By NoGamesLove Coach Laurel House
Dating Coach Laurel HouseAdam Levine is engaged! 3 weeks after getting back with his ex, he proposed. But does that happen in the real world. Did they address the reason for the breakup? Have they healed from the distrust that occurs from the simple act of leaving?
When getting back with your ex, you need to realize that this is not a new rosy relationship. Whether it was an issue of cheating, losing interest, bad timing, or something else, you broke up because you were broken, not bent. Before you can move forward, you have to move back and address the issues, fix the break, and regain trust.
But here's where it gets tricky, even the sheer act of leaving creates distrust because you have created an unstable environment. How does he know that you won't pick up and leave again, or vice versa. How does he know that when times get tough or you don't get what you want, that you won't just ditch him again? If you don't have trust in a relationship, you don't have anything.
I Lost Trust
I know because I have been there- on both sides. I was with someone who I believed was cheating on me. After I got over my anger, I still felt a lot of love for him, so we tried to make it work again. But we didn't address the issue: the flirting and possible cheating. We just sort of brushed it under the wrong. But I never trusted him again- which ended up corroding the relationship to the point of destruction.
I Created Distrust
I have also been in a relationship in which I was the one who broke the trust. I didn't break it by cheating, I broke it by leaving prematurely because I wasn't getting wanted I wanted out of it. Even though I ended it, I still loved him and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't take my mind off of him. We ran into each other and the chemistry was as potent as ever. We couldn't stay away from each other and ended up getting back together. I expected him to drop the hurt and move forward. But he couldn't, and instead we took several steps back. His slow start frustrated me… So I left again. And he took me back. And I left again. And each time I was sitting there asking him:
-We love each other, why can't you move forward faster?
-Why can't you be vulnerable with me again and be that amazing guy that you were when we very first started dating?
-You wanted me back, you got me, now grab me!
-We know each other, why can't you move forward to the next level? What's the hold up?
Yeah… he knew me. He knew me as a leaver. Someone who left suddenly and repeatedly. How can he just pick up, rev those engines again and run with me full force? Sure, sometimes that works. Sometimes couples get back together and suddenly the question is popped and they do their aisle walk- look at Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel. But that's not common and it's also not smart. You build a relationship atop a foundation of trust and dedication. Leaving proves the opposite. What I was too blind to realize was that each time I left, I was breaking us down even more. I turned our trust into tartar, attempting to mash it back together each time. Yet I never addressed or attempted to fix the problem.
1- I didn't acknowledge or attempt to first fix the root of problem- the distrust. The root causes other responses- like his lack of emotional availability, coldness, a disinterest in what made me happy, and the little niceties that help maintain a relationship. My action of leaving created distrust, which trigged him to not treat me like a girlfriend, be very tough on me, and put little thought into us and instead focus his time, energy and attention on everything but.
2- I created an environment of distrust. He never knew if I was going to leave. So he was unwilling to emotionally commit.
3- I demanded that he get over it and that we move forward in the relationship. Demanding never works in a relationship. It just causes fighting or shutting down.
4- I didn't acknowledge what I was doing wrong. Somehow I was completely oblivious to the errors in my way. He tried to explain them, but I couldn't stop bitching for long enough to stop talking and just listen for a second.
5- I didn't acknowledge that his coldness and the walls he built up around himself were to defend himself from the pain I caused him.
6- I left every time I got frustrated, further exacerbating the problem.
7- I was selfish. I never asked him how I could help him heal. I was so focused on what I needed him to do, that I never asked him what I could do to be better.
8- I was not empathetic. I didn't put myself in his shoes so that I would know how I would feel if he repeatedly left me. If I were him, would I be able to trust me, open up to me, dedicate completely to me without fear?
9- I got caught up in the blame game, but couldn't accept my wrong doings. It's an awful cycle that can be hard to break.
10- I was so focused on the little things (flowers, sweet nothing's, date nights, sleepovers), and the big things (fears of my fertility, wanting to have a family with him…), that I couldn't see that it was my fault in the first place that he built up the wall that was erected between us.
In the end… and it did finally end, we were broken, not bent. But when it comes down to it, I did the breaking. I broke my own heart, and his too.
I learned. Finally. Too little too late. But at least I can take these lessons and be better, kinder, and less selfish in my next relationship.