It’s safe to say we’ve all had relationships that have ended badly. And when I say “relationships” I include the romantic, friendly, familial, and anything else you can think of.
I know I have, and it’s also safe to say I did not get any sort of closure when it broke up. I can say this with certainty for numerous reasons, but not least because I see familiarities to the person in a lot of people who on closer inspection don’t really bear a resemblance (or only a passing one, perhaps). And now and then my dreams are intruded upon by that person in an attempt by my subconscious to work things out and to resolve the issues. These dreams always work themselves towards some final showdown or to the point where I am on the verge of making a decision and reach the crucial moment just as I wake up. It seems that my subconscious doesn’t know how it should be resolved either.
Perhaps this is normal.
Do any broken relationships ever achieve closure? Do we ever truly move on?
In many cases, of course, there are conversations (or rows) where issues are aired and worked through, to a greater or lesser extent. Reasons are given, arguments made. Maybe the people in question stay in each other’s lives after the breakup, albeit in an altered way, in which case issues can be revisited, if necessary, with the benefit of cooled emotions and the perspective of time.
In my case, at least, this didn’t happen. One minute we were in each other’s lives and the next we weren’t. Just like that. If it had been my own decision then no doubt I wouldn’t have these unresolved issues, or at least not in the same “what the hell happened?” sort of way.
So, how do I get out of this? How do I achieve the nirvana of “moving on”? There’s no way of speaking to the person to ask them all the questions I need to ask. Some might suggest that it is all up to me. All I have to do is decide to move on and that’s that, but personally I don’t think it is that simple. If it was, the psychiatrists would all be out of a job.
Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t spend all my waking (or sleeping) hours thinking about it all. Not by any means. But when, as it does from time to time, it flits across my mind I find I’m no further forward than when we went our separate ways, other than in the sense that I’ve had my eyes opened somewhat as to the true nature of the person in question, and to realise I’m actually better off without them in my life. While that’s all fine and good, it doesn’t provide any answers as to why I was so unceremoniously dispatched with.
In my generous moments I wonder if it was actually a kindness on their part, to get me out of what was soon to become a nightmare situation. In my more sceptical (or realistic) moments I am more inclined to think it was to protect themselves in some way. Maybe I had simply served my purpose and was no longer needed. But I will of course never know. Perhaps that’s for the best. Who’s to say that the answers, if I ever got them, would be what I wanted – or needed – to know?
So what are your thoughts? Is it better to have issues thrashed out, even if it means hearing things you didn’t want to hear? Or is it better to have a definite break and to live with the doubts and questions? Are they, in fact, separate options or can the airing of issues lead to as many – or more – doubts and questions as the clean break approach? Or perhaps a clean break can be achieved without doubts and questions.
Is there, ultimately, such a thing as a clean break up?