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Can the lack of closure hold you back?

Discussion in 'Family, Friends, and Relationships' started by Rana, Jan 15, 2018.

  1. Rana

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    Hello All,

    When I broke up with my ex a few months ago, we sort of just ended it without a good talk as to why (the decision to breakup was initiated by me but due to being hurt by my ex's behavior). She had emotional issues which meant she would lash out unfairly and never talk things out...just dysfunctional in all aspects. We had some sporadic contact in the weeks that followed but nothing helpful (and sometimes even more hurtful) until I just let go completely. I never had closure because she was incapable of acting like a caring human being, so I tried to sort of give that to myself as best as I could.

    Why is this relevant now? As I'm trying to get back into dating again, I've noticed that even thinking about a relationship triggers sad thoughts of hurt feelings from my last dating experience. I really thought I had moved past this. Could it be that I just didn't have closure & haven't done a good job of properly dealing with that? I feel like I closed the last chapter but I guess hurt feelings from that experience are keeping me from going forward. I'm not at all thinking about my ex; in fact, I get depressed just thinking about what a mistake it was to date her (she was not even close to what I want from a partner).

    It's really frustrating because I've met someone that I'm excited about but something is holding me back. I want to be my happy self again but I can't somehow. I can't figure out what to do. Anyone had this issue before?
    :frowning2:
     
  2. Really

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    Hey @Rana,

    Would writing a letter to your ex help give you closure? Maybe getting everything out that you would have liked to tell her but never had the chance properly to do would give you a kind of closure. I don’t know if it will help in your current situation but I don’t think it could hurt, could it? (If you think it would, don’t do it.)

    As for now, could you try to live more in the moment? Try to enjoy what you’ve got now and just go with the flow. This is supposed to be fun, right? :}
     
  3. alwaysforever

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    My personal experience is a lack of closure makes it so that it can take longer to get over whatever happened. I ran into serious problems a couple of years ago, and it took about 2 and a half years to feel like myself again, and to not have irrational trust issues. Currently I am focused on my career and am not even remotely interested in dating, but the scars in my heart have smoothed over. Take it one day at a time, and try not to rush the process.
     
  4. OGS

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    I'm not a huge fan of the notion of closure. It seems to me that the way many people talk about it leaves it dependent in some way on something the other person has to do for you--telling you why something happened, listening to your feelings, even sometimes people feel like they need the other person to admit they were wrong in some way. It seems to me that that kind of thinking just leaves you trapped. If you were willing to put your future happiness in this person's hands you'd probably still be with them--so just don't. I know that's not an easy answer but still I don't think looking to them as a way out of the quandary is going to be helpful in the long wrong.
     
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  5. Jax12

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    Thought I’d share this, since this is happening to me right now.

    I broke up with my ex back in early December for something I was not okay with him doing. Prior to the breakup, I angrily told him how upset I was what he did; his response was cold, and told me to deal with my emotions on my own. Long story short, around mid December, we finally decided to cut contact and he said that he moved on. We didn’t get any real closure, and the emotions were still fresh.

    A couple days ago, we started talking again over email because of a pair of shorts that I left at his house. Unsurprisingly, we started talking about the relationship and we both wrote paragraphs about what we thought about the relationship from both perspectives. We’re meeting up this week to talk about the relationship (he brought up the possibility of us getting back together).

    I was actually starting to do better without the closure I was looking for, but it seems there’s unresolved feelings on both sides. I too, recently met someone fantastic, and though I have doubts about this potential relationship, the past is still holding me back as well.

    What I’ve come to understand is that you don’t always get the closure you’re looking for, and if that’s the case, the closure you find is from yourself, not from your ex.
     
    #5 Jax12, Jan 15, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
  6. Rana

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    Hi there,
    No, unfortunately writing to my ex won't help. I had said and asked everything when we broke up and afterwards but she doesn't feel comfortable talking about her feelings. She shuts down, and actually this was one of the problems while we were dating too. She doesn't communicate very well and if you try too hard she lashes out (totally toxic behavior).

    She has mood issues that seemed like either bipolar or borderline personality or something (really, I'm not exaggerating in the least bit). So, it wasn't a hard decision to break up. The hard part was filling the void that was left when I no longer had someone to chat with, snuggle with, tell my good news to, etc.

    This is what I needed to get over, and I was doing really well early on, but I guess I'm not completely healed. I thought perhaps it was related to unfinished business in my mind as to how it all ended (ie. not getting complete closure or something). I'm not sure what it is but I know that even though I'm excited about meeting someone, some strange innate sadness keeps rising up, reminding me of the past, and before I know it, I have a lump in my throat and I'm fighting back tears. I cried a lot today. :cry:
     
  7. Rana

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    Hi Jax,
    Yes, I agree, and I knew when I broke up that I would need to give myself closure. I just felt that I had done that, gotten over the rough spots, etc. It has been a weird surprise that these old painful feelings have resurfaced at a time when I met someone who is a good prospect. It should be a happy time but just line you, I feel held back somehow. I'm beyond confused. Maybe it's just a last bump in the road to total healing, like a relapse? I don't know.
     
  8. Rana

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    Thanks, I'll try to take it easy. I feel like my heart has scars but the keep opening up.
     
  9. Rana

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    I agree, and in my case, my ex was never the type to want to talk about hard stuff so I knew closure was definitely not to be had with any help from her. I'm just trying to figure out the best way to help myself and understanding what's going on with my emotions.
     
  10. Jax12

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    They’ll come back, here and there, but it does get better over time (I really don’t like saying that but things HAVE gotten better, even though it’s only been a month).

    I think it’s fair to say that there will continue to be bumps on the road, they’ll just slowly get smaller over time.
     
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  11. Rana

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    Thank you, I needed that ❤️
     
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  12. Rana

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    Update:

    The woman that I'm interested in is now on my social media friend list (social media that begins with "F"). My ex was also on my friends list.
    I know people sometimes unfriend their ex but I didn't want to hurt her feelings so I kept her there, but I have privacy settings that would prevent her from seeing my new posts because I don't really want to interact with her on social media. I didn't realize that it might have been possible for her to read comments I make on other people's posts (depending on their privacy settings).

    The new woman posted something and tagged me, so it was apparently visible to my friends too (including my ex). I commented on this post, and a sort of flirtatious banter went on between me and this woman in the comments section of that post last night.

    Well, apparently my ex was paying attention and must have been able to read these comments between me and this woman and figured out we were interested in each other. Today I saw that my ex unfriended & blocked me. I know she did this today because even though I don't interact with her, I always see her profile avatar in a chat list on the sidebar of my page...this was still there yesterday but disappeared today. Also, I often see her political posts in my news feed which showed up until today.

    Now, this is not altogether bad because she did what I didn't have the heart to do months ago when we broke up.

    Why do I feel bad that her feelings might be hurt by seeing that I'm interested in another woman? She didn't treat me well at all, and actually was mean quite often. Her actions during our relationship were those of someone who didn't really care about me. So why care that I'm interested in another woman? I have a bad feeling like I did something wrong when I really didn't. Why do I feel guilty? Is it even logical for my ex to not want to date me but get angry that I might start dating someone else?
     
  13. Really

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    You are reading all sorts of meaning into one action on her part that you have no way of knowing her motivation for doing. She could have unfriended you for her own mental health or simply during a cleanup. Or any other number of reasons but you simply can’t know. You did what you needed to do when you broke up with her. Don’t give her any more of your emotional energy.
     
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  14. Rana

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    You're right about the emotional energy. This is what has been holding me back. I don't know what about the situation with my ex has made me emotionally unfree. There are things I need to resolve with myself about the whole experience. My self esteem definitely has taken a hit for sure. I know all this sounds trivial but it has affected me negatively for some reason and I haven't fully healed.

    She had mood issues and was not emotionally stable, was uncaring & even unkind, hurt my feelings, and when I wanted to address any issue, she shut down. Theoretically, I should hate her guts! After I ended the relationship, she apologized to me. She really needed help sometimes, and I couldn't help feeling sorry for her. She was a jerk but also a broken little puppy dog. I didn't cut myself off from her initially so we had some occasional sporadic contact. Sometimes she really needed help. But then she started being mean to me again, and I was done. I finally decided to end contact (I think this was about 2 months ago).

    Anyway, I'm trying to move on and happy about dating prospects, especially the woman I recently met. But I know if I'm not emotionally whole, I can't move on.

    My self confidence is in pieces after the whole experience. For some reason my ex's action of unfriending me on social media has hurt me, even though we haven't had contact, and even though she was a jerk to me who I should hate, etc. I know this is not logical, but it's emotionally hurtful, and I don't understand why.
     
  15. Rana

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    Also, I thought I had mostly healed from all this but then had a relapse for some reason, right around the time I met this new woman. It's as if the thought of a future relationship made me think of all the bad things from my last relationship. It makes me mad that my ex had such a negative effect on me. I'm trying to get past it but I'm struggling right now.
     
  16. BosiMalkia

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    From the outside looking in I would say it looks like you either still have some type of feelings for her, maybe because she forced your hand by making you break up with her because of the way she treated you. If not that I would say you are not fully healed from her actions towards you and since you never got the chance to fully evaluate why she might of treated you that way, this never gave you the chance to fix your scars you encountered throughout the relationship.
     
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  17. Rana

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    I'm definitely not fully healed. I think my ex's recent actions just felt like a final blow in addition to the many painful blows from her. I'm quite angry at myself that I'm not stronger. I should be able to say who cares and not feel anything. I wish for a feeling of indifference right now.
     
  18. Sawyer

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    When I was with my ex, I found out through my sister, who found out on social media, that she was cheating. I had a lot of different emotions going on, but I texted her like usual thinking she would confess but didn't. For context, we texted everyday. So that night I decided I would wait for her to text me to initiate conversation and she never did. A week, then a month, and then Almost half a year later I heard nothing from her. I couldn't move on, and when I tried, it felt like cheating even though we were over, but I never had that proper closure. A year and a bit moved by and I started putting myself back out there and started to have dreams about her, I think out of guilt. By happenstance she reached out to me and I saw her twice hoping to rekindle (I wasn't having much luck with the ladies). Second time, halfway through dinner it hit me that I didn't need closure after all and I had gotten it the day she cheated. I was pretty much done. Being used by her, or only good when she needed something.

    It took me awhile to be at peace with her actions and get what I needed to move on, but I think it took me so long because part of me thought I didn't deserve to be loved right. Once it clicked that I am, that we all are, the feelings of guilt and closure went away so fast.

    You deserve someone who will also care about your feelings. It's understandable to be scarred from a previous relationship, I worry constantly about cheating, even though this new girl I am seeing is wonderful and I don't want to project the past onto the new. It helped me to find someone completely opposite of my ex. By that I mean, there were no rules and I actually get to see my gf more than twice a year. If you find someone who has or is showing similar characteristics, it will be harder for you to heal.

    Bottom line, feel what you need to feel. If you have a close friend, or even this forum to vent to about your worries or feelings, it could help you sort out your emotions so one day you can be okay and find the love that you deserve.
     
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  19. Rana

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    Thank you @Sawyer for sharing. Your story helps me more than you can imagine. Although my situation didn't involve cheating, it sure did involve feeling unwanted. I believe that's why my confidence was shot after the whole experience. For me, closure will mean undoing all the negative feelings she made me feel about myself. I guess I still have work to do. Your words were very helpful, so thank you.
     
  20. Lin1

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    I can totally relate to you OP and do think sometimes you need closure to fully move on (not saying you can't move on without closure just that it logically take a bit more time than being able to get the closure you need).

    My last relationship seem to have been very similar to yours and was quite toxic. My ex girlfriend had some issues of her own (and I guess I had mine too to be fair) and instead of accepting my support and stuff she would take it out on me, the whole thing with her ended up leaving me very unloved/unwanted and with a massively shattered self-esteem. When we broke up it was a relief (the toxicity was too much) but like they typical abuser/abusee dynamic I felt I still needed her in my life. I tried to be her friend but the hot and cold atittude was so hard to take, even more as "friends" as I just didn't have any reasons to put up with it really, so even though it felt like a failure I distanced myself from her for my own sake (we still did have the odd polite text every once in a while but that was about it). About 6 months later I moved to another country/city and ironically a month later she moved here as well. Initially, when I found out she was moving to the exact same city as me (and actually to my exact same neighbourhood!) I was annoyed, I really had a feeling that it would ruin my time here knowing that she was around and stuff, at the same time I was curious "Should I meet her? 6 months has passed maybe she is a changed woman." but for some reasons I had a feeling it wasn't a good idea to meet her and that we weren't at that stage where we wouldn't be toxic for each other.

    Anyway, fast forward to last week (so 4 months later) and I received a text from her asking me if I would fancy getting a coffee with her. It took me a while to chose to accept and meet her because by that time I was over her, I had finally moved on and I was quite happy with where my life was at (still am!) and I was scared she would drag me back to the bad place I was at last year.

    Anyhow we met up and surprisingly it was very nice meeting her, she definitely was a changed woman (as was I) and we managed to have the healthiest and most liberating talk we've ever had. I didn't know if our relationship would be a taboo topic or not but she casually brought it up and the first thing she did was apologize, genuinely apologize for how she had treated me and telling me that, in case I didn't know, she had genuinely liked me. And I didn't know how much I needed to hear this until I did, I mean like you I really feel like she couldn't care less about me and by the end of the relationship I even though she didn't even like me as a human being (let alone as anything more!) so yeah, it felt nice to hear that and to also be able to tell her my side of the story and have her listen, like really listen and take notes for once and also to have her explain why she was acting the way she was acting and make sense of reactions she had I couldn't really get at the time.
    It was liberating and I am glad I did meet her as it did bring me some kind of closure and did erase all type of hard-feelings I had towards this relationship.

    Now I guess I am in a bit of a pickle about wether or not I should reconnect with her fully and have her back in my life as we did get along very well that evening but yeah.

    So I totally get why you could need closure but maybe you aren't at the stage yet where you would be able to have a mature/healthy discussion with her (based on her recent reaction) so you may want to have to wait a bit for that.

    Good luck Rana, undoing the damage someone has done to you without proper closure is tough so I hope you find some peace regardless!
     
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