Second Chances

peacefulDo you let your friends or family’s opinion of someone affect whether you’re friends with them?  What if you had a falling out with someone and you are willing to give a second chance to them, but your friends and family discourage you from it? I suppose it would depend on what that falling out would entail. Say it was over a man, a man she choose but you didn’t like. And in the end it’s you that chooses to end the friendship. That’s exactly what happened to me.

I’d say about 3 1/2 years ago I became friends with my old neighbor. She was going through a horrible divorce and really needed a support system. She had been physically and emotionally abused by her husband. They lived right behind us and we would often hear them fighting. She never talked to me and would just put her head down when I waved. He did a real number on her. Maybe he hit her one too many times because  she did finally leave. She turned to the one thing she shouldn’t have…the bar. Fortunately  Jason happened to be there that night and recognized her, she was a mess. Jason came home that night and told me what had happened. I immediately felt for her. Over the next year we all became very close. She even dated my brother for a brief period. That didn’t work out so well. She met a another guy, him and I didn’t get off on the right foot. I knew everything that she’d been through and I was damned if I was going to let some man screw her over again. This guy was egotistical, selfish, sarcastic and just plain rude! I tried and tried to get along with him. Jason tried too. We’d talked to her about it and she’d say, “he doesn’t let anyone but me see the real him.”  I took that as BS.

He proposed to her on Christmas, she accepted. Again I tried to sweep my feelings under the rug. They just wouldn’t stay there! We were slowly drifting apart and I felt like I had lost her in a sense. I never expected her to ask me to be her Maid of Honor! I didn’t know what to say, so I said YES! I don’t know why it came out. I should have told her right then and there…she shouldn’t be marrying him, she hadn’t been divorced very long and she was dating my brother just 3 or 4 months before! I didn’t think she was making a wise decision at this time in her life.

Months went on without any real word on when the wedding would be. I honestly figured it wouldn’t last and the wedding would never happen. I figured wrong! The wedding was to be in September. Mid spring to early summer is when she started talking about the wedding and asking me about dresses. Yup, I went out dress shopping and even bought one! Still in the back of my mind thinking it wouldn’t happen.

A few incidents happened between all 4 of us. Things that Jason and I weren’t willing to let happen again. I won’t bore you with those details. Jason and I decided that we weren’t going to be apart of it anymore. That was the end of our friendship. I was sad, her and I always said we’d never let a man come between us and that’s exactly what had happened.

They just celebrated their 1 year wedding anniversary in September. I ran into her other day, she told me she thought about me often and she  was sorry. She said she was very happy and “he” been a positive role model for her children. He had changed and wasn’t the a-hole I’d gotten into so many arguments with anymore. Me, of all people know much people can change if they are willing. I am willing to listen to what he has to say, I will accept his apology if I see it worth accepting. I do miss her. Not the person she became but the person I knew she really was. She went from a scared, emotionally torn women to a outgoing fun person, we felt he took that from her. She’s seems to have gotten it back. I’m willing to give it another shot. Jason is also willing, very cautious about him understandably. I think we have all grown and healed with time. I know certain friends and family won’t see this situation as we do, some aren’t as willing to give out second chances. I don’t know what I will say to them when that times comes. I really shouldn’t have to explain myself but I know I will feel the need to. Life is too short to not live your life the way you want it.

How easily do you give second chances and do others opinions matter to you in the end?

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13 Responses to Second Chances

  1. Joy says:

    Nikki, I wouldn’t ever let anyone tell me who I could or couldn’t be friends with. That is up to each one of us to decide for ourselves. If you want this, go for it. You are a grown woman and don’t have to answer to anyone.

    About second chances. That’s also up to you. Those of you that know me in real life, know that I can get pushed pretty far. IF “that” person or “situation” goes to far and I do blow, and when I blow, it could take me years to “get over.” Once someone crosses that line with me, I take a LONG time to get over it. I can get over things and make do but I never forget and it’s like a pebble in your shoe, it doesn’t bug you much at first but after the damn is broken, it hurst right away. Once hurt bad, it’s hard to not think of it.

    But the bottom line is you should do what you feel is the right thing to do.

  2. SKL says:

    I tend to be pretty forgiving. Truthfully, I can’t think of anyone (other than an ex) whom I’ve actively walked away from. If I’ve gotten really fed up with someone, I usually just gradually stop bothering with them and it’s usually mutual. Then again, I’ve never been in quite the situation you describe.

  3. Hey Nikki: I used to be the queen of second, third, fiftieth chances, to my detriment, I must say. It made me, or I made myself, a doormat in the process. I wholeheartedly believe in giving others a second chance, knowing that we are only human and we fall, and fail, and try again, and that it is NEVER, NEVER too late for a person to change, to grow, to evolve. That being said, I am wiser about my second chances now, and I use my intuition about the level of sincerity of the person asking for the second chance. I am trusting myself more, and not just giving them to do the “right” thing.

    This sounds worthy of a second chance, and could be quite nice for you two to have these people back in your life. I think if you both believe it is the right thing, then so be it.

    Good luck with it…..

  4. SanityFound says:

    All depends on the person, I believe in second chances but fourths if that makes sense. I seem to only be able to get hurt by someone 3 times then my heart grows cold as ice to them and thawing more difficult with each day that passes.

    I admire you both for being willing to see how it goes the second time round, it means she really did mean a lot to you in your heart and that makes me smile big.

    Life is too short

  5. nikki says:

    Thank you so much. The thing is when we were friends a lot of “drama” came with it. That was our fault though, we spent a lot of time at the bar on the weekends and that only led to trouble. I don’t drink anymore and neither does Jason (usually) and they don’t go out to the bars anymore either. Our problems were never really with her directly, it was all her now husband. Jason has changed for the good through out the years and so have I. Maybe he has too. I believe this is worthy of a second chance and I’m actually pretty excited about it. I’m not excited to tell my brother though and a couple other friends who like to have strong opinions and let them be heard. But for those friends all I have to say I guess is…we’ve given THEM more than a few chances and they are still our friends, so what’s the problem??!!
    Vanessa~ I too used to be a door mat. It’s not fun having people walk all over you! I flat out just don’t let it happen anymore. One day I just said enough is enough and I’m not taking anyone’s crap anymore. Since then though I’ve had to have my “new attitude” put in check a few times. I’ll find the happy medium. All a work in progress for this student! It’s a good thing I have a patient teacher… 😉
    Sanity~ thanks, she does mean a lot to me. I have a hard time opening up to people and truly being myself and I could with her. I’m hoping it wasn’t just the beer though…jk well I don’t know we’ll see!

  6. Laura (LS) says:

    Writing this without looking at other responses, so please forgive if i duplicate someone else….

    I have been told that I give WAY too many chances to people. Of course, I’ve also been told that, if I visited Hell, I would find something good to say about it… “Wow, you can get a REALLY NICE TAN down here! Cool!!”

    Anyway, I have been, in some ways, on both sides of your dilemma. I am the woman that everyone looks at and says, “you’re STILL with him??? After he did/said THAT???” I’ve also been in the position to say, “no, that’s not the way he should be treating you… say the word and I’m there with my pickup to move you out”

    The best advice I can give you is the advice that I give myself, daily… even though, for YEARS, I ignored it, sometimes to disastrous results: listen to your gut. Simple, right? But we’ve been taught from day one that your gut is wrong, that you should “think it through”. But that’s wrong. Your gut is right. There’s something in you that knows the right thing to do, without your brain getting in the way. Once you know exactly what your gut says, then you can discuss with others, but know yourself first.

  7. Just a Mom says:

    I am pretty much like Joy. I overlook a lot of things for a long time, but once I blow watch out. After that you get placed on my “Do Not Call” list! I am great at holding grudges.

  8. Sue says:

    It’s really up to you. Everyone has their reasons for giving up on a friendship and everyone has their reasons for giving people more than one chance. It’s too personal of a decision and you really don’t have to answer to anyone but yourself.

  9. Mrs. C says:

    As you said, I think it depends on the situation. Some things, I am more willing to overlook, move on, and give the person a second chance. Others things…..not so much.

  10. mssc54 says:

    Okay, now anyone who hasn’t been given a second chance raise your hand. Anyone? Anyone at all?

    However, if it were me I would forgive but “verify”.

    For instance if the former offender fesses up to his inappropriate behavior then acknowledge that you recognise how much courage it takes for someone to, not only recognise, they need to change but to actually act on that knowledge is… wow!

    On the other hand if the former offender just tries to act like nothing ever happened then he is just wanting a “do over”. Unless he admits to your face what his inappropriate behavior was and apologizes for it…. Well, it’s like building a house without a foundation. It will work for just a little bit but this time when it crashes down the pain will eclipse the previous “break-up”. ESPECIALLY for the children!

  11. nikki says:

    I’m not sure anyone could raise their hand to that. I whole heartedly agree with you mssc. I’m going into this with my eyes wide open. I won’t subject myself to that behavior and I know Jason won’t. If he is truly sorry for his actions and his words then I will forgive.

  12. Doraz says:

    This was a interesting read. I do not judge others based on what other people tell me. It is not my place to judge!

  13. Morocco says:

    I would just say proceed with caution because actions speak louder than words.

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