Getting it right when getting back together
During a night out, you bump into your ex... and you wonder why you broke up after all. The temptation to get back together is huge. Beware, only under certain circumstances. Our specialists give their advice on how to successfully get back together.
There are many different types of break-up and some want decide on a short break, others want some breathing space, storm out or go all the way with a divorce. Often, one of the two refuses to believe it’s over and holds out hope that things will get back to normal and sometimes, they are right to do so.
For some couples, a break-up is a necessary detour. “It allows them to kiss their hopes goodbye,” explains France Schott-Billman, a psychoanalyst. These “pauses” in the relationship can allow it to move to a different level. It’s almost like leaving each other so that you can get back together on a better footing.
Getting back together happily
“Giving yourselves a second chance is nothing like your first accidental meeting,” says Marie-France de Coquereaumont, a psychotherapist... As long as it’s a joint decision; a choice freely made by both partners. But how can you be sure that you’ve made the right choice?
“The main signs are feeling really happy and care-free,” replies Sarah Serievic, a psychotherapist. “Sometimes it’s not love we foster any more but pain, while a true relationship heads towards happiness. There’s no question of getting back together to go through a rough time again.
On the other hand, once you’ve said you will, you’ve still got to discuss how you’re going to do it, which isn’t always a straightforward thing to do.”
Back together for a real commitment
“I was always about to pack my bags and go back to my mother’s, with my little girl tucked under my arm,” remembers Mary, 32. Some couples build their relationship around non-commitment and that way, they can leave or end the relationship whenever they like but it’s an unstable relationship and one confrontation leads to another. “We got a divorce and it wasn’t until two years later that we wanted to try our luck again,” adds Mary.
Getting back together is possible but on the express condition that you start off on a different footing. Don’t hope to carry on living together, all the while giving yourselves a get-out clause whenever you want it. Neither should you issue each other ultimatums but begin to talk to each other instead. “Talk about your feelings; don’t chat or just vent all your frustration,” stresses Sarah Serievic. The other crucial ingredient is to become fully involved and set yourselves common goals.
Getting back together with space
The flimsiness of some relationships is due to the fact that they are too close. This is a sort of narcissistic relationship, which functions on a mirror effect where each partner sees themselves reflected in the eyes of the other. “We used to do everything together. On the surface, it suited us, apart from when I used to get insanely jealous,” jokes Natalie, 26. “The fusional bond is just an illusion as the couple live in a bubble and when one of them feels neglected, trouble starts,” explains psychoanalyst France Schott-Billman, A break-up in cases like this is actually a lifesaver.
Sometimes a couple who are too intensely close need to separate so that they can move on to being a more mature couple, as was the case with Natalie. “I stormed out and then came back ten months later.” You can start again on the right foot as long as you’ve gotten over the idea that you can’t do anything without the other person. Let him go and play football with his mates without clinging onto his shirttails. And for heaven’s sake, don’t have a fit of jealousy when he gets home.
Back together, but differently
We all know there are differences between men and women; differences that are more glaringly obvious for some couples than for others. “I like staying at home, he likes socialising. I love hot weather, he can’t stand it,” declares Gisele, 43. When opposites attract, the differences between them cause fits of giggles and can provide an opportunity to grow together… unless of course, it degenerates.
“This happens because one of them takes the upper hand and tries to impose their way of living,” explains Catherine Bensaïd, a psychoanalyst. “We used to go out all the time. I’d had enough and I left, but without fully shutting the door as I was convinced that we could make a go of it but in a different way,” adds Gisele.
For the psychoanalyst, “The relationship between two people who are similar is not necessarily stronger than that of a couple who are poles apart”. The latter avoid the trap of becoming intensely close to each other, but conversely can quite easily clash with each other. If you want to get back together, try to consider both of needs more. Because you have different personalities, you, more than other couples, must respect each other’s needs. Furthermore, take stock of your similarities as well; there are bound to be some.
Copyright © 2010 Doctissimo
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