Closure? Not So Fast….

Closure is a healthy part of ending a relationship. You each get to say your peace. You both apologize for any unintentional and/or intentional hurts. You say goodbye and wish each other well. This is how closure works between two reality-based, reasonably sane adults who basically had a good relationship. It didn’t work because of different goals, values, interests, a lack of compatibility or you grew apart instead of together. A less satisfying form of closure is when you had a relationship with someone who wasn’t considerate, wasn’t invested in the relationship or just wasn’t ready for commitment. If this person is a reality-based, reasonably sane adult then you break up and state how they hurt you.

They apologize and give you an ego massage by offering, “It’s not you; it’s me. You deserve someone who really loves you.” You accept his or her apology and you both go away feeling a little better. The Paradox: Trying to get closure with a narcissistic and/or borderline woman usually results in reopening your old wounds. Attempting to obtain closure with an emotionally abusive, narcissistic and/or borderline woman is always a maddening exercise in futility.

You will never get closure with this kind of woman. NEVER. First, she doesn’t meet the three most important prerequisites for giving and receiving closure: A reasonable degree of sanity. A foothold in reality. Empathy. Being able to give an ex closure means you’re able to accept your responsibility for the demise of the relationship and when has your BPD and/or NPD ex ever taken responsibility for her behavior, especially when she was clearly in the wrong? Don’t you remember how she would rewrite ancient and recent history when you were together by portraying herself as the long suffering heroine and you as the terrible ogre, after every nasty blow-up, attack or cold shoulder episode that she initiated? Do you really think she’s going to admit to any of the relationship atrocities she committed during the relationship now that it’s over?

I hate to break it to you, but if you’re waiting for this to happen or, heaven forbid, an apology from this woman; IT IS NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. If you try to get closure from your NPD and/or BPD ex by detailing the many ways she hurt and tortured you, she’s not going to acknowledge what she did. Instead, she’ll puff herself up, look at you like you’re the crazy one, and mystifyingly tell you, “I was a wonderful and loving wife or girlfriend. How dare you say these things to me? You must be crazy or someone’s brainwashed you. Don’t you remember how good I was to you and the many things I did for you?” Somebody has a memory problem, but it’s not you.

If you seek closure from this woman, she’ll regale you with her revisionist relationship history as you have yet another NPD/BPD induced WTF-moment. You’ll be understandably rattled after walking into another one of her traps and she’ll tell you how worried she is about you because you seem so unhappy now (the “without her” is implied). This is evidence that the hard wiring in these women’s heads is truly out of whack.

1. They don’t get that when you look hurt, unhappy and “in pain” it’s because of something they’ve done. They think it’s because of something you’ve done because if she hurt you, you deserved it and she was right to hurt you. She’s confused hurting you with “showing you affection” and trying to take most of your assets as “generosity.” You cannot reason with this.

Once most men finally get out of an abusive relationship, they feel an intense amount of relief. They have regret and sadness that they fell in love with a woman who doesn’t really exist and put up with the abuse for so long, but that’s normal. Nearly every man I know who’s broken free from one of these women is infinitely happier—even with less money (if it’s divorce—a reader describes it as “the price of freedom, sanity and happiness”) and/or less time with their kid(s). Once the abuse stops, it’s a tremendous relief.

2. What they call love is really abuse and control, but they doggedly insist, “it’s love.” Enough said.

3. Some of them truly believe they were the best wife or girlfriend. You could show this kind of woman a video tape of one of her unprovoked rage attacks and she’d still deny she did it or find a way to blame you for it. Her defense mechanisms on this are impenetrable. This is why it’s crazy for you to seek closure from this woman. She may have brief moments in which she can recognize the truth of who she is and what she’s done. However, the reality of it terrifies her and shakes her to the core. Instead of apologizing to you, she’ll quickly revert back to her idealized false self or image that no one (who knows her well) believes.

Narcissistic women in particular believe that their facade is so slick that no one can see through it and many people don’t until they get too close, which is why these women don’t let anyone get too close. In other words, she believes her own bullshit. She has to believe it because if she doesn’t she fears she will fall apart. It’s a matter of ego preservation vs. ego annihilation except that she’s actually preserving her false self. Then she will either attack you or gaslight you by rewriting history yet again. Do you really want to get caught in one of these crazy-making, never ending loops with your ex again? Didn’t you learn your lesson while you were with her? Here’s how you get closure from an emotionally abusive narcissistic and/or borderline woman: Get as far away from her as you can and then get on with your life.

The best form of closure for you is living well and that means a life free of abuse, filled with love and happiness. This woman will never have the kind of relationships other people are capable of—she will be left with herself and that’s a fate I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. by Dr Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

  1. Ugh. Thank you thank you THANK YOU. In my relationship, I am a female and my ex was a female. And oh my god, I have never met anyone like her in my entire life. Everything you said above was true. On March 22nd, I finally, after 4 years of crap, had enough.

    She was from NY and I was from PA. She moved in with me for a year and a half and it was the worst 4 1/2 and 1 1/2 years of my life. Things just got progressively worse. She lied, she probably cheated – even though you know she would never admit that! She hurt me more times than I can count. And she pretty much wasted the best years of my life. That’s one of the reasons I didn’t want to let go. Because I though with my forgiving, loving, attitude, I could somehow fix it. Pisces. Ugh. Anyway through it all she never apologized and when she did, it was simply to appease me. Man, the things I went through with this girl, was crazy. at times, I FELT CRAZY! I couldn’t actually be in a relationship with someone like this right? I mean I must have been doing something wrong! No. She did things, started fights, did unscrupulous things to me and my mom, my dad, my family, my friends, were ALL like, Um hello, ITS HER NOT YOU!!!! On December 2015, she moved back to NYC.

    Anyway, March 22nd comes rolling around, she’s playing games as usual. And I decide I had enough, finally, FINALLY! So I changed my number, blocked her from everything, I mean everything! And she starts calling me and texting me from these apps I don’t even know about. Telling ME she deserves closure. I had to laugh at that. I’ll never have closure. I’ll never know if she cheated. I’ll never know who Carlos is. I’ll never know if she slept with Phil. I’ll never know why she chose me out of the millions of people in the world, to be with. I’ll never know if she ever really loved me. I’ll never really know if this was a game all along. etc.

    My mom says I don’t owe her anything. And I keep feeling like that. But, then I also feel guilty. Its like the angel and the devil. One shoulder – give her what she wants. The other shoulder – NO!

    2 weeks goes by and she finally sucks me back in, partially. I don’t feel ashamed saying that to you guys, because, well you know what its like. The promises, the fake I’m sorry’s, the words. Words! Nothing but words. Words at this point mean crap but she sucked me back in anyway! Finally, I talk to her, not wholly, but we start talking more than I meant to. Its day 3, and here we go again. Lies, silent treatment, blah blah blah. On Tuesday, April 5th. She finally really definitely broke me. She cracked me right in half. I called her damaged, I told her this was all her fault and could have easily been fixed if she wanted to change. I mean not to blow smoke up my own ass, but I was a really good gf. We could have had a really GOOD life. If the shoe was on the other foot, and it has been, I would do everything and anything I could to be better, do better, change, etc. But, she has no interest in that. Honestly? I feel bad for her. You’re right, she is forever going to be alone. Even if she finds someone else to be with, she won’t be able to hide this hideous being forever. Eventually, she will run everyone off. And that to me is damn sad. Just the same, I was wondering today as I was taking a break between this positive thinking video I was watching (Norman Vincent Peale) and I thought, does she actually deserve closure or not?

    Came to your article. And I came to my senses. Thank you. Seriously. Thank you for making me see I shouldn’t be beating myself up. Thank you for allowing me to be self-aware again, that people like that, don’t not only deserve closure but that you can never really GET closure from a person / for a person like that. I have not talked to her since the 5th and I feel no need to. Really. I tried a million times to help this person, to help her change, to be loving towards her no matter what, to be kind, to walk on egg shells, to be forgiving, etc. And it did….. absolutely… nothing. Not on my end anyway. Not for my benefit. All it did was hurt me more.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ugh. Thank you thank you THANK YOU. In my relationship, I am a female and my ex was a female. And oh my god, I have never met anyone like her in my entire life. Everything you said above was true. On March 22nd, I finally, after 4 years of crap, had enough.

    She was from NY and I was from PA. She moved in with me for a year and a half and it was the worst 4 1/2 and 1 1/2 years of my life. Things just got progressively worse. She lied, she probably cheated – even though you know she would never admit that! She hurt me more times than I can count. And she pretty much wasted the best years of my life. That’s one of the reasons I didn’t want to let go. Because I though with my forgiving, loving, attitude, I could somehow fix it. Pisces. Ugh. Anyway through it all she never apologized and when she did, it was simply to appease me. Man, the things I went through with this girl, was crazy. at times, I FELT CRAZY! I couldn’t actually be in a relationship with someone like this right? I mean I must have been doing something wrong! No. She did things, started fights, did unscrupulous things to me and my mom, my dad, my family, my friends, were ALL like, Um hello, ITS HER NOT YOU!!!! On December 2015, she moved back to NYC.

    Anyway, March 22nd comes rolling around, she’s playing games as usual. And I decide I had enough, finally, FINALLY! So I changed my number, blocked her from everything, I mean everything! And she starts calling me and texting me from these apps I don’t even know about. Telling ME she deserves closure. I had to laugh at that. I’ll never have closure. I’ll never know if she cheated. I’ll never know who Carlos is. I’ll never know if she slept with Phil. I’ll never know why she chose me out of the millions of people in the world, to be with. I’ll never know if she ever really loved me. I’ll never really know if this was a game all along. etc.

    My mom says I don’t owe her anything. And I keep feeling like that. But, then I also feel guilty. Its like the angel and the devil. One shoulder – give her what she wants. The other shoulder – NO!

    2 weeks goes by and she finally sucks me back in, partially. I don’t feel ashamed saying that to you guys, because, well you know what its like. The promises, the fake I’m sorry’s, the words. Words! Nothing but words. Words at this point mean crap but she sucked me back in anyway! Finally, I talk to her, not wholly, but we start talking more than I meant to. Its day 3, and here we go again. Lies, silent treatment, blah blah blah. On Tuesday, April 5th. She finally really definitely broke me. She cracked me right in half. I called her damaged, I told her this was all her fault and could have easily been fixed if she wanted to change. I mean not to blow smoke up my own ass, but I was a really good gf. We could have had a really GOOD life. If the shoe was on the other foot, and it has been, I would do everything and anything I could to be better, do better, change, etc. But, she has no interest in that. Honestly? I feel bad for her. You’re right, she is forever going to be alone. Even if she finds someone else to be with, she won’t be able to hide this hideous being forever. Eventually, she will run everyone off. And that to me is damn sad. Just the same, I was wondering today as I was taking a break between this positive thinking video I was watching (Norman Vincent Peale) and I thought, does she actually deserve closure or not?

    Came to your article. And I came to my senses. Thank you. Seriously. Thank you for making me see I shouldn’t be beating myself up. Thank you for allowing me to be self-aware again, that people like that, don’t not only deserve closure but that you can never really GET closure from a person / for a person like that. I have not talked to her since the 5th and I feel no need to. Really. I tried a million times to help this person, to help her change, to be loving towards her no matter what, to be kind, to walk on egg shells, to be forgiving, etc. And it did….. absolutely… nothing. Not on my end anyway. Not for my benefit. All it did was hurt me more.

    Liked by 1 person

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