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  Should I Reconcile with My Ex-Husband?  
     
 
Share your thoughts with Dr. Bill in 1Community
   
Question:
I have been divorced two years and I want badly to reconcile with my ex-husband. Recently, we have been together for the first time. He says he loves me…. My reasons for divorcing him were that his family kept interfering in our marriage, he made me have an abortion, and he wouldn’t talk with me about these and other important issues…. He cannot seem to understand how bad he hurt me…. I pray every single day, but I am real down about the whole situation, because, of course, I want it right now. Any advice would be appreciated.

Answer:
It’s no wonder why you’re agonizing over this important decision. Trying to reconcile a marriage after you’re already divorced is quite difficult, though with God’s help the two of you can make your dream a reality! A new marriage is possible if both of you are truly re-committed to each other and to a process of repairing and rebuilding your relationship with help from God and others. You’re already on your way to some positive changes. Your fervent desire to reconcile, your daily prayers that God would guide you, and your eagerness to get some input and to think this through represent a great start!

To help you move toward a reconciliation process and ultimately to make a decision about whether or not to re-marry there are some issues I believe you need to address. First, I am concerned that you may be prone to rush into important decisions before thinking things through clearly. Apparently, you did this with the abortion and the divorce, and are struggling with lingering regret and pain as a result. With major life decisions like beginning or ending a marriage and having or aborting a baby you don’t want to go forward with anything less than whole-hearted readiness - the moral, personal, and relational implications of those decisions are too huge to overlook. If you’re unsure and divided then you’re probably best to stay put until you’re more confident of what you want and what is right. Learn from your past mistakes and take this important decision about reconciliation especially slow; think things through and gather more information before you act. For instance you need to ask yourself questions like, “How have I grown in the last two years?” “Is he more loving to me now?” “Are we communicating and resolving issues better?” Positive answers to questions like these are good indicators that your attempt at reconciling is going in the right direction.

Also, it is very important that in sorting through your feelings and thoughts about your intended reconciliation that you make your own decision about how to proceed and that you take responsibility for that decision. You don’t want to look back and realize that you were manipulated or pressured in either direction by your ex-husband, his family, or anyone else. Apparently, you felt that way about the abortion, as you said that he “made” you do it. As an adult you need to take full responsibility for your decisions and the consequences of those decisions. Determine to act responsibly and in your best interests this time and you won’t live with regret.

You mentioned that you were “down about the whole situation.” I suspect that you’re feeling depressed because you’re revisiting the abortion and the divorce, two major losses that you need to grieve. You probably need to get help mourning the loss of your baby and your marriage. You may be struggling with guilt and anger that you need to confess and work through. You mentioned that your husband doesn’t want to talk about these issues and that he doesn’t understand how you feel. Your need to talk about these issues is real and important. You need to find someone who is supportive and helpful to you with your grief and your other feelings. In time this should help to lift your depression and help you think more clearly about your hoped for reconciliation. If, as you suggested, your ex-husband won’t be a part of this process with you by listening to you and supporting you and by sharing his feelings on these issues then the prospects for improving your relationship aren’t good.

Finally, you both need to commit yourself to a reconciliation process before you decide whether or not it is best for you to re-marry and before you resume intimate relations. The two of you need time to talk through what went wrong in your marriage and what you’re going to do to make things different this time. You need to re-establish trust in each other, to understand and to help heal one another’s pain. You need to observe that things have really changed before you re-marry. I recommend that the two of you seek help in this reconciliation process from a marriage counselor or a pastor. A second choice would be for each of you to participate in a support group or 12 step group to get help in addressing your individual issues.

If you and your ex-husband will take these steps and keep praying for God’s help day by day then I believe that your dream for reconciliation will come true! I pray with you that God brings about a wonderful healing in you, in your ex-husband, and in your relationship.

 
     
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