It makes sense that it can be tempting to fall back into a relationship with your ex-husband. After all, something drew you to him in the first place and in addition now you have memories, history and possibly children together. Dating your ex can be a positive thing or a nightmare. To keep things on a positive note, follow certain guidelines.
Wait a Bit
If you've been divorced for just a few months, it's probably too soon to consider getting back together with your ex-husband. Emotions are likely to be running too high and wounds might still be fresh. Give yourself, and your ex, time to heal and evaluate. According to an article at PsychologyToday.com, it's critical to take some time for yourselves before trying to reunite. Date other people if you want, and make the personal changes you both need to make in order to be better partners in the future.
Once you begin dating your ex, take your time. It's easy to slide right back into old habits, but remember that the relationship you two had before didn't work, so trying again with a fresh approach can be helpful. Don't go right back to eating dinner in front of the TV. Let yourself be courted. Go on dates with your ex the way you did when your relationship was new: out to dinner, the movies, long walks ... whatever you enjoyed doing together. And there's no need to see each other every day -- slow down and enjoy the dating period.
Make a List
Once you have re-established a serious relationship, make a list of what went wrong in your marriage and discuss the list openly. Talk about what issues are no longer issues because circumstances have changed, and how you will deal with elements that are still issues. For instance, if you always disagreed on whose family to spend holidays with or the way discipline should be handled with your kids, this is the time to hammer out those differences.
Learn to Forgive
Forgiveness doesn't necessarily mean that what your ex did was OK, it just means you are choosing to work past the old issues and hurt and start over. If you don't let the past go, it's going to be hard to start over and make a healthy new beginning together. Consider seeing a marriage counselor or an individual counselor if you're having trouble moving on but really want to try getting back together.
Once you have dated for a time and are ready to move forward, make a commitment. According to DrPhil.com, ex spouses who are getting back together have to commit to stability, particularly if you have children together. It can be confusing if your children have both parents under one roof for a week, then another breakup, then back together. If you commit to being with your spouse again, really commit and make the changes necessary, in yourselves and in your relationship, to keep the relationship going.
Kathy Gleason is a freelance writer living in rural northern New Jersey who has been writing professionally since 2010. She is a graduate of The Institute for Therapeutic Massage in Pompton Lakes, N.J. Before leaving her massage therapy career to start a family, Gleason specialized in Swedish style, pregnancy and sports massage.