NO one – not Oprah, not anyone – can figure out why Rihanna decided to get back together with an allegedly abusive Chris Brown, and last week viewers of “The Bachelor” were puzzled when heartbroken Molly Malaney, who was dumped in the finale by wishy-washy Jason Mesnick, said she’d give the relationship another shot.
While not every do-over seems as bleak – Jennifer Aniston shined at the Oscars with her back-on boyfriend John Mayer, and former exes Kate Hudson and Owen Wilson looked oh-so-happy bicycling in France – the rash of Hollywood reconciliations has left fans wondering why in the name of love anyone (much less a star) would take back an unworthy ex.
They do it for the same reasons the rest of us do, experts say: They just want everything to work out.
“Rare is the ending when both people want out with the same feeling of finality and clarity that it’s over,” says marriage and family therapist Jane Greer, Redbook’s relationship columnist. “One person wants to end it, while the other person wants to keep trying.”
Often that other person will beg forgiveness, promise to change, or swear he or she can’t survive alone.
“By the time that person is finished with the court of appeals, the other feels like they are the bad one if they don’t give her or him a chance,” says Greer.
Sometimes people stay together just because being a couple is what’s familiar – even if it’s detrimental.
“It’s like putting on old shoes,” says psychotherapist Debra Burrell. “You know you’re comfortable with them, but do you want them?”
There are times, however, when getting back together works out…
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