Monday, April 21, 2008

When and How To Reconcile

Have you and your partner recently gone through tough times?

If so, things may have been said that hurt you. In fact, your partner may have even done things that upset you, caused you to feel they didn't understand you, or maybe even intentionally hurt you. Things like that happen during misunderstandings, sometimes. Yes, after misunderstandings we often will face the potential of an offer for reconciliation. Is your partner offering to reconcile with you? What will you do? How will you handle it? Do you get mean or be nice? There are important questions to consider and it requires a delicate touch to do it right.

Are you or your partner considering a reconciliation?
How can you know when and how to reconcile?

What do you do when your partner returns to you, pouring out their heart and soul to you, asking you to consider a reconciliation? Which finger do you give him? Do you give him a middle-finger salute, tell him or her to "Get therapy", "Go on with your life, I'm done with you" or do you give him a finger of friendship and tell him "I hear you, I'm sorry you're hurting, I'm hurting, too and will talk with you..." or do you give him your wedding ring finger and say "Put your money where your mouth is - let's see the diamond! I love you, too."

If your partner is a female and seeking reconciliation, do you tell her, "Well, I hope you get help - you're disturbed! Beat it!" Or do you tell her, "It wasn't you, it was me." Or do you tell her "Sweetie, I understand you're offering a chance at reconciliation, let me take stock of where I am at and get back to you" or "Yes, I hurt, too. Why don't we talk...?" or "Yes, I love you, too. I accept your offer, baby!"

The response you give your partner just might determine the fate of your future possible relationship with this same partner. Sure, you might be broken up now, but sometimes people must go through a challenge to hone their love. It is not unusual that people hit bumps in the love road of romance and being together. It is quite normal, in fact. So, what do you do when they come to you?

HOW TO HANDLE THEIR APPROACH

Some people think that once you decide to break up with someone, that yes, it ought to be over, and that is that. Well, that's nice in a book. But life isn't like that some times. Sometimes people break up because they have been invalidated, treated poorly, and hurt. Sometimes, they'd stay together if you talked with them and made the effort to work it out. So, don't just dismiss all breakups as "final and over". That's my first recommendation.

Next, some people will only offer reconciliation once. I'm not big on roller coaster relationships; however, I must say that life itself is not all even terrain - sometimes we must go through a storm to cross a sea. So, don't just dismiss a reconciliation as weakness, as it may be a genuine profession of true love for you! In other words, be very careful how you treat your partner when they approach you telling you "I still love you, I miss you" after a break up.

If you are angry over a perceived break-up, trying to move on, and your partner approaches you, I would only suggest to you that you consider that your partner might be really hurting, truly missing you, and feeling overwhelming love and thus, willing to take a chance to have you give him or her the bad finger. Clearly, if you've had a disconnect, that is a possibility. At the same time, your partner knows that you might also just be indifferent, which will also hurt them if they are baring their entire soul and heart to you. Certainly, if they come to you professing that they love you and miss you with sobbing tears, they probably DO love you and miss you.

CHOOSE YOUR RESPONSE TO AN OFFER TO RECONCILE CAREFULLY

So, choose your words carefully. I had someone once tell me all the things they'd done in the relationship and blamed me for their stuff. It was ridiculous, and it didn't result in reconciliation. Another time, I had someone treat me like a child. That didn't work, either. One time, a woman decided that our lunch after hot love-making session was a good time to break out her "top ten list of things I hate about you" that she claimed I needed to change to date me again. She made it to about #7 when I decided I'd made a huge mistake! Another difficult relationship scenario, when I went back, baring my soul, she told me to "Get therapy. You're just making it worse. Life goes on." I didn't need therapy. I know my heart and I just experience emotions on a deep level. Yeah, I was looking for "I love you and miss you, too." So, I know how it feels to be someone seeking reconciliation and having it not work out. I've also reconciled successfully, too. Usually, a reconciliation fares better - even if the relationship doesn't work out - when both people are NICE to each other. Needless to say, in all of these situation, a reconciliation did not occur.

Remember, in breaking-up, reconciling, as in getting together, try, try, try to do it LOVINGLY.

I would recommend that you keep your response to a reconciliation offer to one of either neutrality "I need to determine if I'm ready to reconcile" or "I need to handle some things to make sure we can have a healthy relationship" or the more positive "I'd like to consider your reconciliation. Let's meet to discuss this and see if we can work it out."

I'm not sure I recommend receiving the offer and immediately accepting it, unless you know you were in the wrong and owe them a BIG apology. Then, you might want to say, "Honey, I'm sooo sorry for how I treated you. I love you, too. Let's talk about how to get back together!"

Are you considering offering a reconciliation?

There are some complicated issues around reconciliation. Not all situations are created equal. If your situation is a particularly challenging situation, I strongly recommend you seek professional assistance to help you decide what to do.

1. For example, was there abuse involved?

If your partner, or their family members, were verbally or physically abusing you, then you might thank your lucky stars and be happy that you're out. Why go back to someone who is abusive? Nobody needs to endure that. If you think it might be a temporary situation and could be resolved, then you *could* consider the reconciliation, but I wouldn't recommend it without professional help involved to mitigate your concerns. Abuse (verbal, physical, rape, etc.) -- especially when the threat of physical harm was present -- is the most serious of break-up concerns.

2. Was someone saying that the other was not meeting their needs? There are many needs we have in a relationship. Some are financial. Others are what we do together for activities. Others are sexual. And, some others, just understanding and communicating together. Relationships can break down in many ways. If someone was not meeting the others' needs, it is important to see what is causing these needs to be unmet. If it is the partner, why go back to reconcile when they've already demonstrated they won't meet your needs - UNLESS - they make a wholehearted effort to embrace, acknowledge, and recognize their shortcoming and make a sincere effort to meet your request.

Now, at the same time, if YOU were the one who wasn't meeting their needs, maybe you need to look in the mirror and say "can I do that?" and if you can, step up. If you can't, respectfully decline and go on with your life.

Are they telling you that you need to make more money? Can you? Are you trying to do something that is causing your family finances serious harm? You might consider something temporary to help mitigate the concern.

Are they saying they'd like you to participate in more of a certain activity? Can you do it? If so, make a date to do so.

Is your partner telling you that you are not satisfying their sexual needs? Then you need to consider if they are being demanding or requesting something reasonable that you can comply with doing. If you can comply, quit holding out and give it up! You'll both be happier.

3. Is someone getting invalidated? If something happened that upset you, was it because you were invalidating your partner or ignoring their concerns? If so, you might need to apologize and get it together. It is important to validate each other. Did someone ask for an apology? Why? Perhaps you didn't validate them. This is a concern that can cause you to get very frustrated and say things that later you might wish you hadn't. So, recognize if someone has said things to you that seemed out of character, as if they were seeking validation for a concern and you failed to give it. Now, if their request was out of order, then you may be right not to validate it. However, if their request was sane and reasonable, then get off your high horse and sincerely apologize!

If someone asks you for an apology, and out of anger you give it, but don't mean it, be careful. Because, you'll likely slip later and say something like "you were demanding" and they'll pick up on your lack of sincerity, if they're paying attention. If you don't mean to apologize, well, I guess don't, but I've always felt that if someone is demanding an apology from me that I've usually failed to validate something they were sharing with me and I probably owed an apology of some sort.

Reconciliations aren't easy. There isn't a magic way to do it. The only thing I can tell you is that if you ever loved your partner, and they are coming to you offering you an olive branch, consider showing them love in your communications. You might be glad you did later.

If you decide that yes, you do want to reconcile, then I'd suggest trying the following approach.

How to Reconcile With Your Partner:

1. Meet in a public, neutral place. Don't meet in your favorite restaurant or cafe. That would create a situation overly strong with memories. Instead, choose a new place that is reasonably quiet AND comfortable so that you can communicate clearly.

2. Agree to be respectful, fair, and loving towards each other. Let them know there are concerns and get an agreement to work on the concerns. When you feel the time is right, share some concerns and see if your partner is willing to work on those concerns.

3. You do not have to agree that you were wrong on every concern your partner has in order to reconcile. However, you will probably be wise to agree on the points where you can agree. Dale Carnegie once wrote "To resolve an argument, start with agreement." It's pretty wise advice.

4. Be nice and loving as much as humanly possible. You will get more with honey than vinegar, trust me.

5. Don't be vain, shallow, overly emotional, or demanding. Remember, love usually includes words like "forgiveness, gratitude, acceptance, respect, and giving." Don't be a woose. Just be who you are. Be real and be loving.

6. Offer to make concessions and do what your partner needs if it is within reason and doesn't violate who you are at your core. Ask for what you want, too.

7. Make a sincere effort to deliver anything that you commit to do. People tend to get along better with other people who keep their agreements. So, keep your agreements. If you agree to go to a counsellor for a period of time, then go to the counsellor for that period of time. If you agree to get a new job, then get a new job. If you agree to discipline the kids differently, then discipline the kids differently. If you agree to give more sex, then give more sex. If you agree to do certain activities, then do them! Whatever you commit to in order to reconcile you must deliver to honor and respect both yourself and your partner.

See if these tips don't help you create a more healthy reconciliation if you're ever broken up in your relationship.

What if you don't want to reconcile?

If you decide that you do not want to reconcile, still, be nice and be as loving as possible. Let them know you've loved and appreciated all they've done for you, but as in life some things don't last forever and you've decided to move on. Wish them well on their journey. I've written more articles that might help you with a break-up at AspireNow.com and here at this blog.

Learn more about dating and relationships from AspireNow:
Solving Sabotage Syndrome
Healing a Broken Heart
Is He or She The One?
SoulMates or In The Meantime

The magic of making up: how to get your ex back!

Visit Smooth Sailing to get even more relationship advice.
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Copyright © 2008 AspireNow. All rights reserved. This information is provided for entertainment purposes. Seek professional assistance if your situation warrants.

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1 comment:

silverfish said...

Thanks for the advice on how to reconcile. I was very disturbed and not able to think. your words were very helpful.

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