“Save your sorry. One thing I don’t need are anymore apologies… Beating my heart to death talkin’ bout you’re sorry.” – For Colored Girls
“So why do you put up with his shit?” I asked her after I took the last drag from my cigarette. It was a warm summer night and we were sitting on my porch drinking wine and eating prosciutto. “You are so beautiful, accomplished and one of the baddest bitches I know. You could do so much better. Why him?”
“He’s not always like that. He can be really sweet too. Like the time he surprised me and took me to Seychelles for my birthday. You remember that don’t you?”
“Yeah and I remember it was right after you caught him kissing that woman he told you was just a friend. Don’t you remember how you called me to come get you because you locked yourself in the bathroom so you wouldn’t smash up his shit?”
“I know. But he said he was sorry and I think he meant it.” Her voice said pleadingly.
“He’s always sorry. That’s the fucking problem.” I replied looking away.
The Sorry Fuckboy is always very sorry about what he does but never quite enough to actually change. His apologies are weapons he uses to beat down your resolve. They are like chains that imprison and stop you from leaving him. He’s perfected the art of apologizing. His apologies are often grand and appear to be sincere. The well seasoned Fuckboys are very good at explaining why their behavior was wrong.
He will say to you “I know that by doing that I made you feel vulnerable and unsafe. That was wrong because I should never make you feel unsafe.” and because of that, you’ll think to yourself “Wow he really gets it.”
That’s what makes it hurt so much more when he does it all over again.
Society reinforces the bullshit as usual. There are so many quotes on forgiving others and how important it is for your peace of mind. “Don’t hold grudges.” “Forgive them for you, not for them.” And when someone refuses to forgive a person that has wronged them, they are chided for not being a forgiving person. They are told they won’t be able to move on unless they forgive. The Fuckboy knows this. That’s why they often include other people in their campaign for forgiveness. When everyone sees how sorry he is, the focus is now on you and how unforgiving you are. “Can’t you see how sad he is? You’re not perfect yourself.”
Here’s the thing, it doesn’t matter if he’s sorry.
“The salient point about remorse, however, is that it matters little whether it is genuine or not. Clients who get very sorry after acts of abuse change at about the same rate as the ones who don’t. The most regretful are sometimes the most self-centered, lamenting above all the injury they’ve done to their own self-image.” – Lundy Bancroft
Forgiveness doesn’t mean you must remain in contact with someone who has harmed you. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you continue to allow someone to damage you. Forgiveness doesn’t mean agreeing to be a doormat or an emotional punching bag. Sometimes women stay because they want to give their man a chance to change his damaging behavior. Here’s why that’s a very dangerous trap in the words of Lundy Bancroft:
“The more time he has to tear down your self-opinion, the more difficult it will be for you to believe that you deserve better treatment.
The more time he has to hurt you emotionally, the more likely your energy and initiative are to diminish, so that it gets harder to muster the strength to get out.
The more damage he does to your relationships with friends and family, the less support you will have for the difficult process of ending the relationship.
The longer you have been living with his cycles of intermittent abuse and kind, loving treatment, the more attached you are likely to feel to him, through a process known as traumatic bonding.”
One of my faves on Twitter said it best:
“…when they give you more tales of how they plan to change, how this is the last time, it is just words. What you should be looking out for is change, consistent and actual change.” – @DoreenGLM
Close your ears and open your eyes. If you don’t see that change, walk away and never look back.