Conflict and Apologizing Issues



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Blue Jay
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Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:07 pm

So a few weeks ago my habit of being inappropriate bit me in the arse again. I was discussing with someone the way people behave and act as adults and how it sometimes stems from traumatic events as children. So I haphazardly mention that my fiance being aggressive and depressed and otherwise offensive (we actually now know he is also on the spectrum) may have had something to do with the fact that he was molested when he was fifteen.

The problem is that there were two ten year old girls sitting next to me and, as per usual, their numerical age slipped out of my head during the discussion when it became inappropriate. At any rate, the fact that I had mentioned rape in front of them got around to their father, who is absolutely fuming still and demanding an apology because *he's* going to have to explain that to them someday now.

My problem is this:

1.) He would have had to explain it anyway. Ten may be a little early, but Christ.

2.) With his parenting style, the last of their worries is things they overhear when he actually makes them break down and cry from the force of his yelling over things as trivial as putting their toes under the rug.

3.) I believe he's using this as a way to blame somebody else for poor or inadequate parenting: that is, if he can make someone else feel bad for the way his kids are going to turn out, the less guilty he'll feel and the more he'll feel like he's protecting them.

4.) Something about apologizing for it feels wrong. Oh yes, I know it was inappropriate. I can say 'sorry for being so inappropriate', but I have a distinct feeling that's not going to be an adequate apology for him and I can't pretend I'm remorseful or actually 'sorry'.

The most sensible solution to me is simply to say 'It won't happen again', which hardly needs to be said face to face. Face to face contact to me is an absolutely infuriatingly anxious experience. This is one of those situations where if I did apologize, I'd rather write a letter or a text. Ugh! I wouldn't care *at all*, if it weren't for the fact I'm forced to deal with this person because they're friends with my significant other.

I've tried multiple times to tell him (through a third party) that I am Autistic, but naturally they feel everybody absolutely has to function "normally", so he struggles to figure out why I said what I said instead of just going, 'Oh, she has a form of social retardation, maybe her brain doesn't work like mine.'

Anyway, I need tips on how to approach it and how to apologize for the "right thing" in the least awkward way possible so that I can get it over with. I've been very evasive for a few weeks trying to avoid conflict, but the guy says that's 'perpetuating conflict' and that I'm not avoiding it at all--- what I mean is *short term* conflict, but he doesn't realize that. I'd much rather stand in the freezing cold and not speak to him than make a face to face apology for something I'm not sorry for because it's less awkward for me.

Again, it's unfortunate that I'm doing it to shut him up and I have to use cookie cutter apologies I don't mean to do it, but this isn't the first instance I haven't apologized for saying something inappropriate--- the difference is, the last time I said something inappropriate around a kid (mentioned to a Christian family's girl that I was an Atheist when I was about ten and she was like eight), I never spoke to that family again (and to this day I don't believe I was wrong). I can't do that this time.



ediself
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Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:19 pm

well i don't think it's inappropriate until you went into gruesome details...how is the word "molested"an issue? they are ten year old girls, so maybe indeed, it's time , if not a bit late, to warn them about some dangers they might encounter...
But yeah, ok , let's say the guy doesn't want to explain this to his daughters. you brought the subject to the table and now they are curious, so he feels coerced into explaining, and probably uncomfortable about it. How is that your problem?
i'm trying to solve the puzzle here, sorry if i'm thinking out loud, but, how would you have guessed that his daughters were not informed about this? ok what should you apologise for....not knowing? it seems the guy has some serious anger issues. he should apologise for getting all mad about something like that lol....that makes no sense to me.
you have some options,
* i didn't know they didn't know
* i didn't know you did not educate your children ( lol)
* i didn't know it was such a big taboo around your house
* i forgot they were there?
* screw you and your bigoted attitude
these are my ideas........



bee33
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Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:13 pm

As difficult or galling as it may be, your best bet is to unruffle his feathers by apologizing. Maybe you could say something like, "It was a mistake. It just slipped out. I'm sorry it happened." Having said that, I know it would be very difficult for me to do.



RaquiGirl
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Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:17 pm

I think you're going along the right track with your ideas... something like, "I'm sorry that you're in an uncomfortable position with your girls as the result of my carelessness and in the future, I'll do my best to be more cognizant of your wishes for protecting them from that sort of thing", is probably what he's looking for and covers what you're sorry for, basically. If I were you, I'd apologize first via email, letting him know that you feel so badly about it that you were uncomfortable addressing it in person (which is generically true, just not for the reasons he thinks you should feel badly). Offer to apologize the next time you run into each other and then the next time you do, just mumble something about "I'm sorry for that thing I did... I hope you won't hold it against me too much" and then just move on. At least that's what I would do. When I don't think I'm wrong, but still want to repair the relationship for whatever reason, I try to be as generic as possible about my part of an argument and as specifically sympathetic as possible to how they must be feeling. Good luck!


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