Second Chances

Written in collaboration with Bharti Gadhia and Sapna Patel. With some help from  my Twitterati and Facebookers x

Do you give people a second chance if they have hurt you or just move on?

Someone, quite young, asked me whether you should give a guy a second chance if he has hurt you? I immediately thought this is a situation which does not change with age or time.  I have been faced with situations such as this for many years. These possible situations could be dating two people at the same time, jealousy, lifestyle choices, unapproving of friends, drugs, alcohol, just wanting sex, commitment issues, the past or just plain confusion in life.

 Someone will always hurt another. Whether we like it or want to be hurt or not. This might not even be done on purpose it may be done unknowingly.  It crosses gender or decade. My immediate thought is NO. You don’t give second chances.

You see movies where the leading lady gives the guy a second chance and they happily ever after but this doesn’t happen in real life. Or at least not to me or anyone else I know. In this situation where my answer will always be ‘no’ I needed to take some advice so I went to the people I knew would have a sensible answer for me.

Let me start with my California Girl Sapna Patel:

Would you give a second chance to the one that you love?  Or should I say loved?  Second chances are so hard.  How do you know you can trust that person again? How long will it take for you to get over the betrayal?  Will you get over the betrayal?  Did they cheat on you or did they just hurt you in a way that you’ll always remember?

 So many questions, emotions and decisions are involved when two lives could be at a crossroads where they split.  What to do? How to make the decision?  Honestly, there is no answer, no rule book, and no guide book that tells you what to do.  Each situation is different, each person is different.  For me personally, I give my trust to people right away.  I give my love to them right away. No questions, no conditions.  For others, it’s harder.  There are many people who take their time about trusting you or loving you.  Fair enough.  But for all of us, it’s really hard to get over the fact that we’ve been betrayed.  The real question is, can you forgive and forget?

I asked some of my male friends what they thought.  Women are very vocal (at least most of us) about what we think in terms of relationships.  Men – not as much.  Here’s the twist: I asked my male friends first, how they would deal with the situation of their girlfriend cheating on them, and second, what they would expect or want from their girlfriend if they had been the one cheating.  Most of my male friends said that they would end the relationship if their girlfriend had cheated on them, regardless if it was a drunken one night stand or a full blown affair.  A couple actually said that they would try to work things out; the trust issue would be gone, but if they felt there was any love left in the relationship, there was a shot at making things work.  As far as what they would expect if they had been the one who had cheated, all of them said they would break things off. 

For women in general, I can’t speak for everyone.  For myself, I can say I honestly don’t know what I would do.  It depends on the situation I believe.  Have I been in the relationship for a long time (i.e. at least a year) or is it something new?  I may be able to forgive but will I be able to forget?  If I can’t forget it, will I think about it every time he comes home late or has to go “out of town”? Is there enough love left to give him a chance with my trust?  Was I a fool while he carried on a full blown affair behind my back or was it a one-time deal that he regrets?  If I want to be honest, I have to say I won’t know until I’m in that situation (not asking to be – just saying!).  I know I’m not really answering questions, rather asking more of them, but the truth is, for me, it boils down to how much I really love(d) him, and whether I will be able to trust him again.  

Next I took to the world of Twitter and Facebook and asked whether people would, have or would even consider giving second chances; it could be any given situation.

Mandeep  told me that she had given a third chance to someone

Kirsty would opt with no and leave the past behind

Amit doesn’t do second chances. With a Billion + population on the planet there are plenty of people that deserve me

Anu said she did give a guy a second chance and still ended up getting hurt. She has seen so many of her girlfriends make the same mistake!

Reema  – No way! Trust and honesty takes a long time to earn, can’t just rebuild it knowing it could be broken again, wouldn’t be healthy

An interesting one from Kiran that portrays the other side of the coin, giving people another chance:

I could easily say no don’t give them a second chance, as they could do it again. But from experience, if you are willing to overcome the hurt somehow and move forward and you find it hard to let them go, then it’s not about whether you should or shouldn’t give them a second chance. As above, it will depend on the circumstance too.

It’s about whether you can say bye or not, and move on! As Amit says, there is a world full of people and you should be with someone who deserves you and doesn’t hurt you – if only the one who did deserve you popped up shortly after the one who didn’t. Looking back at the second chances I have given (yes it’s happened more than once) I can honestly say, I’m glad I did because I realised for myself I was worth a lot more and it gave me the power to move on. If I didn’t, I think personally I would be forever wondering, maybe i should have given him a second chance…

Let me take you to an example from my best friend Bharti Gadhia. She was faced with a situation, a pretty serious one:

It totally depends on the situation and circumstances. Speaking from experience and having been cheated on it is a very sensitive subject for me. However, whatever happened I never gave him a second chance. 

How can you possibly trust someone after they have betrayed your trust like that? Especially, when in a very serious relationship. Whether it was a kiss after a drunken night or something else it would still be a no from me. 

However, if tables were turned and we were the ones who were cheating and still wanted that person back, we would beg for forgiveness? Ask to be given a second chance? Is there a touch of hypocrisy here? One could ask the question, is there one rule for me and one rule for another?

This topic can be considered from every which angle but always comes down to the situation from which it arises. Also one has to consider the type of person each individual person is, some people are happy to forgive (I guess happy is a strong word on this occasion, we’ll use the word OK) and stay with the same person regardless of the cheating of the other half.
I think everyone’s response would probably be the same and say NO I would not take them back, but unless you have been through this scenario it can be hard to say what you would do or how you would feel.

In conclusion every situation can be treated differently but you have to look into your heart of hearts. Can you trust this person again? Is there the danger that they will do it again? Maybe yes, but then that’s why second changes were invented. Go give them to people. I however couldn’t do it. I have seen too many people get hurt by going back to the same person over and over even though they know they will get hurt.

Ultimately it’s your decision and no third party can help you decide but if you are I would say weigh out every pro and con before making any decision.

I will end with Kat’s thought on different situations when you get hurt

Kat said “If it’s cheating then No way, not ever!! If they have cheated on you once and you forgive them, then it’s like you’re giving them permission to do it again, they will think you will always forgive them! Plus when you meet the person who is right for you, they will sweep you off your feet, and they won’t want anyone else ever again and you won’t be able to even stomach the thought of them or you being with anyone else! They will love even all the bad things about you! One person is enough for anyone, if not; they have yet to meet the right one!!!

But if it’s not to do with cheating, but hurting people in general, it can be complicated, it depends why they did it, and if they would do it again, sometimes people hurt you when they really think they are trying to protect you and trying to do things right by you!!

Yeah I’ve been hurt lots of times in many ways too hunni! But when the right one comes along you know!! It’s well worth the wait!! But it’s important to forgive them too, but just not to give them a second chance; otherwise it can end up you beating yourself up about it too! When it’s not your fault! That’s what I learnt from my experiences! Been so much happier ever since!! X x x

I shall leave you with that thought x

Priya Mulji xx

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3 thoughts on “Second Chances

  1. Very interesting topic! This is a dilemma we all come across at some point in our lives. The difference is in the relationships we have with people. Whichever scenario you talk about if someone has hurt you, somehow then you might be able to forgive but will you be able to forget? In terms of a guy cheating on his gf or vice versa, well that depends on each couple’s situation. I strongly believe that unless you’ve been through such a situation you don’t know for sure how you would react, as your emotions usually kick in when faced with such issues.

    Whether you’re the sort of person that follows their head or their heart doesn’t really matter. In these situations your emotions kick in and lead you to do things and say things you may not usually do.

    Great post Priya! 🙂

  2. I have learned that people never ever change. They might want to change at the thought of you walking away and you will be given hope. But it’s false hope!! Especially guys, the second or third or fourth chance is not even slightly worth it – it’s just setting yourself up to be hurt – again. And you are left to pick up the pieces time and time over. Depends how much you trust the other person with your emotions / feelings. Toughie. But keep it simple, if they loved you they would not have hurt you in the first instance…

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