Two years ago I had a sort of breakdown when I found out my husband was having an affair. At the time I discovered the cheating, I also discovered that several of our friends knew about it but they never told me. I told all of them to go to hell in an email (which was later passed around – nice) and tried to start fresh after my divorce.
Recently my ex-husband told me that one of my best friends who got that email (Jessica) actually knew nothing about the affair although her husband did and he kept it a secret from her. She tried to tell me that two years ago but I was not very nice in response and told her I didn’t believe her.
Since finding our Jessica really knew nothing, I have reached out to apologize but although she acknowledged and accepted my apology in email, she has been reluctant to get together. I’m trying to repair the relationship as best I can but she’s not budging.
I like it when you write letter templates for people so can you write one for me? LOL. But really, Jessica was a big part of my life for a long time and I miss her. How do I get her back?
Dear Single White Female:
Sorry, just kidding.
I received your email about six weeks ago and I apologize I didn’t get to you sooner. I thought of you yesterday when I realized I am in the exact same boat as you are and raced to my inbox to make sure you were still there. Remember readers,
LOL. In all seriousness,
I think the occasional elimination of shitty friends can be a wonderful and liberating event, but sometimes those flushes can result in collateral damage, especially when you do an “en masse” RIF (reduction in friends) as you did two years ago. Is Jessica pissed at you for showing her the door via email and not believing her when she told you she didn’t know your husband was putting his wick in another lady’s candle?
Can you win her back?
That probably doesn’t make you feel too great but my job here is to serve you tasty and nutritious advice on a plate of compassion along with a side of realism. The fact is you may have burned this bridge a little too well, my friend, and all the clever and compelling words I can hand you may not be enough to rebuild it.
I know this to be true and it saddens me deeply, especially around this time of year.
OK, back to you! Sorry.
Here we go with the AskDesCamp Get Your Friend Back (TM) letter (please be advised I am giving you a one-time royalty-free license to use this template; you are not authorized to copy and paste it repeatedly as you seek to build back up your tribe. That will cost you $5 per use; see my managers for details).
I appreciate you accepting my apology but I sense you are reluctant to enter back into my life with both feet. Please read this letter carefully and consider it deeply, because every word of it comes from straight from my heart (you little liar, you!).
As you know, two years ago I was going through a tremendous amount of anguish when my marriage fell apart. I am not offering this as an excuse for how I treated you, but rather in explanation for my actions.
When I discovered several people knew about my husband’s affair, I felt utterly and completely broken and betrayed by everyone around me. Not only was I losing my spouse, but at the same time I was finding out that some of the people closest to me sat idly by as he betrayed our vows repeatedly and blatantly.
The mass email was a bad idea, but even worse was that I didn’t believe you when you said you didn’t know. I’ve said this already, but for that I am truly and deeply sorry. Sometimes when people are battling for their lives (figuratively, I should note) collateral damage can result. You, Jessica, are my collateral damage.
I’ve spent the past two years rebuilding my life and everything is coming together but I am missing a piece of the new me and it’s your friendship. My hope is that we can get together soon and see if there is any residual goodwill there to rebuild a new and better friendship than we had before.
Can we set a date for next week to have some drinks and catch up? Please call me and let me know when you are available. I’ve really missed you and I look forward to seeing you again. I hope you and your family are well.
Single White Female (again, kidding!)”
It’s critical to handwrite this letter and put it in the mail. There’s something about a handwritten and stamped mea culpa that feels much more meaningful than email or, Goddess forbid, text (even if you did cheat and get the template from me).
Come to think of it, that’s not how I did mine.
I’ve got to run, there’s a letter that needs writing over here!