Why do people have rebound relationships?

Why do people have rebound relationships?

We all know somebody like Bob. He's 32 years old now. Bob married Amber when he was 22 years old. He had just graduated college and he had lived with Amber during their senior year of college. After the marriage, they waited a few years and everything seemed wonderful, so they had two children who are now 7 and 5. Things started going bad after the first child was born but they just thought they were going through a rough patch.

After the second child, things got even worse. Amber was so busy with the babies that she never had time for Bob. She was too tired for sex when Bob made advances and soon he stopped trying. He wasn't unfaithful to her but started devoting himself to his work, spending more hours at the office and less time at home. Amber felt unappreciated for the job she did as a stay-at-home mom and she resented the fact that Bob got to have social interactions every day with people who didn't wear diapers.

They simply "grew apart" and became more like roommates than friends and lovers. When Bob's office had a weekend retreat, spouses were expected to join the group but Amber refused to leave the children with Bob's parents for a long weekend. This was the final straw for Bob and he divorced Amber.

Bob started dating immediately and soon met Cindy. She was a secretary in the office of one of the vendors which works with Bob's company. She is very pretty - just like Amber - and seems devoted to Bob. They talked about marriage and having children and they seemed to have the same goals. They got married after a whirlwind courtship and Cindy got pregnant within the first year of their marriage. Now that baby is here, things are not as rosey as they once were. The frequent, hot, steamy sex has become a once a week routine and Cindy seems to love being a mother more than she loves being a wife. Now, Bob is wondering if he made a mistake.

Yes, Bob made a big mistake! He married on the rebound. Don't judge Bob too harshly; many, many people make the same mistake. As an attorney who handles divorces, this is good for business . . . but I hate to see people make this mistake. I see otherwise intelligent people do this, the people who generally don't make really stupid mistakes.

Why do they do it? Obviously, no one says, "Well, I just got divorced, so let's see if I can do something really stupid!" No, this behavior is not driven by any conscious rational process; it is controlled by emotional motivations and brought to fruition by subconscious behavior.

One of the hallmarks of almost all divorces is blame. "Someone else hurt me and this is their fault!" All of our family and friends help to reinforce this idea. "I can't believe she did this to you. That little bitch!" they say. How many friends say to you, "So, what role did you have in the problems?" Answer: none of your friends ask you this because they want to be sympathetic and supportive.

Of course, when a marriage falls apart, it is usually the result of two people both contributing problems and neither contributing solutions. But "blame" and "fault" shift the focus away from mutual responsibility.

When we come out of a divorce, we have some lingering doubts about what happened. We may not express those doubts to our family and friends, but we question ourselves and we wonder what others might be thinking. There is also an element of "revenge" present at times; "I'll show her that it was all her fault."

What is the best way to prove that it wasn't our fault? It's simple: get into another relationship and show that we can make it work. So, without pausing to learn any lessons from our recent failure, we get into another relationship. That is particularly unfortunate, because quite often, one of the lessons that we need to learn involves how we go about choosing our partners. Without the benefit of any new insights, we tend to choose our next partner in the same manner, and according to the same criteria, as we chose our last partner.

Our choice tends to be someone who is remarkably similar to our last choice and that means that we will probably encounter the same problems that we had in the first marriage. Unfortunately, the ultimate outcome is usually the same, although the second marriage probably won't last as long as the first marriage.

Learning our lessons is not as simple as studying for a test or memorizing the state capitals. It takes periods of introspection, some tears, and brutal honesty to accept some responsibility for our failure. This can take months or even a year or longer. And some people never learn their lessons!

I advise all of my divorce clients to follow a simple rule: you should not consider marriage for a full two years following a divorce. It is fine to date, even to date exclusively and monogamously, but you should advise your partner that you need two years before that that subject can be considered.

What happens if my client doesn't follow this excellent advice? I threaten them. If I hear that they have violated this rule, I promise that a friend and I will kidnap them and drag them out into the woods, tie their face to a goat's ass, and beat the hell out of them. The threat is made facetiously, of course, and they laugh . . . but they get the point of what I am saying.

Why do I bother with this? Certainly, it is outside the realm of legal advice. I "bother" because I don't want them to make the same mistake that I made ten years ago . . . and I don't want you to make that same mistake, either.


2|1
114
OlderAndWiser is a GirlsAskGuys Editor
Who are Editors?

Most Helpful Girl

  • If someone came out of a relationship and very quickly got into a serious relationship with someone else, how long would it be before it could be considered a real relationship and not a rebound?

    Does it make a difference if the relationship/marriage was over long before they split up (e. g. staying together for the sake of the kids or out of habit)?

    0|0
    0|0
    • The test of whether the relationship is real or rebound is not time but the motivations for being in the relationship. I've been divorced for a year and I'm dating a nice lady. If I engineered situations where my ex would see me with my new girlfriend, if I was still Facebook friends with my ex and posted about my girlfriend, if I took my girlfriend places where my ex and I had been to try to recreate or improve on a past experience. . . all of that would be a rebound. (I don't do any of that.)

      As soon as a couple decides that they want a monogamous relationship, they have an obligation of faithfulness to each other. As soon as one of them says I want a divorce (and it is a serious statement, not lashing out in anger when they are drunk) then the obligation of faithfulness ends. But the potential for a rebound relationship remains and there is no magic time which must pass before the potential disappears. It all depends on how soon they accept the breakup and let go of their anger.

    • Good answer. I'm not a fan of definitive timescales as every case is different. As you say, actions speak louder than words and a person can get into a rebound 1 year after a breakup if they haven't moved on, or a real relationship after 1 month if they have.

      As for the second part, it wasn't about faithfulness. I was faithful to my EX-husband but our marriage was over long before we admitted it and I moved out with the kid. Although I didn't look to get involved with anyone until I'd rebuilt myself I'd had my mourning period before the official split took place. By the time I moved out I was truly over the marriage and ready to never think of him again (except I have to for child contact). On the other hand he wasn't over it 18 months later when I did start a new relationship. He took it very badly and rebounded, which shows it's different for everybody. Rebound period is more of a place than a time, I think.

Most Helpful Guy

  • People rebound because they can't deal with the pain of being alone, which is rough I know, but having been the reboundee, all I can say is never date someone on the rebound, at least if you're looking for a serious relationship.

    I got rebounded by a girl who I thought was very attractive and had a lot in common with but there were red flags left and right that I either overlooked or I was just navive about what was really going on.

    My best analogy for dating someone on the rebound is like playing with fire. It can be exciting but if you're not careful then you'll get burned.

    1|1
    0|0

Join the discussion

What Girls Said 10

  • Thank you! Someone finally made a Take about mutual responsibility in a break up! It's never one single cause, much as you may want it to be.

    1|1
    0|0
  • I see people who haven't fully cleared themselves from a break up , jumped to another person soon. They tend to attract the next person who are similar to their previous partner.

    1|1
    0|0
  • this assent a rebound story. this is a history repeats itself story.
    t
    he problem is amber was stuck at home without a paycheck. if she had help and had her own life they probably wouldn't divorce. they divorced bc she had no outlet and their marriage was full of resentment. hell experience the same thing. its not bit was a rebound. ptsd bc being g stuck at home all day just talking to babies is depressing for m, or people plus you can't punch out. the clock never stops you're on call all the time and you dont get paid.

    rebound is like broke up go out and fuck the first person you see it doesn't go anywhere bc you didn't really like them. and fkrebpounds are ok as long as everyone know its not serious.

    0|0
    0|0
    • This "isn't" a rebound story? Yes, it is. "Rebound relationship": A person is considered on the rebound if he or she becomes involved in a relationship that begins shortly after the end of a previous significant relationship.

      Most women do not have help (other than their immediate family) with raising their children, unless the woman earns enough money to justify putting the babies in daycare. . . and that has its on set of problems. In any event, this should be discussed in advance.

      You don't get married and have babies so you can have your "own life."

      She had no outlet for what?

      PTSD is a psychiatric diagnosis; you should not use words and phrases that you obviously don't understand.

      So, YOU are stuck at home with babies and YOU have resentment and YOU are depressed. Those are problems you should discuss with your spouse.

      No one gets paid for having their own babies and raising them. Every woman understands that before they agree to become pregnant.

  • Because they don't know how to move on healthily.
    O. o

    0|1
    0|0
  • Awww. This. I hope not to go through divorce someday because one of my goals is for my future children not to worry whether they'd go to me or to their dad's house first during holidays but I'd bear this all in mind. Nice take 😊

    0|1
    0|0
    • Sometimes it doesn't even have to be a divorce. One of my best friends had a kid with his ex girlfriend and they broke up but have split custody and needless to say, it's awkward as fuck when they have to deal with each other and take turns with raising the kid. So yeah having kids sometimes complicates situations.

  • I would really like your thoughts on something I am going through! Love what you wrote! If you're at all interested, please send me a message. Thanks!

    0|1
    0|0
  • I just hope people wait before they jump into another relationship too, not just marriage.

    0|1
    0|0
  • It's because of the propaganda that our society has thrown into our faces. If we're not in a relationship than we're inferior to those who are. Adults can only be happy when they have a partner and being single means your lonely. It's pretty sad.

    1|0
    0|0
    • Everything you said is true. . . but I also know that I feel much happier when I am in a relationship.

    • Show All
    • I found being single for some months gave me a chance to see what I liked. I actually prefer to be single now.

    • I agree completely, I have dated but haven't had a serious relationship yet and my closest to it was a girl who was a hardcore rebounder. She used me to get back at her on and off/current boyfriend of 6 years and after she left me without explanation, I looked at her fb and she'd been hopping from guy to guy and can never be single and all I can say is she's probably more jaded than any person I've met.

      The thing is with me, I have had girls I could have dated and been in a relationship with, I just didn't like them back and am not just gonna settle just for the sake of being in a relationship. If I don't like the person then what do I care about what others think. If you can't be happy unless you're in a relationship then you're the one with the problem, not the content single person.

  • Serial monogamy.

    0|0
    0|0
    • I know this is not the point, but if you are going to envy your own child, you aren't mentally an adult.

    • Show All
    • So, is Bob's error unrealistic family expectations, lack of communication skills, or simply projecting the problem onto his partner rather than being part of the solution?

    • It is not Bob's problem. It is Bob and Amber's problem.

  • I guess the easiest way to get over someone is to get under someone else

    1|0
    0|0
    • I think that is a wise appreciation for what is involved in the process for many people.

What Guys Said 3

  • This is why I never dealt with divorce / family law. Rebound relationships are just that, rebound. Some of us hate to be alone, so we go for the 1st thing that pops up. Which is bad.

    1|0
    0|0
    • Some people are serial daters too. One girl I dated who rebounded on me can just never seem to be single. Any time she's breaks up with someone, usually her current boyfriend that she's been dating on and off for the past few years, she's always with someone else.

      All I can say is that when you date someone on the rebound, you might be in their shoes after the rebounder leaves you if that makes any sense.

    • I met someone like that, she was beyond toxic

  • fighting and arguing then working out. I dealt that 5 times before I was unengaged. I called off my engagement

    1|0
    0|0
  • Are rebound relationships an actual thing? Or is that just some bullshit you heard on TV?

    0|0
    0|0
    • Of course they're real. I am an attorney and I represent people in divorces. I see quite a few people get divorced and remarried in less than a year and many times less than 6 months.

    • Lol. You'd think they'd learn their lesson the first time!

Loading...