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Saturday, July 2, 2011

How to make a relationship work the second or third time around

Is our relationship worth another try? Can 'second time around' relationships work? Can a relationship work the third time around? Are 'second time around' relationships worth it? How can we make our relationship work this time around?
Looking in each others eyes:
Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Deciding to try and make a relationship work the second or third time around can be a very hard decision to make and a lot of thoughts and questions might flood your mind.
The odds seem against you
There is often a lot of negativity focused on second or third time around relationships with statements such as ‘If it didn’t work out the first or second time around will it really work out now?’ or ‘ Your ex is your ex for a reason!’ often heard.
Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
If you seriously have feelings for each other and feel that you’d like to give the relationship another shot you should try your very best to block out all negativity and focus on your love for each other. Remember, something must be keeping u coming back to each other – everything happens for a reason.

Prince William and Kate Middleton
Conquer those negative vibes and sayings with ones like ‘if he comes back it WAS MEANT TO BE’. Remember, despite what everyone else around you (friends, family, and the Internet or TV programs) may tell you, it’s ultimately your decision to make.
Forget about what everyone else may say because if Prince William and Kate Middleton could do it (enjoying a successful relationship and even getting married after getting back together again) you could too. Look at the positive and allow such iconic couples to be your motivation and inspiration.
Fix it up
In order to fix a relationship and try the second or third time around there are various things that you need to do and make sure of in order to prevent the relationship from failing again. There are numerous tips to follow which could bring you closer to success.
The important thing to remember is that a relationship can’t be fixed or put back together again over night. It takes a lot of hard work to build a relationship and coming from a failed relationship it will be twice as hard. You can’t rush back into the relationship and expect everything to be okay. You need to discuss a lot before you officially decide to get back together again.
Also remember not to treat the relationship as another try, fix up or patch work. Rather treat it as a new relationship as far as you can.
How to make the relationship a success
Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
  1. Can the problems be fixed?
In order to know whether or not the problems can be fixed you first need to know exactly what the problems were.
You need to discuss (as a couple) what went wrong and where the problem lied. Do this without pointing fingers or blaming anyone. You both need to accept responsibility for the relationship and what happened throughout it as a relationship works both ways.
Once you know where the problem was you can work towards fixing it.
·         Decide what you’re both going to change or do differently in order to make the relationship work.
·         You can both set ground rules on what is or isn’t acceptable in your new relationship.
·         Decide whether you need to get counseling or involve a third party (like a parent, older sibling or a role model couple) for support.
Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
  1. Sort out the past
As part of deciding what the problem is you need to sort out the past. Remember that you both made mistakes and that none of that matters any more. You’re going into a new relationship together so everything that happened in your past relationship or when you weren’t together anymore becomes null and void.
  1. Treat each relationship as a new one – leave the past in the past
As mentioned, the new relationship needs to be treated as such.
You need to remember that your past is your past and that if you want to fix things and start a fresh you need to leave the past right there. Discuss it so that it’s in the open (if you feel that you need honestly and openness or if it will give you an opportunity to make a knowledgeable decision) but if you choose to get back together again everything that happened in the past needs to count for nothing.
Also remember that disclosing every single little thing might leave bad memories or hurt things even more, so use your discretion with regards to this.
  1. Forgive and forget
Forgiveness is the key to starting afresh
·         Forgive your partner for whatever it is you feel they may have done wrong in the relationship (cheating, hurting your feelings, or breaking up with you)
·         Forgive yourself (for all the same)
·         You might never be able to fully forget what happened in the past or what went wrong but you need to remember that you both made mistakes and that you want to move forward.
  1. Learn from past mistakes and don’t repeat them
True love:
Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
In order to move ahead with your relationship it is important that you learn from your mistakes and what went wrong. That is the whole point in figuring out what caused the relationship to fail initially. If you don’t learn from your mistakes as a couple and keep repeating them you’re just going to keep on ending up right back where you started – at the break up spot.
It’s no use knowing what you’re mistakes or down falls were if you going to repeat them. You need to move forward not backwards.
  1. Communicate: a lack of communication is what causes many relationships to fail
Communication is always key. Whenever you feel that you’re relationship is drifting back towards failure you need to discuss the problems and what’s happening.
Sit down and talk about everything. Discuss everything no matter what. Communication is essential in every relationship. Without communication neither of you will know where you stand and your relationship will begin failing.
  1. Argue, but communicate
It’s okay to argue. It shows that you both still care. The worrying time comes when the arguments stop because that means that neither of you cares about the relationship nor is willing to fight for it so you’re both just ready to let it to die out.

Arguing is part of communication and communication is good.
All in all, everything is possible with love. As previously mentioned if you’re thinking about getting back together again (maybe even for the third time) there has got to be something that keeps you wanting to try which means that you must have some sort of connection. Love is not a game and there is no handbook, manual or rules. No one can tell you what you should or should not do. If you both feel that you love each other enough to give the relationship another try then keep the above tips in mind and go for it.
Love always protects, always trusts, always HOPES, and always PERSEVERES.
(1 Corinthians 13:7)
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  1. I had a friend who got dumped twice by the same guy. After she got dumped a second time, I listened to her talk for a whole YEAR about what a jerk he was. I was there for her whenever she needed to vent or cry, reminded her of how rotten he was, and tried to make her feel better. A month ago, the ex contacted her again. She ran right back to him and ditched ME, even going so far as to block me on Facebook. Not once did I judge her for her actions, all I did was listen. After all that, I had no problem dumping my "friend".

    What I'm trying to say is: Listen to your friends. Listen to yourself. If you have to hide things from people or drop people who have always been there for you so that you can go running back to a piece of garbage, something is very WRONG. But if you really, TRULY believe you can make it work, by all means go for it.

  2. Hi there!

    Thanks for the comment.

    I completely understand where you're coming from. I'm really sorry that you went through that with your friend and I wish there was maybe a way you could tell her exactly how you feel. Maybe it would help you get closure on the situation (at least if you can't sort things out).

    If things don't work out between your friend and the guy she's with and she does come back to you, you should really make it clear to her that you're not just gonna be there for her until he comes back and she runs off to him dropping you again.

    You need to speak your mind.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do :)

  3. Me and my girl are going threw hard time because I cheated on her more then once. We are trying to work it but I wanna show her that I can change. What should I do?


    1. Hi there

      Thanks for commenting and contributing towards this site.

      My best advice to you would be to prove it. Actions speak louder than words so by saying you want to “show her that you can change” you need to really do that and show it.

      Trust is something that needs to be built and earned and by the fact that you’ve cheated on her more than once you’ve broken that trust so you need to regain it and never ever do anything to break it again.

      Looking at things from your girlfriend’s point of view, you should really be extremely thankful that she gave you another chance and is trying to work on the relationship with you. You need to appreciate this and show her how thankful you are and that you value her and her goodness in trying to forgive you.

      You need to know and understand that this can in no way be easy for her and the fact that you want to know how to show her you can change; you clearly know this already.

      The following would also help make your relationship a little better especially for her:
      • Treat her well – Make her feel special. She’s going to need as much re-assurance and love as she can get. Show her that she’s special and that you’re going out of your way to make her feel that way. Tell her you love her a lot, buy her flowers when you can, leave her cute messages. Romantic things to say to your girlfriend
      and Romantic things to do for your girlfriend
      for more on this.
      • Be understanding – being the person that was cheated on is in no way easy. In most cases having been cheated on leads to feelings of insecurity and anxiety so you need to make sure that you minimize this for her as much as you can. Don’t give her reason to worry about whether or not you’re cheating on her again; if she requires you to limit contact with girls she doesn’t know, exes or anyone else that makes her feel insecure then do it. It’s basically stuff like this that is the least you can do for her in the situation you’ve put her in.
      • Get counselling. Relationship counselling or therapy can sometimes help fix a relationship. Infidelity is a major issue and sometimes it’s hard for couples to work through it or fix their relationships on their own. Couples therapy or counselling allows an unbiased outsider to help and contribute positively towards your relationship. For more on this Read here

      It’s really great that you want to find ways to fix and better your relationship as well as proving your love and loyalty to your girlfriend. If you’re both dedicated and committed to your relationship and each other then you’re relationship will be okay – you can make it work.

      Good luck and God Bless

  4. im going through somethings with my girlfriend right now.its like our communitcation sucks. and i dont really know how to bring it to her attention to let her know that i think we need to communicate more. and how do i get her to be more emotional towards me, its like i never really know how she is feeling.

    1. Hi there!

      Thanks a lot for commenting :)

      It’s really awesome that you’re trying to work on the communication aspect of your relationship and that you care so much about how your girlfriend feels and what she thinks (to an extent of wanting her to be more emotional with you).
      Many girls have a problem with their boyfriends not being able to communicate well or open up to them because guys and girls don’t often communicate in the same ways or view communication in the same light – you feeling the way that you do makes you more like the perfect boyfriend.

      I’m not sure if you have spoken to her about this before but if you haven’t a quick suggestion would be to do so. My best advice would be to make light of the conversation. Don’t go all heavy on her by making it a “we need to talk” or “there’s something we need to talk about” situation, rather make it sweet and throw some romance into the situation because that’s one universal thing that really melts girls.

      Positive ways to talk to her about it:

      - During one of your chilled moments or while on a fun date look at her lovingly and say ‘I wish I knew what was going through your head all the time.”
      - Tell her that you want her to tell you each and every little thing that goes through her mind all the time no matter what because you want to be so connected to her that you know what she’s thinking every moment.
      - Tell her that if she were a little more open with you in telling you every single little thing whether she thought it were a big deal or not it would make you feel like the best thing on earth cause it would take you so much closer to knowing her better than anyone else in the world.

      If you can make everything more about you wanting to know her better and less about her not communicating properly or not being open enough, it will make her more likely to try and put an effort into opening up a little more. In relationships we’re prone to get easily offended or defensive when someone seems to be ‘attacking us’, blaming us for something, or making it appear that we’re not doing something right. You need to go out of your way to make sure she doesn’t see your need for her to be more open with you as you saying she’s doing something wrong or not doing something right. If you express your feelings and concerns to her in a proper manner, it will make her less defensive and more open.

      Good luck and God Bless!

  5. hi there, i need help.... ive had a wonderful relation for more than 3 years but my guy broke up with me because i lied to him about me having physical relation with my ex even before i met my current guy. he some how figured it out and broke up with me because i lied to him inspite of him asking me about the same a lot of times. he thinks he gave me a lot of opportunities but i never came clean. now he has lost it. after the breakup he kept in touch with me for another six months to c if it would work out but decided that he would not trust me even if we got back together. he feels betrayed. and when he told me he has moved on n wants me to move on i said ok to the breakup n told him i would not make an atempt to reach him. i did this only because i wanted him to feel better. i thought that would do some justice. but im not able to move on and its very depressing to think of a life without such a perfect relationship. I would like to have him back. what should i be doing.. iam really confused right now... and to add to the problems right now we have moved into a state of long distance relationship...


    1. Thanks for commenting and sharing your story.

      I'm sorry about your current situation and know how painful the ending of a long term relationship can be.

      I have answered your comment in full and provided in-depth advice in a post here (please read).

      Hope you find this helpful.

      Good luck and God Bless.

  6. My fiancee broke up and moved out 3 months before our wedding. He had a nervous breakdown and was feeling pressure financially as he earn't less than me. He also had issues of chronic instability so marriage was quite scary. I was naturally completely devastated and hurt when he saw another girl 3 month's later. We went through therapy and started dating again but it seemed he was only wanting to date rather than working towards the goal of living with each other and getting married so I broke it off. He then started to see this girl again and then went through a depressive episode losing his job, had no where to live etc and then he finally saw a psychologist to work out his issues. He has tried to be in contact with me even though I've been trying to limit it as I didn't want to send him over the edge given he was so depressed so just was in contact for the occasional coffee as a friend. He seemed to turn his life around the last few months and landed a great job with a great salary and found a new place to live. Meanwhile I tried to move on and had a short month fling with a friend which was not great and just made me realise how much I loved my ex-fiancee. He asked me out to dinner and said he wants to try again saying he has a good job now so we won't have to struggle and can have a good life now and even said if things are fine in the next few months we should live together again, however he still is in contact as a friend with this girl. I obviously have insecurity and trust issues given everything he did ie cancelling wedding and seeing this other woman. I still love him and he says he still loves me but I need him to do more and to re-establish the trust I think the right thing is for him to break off all contact with this recent ex who I know still wants to get back with him. I've basically said I will trust him but he needs to come to the decision himself and do what is right about wiping the slate clean and not having contact with this ex. I've told him he can have some time to think about whether he can do it. Do I give this guy I still love a chance or just move on?

    1. Hi there :)

      Thanks a lot for the comment and contribution.

      You seem spot on with regards to what to do and are on the right track.

      1. You limited contact when you needed to.
      2. You still showed him support as a friend when he was having a horrible time
      3. You went for counselling and ended things when it became evident that you didn’t have the same goals in mind
      4. You made known to him the fact that he needs to think about what he wants to or needs to do and make a decision on it.

      You totally don’t need me! :D

      Financial problems are one of the biggest causes of break-ups and divorces (please read here for statistics on this) and it’s evident that this one part of the reason (as it appears, a really big part) of your break-up.

      I can definitely see and understand why having the other girl in his life (regardless of whether it’s just as a friend or not) bothers you. I agree with the fact that if he wants to work on the relationship with you, especially considering the fact that he was the one who damaged the relationship and your trust in the first place, he should be able to break away completely from the other woman for good.

      I think that you’re right to expect him to make this decision himself as forcing into it might resort in him keeping contact with her behind your back which would definitely not be a good thing.

      With regards to giving him another chance, I would say that that is all up to you. If you feel that he is willing to do everything he can (including getting rid of the other girl) to fix your relationship and build your trust and your willing to try again (no matter how slowly the steps may be) then you should go ahead and tell him that. Make sure that he adheres to what you want (especially with regards to the other woman) and don’t settle for anything less – you are the victim her not him.

      If he cannot commit fully to you and agree to let the other girl go completely then you shouldn’t put yourself back in that relationship. You are awesome at putting yourself first (as displayed in your post) and you need to maintain that.

      Don’t let anyone ruin your happiness. Make the right decision for you. Be clear, be straight and settle for no less than the relationship you deserve.

      Good luck and God Bless!

  7. My ex contacted me on new years day. At the stroke of midnight he sent me a whatsapp message, wishing me and my family a happy new year. we haven't spoken in 2 months. I still have feelings for him. it's really hard to cope with and to prevent myself from trying to contact him. but i managed somehow. both of us have that one ex that really somehow 'damaged' us. for him he's commitment phobic and for me I just keep expecting him to cheat or leave so i'd rather pull the plug on us first. but we are really into each other, when we forget our insecurities we really make it work. than somehow something the other does will remind us of our insecurities and we'll start pulling back again. this has been the heart of our problem. i need the stability of the commitment. and he doesnt like that. major issues i know ... but yea... am now at a loss as to what to do.

    1. Hi there!

      Thanks for commenting and sharing your story.

      All relationships leave us with something – an experience or a lesson learnt. Some relationships change us for the better and other for the worse but we always have something to take with us.
      It’s really sad that you and your ex have both been scarred by past relationships to such an extent that it negatively impacts your next relationships (such as the one you had with each other).

      I would suggest that you talk about things if you haven’t already – which I’m sure you have. Make sure that it’s an in-depth conversation. Discuss your problems. You both know and understand what you’re going through as you’ve both been through similar things although with different insecurities. It should be easier to help and understand each other.

      A step further would be to get couples therapy. Please read here... Not only would it help you both speak about everything and officially get everything out in the open, it would also bring you closer together knowing that you both find your relationship so important that you’re willing to do something like couples therapy or counselling together in order to try and fix things.

      Good Luck and God Bless!

  8. Hi so I have a question. My boyfriend of almost four years (all of undergrad) just broke up with me for the third time about a month ago. He broke up 7 months into our relationship becausr he wasnt sure he likes me then we got back together two months after. Almost two years later he broke up with me because I had become extremely resentful and bitter towards him and he couldnt take it anymore. Then he recently just broke up with me a montj ago because we have been arguing over little things and have had the same problems we did last time, me being disrespectful and yelling, and him backing away and not putting in as much effort in turn. These were the same problems we had last year when we broke up and we both promised to change. He definitely improved a lot where as I did at first but then forgot the good and returned to my disrespectful self. I still love him and I know he loved me. On fb I see hes out with his friends always having a blast and I wonder if he misses me too. Weve had nc for almost one month and in this time he hasnt once tried to reach out towards me. We are each others first gf and bf. Everyone is telling me to move on but I cant help but feel as if there was just something special between us. Oh also, for the past two years, and now forever onwards, we have been and will continue to be long distance. I had transferred colleges and now I work and live at home where as he will graduate in december and then find a Job somewhere in the country. Im not sure what to do but any advice would be awesome. I just love him a lot and I know this time I have to change foe real. So ive been trying to really work on myself. Thank you :)

    1. Hi there

      Thanks a lot for commenting and sharing your story. I hope I will be able to help a little.

      Put simply, the only way to show someone that you have changed “for real” or that you plan to, is to do it. You can’t tell them or convince them especially if you’ve said that you would before and then failed. You can only demonstrate this by your actions. React differently to situations and things. Show him as best you can that you’ve changed. It’s okay to say it but he’s more likely to believe it by seeing it. You might need to ask him to give you a chance to show him. Please read "How to show someone you've changed" as this might help.

      Maybe suggest you give your relationship one more shot on a trial or probation period whether a month or three months. Let him know that you’ve been together so long and been through so much including the fact that you’re each other’s firsts. Remind him of hard times you’ve been through or the years you shared and ask that he give your relationship one last try as not to just let it all be thrown away so easily. Apologize for whatever you feel you may have done wrong and mention the changes you will make. Please remember through that although you may feel that most of the blame lies on you, he can in no way be 100% perfect. Everyone makes mistakes and has their flaws so please don’t beat yourself up too much.

      Good luck and God Bless!

  9. Hi I came across your article when I lost all hope of getting back together with my boyfriend after breaking up with him twice because I lost feelings for him. We dated for six months and broke up two weeks then dated three weeks and broke up again. First break up we were still contacting and we reconciled. It's been a month since the second break up an just when I thought I have moved on the feelings came rushing in and I cannot imagine my life without him. I know I have done him so much harm he is my first love and treats me so well and loved me unconditionally. And I was in so much guilt for breaking it up twice with him. I fear I may have lost trust forever. But something is telling me we still had a chance. He told me he won't come back to me anymore and if I want to go back to him he won't entertain me as well. I was agreeable to that a month ago. Now I'm not so sure. I missed him terribly. And I'm so sorry for hurting him so much. We haven't been talking for a month and at first I am ok with leaving him alone he derserve time to heal but I just need to hear from him. Is missing him all that i am feeling? I just wanted to initiate contact and am afraid that this will drive him away. I thought I moved on and felt relieved but now I want nothing but to try at this relationship again. Even though there may be no chance left :(

    1. HI Xin

      I'm sorry about what you are going through and hope that I can help a little.

      Breakups are extremely hard.

      It's true what they say that our first real relationships usually have the biggest impact on us. These relationships are sometimes the hardest to break away from. Based on experience, my first real relationship was one of these. We broke up and got back together again a million times. It was like a habit to such an extent that even after breaking up for the final time and staying that way for over 2 years now, a part of me still feels like in the back of my mind that we're gonna make up again one day. Maybe in this life or the next.
      'Break-up and make-up' relationships are tricky:
      - Either you're definitely NOT meant to be together and that's why you're destined to keep breaking up
      - Or you REALLY ARE meant to be together and that's why you keep making up.
      It's extremely hard to know the difference.

      I focus my mind on the fact that – ‘Whatever's meant to be will happen’. If you're meant to be together; you will be. If not - you won't be. We can't change destiny or fate. It just happens. All we can do is wait around and watch life happen.

      I think the biggest thing for you is to try and figure out why you keep breaking up. What is the problem? Is there a noticeable issue like you fight a lot, don't communicate well or don't have enough in common? Or is it something underlying like either of you gets bored easily or only enjoys the chase and once you have the relationship you don't really want it anymore?
      If you don't know what has gone wrong in your relationship you can't fix it. You both need to own up, acknowledge what was wrong and fix it. That’s the only way your relationship could even stand a chance.

      I hope this helps!

      Good luck and God Bless


  10. I have a similar situation my ex fiance called it off 2 weeks ago. We have been together 5 years and been through 2 breakups. Firs time was about 1 1/2 in to the relationship we argued and he lacked in communication. I moved out and then 3 months later he wanted to get back together so we tried again. 2 years later same thing arguments. . He had this friends that would always be at our house and i was sick and tired of it. He said all i did was complain and "nag" but honestly in a home with kids you dont need to have another man sleeping on the couch on the weekend and hanging out all the time. So i had enough his friend was moving since he lost his job. Idk if he was very upset about his "friend" was moving and he wouldn't have his bromance. Anyway we got in an argument that day because i didn't want to help him pack the uhaul. He told me he was done.. and i need to get the eff of of the house. I did a few days later. 4 months later hes back again this time we got engaged. Now 2 weeks ago we has issues/ arguments and again hes closed off and called if off and said hes done he doesn't want to work on it and hes completely done. Im just wondering if he comes back again this time would it be worth trying again? Im honestly stuck. When were happy were so good but if something goes bad its horrible. I just don't know what to think. I'm moving out tomorrow. I know i will be OK without him but I'm just really confused i hope he grows up.

    1. Hi there

      Thanks a lot for commenting.
      What a hectic situation. I completely and totally understand where you're coming from and what you mean. Personally I was in a very similar relationship. The good was awesome and terrific. The bad almost always led to yet another break up. It became such a pattern that subconsciously with every break up I "knew" it would just be a matter of time before we made-up. And even though our final breakup happened 3 years ago, somewhere in my subconscious I can still feel a tiny bit of me thinking there's still a make-up somewhere in the future.
      We didn't have any kids together though. Children always change everything.

      One thing to note is that, you can never REALLY AND COMPLETELY be over because you're always going to need to have contact and be around each other for the sake of your children. You're tied together forever. In order to co-parent you're going to need to spend a considerable amount of time together and keep contact which ultimately means you will have some sort of a relationship.

      Firstly, this will make it a bit harder for you to move on completely especially if you still have feelings for him. Secondly, in the same way the contact and time together may make it easier for you to slip into another 'make-up" even if you don't want to.

      Another note would be; the pattern of breaking up and making up, especially when it becomes a subconscious thing (you assume that when you break up you'll get back together again sometime and that it's not forever, even though it may not be this way for you it might before your ex) sometimes leads to us taking "break-ups" lightly. It may be a case that you break up too easily over things that could otherwise be worked on or fixed. You take the term "let’s end things", "It's over", or "I'm done" lightly and it doesn't mean much because you assume you’ll get back together again.

      Yes, this is definitely the main problem. Having children especially, instability in that sense is not healthy for them. They need a stable environment where they know what's going on whether that is that you're together or that you are apart. They can't have you together for a few months and then a part for a few and then together etc. they need consistency and stability. At the same time a toxic relationship isn't healthy for them either so you and your ex need to decide what is best for your kids and stick to it.

      I think that if in the future either of you decides that you want to fix things, make sure that you agree on it being the very last time. Make it clear that for the children’s sake you need to be consistent. You need to either be together or apart or agree that if either of you ends it it will be for good.
      I'd also suggest you maybe seek relationship counselling. It might help to discuss things with an outside party involved. An unbiased third party sometimes helps a lot.

      Another thing that might help - maybe for you, maybe for you and your ex to do together - is to list the pros and cons of your relationship and being together. You've established that there are many good times. And that the good times are extremely good. Evidently there are some bad times to. If the bad outweighs the good then things definitely need to end. If the good outweighs the bad then maybe it's worth a final shot.
      List things like the happy times, the children having both their parents etc. as the pros and the fights and arguments, the break-ups and lack of communication as the cons. List everything you can think of and then take things from there.
      The best article for you to read would be “Should I take my ex back”

      I really hope this helps.

      Good luck and God Bless!!



  11. I have a huge favor to ask of you. I posted a journal entry on my wattpad account less than a week ago. If I reply with the link, would you mind reading it? It's about my ex girlfriend and my feelings and such. You see we broke up twice; me being the one to end things both times. I explain things pretty descriptively on there. I'd really appreciate the advice to be given in the comments of the entry. Thank you so much for your time.

    1. Hi there :)
      No problem at all.
      Please drop the link below.
      - Jade


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