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Back together - help!


jdh

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So after an entire year of trying everything and anything, me and my ex-fiance have finally agreed to give things another try. It's been a couple weeks - and I am currently working out of town so we have spent two weekends together and talked on the phone every day.

 

We were together for 7 years before the break-up. We know we have the ability to be together and to be in love with each other.

 

We both really want this to work, we both say we can't imagine being with anyone else, that we both see all the qualities in the other that we want in a partner etc etc.

 

Logically we both really want to be together.

 

But emotionally we are struggling.

 

She says she feels like the "spark" is missing. I can't say I disagree. I want to be with her more than anything, but we don't have that emotional connection/intimacy/spark that we once had.

 

Now we did just spend a year apart in which time we both hurt each other in various ways. Are we expecting too much too soon? And if so, how can I do my part to make this work!?

 

I've finally got my chance, but we're on thin ice! I need any advice that's out there!

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If you have spent a year apart, you have both most likely changed to some degree in that time. It has only been a couple of weeks which isn't long at all and I think you need to give it time to get to know each other again. Getting back together is certainly strange, it's like knowing the person but in some ways they're a stranger to you too, it's a weird feeling.

 

I think after time you two will begin to grow closer again and the hurt that you mention will fade for both of you. As long as you are both willing to work on it, which it sounds like you are I think it will be fine but it will take effort from both sides, it certainly isn't easy.

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Yeah man. My ex-fiance and I were together for about 6 years. I'm hoping for reconciliation as well.

 

I think you guys may have gotten back together for the wrong reasons. You don't get back together because it makes sense, you get back together because you love each other and want to make it work.

 

Look, after seven years, you're not going to get that "romantic" stage feeling back. It isn't going to happen. There's not going to be those butterflies and stuff that happens with new love. You two need to sit down and have a discussion on what it means to have a fulfilling relationship.

 

I suggest that you guys inject some passion and excitement into the relationship:

 

1) have lots of sex in different places and in different positions. If you're too conservative to go too far, just do enough to where you're out of your comfort zone.

 

2) Take a trip. Get out of your house or apartment and go somewhere new and exciting. If you can afford it, take a vacation. DisneyWorld is actually great for engaged couples because you see lots of kids and can start talking about things like children and stuff.

 

3) go to new restaurants, do new activities together (go to concerts...step out of your comfort zone).

 

4) do something dangerous together like white-water rafting or skydiving. These experiences last a lifetime.

 

5) invest in candles and nice oil. Make sure that your apartment is clean at all times and do things for your fiance "just because." Make her a nice bath "just because." Or rub her feet "just because."

 

6) Invest in a wii. Women love to play wii. Play with her.

 

7) become more affectionate and fake it if you have too. Look her in her eyes until she turns away or blushes. Tickle her. Smell her neck.

 

8) allow her to become re-invested in the relationship. Mention things that you like. Occasionally let her pay for dates.

 

9) Let her paint your body. Women are creative. Letting a woman paint you can be an exciting experience for them.

 

10) avoid being a wimp. Women will push your boundaries. If your fiance feels that she can walk all over you, you'll lose her. Make sure that you don't walk on eggshells. Avoid arguing, but be assertive and put some bass in your voice when she does things that are clearly unacceptable. Women like assertive confident men who will push back in a constructive way.

 

11) Go to the gym. Work out. Get more buff.

 

12) If she likes to sing, buy a karaoke machine. If she likes to dance, take Argentine Tango lessons together. If she like to read, start a couples bookclub...

 

Basically make the relationship newer and better than it was before.

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6) Invest in a wii. Women love to play wii. Play with her.

9) Let her paint your body. Women are creative. Letting a woman paint you can be an exciting experience for them.

 

Heh. Not 100% sold on some of these.

 

In any case, I do believe that sometimes it takes a little bit of work to fan the flames of love,

I really don't think it should require massive amounts of hoop-jumping.

 

If you find you've been (historically and now), making that extra bit of effort, and that spark's just not there... well, you might have to accept that for what it is. Decide if a partnership without "spark" will be enough to make you happy in the long run.

 

become more affectionate and fake it if you have too. Look her in her eyes until she turns away or blushes. Tickle her. Smell her neck.

 

Eww. The thought of having to "fake", or "force" intimacy not only gives me the total willies, but it makes me feel like I have to point out that if you have to "fake" the intimacy, you're not in the right relationship.

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Heh. Not 100% sold on some of these.

 

In any case, I do believe that sometimes it takes a little bit of work to fan the flames of love,

I really don't think it should require massive amounts of hoop-jumping.

 

If you find you've been (historically and now), making that extra bit of effort, and that spark's just not there... well, you might have to accept that for what it is. Decide if a partnership without "spark" will be enough to make you happy in the long run.

 

 

 

Eww. The thought of having to "fake", or "force" intimacy not only gives me the total willies, but it makes me feel like I have to point out that if you have to "fake" the intimacy, you're not in the right relationship.

 

I'm not suggesting faking intimacy. I'm suggesting that some men just aren't that affectionate by nature. It has nothing to do with how they feel about the other person. So, fake the little things....like pretending to care about holding hands in parks and stuff like that.

 

haha, trust me on the wii...the bodypaint was a suggestion from a friend that I think is pretty cool.

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I'm not suggesting faking intimacy. I'm suggesting that some men just aren't that affectionate by nature. It has nothing to do with how they feel about the other person. So, fake the little things....like pretending to care about holding hands in parks and stuff like that.

 

That won't last long. Once he can't hold up the charade anymore, she'll freak out thinking that he cares for her less.

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Johngalt said it prefectly.

 

Similar situation to mine. I was due to get married in October this year. We broke up 5 weeks ago. Thing is I am 99% certain we will be back together at some point. I just know it. But I'm willing to wait until the time is right. For me, as well as for her. All that dirty water has to pass under the bridge beforehand. Though the difference will be we want to be with eachother more than anything. We will want to kiss, want to have sex, want to do all the great things that we did before. Basically, the spark will be back. It wont be a case of settling for eachother because we can't find anyone else.

 

These are exactly the things you need to do. Get out of your comfort zone. Bring that bit of excitment back into your relationship or it WILL fail again. Make time for fun. Make time for other people in your life. Don't centre your lives around each other too much. Be individual but be a couple at the same time. You must remember why it is you fell in love in the first place all those years ago.

 

Best of luck, my man.

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Who left who?

 

I left her - I don't even know why anymore. Ok, that's not entirely true, but I can't relate to those reasons any more. I panicked about the wedding as I had my own issues to deal with. I was (very) rude to her for a few weeks before "snapping out of it" so to speak, and have been trying to make things right ever since.

 

I am the jerk here for sure. She became intimate with someone else during this time apart - which she had every right to do. So that's the part that's hard for me. I have no right to be upset, but that doesn't make it any easier.

 

I am working hard at coming to terms with it and forgetting about it. I have made a lot of progress and rarely even think about it anymore - all in just a few short weeks. So I am not too worried about the impact that will have.

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Thanks for taking the time to type this, some great ideas here!!! I especially like the idea of a wii as she has mentioned it a few times and I know she'd like wii fit.

 

I struggle with the wimp part - I am a total wimp when it comes to her lol. Sometimes I just shake my head at myself haha.

 

I will be taking some of your ideas to heart, thanks very much!

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That won't last long. Once he can't hold up the charade anymore, she'll freak out thinking that he cares for her less.

 

I don't need to fake anything anyways, she still means the world to me, and she says the same to me.

 

It's just missing that . . . excitement I guess? I think in some ways we expected it to be like we were first dating again . . . which of course how can it be?

 

We really do need to sit down and figure out what we need and want out of this relationship I think.

 

But at the same time I need to do everything I can to rekindle any spark I can before we both decide that this is too stale to work!!

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If you have spent a year apart, you have both most likely changed to some degree in that time. It has only been a couple of weeks which isn't long at all and I think you need to give it time to get to know each other again. Getting back together is certainly strange, it's like knowing the person but in some ways they're a stranger to you too, it's a weird feeling.

 

I think after time you two will begin to grow closer again and the hurt that you mention will fade for both of you. As long as you are both willing to work on it, which it sounds like you are I think it will be fine but it will take effort from both sides, it certainly isn't easy.

 

Thanks for this, a little reassurance can go a long ways . . .

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I don't need to fake anything anyways, she still means the world to me, and she says the same to me.

 

It's just missing that . . . excitement I guess? I think in some ways we expected it to be like we were first dating again . . . which of course how can it be?

 

We really do need to sit down and figure out what we need and want out of this relationship I think.

 

But at the same time I need to do everything I can to rekindle any spark I can before we both decide that this is too stale to work!!

 

Yeah, I know what the limbo period was like. It was heck when my bf and I got back together.

 

But, the truth is, you are probably both freaking out about the same thing "will they dump me?". The dumper thinks that the dumpee will wise up and run away from them. The dumpee thinks the dumper is just as capable of doing it again. At least, that's what happened with my boyfriend and I. Secretely, we both were afraid. But, we made it through. Heck though.

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I'm not suggesting faking intimacy. I'm suggesting that some men just aren't that affectionate by nature. It has nothing to do with how they feel about the other person. So, fake the little things....like pretending to care about holding hands in parks and stuff like that.

 

I agree with debaser_wolf:

That won't last long. Once he can't hold up the charade anymore, she'll freak out thinking that he cares for her less.

 

It's far better to be with someone who is on the same page as you as far as physical needs/wants go.

 

You see it on here all the time, and it's true for both women and men--

some people are just more (or less) affectionate and/or have higher libidos, than others.

 

When this is the case, trying to force a fit is a recipe for dissatisfaction, frustration, and ultimately, disaster.

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I left her - I don't even know why anymore. Ok, that's not entirely true, but I can't relate to those reasons any more. I panicked about the wedding as I had my own issues to deal with. I was (very) rude to her for a few weeks before "snapping out of it" so to speak, and have been trying to make things right ever since.

 

Hmm.

What were the issues/reasons that prompted you to cancel the wedding?

 

It's super important that you are really honest with yourself about these things, and have them resolved before trying again... otherwise they could crop up again and put a damper on things this time, too.

 

I am the jerk here for sure. She became intimate with someone else during this time apart - which she had every right to do. So that's the part that's hard for me. I have no right to be upset, but that doesn't make it any easier.

 

You're certainly correct about her having been entitled to date others after you broke things off.

But I can see why this might be a bitter pill to swallow, just the same.

 

The best thing to do is to take it super slow.

Be honest with yourself and with her along the way.

Give yourself time to rebuild the trust.

 

If you can manage to get that old fire back, then it sounds like you just may stand a chance of making it work

--(something that many people on this board just wish for a chance at!)

 

If you are smart about it all the way through (mature, respectful, honest), then even if the spark fails to ignite,

at least you know you've salvaged what sounds like a good friendship.

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Well, my boyfriend was the one that left me, and he was the one that asked for me back.

 

I know that all I wanted at that time was for him to just dote on me. However, when he did dote, I often wondered if it was fake. I didn't trust him at all.

 

The only way to get through this is lots of time and lots of understanding. Make sure to communicate with her and tell her what is on your mind. If you make yourself vulnerable, she'll do the same.

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Even though you have a history together I think you almost have to start from the beginning to rebuild things.

 

You can't just jump right back to where you left off after a year apart, and some feelings hurt in the process.

 

Try "dating" her again. Give the courtship a fresh start.

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Even though you have a history together I think you almost have to start from the beginning to rebuild things.

 

You can't just jump right back to where you left off after a year apart, and some feelings hurt in the process.

 

Try "dating" her again. Give the courtship a fresh start.

 

This is what I thought too, but I fear it's not possible.

 

We simply know each other too well for there to be anything resembling a courtship . . . or so it seems.

 

But what we can do it take it slow, and get to "know" each other again so to speak - I think.

 

Or did I just blatantly contradict myself?

 

I'm so confused!

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Hmm.

What were the issues/reasons that prompted you to cancel the wedding?

 

The issues were deep rooted and personal on my side - dealing with issues that I should have dealt with a long long time ago. They left me with a fear of commitment and an inability to be a the husband she deserves. It's complicated to say the least, but I can say with 100% confidence that I am now more than ever ready and willing (and excited) to spend my life with her until the end of time.

 

It's super important that you are really honest with yourself about these things, and have them resolved before trying again... otherwise they could crop up again and put a damper on things this time, too.

 

I agree completely, and I am sure that they are resolved and will not crop up again - ever.

 

 

You're certainly correct about her having been entitled to date others after you broke things off.

But I can see why this might be a bitter pill to swallow, just the same.

 

The best thing to do is to take it super slow.

Be honest with yourself and with her along the way.

Give yourself time to rebuild the trust.

 

If you can manage to get that old fire back, then it sounds like you just may stand a chance of making it work

--(something that many people on this board just wish for a chance at!)

 

If you are smart about it all the way through (mature, respectful, honest), then even if the spark fails to ignite,

at least you know you've salvaged what sounds like a good friendship.

 

That's the problem, I don't know if I can ever really be friends with her. I think any friendship I might attempt would be overshadowed by the fact that I want to be with her!

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The issues were deep rooted and personal on my side - dealing with issues that I should have dealt with a long long time ago. They left me with a fear of commitment and an inability to be a the husband she deserves. It's complicated to say the least, but I can say with 100% confidence that I am now more than ever ready and willing (and excited) to spend my life with her until the end of time.

(...)

and I am sure that they are resolved and will not crop up again - ever.

 

Okay, but if these issues were so deeply rooted, and heavy enough that rather than try to work out things together you just ran,

she may have trouble trusting that:

 

Firstly, to really resolve them, a year may not be long enough it was seriously heavy-duty stuff, but even if it were, she may have a hard time believing you completely.

AND

Secondly, that the next big issue that comes up will find you leaving her-- your supposed teammate-- and running off before trying to work things out.

 

Did you ever go for couples counseling?

It does seem that only time will tell, but I poked through your older posts, and it does seem she's been really ambivalent/hesitant to try again.

 

Now that you have the chance, try to make the most of it.

Just prepare yourself for the potential reality that in some cases, the 2nd chance doesn't always work out.

 

I've had an ex come back to me after an extended period of time, and wistfully hoped that perhaps we could rekindle things...

but sometimes the water rushing under the bridge sort of sweeps away other things, too.

 

In one case, the guy (J.) just hadn't changed enough, and the whole thing was cut short when I started noticing the signs of this.

In another (w/F.), I had changed too much. I still loved him, and the physical chemistry was still pretty darn good.... but really, the spark/drive/passion was gone, and I just knew in my heart that it was gone forever,

 

In both instances, we were able to reconcile, and become friends, but I just couldn't bond with them in the way that I had previously.

 

That's the problem, I don't know if I can ever really be friends with her. I think any friendship I might attempt would be overshadowed by the fact that I want to be with her!

 

I know there are those who feel differently than I regarding the whole friends with exes thing, but my feeling is that if you truly love that person, then even should things not work out romantically, you will treasure their presence in your life as a friend (after an appropriate course of healing, naturally).

 

I'd think this doubly in a case where both partners felt that the spark was gone.

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Okay, but if these issues were so deeply rooted, and heavy enough that rather than try to work out things together you just ran,

she may have trouble trusting that:

...

I'd think this doubly in a case where both partners felt that the spark was gone.

 

It wasn't stuff that was soo heavy and deeply rooted that it couldn't be dealt with in a year, but the fact that I ran away instead of working through it with her is a problem for sure. I wish I hadn't done that, but what's done is done. Lesson learned.

 

I guess we do both feel like the spark is gone . . . but we still have a physical relationship and miss each other like crazy when we're apart, we aren't totally indifferent to each other by any means.

 

I sure hope it's possible to get this spark back, as we ultimately want the same things out of life, have a lot in common etc. We really are best friends.

 

It would seem such a shame if two people who truly want to be together, and are willing to work hard towards that end end up apart because of missing that spark.

 

Am I crazy to think that anything is fixable once both people are hopeful and willing to work towards a future together? What obstacles can't be overcome when both parties are on the same page and hoping for the same outcome?

 

We just need to know how I guess, neither of us have been through this before.

 

As far as couples counseling, we haven't done that yet. I think it's a great idea as personally I think we probably need some outside help to get through this with a favorable outcome. She is a little resistant, however if I set it up I am confident she would be more than happy to come with me.

 

Maybe I should do just that.

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I guess we do both feel like the spark is gone . . . but we still have a physical relationship and miss each other like crazy when we're apart, we aren't totally indifferent to each other by any means.

 

I sure hope it's possible to get this spark back, as we ultimately want the same things out of life, have a lot in common etc. We really are best friends.

 

It would seem such a shame if two people who truly want to be together, and are willing to work hard towards that end end up apart because of missing that spark.

 

That sounds a lot like what I had with F. the second time around. The physical was amazing... but the way I felt emotionally was oddly different. Diffused, maybe? Or, just changed, somehow.

 

Am I crazy to think that anything is fixable once both people are hopeful and willing to work towards a future together? What obstacles can't be overcome when both parties are on the same page and hoping for the same outcome?

 

There aren't really any rules or formulas that we can apply here. It all comes down to what's in your hearts, and that right now is a mystery to us.

 

In any case, if you are both dedicated to trying, then it sounds worth a shot.

 

We just need to know how I guess, neither of us have been through this before.

As far as couples counseling, we haven't done that yet. I think it's a great idea as personally I think we probably need some outside help to get through this with a favorable outcome. She is a little resistant, however if I set it up I am confident she would be more than happy to come with me.

 

Maybe I should do just that.

 

You'd mentioned suggesting it to her in another post. Definitely try suggesting it again. If she's willing to go, I think it might be really helpful.

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Don't forget to work on yourself too!

 

Like pick up new hobbies, revisit the old ones and stuff.

 

A relationship works when you take care of the relationship itself, your partner and yourself.

 

For example, making things interesting doesn't have to be doing new things TOGETHER (though doing new things together is def. a good idea.) I saw my friend who could look at his gf painting or playing the violin for him and that entertains/fascinates/impresses him and he could spend the whole afternoon doing that. So sometimes when you do something interesting with yourself, that in itself can help rekindle the spark, help generate a few other ways to entertain your SO, etc.

 

You could also hang out with friends more. Don't forget your friends, and try to meet new ones. Being with different people can give you so many ideas about what you can do to make life interesting, since different people have different ways to entertain themselves or their guests. You can take those ideas and apply them to your relationship.

 

Invite friends over to dinner or to play sports with the two of you. Having friends over can make mundane things like dinner together on weekends feel new and interesting. As some other poster's said, invite people into your world. If your world contains only the two of you, sooner or later it will go a little stale since you and her only have certain "stock" of activities/ways to deal with boredom and what you need right now is dynamic, something new, something outside the box. sometimes you can't look for it within yourself because we all have our blind spots and are used to doing things in a certain way that we know. New people/friends can give you tons of new ideas.

 

After my ex of 3.5 years broke up with me I realized why our relationship turned so stale. For example, I don't really dig baking, but my ex likes cookies. We could have baked new kind of cookies every weekend to make things exciting and to put ourselves in the kind of situation where we have something new to talk about/joke about. But we didn't...just because both of us didn't really bake and when we need cookies we just got the same old kind from the supermarket. But after I started hanging with other people who love baking and bake all the time, I realize how fun it could be. And I regret I didn't branch out and got these ideas earlier.

 

 

You would be amazed about how many new things one can talk about/joke about, catalyzed by things written on the packets of ingredients and things one has to go through when baking like stirring, whipping things and putting things in the oven.....) In short just by putting yourself in a new situation/doing something new. Keep looking and trying. When something doesn't work out, don't lose heart. Just try more new things. Don't dwell on things that don't work.

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