Getting Your Ex Back
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You know things weren't perfect in the relationship but your ex has hijacked your thoughts, emotions and sleep. You stalk her on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. You check your email 20 times a day hoping to see her name. The phone rings; your heart pounds; you anticipate her voice on the other end. Embarrassed? Don't worry. You're not the only one who wants an ex back.
The cycle of breaking up and getting back together verges on epidemic status. Sixty-two percent of young adults have gone back to an ex at least once, as shown in a recent survey by Dr. Dailey and her colleagues at the University of Texas. These on-again/off-again relationships (on-off relationships for short) are everywhere. Unfortunately, the success stats aren't great for on-off relationships. The survey mentioned above indicates that three-quarters of on-off couples go through the breakup and renewal cycle more than once. As the number of cycles increases, partners are more likely to report negative behaviors in the relationship such as lack of validation from their partners, ineffective arguments, aggression, and uncertainty regarding the future of the relationship. Overall, on-off partners report more problems and fewer positives than partners in noncyclical relationships.
The Good News
There is good news though. Some couples take a breakup as a wakeup call. There are many couples that have broke up, hashed out their issues, got back together and stayed happy and married. More impressively, these couples remain married. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. If you want to be one of the lucky ones to stop the cycle and make a relationship work after a breakup, you are going to need to be smart. But before going any further, ensure your ex doesn't have a restraining order against you and is willing to listen to your impressive new insights on relationships.
Addressing the Issues
Common sense says if you and your ex can agree on the problems leading to the breakup and work toward eradicating those problems, you have a fighting chance of successfully renewing your relationship. In a follow-up study to the survey mentioned earlier, Dr. Dailey and her colleagues identified frequent issues leading couples to break up and the remedies that brought about renewal. Some of these issues are summarized below. Use this truncated list not only as inspiration but also as a springboard to help you successfully pinpoint and address the weak points in the relationship you want to resurrect.
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