Should Your Ex Be Your Next?
The rain fell hard and fast against the windowpane, but seemed to be only mist compared to the tears that fell from Brittany’s eyes. She was curled up in her bed in the fetal position, crying uncontrollably. The thoughts of Michael’s betrayal played over and over in her head.
Brittany was made aware of his affair a day prior while Michael was in the shower. Michael’s phone buzzed several times in a row due to a series of texts received from Allison, Michael’s co-worker. Out of sheer confusion and curiosity as to why eight new messages from Allison were now sitting in his inbox, Brittany unlocked the phone to view a very unpleasant surprise. Some racy photos accompanied a string of lovey dove-y messages gushing about their time spent together. Brittany was shocked, hurt, and angry, and immediately confronted Michael about it as he emerged from the shower. Michael apologized and said it was a mistake, yet blamed it on Brittany being so busy with her own career and not really having enough time for him.
His reason for cheating on her cut her like a knife because it was pitiful and ridiculous. They spent at least three days out of the week together, if not more. Now had she been a bum, not accomplishing anything in her life that would have been his complaint. She lay there sad and sick to her stomach, as her phone gathered piles of unanswered calls and unread apologies from Michael.
Brittany began the process of moving on, and did things to keep herself productive and busy, but the thought of the great times they shared and how much time she had invested in the relationship got the best of her. After four months apart, Brittany decided to give Michael a second chance.
Michael seemed to put his best foot forward by showering Brittany with gifts, dates, and Brittany spent even more time with Michael than she had before. Three months had now passed, and things seemed to be going well. Brittany felt like giving him this second opportunity was a good decision.
One evening while relaxing at home, Brittany received a phone call from her friend, Ashley.
“Hey girl, I’m out at a club, and Michael is here.”
Brittany was puzzled and replied, “Oh? That’s strange. I spoke with him about two hours ago, and he said he was going to bed early.”
“Well, it is definitely him and he was dancing with some woman. I came in the bathroom to call you. I’m heading back out there, and if I can get a pic, I’ll send it to you,” Ashley says.
Seven minutes passed, and Brittany’s phone vibrated with a new image text. Her heart began to beat fast, and then dropped when she viewed the pic. It was, in fact, Michael dancing…with his co-worker, Allison.
When deciding whether or not to give a person a second chance, there are a few things we have to consider. The first is to know thyself. You have to know if you are willing and, more importantly, ABLE to move past what was done, and grant the person a second chance. Sometimes we want to try to give the person a second try because of familiarity and the time we have invested, but aren't really able to do so. If you are incapable of moving past what was done to you, then the buck stops here. There’s no need to worry about whether or not the person is worthy of a second chance, when you are not able to give it.
That brings me to the second thing. If you are open, able, and willing to give a person another chance, the next thing to consider is the person’s level of contrition. Is this person truly sorry? Did they learn from the mistake? This is very important to consider because if a person sees no wrong in their actions, is insincere, and didn’t learn from it, then the probability of the same thing happening again is sky high!
The third thing to consider is whether or not you’re dealing with an isolated incident or a pattern of the same bad behavior. One mistake doesn’t characterize a person, however if the same things are being done over and over again, then you are only lying to yourself if you think it’s not going to happen, yet again.
Lastly, you have to take a long, hard look at who you know this person to be as a whole, their character, their track record of doing well within the relationship, and history of earning your trust. Is it really worth it? Are they really worth it? These are the hard questions that only you can figure out for yourself.
We are all human, and not one single person on this planet is immune to making mistakes. While we all at some point should forgive every person who has mistreated us or done us wrong, some people just aren’t worth giving additional opportunities to be in our personal space. Some won’t change, and, then again, some will. It is up to us to tap into our instincts, and carefully evaluate who is worthy of being granted a “do over,” and who should not be welcomed back into our lives.