Breaking Up... Impossible To Do

If you've ever gone through a difficult breakup, you probably remember close friends and family telling you to move on... that the relationship just wasn't meant to be. Sure, they meant well, but what if they were wrong? Here, we share the story of a couple who broke up, reunited and have now been happily married for nearly 45 years.

happy couple embracing

Why did you break up in the first place?

She said: I was Jewish and my then-boyfriend was Presbyterian. My parents didn't think I should date outside of my religion. There was a fear that the religious and cultural differences would cause problems in the marriage. So when we became serious and broke the news to my parents, they wanted us to break up immediately. I didn't want to do that, but I also didn't want to disobey my parents. As a compromise, we agreed to talk to our Rabbi and abide by what he said.

He said: I agreed to this deal. I thought that a man of the cloth would be able to recognize true love and its power to overcome any obstacle. Instead, he told us that in all of his years as a spiritual leader, he had never once seen a successful "mixed" marriage and counseled us to go our separate ways. And that we did, honoring the family agreement.

Check out Ten ways to stay healthy and strong after a big breakup >>

How did you feel when apart?

She said: I felt like I was making a mistake and berated myself for agreeing to abide by the Rabbi's advice. I was heartbroken that we had to break up. Even though I did go on a few dates with Jewish men, I just couldn't turn off my love for my true love. We were so compatible, loved many of the same things in life and just had so much fun together.

He said: She moved to Los Angeles. I was finishing my college degree in journalism while working at the morning newspaper in Phoenix. But the distance between us didn't make much difference. Even before Facebook and Twitter, we were tightly connected across the miles. Absence made our hearts grow fonder.

Why you can't break up with him >>

How do you know if it's meant to be?

She said: After our separation, we still believed that we were meant to be together. We dated for a full five years before we finally got married, and we spent so much time talking about our potential future problems that when we finally married, nearly everything seemed to be a lot easier than we thought it was going to be.

He said: I felt very incomplete without her love, her intelligence, her laughter, her kisses and her admiration (Yes, she said she "worshiped" me. How can you live without that?!). In short, she returned from California, her parents threw up their arms in resignation (and eventually around both of us in love) and the marriage took place amidst much merriment in 1967, with both of our extended families dancing the hora until the wee hours. It'll be 45 years ago this September.

Read Is it OK to get back together after a breakup? >>

Any advice for the broken-hearted?

He said: I suppose you never know if you were meant to be together until you have spent several years going through all the stages of love and life. After all these years, it's hard to imagine being with anyone else. I'm not qualified to advise anyone else about getting back together with their "ex," except to say, follow your heart. And don't listen to the advice of other people!

She said: Pay close attention to the reasons why you broke up in the first place. Try to work through them rather than just ignoring them. It will make the relationship stronger in the long run, or you will find out that it just wasn't meant to be. A lot depends on each person's desire and ability to compromise when things seem to be at an impasse. It can be done!

Should you get back together with your ex? Hear what the experts have to say:

Life v. Fiction

Mary Kary Andrews -- Spring Fever

Want more about love and exes? Check out a great read in the SheKnows Book Lounge: Spring Fever by bestselling author Mary Kay Andrews, a new book about one woman who believes she’s over her ex-husband only to find that maybe, just maybe she wants him back. Head to our new SheKnows Book Lounge now.

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Comments on "Former exes share: Why we got back together"

Rupanzil December 19, 2013 | 10:44 PM

I have been in a long distant relationship and i have never met this guy we met through a social networking site and he is a cousin to my good friend, we never met because he is working in the gulf and had to complete 2 years. so the meet never happened, our friendship grew over days and months and we shared a beautiful courtship, he was sure of being in love with me and committed, from the past few months, he seems to have changed or seeing a girl without my knowledge, and started to ignore me and behave weird, i tried to figure out and make up for things , but he ignored one fine day he tells me he likes someone else and i should move on,firstly, since we never met i was unsure of being friends with him, but as days passed thought its god who brought me in his life and i should nt neglect his gift. i too started to hav feelings for him with time, its a break up now and my only hope is in prayer, what to do, all say move on,his not worth,not meant to b, i want it to work n i pray fr it.. i believe our lord will perfect everyting and i cant share myself with any one else other than him, i want it to be one love one life, and want god to be the center of both our lives and unite us. I really want it to work, though all say forget about it, i am holding on to our lord for him to restore back this relationship and make it work. what do i do?? Move on or hold on for god to work Its been four months now and i am in bitter trouble pain and tears, i did not deserve all this for i had given my best. Please help.

Melanie October 19, 2013 | 10:15 AM

Well, I just got back with my ex (for a week now, I know not that it's not that long yet) and we wanna take it slow. But now there is this feeling I have, when we're apart we barely speak and it feels like he doesn't want it. but when we are together he almost squeezes me to death because he's so happy to see me, to be able to have me back in his arms. And he tells me he loves me and i love him too, a lot! But this feeling won't go away. And I don't know what to do, how to go further.

Emma May 01, 2012 | 1:39 PM

I think this is really good advice. I like that they said they can't tell everyone what to do, but what worked with them. I think that seeking wise counsel is helpful, but on must also follow their heart! We are the ones who have to live with the repercussions, not our parents or pastor or anyone else!

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