We have all, at some point, been in a situation where someone we loved or cared about has asked for one thing, and one thing only… a second chance to make things right. A second chance after they have royally and utterly screwed something up.
We’ve all been let down and disappointed by a person who, frankly, wasn’t supposed to do either of those things. And we’ve all been assured by those people that whatever it was that they did will never happen again.
Whether it was with an ex, or with a friend, or family member, most of us know what’s it like to have someone pleading with us to keep them in our lives. We’ve watched boys cry over us, friends blow up our phones with text after text of apologies for something they’ve done, and we’ve had to decide whether or not they deserved one more shot to be in our lives.
It’s a difficult situation to be in.
We listen to them call us judgmental or selfish. Hear them tell us our standards are too high. They list all of the ways they make our lives better, and remind us of all the horrible things they haven’t done to us. It usually sounds something like this:
You: I can’t believe you lied again
Them: I know. But c’mon… it’s not like I cheated on you
I’ve been on both sides of it. I’ve been the one begging for another chance, swearing things will change… and I’ve been the one being begged, being told things will be different this time. I understand how it rips you apart.
So if you’re out there wondering right now whether or not this person, whoever they are, deserves a second chance, I’m going to have to tell you this one sober fact: They don’t.
Do not give them a second chance. Because they will mess it up again. And they will mess it up beautifully. Do not give them a second chance because honestly, when you sit down and think about it…this ISN’T their second chance. It’s their hundredth, or millionth chance, and they shat all over it. Again.
So walk away.
It’s not easy. You’ll question and doubt yourself. They will make you feel guilty and horrible for as long as they can. You’re going to have to block all of that out, and just know and accept these things…
1. They will never change for you:
This is a bitter pill to swallow. People don’t change unless the situation changes.
If you’re with someone and they lie, and you break up with them…they may change and be honest with the next person they’re with. But not with you.
However, if you’re with someone and they lie, and you break up with them…and then you take them back…the situation never changed. So they won’t change. They really won’t.
(Please see #3 if you believe I’m lying, and that your partner did actually change for you)
2. They fully believe that they’ve changed:
This is true. I know this from first hand experience. I remember promising to be different, knowing in my heart… that I was going to be different. I was going to be better.
And I remember how quickly those promises and efforts faded, the second I was given another chance.
That person who is in front of you, swearing they’re never going to cheat, or lie to you again. The person who says they’re going to cut back on their drinking. They really really believe that they’re going to be different.
But believe me, if you give them another chance, things won’t be different. Things will be fake. And then things will get difficult. And then… things will be the same.
3. You will never actually believe they changed:
Taking someone back after they’ve lied, cheated on, or abused you is like Chinese Water Torture. Even if the drops stop falling on your head, you’re still going to be sat there, tied to a metaphorical chair, waiting for the next one to fall…because you know it’s coming.
So even if they’re not doing anything wrong, you’re going to be waiting around for something to go wrong…again.
So what’s the point? Why do that to yourself? Why make yourself an emotional hostage for someone who pulled the trigger the first time. It’s not worth it.
4. Unconditional love is bullshit:
Love should always come with conditions.
I love people fully, but only under certain conditions. To do otherwise, to me, is idiocy.
You should love someone under the conditions that they respect you, are honest with you, and add value to your life. If these conditions change…get out of there. You are not their mother. It’s not your job to make sure they’re okay. It IS your job to keep your self interest and self worth in mind. So just leave.
5. Your life will be better without them in it:
So stop worrying, and go live it.