You won’t trust him.
Every time she’s a little quiet, you’ll panic that something is wrong and she’s leaving again.
You’ll be extremely suspicious of anyone who texts him.
Any happy moment or memory she shares from the time you were apart will make you feel jealous and threatened.
He’ll know he needs to earn your trust back, and he’ll do everything in his power to prove to you that he’s trustworthy. All of these things will annoy the living shit out of you.
You’ll wonder if you made a mistake. Constantly.
You won’t want her to touch you.
Sex won’t feel the same.
Once the big moment of reconciliation happens, you’ll realize that you’re right back where you started: with a big ol’ mess.
You’ll realize that just starting over with someone new would have been easier.
You’ll second-guess your decision to go back. Constantly. For a lot longer than you think you will.
You’ll be on perfect behavior, hoping he won’t leave again.
You’ll overanalyze every little look in her eyes that isn’t pure happiness.
Right now, you might be feeling like reconciling with your ex is impossible. But it’s not — exes reconcile everyday. In fact, it’s far more common to reconcile with your ex than to find someone new. We are creatures of habit, and after some time has passed, we are constantly drawn back to what is familiar (even if it’s bad).
Right now, you may have this big, dramatic image in your head. The phone rings; it’s him. He’s waiting outside and he’s going to stand out there all night until you open the door. Or it’s her — you can hear the tears in her voice and she tells you she made the biggest mistake of her life and would do anything for just one more chance.
Look, that may very well happen. It happened to me. Suddenly, the world turned on its head. C called, texted, and showed up at my work. He told me he couldn’t stop thinking about me and that he regretted pushing away the one person he truly loved. Suddenly, he wanted everything I wanted — living together, marriage, kids…forever. I’d imagined hearing those words so many times, and finally, at last, after all those months of heartbreak, he was saying them.
And I. Was. Terrified.
When we got back together, it was the opposite of how I’d imagined it. Sometimes his touch made me jump. Being held by him didn’t feel as safe as it used to. When he said sweet things to me, I often couldn’t reply.
I wouldn’t let him call me his girlfriend and I definitely wouldn’t change my relationship status on Facebook. I hid from my family and friends that I was testing the water with him, afraid that they’d judge me and tell me that he was just going to leave me all over again.
But more than that, I couldn’t tell if I had made the right decision. I second-guessed myself constantly! When he was finally saying all the things I wanted to hear, and his eyes and my heart both told me he was totally sincere, I…absolutely and totally freaked out.
I’d never thought about what would happen AFTER we got back together. I couldn’t foresee the bickering over the same things we’d always bickered about. But that’s what happens!
You know when you’re reading a book and put it down for a few months? You know what happens when you pick it back up? YOU’RE IN THE EXACT SAME SPOT!
So C and I had to learn to get through the things we’d always fought about. The same problems were there, and it took time for us to approach them in a new way. In the end, it took six months of marital counseling and lots and lots of long talks at night (often, with tears) for us to move past where we’d always gotten stuck before.
Breakups don’t happen for no reason at all. And if your ex comes back, that reason that split you apart will be staring you right in the face. Time does heal all wounds, but it does not solve all conflicts. Getting back together was NOT the answer to all of my problems! And it won’t be the answer to yours, either.
So what do I recommend that you do?
Let go of the idea that you can ONLY be happy if your ex comes back. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again — you can be happy with someone else, you can be happy with your ex, and you can be VERY happy alone.
Don’t mandate that one person out of billions can be the sole manifestation of your deepest desires. Decide INSTEAD that you trust life to bring you the best possible outcome for your deepest happiness.
Instead of “I need her back to be happy,” try saying, “I trust that the right partner is looking for me, the same way I am looking for her.”
Instead of, “I can’t imagine myself happy with anyone but him,” try saying, “I don’t understand why this happened right now, but I know that it will make sense soon.”
I get that you may not like hearing that. But you shouldn’t be reading this blog solely because I got my ex back and you want to do exactly the same. (I can hear most of you readers clicking the “x” on your browser to close the tab right now, haha.)
I want you to read this blog because I was devastated by heartbreak and found love again. It doesn’t matter where the love came from; it doesn’t matter that it was my ex.
Life is about being broken apart, sealing yourself shut, and having the courage to re-open and claim your joy. No matter how much it hurts, and how many times you are devastated.
Joy is always on the other side of loss, if you’ll just have the gumption to dig your heels in.
That is the hope — no, that is the truth — that I want to give you.
It’s going to work out.