What warrants a second chance and what doesn’t?

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There’s no easy answer but we can form some guidelines to ensure that we are making the best decisions for ourselves not just for our relationship but also for our own personal health and well-being.

The most common reasons people consider ending a relationship are:

Dishonesty

We all lie sometimes even if it is just little white lies that we tell to protect someone’s feelings but the levels of dishonesty that may make you think about terminating your relationship are usually much more serious. If you find out your partner has been lying to you about something – or lying by omission in that they didn’t tell you something – you need to weigh it up in terms of the rest of your relationship.

Some of the questions you might ask yourself are:

Are they generally honest and this is a one off incident?

Have you been getting the feeling that all was not as it seemed and this is your confirmation?

Are you feeling very insecure in the relationship and in response they are keeping things from you to protect your feelings?

There are all sorts of reasons, and ways in which people are dishonest and whether you give them a second chance will depend largely on whether you feel that the trust that has been lost can be won back again.

Substance misuse

There are mixed views about substance misuse, some believe that certain types of addiction like alcoholism, is a disease and others believe that it is a choice that a person makes of their own free will.

Whether you give someone a second chance if this issue has caused you to question you relationship will have a lot to do with how long you have known them. If it is obvious from the early days that someone has a substance misuse problem our advice would be to not get involved with them especially if that misuse is illegal.

If you have been together for a long time when this issue arises it will depend on your personal values and the way their behaviour impacts on your life. It will also depend on whether the person recognises they have a problem and are willing to do something about it. The real issue is whether you genuinely believe that real change is likely to happen and that you’re both willing to put in the hard work it requires.

Infidelity         

If you find out categorically (not a rumour) that your partner has cheated on you it is really is not OK unless you have made a decision to have an open relationship. Trust is an implicit part of a healthy relationship and although there are many couples whose relationship has survived through this issue it does tend to leave a permanent scar. You deserve to be with someone who is faithful and committed to you. By having an explicit understanding that this is a deal breaker, no matter what the circumstances, you and your partner will have clear boundaries.

Physical Abuse

This is another deal breaker. It is never ok for someone to use physical violence towards you whether you are a man or a woman. No matter how remorseful the person is after the event, a line has been crossed which can never be undone. Physical abuse, once the taboo has been broken, always tends to get worse over time, never better.

Endings

If you do decide to give someone a second chance make sure you are truly able to forgive and move on rather than just suppressing hurt feelings because you are scared to lose the relationship. Low self-esteem is often the reason that people stay in unhappy relationships so look closely at your reasons for wanting to give it a second chance.

Unconditional love does not give someone licence to treat you badly, it gives you licence to have strong boundaries and for them to be respected by your partner.


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