Getting back with an ex isn’t always a bad thing. It also isn’t always easy. It’s those relationships that ended with anger, resentment, seriously hurt feelings, lying, cheating that take a serious amount of effort to reinstate… if they’re worth it.
t But when attempting to reunite, do not just mash yourselves back together like a hamburger patty that you’re determined to mold into a filet mignon. I’ve done it. And it doesn’t work. Learn from my mistakes. Don’t repeat them.
t I have been on both sides of the breakup equation.
I lost trust
t I was with someone who I believed was cheating on me. After I got over my anger, I still felt a lot of love for him, so we tried to make it work again. But we didn’t address the issue: the flirting and possible cheating. We just sort of brushed it under the carpet. But I never trusted him again, which ended up corroding the relationship to the point of destruction.
I created distrust
t I have also been in a relationship in which I was the one who broke the trust. I didn’t break it by cheating, I broke it by leaving prematurely because I wasn’t getting what I wanted out of it. Even though I ended it, I still loved him and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t take my mind off of him. We ran into each other and the chemistry was as potent as ever. We couldn’t stay away from each other and ended up getting back together. I expected him to drop the hurt and move forward. But he couldn’t, and instead we took several steps back. His slow start frustrated me. So I left again. And he took me back. And I left again. And each time I was sitting there asking him:
- We love each other, why can’t you move forward faster?
- Why can’t you be vulnerable with me again and be that amazing guy that you were when we very first started dating?
- You wanted me back, you got me, now grab me!
- We know each other, why can’t you move forward to the next level? What’s the hold up?
t Yeah… he knew me. He knew me as a leaver. Someone who left suddenly and repeatedly. How can he just pick up, rev those engines again and run with me full force? Sure, sometimes that works. Sometimes couples get back together and suddenly the question is popped and they do their aisle walk; look at Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel. But that’s not common and it’s also not smart. You build a relationship atop a foundation of trust and dedication. Leaving proves the opposite. What I was too blind to realize was that each time I left, I was breaking us down even more. I turned our trust into tartar, attempting to mash it back together each time. Yet I never addressed or attempted to fix the problem.
Here are 10 mistakes I made that you shouldn’t
t1. I didn’t acknowledge or attempt to first fix the root of problem, the distrust. The root causes other responses, like his lack of emotional availability, coldness, a disinterest in what made me happy and the little niceties that help maintain a relationship. My action of leaving created an environment of distrust, which triggered him to not treat me like a girlfriend, be very tough on me and put little thought into us and instead focus his time, energy and attention on everything but.
t2. I created an environment of distrust. He never knew if I was going to leave. So he was unwilling to emotionally commit.
t3. I demanded that he get over it and that we move forward in the relationship. Demanding never works in a relationship. It just causes fighting or shutting down.
t4. I didn’t acknowledge what I was doing wrong. Somehow I was completely oblivious to the errors in my ways. He tried to explain them, but I couldn’t stop bitching for long enough to stop talking and just listen for a second.
t5. I didn’t acknowledge that his coldness and the walls he built up around himself were to defend himself from the pain I caused him.
t6. I left every time I got frustrated, further exacerbating the problem.
t7. I was selfish. I never asked him how I could help him heal. I was so focused on what I needed him to do, that I never asked him what I could do to be better.
t8. I was not empathetic. I didn’t put myself in his shoes so that I would know how I would feel if he repeatedly left me. Would I be able to trust him, open up to him, give of myself to him?
t9. I got caught up in the blame game, but couldn’t accept my wrongdoings.
t10. I was so focused on the little things (flowers, sweet nothings, date nights, sleepovers), and the big thing (fears of my fertility…), but regardless, my things, that I couldn’t see that it was my fault in the first place that he built up the wall that was erected between us.
t In the end… and it did finally end… we were broken, not bent. But when it comes down to it, I did the breaking. I broke my own heart, and his too.
t I learned. Finally. Too little too late. But at least I was able to take these lessons and be better, kinder, and less selfish in my next relationship.
t Damage from a breakup doesn’t just disappear because you decided to reappear. First fix the distrust you caused by leaving. Then enjoy the make-up sex.
t If you want to get back with your ex, you might want to contact a dating coach to help you through the delicate dance back to trust and love. That’s what I do. And I can help you.