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It’s Over and I Have Nothing Else to Say! – When there is No Closure
-Author Aleasa M. Word

As a woman, I continually try to understand the male mind. Sadly, it often ends up with me running in circles chasing my tail. The same can be said for men trying to figure out the mazes of a woman’s mind coupled with the hormonal changes that plague our psyche. Many years ago, a book by John Gray entitled Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus clearly displayed that trying to understand the opposite sex can be very difficult.

I’ve been fortunate enough to befriend some great males over the years that have helped in my quest. Over the last three years, I’ve gone on an exploratory dig to try find out how they really think. I contact my male friends often with questions about behaviors I don’t understand. These behaviors seem so illogical to me, yet are very clear to them. They don’t even pretend that the behaviors are healthy, yet they are able to understanding the meanings behind the behaviors right away.

A few years ago a good female friend of mine had a 10 year marriage end. Though the relationship was in bad shape, one day it just ended. There was no real closure for her at all. They ended on an argument and went their separate ways. This couple never discussed how to separate bills, insurance, childcare arrangements or anything. It was just over! She was left to take care of the house, children and bills. Her now ex-husband just would not communicate with her in any way. She wasn’t devastated as much about the marriage ending as she was about the way it ended. What would she do? How would she pay the bills? What would happen to the children? What about the insurance policies on the cars and the home? What about the mortgage? She was left to find her way through a mess all by herself. Fortunately, those of us who had been through similar events were right there to jump in and help. We were pissed, but we helped nonetheless.

My friend kept wondering how he could do this. How could he just walk away as if 10 years of marriage never even happened? How could someone leave things abruptly and never look back to at least tie up loose ends? How do you just walk out on your family and not put things in order for your children? This story is all too familiar in many variations for women and men alike. People in domestic partner relationships are not excluded from what happened to this woman. More than we’d like to think it happens, a great deal of people just walk away and no longer want contact with you. It leaves you there wondering how you got hit by a tornado you never saw coming.

To explain only from the perspective of about 10 males I’ve interviewed, here is their observation. When people can’t handle the relationship pain they will or are causing you they don’t know what to do. When they want out but don’t know how to do it effectively they choose ineffective means. For many men (not all), they simply do nothing. They become in a sense - invisible. From the perspective of many women and those men who aren’t like that, the statement seems utterly ridiculous. And, as ridiculous as it sounds to some, that is the reality for a number of people.

There is no one size fits all hand book of life for people and relationships, especially in today’s world. Not all of us are equipped for every situation. People give what they have and when they don’t have it, they can’t give it! If a person is not equipped with adequate relationship management or conflict resolution skills, they simply cannot function normally in certain situations. Many times it leaves another person left in the lurch to figure it all out. At that time, our mind becomes a playground for irrational thoughts and confusion. We wonder, was it all a lie? How could I be so stupid? Is that person having a mental breakdown and in need of my help? Or worse, we simply have no real answer and begin blaming ourselves. There simply is no closure and we feel like we’re somewhere out on a raft stuck with only our feelings and no answers. Even in death there is an answer, they died! This feels foreign or even alien like.

What do we do to function when these situation s arise? Normally we have a tendency to ruminate. That is we go over every conversation, event, thought, action etc. We replay these things in our mind over and over again to try to figure it all out. Even with that, we tend to focus on the ending instead of the evolution of the relationship. How did that person handle issues previously? What happened in the past when they were faced with an emotionally challenging event? What stories did they share about their past? Sometimes the signs are there and we just don’t see them. Other time they aren’t because people pretend to be what they are not. Lastly, perhaps this is the first time their emotions were at this level with anyone and they didn’t know what to do.

Once the relationship ends and you grieve for a little while we all have to get the point where we take care of ourselves. The person in this situation has to stop focusing on them but on their self. One may never know why things ended the way they did. They may never have that final conversation with you. You however, can have it with yourself. Write a letter to the person with everything you want to say. Ask all of the questions you want answers to in the letter and then let it be. It will be hard for some time as you heal. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t do it all right away. For some it takes a few weeks, for some a lifetime. Either way you have to put it to rest, because the lack of closure is not your issue, it is theirs. The closure for you is that IT IS OVER. It is finished and you have to keep living. The answer is they could not handle the guilt of hurting you or themselves any longer. They could not handle the emotional or physical expectations of a relationship of that magnitude because they simply weren’t ready.

Try not to beat them up too much either. After all, we are human and we make a lot of mistakes. You may even have questions like, if they weren’t ready why did they get involved? A great comparison here is to that of a new job. Think of going out and finding what you imagine is the job of your dreams. You arrive at work gung ho and ready to go. After you are there a few months or even years, you realize it is not at all something you can handle. You like the people and the place but you just can’t handle it any longer. Finally, you decide to find another job and leave. You never look back because you can’t deal with how overwhelming everything was. You choose to sever all ties from the people you went out to lunch with and even shared family stories with. Though it’s not an interpersonal relationship, the reality is the same. The person simply couldn’t handle the job! The old saying don’t bite off more than you can chew seems to have far more meaning than we thought in both instances.

Not all relationships will end. And for those that do, not all of them will end amicably or even with what we consider closure. Just remember we are all human and people do the best they can with what they have. If you had any responsibility at all in the relationship’s demise, the only person you can work on is you. As for the other party, it is up to them to deal with their issues. Relationship endings lacking closure are not ideal but in the long run you may have just been saved from a lifetime of hurt.

Author's Bio: 

Aleasa M. Word is the owner of Allergy Words Consulting, LLC. She is a motivational speaker and offers both personal and professional development services. Please visit www.allergywords.com for more information.