For­mer spouse wants to apol­o­gize to ex-hus­band

The Saline Courier - - OPINION -

“Congress shall make no law ... abridg­ing the free­dom of speech, or of the press ... . ”

— From the First Amend­ment to Con­sti­tu­tion

DEAR HARRIETTE: I was mar­ried many years ago to a nice man, and I did not treat him well. I have never felt good about my be­hav­ior. Even though a lot of years have passed, I still think about that pe­riod in my life from time to time, and I cringe. As we get older, I keep think­ing that I want to apol­o­gize to him. I don’t want to up­set his life, though. He has re­mar­ried and has a fam­ily. I have not seen him for decades. If I can find his ad­dress, do you think it would be ap­pro­pri­ate to send him a note of apol­ogy? Life is short, and many peo­ple I grew up with are dy­ing. I don’t want ei­ther of us to die be­fore I ex­press my apol­ogy. -- Mak­ing Amends

DEAR MAK­ING AMENDS: Think care­fully about what you want to say to this man. Do you be­lieve that he will ap­pre­ci­ate a sin­cere apol­ogy from you, or do you think it will just stir up old neg­a­tive emo­tions? I ask that be­cause it could be that you need to apol­o­gize in or­der to cleanse your soul, but he may not need to re­ceive your apol­ogy. Sit with that for a bit to de­ter­mine what your heart says.

If you be­lieve he will value your apol­ogy, do your re­search and find an ad­dress for your ex. Care­fully write your note. You may not need to go into de­tails. Again, rub­bing his nose in old wounds could be cruel. Just ex­press your re­gret. Tell him you are not ask­ing for any­thing. In­stead, you just felt it was im­por­tant that at this point in your life and af­ter much re­flec­tion, you let him know how sorry you are for any pain you caused him.

•••

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a client who is so cheap. No mat­ter what the project is, she al­ways nickel and dimes me. Whatever my fee nor­mally is for a job, she de­mands that I give her a dis­count. Some­times the dis­count she re­quires makes the job not worth do­ing. When I stand up for my­self and tell her that I can’t go that low, she digs in. I have been passed over a cou­ple of times for projects be­cause she wouldn’t budge. At a cer­tain point, I feel like I have to walk away if she is be­ing too cheap. I have done the math, and some of these projects would equal less than min­i­mum wage if she paid by the hour. That’s not fair. How can I get that across to her? Or should I even try? -- Cheap Client

DEAR CHEAP CLIENT: Take a hard look at the projects you have scheduled for this year and how im­por­tant this client is to your bottom line. Ide­ally, you should work hard to re­place this client. If she re­fuses to pay fair mar­ket value for your ser­vices, you would be better off find­ing clients who are will­ing to pay a fair wage.

For now, stop fight­ing with her. When she in­vites you to do a project, ne­go­ti­ate the best fee you can.

But spend min­i­mal time hag­gling with her. Pivot to so­lic­it­ing new busi­ness for 2020!

•••

Harriette Cole is a lifestylis­t and founder of DREAMLEAPE­RS, an ini­tia­tive to help peo­ple ac­cess and ac­ti­vate their dreams. You can send ques­tions to askhar­ri­[email protected]­ri­et­tecole.com or c/o An­drews Mcmeel Syn­di­ca­tion, 1130 Wal­nut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

HARRIETTE COLE

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