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Ask TherapistMaryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5810
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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What are the chances that I will be able to win back my ex-wife,

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What are the chances that I will be able to win back my ex-wife, Whitney? Also, if you see any changes or suggestions to my plan, please tell me. We were each other’s first true love. We married in 1997. For 10 years after our wedding day I started having too much work stress and this cost some of our relationship. She should have left so much earlier but God bless her for staying as long as she did. The last 2 years we were together I was not acting a way that I should as a husband with bad neglect on my part toward her. Late February 2007 she said the word “separation” and I acted OK until Feb. 26, 2007 when I came home and got drunk so I could shoot myself. As my thinking was not clear after drinking, I figured that I could “scare” her into staying. When she came home I was waving a gun in her general direction and told her that I didn’t want to hear anything about the separation. She called 911 on the cordless and went to the dining room. I told her several times to hang up. When she did not listen I shot the base unit of the phone directly in front of me. Note: She was never in any danger due to the trajectory of the bullet. She rushed me (she is tough as she is a cop) and I knew she wanted the gun so I simply handed it to her. I grabbed another gun and left to buy another bottle so I could end my life. I approached my house with 10 cops outside. When they tried to approach me I put the gun to my waist and looked down the barrel and pulled the trigger. To make a long story short, she issued a restraining order on me. With this, I cannot call her. Then the divorce papers came next. I was devastated. It is coming up on the 7th anniversary of “that day”. I can’t get past this loss. I have a plan. I am hiring a PI so see if she is married or with a man. If the results come back good (she is alone or with female roommates and no men), then I will fight the restraining order based on the facts that this is keeping me from getting work as an engineer. If I win, I plan on smiling and walking out of the courtroom. All Ex Back material on the internet discuss and promote “no contact”. I have been in a forced no contact until June 2013 as it is in the terms of my probation that I cannot contact her. So my new now “no contact” period will be over 30 to 45 days later when I will send her a carefully crafted letter. I will time my first call to her within 36 hours of when I believe she has received it. Then I will have a telephone call with a casual and fun attitude with the goal of securing the “first date”. I would like to work this onward as part of my life’s experience and that is specifically the love, friendship and relationship with my best friend and wife.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

Your situation with your wife is a difficult one. It not only includes the break down of your marriage due to work stress, lack of trust and lack of communication, you also have the added violence of the incident in 2007. So there is a lot to address here.

The first step you should take in trying to reunite with your wife is to prove to her that you can be trusted. That is the foundation of any relationship no matter what. However, when you go through what you both went through, the trust will be gone. You basically went from best friends and partners to being on opposite ends of your marriage. So rebuilding trust is one of your first priorities.

In order to rebuild trust, you will need to be able to show your wife that you are working on whatever caused the original issues in your marriage. That means you have a lot of work to do in order to prove that to her, given that she has tried to keep you away from her for a number of years now.

Therapy is the best way to show that you are looking at what you did and trying to get to the root of it. Find a therapist through your doctor or other recommendations and start going consistently. Follow the instructions of the therapist and work hard to use what you do in therapy as well as any self help you can do at home.

Also, try to respect your wife's feelings. You can make it clear that you want to be together again, but also consider what she may feel as a result of your approach. Try to approach her in a way that "reintroduces" you to her. Be kind, thoughtful and back off when she asks you to. She needs to be able to trust that you will listen to her and care about her feelings.

You may also want to refrain from hiring a PI to spy on her. If she finds out, it will ruin any possible trust you can build with her. If you want to know how she is and her current relationship status, try talking to relatives or mutual friends. Let them know you are sorry for what happened between you and your wife and that you are trying to try again. That will gain you her trust a lot faster.

I hope this has helped you,
TherapistMaryAnn and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I plan on showing her all my new qualities since I did change. Working to re-build her trust is important and I thank you for that. The only way I can do this is with a face-to-face "meeting". Other than telling her directly that "I am a new man and I want to earn your trust again", how metter can I convey my trustworthyness? I know that winning her back is a long shot but I will not go to my deathbed without knowing I did the best I could in winning her back.

If you see any improvements to my overall plan, please advise me.

Thank you,


Hello David, it is nice to hear from you again.

The best way to let her know is to tell her that you are working on changing and also are putting a high priority on rebuilding her trust. Then highlight some of the things you have done to start that process (such as going to therapy, being open with your feelings, etc). She may not believe you at first, but be ready to allow her the time to take in what you are saying. Tell her that you understand how she feels and that she may need time to think about what you are saying. If possible, give her the names of people that have been working with you to help you change. Proof like that allows her to find evidence that what you are saying is true. Tell her about any books you have read, materials you have used and other efforts you have made. The more she can see what you have done (taken action), the better.

But don't forget to ask her what she needs. If she is willing to tell you what she wants in order to be able to trust again, that is the best way to know what path to take to win her back.


I am happy to help with any additional questions. However, please don't forget to rate my answer as OK or higher so I am credited for my work. Thanks so much!

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