In my article: 3 Reasons You’re Not Making Progress With Your Ex, I discuss how trying to get back with your ex with no clear strategy/plan of action is a recipe for failure.
With no clear strategy/plan of action, it’s kind of hit and miss. One day, you “accidentally” do something right and voila! RESULTS. But the next day you do something else (or even the very same thing), and not only do you undo all the progress you made, you push your ex further away, or worse, completely ruin any chance you had of getting back your ex.
One of those things people do that pushes their ex away is trying to explain themselves, their side of the story and what they think really happened.
Example: Your ex asks something about your day/week and you respond with “I’ve been thinking about… [why things happened the way they did]” or something equally past-focused.
Or your ex sends you a text talking about what is happening in their life NOW and their plans for the future, and you respond with talking about what should’ve happened, what you missed and how you should have “fixed” this or that.
Your ex is trying to be present-focused but you keep dragging them back to the past. You keep going over the “should have’s” and “ought to be’s” — over and over.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying don’t revisit what happened in the past, or don’t ever talk about the past with your ex. The past is relevant to the present and to the future. In fact, if you haven’t taken time to really understand what happened, you should not be trying to get your ex back. The chances of you making the same exact “mistakes” are very high. Not to mention that your ex will not want you back, if he/she feels you still “don’t get it!”
But when the past is the focus of your interactions or when what you missed and how you should have “fixed” this or that keeps popping up in every text, email or phone conversation, it’s not helping.
Maybe you feel misunderstood, maybe you feel you really haven’t had the chance to explain your side of the story, maybe you feel your ex is not taking their share of the blame, maybe you still hold resentment over how you were treated in the relationship, or maybe being anywhere but the present is a habit of your mind, bottom line, you can’t change what happened, however hard you try — or wish you could.
Focusing too much on the past is the main difference between someone who wants to right a wrong (fix the old relationship) and someone who wants to begin afresh, create a better relationship.
You may think that talking about what happened and apologizing for what you did wrong or didn’t do in the relationship is the best way to get your ex to open up, it is not. It is the easiest way to keep them guarded at best and fastest way to make them want to cut off contact at worst.