Women stand side by side looking into the sunset over the water.

Abuse can shatter your life and an apology does not make it all better

Found this on Facebook and wanted to post it here. It is an imagined conversation between two people. I think it speaks powerfully to the reality that an apology is not enough if someone has really “shattered” your life” and it does not (on its own) fix anything.


Grab a plate and throw it on the floor.

– Okay, done.

Did it break?

– Yes.

Now say sorry to it.

– Sorry.

Did it go back to the way it was before?

– No

Do you understand?

(This blog is part of a series on forgiveness. Search “forgiveness” to see the rest of the series.)

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  1. We are taught as children that when someone apologizes, we should be gracious, forget about the transgression and move on.

    But, I think that applies to different kinds of transgressions that are of a “normal” kind.
    Not to abuse.

    But, when I was in the abusive relationship everything was turned upside down as to what was normal and what wasn’t, and I was constantly told that what I was enduring wasn’t “really abuse” and that I should just accept the apology and move on as if nothing that bad had really happened.

    It was like telling me that the plate wasn’t really broken, and that once he apologized the plate went back to being whole again.

    But, there was always a sick feeling that came with the behaviour that couldn’t be taken back, a sick feeling that wouldn’t go away with an apology.

  2. Thank you for this comment. It is very powerful and very true. Other women have compared the damage of abuse to being like a dish or a vase that is broken beyond repair. Thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts

  3. He says let go of the anger and let us move forward and co-parent. He is a changed person and is trying to be a better person now. He admits he did wrong with the affair, he did wrong by me but he learned and it was consensual.. BS!! let us move on…I want my everyone to know what a scum bag he is yet we have kids. I am so confused!

  4. Great. I do not force my kids to apologize. I hate it when people think I should move forward and stop being angry. For goodness sakes!

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