DEAR ABBY: Is it ever too late to apologize to an ex-boyfriend? I'm in my mid-40s now, and over the last three years, I have gone through a significant change. It has helped me to face myself, let go of useless hate and anger and forgive the people who hurt me. It has made me a much happier person.
One of the results of this change is realizing how much I dislike who I was when I was younger. I'm sure many people made mistakes in their early 20s and maybe blew it off, because I know I did. But now I can't. I'm ashamed of my previous behavior and have been thinking about reaching out to him to apologize for the horrible things I did while we were together.
My family says I shouldn't do it. They say I'm being ridiculous because "who cares about how an old partner treated you decades ago?" But I'm struggling with letting it go. I learned years ago to take responsibility for my mistakes, but it's something I didn't do in that relationship.
I'm currently in a solid and happy relationship, which is why I think my family may be so against this, and while I don't know my ex's relationship status, I have no ulterior motives for reaching out. The person I am today just wants very much to apologize for the person I used to be, but I don't want to cause any problems. What is your neutral advice? -- SORRY IN THE SOUTHWEST
DEAR SORRY IN THE SOUTHWEST: I don't think it is ever too late to say "I'm sorry," and I seriously doubt that an overdue apology for your past behavior would cause problems. Because you feel compelled to offer one, go ahead and do it. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that your former flame recovered from whatever you did and went on with his life as you have with yours. And if that's not the case, he may need to receive your apology as much as you need to give it.