DEAR HARRIETTE: I was married to a man almost 30 years ago. We have spoken only once, for legal purposes, since then, although once I did send him a note of apology about how I had behaved at the end of our marriage. I found a copy of that note recently, and I realize that even then I was blaming him for the demise of our marriage, when it wasn’t that simple. I was wrong, too, and I treated him terribly. I know that now, and I feel like I owe him a true apology. I’m not interested in being friends with him. I just think I should own up to my horrible behavior way back then. Do you think he will appreciate receiving a note of apology from me so many years later? -- Delayed Regrets
DEAR DELAYED REGRETS: The notion of making amends is powerful when it is deeply considered and completely transparent. If you can find your ex’s contact information, write him a letter of apology. Admit your role in the demise of your marriage. Be forthright about how you behaved and how sorry you are for however you hurt him. Tell him that even though many years have passed, you have not forgotten that you were unkind, and you are sincerely sorry for any pain you may have caused him. Express your hope that he has built a good life for himself. Wish him well. Do not ask to re-engage in any way with him.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)Read more in: Marriage & Divorce | Etiquette & Ethics