In my post on breakups, I talked about how sad it is that at the end of a relationship, someone who you once loved and chose to spend the rest of your life with could become someone who you hate and don’t recognize anymore. How can both of those things be true? Was this other person always there, lurking beneath the surface of the person you thought you knew? It’s hard to reconcile.
But then sometimes those two people who hated each other are able to put the past behind them and try again. I am all about forgiveness, but if someone hurt me that badly, I’m not sure I would be able to give him a second chance.
First of all, there’s the issue of trust. As I mentioned in a previous post, I can be too trusting. However, once I have been wronged, I never forget it. And every time I remember what they did, I get upset all over again. Starting over would require leaving all of those past grievances behind, and I’m not sure my memory and my obsessive nature would allow me to do so.
Then there’s the issue of whether I could trust my judgment. If I thought I knew the person the first time and I was wrong, how would I know if I were reading the person accurately now? Ordinarily I’m pretty good at reading people. But sometimes I can be in denial–especially if knowing the truth would mean letting go of the relationship. Could I trust that I would go into it this time with my eyes wide open?
Granted, sometimes it’s not about an error in judgment. Some people are really good at hiding. But that’s scary, too. If he fooled me before, would I know if he were hiding now?
And then there would be the opinions of other people. Which I know you’re not supposed to care about, but I do. Would they think I’m foolish for giving him another chance? Even if they didn’t tell me that they disapproved, I would know. I would feel it. And it would be hard for me to share anything about the relationship with them. I would feel ashamed, even if I were trying not to care about their opinion.
Despite these reservations, If I had to make a prediction about what I would do, my guess is that I would give it a shot, because I’m an optimist. That’s what allows me to cheer for a losing team and to believe I can come back in a match when I’m down 0-6, 0-5. I believe in miraculous comebacks.
Sometimes people are afraid to try again because they’re afraid to get hurt again. That doesn’t usually stop me. If they hurt me once before, it’s not like it would be some big shock if it happened again. And if I survived it the first time, I could survive it again. And then I would know for sure that it can’t work.
Plus, no one can predict the future. No one knows for sure what will happen. Love requires a leap of faith. Yes, you may fall, but without taking that leap, you never get anywhere.