Two Ears, One Mouth. Shut Up, and You Might Learn Something.

Hi Sarah,  

My ex and I are trying “us” again. It was great the first time around, just poor communication and me calling someone else “babe” caused us to break up.  We are trying to work things out 3 months later.   It’s great when we are with each other, but just when I think we are doing well she throws the past mistakes in my face and we start arguing.

She says she cares about me, but that she’s scared it will end badly again.  What is your opinion on the situation?

 

Her fear of the break up ending badly is understandable, but it’s also an inescapable risk in a relationship.  Period.  It’s why some people are hesitant to enter into one in the first place, but it’s also one of the reasons that people are so hesitant to leave the one they’re with.  It doesn’t feel good to hurt other people, and it doesn’t feel good to hurt.  A relationship may not always end horribly, but it also isn’t going to end with both people laughing and clinking two glasses of Dom Perignon together.

If you guys have decided to work on being together again, all of the past needs to stay in the past.  It’s not fair that she has agreed to move forward, but then continues to secretly take a few steps back, pick up the pebbles you both tripped on, and then throw them at you when the time is right.  You both need to work on really getting to know each other and learning how to communicate in a way that doesn’t irritate or offend the other.

Communication is crucial.  If you don’t have that now, how will you two ever get through any of the truly significant obstacles or decisions in life?  (By the way, calling someone else “babe” doesn’t even register on the Significant Scale.)

Next time she has an outburst, try this: Instead of being defensive, why don’t you take a step back and try to understand where she’s coming from?  If you really listen, you’ll probably see that there’s an underlying reason for it.  Most people don’t start arguments because it gives them a cozy, wet puppy kisses kind of feeling.  Be calm and sympathetic with her, and most likely, she’ll naturally reciprocate your actions and hopefully be given the opportunity to understand you better.  Then, you guys can have mature, grown-up conversations about the weather, your bills, and those damn pesky cats that keep digging in your mulch.

Now, doesn’t that just sound like a hoot?

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