Reparing a relationship with someone who won't discuss feelings & won't apologiz

posted 2 years ago in Relationships
Post # 2
1236 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - San Francisco, CA

I don’t know the dynamics of your family, but it sounds like she doesn’t want to apologize OR repair the relationship. In situations like this, there’s only so much you can do. As my grandmother used to say, you can’t push a rope. If you feel like dealing with it directly, you can always write an email or letter to her explaining how you feel. Don’t be accusatory or hostile (“Rebecca, before we move forward I’m going to need you to apologize for being a TOTAL B*TCH to me about my daughter Sally’s wedding, then we can forgive and move on.”) Also, don’t expect a lot. She’s a grown woman and she’s entitled to dictate the relationships to which she does and does not attend. If you contact her, the ball is in her court. If she doesn’t respond, drop it. No passive-aggressive family updates in birthday cards, no harping on how she was rude to you once, no asking why she’s being abrupt, nothing. She’ll sort it out when she’s ready.


Sometimes people feel the need to cut others from their lives for a while and reflect. If she’s done this and decided not to remain in contact, there’s little you can do about it but wait.

Post # 3
721 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

if someone doesn’t care about feelings and won’t apologizze their is no relationship. you can only control what you do, not others. so i would cut toxic people like this out of your life and don’t have contact more then you need to

Post # 4
5222 posts
Bee Keeper

Sometimes it just best for you to forgive than to expect an apology, and just move on. I don’t know the dynamics, but often times people who who are nasty like that thrive off of dictating others emotions ( i.e. knowing she should apologize and not doing it, not responding to a heartfelt letter, tc). Just consciously forgive, be open to her if she ever does come around and live your life. That is about all you can do, because once she sees that she lacks that power over you any more, holding on to that resentment and anger becomes less and less appealing to her.



I saw this one day and loved it!


Post # 5
2782 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Ayrebel:  My sister and I have a very similar relationship.  It has been strained for about 7 years– and the years prior to that we lived in different states, so we didn’t see eachother often.  When we did, we were just happy to see eachother.  Although I should correct myself a little– we live about 10 miles from eachother now, and we see eachother ONLY at family functions/obligation– never by simple choice of wanting to do something with eachother.

I don’t want to get into the nitty-gritty details of our entire realtionship.  What I will say, so you have a bit of an understanding is:  my sister is downright selfish.  This isn’t just my opinion, but the opinion of a few other family members and closer friends– it’s just that to keep the peace, we sort of try to accept that that is who she is.


She wasn’t always like this; she became the way she is after dating her now-husband.  I have to admit:  THEY have a good relationship.  The problem is, my sister’s realtionship with family in general has become so much different- do I dare say “strained”- at least with me and a few others– since B (her husband) has been in her life.  She is the bread winner- by far– yet he is controlling of money (or at least she acts like it).  Her life revolves around him.  The only reason why I don’t have a bigger problem with this than I do is because I know they have a good relationship.  


Within the past couple months, I took my sister to breakfast.  Of course, even though she works part time + has no children, it was hard to get her to commit to a time.  But she did.

We knew the from the start there was no way that we were going to be able to tackle and solve all of our strained history in one meal.  But at least it was a start.

The short of it:  we agreed to put a lot of effort into our relationship and work on it day by day.  She reached out the first couple weeks and asked if I wanted to go get a pedi with her (at her conveneince, on her end of town, of course)- but I agreed.  She never followed through, never made the appointment.  It never happened.


I don’t have any specific advice for her– as I don’t know your sister.  So I don’t know what the best approach will be.  What I will say– is that all you can do is reach out and make an effort.  Do not expect that it will change anything (not trying to sound like a negative person– but I honestly thought that that breakfast with my sister was going to change things big time)– some people are stubbon.  Beyond stubborn, they can be selfish- which is ten times worse.  


I have realized that I have lost my sister to her husband.  I know we will see each other a few times a year at family functions.  And I also know that it will be rare that I will see her any other time of the year (she didn’t even come to see me in the hospital when my son was born!).


Whatever you do– don’t beat yourself up over anything.  We can’t change people.


Post # 6
3016 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014 - Prague

senglish0410:  I agree. While I understand that you are thinking ahead, OP, to the time when you and your sister will have to deal with aging/ailing parents… it doesn’t sound like there is much you can do other than cross that bridge when you get to it. You simply can’t *make* her want to improve things. 🙁

I’d be cordial when needed, but I wouldn’t put much effort in, myself.

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