Originally posted on TheStreet.com
Q: Two years ago, my wife of 19 years and I got a very amicable divorce. We agreed to keep our house for her and our two teenagers. For more than a year I've regretted our decision to divorce. I want to win her back. I truly believe she feels similarly. However, I was the one who initiated the separation. Please advise me of a good road to take here. Thanks.
A: Divorce is a traumatic, emotional experience that wounds those who have gone through it. If you are to get back together, some real healing must happen.
Your relationship's dynamics need to be shifted. This is usually a slow process, and it should be.
You can not treat the separation as a mere break from your 19-year marriage. It was an ending.
The question then becomes, how do you begin again? Start by asking yourself, which aspects of your relationship need to be different for success and longevity this time around? Both of your needs will have obviously changed.
Two people may love each other very much, but wanting to be together and being able to be together are two completely different things.
Here are some tips:
1. Define all that was not working previously and what needs to shift. This is most likely an inside job, so as of today, get clear on your own priorities.
Communicate to your ex-wife that you understand the source of the problem and will do anything to resolve it, immediately.
2. Respect her space. You are the one who asked for the divorce. This was no doubt a huge blow to her ego. She may now present a "forgive and forget" mentality but do not fool yourself, she is most likely still very angry and vulnerable.
If you feel her moving away as you push the issue of get backing together, understand that this is very natural and expected.
3. Create new moments. It is fine to take walks down memory lane. They'll remind her of good times past, and hopefully help to re-awaken her old passionate feelings.
However, this is a new chapter. Show her a new, softer, more malleable side of you. She needs to feel like there has been a profound shift in your thinking. It starts with how you experience the world with her. This will be a new relationship, filled with new challenges and new thrills as well.
4. Listen to her. Your ex-wife might have trouble voicing her hurt. Ask her if she'd like to see a counselor together to discuss your options. Perhaps she'd feel more comfortable with the idea of reuniting if she took ownership over her half of the decision.
Good luck to you sir! Please send all questions to ASK NOAH at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a profitable and peaceful week,