Getting Closure

Yesterday I met up with some friends for Happy Hour at Trulucks. Apparently they have very nice seafood but we were all about the drinks. Plus they also had these carrot and malted chocolate cupcakes. They were delicious. They also have this bread that tastes a bit like raisin bread. It’s yummy!

Of course being women, the conversation eventually focuses on men. One of my friends is having a hard time. An ex (one of the significant ones) recently married. I’ve never had this experience but I am empathetic to how I might feel if I found out Bear had married. Even though we weren’t together at the time, it would still hurt. So my heart ached for my friend who in a sense is wanting closure. She thinks that maybe she missed a cue when he was trying to gauge interest in a rekindling, or she should have called him one more time when they stopped speaking after a stupid text fight. Maybe if she had done something differently, she wouldn’t have to wonder if it could have been her posting Facebook pictures of her ring or making wedding plans.

We’ve all been there. It’s not even that we want HIM in particular, we want him to want us. As she peeled back the layers of the relationship, we realized that she didn’t trust him, didn’t trust who he was and his actions immediately before his marriage showed that the core of who he was had not changed much. Another round would have only been delaying the inevitable.

We wondered aloud if she was having a problem because she didn’t have any closure? What is that any way? Who came up with this idea that we need the other person to explain their shortcoming and failings, that they need to detail what they were thinking as they were breaking our hearts, that they have to apologize for being who they always were.

The reality is that people don’t owe us closure. And as one of my girlfriends pointed out, everyone can’t give you closure. They just aren’t capable. You are asking them about a situation and they end up creating more questions than answers because they don’t know themselves. So then what?

Sometimes you have to create your own closure. Here are couple of things that I’ve heard or tried before that I suggested to her.

The Unsent Letter: Write/type a letter to the person with all you feelings, frustrations, love declarations. Write until you can’t write anymore. Fold it up, save it in a drawer, or save it in a misc folder on your hard drive. The point is that you’ve said all you needed to say. Plus you’ll also be able to reflect on the relationship. The good and the bad. The more clarity on the relationship helps you to reframe the situation so you don’t either idealize the situation and what could have been or hate the person so much that you can’t forgive and move on.

Reclamation: Sometimes we tend to stay away from situations that make us remember the ex but you should go back to your old spots and make new memories. She can make the alone or with someone else.

How have you gotten closure in the past?

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