Dealing With An Ex Who Goes Back To His Ex

You’ve been warned, this article is going to read like an exercise in pain for those looking for sunbeams of hope.

While I usually try and contextualize the good and the bad together, this particular scenario is a personal favorite, but unfortunately in the negative sense.

Nevertheless, there are always ways to make the most of any situation. Mostly, it’s about limiting our ability to damage the situation more than it already is.

Let’s start at the beginning, and try and make some belated sense out of all this madness.

An Act Of Betrayal

ex moving on in car

I always hesitate to pass judgement on any relationship situation, because right and wrong is usually secondary (to feeling).

However, in this case the act of betrayal is difficult to digest becauseĀ  a lot will have been hidden from you. And when realization dawns, the ego will suffer immeasurably. Unless of course you had already broken up, or were the ones that did the dumping. In which case feel free to skip this section entirely.

If you were blind-sided by the breakup it will usually mean that negotiations were ongoing behind the scenes between your ex and theirs. This you undoubtedly already know, but it is imperative to curb our self-esteem woes from spiraling out of control once we recognize the scale of the betrayal.

Contact between exes is enough to make anyone suspicious, and the fact that this time our inner-most fears became manifest can lead to long-term scarring, potentially jeopardizing future relationships.

The first step then, is the mere realization that much of what occurred is a question of unresolved baggage that had little to do with us, and everything to do with them. It is less of a case of breaking up with you, than it is about reconciling with their ex.

The problem is that in the short-term, none of the realizations are really of any use. Particularly if we continue to hope they will come back.

Were You His Rebound?

As cruel as it is, determining what role you had in your relationship with your ex is key to assessing the fallout, and gauging what the chances for reconciliation are.

Most cases where exes get back together will involve an transitional relationship, known as a rebound. The role of the rebound relationship is that of comforting the rebounding party and filling the emotional hole that was torn away from them when their previous relationship ended. You might have been their rebound if these points sound familiar:

  • The courting process was remarkably swift, passionate and impulsive.
  • Your ex had a hard time letting go of the past.
  • Intimacy and distance alternate swiftly, rather than normalize into a stable routine.
  • Rebounds tend to not last longer than a year, and end as abruptly as they begin.

If the relationship you had was a stable one instead, the chances for reconciliation are usually better than you think.

Getting Them Back

signs a man is in love

True: They have a history.

But breaking up was also part of their history.

What has happened over the course of their separation which will mend the irreconcilable differences that led to the demise of their previous relationship?

The answer is usually nothing.

The success of his new-old reconciliation will largely depend on how the reality of their expectations turn out. In the majority of cases, second-chances tend to fail because we tend to remember the special bits, but omit the day-to-day grind.

But your relationship was no exception to this rule either. Should he regret his decision, and given his track record he probably will, the real question is whether the loss of trust is terminal. And ultimately, despite all his shenanigans, this will be your decision — and not his — to make.

About the author

James Nelmondo

James "the Unknown" Nelmondo is a self-styled relationship enthusiast, former infant, part-time dumper and full-time dumpee.


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  • Another insightful post!

    I really think the only healthy way of dealing with such baggage, is to really enjoy your singledom, to heal and reflect and find your identity again, before diving head first into another relationship, right after your last.
    This to me it sounds like a messy position to find yourself in a rebound, if you haven’t resolved your last issue, I guess we all heal differently, but I’ve never understood people that rebound.

    Another great article, thanks!!