6 Powerful Ways to Create Your Own Closure After Divorce

closure divorce

I was seeking closure within hours of the unexpected text my husband sent informing me that he was leaving. Feeling powerless at the lack of communication and information, I sat in front of the fire pit feeding photos, notes and letters into the hungry flames.

I hoped that the ritual would help me find acceptance that it was over.

But my pursuit for closure had only just begun.

—–

Months before walking out on me, my husband ended a job. He gave them two weeks notice, had a sit-down meeting with the owners where he explained his reasons for leaving and he maintained open lines of communication so that business matters could be transferred smoothly.

I received none of that courtesy. And for the better part of a year, I fixated on that fact, convinced that I needed him to provide explanations and even excuses that would allow me to close the door on our marriage.

I became obsessed with understanding the “why” behind the marital explosion, certain in my belief that this was key to moving on. I played around with labels –  narcissist, sociopath, addict – in a bid for understanding. But none of those designations brought peace.

I was frustrated. Furious, actually. I felt as though he had stolen my voice by sneaking out without contact and that he carried my chances for closure with him. It was the heartbreak that kept on giving.

Finally, I grew tired of the snipe hunt for closure as the legal proceedings wound down without any real answers or resolution and he continued to act as though our marriage had never happened.

And so I shifted my focus, putting my energy into me instead of funneling it into the black hole that he had become.

And the strangest thing happened.

I found peace.

And isn’t that what we really mean by closure?

Closure is an acceptance of what has happened, a sense of power over ones own well-being and a feeling of moving on.

And none of those require the participation of the other person.

You have everything you need to create your own closure. Here’s how –

  1. Understand the Limitations of Explanations

It’s easy to get caught up in the belief that as soon as you receive an apology, you’ll be able to move on. Or that once you hear that you were the love of their lives, you can let go. Be honest with yourself. Is thereanythingthat they can say that will erase the pain? Are there any words powerful enough to bring everything to an emotionless close? The words you seek are the ones you need to hear, not the ones that they need to say. Once you accept the limitations of any explanations that your former spouse can give you, it’s easier to move on without them.

You Don’t Need to Understand in Order to Move On

  1. Find or Create Meaning

We naturally seek to find order and purpose in our surroundings. And so when something, such as divorce, is discordant, it causes pain and confusion. Look within the ruins of your marriage for some hidden gifts. Maybe you now have an opportunity to move back to the city that always felt like home. Perhaps you’re finally getting in touch with who you are. Or it could be that this rock-bottom is turning out to be an impressive foundation for a new and improved you. If nothing is immediately evident, create purpose in your post-divorce life. When something has meaning, it’s easier to accept the changes that had to place to get there.

  1. Write the Letter You Want to Read

I know this sounds strange, but I promise it is one of the most powerful exercises you can do. Write a letter from your ex-partner to you, saying all of those things that you need to hear before you can move on. Don’t censor yourself, allow the words to flow and probably the tears too. And once it’s written, read the letter. And then read it again. Keep reading it until you believe the words within. After all, what you’re looking for is really just proof that you were loved, that you will be remembered and that you are worthy of love again. And you don’t need anybody else to tell you that.

Powerful Ways to Use Journaling After Divorce

  1. Start Your Next Chapter

Life isn’t like a book; you can start the next chapter even while you’re still wrapping up the one before. Don’t fall into the trap of waiting to live until you’re healed. Invest your energy into your life and allow the healing to happen alongside. A big part of closure is releasing some of the pain from the past. And a great way to lessen pain is to focus on cultivating joy.

  1. Don’t Obsess About Closure

Are you stalking your ex’s Facebook page in a quest to see them looking miserable? Are you endlessly dissecting the end of your marriage looking for explanations and reasons? Are you giving the detritus from your marriage more power than it deserves, destroying pictures and hiding trinkets? This obsession with finding closure will only serve to delay it. Closure comes from living in the present, not from being consumed by the past. If you’re struggling with this, try instituting boundaries – delete social media accounts, have a plan for distraction when your mind wanders into dangerous territory and redecorate your space to create a clean slate.

  1. Don’t Take it Personally

 

I eventually realized that my own roadblock to finding closure was that I was taking my ex’s actions personally. He not only did these things, but I was convinced he did them to me. Because of me. Over time, I started to understand that I was just collateral damage in his own battles, not a target to be obliterated. And that was a powerful realization. When it’s no longer about you, it’s much easier to let go and to move on.

You have the power to flip the sign on the past to “closed” as you step powerfully into your new life.

And on the other side, here are three times where you shouldn’t seek closure.

 

Thank you for sharing!

26 thoughts on “6 Powerful Ways to Create Your Own Closure After Divorce

  1. No. 4 is good to hear. At times I have second guessed if I started dating too soon. As I look back, it was the right decision because it gave me something positive in my life during the finalization of the “business transaction”. It was not easy to date after 29 years of marriage but has been the best thing to happen. 🙂

  2. I was lucky enough to have closure as soon as I walked out of the courtroom. I was so emotionally checked out of the relationship I couldn’t wait for the judge to put it to rest. My divorce took about two years to finish. It was more like a war with plenty of casualties. I know everybody’s divorce is different and my case is not like everybody else’s. I did however have some lingering feelings of sadness, mostly for my kids. I was still very pissed off at my ex for dragging our kids into the firestorm and all of the false accusations. What I found beneficial to me was writing my thoughts about the whole thing down. This morphed into two books. One very long one and one that was an afternoon read. I actually published the shorter one. You don’t have to write a book, but writing down your thoughts can be very beneficial in getting closure and your own mental health.

      1. isra7726 – A full time Chartered Accountant & a full time mother at the same time keeps me on my toes always (a working mother is still a mother, right?). Maybe that's why I am an fitness enthusiast & a runner too. Then, when I am a bit tired, I love to relax by sitting back & reading fiction or watching movies (usually bollywood). Then sometimes I get bitten by the creative bug and end up making handmade items or cooking up interesting recipes. Often I bagpack & travel places or simply party with friends. I love to explore, observe & appreciate every small thing around me. I always see the funny side of things. Maybe that is why life has played its best joke on me :) Living with a stranger who refuses to accept our legal relationship, I use this space to show my true side that I cannot otherwise reveal back home. This space is a pot in which I can pour out all my thoughts & let them evaporate into the vast world. I am no writer, my rejection back home has set me out on a journey to seek acceptance here from the world. If you wish to be a part of it, do follow me, like & comment on my posts. Your feedback will make a difference, always.
        isra7726 says:

        I was never into writing. The problems in my marriage made me one 🙂 found new friends here too. something positive out of a bad situation 🙂

    1. Isra, Even if you never publish a word, it feels so good just to write about your divorce. It is a very healthy way to vent! Good luck to you and I would love to see your work.

  3. A Familiar Stranger – Middlesbrough, North East England – My name is Matthew Williams, single father to two wonderful children, making it up as I go along. I am a blogger and author. I started my blog, Love, Laughter & Truth, in December 2015 as I attempted to make sense of my rollercoaster life following depression, divorce, and my introduction to the weird world of dating. My first book, Something Changed: Stumbling Through Divorce, Dating & Depression, was published in paperback by Sixth Element Publishing in December 2017, and is available to buy on Amazon. You can find my writing at https://lovelaughtertruthblog.com/ I hope to see you there!. Very best wishes Matthew
    Love, Laughter & Truth says:

    Wise words; I’m finding that closure takes time – even when I know things logically emotionally it seems more difficult to sink in – but as time goes on I am feeling more and more at peace.

      1. A Familiar Stranger – Middlesbrough, North East England – My name is Matthew Williams, single father to two wonderful children, making it up as I go along. I am a blogger and author. I started my blog, Love, Laughter & Truth, in December 2015 as I attempted to make sense of my rollercoaster life following depression, divorce, and my introduction to the weird world of dating. My first book, Something Changed: Stumbling Through Divorce, Dating & Depression, was published in paperback by Sixth Element Publishing in December 2017, and is available to buy on Amazon. You can find my writing at https://lovelaughtertruthblog.com/ I hope to see you there!. Very best wishes Matthew
        Love, Laughter & Truth says:

        Definitely! And recent events have shown me I still have a bit of a way to go.

          1. A Familiar Stranger – Middlesbrough, North East England – My name is Matthew Williams, single father to two wonderful children, making it up as I go along. I am a blogger and author. I started my blog, Love, Laughter & Truth, in December 2015 as I attempted to make sense of my rollercoaster life following depression, divorce, and my introduction to the weird world of dating. My first book, Something Changed: Stumbling Through Divorce, Dating & Depression, was published in paperback by Sixth Element Publishing in December 2017, and is available to buy on Amazon. You can find my writing at https://lovelaughtertruthblog.com/ I hope to see you there!. Very best wishes Matthew
            Love, Laughter & Truth says:

            I hope so. Big setback right now, just hope it passes quickly.

  4. isra7726 – A full time Chartered Accountant & a full time mother at the same time keeps me on my toes always (a working mother is still a mother, right?). Maybe that's why I am an fitness enthusiast & a runner too. Then, when I am a bit tired, I love to relax by sitting back & reading fiction or watching movies (usually bollywood). Then sometimes I get bitten by the creative bug and end up making handmade items or cooking up interesting recipes. Often I bagpack & travel places or simply party with friends. I love to explore, observe & appreciate every small thing around me. I always see the funny side of things. Maybe that is why life has played its best joke on me :) Living with a stranger who refuses to accept our legal relationship, I use this space to show my true side that I cannot otherwise reveal back home. This space is a pot in which I can pour out all my thoughts & let them evaporate into the vast world. I am no writer, my rejection back home has set me out on a journey to seek acceptance here from the world. If you wish to be a part of it, do follow me, like & comment on my posts. Your feedback will make a difference, always.
    isra7726 says:

    Loved this post. Thank you. Had been thinking on these lines. Was reassuring to read this. Its not physically possible to erase all memories of a long relationship. Best not to waste time & it helps to find more interesting things to do. Day one of that journey has just begun 🙂

  5. Such great advice broken down. I struggle with not knowing everything, and living in uncertainty. (My divorce still isn’t final) I love the idea to write the letter I want to receive. Thanks for writing.

  6. Thank you this is something I really needed. Its something thats not talked about and I’ve searched but nothing ever really tackle the topic. This means a lot.

    1. It’s one of those where I wrote what I wish I had available when this happened to me. Everything that dealt with closure seemed to depend upon the other person doing their part. But that’s not an option for many of us… Glad it helped!

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