Over the past few months I've regained a sort of affection for General Hospital. Two of the characters, Robin and Patrick, are sort of at an impasse because of a prior indiscretion: Patrick cheated on Robin with a friend, Lisa, from college (they are all doctors, by the way, at the same hospital). According to Patrick, it was a one time thing; he's apologized profusely and has continued to profess his love for Robin and their family (they have a 2 year old daughter). Up until recently - and this storyline has been going on since about July 2010 - Patrick was apologizing for his infidelity every chance he got and every time Robin got mad she'd scream something to the effect of, "Go tell it to LISA." At the same time, however, Robin was still considering reconciling with Patrick because she still loves him.
This got me to wondering: How long is a person to continue apologizing for something that they did which was wrong? It is no secret that I do not condone cheating of any kind and pretty much believe more often than not, a person is only sorry because they got caught (Patrick only admitted his infidelity because Lisa is actually crazy and was stalking them, breaking into their home, etc., and Robin didn't know why they were being targeted). But if a person is seemingly apologetic - putting my feelings about that to the side - why keep taking them through the ringer? It would seem to me that by allowing them to continue to apologize, you might be running the risk of hearing someone say "I'm sorry" more times than they actually are; they might be just saying what they think you want to hear.
Further, if (and let's stick with cheating here as the focal point) the person who was wronged is considering reconciliation, what is the point of making them feel like they have to keep apologizing and/or throwing the indiscretion in their face? If forgiveness is granted AND you say "let's work this out," how is that genuine by throwing something like that in their face? Have their apologies and their actions going forth not proven to be enough? Is it that you need to hear the words to make sure that's how they really feel? Does that even make sense?
Doesn't a person ever get sick of HEARING "I'm Sorry?"
My question is: Is Saying "Sorry" - including actions to encourage that - ever enough?