How to ask for forgiveness from your ex
It happens: You commit some terrible offense against your partner and it results in an emotional fight and a huge breakup.
Truth is, people make mistakes within their relationships all the time. It's normal. And people forgive each other too, but sometimes that takes a while. You can get your second chance but your partner might not be able to give it to you right away.
First, you need to back away from the situation. Allow some time to pass... and devote a little of that time to learning how to ask for forgiveness. Your ex might take you back if you are convincing enough about being sorry and wanting your relationship to be saved.
What is forgiveness, anyway?
If you get your ex to forgive you, you can reasonably expect them to stop wanting to "hurt you back" in return for what you did. Your goal is for them to no longer feel bitterness, resentment, and the need for revenge.
But it's also important to understand what forgiveness is NOT.
Forgiveness does not involve pretending that your hurtful behavior never happened.
Forgiveness does not include forgetting how much hurt you inflicted.
Forgiveness does not mean never talking about the matter again.
Technically, forgiveness does not include being given a second chance, either, although that's probably what you want. Forgiveness merely allows you to be at peace with each other. A second chance is something separate, and you must ask for it.
The gift of forgiveness can be received by anybody, and all it takes is asking for it sincerely and believably. (Though for serious offenses you might need to allow a cooling down period to pass.)
How to ask for forgiveness from your ex
1. Acknowledge Your Mistake
Acknowledging what you did wrong is the first step. For some people, pride and shame make admitting their faults difficult. But admitting what you did wrong is a necessary step to obtain forgiveness.
You must also make it clear that you understand what forgiveness IS NOT, as described in the section above. State that you don't expect your ex to forget what you've done, or pretend it never happened, or never talk about it again. Be clear: You know you damaged your relationship, you know your ex is still hurting, and you only want a second chance.
2. Ask Sincerely For A Second Chance
Think about it for a second: You are asking your partner to trust you — to let go of their fear of being hurt by you again. That's a lot to ask for.
You'll have a much better chance at getting back together if you can make it clear to your ex that you understand what you're asking of them. So SAY it. "I know you're afraid I'll hurt you again, but I won't, I promise. Please give me another chance."
When you say this, you'd better be telling the truth. Nothing makes obtaining a second chance harder than being a repeat offender. If you have a history of lying, and you're lying when you make this promise, your ex will be able to spot that lie from a mile away.
3. Express Your Love Without Words
I recommend presenting some sort of gift to your ex, to express your renewed commitment. I'm not talking about a bribe, to buy forgiveness. I'm talking about something that can serve as a symbol, to both of you, of the mistake you made and your promise to correct it.
It should be something lasting. Not flowers or candy, not tickets to a game. You want to think of something unique and meaningful. Jewelry can be okay for a woman if you haven't given her much jewelry in the past. Plant a tree (if you trust you can keep it alive!) Frame a picture. Replace the lamp you broke.
Wait to present the gift until you think your ex is at least considering forgiving you, or already has. If you present it too early it will seem like you're begging, like desperation. But if you wait until your ex is on the verge of giving you another chance, it might work to seal the deal.
4. Be Prepared To Try More Than Once
If you fail, it may be because you tried too soon. Wounds need time to heal, and your ex might not even be able to hear what you're saying if their emotional state is still high.
Unfortunately it's hard to judge when the time is right. If you say, "Can we talk?" and your partner says "Okay," that seems like a pretty good sign. But seeing you again might trigger painful emotions.
Don't let your meeting escalate to the point of raised voices. Stay calm, focus on your apology, and leave asking for forgiveness and a second chance for another time.
I think it's okay to try multiple times, letting progressively longer periods of time pass between each attempt. (I'm talking months, by the time you get to the 3rd try, for a serious offense like cheating or addiction.) A mutual friend might be able to clue you in on when the time is right.
Each time you meet, keep this advice in mind: It's your relationship that matters, not the whys and hows of the mistake you made. Don't make excuses or try to explain why you did what you did. Just focus on healing, repairing and continuing your relationship.
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