After All This Time

I just found a letter I kept from the first person I ever slept with over 20 years ago. Quick backstory, it was both our first time sleeping with another guy. It was fun and memorable for me and we barely kept in touch.

About a month or two after we slept together, Chris, wrote me a letter. It asked if we could be friends and hang out more. He wasn’t asking to date or even sleep together again, but just wanted to explore a friendship. I don’t remember if I answered his letter, and I kept distance from him the rest of the year (college). Basically when I saw him I would not make eye contact and would leave wherever we were.

I felt awful once I reread his letter recently. He was mature and nice and I wasn’t. I was a scared kid and he was asking to just hang out. So I looked him up online and I didn’t find a way to contact him. I emailed a mutual friend and she didn’t have his info, but told me I could get a hold of him through his wife. She gave me her email because they were friends. No one that I know of knows we slept together. Oddly, one piece of info I did find out about Chris was that he was single. Wrong info. He’s married now. 

I want to let him know I’m sorry for the way I acted. I want to let him know how nice he was and I was a dick. My mutual friend sent me his email today. I wanted to do all of this before I found out he was married. Should I try to apologize to him now?

Nick

Nick,

This is something that you wanted to do before you knew that he was married. However, now you know new information. He’s married now, and significant time has passed. 

As far as I see it, you have 3 choices. 

1.       Do nothing-don’t address this issue, and carry on as you have been.

2.       Write the letter-apologize, and send the email.

3.       Write a letter, but do not send it-same as the above option, minus sharing your thoughts and apology. 

The choice is yours. After 20 years, and a marriage, it is definitely unlikely that it is something that is currently bothering him. This would be to help you take weight off of your own conscience, to explain your actions when you were younger. While your own conscience is important as well, it is important to recognize this fact before any emails are sent. 

Put yourself in his shoes. How would you feel if after 20 years you received a similar email? Do you feel it would be helpful and insightful, or do you feel it would be disruptive and confusing after all this time?

Writing the letter for therapeutic purposes without actually sending it is a great option as well. It sounds like you do feel guilty for how you handled things 20 years ago, it could be a good way to let go of those feelings and move on even if you don’t actually share the letter and apology with anyone. 

I wish you luck in making this decision, and in writing the letter if you choose to do so.

Hailey

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