Part 4 – Relationship Reconciliation 2

Relationship Reconciliation Stage 2

The first contact between you could come in the form of phone call. After all, if you want to get back together, you’re going have to talk to your ex sometime, and a phone call shows sincerity, whereas a text or email demonstrates something more like cowardice.

And your first conversation needs to be light-hearted and open. And also positive, with no suggestion of anything negative such as blame or attack.

You can mention a good quality of your partner which you’ve been thinking about, or some shared experience which was powerful and good for you both, and obviously you can say you want to recover the enjoyment and good feelings of past times together.

And if you want to reassure your partner about your motives, you can say something like “I’m only interested in the positive stuff between us.”

On that basis, and assuming that your partner hasn’t slammed the phone down, make a simple straightforward request to share coffee or refreshments. If your ex-partner says yes, you are up and running, so thank them, make the date, and then end the conversation.

But what if your partner says no, or begins to get angry and rant at you?

The first thing is to stay calm. Obviously. If you get rattled, irate or defensive, it’s game over. But if you can stay calm and empathize with them, you stand a much better chance of success. You could try something like “Yes, I understand why you’re angry at me, and you have every right to be. And I still think the positive stuff between us is strong enough to make it worth trying again. I’d like to see you and I hope you can feel the same way.”

This indicates you’re rational, you respect your ex and you’re not desperate, and you’re also acknowledging that you have some role in the breakup.

The essence of this, of course, is to convey the message that you have changed and things will be different second time around.

What Happens Next With Your Ex?

Even so, it’s entirely possible your ex will need some time to think it over. Your ex-boyfriend your ex-girlfriend might not be ready to reconcile just yet… so, if they don’t make it clear either way, don’t force the issue. There are strategies you can use to deal with this. For example, if you get a negative response, consider whether or not you need to just step back for a while and wait for your ex’s attitude to change – if indeed it’s going to change at all.

And the possibility it won’t change is why you need to be sure your self-esteem is rebuilt before you attempt reconciliation.

You see, it’s entirely possible you might get a negative response, no matter how clever you are and no matter how much you’ve changed – because the one thing in all of this you can’t control is your partner’s emotional attitude and personal growth. If he or she is adamant about never seeing you again, then you really will have to move on and find somebody more suited to you this time around.

Often people in this situation hang onto false hopes, even when there is actually no chance of reconciliation.

Part of the madness after a breakup can be a sense that actually you’re right and your partner is wrong, so if you persist and stick around, somehow there’s going to be a magical reconciliation which will bring your ex back. But in truth, if you get no response from them at all, or you can’t make contact no matter how hard you try, then you probably have to give up.

By the way, if they make no move to contact you, and they behave with indifference or aloofness towards you, then it’s probably “game over” anyway.

Video – talking about break up

Getting Back Together

One of the problems you’re going to have is the tendency everyone has:  to revert to the old patterns of behavior that are so strong and powerful – in other words, when your partner does something that triggers you, before you know it, you’re reacting in just the same way that you always did.

This isn’t going to help your relationship!

Unhelpful Ways To Talk To Your Ex

You know these things, because you’ve probably felt them happen a thousand times – after all, you’re human! Don’t go there!

  • Tit-for-tat – a competitive strategy where you each try and outdo each other in terms of each other’s badness or misdemeanours or wrongdoings or… Well, you get the idea.
  • Blaming rather than listening – when your partner says something important to you about the way you’re interacting with them, you don’t respond by giving them space to speak and considering what they’re saying, you just launch an attack straight back. 
  • Powerplay – where the main objective of your conversation appears to be your mutual desire to be the one who is always right, the one who knows best, or the one who “wins”.
  • You did this, I did that – another strategy where you try and blame your partner for what they did when they’re talking about the way you behaved.
  • Escalating – where a trivial discussion becomes a major argument, apparently of its own accord, without you quite knowing how it happened.
  • Dirty tricks department – where you deliberately play dirty by verbally hitting your partner in their most vulnerable areas.
  • Taking the moral high ground – pretending that you’re the innocent party, and that you’ve done no wrong.
  • Uncontrolled anger – a reaction which never helps calm things down!
  • Pointing out your partner’s failings – telling your partner what’s wrong with them is never gonna help produce a rational discussion.
  • Calling for support – enlisting other people, either physically, or in their absence by means of quoting “what they said”, to support the argument that you’re putting forward about your partner’s failings and inadequacies.
  • Quoting from the past – it may be true, but recalling things that happened years ago is not going to help establish harmony in the present.
  • Sullen and silent – just being sullen and silent is roughly the opposite of what you need to do to have an intimate relationship (which is, in case you’ve forgotten, engage in open and honest communication).
  • Blaming – “I told you that would happen if you did that, and you didn’t listen”; it’s a common line in relationships but it’s not a very helpful one.
  • Indirect attacks – another common strategy where people can’t say what they’re feeling directly, so they make unpleasant digs and putdowns towards their partner, particularly in the presence of others. You wouldn’t do that, I’m sure. 
  • Storing things up and then letting the floodgates open – this usually happens because you’re not brave enough to say something until you have a certain level of anger propelling you, at which point you lose control and say far too much, which then becomes damaging.

You can identify many more things people do in relationships which are the opposite of open and honest communication and aren’t on the above list. Good heavens, you probably know about some of them yourself!

None of these add up to reflective listening or open and honest communication.

Video – reflective listening and active listening

So going back into a relationship with someone to whom you reacted in this way in the first place has a risk. Obviously, the risk is that unless you’ve grown, you going to behave in exactly the same way you always did.

Here’s a plan to stop this happening. If you can take the time to think of an example of when you used each of these and any other strategies in relationship to put your partner down and browbeat them, and you can consciously decide that you’re not going to do that any more, you stand a much better chance of actually having open and honest communication.

You see, a lot of what happens when you meet your ex is going to be down to your intention.

What do you intend to achieve by seeing your ex? Presumably, to have a harmonious and loving relationship? If you can set that as a clear intention, and you can actually commit yourself wholeheartedly to doing whatever it takes to establish such a relationship, then your mind is going to be a lot more likely to bring it about than if you’re vague and indecisive about what you want.

Another useful technique is mindfulness, aka living in the now – in other words, you can make a decision to “step around” the past, and what its legacy may be for you, and to take the time and effort to live in the moment with your partner – right here, right now.

Also, making some clear decisions about simple things like not discussing issues and problems at your first meeting after the breakup can really change the tone of how you interact…. for the better!

What this means is that apart from an agenda to get back together and perhaps have fun and a positive experience, you need to go in to the first meeting with your ex in a “clean” frame of mind, i.e. with your intentions clear – at least yourself, if not to your ex.

Read the final part here.

Find Out How To Get Back Together – and Restore Love To Your Lives