Question: My avoidant ex doesn’t want to talk about the break-up. She seems to only remember the problems we had; and gets angry when I bring up the break-up.
I have been working on getting back together for over 4 months and thanks to your book and site, things were going really good up until about a week ago. It started when she said something and I said her recollections of what happened are not accurate memories of the relationship as a whole. She said she didn’t wanted to talk about the relationship or the break-up anymore.
She seems to only remember the problems we had and gets angry when I bring up the good times we had together. We have known each other for almost 4 years and had some really great times, it’s hard to forget stuff that you want to remember and keep with you.
Now she says she thinks it’s best if we stop trying to get back together because it will never work between us. She want to be friends and that’s all. I worry that if I do not try to get her back and more time passes, she’ll move further and further away from me. I’d really appreciate your insights on my situation.
Yangki’s Answer: Avoidant exes in general do not want to talk about the break-up; and fearful avoidants tend to focus on only the problems and went wrong in the relationship. As discussed in the short video below, avoidants get angry because of the guilt and regrets they have about what went wrong.
If your avoidant ex doesn’t want to talk about the break-up, don’t bring it up; or try to force her to talk about it. I understand you don’t want to forget the good memories; but if this is the end result, it doesn’t make sense to keep bringing it up. If it means that much to you to keep the good memories alive; keep a journal, scrapbook or something. May be at some point in the future, she will be more open to sharing these memories with you.
My experience with avoidant exes tells me this is not the reason she suddenly decided after weeks of trying to get back together that things will not work out. The talk about the break-up reminded her that even if you’ve been trying to get back together; there are still unresolved problems/issues that are making it hard to get back together.
Of course talking about the old relationship would help identify and resolve those unresolved issues; but that doesn’t seem like an option since she does not want to talk about the past. Pushing it will only make things worse.
My advice is for you to set up a meeting to talk. Ask her what if anything needs to be changed or improved to make this work. Try as much as possible not to focus on these as “problems” but rather as challenges to be solved.
Why is this important?
When we hear the word “problem”, we mostly think of a “difficult thing or situation”; and if your ex is an avoidant, talking about a relationship “problem (s)” is stressful and even depressing because it brings up in them feelings and emotions they often do not want to feel or deal with.
Try using the word “differences” instead of problems. It doesn’t really change what needs to be talked about, resolved, worked on, changed or improved; but it can make a huge difference in attitude and energy. “Differences” not only removes blame from the situation; it also makes things sound more manageable.
For an avoidant, talking about differences of opinions, perspectives or experiences doesn’t involve a lot of “feeling” or emotions. It’s a more logical, rational and practical conversation which (if they are willing) is easier to have. They don’t have to talk about how they feel, just what they think. If you really think about it, at the end of the day, it won’t make much difference because you get to ‘talk” about what they would have avoided taking about.
I wouldn’t worry too much about the more time passes the further away she’ll move from you. If she doesn’t feel like it’ll work, it doesn’t matter how much time passes she will still not want to get back together. For now, give your relationship a decent chance by keeping your focus on why she thinks it’ll not work and showing her that it can. The time thing will take care of itself.
Even after 4 months of no contact and an apology text I sent, my DA ex didn’t want to discuss or “analyze” the past; they weren’t open to talking, and even said that we were friends and they liked me then and still do now – but that didn’t mean we had to communicate. They answered all texts I’ve sent, but the convos quickly died off. As an FA it eventually led me to unfriending and unfollowing them on all accounts and cutting ties. Once my emotions were regulated, I stopped trying.. Only to get a random text from them on a holiday. The dance of the FA and DA is self-destructive and uncharted territory for most. I love your website, and I find it helpful for DA advice. I also read that you only work with those who’ve established reconnection already, but isn’t that half the battle for the rest of us who are dealing with strong DA types resistant to visit the past?
Your story is a very good example of why I prefer that someone establish that their ex wants contact before paying me their hard-earned money. I don’t think it’s right for me to take money from someone knowing very well that their ex may not be open to talking or having any form of communication – and nothing they or I can do will change that.
No one feels reassured paying $150, only to be told “uhm, wait/do no contact for 4 months, then send and an apology text and maybe your DA ex will be open to talking, and if they’re not, unfriend, unfollow and cut all ties and maybe you’ll get a random text from them on a holiday.
I’m more comfortable taking money from someone if an ex is showing signs of wanting contact even if it’s only superficial. I use that opening to try and change things.
Dear Yangki, I love your advice and the stances you take on love/romance.
If I have not been in contact with my ex for over two years, is there any good way to break the ice? Or some definite “do-nots”? It is her birthday next month as well.
If she is frank and asks very quickly “why are you emailing??” how do I communicate interest without sounding too clingy or desperate?
Thank you =)
Thank you for your kind words. This site is about COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR EX. More importantly, communicating interest and feelings without coming across as needy, clingy or desperate. Spend more time reading different articles, comments/questions and my responses.
Thank you so much Christine, this really helps. Your articles have been an amazing teacher. I’ve learned more about myself by just reading your articles than I’ve learned in my dating experiences altogether.
Thanks again =)
I had a relationship like that with my ex. We just could not get on the same page, I’d want to get back together and she didn’t, she wanted to get back together and I was unsure, etc. There was a lot of back and forth and after a while we both agreed we both changed a lot and it just wouldn’t work. Good luck with yours. Good advice too.