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Ways Seeking Closure Can be Harmful

Author and spoken word poet, Kira J, wrote a thread on Twitter that resonated with me so deeply, I was left reflecting on it for some days. The “Breaking Point” author was talking about our tendency to seek closure after a relationship ends, specifically after discovering that a partner cheated. She wrote: “... once you SEE the truth for yourself with your own eyes, you’re not asking them anything for clarity. It’s CLEAR. What you’re doing is asking them questions in hopes that they provide you with enough of an explanation to convince you to continue to deal with them.” We like to believe that we need closure after a breakup and, although it gives us the opportunity to say what we have to say, could it really be doing us more harm than good? Here are some things to ask yourself or remind yourself the next time you think you want closure.


Is it Worth Knowing?

Here is a great question that you have to ask yourself. And be honest too; do you really think that knowing any more information than what you were already presented with will change anything? Will it improve your emotional health? Will it help in any way? If the answer to these questions is ‘no’ or even ‘maybe,’ then it is not worth speaking to this person any further. What is the point of seeking closure if it doesn’t do anything for you? That’s the whole point of closure. It’s supposed to give you clarity, free you, and empower you to accept what they did for what it was and move on with your life. The ultimate goal is to feel better and more often than not, asking your partner to elaborate more on the pain they caused you makes you feel worse. You end up replaying those details in your head, preoccupied with every hurtful thing they said. In these instances, it’s better to just leave.

What Doors are You Opening Up?

Referring back to her tweet, Kira J mentions that by looking for explanations, we are looking for a reason to stay. Once again, you might tell yourself you’re asking for an explanation to move on, but think about it like this: let’s say a child broke something in their house. The parent then asks for an explanation. Why? Because they want to know what happened so they can get their child to correct that behavior so they know better next time. The child may lie, make excuses, or blame it on someone else, but eventually, the truth comes out, the child apologizes, and they move on from this moment. I know a parent/child relationship is different from a romantic one, but the same concept applies to an unfaithful S/O. The reason you want an explanation is to see if the issue can be resolved. If they will apologize to you and correct their behavior. Opening the door for an explanation opens the doors for lies and manipulation and next thing you know, you give in and take them back before you’re sure that’s what you want.


Your Closure Should be Productive!

Just for clarity: I am in no way saying that you should never stand up for yourself or tell that person off, it might even help you release the anger you’re holding in and make you more comfortable with standing up for yourself in the future. However, this is only really effective if you say all you have to say then block the person. Otherwise, you're allowing for back and forth of angry exchanges, which is draining and can lead to you taking them back. If you want to take them back, that is completely up to you. Neither I nor anyone else can tell you what to do. But definitely be sure that that is what you want, that you can still trust them to never hurt you again and that they are actively trying to regain your trust and repair what happened. But if all they do is make corny excuses and lie, that tells you that they will never change, at least no time soon, and you should not have to waste your time waiting for them to change.

 I completely understand the desire to know the truth. To know every detail of every instance they stepped out on you, why they said the things they said, or what they really felt about you. I’ve been there myself and I can definitely say that I would be fine, maybe even better off, without knowing half of the details that I demanded to know from this person. It was not worth knowing, I opened doors that I shouldn’t have, and I ended up in a place where I would dwell on the pain to hurt myself. Kira J showed me that I don’t need to allow someone to explain their disrespect and I ask you to do the same. Just walk away.


You can follow Kira J on Instagram and Twitter @iamkiraj and purchase her poetry books on https://allthingskiraj.com!  


Lourrain Simon

Agnes Scott '21

Lourrain Simon is a senior at Agnes Scott College majoring in English Creative Writing and minoring in French. Aside from writing short stories, her favorite things to write about are movie reviews and articles sharing her opinions about political and pop culture news. Her other hobbies include dancing and doing makeup art.
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