Getting back together after a break up is totally not as easy as it sounds. Apart from the fear of having what broke you apart in the first place happening again, there’s also the fear of experiencing pain and sadness the second time around.
Just take Karen as an example.
Karen felt hopeful when she and her ex-boyfriend initially got back together. After a stormy breakup and a painful month apart, they gradually began to communicate with one another. It was healing for her to be able to finally get all that was unsaid out into the open.
For the first time in a very long while, Karen felt listened to. It also seemed that her boyfriend was open, honest, and that they were figuring things out.
Now that they’ve settled as a couple again, her hopes and positive attitude about the future of her relationship are fading. While a few of the agreements that Karen and her boyfriend made to bolster trust and healthy communication have continued, many of their old and disconnecting habits have resurfaced.
It’s starting to feel like “business as usual” and Karen doesn’t like that at all. She’s beginning to wonder if getting back together was a big mistake.
Reuniting with your ex can be a joyous time, but it can also bring with it doubts, fears, and more of the same dynamics that tore you apart in the past.
The Extra Baggage
We all bring emotional baggage to our relationships.
When your emotional baggage is from your past relationship with your current partner, things can get confusing. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself reacting to your partner in a more intense way because of something that happened long ago and before you broke up.
Aside from these expectations and the baggage from the past, there is a good possibility that you and your partner will fall into habitual patterns. Humans tend to do what we’re most accustomed to doing– this happens in relationships, too.
When we get triggered, tense or tired, we revert back to those habits that we know so well- even those that have not been in our (or our relationship’s) best interests in the past.
Before you consider a reunion, here are the best tips on how to successfully get back together after a break-up.
Identify what makes you two apart
At first glance, it might seem obvious to you that your partner’s dishonesty, inability to communicate, blocks to intimacy, flirting, and jealousy are what’s ripping you two apart again.
It’s best if you take a deeper and broader look. It’s probably your partner’s or your habits that are causing the problem. However, there’s most likely a lot more going on, too.
Set an intention to be an observer and not a critic. Then, pay closer attention to how you and your partner interact on a day-to-day basis and when stressful or triggering situations arise.
Notice what happens to communication, intimacy, trust, and more. Think about what happens when your partner appears to have closed down to you.
For the moment, try to understand the dynamics between the two of you. Your goal is to figure out what leads you to move further away from one another so that you can make some changes.
Own your share of the disconnecting habits
Once you have a clearer and broader picture of what’s potentially taking you and your partner away from one another, take responsibility.
Let’s be clear here.
We’re NOT encouraging you to take the blame or to let your partner “off the hook.” This won’t help your relationship. What you have the most control over is what YOU think, say, and do. That’s why this is such a powerful place for insight and action.
Be the observer for a little while longer and notice how you’re contributing to the problems in your relationship. You may not be the one starting the arguments but you’re probably making things more heated.
Stepping back and watching your own behaviors can be transformational to you and to your relationship.
Stay focused on what you DO want
This is a time to clear up your past and let it go. Holding onto resentments and allowing unresolved conflicts to build is only going to hurt your relationship in the long run. Do what you need to do to be more present and aware of your relationship.
Be honest with yourself. If it has become apparent that staying together is unwise and that it would be better for you and your partner to end your relationship and remain apart, honor that.
But if you and your mate are truly willing to do what it takes to create the kind of relationship you both want and you see signs that changes are happening, here’s what we urge you to do…
Make sure you are orienting yourselves toward what you DO want.
Instead of hiding the truth, make a genuine promise to speak honestly and openly and do it.
Rather than telling one another that you will stop yelling and arguing, set up some “ground rules” that are reasonable for how you WILL communicate respectfully as you resolve conflicts. Then, put them into practice.
This kind of a shift in perspective can be subtle, but the effects make a big difference.
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