You have to know when to listen to your heart and when to listen to your brain.
Say you build a bridge with someone. Whether it’s a friend, lover, family, or anything in between. The bridge is strong and sturdy, just like your relationship and trust with them. It takes a long time to build that bridge. A lot of time and effort and resources. But the bridge looks good and you think that it could weather any storm and survive any attack.
So, the first time they hurt you, the cords holding that bridge in place get cut, and the bridge falls apart. Maybe you two break up, or your friendship ends, or you get into a huge fight and can’t bear to see each other. You might think that the bridge can never be fixed. But then they come back and apologize and you forgive them because hey, everyone deserves a second chance. You’re willing to take that chance because you cared about them and you believe that they made a mistake or the way that they behaved is not who they truly are. So you rebuild that bridge, but there’s only so much you can do to fix it, and it ends up looking like one of those rickety, sketchy kind of bridges you see in a jungle in a movie. The kind where the characters in the movie walk slowly across it scared that it might snap. Your bond with them and your trust in them aren’t as strong, but it’s enough.
So life goes on and everyone is happy. You were right and they really did just make a silly mistake. They aren’t really that terrible person that you thought they were the first time the bridge was broken. It was all just a misunderstanding. But what if it wasn’t…
What if they destroy that bridge AGAIN. They decide to not just cut the cords of the bridge but blow the entire bridge up. They destroy not only the bridge itself but the rock face that the bridge was built into and the surrounding area. Now there is no possible way that the bridge can ever be rebuilt because there is no foundation to build it on. Clearly, they are not the person you thought they were because they did the same stupid thing they did the first time and you fell for it. They not only ruined the relationship that was built between you two, but they also damaged the foundation that you will use to build relationships with other people.
So the question is, do you forgive them that second time and possibly let them do damage that can never be undone, not only to your relationship with them but to all of your other ones after that? Or do you risk not giving them that second chance to protect yourself, but in turn, you might forfeit being able to rebuild your bridge with them? The hard part is, you’ll never know which choice is right until you’ve made it and the consequences unfold.