Why did they do that to me? I Just want Answers!!

Photo by Hey Saturday

When someone treats us in a way that creates so many unanswered questions, it can feel impossible to move on.

- I just don’t understand why he did those things?

- Why do I still miss her when she made me feel like that?

- Why do I keep going back to them even though they make me feel like sh**?

- What must have been going through his mind to think that was ok?

- I know there were things wrong but I still wonder if breaking up with her was the right thing?

These are all things I hear from people every day and I totally understand why we create all of this internal anxiety asking ourselves these questions. I know I did.

I spent so much time in a previous relationship asking myself why he would refuse to communicate and then disappear for days on end, why he’d play these crazy emotional mind games 100% knowing how it would make me feel, why I’d often feel like I was being ‘tested’. I also wondered why, when I knew he did all of these things, did I still want to cling to all of that and let go of everything else within my life in pursuit of making this relationship work.

I know a lot of people will resonate with this in their own way. I was on a call with a client last night who had done so much great work on herself since coming out of an emotionally abusive relationship but still questioned why during those vulnerable moments, she missed him.

Like I did, she wanted answers.

The thing is though, no matter how many self help books we devour, articles by psychologists and relationship experts we frantically highlight, and stories we read from other people who have gone through the same thing, the more time we spend analysing and trying to piece together the multitude of layers of someone’s behaviour to be able to conclude a solid reason as to why they did those things, it makes absolutely no difference.

You don’t need to find a reason. They did those things and that’s the only conclusion you need to be able to let your quest for answers go and move forwards.

We always seem to want to get inside the heads of other people but all that does is take the focus away from what’s really important and our most vital responsibility; us. Your ex (or whoever you were seeing that this applies to) did what they did and now your only job is to be ok with the fact that you feel emotionally bruised from it (because that’s inevitable), nurture yourself and take forwards what you learnt from that.

Of course, we’re going to spend time asking questions about why, if someone professed to love us so much, then why did their actions prove quite the contrary? But when we can acknowledge that the answers make absolutely no difference about the fact they did what they did, we can turn our focus inwards and instead, think about what we need to do when it comes to our own self care and emotional wellbeing to be able to build ourselves up after going through this experience.

I totally understand that this is a LOT easier than said than done! But the harsh fact is, if someone treated you in a way that compromised your self-esteem, values and what makes you you, regardless of why they did that, they did and therefore there isn’t a place for them within your lives moving forwards. That should be a non-negotiable. Even if there were moments of almighty amazingness, your job is to still walk away because that isn't enough. Even if they say they will change, your job is to still walk away. Their job is to SHOW you that there is substance behind their words by working out their own answers.

These situations can become incredibly complex as there is usually a lot of emotional game playing, manipulation and even abuse at play. But the answer to getting the answer you want on it all is quite simple - you need to focus on you. You need to take what you learnt from this experience and give yourself all the things you didn’t get from that person. You need to surround yourself with the people who can offer you the unconditional love and support you didn’t get from that person. You need to remind yourself of all the amazing things that make you uniquely you that that person tried to tear down, change or devalue. You need to think about the warning signs you first ignored for the sake of keeping the relationship going, call BS on the excuses you made and you need to implement new standards as of right now.

All of these things will gradually create that sense of finality or closure you need. You have the choice to create that for yourself and I think that’s a good thing to know.

I’m going to do a more in-depth post elaborating more on how exactly to bounce back from a situation such as this one. I hope this helps if you’re someone struggling to move on in pursuit of answers though. You've got this :)

Laura xx

How Can I get Closure?

I got asked today about how to create closure on a past relationship. We hear this phrase 'closure' a lot. And sometimes, we think that to get it, both people in the relationship need to come to some sort of mutual agreement or acknowledgement that the relationship is over and each has permission to move on. Hmm, well unfortunately and probably usually, it's not always going to be able to happen like that.

Sometimes, we do want and need answers - sometimes a situation can be that a relationship has been ended suddenly without any reasonable explanation and that the one ending it has disappeared with complete radio silence. That's harsh and of course we want answers. But we can be waiting a long time to get those or the closure that we need from the other person and at the end of the day if the relationship is over, it's over regardless of how long you're waiting for that call, text or email. The best possible thing you can do is make steps to deal with the emotional impact of the break-up and begin to move forwards little by little again. There will be healing time needed but you can't heal whilst you're in limbo waiting. This will make it worse. It's shocking how often relationships end this way actually, but honestly, the only person you'll be hurting more is yourself if you wait and don't make the small steps out of no man's land.

Regardless of how your relationship ended, I think it does help when you have some sort of ritual, occasion or symbol which signifies your ‘closure’. And this doesn't have to mean that you push everything away, forget the memories and refuse to feel anything about the relationship or person anymore, as that isn't the aim. It's more about having something that represents a new chapter.

Write a Letter to your Ex

You're not going to send this so go to town on this one - don't hold back! Write down everything you feel, spare no detail. Writing things down can sound like a bit of a slog but can have such a therapeutic and freeing effect. In the letter, find a way to explain that you're moving on - the words somehow make it more real. When you've finished, do anything you want with the letter - burn it (er..please consider safety if you do this obviously!), put it away somewhere, tear it up - whatever you want. Something that signifies that as of now, this is your new chapter.

Allow yourself to Grieve/Mourn

It sounds like a contradiction that to create closure you have to allow yourself to grieve but closure is about accepting that the relationship is over and to do this, you need to feel everything you're feeling. Not push it away or convince yourself that your ex will come back/take you back or plot ways to make that happen. Just know that you will feel bad but that you will get over it. It's like a physical injury - there's no shortcut to it healing. You have to rest and do what you can to make it better. If you don’t, it doesn’t heal or gets worse. It's the same with emotional pain and the 'do what you can to make it better' is all the things I talk about in relation to moving forwards positively. It's about doing the 'feeling' and then the 'doing'.

Get Rid of any 'Stuff' that Reminds you of the Relationship

Don't have things hanging around that make you think of your ex. Actually, it's a really good idea to have a de-clutter of your whole living environment and give that a bit of a spruce up too. Your surroundings need to also reflect you moving forwards. This doesn't mean you have to up sticks and move but just add something fresh to your environment so things feel a bit different and new.

Get Away

If you can, break up your routine and go somewhere. Having something that separates the old part of your life with the new can really help and to come back recharged and refreshed will get you in the right mindset.

Give your Confidence a Boost

Write down a list of your strengths, talents and assets. (And now isn't the time to be modest!) Really look at those and work out ways that you can start to do things that bring them out even more.

Assess the Bigger Picture

What in your life needs work? Social life, your health (this is always a good one to start with anyway as it's usually the first thing we let slide when we go through traumatic experiences), money, your job, your friendships? This new chapter signifies learning and growth and the more you can make headway on something in your life that you know could do with a bit of tlc, the more you'll be focused on something new, positive and that's going to help you thrive. Start work on this now to begin the momentum.

I think that though we don’t always admit it, we actually use getting closure from an ex as an excuse to not let go. We've all been there. We want the 'why' but often, it won't make any difference anyway. You'll either get the why you don't want or a why that leads to thousands of other questions that then need more closure. It's just an exhausting cycle that keeps you buried in the rubble of the relationship.

So, if you feel you really need closure, know that you have the power to get this yourself. You just have to commit to doing it.