Smoothing the Way for a Stress-Free Reunion
Reuniting with your ex can be a stressful experience if you don’t devise a plan beforehand. It’s like putting Humpty Dumpty back together again – there are broken and splintered pieces and if you’re not careful, all the king’s horses and all the king’s men won’t be able to patch it together again.
And, if you don’t pay attention to the fault lines in the relationship, it may happen again.
You may have been the culprit that caused the breakup and if so, you’ve got to be prepared for some flak from your ex. Hopefully, you have a new and better understanding of your values and what you want from a relationship. You’ve got to be prepared to convince your ex that what happened before, won’t happen again.
There are three major elements found in a lasting relationship, and you’ve got to be willing to change so that these factors will figure in to a future with your ex.
If you can relate to him that you’re ready to incorporate these elements into your relationship, the reunion will suffer less stress and you’ll have more chance of reconciliation. The elements to a successful and lasting relationship are:
Communication – A key element to a permanent relationship, communication can sometimes fall by the wayside and resentment toward your partner can build up to the breaking point.
You may seek revenge without the other person ever knowing there’s a problem.
If this is what happened in your previous relationship with your ex, you’ve got to go into the reunion phase of getting your ex back with a new attitude and an unselfish attitude.
You’ve also got to understand and deal with the fact that he may need extra time to get over whatever damage has been done.
Estranged couples with children require a different method of communication altogether.
If you’re attempting to get your ex back, don’t use the children in a game of cat and mouse. Be positive and light and don’t make the children an issue. Granted, you will have to talk about the children, but don’t make them part of your plans and schemes to win back your ex.
In order to be a great communicator, you have to practice the art of listening. Listen while your ex is talking, even if you’re about to bust a gut to tell him how your feel about whatever he’s saying.
Don’t get so entranced with your own thoughts that you forget to listen to what your ex is saying. You might learn something valuable that will help you express yourself in a way that isn’t confrontational, but shows the new you.
Before the reunion “talkathon” takes place, resolve yourself to try and find empathy with your ex’s concerns and communicate with him in a calm, resolved manner rather than turning it in to a raging “I’m right – you’re wrong” match that won’t solve anything, much less put you closer to making up.
Communicate to your ex that you have the ultimate respect for him and his opinions about what went wrong in the relationship. That doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything he says – but do have an understanding manner.
If a trust has been broken or either one of you feels betrayed, that repair must happen before full reconciliation is possible.
Here are some tips to remember as you move ever closer to that all important, stress-free reunion:
· Be open to all the issues you think will come out during the reunion. Flexibility is important when communicating with your ex about a possible reconciliation. Even if you did nothing to cause the breakup, there was a reason that he was unhappy and you have to be open to changes or your reunion dreams will dissipate into thin air.
· Be strong, but not demanding. Don’t jump through hoops to meet his demands about reconciling, but understand that you may have to compromise in order to repair and make the relationship better – one in which you’ll both be content.
· Don’t appear desperate. Your calm demeanor is essential in this fragile episode if you want your ex back. Emotions should be kept in check and it should be made clear that you’re perfectly capable of continuing your life without him.
· Watch your body language. Believe it or not, if you cross your arms and lean away from your ex when he’s talking, you convey the message that you’re not open to what he’s saying. If your eyes wander around the room or you roll them in disgust, he’ll get the message that you’re just not amenable to reconciliation.
Don’t hesitate to see a counselor if you need help sorting out how you feel about reconciling. He or she may lead you through some possible dialogue and how to deal with certain subjects should they arise.
A counselor will help you figure out your own needs and desires and also how to communicate them in the best way possible to your ex.
Explosive issues may need intervention from a mediator or counselor, so you may want to consider asking your ex to meet with you and a third party who can make sure the communication progresses smoothly, with a solution in mind.
Respect – Respect is the foundation for all relationships – those with your family, friends, co-workers and love relationship. You may not agree with everything that your ex does or says, but respecting his views is crucial if you’re to make the relationship work and flourish for the long term.
The respect within your relationship should be a mutual thing. If he doesn’t respect you and your views and isn’t willing to change, run, don’t walk, to the nearest exit.
Also, run for the exit sign if you can’t muster up any respect for him. After all this time, you may want him physically or simply because you’re lonely without him, but if he’s done things in the past to lose your respect and you can’t get it back – don’t try again. Chances are you’ll never be able to gain back the respect for him that you’ve lost.
Since the relationship is broken, respect for each other (or oneself) was lost along the way. You remember when you were both madly in love and would step back and do almost anything for the other. But something happened to destroy that respect and to get it back, you’ve got to have self-respect before you can truly respect anyone else.
Self-respect is another element that helps a broken relationship renew itself and get back on track. You’ve got to honor yourself before anyone else will honor you, so it’s important that you work on yourself and have a clear view of who you are and what you will or won’t tolerate in a relationship.
Self-respect can give you the power you need when approaching your ex about reconciliation.
Your ego (and his) may have been bruised by hurtful and mindless attacks. Respect is solidly rooted in the ego, and you and/or he may feel an abundance of resentment because of it. If this has happened in the relationship you’re attempting to piece together, it may take longer and require more thought on your part.
Loyalty is also deeply imbedded in respect. If there’s been cheating or lying in the relationship, loyalty may be battered beyond repair. Loyalty may be such a part of your core values that while you may be able to forgive, you’ll never be able to forget the indiscretion.
When you step away from a person who has injured your ego or your core values, he’ll respect you more and there’s a chance he may turn around in his thinking and realize that he’s lost what he desired most in life.
Perhaps you both lost respect for each other. If so, the value of your relationship has been lost along with passion and esteem. Respect is another deal-breaker in a relationship – without it, there’s very little hope for the relationship to succeed.
Tell yourself over and over that you deserve respect and carefully assess whether or not your self-respect will increase or disappear if you resume the relationship with your ex.
Commitment -- Above all, the desire to make a commitment to the new relationship with your ex must be first and foremost in your mind. You have your viewpoint about what happened to end the relationship and he definitely has his.
There may have been a clear incident that forced it to end, but his opinion about what led up to it may differ from yours.
First of all, make a commitment to listen to your ex’s explanations or reasoning about why the breakup came about. Again, be calm, cool and collected and refrain from criticism, anger and accusations.
There’s a certain amount of sacrifice found in any good relationship. A commitment from both of you to act as a couple and not singles is crucial for the reconciliation to work. Aside from physical or mental abuse that we talked about earlier, you may have to own some of the reasons why your relationship fell apart.
You could be selfish and blame only your partner, or you could be unselfish and sacrifice your “holier than thou” attitude that can only be making your ex think twice about making up with you.
Thinking like you’re a couple and being ready to sacrifice some actions you’d love to take and instead think of the other person can ensure that the relationship will grow and flourish.
Also, make a firm commitment to support your ex if you do resume the relationship. Don’t let family members or friends degrade him after you’re back together, even though they may have heard derogatory remarks about him that came directly from your mouth.
Make it clear to them that you’re going to try and patch things up and ask them not to express their opinions – especially in front of your ex.
I’m advocating that you give 100% of yourself in this newly repaired relationship. But that won’t work unless your ex also gives 100% of himself. There will be times when you’ll only be able to give 60% -- and that’s okay as long as both of you are striving for the 100% mark.
For example, if you’ve had a hard day at work and don’t feel like dealing with dinner, the laundry or even picking up the clothes at the cleaners – it would be giving 100% if your ex either cooked dinner or took you out to dinner.
Anything that shows he supports you and understands how you feel. For that to happen, you’ve got to express your feelings and ask for what you need. Don’t wait for the other person to read your mind or “sense” what needs to be done.
A solid commitment to be supportive of one another, no matter how infinitesimal you believe the situation is, is vital to the successful continuation of your revived relationship.
Before the Reunion Takes Place
Do the groundwork to ensure that the reunion proceeds on a positive note before you get together for the first time. Approach it from a place of strength rather than one of weakness – strength motivates, but weakness takes away your power.
Coming to the reunion from a place of strength will help give you the self-confidence you need to ask for what you want and demand the results you desire.
Write down the points you’re sure will be brought up during the reunion and then practice how you’re going to resolve them or accept them. Also, think about how he’s going to respond to some of the issues.
He may be defensive at first, so it’s important you remain calm so that emotions don’t flair and either one of you says something that can’t be taken back.
Resolve not to make issues more complicated than they really are. Listen carefully for what you want to hear, and then don’t push the issue. Once you have the answer you want to hear, let it go. No use in beating a dead horse.
Ask yourself if you’re demanding too much of your ex. You know there are certain traits that must exist in your love relationship, but are you complicating the reunion agenda by demanding too much?
Know that the fairy tale relationship doesn’t exist – the one where no one ever gets bent out of shape or frustrated when things don’t go as planned. Perfection isn’t possible, so you have to work with what you have.
If you truly love the other person, you’ll find a way to make it work.
Having a clear plan about how to reunite with your ex can help to break through the barriers that are sure to happen when you’re saddled with a volatile past.
It won’t be easy, with or without a clear-cut plan, but love is a huge gamble – sometimes you win and sometimes you lose – but take comfort in the fact that you’ve thoroughly prepared for the best outcome possible, know you’ve done your best – and expect success.