Step 4: End The Old and Start The New
Perhaps you can do all of this without the help of a therapist, perhaps not. But whether or not you’re willing to engage with the help of someone else such as a counselor might just be a good indication of whether or not you REALLY want to get over your breakup and get back with your ex.
Actions always speak louder than words, and this is just as true when you’re trying to win him back or when you’re trying to win her back as it is in any other area of life.
“Letting go of the past” means showing by what you do rather than what you say, that you value your relationship, partnership, or marriage, and that you do actually want to get it back, and you’re determined to change how you behave in relationship.
Making a clear and simple request to meet your ex for coffee or lunch, say, and then simply stating what you’ve realized about yourself to be true, how you’re attempting to change it, and what you’re determined to replace it with is a very constructive step.
It’s always an interesting step for a couple who split up to then get back together and start to talk about the past – there’ll be such a pull to revert to the old patterns of behavior, which means (probably) conflictual rather than collaborative conversation, with one or other of the partners feeling humble and humiliated or guilty, while the other tends to be self-justifying or feeling right or superior.
The extent to which you can both avoid stepping into these behaviours is probably an indication of the likelihood of getting back together in a wholesome and healthy relationship.
Step 5: Find out how to reconnect in a mature way
Taking positive action in the world is a boost to anybody’s self-confidence and self-respect. When Michael started to do all the work on the relationship which I’ve mentioned above, his demeanour changed into a much more positive presentation, and his ex-partner was delighted by it.
The fact that he was willing to confide in his ex partner suggested that he knew what he was doing, that he’d achieved a sense of purpose and direction, knew the mistakes he’d made and how they had impacted on the relationship.
The egotistical self-centeredness that characterized the old way of being in the world for Michael no longer seemed to apply, so his ex-partner was willing to consider everything that he said to her.
As for his affair, he explained that feeling alone and desperate for attention had led him to seek out intimacy in the way that he believed to be most impactful and powerful for him. Of course at the time he hadn’t any appreciation of the damage he was doing to his relationship or to his partner’s sense of who she was, because he was feeling depressed and behaving in such a narcissistic way as though he was the only one that mattered.
The openness and honesty of what he was saying clearly demonstrated his increased level of self-awareness and the fact that he was willing to work on bringing the relationship back together.
His partner or ex-partner was very impressed, and agreed that it would be acceptable for them to get together for what she termed “a trial period of three months”, to see whether or not he could sustain the improvements he’d spoken about in their ongoing relationship.
They also agreed to take therapy together as a couple, knowing that the therapist could provide a safe space for them both to speak the truth without fear or victimization of each other.
That’s a great step to take if you’re in a similar situation.
In fact, getting relationship advice from a professional is not only more likely to help you save your marriage, but it’s also likely to show you how to get back with your ex in a way that you couldn’t do if you were trying to do this on your own without support.
One vital thing, however, is to ensure that you don’t have separate therapists, because it’s been said that will probably guarantee the breakup of the relationship!
You need is to find a therapist who can work with both of you, either together or separately, and can maintain the space necessary for safe exchange of information, safe discussion, and safe exploration of self, while maintaining a firm boundary between the sessions. That means your therapist must have considerable experience in relationship counseling, and must certainly be someone you trust.
How To Choose A Therapist When You’re Getting Over A Break Up
When you’re looking for a therapist to work with you and your partner, or ex-partner, you really have to find somebody is properly trained in couples therapy, which, remarkably enough, only a small minority of licensed counsellors and therapists actually are.
So not only do you want somebody with a qualification, but you want somebody with a lot of experience in this field. You also want to make sure that they are a clinical member of the American Association For Marriage and Family Therapists or some similar organization.
This indicates they are in supervision, and that they really do have the right training. (Of course, whether or not they are actually any good for you and your ex is another matter altogether. You need to feel comfortable with them.)