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Surprise! We’re back together!

I’ve decided to get back with my ex-fiancé — but how do I tell my family?

Don’t ask for their permission, advises our elder. My old running coach has a technique that can help…

Dear EWC

My ex-fiancé and I have been broken up for almost two months. Within the last week, we have talked and worked out our problems/issues from the past and we both realized how much we needed one another. Now that we are back together — just dating for the time being — I’m very unsure how to tell my family that we are back together. I want them to support my decision, because I truly do love him.

Lloyd replies

Hi there. Well, I think it’s great that you’ve been able to reconcile with your fiancé. Sometimes it takes the cold, hard slap of separation and loss to really appreciate what you have. I think many couples end up stronger and wiser having gone through what you have. I wish you both happiness and longevity.

So I don’t have pages of advice for you. When I read your letter one thing came to mind and I chose to respond to you to share it with you. How you share your news (literally the words you use, the tone of your voice and your body language) will make all the difference in how that conversation goes. What you want to do is present the current situation as a fait accompli (a done deal), that you and your partner have made a decision about how to move forward together and you are simply sharing this news with the family. What you don’t want to do is be tentative, unsure or lacking clarity. In other words, don’t seem as if you are asking for their permission or blessing to decide whether this is the right thing or not. Don’t give them room to put in their two cents — again you’re just keeping them informed.

I ran cross-country and track in high school. A coach once told me that when you pass another runner, use extra energy to blow by them, vs. slowly creeping past. In the creeping past, the other runner is still thinking they’re in your league and can hang with you. When you blow by they dismiss you as a superior runner and concede to a finish behind you. If you present your news in the same spirit as the blow by runner, your family will go, “Oh, I guess this is what’s happening, I guess we might as well be cool with it.”
I hope that makes some sense, and that I’ve been of help. I’m rooting for you and your guy.

Letter #: 447226
Category: Family

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