CNN Health helps us understand how to apologize.
Jessica DuLong writes (excerpt):
In her new book, “The Forgiveness Tour: How to Find the Perfect Apology,” Susan Shapiro explains that a full apology includes four essential elements: acknowledgment of the offense, an explanation of why it happened, remorse coupled with a commitment to do better and making reparation.
Shapiro: There is a difference between forgiving someone and resuming a relationship. A Muslim chaplain I spoke with told me a Quran story of when the Prophet Muhammad decided not to execute the killer of his beloved uncle but also told him, “As much as possible do not come before me.” This was basically like saying, I forgive you but get out of my face forever.
If somebody cannot acknowledge what they did wrong or doesn’t understand your feelings, keep them at a distance to protect yourself. Forgiveness alone might help you move on.