After signing the settlement papers, a part of you may feel like you shouldn't have finalized it, so now you want ways to reconcile after a divorce.
The Chances of Getting Back Together
People get back together with their ex-spouse all the time. However, many variables determine whether a divorced couple will reconcile.
- Length of time in marriage
Married couples who have been together for many years may find they have been through too much to leave it all behind after divorce. These feelings and reminiscent thoughts are what drive divorced couples back to each other to rekindle the passion and love they lost.
- Types of relationship issues
The reasons why you decided to get a divorce has an impact on the chances of reconciliation. If a divorced couple lacked effective communication skills or lost the passion they once had, which caused the break up - reestablishment of the relationship could happen with some major work on the issues that were present during marriage. However, if the issues were devastating to either spouse such as abuse or infidelity, the chances of reconciliation are much smaller. It would take a great deal of counseling and work in the relationship to prove the adulterer or abuser is trustworthy and safe.
The children are one of the biggest reasons why some people don't get divorced and is also a factor in getting back together. Most people want to give their children a loving two-parent household, so when the realization that this dream is no longer real takes hold, parents begin to contemplate reconciliation. In addition, with the continued connection between ex-spouses because of their children, some couples find they still do have feelings for each other after the turmoil from the separation subsides.
Starting Over: Ways to Reconcile After Divorce
If the problems in your marriage are reversible, in that with work you can solve them, it's possible you can reconcile. The most important thing to remember when trying to get back together with your ex-spouse is that you have to start over. From there, consider the following ways to reconcile after divorce:
- Initiate contact as much as possible. Just as you did when you first met, talk to your ex-spouse as much as possible. Call, text or email to discuss the things that are important in his/her day. Show interest in the things that your ex-spouse is involved in. Compliment and express how much you've missed your ex-spouse. After some courting, you can then ask your ex-spouse on a first date. Treat this first date just as you would if you were going on it with someone you don't know.
- Talk about the issues in the marriage. After you've reestablished a connection with your ex-spouse, you should discuss the issues in the marriage. The best time to do this is when you start to enter into the commitment stage of your new relationship with your ex-spouse. You don't want to repeat the same patterns as you did in the marriage, or the new relationship will have the same ending as your marriage did. Be open about what happened to cause the divorce and discuss it with an open mind and heart. Sometimes this can be difficult, so counseling is a great way to get issues out into the open to work on them in the most effective way possible.
- Move slowly and with caution. It will be easy to run full speed into a relationship with your ex-spouse because it will feel like it did when you first started dating or got married. Don't let your feelings carry you away because you may crash and burn. Take the steps in your relationship slowly and pay attention to what is happening. Understand that this is a new beginning but it has history attached to it that needs consideration and resolution. Ignoring what happened in the past and only looking forward may seem like the best way to handle it, but it may end up surprising you later when you discover you still hold on to some of your old feelings.
- Learn new skills for a better relationship. As you start to work through the issues you had with your ex-spouse, learn new ways to deal with upcoming problems. If a lack of communication caused strain in the marriage, learn to be more expressive and an active listener. If compromising was an issue, pay attention to the needs and wants of your partner and remember to consider them as you decide on things together. If your partner felt unheard or under-appreciated, make a point to listen and appreciate more. Also remember not to make these changes just to get your ex-spouse interested in you; they need to be adopted permanently for the success of your new relationship.
Willingness to Reconcile
Your former spouse must be willing to reconcile with you. If your ex-spouse despises you and won't have any contact with you - there's nothing you can do but move on. Reconciliation involves the work of both people because you can't make someone love you again.