JLo did it, Mapaseka Mokwele did it - here's everything you need to know about going back to an ex

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Illustration photo by Getty Images
Illustration photo by Getty Images

In light of the ongoing Bennifer rumours, following the end of Jennifer Lopez’s engagement to Alex Rodriguez, the actress was spotted spending time in Los Angeles with her ex-fiance from seventeen years ago, Ben Affleck. Ben was spotted multiple times going to J.Lo’s California home, and the two allegedly took a vacation to Montana.

In 2017, South African radio personalities Mapaseka and Thabo Mokwele reunited and tied the knot once again after getting a divorce and they are still together in what seems to be a dreamy marriage.

The possibility of Bennifer’s return and the Mokwele’s reuniting inspired us to begin talking about whether or not it is a good idea to get back with your ex. The answer to the question is not as simple as we may think; there are several things you need to consider first.

READ MORE | I’m secretly dating my ex. We divorced 6 years ago, leaving irreparable damage between our families

According to registered Counsellor Catherine Mathebula-Ma, “How a relationship ended is extremely important because the more emotionally damaging the end was, the less ideal it becomes to get back together with the ex.”

Getting back with your ex can be a good idea if the relationship has potential that was not explored and the two people involved are matured enough to establish what went wrong in the first instances. “However, it can also be a bad idea in that the unhealthy patterns of the past from either parties may manifest, and the relationship may lose a sense of relevance due to it being something that is being revisited with proper reinforcements,” Catherine adds.

READ MORE | 'Karma had its way with my ex-husband after he divorced me to marry my best friend of 16 years'

The concept of self-care applies to all situations, especially when making such an important decision, and Catherine suggests first reaching an emotionally healthy state of regard for your ex again and find a sense of peace and resolve for why you broke up in the first place to prevent the toxic cycle from repeating itself.

“Seek holistic closure to help you understand not only the other person’s short-comings but your own short-comings and possibly receive and give the forgiveness that is necessary for you to grow and heal,” Catherine says.

There maybe not that much of a difference between getting back with your ex-boyfriend or ex-husband, it is a challenging process because they landed on the ex-title due to unfortunate circumstances that they caused or you caused.

READ MORE | 'My ex attends pre-marital counselling with my fiancé and me'

According to HJW Attorneys, in South Africa, there is no law or regulation that specifically guards against parties entering into a marriage subsequent to a divorce between the same parties, provided that all the prescriptive requirements in relation to civil or customary marriages, as the case may be, are observed.

Should couples be concerned about documentation required for this arrangement before tying the knot HJW Attorneys advises, "The legal documentation applicable to the conclusion of a subsequent marriage does not differ to that which is applicable to any other marriage."

The context in which a marriage is terminated has no direct legal bearing on the conclusion of a subsequent marriage between the same parties - basically it will be as if you are getting married for the first time. 

READ MORE | 'I hooked my sister and my ex up. They are now engaged, but I still have feelings for him'  

On a personal note, because there isn’t much of a difference between married and unmarried couples there might be more strain with a separated couple who wish to reconcile. 

Catherine suggests these five crucial areas to consider:

• Maturity - Both parties need to re-introduce themselves to each other and learn what expectation the other person has for their ideal partner now.

• Comparison - As hard as it is not to do this with strangers, it is even harder to not do with someone we know, therefore do not compare the past actions of your old selves with the new - you will break up faster than you can sneeze if you do that.

• Restart - Do not pick up from where you left off; it did not work for a reason. Restart the seduction, charming and extra mile incentives.

•  Establishments - Do not hurry into assuming you love them just because they are comfortable for you. Only say this when you know that you really feel it.

• Clean slate - Try and recall who you involved in your previous break-up and iron out the scars that you helped create to be able to bring the ex-again lover around the people who matter.

It’s possible to have those in your life be against your decision and possibly portray negative emotions; Catherine suggests sitting down and talking to everyone that matters about re-introducing your ex back in your life.

“However, if you know what you are doing and are sure that it is the best decision for you, then whoever dislikes the new relationship can gladly sit on the sidelines. Remember, they do not have to understand your every move.” 

Have you gotten back with your ex? Tell us here

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