Getting Ex Back – A True Story
Saving a Marriage
When you are at the point of breaking up, nothing, no career, house or wealth can compensate for restoring a loving relationship. A broken relationship can be restored.
If what you had is worth working for, then it is better to build on that than to try again with someone new. This is the true story of close friends of mine, John and Anne. They have been there, and this is their testimony that you too can save your marriage.
Unhealthy relationships can be healed. Only with a truly toxic relationship should you drop him and move on.
Divorce is not an option; with that one exception: an abusive relationship.
A divorce is never clean cut. The hurt remains there deep in your soul. Divorce costs a fortune. It lasts for life. There can be healing, one gets on with life, but the scar remains. the only people who benefit from a divorce are the lawyers.
The only way to truly heal that wound is to save your marriage. It can be even better the second time round.
Changing a marital problem to a marriage challenge is the key to a relationship rescue.
The Broken Marriage
John and Anne have been there. They had had careers. They were comfortably off, and lost everything. Anne had lost the man she loved and wanted to share her life with. The loss was replaced by a toxic cocktail of feelings: bitterness, abandonment, emptiness, anger and disappointment. John had lost everything that was really dear to him: his wife, his children, his career, and their home.
When it looked darkest, the last nail in the coffin of their marriage, was when a family psychologist told them that there was no hope for their relationship. The psychologist said they would destroy each other. Anne held on to that “professional’s expert advice.”
John was confused. The version of their life together that Anne told the psychologist did not match his experience of their life together. He visited a lawyer, who said,”You don’t need to pay for this advice, you’ll be back.”
He thought back to their church wedding, when they made an oath before God, to stay together, “For better or for worse.” The priest, after the ceremony, said, “Enjoy you marriage while it lasts. Marriages don’t last long these days.” That seemed to John like a curse that had come back to haunt them.
Anne had friends who, while speaking alone to John, seemed sympathetic to his plight But alone with Anne were egging her on and encouraging her to leave John. Within a year, most of those “friends” had left their partners. In hindsight, their encouraging Anne to break up was really them building up their own courage to do the same.
John couldn’t cope and moved to another town. He wanted custody of the children, because Anne had a new boyfriend who seemed like a bad individual. John had had contact with people who knew the boyfriend. He was a charmer who later in a relationship morphed into an abusive controlling narcissist. John didn’t want his children in the hands of that individual.
We started fresh with only the luggage we could take on the aeroplane. It is possible to recover a relationship and start life over. My wife and I were by then in our mid-forties, with our three children. All we had was each other; and the desire to go forward together, as we
It has turned out for the better.
Since that psychologist got it so wrong I sometimes wonder if Anne should not have got “professional expert advice,” and how many other couples’ relationships this and other similar psychologists have destroyed through lack of insight.
The only thing John had left was his father daughter relationships. The thought of getting his daughters away from that man kept him going, and kept him alive. he started planning a strategy to get the custody of their children.
He did not want to separate his children from their mother, but he wanted to protect his children from her new boyfriend, who began showing signs of an abusive personality.
The only things of value in our lives are our relationships. When that is lost, then nothing else matters.
Saving the marriage is the only viable option.
If you were once both in love with each other, why can’t your love still grow and mature? It worked for John and Anne. It can work for you.
You are not alone, others have been along this road before you. So use their help.
How Their relationship broke up
John arrived back at the farmstead one afternoon to find nobody home. Some hours later Anne phoned to tell him that it was over. She had found another man, and was with him, together with their children.
A relationship breakup is never easy. This one though, was one of the more difficult to handle. There was nothing that had given John an inkling that something was cracking. It was literally a bolt out of the blue that struck him there.
They had problems and arguments, but Ihesaw nothing so drastic that she would leave him.
Reality dissolved. Everything that had seemed so solid in his life was like the reflections on a floating soap bubble. And the bubble popped. With it went his sense of reality.
He could not continue working. Nothing made sense. He found a buyer for their cattle within a few days. As soon as he didn’t have all those mouths to feed, he moved into town and for the next few months devoted myself 100% to wooing his wife back.
If you have been trying to get your husband or wife back, and found
him/her stonewalling you, you will understand the feeling of total
Finally John contacted the family psychologist, mentioned earlier. She killed all hope. He packed his things in his truck and headed away. As far away as he could. His plan was to get custody of their children, and if he never saw Anne again, that would be too soon.
Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass,
it’s about learning how to dance in the rain
An actual honeymoon usually lasts two weeks. But, it seems, this is not how married couple experience a honeymoon. A survey of 5,000 couples carried out by a polling company found that married couples have a honeymoon period, lasting on average two years, six months and 25 days.
That is the time before each partner starts to take the other for granted.
It often takes a few more years before there is a relationship breakup. The average length of a marriage is 7 years and 10 months, in the United States. It varies from culture to culture.
Anne’s new honeymoon did not last that long. The moment John was gone, the new man showed his true personality. Recognising an abuser is difficult if one has not experienced one before. The charmer turned nasty.
John returned as quickly as he could to take the children out of harm’s way, and there he found his wife Anne wanting to come back.
The hurt and damage from those months, when he was trying to woo her back and she was trying to distance herself from him through rejection, had sunk deep in his heart. He didn’t trust her and was in denial that he still felt anything for her.
I John could not leave Anne with that creep. She was after all the mother of his children. She was also the person he had shared so many years with.
To leave an abuser is very difficult. They are skillful at manipulating using fear, anxiety and breaking down self-confidence. It is nearly always necessary to have social support. John was aware of that and was prepared to help Anne out of that relationship, but not to get back together again.
Unless one has experienced being with a person with a personality disorder it is a surreal experience to get into the abuser’s controlling mind. They are able to get a psychological hold on their victim (which is what their partner invariably is) that is unreal to imagine for someone who has not been there.
An important point to remember if your partner has cheated on you or left you and that person is an abusive individual, don’t put all the blame on your partner. Once your partner has their eyes opened and wants out of that relationship, then your partner needs your support. The time to discuss and go over lessons learned is best left for later. The abused person has been manipulated and the blame should be directed at the abuser, not your partner.
Firstly consider the lessons to be learned. Then think through what made your partner susceptible to that individual’s manipulative behavior in the first place. It was a humbling acknowledgement for John.
They had two homes, Anne and their children lived in an apartment, while John rented a small cottage. The roles had reversed. Nowhe was the one stonewalling and categorically refused to share a home with his wife. He did not want his wife back.
A relationship break-up is more about feelings than rational decisions. Making up and reconnecting as a couple is more about rational decisions than feelings. We often let feelings decide, but feelings are fickle. A firm decision can lead to a change in feelings. Anne made a commitment. It took John six months before he accepted that she was serious.
John then made a commitment in return. Both of them are stubborn and this was a serious commitment, so in this case their stubbornness was a good thing. There were potholes along the way. There were hurts and wounds to heal, but they are now completely healed. That is something that cannot happen unless there is a relationship recovery process. They needed to work through them, issue by issue, for the true healing to take place.
That was twenty years ago. Today they have a stronger, healthier and a more mature marriage relationship than they had before. Even better than when they were in their first newly-in-love infatuation.
Children are often used as an excuse for getting a divorce. John and Anne’s children have benefited from seeing the reality of life; how two people who have hurt each other can work it out and get back together. Their children are now adults, and John and Anne have become foster parents.