“A second chance doesn’t mean anything if you didn’t learn from your first.”
~ Anurag Prakash Ray
When you are in a relationship, things may not go as smoothly as you hope.
Arguments happen, people say mean and cruel things and you feel hurt and even betrayed. Is the relationship worth mending? Is the foundation strong enough so that you feel you can grow from the experience?
There are a few things to consider when deciding to give him another chance:
1. Are you holding on to the relationship because you don’t want to be alone, or are afraid to start all over again with someone new?
If you really want it to work, but you see that it’s never going to be the “real deal,” maybe it’s time to move on.
2. Are you noticing that this time, being with him is not as enjoyable as it used to be?
You sense that there aren’t any butterflies in your stomach when you speak of him. You are not as concerned any more if you see him and you’re just tired of the on again/off again scenarios. Then, maybe giving a second chance is not going to work.
3. Are you afraid that the arguments keep spiraling into brutal, nasty fights?
And, nothing you do or say changes things? Then staying together is destructive.
4. Are you so mad, annoyed, hurt or disgusted that you can’t get past the resentment to forgive?
Was his “crime” that bad to be the turning point in the relationship?
Can you consider counseling to see if the relationship has enough strong foundation to mend and grow? Also, are you willing to make personal changes to improve the relationship through compromise and mutual understanding?
These are the challenges to consider when you are confused about where you stand in your relationship.
If you answered yes to the above questions, then giving him another chance is pointless.
Amy Sherman, M.A., LMHC – www.yourbabyboomersnetwork.com
In general I am not a big fan of second chances (and certainly not third or fourth chances!).
While this may sound a bit rigid and I recognize there can be extenuating circumstances, I think that people generally show you their character from the beginning.
Nobody is perfect; we all make mistakes, but issues of character don’t fall into that category.
While the definition of mistakes can run the gamut, bad character behavior is in a different category.
Chronic lateness or changing plans at the last minute show a lack of respect for your time. It’s selfish. Looking at or flirting with other women shows a lack of respect for you as a person and as a woman. Intolerable.
Any behavior that suggests that he finds you less important than himself is a big red flag. When it’s an issue of character second chances only prolong your pain.
Character doesn’t change no matter how many chances are given. You definitely need to move on from these kinds of men.
On the other hand occasionally being late could just be that you’ve got one of those absent-minded guys. A messy guy is just that-messy. While annoying, these generally don’t really speak to a lack of good character. We will all come across behaviors that we find annoying and we all have to decide what we can live with and what we can’t.
I think our own responses to a man’s faux pas can tell you what you are dealing with.
When someone is disrespecting you, you will feel it in your gut. There is a huge difference between feeling annoyed and feeling hurt. You don’t give second chances to men who hurt you.
I think in general women tend to be forgiving and that’s not a bad thing.
But we are also socialized to be care-takers and unfortunately to put others’ needs ahead of our own. This is a tendency that must be fought.
You are as important as anybody and if you don’t feel entitled to take care of yourself you will find yourself in relationships where you are used or even worse abused.
It might sound generous to give someone a second chance. But if a man is showing you bad character, why wait until he does it again?
Sally LeBoy, MFT – www.sallyleboymft.com
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