In terms of wanting what you can’t have, wanting your ex wife back is up there with wanting to get with a current wife’s sister. However, just as it is possible to pull your spouse’s sister with a little bit of forwards planning, so too is it sometimes possible to win back your wife’s heart (and if you have pulled her sister then chances are you will need to work extra hard). Know however that this is still an impressive feat, and one that depends on a lot of factors. In many cases it simply won’t happen and you need to ensure that you don’t make your relationship worse if it’s a hopeless cause.
Obviously if you broke up, you broke up for a reason, and making sure you recognise what this is will help you improve your chances of rekindling your old romance. You need to pin point the source of your disagreement then demonstrate to your ex that you’ve changed. For example, if you used to hoard money, then you can start lavishly buying gifts for your children. If you used to drink a lot then becoming a t-total. In other words whatever it was that upset her before, make sure it’s not an issue any more. And it obviously doesn’t hurt to brush up your act in more ways too – generally become a ‘new man’, so that she sees you as everything she used to love but with none of the old drawbacks (make sure that you demonstrate this ‘change’ however in a way that seems subtle rather than a desperate attempt to win her back – let her figure out the new you on her own). Maybe try taking up a new hobby and keeping some mystery about your new activities.
Reminding her of how things once were can work well too, and trying to re-ignite the feelings she felt for you when you first met. If you had an old song or an old local haunt then this can be a great way to remind her of happy memories and why she fell in love with you in the first place.
Obviously for any of these things to work, you will need to have contact with your ex. If you have children then these opportunities will be obvious, and you can arrange a ‘meeting’ about a son’s performance at school for example. Meet in a mutual location – such as a coffee shop – and it can feel a bit like a first date again (and she’ll be impressed at your interest in your children).
Failing this things become a little more difficult and you’ll have to start thinking of excuses to get back in touch. Facebook thankfully gives you one avenue for this – and if you add her as a friend after a long amount of time this will make her straight away start wondering (wondering is a good thing, so leave some time between adding and messaging). You might also be able to meet through mutual friends, or through family members. After being married you are bound to have some mutual acquaintances (who can also be useful for checking up on your ex and for asking for advice).
Of course there is also a temporal element to bear in mind here, and you’ll need to time your attempts well for the optimum chance of success. Basically there are two times that are most conducive to a re-uniting. One of these is immediately after the break up (assuming it wasn’t too gruesome at the time), when you might still be able to ‘reel’ her back in (chances are she still harbours feelings for you). The other is several years after the breakup after she’s had a chance to cool off (the worse the break up was, the longer you should leave it). Between then time of about 6 months to 2 years she will likely be trying to start a ‘new life’ and move on and the wounds will still be fresh so this is a no-go area.
Finally you will need to consider other factors. How bad was the breakup? If you cheated on her with her sister (as discussed above), you’re likely not getting her back. What is she doing now? If she’s remarried then you should probably just leave it. While in some cases, a bit of valiant determination and clever thinking can reunite the two of you, in others it’s definitely better to just honour the memory of your relationship and give her space to recover. If you love someone – let them go.