of remorse.
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