Couples who give another chance to their relationship need more than just the desire to get back together.
The other night I was driving home with a couple I had been friends with for some time. They had broken up seriously, only to come together to try and make it work a short while later. Perhaps the grass was not greener on the other side. I’d always wondered if this kind of a thing works after a couple had severed ties and decided on making it on their own or tried exploring other options. Some time ago, they had had bitter arguments and differences and pledged never to speak again. And now we all were harmoniously chatting in the car. They looked so comfortable with each other.
As my friend escorted me to my door, with his lady waiting in the car, I complimented him on his fortitude to work things out. Better the known devil, I said with a smile, “Make sure you don’t tread on any sore points, keep it light and happy for some time. Both of you will be watchful, fragile of heart and eager to work things. This will also make you a bit sensitive to each other. I’d recommend you don’t rehash the past and try to keep to everyday topics.” He agreed readily and said she’d driven along with him that day even though she had no work in this side of the town, just so they could spend some time together. I felt relived. Which of us does not like to see a relationship work itself out and a couple walk into the sunset? For me it just augments a sense of wellbeing. If only people could see the value in composure and communication.
Did you know that nearly forty percent of broken relationships have the partners coming back to each other? But very few of the relationships actually survive to see long term success. Giving it another go has a lot of do’s and don’ts, and while lots of books and friends will tell you that reconciliations never really work, I’d say you’re back for a reason and let that reason make you work at it. You want to work for your collective happiness because you found out that happiness is with the partner that you had parted with. Distance showed you how you could have played it differently with some compromise and compassion. The loved one wanted it back as well to give it a go. This definitely means that it’s a two way thing, and both partners will analyse their mistakes and try not to repeat the mistakes.
But just the desire to rekindle the romance you long for is not enough to get back together. There is addiction to couplehood and angst when you see your coupled friends, you want someone of your own when you hear a haunting love song. It has to be for the real reasons and even the day-to-day routine has to be worked at. It is important to desire the emotional bond intensely. You might have felt that you let go of a soulmate, and realised that you didn’t really want to part but you allowed ego and other extraneous issues to get in the way. Your pro-relationship goals have to be stronger than your ego, and you must be able to create that foundation of care, giving, and reassurance intertwined with a strong sense of self where you don’t turn into a doormat. You need a fine balance of strength and empathy.
Making it work strongly requires that you create a happy memory bank to override the bitterness. It won’t be a cakewalk, it takes commitment and time to work together and meet halfway. There is no place for cynicism in your ‘homecoming’. Bringing up the past is a strict no-no. Keep the politeness intact, don’t keep the P’s and Q’s for outsiders alone. It is important to respect your partner. If necessary get help and don’t think it’s going to be an overnight fairytale romance. The breakup and the rapids have taken their toll. Build and repair and make it work. It’s all upward from here if you stick with it!
The writer is a columnist, designer and brand consultant. Mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org