Editor's Note; This is an Update from a prior letter called This Is Your Life
I wrote you 3 weeks ago regarding my best friend crisis. That day; I followed your advice and wrote an apology email, I had my wife read through it and then I read it again. When I thought it was exactly what I had to say I sent it. Two weeks after that I hadn't heard a thing so I made a phone call to the man in question. I was not malicious or rude, I simply asked if he received my email. He used a few vulgar words towards me and hung up the phone. Yesterday I received an email that was 80% vulgar and rude language, the summary of which was he never wants to be my friend again. He doesn't even want to take the chance that my apology was real because he says I'm a coward and always will be. Aunt B, I was upfront and honest with him, I was sincere and meant every word of my apology. I know I'm not a coward. You asked me to provide an update as to how things turned out, unfortunately it's not the update I wanted to pass along to you.
What should I do now? Just forget he ever existed? Send another email?
Thank you for all your help, even if he didn't believe me. I meant my apology and I have you to thank for showing me the light.
My Dearest Jeremy,
OK Darlin', since I don't know the content/context of the letter you sent to him, I'll have to ask a few questions? First let me say though, that I am content in the fact that you rose above it all, were not a coward, took that bull by the horns and made your apology. I am also sorry things didn't turn out better.
The important part here Jeremy, is that you swallowed your pride and did the right thing, did you not? You may now look in the mirror with a bit of integrity in your face. Isn't that what it's all about, I mean as a man to be able to look yourself in the eye?
It takes heart to apologize and make amends and if you ask me, it is a measure of a true man when he can admit when he's wrong or even take personal accountability for his actions. This is especially important when it comes to our children, you know to be able to apologize when we are wrong, I might add.
Even if you had only a small percentage, a mere slice in this painful pie and you've taken the time, put forth the effort to reduce that pain, I assure you no matter what, you are a stand up guy and certainly not a coward. I imagine Ben couldn't think of any other insult to sling after all, he already knows that you're not stupid, you're not ugly and you have a high set of standards, values and beliefs. You are successful and a good guy. He also knows, as I do, that for the most part, you are fearless. You have a healthy respect for certain things, meaning you are not impulsive and I do not imply you are a risk taker. You will dive in though and handle the task at hand no matter how much you'd prefer to just walk away. This is one of your chief attributes, thus he took it upon himself to try to hit you below the belt with his calling you a coward. We know differently though, don't we Dear?
See, even if other guys do not live by the old school rules such as, a man is only as good as his word, a firm handshake seals the deal and it takes a bigger man to admit his mistakes, you may now stand, head held high and count yourself amongst the few, the proud, the real men. Yes, this was an exercise in and a rite of passage, a show cause of a true man. All in all this is the defining factor, what separates the boys from the men.
Unfortunately, you may now look at the situation and see that Ben is not made of the same stuff. Ben knows it too and it intimidates him. He'll never admit it but he respected you and has always looked up to you. It is because of this that he feels such betrayal. You must be able to see this and why he is bitter, taking the stance he has. Ben respected your opinion as well, so for you to look down upon his choice, well it really hurt and I'd be willing to bet, he even questions his own choice. But simply out of spite, he'd never admit it and would take a stand against you because of it.
What To Do?
I'm hoping that your letter/email to Ben was not in defense of your feelings which would add insult to injury. What I mean by this is if you wrote him with more words as to why you said what you said but then said, "but I'm sorry if I hurt you with those words" then what you did was futile.
There may not be any resolve in this situation. It's a damn shame too. As well, I'm sorry that he did not accept your apology. Time marches on and that time also heals all wounds. maybe one day, Ben will set his own pride aside and do the right thing. I'm not counting on it though, sadly to say. It's possible that you've both grown apart. You grew up, Ben grew down, a sad state of affairs.
My last suggestion to you, is one last email(or mail him a card, maybe a Wedding Congrats?), a closing of a Chapter. I know it's not going to be easy for you but I'm putting my money on you. In that email, I would simply say;
"Ben, you are,were and always will be my good friend. I wish you nothing but the very best in your new life and I mean it with every fiber of my being. I will be here if you need me."
Now the ball is in his court, you've had the last word, held the upper hand, controlled your temper and will be able to close this Book on a positive note. You will also know that you did the right thing. Capish?
Keeping It Real,