Without going into a lot of unnecessary detail, I've found out some things over the past week that tell me that I badly misjudged a situation with someone I cared about a great deal last year. Despite the fact that I knew him better than that, I was willing to believe that he was "playing" a couple people, instead of just honestly having a conflict between what he knew he needed in a relationship and where his heart was drawn.
Now I have to deal with the fact that my judgement probably added pain to what was already a lose-lose situation. Unfortunately, it's a situation where he felt the "relationship" was off-limits to begin with and therefore couldn't be acknowledged, so I can't really apologize for misjudging him because to do so would be tantamount to asking him to acknowledge what was there, which I know he does not want to do. I am not even sure I can try to re-build the closeness in the friendship without opening the door back up to the same dissonance that was there before, that would still hurt, and now also have the danger of hurting my new relationship (which is going really well, so I sure don't want to risk that!). So for the moment I guess I just get to feel badly that I did this, and watch myself to make sure I don't do the same to anyone else.
Darn it, I should know not to attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity, to quote my ex. :) Or in this case, not stupidity but insecurity, and the fact that some incompatibilities are insurmountable no matter how you feel about someone.
I'm sorry this is so vague and confusing, but I can't really explain it further without a) going into a much longer story than anyone needs, and b) making public some private issues. But since I can't apologize to him, a public confession is the only thing I can think of to try to make me feel at least a little better. Maybe someday I can point him to this. Not yet, though.