The concept of closure means different things to people. We can’t see it, touch it, or even agree on exactly what it is, but so many survivors of narcissistic abuse hang their whole relationship recovery on getting it. Unfortunately, you never get anything that resembles real closure with a narcissist. And even those folks who don’t want their ex back still believe it will help them to feel better, and make it easier for them to move forward if they could get closure in the form of knowing that their ex-narcissist misses them, wants them back or is at least sorry.
But, the sincere apology you’re waiting for isn’t going to happen, because narcissists just aren’t sorry. They lack the ability to feel real remorse for their actions. If they had that ability, you wouldn’t be left feeling the need for closure, or validation. They don’t take any responsibility for their actions, which is why on their way out the door, they will lay all the blame on you for the problems in the relationship, along with every crappy quality they own.
When they leave relationships or end them abruptly, there are often more questions than answers adding to the need to find closure. Mixed messages are their specialty. Creating confusion, and doubt is what sends their former partners into a closure seeking mission. With icy cold detachment, and completely void of any emotion they will deliver condescending, but seemingly caring, parting words. They may say things like, I wish the best for you, or I never meant to hurt you, or I hope you find someone who makes you happy and they may even add, the break-up is as hard on me as it is for you. However, their actions will tell an entirely different story and reveal the truth.
Within days or weeks, they most likely will appear on social media with a new target, publicly flaunting how happy and in love they are with their new soul mate. This is only meant to drive the knife into your heart further, and reinforce the belief that the problems and the failure of the relationship were all your fault.
See how happy I am? See how wonderful my new soul mate is? The messages they’re sending you, and everyone else for that matter, are since they found a fantastic person who is capable of filling them with such joy, then clearly you’re the one to blame for the relationship’s problems and ultimate demise.
You’re left believing that if only you had tried harder, or were more generous, nurturing, understanding, more in tune with their needs, or whatever inadequacies they were trying to convince you of, things would have been different. Don’t fall into that rabbit hole. That’s exactly what they were hoping would happen.
In healthy relationships, both partners share the responsibility for the failure of the relationship. The break up is never sudden, or out of left field. Both partners usually have tried and tried, often spending months if not longer, discussing their problems, and trying to repair the issues in the relationship. In reality, narcissists don’t have any interests in finding solutions to fix the problems in their relationships. Frankly, the relationship works just fine for them the way it is. It’s just how they intended it. Fixing it would only cause them to have to start reciprocating, compromising, giving, and renouncing their control.
Healthy people don’t publicly flaunt their new relationships on social media within days, or weeks after a break up because they know that not only is it hurtful to their ex that they once loved, but it is immature, and doesn’t reflect positively on them at all.
There is no closure to be found with toxic people. Closure requires honesty, compassion, and accountability. And a person who could ghost you, blind-side you with a break-up, dump all the fault on you and replace you before the body has even had time to get cold, doesn’t possess the mandatory qualities necessary for proper closure.
Wanting your ex to miss you, want you back, or apologize to you, is prolonging your suffering, and impedes any hope of recovery. It’s hinging your future happiness upon external validation.
The more you develop a rock-solid sense of self, the less moved you’ll be by the opinions and affirmations of others. This is your starting point. This is where you need to focus on finding your closure. This is where you’ll find the only validation that matters. Yours!
For more on finding closure with a narcissist, click here.
Bree Bonchay, LCSW, is a psychotherapist with over 18 years of experience working in the field of mental health and trauma recovery. She specializes in helping people recover from toxic relationships and shares her insights about Narcissistic Personality Disorder and psychopathy in her blog FreeFromToxic. Her articles have been featured in major online magazines and she has appeared on radio as a guest expert. She is also a dedicated advocate, educator and facilitates survivor support groups and workshops.
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