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Mistakes women make when they reconcile with an ex


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Now I have experienced being reconciled with a guy, only for it to fall apart again. It fell apart again because not only did I repeat the same mistakes, but I made them even bigger than before.


When we reconciled our affection for each other was stronger, and for a short time we spent even more time together than we had before. We immediately jumped back into having lots of sex and I went back to my feeling "entitled".


Now in hindsight...and hindsight is an important thing here...I can see where I was going wrong. Not that it does much good right now because I am still hurting that things fell through again, however living is learning.


Where I believe I went wrong:


  • Sleeping with him again too soon.
  • Not asserting myself and making it known what it is I want.
  • Not being enough of a "challenge"...being there for him at all times and jumping whenever he wanted to see me.
  • Repeating the same behavioural mistake of being impatient and/or demanding of his time (when he didn't have it to give).
  • Assuming we were properly back together, when actually it was more of a "probationary" period.
  • Putting myself and my misgivings second.
  • Letting him take lead of things. He was giving me signs he wanted us to slow down, but it seems most men won't initiate the right way of doing things, it falls to the woman to do that, like it or not.


So these are the things that I believe contributed to the failed "second chance".


Any of you women reconciled with an ex, only for it to fall apart again?


In hindsight, where do you think you went wrong, and what would you have done differently?

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I'm not a female, do I have the right to post in this thread?


I reconciled with an Ex a year ago (who I am now separated) after 3 days. That time it was me who walked away and her that came back begging. I decided i'd give her another shot as she seemed genuinely sorry.


This has convinced me that reconciliations of this nature rarely work. The second we got back together it just showed me that the same problems were there, and they wern't going away anytime soon. Ontop of that you had another level of fighting and heartbreak to add to the already 'damaged' aspects of the relationship. So what happened: We were happy for around a month before the old behaviors surfaced on both of us and we began to fight again.


The fact you have broken up and got back together also means that if one partner has trust issues (namely me) its like throwing a oil tanker worth of fuel on a strongly burning fire. It just gets 10x worse.


The only way I can see reconciliation working on a seriously damaged relationship is after over a year of separation. When it gets to the point of one party being willing to walk away it is obviously rather unhealthy.


Sorry If i missed the point of the thread

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No worries, you did miss the point a little because I wanted to see the mistakes women have made....and if they recognise them. Though I do definitely share your perspective. My exes trust was battered because it was me who finished with him the first time, when he came back to me, he was more loving and more attentive for a while, so when I then made the same mistakes, he quickly ran for the hills, dumping me. So now, its my trust that is crushed.


If this guy comes back, we will have a lot of hard work to do to trust each other properly again.


However, I guess it seems that (going by all these relationship experts) that men and women approach things differently. And at the moment, my heart is broken and hurt as such, that I find myself unable to relate to men. Reading about "how men's minds work" is bizarre, because most of the stuff seems odd to me, and makes men seem alien and unreachable.


For example, some of what I have read suggests quite strongly that women are the ones that have to do the most work to repair and/or make relationships work. That it is we who have to set the boundaries, keep control of the pace of the relationship, give men the space they need and want, yet at the same time love, support, respect and appreciate them. And it seems, according to these experts, that if a woman allows a man to lead the relationships, allows him to set the terms, to dictate when sex happens etc, that she will not be seen as a serious contender for his heart.


Maybe you see things the way I do....I'd certainly like to believe that....yet or too often it's said a man and a woman's love is different, and requires different things. It is certainly helpful to read about the perspectives of men, although I admit it adds to my confusion.


So if a woman is to reconcile, she needs to see her mistakes....so that if a man returns to her she won't make them again.


I am hoping women can be armed and ready if a chance for reconciliation happens, to enter into it with her eyes wide open, not closed with her fingers crossed. Men on this forum could certainly offer valuable insight, perhaps even by saying what mistakes their exes made with them.

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Girls problem when reconciliation?


Well i've done it once. The relationship lasted a further 6 months after we reconciled. Heres what she done wrong.


1) Saying things like "Oh i was chatting to other guys and none of them match up to you". Big mistake, it implies that she spend the time looking at other options.

2) She made no active effort to treat me more like her partner and actually became far more stubborn on issues. She assumed that because we were back together, every issued we had was 'resolved' and she could just do as she pleased and I had to be happy with it.

3) When the original problems came up, she didn't bother to address them or try and fix them, rather she ignored them. I think most relationships can work if both partners are proactive in working out differences. Unfortunately the short seperation had compounded my paranoia and jealousy (i'll openly admit this) but rather than try to talk to me about it and work it out, she just got angry at me and left it.


Eventually things snow balled and she left me, just to get involved with someone else 2 weeks later.


Once again, communication and working through things as a couple is the key.

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Thanks very much mtom12, those are pretty serious things really and I can see how unhelpful they were. I am partly guilty of number 2, only so far as assuming our original issues were resolved, though that was mostly based on hoping they would just go away, instead of facing them and talking about them.


I agree, it takes two people to heal things, and if one person refuses then nothing can change.

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Thanks very much mtom12, those are pretty serious things really and I can see how unhelpful they were. I am partly guilty of number 2, only so far as assuming our original issues were resolved, though that was mostly based on hoping they would just go away, instead of facing them and talking about them.


I agree, it takes two people to heal things, and if one person refuses then nothing can change.


If one person refuses they typically don't care enough to do it. Sometimes you have to admit that things just can't be healed.


Alot of people go "but if I didn't do this and i didn't do this" etc. It should be just easy, both partners should give the other confidence to be themselves and in the relationship and should 'flow'. If this doesn't happen its doomed for failure, its just a matter of does it last 6 months more or end now?

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The major cause of reconcilliation failing is that the two people reconciling haven't changed or addressed any of the issues that drove them apart in the first place. All of this other mumbo jumbo is just window dressing. You couldn't work the first time, you make almost no changes, yet expect to work the second time. All of the other stuff about a woman having to do the majority of work in fixing a relationship is crap and right out of the dark ages. It takes two to make and two to break a relationship.

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The topic is what mistakes were made, and what was learnt. Clearly it takes two people, yet my main mistake was not having hindsight and therefore not recognising where I was going wrong.


So I know if you can't see where something went wrong in the first place, it can't be addressed and re-entering a relationship with eyes closed and fingers crossed will heed no results.


Even if the re-union fails, then its best to know how you as a person contributed to its destruction so the same mistakes are not made with someone new.

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I am currently in reconciliation with bf after breakup of 3.5 months. The BU was caused mostly by life issues/stressors on his part. The reconciliation began in April when he came to my home and spent 3 hrs apologizing, explaining what had happened, and telling me he wanted me in his future. I am letting him "own" the process of getting back together --- and have continued my life, much as before --- before him, and before us getting back together. We've talked out our issues, and I trust him implicitly, but I didn't jump back into our relationship at where we left it. In fact, I told him that I had begun to disconnect (after almost 4 months of NC), and that he needed to facilitate my feelings of reconnecting.


To this extent, he now is more attentive than before --- we see each other 2-3x/week, recently came back from out of town wedding where he could not have been more attentive to everything.


I think our success to date can be attributed to a few things:

1. There were no trust issues broken during time apart ---

2. We moved with "baby steps" in getting back together ---

3. We talked about the BU -- why it happened, how it won't happen again, etc. ONCE ---- and put it behind us. It has not come up in conversation since.

4. We continue to treat each other with respect and compassion, much as before.

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This is a GREAT thread with some great comments thus far!


For those of you who are thinking of buying one of those "getting back together" ebooks, the OP has essentially distilled from all of them the advice for a successful reconciliation they provide. It's too bad she learned this the hard way, *after* the fact, though...

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mhowe really glad you are reconciling with your boyfriend, I wish you the best of luck with it and it sounds as if your mind is in a really good place in regards to being honest about your feelings, what you need and what is attributing to your success. These are things people need to know I believe. If reconciliation happens (and it does) being prepared and forearmed is necessary to make it a successful reconciliation.


Hehe yes triangles, I only wish I knew then what I know now, but on the bright side if this guy is brave enough to try again with me, things will definitely be different.

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And it seems, according to these experts, that if a woman allows a man to lead the relationships, allows him to set the terms, to dictate when sex happens etc, that she will not be seen as a serious contender for his heart.


Based on my experience, I agree with this but it does depend on the individual and the dynamics of the relationship - who is the one-up and who is the one-down. I do believe that GENERALLY speaking (and there are, of course, exceptions) that some, perhaps many, men seek that which they feel is unattainable. The woman who is not interested in him, because maybe she is more attractive, has a higher social status or is in another relationship or out of reach in some regard. So before this particular type of man "has" you, you are viewed as highly interesting, exotic and unattainable. Once you are conquered (sexually and emotionally) you are no longer exotic, hard-to-get and thus, no longer the object of fantasy. Now you are a real live flesh and blood human with problems, issues and faults (and EVERYone has these, even those pedestal-dwelling guys who dumped us!!!)


There is a reason why there is a plethora of books aimed at women on how to have a relationship with a man. There are few books aimed at men about how to have a relationship with a woman. There are a few books teaching men how to be players and to bed as many women as possible. Men and women are raised with entirely different fantasies (read "Why Men are the Way They Are" by Warren Farrell for more on this). I also agree with David Burns, MD ("Feeling Good", "Intimate Connections") that certain games ARE played in the beginning of a relationship, and if a woman shows her cards too soon, the man will lose interest. It's just human nature. Most women learn this the hard way. Yes, the reverse certainly happens to men too. I am not saying all men are this way, or that way, and men certainly can be "played" by women as well.


I do believe sleeping with a certain type of man too soon is a big mistake, and being too clingy and expecting too much is a big mistake. At the age of 50, I have learned many painful lessons. The most important thing a woman can do is to stay true to herself and her core values. It can take years to learn this though and no one should be faulted for making these common mistakes. The culture that girls are brought up in now does not help. If it doesn't feel right early on, then listen to those red flags and don't ignore them. Never make it too easy for the man, especially the one you *really* are into, because it will most likely backfire. Take care of yourself first and never do anything that doesn't feel safe or comfortable.


In sum, yes, I reconciled with an ex and was dumped a second time. Why? Although he was sending many mixed messages and his communication led me to believe he was interested in a reconciliation, in retrospect, I made it too easy for him. His ego was seeking validation because I kept him at bay for 9 months. He never sat me down and told me in a heartfelt way that he wanted me back (which he DID do with his ex - and she said NO!) We did not have No Contact during these 9 months due to working together part time. Despite waiting 9 months before the reconciliation, I did not really make him pursue me long enough and thus while my value may have been increasing in his eyes the longer I was unattainable, when the moment came after 9 months of carrot and stick, push me pull you crap, I made the first move. I was the dumpee. Big mistake. NEVER do this. If you are a woman and you were dumped because the man lost attraction to you, you should never, ever pursue the man in any way. It most certainly will not work in your favor. He needs to do all the work to get you back, if the relationship ended simply because he lost interest and thus attraction, because the relationship moved too quickly and things got too serious too soon, which is what happened in my case.

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I think one of the quickest ways to summarize what goes wrong with reconciliations with either gender really is not working on the problems. Getting back to hanging out and having sex doesn't cut it. You have to figure out theoretically what the issue was and then apply actions to it. I've seen it happen and their one of the relationships that is now stronger because of the break.

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And it seems, according to these experts, that if a woman allows a man to lead the relationships, allows him to set the terms, to dictate when sex happens etc, that she will not be seen as a serious contender for his heart.



I agree with this whole heartly from both sides. Good relationships let both partners lead at different times. Its nice to be in different positions. Sometimes you just want to follow or lead. Both people need to be willing to play both roles.

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I'm in the beginning part of reconciliation where both parties have acknowledged that they'd like to get back together. We're still individually 'single', but it's still tricky because the feelings for each other are deep.


However, the new relationship going forward would have to be a long distance one, as opposed to being in the same college town together. I think this distance will naturally make things go more slowly, but there is still the excitement that we get to talk to each other again. The thing is, things NEED to go very slowly, because there is still a lot of resentment and sadness regarding the breakup.


You advocate making things as slow as possible (baby steps) in order to make the reconciliation successful. How should we continue to heal?

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yes --- you really need to take a strong look at why you broke up and what you are going to do differently going forward. But yes, baby steps, because this isn't the relationship you left. Look at it as something brand new --- make no assumptions, limit expectations. This is a time of compassion, forgiveness and patience. Read about relationship conflicts (Al Turtle's site is good) --- learn the difference in your communication types and well as skills.


Treat each other with compassion and respect and you will heal.

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Well, the breakup was based on codependency as well as timing issues. Acknowledging and accepting those problems aren't the hard part for me (maybe for her since she was the 'dumpee'). The hard part is getting past her rebound, the poor communication, the pain of missing her. Right now, I want to be with her in the long-term. But it's hard to do that when I know I shouldn't be with her in this short-term.


All these insights mentioned in this thread are great looking back. However, how can I take the mistakes that you guys have learned in order to not screw up my own chances?


How can I keep focused on a successful reconciliation? I don't want to fall into the traps of being naive and not working on myself, but I also don't want to put too much pressure and expectations not to screw up.

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Excellent post.


I'm reading this after hearing from a 3rd party that the person who is in limbo aka the ex was supposed to be on a date last night. Turned out he ditched her for a boys night out/party but it got me to thinking about what needs to be done... other than have no plan whatsoever.


However, I know that I am not playing my cards right. For a while, I was seen as the mysterious, cute, unobtainable girl. Now I am the cute silly girl with issues. We are still in contact, and have discussed in length where our feelings lie, and he has been supportive during my recent move and family issues. However, it has been a double sided fold. The best that anyone can do, whether male or female is to come back to center with their own self. The next is simply to let go of the resentment, negativity and be the person you are, not what the break up has made you out to be.

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Glad it helped. If you (or anyone) are feeling that you are the "one down" in the relationship (read The Passion Trap, also published under the Passion Paradox, to learn more about this dynamic) or post break up, too much information and communication with the ex will not behoove you. Pulling back, being unavailable, not kow-towing to your ex, living your own life and looking out for your own best interests is the only way to go.

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In a way, it was easier when I was in the "one-down" role. That way, it was me against the world (or at least the pain of her). But since she's let me know of her intent to reconcile, it's trickier. It's like we're on level pegging, which leaves me a little more directionless.


Trying to move on from the resentments is the biggest thing, and that takes time. But, it's tricky when I'm able to talk to her. Talking to her doesn't necessarily set me back; it feels good but then just leaves me stagnant. I think going on a mutual NC or LC will allow for the wounds to heal. However, I sometimes wonder if working through it together would help the reconciliation process... Whatever, still got my own life to live regardless if she's in it or not.

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I have to be honest and say that, I am getting fed-up of these self-help books...1) telling me how I should behave (because some of them contradict each other and it just makes things more confusing, 2) because I believe in being yourself (the best you can be)...not changing yourself for someone else, or compromising too much when they are not compromising back.


I do feel like I made mistakes, however, instead of blaming myself and seeing this man as oh-so-perfect, I am also allowing myself to acknowledge the mistakes he made, instead of pretending they aren't there.


So, for me, no more putting myself out for a guy. No more putting my life on hold for a guy. No more accepting behaviour that upsets me, just because I am afraid to speak up and "offend him". And also....if this man returns, he is going to have to prove to ME, why I should take HIM back.


Last time, I went out of my way to show him that I am worth his time. Oh dear...BIG mistake. Never de-value yourself like that for anyone!


Anyway someone once said there are no mistakes, only lessons.

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