One more chance
Ever wonder what it would take to have just one more shot with the love of your life? If only you could prove to them that things would be different. You would pick up your socks off the floor. You would empty the dishwasher. You would help more with the kids. You would contribute financially instead of being the mooch that you have been for so many years. Just one more chance is all you’re asking for.
We’ve all been there. That time when it just seemed as though there was nothing left we could do to gain the trust and opportunity for change we so yearned for. Some of us were 16, some of us were 22, and others may have been 50 years old when we experienced the desire for one more chance.
The agony of the experience does not discriminate.
It can happen at any time to anyone, male or female. Young or old. And when it happens that you are looking for one last opportunity to win back your ex, it feels as though you are at the edge of a cliff with someone behind you attempting to push you off.
It feels as though you have no control. You are using every muscle in your body to try to convince them not to push you off. You have given all control to them. And you are stuck trying to find a way to avoid the fall. What most people don’t realize is that the answer on how to avoid the fall is right there in front of them. All it takes is a little uncommon sense.
Fighting against instinct
Human instinct is powerful. Human ability to reason through a situation is very powerful as well. When we are attempting to win back an ex, we will be the most successful if we are able to fight against our natural instincts and our normal every day reasoning. We must learn the dance of love.
When most people dance there is inevitably one leader and one follower. If both people had the instinct to lead or follow they might create a very interesting duo on the dance floor. (I actually think I’ve seen that duo on the dance floor a few times.) Relationships are extremely comparable to a dance.
Healthy relationships have a constant exchange of leading and following.
The compromise usually doesn’t consist of one person constantly leading and the other following. The compromise is an unspoken agreement that both people will take their turn leading.
Unfortunately, when relationships start falling apart one person usually gets stuck as the leader and the other person as the follower. When you’re trying to win an ex back you become the follower. You hand over all control of emotions to the one trying to walk out the door.
So how do we change the dance?
In one of the most vulnerable times in your life, you are going to have to find a way to fight the instinct to be a follower. You are going to have to fight the instinct of common sense. In order to do this you must remember what it was that attracted your partner to you in the first place. And you will realize that you can change the relationship by changing yourself.
Be the change you are looking for
It is inevitable that there is usually one person more motivated in the relationship to make the change happen that is needed. It is the other person who is usually looking for the quickest way out. I’m guessing that if you are reading this you are the motivated one. You are the one that will be able to make that change happen. But it will take persistence of following these 5 simple steps.
Taking back control
1. Stop Doing More of the Same
If trying to cheer up a depressed person makes them more depressed, if asking for more closeness makes him more withdrawn, and if begging for more reassurance doesn’t work, why do we persist and go against our ability to reason? Try the “uncommon sense” approach. Do the complete opposite of what you usually would do. Throw in the unexpected. This will catch your partner off guard and may even elicit intrigue.
2. Describe to your partner what you want to accomplish NOT what he/she is doing wrong
If you’re trying to win back an ex, it’s probably not in your best interest to be complaining what they are doing wrong or have done wrong. It’s also not a great idea to point out flaws in the relationship. Rather, focus on what is needed by both of you in the relationship. Express your needs in specific terms and offer back how you want to meet his/her needs specifically. Showing them that you are in tune with their needs is very important.
3. Describe your goals in behavioral terms or action terms
Be less vague and more action oriented in requesting what you want and need. For example instead of requesting more respect or being less selfish, request your partner compliment you about your work or check with you before making plans.
4. Make yourself happy for a change
There is an unwritten agreement in most couples that they must do most, if not everything together. We begin expecting that if our partner isn’t sharing the same interests that we must just “shelf our interests”. We give up doing so much that made us feel happy. It starts creeping into our minds once we are on the verge of separation that at least maybe we will be able to return to these interests. Break that expectation and start focusing on doing what makes you happy while in the relationship. Your ex may see the change in you and how it makes you happy. It may remind them of why they fell for you to begin with.
5. Never expect perfection - Nirvana Rule
When couples are working on repairing relationship they often try to fix things as fast as they can. Don’t expect too much too soon. It creates expectations that are way too difficult to meet. If you are specific about your goals and take it slow, you will find much greater happiness, and will find that you have an ex who doesn’t feel pressured to work through everything all at once. Relationships aren’t always rosy. Couples argue and fight. But if you don’t expect utopia, there leaves a lot of room for both people to be satisfied.
Remember, actions speak louder than words. You can tell your ex you are going to change until you are blue in the face. If you want to win him or her back, you must show them with your actions.
About the author
Derrick Prichard is an accomplished marriage and family therapist who practices psychotherapy in Wichita, Kansas.
He has extensive experience working with diverse groups of people from all ages, backgrounds and walks of life. For the past 10 years he has focused his work primarily on bridging the communication gap between adolescents and the adults in their lives. He enjoys the challenge of helping families repair their relationships. Derrick brings a laid back real life approach to help people realize there can be hope for change. He uses this same approach to help couples obtain the passionate relationship they are yearning for.
Derrick earned his Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Friends University, Wichita Kansas.
Currently he is the Executive Director of New Perspectives Counseling Center where he brings a fresh, unique view of how change occurs in individuals. Derrick is fervent to help his patients recover and is dedicated to sharing a new perspective with you.
He is a clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), the Kansas Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (KAMFT), and the National Guild of Hypnotists.
To know more about Derrick, visit www.newperspectivescounselingcenter.net.