So, your ex left you… and got back with the guy she dated before you.
There are plenty of reasons that relationships fail. But understanding why women walk away is no easy task. Trust me, even us women don’t fully understand why other women do what they do.
But, what I do understand is human behavior and psychology. And I have talked to the women and men that have come to ExBoyfriend Recovery and ExGirlfriend Recovery.
It is my personal opinion that there has been a shift in how we see relationships now as opposed to how they were addressed in the past. Back then, people would commit to each other and fight to stay together. Now, people seem to avoid commitment like the plague are far less likely to actually fight to stay together.
And with all of the different sources out there empowering people not to settle, people are learning how to walk away from anything that doesn’t serve them, women especially are realizing that they don’t have to settle for less than anything they want.
If that scares the crap out of you then, perhaps it’s time you figure out what it is that made your ex choose her ex over you. Because, as we said in this article, while the chances of getting your ex back are lower when she is seeing someone else, it is possible. However, it becomes nearly impossible if you don’t address the part you had to play in it.
So, let’s talk about the four most common reasons that women walk away from any relationship.
- She felt underappreciated.
- Constant disagreements
- She didn’t feel supported
- She found someone else
Chances are, whatever the issue was, she probably put off walking away for a while. I mean, we talk to the other people in our lives. They know when we aren’t happy. And most of the time we will make excuses right up until the moment we decide to walk away.
“He’s just so focused on this project at work right now.”
“He’s just not that affectionate around people.”
“He’s working through some stuff right now.”
These excuses aren’t just to convince our friends. We desperately try to convince ourselves as well. However, once we realize that we’ve been telling ourselves these things and that there has been no change in your behavior, we generally
Reason #1: Lack of Appreciation
Whatever reason she has for leaving most likely comes from a genuine concern of hers, real or imagined. However, when it comes to being appreciated, it comes down to how she feels. You can’t force her to feel any certain way. You can only pay attention to how you treated her and address it.
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Solution: It’s actually pretty simple to rectify this problem. You can work on expressing your gratitude for the people around you.
You can only do this if you are aware enough of what is going on around you to recognize when gratitude and appreciation are necessary.
It isn’t just with your ex. Make an effort with all of the people in your life.
- Being present is more than half the battle. You can’t notice anything if you’re asleep.
- Make a point to put your phone and other electronics away. Distractions are destructive to connecting with anyone, including your partner.
- Start making a point to say please when you want something from someone.
- Learn to keep your emotions in check. A lot of the time being aggravated or peeved isn’t easy to hide. Make a point to learn how to calm yourself down when your emotions start to take over. It will affect the way you communicate.
- Make a thoughtful effort. If you know something needs to be done that people generally just hate, take care of it and do your best not to rub it in that you did something. If you notice that they are down about something, do something to lift their spirit. One of the most thoughtful things anyone has done for me is notice that I have a full schedule and bring me coffee during the day. It’s small but it can turn an entire day around. (note: don’t do this with an ex who is on bad terms with you or who is seeing someone else. It’s unlikely that it would go over well.
- Respect what the people in your life want. Make a point to know their goals and what they want out of life. Don’t stand in there way. Be prepared to support them. And when it comes to someone you are actually dating, amp up the support.
Once you reconnect with an ex, these tactics can be used in a friendly manner to draw attention to the fact that you recognize the issue and are taking steps to change your behavior.
Nothing is more annoying than having an ex come at you and say,
“I’m not the same person! I’ve changed.”
…especially when there is no sign of any sort of change in sight.
In a breakup, seeing is believing. And, even if your ex is going out of her way to not have to interact with you, you can make these changes with everyone in your life someone will notice. Eventually, it will get back around to her. Be patient and be gracious with your people.
Reason #2: The Fighting
Every relationship has some sort of imbalance. I mean, you aren’t going to agree on everything 100% of the time. Once you get to the point where neither side will bend or compromise, it becomes harder and harder to hold the relationship together.
Faking it is even worse.
You have to learn how to actually communicatete.
Solution: Learn to communicate, compromise, and accept change.
Learning to communicate plays a MAJOR part in overcoming the problems in relationships. And as with most issues, you have to know how to keep your emotions on a short leash.
Once you make it through No Contact and get to the point where it is appropriate to reach out and establish rapport you need to be willing to change the way that you communicate. With her being in a relationship with her ex, you have to approach things strategically. I suggest you just try and keep a friendly banter going. And keep it friendly as long as it takes to recreate whatever bond brought you together in the first place or forge a new one.
Her new-old boyfriend will most likely not be fond of the idea. No matter how non-threatening you are, he won’t like it. So, you will have to be prepared for that as well.
Reason #3: Lack of Support
As I am sure you are aware, us girls like to talk about everything, especially when something is bothering us.
Don’t tell me you haven’t heard the phrase,
“…and you know what…”
long after you thought a discussion was over.
Everyone has concerns in their life and about their relationships. When women can’t communicate with their partner, they turn to other people. That’s why hairdressers and bartenders are known for becoming make-shift therapists. We’ll talk to anyone who will listen. Sometimes, girls will even turn to an ex that they consider a friend.
We do this not because we want to make people hate you. It’s more like we need reassurance that we are right. However, that doesn’t stop those people from weighing in.
And you know what people generally say when a person’s boyfriend isn’t supportive? I mean, I know what people have said to me in this type of situation.
“Who needs him?”
And, you know what? I’d probably say the same thing to someone in that situation, because if the person who claims to care about you can’t muster up even a little support, then there are millions of other guys out there to choose from. One of them is bound to support her.
Solution: Figure out what is important.
It isn’t hard to be supportive unless someone’s decision is directly harming you.I mean, one of my friends has a serious issue supporting his girlfriend’s choice to change occupations.
I mean, one of my friends has a serious issue supporting his girlfriend’s choice to change occupations. He didn’t even know his reasoning for being against it. Luckily, he chose to talk to me about it and we figured out that it came from his idea of what a relationship should be. He didn’t want her to be more successful than he was.
I asked him what was more important, making the relationship work or being with someone who made him feel relatively more successful.
Once he looked at it as a choice between the two, he realized that he couldn’t imagine a life without her in it, even if that meant that she might excel past him.
In fact, we realized that this might actually drive him to aim higher with his own career.
In this case, we changed his perception to see his girlfriend as his partner in life. They could push each other to become better versions of themselves.
If you are having a hard time supporting your ex’s life decisions, perhaps it’s time to take a look from a different perspective.
For your situation, you can work on changing your perspective during No Contact and then let it come up organically after you reconnect and build rapport.
Reason #4: Lack of Affection
The lovey-doviness of a new relationship doesn’t last forever.
I know… darn.
It takes work to make the person that you are with feel desirable.
However, there is this trend I’ve been seeing more and more of where people go out of their way to make the person that they are with feel less desirable to keep them from feeling like they have other options. This generally spawns from their own insecurity. And it is usually a sign of an unhealthy relationship.
And then there are just those people that aren’t that good at being affectionate.
Solution: Learn how to be more affectionate in general.
This isn’t one you can really act on when you are split up, but being affectionate to the people in your life that you care about can help a little bit.
In my own experience, I have dated men taht jsut weren’t particularly good at being affectionate. If this is the case, you can simply touch their arm when you laugh or stand closer when you are out with people. You don’t have to be all over her. Simply establishing a reassuring physical contact can show more affection than doing nothing.
However, if the affection that was once there has faded, you might have to take slightly more dramatic measures, like flowers or leaving sweet messages for her.
A Replacement Way of Thinking
A relationship is a lot like a car, if you don’t keep up the maintenance it will wind up not being able to go anywhere. It’s a shared responsibility. You each have to do your half. You can’t just assume they know what they are doing and hope for the best.
If a girl realizes that she’s doing the majority of the work, there are thoughts that start to creep in. She starts to wonder if there are other options.
“Where is this going?”
“Am I wasting my time?”
“My last relationship wasn’t like this.”
“I wonder if I could handle being single again?”
“I wonder what a relationship without these issues is like.”
I mean every relationship has it’s issues and everyone has these thoughts from time to time. It’s completely normal.
But it does take a certain level of fed-up-ness to actually make the leap back to a relationship that has already ended once.
So, believe me when I say that getting back with an ex that has already gotten back with another ex is no easy task.
You are going to have to make a serious effort to identify the reason or reasons behind the breakup and make a conscious effort to change whatever behavior you have that lent to the situation in the first place.
That’s the reason it is so difficult. Changing an ingrained behavior isn’t something that just happens overnight. You have to resolve yourself completely to the change.
The 5 Steps to Change Behavior
According to psychological studies, there are 5 steps to change any behavior.
- Give it some thought. What aspects will you have to change? Do your friends or family have some suggestions on the matter? I would make a list of possible behavior modifications, both from your own mind and from the people who know you best. (Quick tip: remind yourself that the people who are helping are trying to help, not hurt your feelings. It is easy to get your feelings hurt and lash out. We are trying to repair one relationship, not destroy others.)
- Slightly more serious thought. Figure out your REAL reason for making this change. It shouldn’t simply be to get your ex back. It should go beyond that. Like I said, getting your ex back isn’t guaranteed. So, the changes you make should lend to possible future relationships as well.
- Get psyched! Your level of determination will decide whether you are successful in making a real change or not. For example, if you are trying to lose weight, but you decide to eat all the junk food in your house first. Someone who is more determined would simply throw all the junk food out. If you REALLY want this, you have to make sure that you are 100% in.
- Do it! It’s one thing to just decide that you are going to do something, but nothing will change unless you actually do something. Take action!
- Gather Momentum. Most people set goals to change with an end goal in mind. It’s like dieting and working out to lose a certain amount and then quitting as soon as they reach their goal weight or driving with the parking brake on. Instead of making behavioral changes simply to get your ex back, make it about living a better life. Then you are more likely to stick with it.
Alright, well I’m done drawing you a roadmap. Hopefully, you’ll use it.
If you have any questions or use it to do something absolutely amazing, let me know in the comments I would LOVE to hear what you have to say.