You can measure the depth of a man’s remorse by the length to which he commits to change his behavior. Empty words will fall on deaf ears. This is not to belittle the power that words contain and convey. But post-offense, every victim needs to see a difference, not simply hear the promise of one. Trust has been broken and repair requires work.
In one of my frequent instances of introspection, the notion struck me: a relationship in which you are always reminiscent but never hopeful is hardly worth it. You simply cannot accept and endure something that has ceased to truly satisfy and expect to be sustained by memories. What can you reap from a stump? Is there an inkling of legitimate effort? Or have you deluded yourself by giving an insignificant act exponential impact?
One who is truly sorrowful has entered the realm of empathy: transferring their proverbial feet into your shoes, keenly aware of how imprecise the fit is and hence confronted with the magnitude of their distance from your pain. That person will try to bridge the gap, not in ways they deem acceptable but by what you dictate as being necessary. “How can I make this better?” is a submission to your terms. You determine the rules of engagement, if interaction is to continue. Just make sure that in your brokenness you don’t take advantage of theirs.
Grow up, fight fair, be happy.