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To Forgive Or Not To Forgive: Do Cheaters Really Deserve A Second Chance?

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When commuting to and from work on crowded trains, it’s hard not to overhear other people’s conversations. One in particular this morning that caught my attention was between two women contemplating if woman #1 should take back her man, whom she apparently discovered had cheated on her. Woman #1 was clearly hurt and confused and had no idea what she should do. Woman #2, however, didn’t hesitate to give #1 her advice: give him another chance. When woman #1 asked why – in disbelief – her friend answered plainly, “Because everyone deserves a second chance.”

But do they really? Not so fast…

I’ve been in the same situation myself more times than I’d like to admit, and in every instance I can’t say that I’ve reacted the same. There have been times where a guy I was dating had cheated and I gave him a second chance. There have also been times where I’ve promptly kicked a guy to the curb after the dreaded ‘C’ word left his lips. Sometimes it was a one-time cheat deal, other times it was a full-blown affair that had lasted for months without me having a clue what was going on. Each situation was different, each man was different and each outcome was different. But still, in no way did I feel that any of the men who had cheated on me deserved a second chance. The decision was all mine; and any outcome of that decision was for me to deal with – the good, the bad and the ugly.

Sometimes I got it wrong. There were times I decided to forgive (but not forget), and I was cheated on a second, third and fourth time. Sure, you can call me crazy on that one. I really was hoping he’d change. When it finally hit me that he would never change unless he wanted to, I concluded that people treat you how you allow them to treat you. Therefore, giving second chances could be your invitation to more heartache.

But I also know that there are men and women out there who, if given a second chance to right their wrongs, would do better. The hard part is in knowing who those people are. That’s where keen judgment, character assessment, taking a risk and stumbling upon luck come into play. You can’t know who “deserves” a second chance until you actually give it to them, so what to do?

There is no right or wrong answer, but whatever your decision when faced with infidelity and whether or not to give your mate a second chance, remember this – a person who has betrayed you is owed nothing. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been together for a short time, long time, are married, share children, you name it – the decision to forgive and move on is yours to make only and shouldn’t be anything you feel forced to do. You didn’t choose to be betrayed, so the betrayer shouldn’t expect you to take them back.

However if you do decide to forgive, make sure you do just that – forgive. Be sure to move on from the past situation, too. While you may never forget what happened, the only way to truly move past the hurt of infidelity is to give yourself and your partner permission to heal. This means not bringing it up every chance you get or throwing it in their face. If you can’t do this, that means the trust is irrevocably broken and therefore the relationship is over.

Also, don’t apologize to anyone or explain your reasoning as to why you took you significant other back to anyone. It’s your choice and others should respect it. If you’re worried about what others will think, then either you’re not ready to forgive or you shouldn’t forgive at all. It’s hard when folks are in your ear telling you what to do, so be sure to thoroughly discuss what happened with your partner and how you want to move forward before you go spilling your tea to friends and family. Get counseling first if you’re conflicted. Even if you aren’t, a third party may be able to help you sift through your emotions and help you make the best decision for yourself.

Lastly, don’t take any blame for the betrayal, and forgive yourself for any doubt you may have cast upon yourself. Your self-esteem can take a serious hit once you’ve discovered you’ve been cheated on, but your partner’s actions shouldn’t determine how you feel about yourself – especially since you are not the one who cheated. In working past infidelity with your partner, it’s okay to be a part of the solution in helping to change the dynamic of your relationship – but the responsibility is ultimately on them to gain your trust back. If he or she is genuinely sorry, has taken responsibility for their actions and you’re willing to work on regaining trust and rebuilding, then the betrayer should consider that a gift – not a right

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Comment by 3nigirl on September 24, 2015 at 10:01pm
Some people can forgive some cannot. Personally I can't trust you again once you broke it so no second chance for me.
Comment by Jerimiah 1:4--10 on September 24, 2015 at 9:48pm
So when you throw it away its because of stupidity or it wasnt valuable enough in the first place!
Comment by Jerimiah 1:4--10 on September 24, 2015 at 9:46pm
People know dam well if they have something valuable they are not going to throw it away!
Comment by Jerimiah 1:4--10 on September 24, 2015 at 9:44pm
@ Pearl Green, Go ahead you dropping pure Truth, i agree with you, people always try to make excuses about things they know is not right and should not do, Thank you very much Pearl Green!!!
Comment by Pearl Green on September 24, 2015 at 8:57pm

If someone cheats the relationship is over, period.  Perhaps their never was a relationship to begin with, that's another long story...   I can sit here and write a book, but it will not happen.   Just know that whatever you thought you had isn't there and what little you may have had is irrevocably destroyed.     

Ill leave it at this and hope everyone understand:  

You can take a nail and nail it into a fence then say i'm sorry, remove the nail and paint over the hole to where it can not be seen; however, the fact remain, the hole is still there and the fence will never be the same, impossible to be the same ever again.   Just like an alleged/perceived  relationship...

Comment by lynz on September 24, 2015 at 3:54pm
@ Carl & dao..right on! That's the real point right there!!
Comment by Jerimiah 1:4--10 on September 23, 2015 at 2:43pm
By hiding and lying about many things concerning you your enemies and lying on God too!
Comment by Jerimiah 1:4--10 on September 23, 2015 at 2:42pm
CHURCHES HAVE BEEN CHEATING THE PEOPLE!
Comment by Jerimiah 1:4--10 on September 23, 2015 at 2:37pm
In the bible you can devorce for infidelity, but in the east and in the bible a man can have more than one wife. But females cannot have more than one man, and a man is not allowed to see another mans woman. America and most churches in the USA have perverted the truth in the bible, the catholic church is in court on charges of pedifilia (having sex with children) many of you get upset when Tony speak against the mental and spiritual slave ships known as churches, The bible is good! And have been lied about for ages but now you begin to see the churches are bad and corrupting and have corrupted the minds of the people with lies REVALATIONS 18TH CHAPTER TAKE NOTE OF 4TH VRS and read the whole chapter. My is a possessive noun so when God says my people He does not mean the world. James 4th chapter 4th vrs and St John 17Th chapter 9th vrs. GOD IS BLACK Daniel 7Th chapter vrs 9 Christ also is black Revalations 1st chapter 13-15vrs Hosea 4th chapter vrs 6. Be aware that they have also been printing up counterfeit bibles, learn to proof read your bible jerimiah 14th chapter and 2nd vrs states the Jews are same color as the dirt or soil, black unto the ground, same in the Torah = kidaru laodix (dark are they unto the ground) Lamentations 4Th chapter 8th vrs talking about the jews or Judah, says Their visage is darker than a coal! Your visage is (your face) and you have Acts 13th chapter and 1st vrs where the prophets and teachers in ancient times (the history) they were called niggers recorded right in Acts 13:1 use these scriptures i gave you to Proof Read your Bible! If it does not read the way im showing you when you look these scriptures. Then you have a fake bible and if its fake throw it out and get the King James dated 1611, that new revised bible look up scriptures i gave in new revised and if it does not read as i showed you then dump it and get a real bible!
Comment by ReiningSunShine on September 23, 2015 at 2:01pm
This article is written from a "dating" perspective but what about those who are married. What would you do if you find out that your spouse cheated? Does that change the second (hell maybe even 3rd, 4th or 5th) chance theory?

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