I have never been a fan of second chances. When people make significant relationship/friendship altering mistakes it is not difficult for me to cut them off and remove them from my life. I know that forgiveness is a principle that should be practiced on a regular basis because nobody is perfect. People make mistakes and we are all human. But are some indiscretions unforgivable? Does everyone deserve a second chance?
I have never been in a relationship where I was fully cognizant of my partner cheating or lying to me and I continued in that relationship. But what do you do when you find out that you’ve been lied to or worse cheated on while you are still in the relationship? How can you muster up the strength to forgive someone after you’ve given them all that you’ve got and they’ve hurt you? When you have given someone everything and they’ve broken your trust how could you possibly learn to trust them again? Trust is the key to every relationship. If you trust your mate, you don’t leave room for speculation and suspicions. They say trust is like glass and once it has been shattered, it will never be back to its original form. I wholeheartedly believe this. It’s one thing to be with someone who has done something to break your trust but who had the audacity and dignity to let you know that they had committed transgressions; it’s another thing to be with someone and find out about their wrongdoings on your own. Not that I am condoning wrongdoings in any way but I would have a lot more respect for someone who lets me know that they’ve made a mistake rather than letting me find out on my own. But the shame, the embarrassment and the pain is still there regardless of the delivery method.
It is complicated to be with someone after they’ve shattered your trust; in the back of your mind you may have lingering doubts and worries. Learning how to trust someone again is one of the hardest things you can do in a relationship and is a skill that many never master. Even if you cannot learn to trust that person again everyone at least deserves forgiveness; judge not lest ye be judged. Two wrongs don’t make it right either, so if you’re thinking about evening the score because you’ve been heartbroken then think again. Seeking revenge on someone that has hurt you doesn’t make the pain go away and it speaks volumes about you as a person. Take the high road. Everyone makes mistakes and just because one party has made a detrimental decision in the relationship does not mean they cannot and will not change for the better.
Janice Gassam is a graduate student currently getting her degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology. To contact Janice her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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