Question: My ex didn’t care about my feelings when we were together but now that we’re not together he’s being so unbelievably sweet and caring. He has apologized and wants to spend the rest of his life with me. But, I am very wary and can not bring myself to believe what he says after some things that happened in the past. It is so painful and hard when someone you invested so much time with hurts you. I’m torn between wanting to try to make this work and thinking that he’s saying and doing things just to get me back, and once we get back together things will go back to what they used to be. Am I reacting from the past instead of focusing on the future?
Yangki’s Answer: I think you are thinking very, very clearly, and it’s good that you are. They say the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour. So you have every reason to be wary.
As for the changes being real, sometimes something like a break up can cause so much trauma that a person finally wakes up or is desperate and willing to do anything to get back an ex. I’ve worked with men and women who really have made some changes and become different and better than the person their ex broke up with. So may be the break up really affected your ex and he really has changed but only time will tell. The reason I say “only time will tell” is because for some people, these changes are superficial and only temporal – until they get an ex back. I’ve seen many try to manipulate and deceive an ex for their benefit — and if they can, they will. Sad but true.
My suggestion is for you to:
1) Hold off on getting back together until you’ve sorted out your feelings — on your own. This is a golden opportunity to think about what it is you want – for you and negotiate your wants and needs. If in your gut, you strongly believe that you don’t feel about him the same you felt when you were first attracted to him, then you need to re-evaluate your relationship and decide if this is what you really want.
2) Have a thorough discussion with him on how things will be different if at all you get back together. Make sure that his understanding of what “try again” means matches yours. If it seems that all he wants is just get back together instead of working at the relationship, that should make you even more wary.
3) If you do decide in the end to go back to your ex, make this a gradual process, one foot in at a time. No need to rush into anything. If you feel like you’re being rushed, it’s most likely because he’s afraid you’ll discover or find out something about him that will make you change your mind about getting back together. If it’s all about him and what he wants, be rest assured, nothing has changed.