Joe hasn’t been able to sleep and he’s lost his appetite since he and his long-term girlfriend, Cheri, broke up– and it’s been over a month since she moved out.
The biggest goal for Joe right now is to find a way to convince Cheri to give him a second chance. He regrets the mistakes that he made and believes that if only Cheri would spend more time with him, the two of them could work out their problems and be happy together again.
Unfortunately, Cheri won’t respond to Joe’s phone calls or e-mails. He’s considering going to her office or new apartment to plead his case.
After a break up or a divorce, you might be in a similar place as Joe. It may seem to you that everything will not be fine in your life unless you find a way to convince your ex to get back together and re-connect with you.
You may be having a difficult time accepting the fact that your partner has moved out, filed for divorce, stopping calling you or whatever has happened to indicate that he or she has left the relationship.
It could also be that your ex seems to be sending you mixed messages. Perhaps he or she does return your calls or e-mails. Maybe your ex even continues to hang out with you socially and has possibly been sexually intimate with you– even after the break up.
You may be confused about whether your ex truly meant it when he or she said “Our relationship is over.”
Regardless of whether your ex seems to be sending you mixed messages or a clear refusal, your desire to get back together again may persist. Instead of focusing your energy on healing yourself after the break up or divorce, you might spend most of your time coming up with ways to “win back” your ex.
If so, we encourage you to ask yourself this question…
“Even though I want to get back together with my ex, SHOULD we get back together again?”
Let’s talk for a minute about “shoulds.”
As you take a step back to consider the important question that we suggested above, you might get hung on the word “should.”
After all, there are a lot of “shoulds” in this world and many of them only bring us pressure, guilt and stress.
When we urge you to think about whether or not you and your ex should get back together again, we’re NOT talking about morals, values or even right and wrong. These differ for everyone.
We do want you to think about whether you two should get back together again given what you know about yourself, your ex and your history together.
As difficult as it might be for you to fathom your life without your ex as your partner, it is a good idea to be as objective as you possibly can and ask yourself whether it is wise or in either of your best interests to reunite.
Take an observer’s perspective.
It may seem nearly impossible to do this, but give it a try anyway…
Sit down with a piece of paper and put yourself in the point of view of an observer who is looking at your past relationship.
What would this person see?
Would the observer see a couple who is going through a rough time but still have a lot of love and respect connecting them? Would the observer see a couple who love each other but can’t find a resolution to core issues?
What would this person observe about you and your partner as individuals?
Are you each willing to change your destructive and disconnecting habits or is only one of you willing to do this? Has one of you already begun to move on in a different direction? Are you both truly interested in getting back together again?
Some of these questions may be difficult to truly know the answer to. Use these examples as guides and create questions of your own that will help you to shift and expand your perspective.
This exercise can assist you in honing in on what’s accurate and true (rather than only on what you’d like to be true). It can also help you to broaden your view of your situation.
Be forward-focused no matter what you decide.
Regardless of whether you choose to try and “win back” your ex or if you decide that it is in your best interest to let this relationship go, it’s vital that you remain forward-focused.
Stop re-living memories of the past— whether they are pleasant or unhappy.
Instead, begin to acknowledge how you are feeling and allow yourself to process those emotions. Create a plan for your future. This can be a plan that provides space for you and your ex possibly reuniting, if that’s what develops and even if it doesn’t.
Ultimately, we encourage you to stay tuned in to the next best step that will truly help you to heal and eventually live a more fulfilled and joyful life.