couple in living roomIf you’re considering reuniting with an ex-partner, there are many challenges to navigate. You’ll want to evaluate whether getting back together is a positive decision for both of you. Then, it also takes constructive effort to make your reunion work. These suggestions can help you through this process.

Deciding to Get Back Together

1. Know the odds. By some estimates, 60% of remarriages end in divorce, so be realistic about your chances. Still, you could be among the 40% that work, so that is all that matters for your own future.

2. Give yourself some breathing space. Take time to reflect. It’s often easier to look at the situation more accurately when you have some time to yourself compared to when you and your partner may have been getting on each other’s nerves daily.

3. Assess the reasons why you parted. Some factors, like domestic violence, are clear signals that you’re probably better off on your own.

* On the other hand, if your relationship foundered under the stress of job loss or the death of a loved one, you might bounce back once you address the underlying issue.

4. Watch out for loneliness. It’s natural to want your old life back, especially if you’re uncomfortable being alone or have a string of disappointing dates. Analyze your motives, cultivate your friendships, and do some volunteer work.

* A strong support network and meaningful activities will help to keep distressing emotions from distorting your vision.

5. Respect each other’s feelings. Of course, both sides must want the relationship back. If your partner is less willing, focus on building a better life for yourself independently.

6. Seek counseling. If you think you would benefit from an expert and objective point of view, talk with a therapist. Most communities have free or low cost services to accommodate any budget.

Making Your Reunion Work

1. Proceed slowly. Take things gradually. Polite exchanges with your ex-spouse could lead to a healthy friendship or even a renewed romance.

2. Start off fresh. If you decide to get back together, treat it like a new beginning. Go out on dates and look for opportunities to give each other sincere compliments.

3. Learn to forgive. Whatever choice you make, forgiveness is essential to healing. Accept accountability for your own actions. Develop compassion for your partner and whatever errors they may have made.

4. Improve your communication skills. Relationship skills can be learned and improved. Becoming more competent at communication is bound to help. Take formal classes, read self help books, and practice daily.

5. Decide for yourself. Friends and family may be skeptical about your reconciling. Listen to their input but remain in charge of your own destiny.

6. Expect changes. People change over time. You may encounter new issues while you clear up your past obstacles.

7. Talk with your children. Providing stability for their children is a priority for many couples. Respond to their questions with age-appropriate information. Reassure them of your love whether you all become one household again or continue living apart.

8. Make contingency plans. Hope for the best and make plans to safeguard your wellbeing. Both of you may want to hold onto your separate residences for a time. If you’re getting remarried, you and your spouse may feel more secure with a prenuptial in place this time around.

Think carefully about why you want to give love a second chance. Reunions are challenging but often worthwhile. You and your partner might wind up happier than ever the second time around.