Give Him a Second Chance? How to Know If He’s Sorry & Won’t Hurt You

He did something wrong, and you don’t know if you should forgive him. So, you’re wondering, should I give him a second chance? Here’s how to decide.

should I give him a second chance

Sometimes you break up with someone only to realize that it was definitely the wrong choice. It happens. Most of the time, you probably shouldn’t get back together because it usually won’t work out. However, there are some exceptions you can make. In circumstances like these, you can’t help but wonder, should I give him a second chance?

If you’re asking yourself that question a lot, there’s no clear yes or no answer. There’s so much that went into your breakup so there needs to be a lot that goes into the decision to give him a second chance, too.

Some relationships end for good reasons

Not all breakups are bad. Sometimes two people realize they’re not right for each other and they act accordingly by ending things.

It’s a clean breakup that’s good for both parties but those types of breakups also make you question if it was the right choice.

The answer is yes. It was a good choice. When you break up for good, logical reasons and you do so mutually, it’s better all around.

But since you did leave on good terms, it can make things even harder to accept and you might think that you made the wrong choice and shouldn’t have broken up. But just know that if it was mutual and truly something you both wanted, it was for the best. [Read: Mutual breakup – Why they happen and how to recognize the signs]

Should I give him a second chance?

On the other hand, sometimes you break up and you’re both a little distraught over it. It’s normal to be upset and doubt your breakup if it was a bad one. Once you cool down and get time apart, you start to realize how you truly feel.

But that doesn’t mean you should give your ex another chance, especially if they did something wrong. Here’s when you should and shouldn’t give him a second chance.

You should give him another chance if:

If you’re wondering if you could give him another chance, here are a few circumstances where that may be an acceptable decision.

1. It was all a misunderstanding

If the reason for your breakup was just a big misunderstanding, then yes, you can definitely give him a second chance. Just don’t let him manipulate you into thinking it was a misunderstanding when you had it right the first time.

You need to hear why he thinks it was that way and then you need to do a little research. If you can, ask other people who were present or involved with the misunderstanding and ask for your friends’ opinions. [Read: 23 dos and don’ts to remember for arguing with your partner]

2. The issue is fixable

There are a lot of times when people break up with their boyfriends because of certain things they’re doing. If it’s just an issue he has that you asked him to fix over and over again and he didn’t purely because he didn’t take you seriously, it is fixable.

However, you need to make him realize that it’s important to you. If you’re going to give him another chance, then the issue needs to be fully fixed.

And remember that you can’t make someone change or “fix” who they are. You can only ask them to fix certain behaviors. [Read: Should you text your ex? Your guide to help you decide]

3. He’s apologized and meant it

If they messed up and hurt you in any way, they need to apologize for it. If it was so bad that it caused a breakup, then it’s really important to you. Perhaps he didn’t know or maybe he didn’t think it was that big of a deal.

Once he realizes the true issue, he needs to apologize. And an eye roll and mumbled “sorry” won’t cut it. He needs to mean it. Only then should you give him a second chance. [Read: How to know if it’s a genuine apology]

4. The timing was just off

This only works if your relationship ended a long time ago. You both had different things going on and your life just didn’t work together.

If it was purely a timing issue and you’re both at better places in your lives, then go ahead and give him a second chance. See if you can make it work this time if you still have real feelings for him.

5. You truly want to get back together

This is completely up to you. Just make sure that he didn’t do any of the below things or anything that could’ve caused permanent damage. You can’t fix certain issues that cause breakups.

You need to be sure that you really want to be with him for real and it’s what you and only you want. The fact that he’s trying to get back together already shows his interest in reuniting.

Separate yourself from him and do some deep thinking about what’s best for you. If it’s him, go for it. [Read: Regret breaking up? 15 signs you should give it another chance]

You shouldn’t give him another chance if:

Let’s take a look at some scenarios when a second chance may turn out to be a very bad decision on your part!

1. Your reasons for separating aren’t fixable

Sometimes you break up with people because it just doesn’t work. If your values and your future are different than theirs, you can’t make it work. You’ll both end up realizing it down the road even if he doesn’t realize it now.

You can’t fix everything. Aside from those issues, they might do something to hurt you that they can never undo. [Read: 20 relationship problems that push a couple apart or bring them closer]

2. He keeps blaming you

If your ex is blaming you for all the problems and asking for a second chance, don’t give him one. He’s only trying to manipulate you into thinking it was your fault just so he can get back with you because he realized he messed up.

Except if he’s blaming you, he’s not sorry. And when someone isn’t sorry about the harm they caused you, they don’t deserve a second chance. [Read: 15 types of toxic relationships, what causes them and how to recognize them]

3. He had a negative impact on your self-esteem

You may really love him and he may really love you but it’s possible he was not good for you. It happens. Some people don’t know how to treat others.

And if he made you feel really bad about yourself all the time, even if he didn’t mean to, you shouldn’t give him a second chance. He can do serious damage to your confidence that can be really difficult to repair.

4. He treated you badly

Mistreatment should never be forgiven unless it was very small and they fixed the issue right away. But since you broke up, that means there was something worse going on.

If he wasn’t treating you like a partner and was being bad to you and disrespecting you, he doesn’t deserve a second chance.

He had many chances to treat you right every single day. Don’t let him mistreat you again because he will. [Read: How to forgive and forget – 24 thoughts to decide on the right step]

Should I give him a second chance if he cheated on me? 

Now, forgiving someone who cheated on you is more of a grey area. For a lot of women, this is a non-negotiable. They feel like if someone cheats on them, he doesn’t deserve a second chance.

Anyone who can disrespect you in this way doesn’t deserve you to forgive them, let alone allow them to be with you.

These women know they are worth more than that and they need to show the man that. They feel that they can’t get back with someone who did the worst thing they could have. It’s for that reason that they feel that second chances are not to be given to cheaters. They think it’s not fair to them.

On the other hand, there are some women who think that they can forgive being cheated on. For whatever reason, they want to work through it and move past it.

So, if you’re on the fence about forgiving him if he cheated on you, here are some reasons that you might want to give him a second chance. [Read: How to forgive someone who hurt you and release the negativity inside]

1. The extent of the cheating

Cheating is a very grey area these days. You don’t have to have sex with someone for it to be considered cheating.

There is emotional cheating that is just as bad but in a different way. Then there are situations where he might have just kissed another girl or did other sexual things but didn’t go all the way. The level of cheating is to be considered before you give him a second chance.

2. It was emotional cheating

Okay, emotional cheating is not good. Let’s just get that straight. But, if it didn’t progress into physical cheating, maybe you can fix things before it goes down that road.

Look at your relationship, and even your actions, and see if maybe your partner turned to someone else because you weren’t giving him the emotional depth that he needs. This isn’t an excuse for his behavior, but you do want to figure out why he did it. [Read: What is emotional cheating and 15 signs to recognize an affair ASAP]

3. It only happened one time

No one is perfect. So, there might be a situation where he accidentally slipped up once and cheated. And if it was a “minor” offense, such as texting other girls or kissing, then maybe it’s worth forgiving.

Also, if it’s not an ongoing problem and truly only happened one time, then you might want to consider giving him a second chance.

But, you have to be convinced that not only did it really only happen one time but be sure that he won’t do it again. [Read: How to forgive a cheater – 8 questions to face a betrayal]

4. He doesn’t have feelings for the person he cheated with

If it was just someone he picked up in a bar on a business trip, then he probably doesn’t have any feelings and it was purely sexual. Not that this is good, but at least there are no feelings involved.

But if he had an ongoing affair with a woman that he’s in love with, that’s not good at all. So, you need to figure out how he feels about the person he cheated on you with.

5. He is truly remorseful

Believe it or not, some cheaters don’t feel guilty at all. It could just be a flaw in their character, but for some reason, they aren’t able to feel any empathy. They don’t care that they hurt you.

But if your man is genuinely feeling guilty and remorseful, then that is something you can work with. But you have to know deep in your heart and soul that he means it.

Plus, you need to know that he learned his lesson and will never, ever do it again.

6. He takes full responsibility for his actions

Many times, a guy will blame you for his cheating ways. For example, he might say you don’t give him enough sex or that you ignore him too much.

None of those are reasons to cheat. But if he completely owns up to his bad behavior, then you might want to think about giving him a second chance if you want to. [Read: Should you forgive a cheating partner?]

7. He is changing his behavior

It’s easy to apologize with words. The words “I’m sorry” can be uttered by anyone. But a person is not truly sorry unless they change their behavior.

If he says he’s sorry, yet he’s still up to his shady behavior, then he’s not truly sorry. But if you see that he is trying to be completely transparent and open with you, then that’s a good sign. [Read: 11 things a cheater MUST do if he wants to earn your trust again]

8. He’s willing to go to therapy

Sometimes it takes a trained professional for two people to move past cheating. So, if you feel like you can’t do it by yourself, you should suggest going to couples counseling.

If he’s willing and ready to do that, then you might want to give him a second chance. But if he is resisting that, then it’s a red flag. [Read: 20 wild steps to get over a broken heart and heal like you don’t care]

Do second chances ever work out? 

This is a difficult question to answer because every person is different. There are some people who are truly regretful of what they did and will actually change and never do it again. But sadly, those people are probably rare.

The truth is, most people don’t change – at least not permanently.

They can change for a short amount of time, but they usually go back to their old habits eventually. So, you should really keep this in mind when you’re deciding whether to forgive him or not.

[Read: All the signs of an unhealthy relationship]

So finally, if you’re still wondering, should I give him a second chance, you should know that this question can be a difficult one to answer. And only you can truly make the decision. However, these things should be on your mind when you make that choice.

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Preeti Tewari Serai
Preeti Serai
Preeti, the founder of LovePanky, is an eternal optimist and believer in the beauty of love and life. With an exhaustive experience in love, relationships, and ...