Here’s what you do when someone you’ve been involved with withholds proper, satisfying closure: You accept it. You accept that you won’t get the closure you wanted. You embrace the absence of satisfying closure as a retroactive sign that the relationship was doomed anyway—after all, anyone right for you, who truly loved and respected you, would never want you struggling with confusion, loose ends, or outright incredulity vis a vis their retreat or exit.
So, when someone refuses you the closure you’re seeking, it’s usually a bad sign—they may have serious communication issues, serious empathy/compassion issues, and/or perhaps never loved or respected you as they may have purported throughout your involvement.
It’s actually rare to get good closure when relationships end. That’s because most relationships end, ultimately, from among other deficits, weak communication; and good closure requires good, honest, transparent communication.
So, while it feels important to get good closure, it’s a bit foolish to expect/demand it. It’s better just to accept that good closure’s more the exception than the rule, despite how much we think it should be a given, if not our right.
In the end, it’s better just to get on, move on, not knowing exactly WTF happened, and why? As I suggest, we can use the very fact of the inadequate closure as affirmation of something ominously wrong or missing in the withholding party’s personality.
I had an experience where a woman who claimed to love and miss me; who’d been wanting for months, presumably, to get more serious with me; who was imploring me to believe she still loved me while she was spending every night and day with a new guy; who told me “you have no idea how emotionally connected I am to you;” who would send me sad, tearful emojis expressing her love and longing for me, sometimes when he was there in her apartment—I had the experience of this woman, when I’d show up the next day at her place seeking understanding of her confusing behaviors, attitudes and loyalties, shut her door in my face like I was an inconvenient nuisance and virtual stranger.
She couldn’t (or wouldn’t) resolve for me her impossibly contradictory messages.
Forgive my personal indulgence—the point is, for all her professions of love and longing, she hung me out to dry from a closure standpoint.
And that’s okay. You want, at every juncture of any relationship, the chance to see deal-breaking displays of insensitivity, deception, lying and the like, from a prospective partner. It’s always a gift, however painful, when someone reveals something prohibitive about themselves.
Withheld closure’s a good example of this. It’s a sign, a screaming red flag. When someone you’re seeking closure from refuses you, know you’re lucky. You’ve dodged a bullet you didn’t need tearing apart your already hurt heart.