Yes you heard that right. Is Dr. Drew nuts? To be honest, my wife would have called me nuts a while back. You know why? She was my ex-girlfriend at the time. I cheated too much, I lied too much, I gambled too much, and she left me for months. We got back together then broke up soon after. Everyone told us to stop doing this to ourselves and to just move on. But then something clicked, it worked. Here is what I learned about marrying my ex, and counseling others through the same process.
1. You are starting a brand new relationship, not continuing the same one as before. Whatever happened in the past, it isn't happening now. Literally, the past doesn't exist anymore. Sure it "happened" at a point in time but right now things could be quite well between you two. Even if it was intense cheating, betrayal, arguing, or lying. We understand the pain that may have been caused, but you have to grasp the fact that we are all human. Give some leniency to your old relationship, yourself, and your partner. Understand that not everything is black and white. People make mistakes and people do change. When you focus on the present and the future, the past not only starts to disappear, but the new partnership actually becomes better.
2. Let go of the grudges. If they hurt you badly in the past finding a way to move past the resentment is vital to your new relationship. You have every right to be pissed at someone who hurt you, but allow your love and understanding of the human side of things conquer this anger. Remember, focus on the now. You two are just people going through life trying to figure it out. Now that mistakes have been made, build off of them so you can allow your future to be what you both deserve.
3. Communication is so important. It's important to open up with each other. Tell them how they hurt you, but tell them you are giving them a chance and will look at them for who they are today. Have them do the same to you. When you see someone for who they are today and how they make you feel RIGHT NOW, you start to realize that everything can be worked out and the future can truly be better than the past.
4. At the end of the day, you know what you want and need. Your friends and family might freak out and tell you that getting back with your ex is a horrible idea, but this is your life. Only you can decide what makes you happy.
5. If your loved ones see you happy, they'll be happy for you. If they see your ex-turned-partner making your life brighter, odds are they'll eventually come around and drop the whole "THIS IS A HUGE MISTAKE" shtick. If not, they need intense counseling themselves.
6. Relationship rules are stupid. For better or for worse, real life is so much more nuanced and messy than do's or don'ts. There are a million different paths of happiness out there. No matter what happened or who has an opinion, if you love your ex, they mean the world to you, and you both want to give the future a go : do it. Tomorrow isn't promised.