Question: My ex says he still loves me but doesn’t think I’ll change. I honestly thought I had changed but because I went back to my old ways; it seems that my ex may not give me another chance. I’ve realized my mistakes and I’m also going to therapy to better myself and work on my issues. Is there any way I can fix this? We still talk (he does not like no contact and referred me to your site), and he says he still loves me but also struggles with believing I can change. He does not want to get hurt.
Yangki’s Answer: You’re still talking that means that your ex indeed loves you; and somewhere deep inside he probably hopes that will change.
It’s because of situations like this that I advice against telling your ex you have changed. New behaviour takes time to take root and become part of the new you. Almost always the old habits will show up again and again until the new behaviour completely takes over.
But when the old behaviours show up they make your ex believe you have haven’t changed.
Some people stay away from their ex until they’re confident they’ve really changed. The problem with this approach to getting back your ex is that when you show up claiming you’ve changed; your ex will not believe you. Most people don’t believe people change, and even those that do; they want to know what you did to change and see how you have changed before they can believe you.
Right now your ex doesn’t believe that you will change but as he sees the changes, he will begin to believe you changed.
It’s best to maintain contact but not actively try to get back together.
- This buys you time to get rid of the old habits;
- Gives your ex the opportunity to see first hand what you’re doing to change and how you’re changing;
- It helps both of you get used to the new you, and the new dynamic in the “relationship”.
Since he’s still open to contact, be honest and tell him you honestly thought you had changed, but you obviously need more work to do. Tell him you are not asking him to take you back, and not promising you will change overnight but would like to keep the lines of communication open and see what happens.
If he’s okay with that, use the second chance, not to try to get back together right away, show him first hand what you’re doing to change and how you’re changing. That means not going back to old habits. You only have a few opportunities to do it RIGHT before your ex writes you off completely.