A while back, a friend asked me and some other friends a question: Can you last in a marriage if you've broken up in the past? Everyone in the group was pretty unanimous: No. We agreed that, in the long term, a marriage with a couple who'd called it quits before wouldn't last. My reasoning was simple: if you've given up so easily in the past, you'll probably be just as likely to do so in the future. Of course we live in a world where people do surprising things all the time and there are always exceptions to the rule, but for the most part, I think my friends and I were right about this.
If you remember, I'm a believer that things should work and be good from the get go. I'm also a big believer in not maintaining a relationship with my exes. I know people don't always agree with me on this, but I've never known a situation to work out when exes were friend. (It's kind of like that When Harry Met Sally rule about men and women not being able to be friends. See below for full explanation.) I think that once you break up with a person, you need to move on. It's really about being fair to yourself and being fair to the people you might date after. You don't want to cause problems in possible great relationships because of a bad one from your past. And you don't want to hurt yourself by staying emotionally tied to an ex. Don't get me wrong, either! I only believe this now because I've learned from my mistakes. I was friends with two ex-boyfriends and while I certainly don't regret it, I do now realize it wasn't doing anybody any good.
That being said, if you get back together with your ex, I think it's fair to assume you never cut your losses and moved on. You kept that person in your life for a reason. But just like having a kid never fixes a marriage, getting married never fixes a breakup. If you have broken up in the past, it signals that A. things weren't good from the get go, and B. one of you was willing to walk away and cut their losses. Not something that makes you feel like the married ground you may be walking on is 100% solid.
My friends and I talked a little about how we understand that feeling of love and an overwhelming desire to be with someone no matter what the obstacles, but that in the end you're really setting yourself up for failure. And that you're better off finding someone you've never had any problems with, someone you can have a clean start with.
So what do YOU think: Can you last in a marriage if you've broken up in the past? And for good measure, enjoy a clip from quite possibly one of my favorite movies of all times, When Harry Met Sally.
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