Q: My husband and I were married for a few years, but we’ve been separated for several months. Now he’s back in my life and I think there are sparks again. Our marriage fell apart because I felt like I took a back seat to his work. Things seem different now, but I don’t want to get hurt again. What should I do?

A: This is a hard question, but I think you should follow your heart. If your almost-ex has really reformed his ways, then you might have a legitimate second chance to find the connections you had when you first fell in love. I can understand your being hesitant—after all, he hurt you once, so who’s to say he won’t hurt you again? On the other hand, maybe he’s realized what you mean to him now that you’ve been apart for a while. If he really seems ready to leave his old patterns behind and focus on your relationship, then, with some dedication and communication, you might just be able to make a go of it again.

While you’re making your decision, take some time to look at yourself, too. Have you put up barriers that could keep you two from connecting on a new level? Are you wrapped up in how you expect him to respond and having a hard time accepting what he’s really saying to you? Is there too much baggage from your previous time together for you to relax and go with the flow to see what the once-love-of-your-life has to offer you now?

If you do decide to go forward, be sure to keep the lines of communication open. Be honest with each other and talk things out. If you’re afraid you see old patterns coming into play—either his or yours—talk about it. Don’t let things stew. That can too easily lead to resentment, and then you’re back to where you were before you broke up. Take your time, follow your heart, and talk things out. Best of luck!

Katriena Knights, author of As If You Never Left Me