by Lisa Lane Brown
Every person I’ve ever worked with to stop a divorce or save a marriage always makes the same mistake.
He (or she) tries to convince his ex that they are ‘good together’, and that his ex is ‘making a mistake’ and she should give him ‘another chance.’
He then gives a long list of reasons why the relationship is so wonderful, including how much he loves her. This is a classic error that never works…ever.
To reverse any rejection, you first need to find out the underlying reason why your lover or spouse is leaving.
The goal at this point is not to reconcile because security does not lie in being in a relationship.
Security lies in having a strong connection with the other person…a connection in which she trusts and feels passion for you.
That’s why the goal right now is to get to the truth of your lover’s experience of the relationship.
This is still a mystery to you, whether you realize it or not.
If you argue with him or her, you’re missing this basic goal of getting to the truth.
And it’s one of the central reasons you’re being rejected: because you weren’t open to this truth during the relationship.
The more you argue, the more you’re demonstrating that you’re not interested in your lover’s truth.
This is bad.
It’s bad because it causes your spouse or lover to conclude, once again, that he or she cannot trust you because you’re not listening.
I cannot emphasize this last point enough because nothing cripples love faster than lack of listening. As Dr. Stephen R. Covey so eloquently said, “Listening is to the soul what oxygen is to the body.”
Yesterday I was chatting with a woman who left her husband after 19 years and three children. He wants her back, so he’s working with me, and she agreed to speak with me.
This woman loves her husband, but she doesn’t trust him. Why? He’s a poor listener. If she ‘suggests’ he treat her differently, he gets angry and defensive.
I said to her, “You feel like you’ve been shouting at the top of your lungs for years, and your husband feels like you whispered a complaint once.”
“You just summed up my marriage!” She practically yelled it.
When you don’t listen to your spouse with heartfelt intent, especially when she is opening up about a hurt or resentment, without realizing it, you make her feel alone and unloved. I don’t have to tell you how this turns out.
The second reason trying to “convince” someone to stay with you doesn’t work is that you’re demonstrating fear.
Now, fear is perfectly okay, especially when you’re feeling traumatized by rejection.
But in romantic relationships, confidence is universally attractive, and fear is universally unattractive.
So you need to deal with your fear of rejection on your own. I’ll show you how.
By the way, I can speak with authority on this subject of rejection fear. Nineteen years ago, I made some serious mistakes in my own relationship and my spouse broke up with me for three long years. I’m happily married to this same person today. If you’d like to learn more about what I went through and how I turned thing around against all odds, check out my absolutely free 33 page Training Guide, How to Stop Your Divorce, Save Your Marriage or Get Your Ex Back.
Don’t make your fear your ex’s problem. This will only make him or her feel guilty…and the last thing you need right now is to be a big bag of guilt in your ex’s mind.
If your partner isn’t feeling love or attraction for you, the last thing that is going to re-trigger these feelings is arguing. Arguing wipes out attraction faster than a casino wipes out your bank account.
(By the way, I’m assuming that you’ve already figured out that begging and pleading are included in the category of arguing. They are simply the passive version of arguing and will only make you feel and appear pathetic).
Okay, so you’ve stopped begging, pleading, and arguing. You have begun to restore your status in your ex’s eyes as a confident person who can actually listen.
This is good. It’s very good. So please don’t lose sight of its effectiveness, ever.
The next thing you must do is cause your ex to open his or her mind again about you. There are 3 steps to this process.
Even if they are not arguing or begging, most people accidentally lapse into what I call the “hot and cold” strategy.
They alternate between:
They’ll buy their ex expensive gifts, take their ex’s mother-in-law shopping, or re-paint the ex’s house. Basically, they go on their best behavior in an effort to impress their ex.
Of course, your ex is only mildly swayed by these efforts, for the simple reason that the underlying issues that caused her to leave in the first place are still there.
Of course, if you are the person being super nice, you are secretly hoping that the next time your ex lays his eyes on you, he will say, “I’m an idiot! I forgot how wonderful you are! I’m madly in love with you. Will you forgive me and come back?”
When this doesn’t happen, you become hurt and angry. You move from hot to cold. Maybe you become aloof. “Let’s see how you like rejection.” You might not answer your ex’s calls, or drop little sarcastic remarks, or become sullen.
The “cold” strategy doesn’t work either. First, the underlying issues that broke you apart are still there. Second, no one likes being shunned or rejected, especially an ex. Third, the person you are dealing with senses what you are doing and rebels.
The “hot and cold” strategy is really an attempt to control your ex and get what you want.
You might not like it, but right now, your ex is in charge. You need to stop trying to control this person and focus on what works instead.
This is easier when you understand why your ex does not respond to your “niceness” when this happens.
When your ex is being cold towards you, he or she is giving you what I call a Try Out.
In sports, a Try Out is a scenario where a coach puts you in a pressure situation to see how you react. Will you rise to the challenge or play way below your skills? It’s a test of your character and self-control more than your skills.
It’s the same with your ex. He’s trying to see if you’ve changed. Example: let’s say you had a tendency to get clingy and insecure in the relationship. Your ex will give you a Try Out by being cold and seeing how you react. Will you start guilt tripping him? Start a fight?
If you do, you flunk your Try Out because you just demonstrated that you haven’t changed.
On the other hand, if you act calm and don’t miss a beat, you get promoted. You get another, longer visit with your ex.
Since I just brought up the No Contact Rule, I’ll quickly address it now.
The No Contact Rule is this lame idea on the internet right now that suggests that you should cut off all contact with your ex for about a month.
The psychology is basically this: “If I completely ignore my ex for a month or two, he’ll miss me terribly, figure out how wonderful I am, and come running back.”
In general, the No Contact Rule is just dumb.
Think about it for a moment. How can you re-attract your ex without contact?
To re-attract your ex, you need to dramatically change the nature of the relationship. To win, you need to give your ex the relationship he or she really wants. You need to demonstrate you are an evolved, confident woman or man who can dial in and meet your ex’s needs – that you are the complete package. For this, you need contact.
In these cases, I recommend that you invoke seven to fourteen days of No Contact. Just go dark. Do not initiate any contact. Don’t post on social media, and don’t talk to your mutual friends about your ex. If you have kids together, coordinate through an intermediary or use email and stick to talking about the kids only.
A week is enough time to let your ex know that you are okay being alone. It’s also enough time to let him or her cool off.
This brings me back to the first step in Unlocking the Game…
Instead of the “hot and cold” strategy, you’re going to get to the truth. You’re going to do this so you can start giving your ex the relationship he or she wants.
The problem is that right now, your ex has the truth is on lockdown.
Here’s an exact script for Unlocking the Game and getting to your ex to open up a bit.
Say, “I’ve been pressuring you to get back together, and I realize that this is making you uncomfortable because it’s not what you want. Although I’d prefer to stay married to you (or reconcile), I can see you’re not happy.”
So, I’ve decided to accept your decision. If it’s okay with you, though, I would like to be your friend…A genuine friend, not the kind who pretends to be your friend but leaves you if you decide not to reconcile.
One of the big reasons I want to be your friend is because I want to fix the mistakes I’ve made. In a way, I made a mess of things, and I want to clean up my mess. I want to have a friendship with you in which I fix the mistakes I made in our romantic relationship. Then I won’t make the same ones in my next romance.”
After this conversation, you will be in a much better position.
You will have taken the pressure off your ex, making him or her more relaxed around you. You have also shown confidence by backing off.
At this point, your ex still does not believe that the relationship (or you) can change. But that is okay because you are going to demonstrate you can change and dispel your ex’s fears.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “But Lisa, I don’t WANT to be friends with my ex. I just want him back, and it would kill me to watch him be single.”
Relax. This isn’t your ordinary friendship. I’m not talking a platonic, boring situation where you are stuck in the “friend zone,” hopelessly attracted to someone who thinks you are basically gross.
This brings me to step two of Unlocking the Game, where you get your ex to relax around you again…
Remember, your new goal is to transform your relationship so that it’s worthy of being resurrected.
This is a brand new, very noble, goal. When you transform your relationship, you wipe out the old resentments, conflicts, and annoyances. You remove the reasons your ex left you in the first place, and you bring the relationship to a state even better than it was in the beginning.
When you do this, you change the relationship completely. Your insecurity becomes total confidence, because you know you’re meeting your ex’s needs, perhaps for the very first time. And, it doesn’t matter what the problems were, either. You’re going to solve them.
I know what you’re thinking. “Lisa, are you dense? How can I fix the problems in my relationship when my ex barely gives me the time of day? Or hates me?”
I’m glad you asked. You’re going to fix your relationship inside a temporary ‘friendship’ with your ex.
Again, I’m not talking about a passionless, sterile, boring friendship in which you are stuck in the friend zone.
I’m talking about an exciting, passionate, ongoing flirtation in which you trigger more attraction in ex every time you have contact. Think James Bond in the first few minutes after meeting a new girl, and you get the idea.
Technically, they don’t have a sexual relationship (yet), but when you watch these two, you know it’s only a matter of time because the chemistry is so powerful.
(Ladies, you don’t have to be a man to project a confident, exciting image. When I say “James Bond,” I’m talking about a mindset, not a person.).
Here’s how to go about it.
First, get your mojo back in your mind. Adopt the mentality that you are confident and exciting…almost as though you have a secret no one else knows about. If this sounds impossible or you don’t know what I’m talking about, go and watch Casino Royale or another James Bond movie and you’ll get the idea.
Second, every time you see your ex, stop trying to be super nice. Instead, I want you to have fun.
You remember fun, don’t you?
You’ve seen other people have it?
I’m teasing you a bit because if you’re going through a breakup, chances are you forgot about fun. If you’re like most people, you imploded emotionally. You completely lost sight of the fact that you are attractive and that people look at you with desire every single day.
The easiest way to have fun is to be yourself. Just revert back to being the person your ex fell in love with. That person was independent, smart, and simply delicious.
Set a goal to make your ex have fun, smile, and laugh. When this happens, you both relax, and you can re-create the magic that brought you together in the first place.
This brings me to step 3…
Having fun and getting your ex to relax is important, but it’s not enough. It’s not enough because of the Thorn. The Thorn is the #1 reason your ex left you in the first place.
In the famous Lion’s Paw folktale, the lion has a thorn in his paw. Only the little mouse has the courage to take it out, and they become lifelong friends.
The third thing I want you to do is Remove the Thorn. By this, I mean you need to fix the #1 issue that caused the breakup in the first place.
There are several potential Thorns; you will need to figure out what yours was. It might be that you were a terrible listener. It might be that you were critical and controlling, or took your ex for granted. It might be that you were needy and insecure.
But here’s the most important point: Over time, your ex grew tired of the Thorn. He or she decided, “I cannot have this Thorn in my life.”
Remember, the Thorn is not YOU.
The Thorn is a behaviour that caused your ex to either feel suffocated or hurt by you.
There are two ways you Remove the Thorn.
First, you apologize and take responsibility for your mistakes.
A heartfelt apology is tough to beat. You can say, “I’m so sorry for hurting you all this time. I have much remorse in my heart for it. I’m hoping that over time I can earn your forgiveness.”
Now, if the Thorn was that you were needy and clingy, don’t over-do your apology. Simply say, “Hey, that Fatal Attraction imitation wasn’t cool. I’m sorry I didn’t pick up on the social cues.”
The second way you Remove the Thorn is by passing your ex’s Try Outs.
You see, your ex is still very suspicious of you. He needs to know whether or not you have actually changed.
Sure, you’ve apologized and taken responsibility for your mistakes. But, your ex knows what everyone else knows: actions speak louder than words.
(By the way, Try Outs are not a conscious decision on your ex’s part. It’s simply human nature. Nobody wants to be hurt, or fooled, or manipulated. Nobody wants a counterfeit coin. We all want the real thing.)
Here’s an example Try Out. Let’s say the reason your ex left is that you were never around to help with the kids. She will set up a situation in which she asks you to take them when she knows it will conflict with an important business meeting you have.
If you happily take the kids, you get rewarded with more time with her, and more rapport. If you go to your business meeting, you flunk the Try Out. Your ex loses hope, and you are back to square one.
Here’s another Try Out. Let’s say your ex left because you were too clingy, needy, and insecure. He will glance at other girls when you are together, or he check his phone a lot, or wait a couple of days before texting you back.
If you play it cool, he rewards you with a coffee date. If you get irritated, or start a fight, or ask him whether he got your text, you flunk the Try Out and you won’t hear from him.
The next step is to educate yourself on the different types of Thorns so you can become a master at this.
For this, I recommend you download my absolutely free eBook, Stop Romantic Rejection Now.
It will give you more details on exactly how to be successful in stopping this rejection and saving your marriage.
Click on the Download Now! button below:
The bottom line is this: if you are being rejected, there are reasons why this is happening, and all of these reasons can be addressed and reversed. You are not unlovable, nor did you purposely mess up your relationship.
And, please take heart.
If this is the right person for you, you can stop this rejection. And if he or she is not the person for you at this time in your life, you can still uncover what happened and prevent yourself from being traumatized again.
Make sure you download your absolutely free copy of Stop Romantic Rejection Now, and I’ll talk to you again soon.
P.S. If you’ve tried different strategies and you’re still not happy with your results, send me an email here. I occasionally have room in my schedule for a complimentary 15-minute phone consult and might be able to fit you in.
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This is all good advice for someone with a normal spouse, but for someone dealing with a narcissistic, toxic, spouse all of this stuff will backfire, because they have no empathy, and want to see their spouse suffering and in pain. What do you recommend in that case if the person still loves them and wants them back?
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Hi Lisa, I am glad i came across your website. I am going through a terrible legal separation phase of 1yr, of which 9th month is going on. To give a brief overview of our marriage. It was a traditional wedding, with no dates and get to know each other properly. We have been married 16yrs with 2 blessed kids, 12 and 9. My personality: Confident, controlling, dominant, slightly needy but overall, over analysis of everything i see and do. My wifes personality: with all other good personality straits, very open and friendly, especially with opposite gender, had a emotional… Read more »