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  • Steven Robinson
    Steven Robinson

    Should I Give My Ex-Partner A Second Chance?

    Dear eNotAlone: I'm in a confusing and overwhelming situation and I don't know what to do. It started a few weeks ago when my ex got back in touch with me after months of no contact. She isn't the same person I ended things with last year, she's different—in a good way. She seems more mature and has really opened up to me. We've talked so much in the last few weeks and it almost feels like we're getting closer.

    But then I remembered why we broke up in the first place and I got scared: she cheated on me. Toward the end, I gave her ultimatum to choose me or the other guy and she chose him (not surprisingly). That hurt like hell and I was convinced I could never forgive her.

    But now she's back and says she's sorry, that she made a mistake and she wants another chance. Part of me still very angry with her but another part of me actually misses her and I'm starting to think I want to give her a second chance. But then I remember how bad I felt when she left and I don't know what to do.

    Do I trust her again and give her a second chance? Do I let her into my life and risk getting hurt again? Is this worth it? I need advice on how to move forward and make the best decision for me.

    * * *

    It is understandable that you are struggling with figuring out the right thing to do when it comes to your ex coming back into your life. Taking an honest look at your broken relationship will be key: if you are considering giving her a second chance, there need to be clear boundaries and expectations set.

    When it comes to choosing to trust someone again, it is important to consider whether they are actively making an effort to build a relationship founded on mutual respect, communication, and understanding. In order to decide whether or not to take the risk and give your ex a second chance, pay attention to the signs of what kind of relationship they are currently trying to create by their actions.

    Nobody can make this decision for you. While it is natural to feel overwhelmed in a situation like this, try to focus on yourself and your feelings. If you think the risk is worth it, determine what it may cost you—time, hard work, forgiveness, among others—and build a vision of what a successful relationship could look like. Give yourself plenty of time to contemplate the decision and make sure you are comfortable with the potential outcome.

    It is also useful to begin healing from the past before taking new steps. Focus on activities that make you happy and nurture your relationships with people you trust. This process can help to build self-esteem, confidence, and courage, which you will need as you embark on a potentially new path.

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