Can a love be reborn?

As Kristen and Rob reunite in time for the latest Twilight premiere, Lisa Jewell wonders if couples can ever survive after infidelity

Can a love be reborn?

AS the final film in the Twilight series opens today in Ireland, all eyes are on the real life Edward and Bella.

Robert Pattison and Kristen Stewart made their first red carpet appearance together since their split at the Hollywood premiere of Breaking Dawn Part 2. And it seems from the body language displayed and the gossip doing the rounds that the couple are definitely back together.

It was a moment that Twihards thought would never happen — after Kristen was caught kissing her Snow White and the Huntsman director back in July. She issued a public apology to boyfriend Robert after the media whipped up a firestorm about her tryst with a married man.

The couple split but after five months apart, they’ve decided to give it another go. But can things work out second time around for a couple and what are the big issues to consider?

Anne Mathews, counsellor and psychotherapist with Relationships Ireland, says she tends to see two main groupings of couples who get back together:

“A relationship might initially break up after the disclosure of an affair and the couple spend time apart, re-building themselves,” she says. “They might then decide they want to reconcile and need help to talk about what happened.

“Then you have young couples who have a lot going on in their relationship — they might find that they have a lot of conflict that they can’t deal with. They separate and re-connect later, perhaps when they’ve matured a bit from being out of the relationship.”

We’ve all come across couples who just can’t seem to stop yo-yo-ing back to each other. Why can some couples call it a day and others just can’t let go?

“I think they probably haven’t ended the relationship properly — they haven’t negotiated how to end things,” says Anne. “People also have hopes and dreams for the future that they connect with their relationship. If you’ve been in a relationship for a long time and you’ve invested in that relationship, you might worry about how you take that investment out of it.”

Anne says that some couples settle for the relationship rather than be single again.

“I’m not sure that’s a good rationale for getting back together with someone,” she says.

Relationship expert David Kavanagh says that breaking up and getting back together can be positive for a couple — if they’ve processed the reasons why they broke up in the first place.

“You have to specifically look at why the relationship stopped working — was it lack of trust, lack of communication or something else?” he says. “If you don’t identify what went wrong, I don’t think the relationship can function as well as it could.

“It might be difficult for the couple in the relationship to be objective about the reasons and that’s why some people can find couples counselling helpful in figuring out what happened and what they’re going to do differently in the future.”

Some people say that a relationship is never the same the second time around.

“I think it’s true that it may never be the same but who’s to say it’s not better?” asks Anne. “Again, it depends on people working through any issues that have become a bit grid-locked.”

And when it comes to deal breakers in a relationship, some people may never get over an infidelity.

“Some couples get back together after someone has an affair and they ignore the obvious,” says David. “For them, it’s easier to pretend it hasn’t happened and being in love is a much nicer phase to be in. It’s possible to regain trust after infidelity but it’s something that a couple has to work through. Some people find it easier to forgive and move on — some people find it very hard to get over.”

Anne says that infidelity can be a very difficult situation to get over but that if both partners want to deal with it, there can be room for forgiveness and moving on.

“They have to investigate what led up to the infidelity — was there an unresolved problem in the relationship, was there sexual distance between the two people?

“In today’s world, we’re seeing infidelity in many different forms — people who have cyber sex affairs, texting affairs. No matter what type of infidelity, one person’s energy is going elsewhere and distance is growing between the couple.”


* Rihanna and Chris Brown

The couple started dating in 2008 but one year into the relationship, things turned sour when Chris physically attacked Rihanna in the car on the way to the Grammys.

Three years later, Rihanna is flatly denying that she’s back with her ex but they’ve certainly been seeing plenty of each other.

The couple were spotted cuddling up in nightclubs and they kissed at the MTV VMAs in September. Rihanna told Oprah Winfrey during the summer that the singer is the love of her life but that they’re now working on their friendship.

“We built a trust again and that’s it,” she said. “We love each other and we probably always will.”

* Jude Law and Sienna Miller

After getting together on the set of the film Alfie in 2004, this couple became the darlings of the tabloid press who traced every step in their relationship.

Their engagement was called off in 2005 after it was revealed that the actor had an affair with his children’s nanny.

Jude and Sienna reconciled in 2009 and it was thought they’d actually make it up the wedding aisle this time. Sienna called things off and later said in an interview, “We weren’t re-engaged. And I think this happens in everyone’s lives: you get back together, you try and make it work, and it doesn’t.”

* Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor

It was a passion that burned brightly but unfortunately the couple couldn’t make things work in their relationship second time around.

After falling madly in love, they married in 1964 and became Hollywood’s most glamorous couple.

But as well as a sizzling sex life, they argued frequently, spent extravagantly and drank too much.

The marriage lasted 10 years but ended in divorce. The ink was barely dry on their divorce papers when they re-married in 1975. Unfortunately, though, after 10 months, the couple realised they just couldn’t make it work.

* Sinead O’Connor and Barry Herridge

Singer Sinead announced the end of her fourth marriage to therapist Barry just 16 days after they had tied the knot in Las Vegas in December 2011.

She blamed “intense pressure” put on the couple following the wedding. Things looked to be done and dusted for the pair who had met after Sinead posted on her blog that she was looking for love.

However, the relationship was back on track a month later as Sinead told how they were giving things a go as ‘boyfriend and girlfriend’ rather than ‘husband and wife’. It’s unclear exactly how things stand now as Sinead has made a wise decision not to give fuel to the fire by sharing her personal life again.

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