A breakup offers people time to reflect on the dynamics of a relationship – what went wrong and why, as well as what went right. It’s not uncommon for ex-partners to begin to believe the relationship is salvageable and could potentially re-blossom into something beautiful for both people. No one can guarantee that rekindling a relationship with an ex will work out, but there are steps you can take to greatly increase the chances.
Here’s how you can be sure that getting back together is the right decision, along with tips on how to make it work this time around.
Let there be love
Ask yourself: Is there still love between you and your ex? If you are certain that you still love your ex and that he or she still loves you, then you have part of what it takes to reestablish a successful relationship. If you aren’t sure whether or not you still love one another, then you probably need to take more time until you are certain about what you feel and want. Remember, it has to work both ways, so talk to your partner about it, and be careful not to confuse love with the desire for companionship and comfort.
One or both parties already gave up on the relationship once, so what makes you think you can make it work this time around? This is the kind of question doubt will make you ask. Doubt can undermine your efforts. Consider the polarities: faith on one end, and doubt on the other. If you have decided to get back together with your ex, you have faith. But inevitably, there will also be doubt. The first place to start is to recognize doubt will be there. Just being aware of this will help you find the strength to let doubt inform you, but not rule you.
One of the most important factors in getting back together with your ex is a willingness to face the issues honestly – together and individually. You know, the ones that led you to breakup in the first place. Since it’s almost impossible to change the other person, a good place to start is with you. Ask yourself how you can take responsibility for your part in the breakup. Are there ways that you could act or react differently to a problem? What part of the relationship not working out was your responsibility (were you too passive, aggressive, insensitive, did you fail to listen, can you be more empathetic)? Make a list and then talk with your partner about your part in the problem. Take responsibility and chances are they will be forthcoming with their own shortcomings.
Taking the responsibility for your part in the problems is part of the healing. Reestablishing a strong foundation for the relationship comes with making a commitment to work on these problems one at a time. This will take time, and results will be slow to come, so remain consistent and persistent. Both you and your partner need to commit to making changes. If you find yourselves getting stuck, consider seeking professional assistance such as couples counseling.
When negotiating what needs to change in a relationship, do your best to avoid criticism and blame. Instead, focus on what your responsibility is and make sure your partner is on board with you.
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