I have this gigantic character flaw. It has made my life living hell when it comes to relationships.
What is this character flaw???? I am too forgiving and will give people chances beyond what the reasonable person will give. If someone messes up and doesn’t do something that a reasonable person will do… I provide an excuse. I didn’t get a Valentine’s gift? They were too busy. They showed up late to something important? Thats a latino thing. And the list goes on and on. I have forgiven people that I care for a million times. I expect that I will continue to do so.
But the question that continues to plague me is, "How many chances is enough chances?" I always want to be fair to people and give them an opportunity to redeem themselves. People make mistakes. I do not want to write off a person just because of a couple of mistakes. Are those chances not something I would want? I make a lot of mistakes. I want my friends and loved ones to forgive me for my mistakes. But how do I know that I have given enough chances and my forgiveness is simply being taken advantage of?
I am in that situation today. At least twice that I can remember, I have given him another chance to try to control his temper and his mouth. After each of those times, he has still managed to lose his temper over little things and mouthed off saying hurtful things. Both times, he has promised that he will try to improve. If anything, things have gone downhill. Since Monday, I have been called selfish twice and stupid once. Two of those happened just yesterday. At least two of those three times, it was totally uncalled for. I said or did nothing wrong. He simply got upset because he didn’t like what I did/said. Perhaps the third time had some merit but the words were still uncalled for. This is not the way I act when I am upset. I give the person a chance (yeah, I know – my gigantic character flaw) to tell me their side of the story before flying off the handle. Ok… occasionally, when something is big, I simply just fly off the handle. But that is rare indeed.
We are supposed to be working on our third chance. He has promised me again that he wants to improve and he will improve. He wants me to trust him – for the third time – that everything will turn out. He tells me he will change but he has told me multiple times when he has been upset at me that he has to accept how I am because people don’t change. So how is he going to change when I supposedly can’t? Maybe he is a better person and more capable of change? But my heart is sad. I don’t think it believes him. Maybe my heart already knows that it is simply another chance which will be followed by another…. and another… and another…
A second character flaw is that I am persistent. I don’t like to give up. Put this together with wanting to be fair and you can see how I have this potential to end up for a long time in relationships (friends, lovers, husbands) that aren’t particularly good for me. I want to keep trying to resolve the problems and I keep giving these people another chance to redeem themselves. A vicious circle at times.
How do you know that it is time to get out of this circle? When is enough chances enough? How do you know that you have tried hard enough and it is time to quit trying and tell the person that the relationship is over? I want to be able to say I tried when I look back. I tried my hardest and it just didn’t work out. I don’t want to look back at any relationship and say… "Hmm… maybe I should have tried harder" Maybe it would have worked out if I had of just done….. I don’t know what… but something more