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Are you divorced, or getting ready to be divorced? Is your Ex acting like they want to get back together again? Is he or she calling you more often than they used to? Do you feel like you were just starting to move on with your new life when suddenly you are being pulled back into your old one?
According to my emails and letters from readers, interaction with the Ex is the number one stressor in their lives.
This is an understandable situation. It's hard to handle all these emotions from the past when you are alone. Especially around the holidays when there are children involved. Other dynamics that come into play, causing an Ex to want to get back together, are when the new relationship gets old, and when the old wife (or husband) starts to get a new life.
This is my experience with reconciliation: unless BOTH parties go to counseling, the desire to get back together usually doesn’t work out. There will be a short “honeymoon” period with your Ex, followed by the returning reality of the way it used to be. The same issues that drove them apart the first time will re-surface in the marriage. So if you want to get back together, find yourself a good therapist.
Think about rebuilding from a place of strength—not neediness. Before you are ready to settle down, think about the following:
Do you have your career on track?
You always need to know that you can take care of yourself, have work that supports you financially and emotionally, and be doing something that you are proud of. Being a responsible, take-care-of-yourself person gives you confidence, makes you more attractive, and provides less of a tendency to choose someone who will lift your financial burden. Some women have bartered themselves for a gilded cage. A caged bird does not sing.
What else can you do to fulfill your dreams?
Sit still and ask yourself what you have always wanted to do. What do people come to you for? Somewhere between those two questions, you may get on track to find your calling. Then, make plans to go back to school, get some training, take some on-line courses, get a mentor, or be an understudy with someone who has a career you want to know more about.
Do you have a list of the non-negotiable requirements you want in a partner?
I’m not talking about eye color and height. I’m talking about the hidden agenda we all have of expectations of how someone has to be in order to share our life. Often, people don’t know what their requirements are until it is too late, because they had never thought about them.
Do you feel emotionally strong in your life?
Take a long look at what it would take for you to feel whole and healed. Do you need counseling, addiction intervention, a visit to the doctor, or a stronger network of friends and family? Find a support group that can give you feedback and strength.
Whatever relationship you choose to be in, make sure that it supports your growth and self esteem. You want to continue to live your life surrounded by people who love you and treat you well. And with the help of a good family therapist, who knows what can happen?