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How to Get Back Together After a Divorce

by Erica Loop

In the year 2011 alone, 877,000 divorces and annulments took place across the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you're in this group, and you haven't completely lost that loving feeling, you can rekindle your lost romance. Even though getting back on track presents a challenge, it is a realistic possibility for some couples. When both you and your ex make the decision to re-commit, getting back together after a divorce takes time, patience, forgiveness and careful communication.

Start couple's therapy. If you haven't already gone to a professional, make this your number one priority. Talking things through with an impartial expert can help both of you see each other's sides and ensure that a reconciliation is feasible. According to a 2010 study published in the "Journal of Marital and Family Therapy," couples who received emotion-focused therapy were more likely to forgive each other and build higher levels of trust than those who didn't see a professional.

Write a feelings list. With a pen -- or your computer's keyboard -- make a list of your current feelings. Letting out the negative emotions that you're feeling about your divorce can help to free you from some of the pain and sadness, according to author and clinical psychologist Susan Heitler, writing for Psychology Today. Doing so can make room for the reconciliation process to begin.

Admit your mistakes to both yourself and your ex. Acknowledge what you've done wrong or how you contributed to the demise of your marriage.

Change the areas that are in need of improvement, a process that directly ties to acknowledging what you've done wrong. For example, if you always nagged your husband about everything from doing the dishes to how he drives, make a point to cut out this behavior when you're together.

Be an active listener, suggests licensed social worker Maud Purcell in "Reviving Your Marriage." Instead of just hearing what your ex has to say, truly listen.

Avoid being overly critical. Keep your tone positive. When you're discussing your relationship, use constructive criticism, be specific and phrase your comments as requests and not demands, suggests relationship therapist Elizabeth Kane in "Constructive Criticism or Destructive Criticism." For example, you felt that your husband was cold during your marriage. Instead of saying, "You're always so icy," try something along the lines of, "I enjoy it when you show affection. I would like to see that side of you more often if you're open to it."

Go on a romantic date, suggests Purcell on the PsychCentral website. Try something different from the norm. For example, instead of going to the same restaurant that you went to during your marriage, pick a more creative type of cuisine or take a couple's cooking class.

About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.

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