How To Get Him Back

How To Get Him Back
Heartbreak

Celebrities, like Rihanna and Chris Brown, have managed the now-on, now-off relationships just brilliantly.  Instead of investing time and effort in their healing, they bounce in and out of storms without any regard for their own well-being or that of the other person.  The only difference between them and the rest of us is the papparazzi.  If Rihanna, or you, want to get him back for good, you will have to do more than crying and begging. 

1. Come clean

The most difficult step in healing a broken relationship is admitting with all sincerity that you messed up.  To get him back, you will have to be brutally honest about what you did that contributed to the break-up.  This is not the time to point out the ways in which he also made you angry, and the day that he left you waiting at your friend's house, or the night he went out with his friends and got drunk.  This is not a real apology - this is you trying to minimize your blunder by reminding him of his.  

A sincere apology requires that you own your piece and not point fingers.  If you say anything that makes it sound like he is overreacting, you won't get him back.  Phrases like "You should forgive me", "You overreacted", "You did the same thing", "I am sorry you found out", "You can't leave me now" will surely leave you single in heartbeat.  Other phrases, such as "I am sorry you feel that way" or "I am sorry you are hurting" sound like an apology at first glance, but they are not true forms of repentance.  Instead, own your actions by saying things like "I hurt you and I am sorry", or "What I did hurt your feelings, and I am sorry about that".

During a subsequent conversation, when appropriate, you will be free to bring up other issues that he can work on, assuming that he is interested in restoring the relationship

2. Accept that the relationship might be beyond repair

Guilt and shame are extremely powerful emotions, and we tend to demand second chances, just so we can make up for what we did.  

True forgiveness, however, does not require reconciliation.  Forgiveness is accepting that the past cannot be changed, and freeing the "guilty" party from the responsibility of full restitution.  In other words, you cannot change the past.  There is not enough apologizing you can ever do to change what has been done.  Your ex might truly forgive you, yet be at a point where reconciliation is simply not possible.

Cramming yourself down his throat, showing up randomly at the places he frequents, sending creepy "I love you" notes will make him feel disrespected, not wanted.  There is nothing more undesirable than a person who will not respect boundaries.

Apologizing for a mistake does not entitle you to anything.  Entitlement is the opposite of an apology!  If he does not want to or is not ready to see you right now, respect his honesty, and let it be.  You can let him know that you are still interested and will be wiling to talk when he is ready.  You cannot, however, demand that he forgive you, expect things to go back to normal right away (or ever), require that he hear what you have to say (over and over again), or ask him to forget what has happened.  Instead, maintain your distance, respect his need to be away from you for now, and learn to grieve gracefully.  

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3. Be consistent

If you are given a second chance, accept it gracefully, with the full intention of practicing those skills you need to develop in order to not make the same mistakes.  

He might be jumpy, skeptic, leary, and generally suspicious.  And he has every right to be so.  You will have to earn his trust by consistently doing what you said you would do over time.  Only time will tell him that you are truly repented and behaving differently, for good.

Along the way, you might even make a mistake here and there, and it might set you back a bit.  Respond gracefully, with honesty, without trying to hide.  Your authenticity will be all the evidence he needs to believe you are truly trying. 

Time will pass, and you might not feel like you are making progress.  Reconciliation does not guarantee forgiveness.  You will have to decide how long you are willing to wait, and how much effort you are going to invest in earning his trust again.  This is not something to punish him for - not everyone relationship survives.  Your job is to be consistent, and to take care of your treasures - your emotions, your choices, your needs.  So long as you do this, you'll have a chance to get him back.

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4. Maintain Your Dignity

Sometimes our shame will take over and make us think that we deserve anything bad our partner gives us.  We think that, because we made a mistake, we have earned all the humiliation they throw our way.  This is not dignified, and it is not the foundation of any healthy couple.  On the other hand, it is the very formula for abusive and destructive relationships.

Forgiveness takes time.  It is a long process.  However, everyone makes mistakes.  Chances are that you were not 100% responsible for the demise of the relationship in the first place.  He probably contributed in some way.  If not, he too is human, and is capable of making mistakes.  There is no reason why you should accept any form of punishment or humiliation, or any kind of retaliation.  Yes, he might decide to take it slow, putting boundaries in place until he can trust you again.  That would be very wise, if this relationship is going to stand the test of time.  Telling his friends all about our personal life, exercising "payback" so he can get even with you, or worse - emotionally, physically, or sexually demeaning you are completely inappropriate ways to deal with anger and resentment.  Do not accept anything less than an adult, dignified second-chance.

5. Work on You

Breaking habits and patterns is very difficult.  This is the work of a lifetime, and it will take every human all the effort they can muster to be authentic, sincere, consistent, and content.  The tendency is to want the other person to make changes, to stop this or do more of that.  But we don't have control over the other individual in the relationship. All we can do is work on ourselves.  

When you do the tough work of being sincere, letting go of control, being consistent and behaving with dignity, you will find that you are free.  You might or might not get him back, but you will attract the right person into your life if you committ to being the best version of yourself that you can possibly be.

Francesca Escoto is the host of the New Love Resolution.  You can find her on Twitter @waofrancesca and on Facebook.