How To Gain Closure When You Don’t Understand Why It Ended

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Ahh, gaining closure. It’s a tricky one isn’t it? Feeling like you’re actually able to accept the situation, being able to fully come to terms with it so that you can let go and move on. But what do you do when you don’t understand why it ended?

What if you feel like it just doesn’t make sense? It shouldn’t have happened? In your mind, there was so much between the two of you, and now you’re just left with questions unanswered. And in some ways, that makes it hurt even more. You start to question if what you had was real, start to doubt yourself.

So what do you do? How do you gain closure when you don’t understand why it ended, or why it had to end? When you can’t really comprehend how it got to where it is now and you don’t know what to do from here? Well let’s take a look…

Why Did It Have To End?

Wondering, why it had to end? Don’t seem to be able to see it or understand where the issues were? What was missing? Where it all went wrong?

Well, before we look at how to gain closure when you don’t understand why it ended – I want us to get clear on why exactly you feel that way. 

To get your head around the situation a little better and to see things more clearly, I want you to ask yourself the following questions…

  1. Why did the breakup catch you so off guard?
  2. What kind of relationship did you have?
  3. How did you see the relationship? Where did you think it was at?
  4. What actions re-confirmed the strength of the relationship?
  5. What things did or didn’t your partner / date / the person you were “seeing” say, that confirmed you were in a good place too?
  6. Were there any things that could potentially put doubt in your mind?
  7. How did the relationship change over time – how was it different at the start in comparison to the end?
  8. What would you say where the best things about the relationship?
  9. And what about the weaknesses? What things weren’t great, were being worked on or could have been improved? Were there any difficult times that you’d gotten through and what impact did that have?
  10. How did you think your partner / date / the person you were “seeing”, saw the relationship? And how does that differ from the way that you saw it?
  11. What actions re-confirm that you were in a good place?
  12. And what actions suggest that you weren’t as strong as you perhaps thought?
  13. How well did you know your partner / date / the person you were “seeing”?
  14. Are there any doubts you had about them and their character? Perhaps ones you tried to ignore?
  15. What did they say when it all fell apart? What reasons did they give for it ending? Or did they not really give a proper answer at all? In which case, what does this say about their true character?

These questions should really start to get you thinking – to start to piece things together, make it all a little bit clearer. You won’t necessarily ask these and BAMN – suddenly everything becomes crystal clear (job done!)… If only.

But whenever you’re feeling stuck or confused, it really helps to take a step back and try to go off facts and actual “evidence.” It stops the same thoughts from going around and around in your head, and forces you to see things from another angle.

Found this helpful? Let’s build on this further. Try this Breakup Exercise for How To Take Him Off The Pedestal. Do it now! Then jump on back and continue this article.

How To Gain Closure When You Don’t Understand Why It Ended

Once you’ve done that initial activity, you’re actually in a far better position to gain closure (And you can gain it sooner than you think, because it’s all within YOU, trust me!)

See, the most important thing to do when you don’t understand why it ended is to avoid going all detective – and looking for answers based on someone else’s words, or some sort of “proof”.

I’ve said it there and I’ll say it again – trying to get closure from the person you were with is a completely pointless exercise, because:

  1. You’re probably not going get the answer you want to hear anyway – which can only make everything hurt even more. (Do you really want to put yourself through that?)
  2. But more importantly, no matter what reason they give, you won’t ever know if it’s the actual reason anyway. They could be lying. They could be in denial. Or they could put all of the blame on you when actually, many of the reasons that it ended was really on them.

Because that’s the thing – it’s also subjective. People see things in different ways. With this in mind, I really want to point out the fact that…

If you want to understand why it ended, you don’t need to get any answers from them. Instead, you need to go off what you know. Be self-reflective, look at the full picture and create a reason that makes sense in your head – then come to terms with that.

Recommended Read: 10 Actually-Helpful Questions To Ask Your Ex

How To Create Your Own Closure

At the end of the day, this is for you. It’s not for anyone else. This is for your peace of mind and it is your way of letting go and moving on. 

Whether you come to a conclusion that is “technically” right or wrong is irrelevant – because there’s not necessary any right or wrong answer when it comes to why it ended anyway. It’s also unlikely that there is just one reason and one reason alone too.

So for you, you’re just trying to see the bigger picture, not putting the power in anyone else’s hands and – instead – are discovering your own truth and deciding on your own theory so that you don’t keep going around and around in circles and allow it to play on your mind.

How To Gain Closure When You Don’t Understand Why It Ended

Determining Your Theory, Your Story

So we now know that in order to gain closure when you don’t understand why it ended, you have to create your own story for why it ended – you have to be able to evaluate and come up with it yourself. The most important things when doing this is:

  1. You’re seeing the situation for what it was and actually seeing it clearly. We don’t want you to “kid” yourself. Otherwise you could end up going around behaving in ways that aren’t right or believing things that aren’t true, and that’s just damaging.
  2. You’re still taking responsibility for your own actions. Not so much that you’re beating yourself up – but that you’re able to recognise and admit to your mistakes and the part you may have played in it.

This is vitally important and will actually help you gain that peace of mind. After all, if you can take something away from it, and learn from it – you’re winning. You’re one step further to finding and creating the relationship you really want and deserve.

A memory without the emotional charge is called wisdom…

So when you don’t understand why it ended, you just have to piece things together to come up with the reason(s) that makes the most sense to you and accept that. Accept it, learn from it, then leave it – don’t push any further.

If You Don’t Understand Why It Ended, Here’s Something To Consider…

You’re not stupid. I mean, the fact that you’re here actually researching how to work through stuff, that says a lot about you. You face up to your problems. You don’t hide away.

But you know what that means? The lack of clarity probably doesn’t just come from you either. This doesn’t make sense to you, and this could be because the person that you were with:

  1. Probably isn’t even entirely sure themselves. If they can’t give a valid reason, if they dodge the question – they’re mixed up, they haven’t got their head around it either.
  2. Isn’t in the right place. Whatever reason they’re pulling back, it’s not a good one. It’s probably led by fear. It’s easy to assume this is on you, but what if it’s nothing to do with you – what if this is all about them? Maybe they’re not ready for something serious, they’re not sure what they want or where they’re at. They could also be battling internal issues that you know nothing about – which is why you’re so confused and feel like it’s unreasonable or out of the blue.
  3. Hasn’t been entirely honest with you. No-one should be blindsided like this. If you feel like you have been, then they’ve been feeling certain ways or working through certain things and haven’t told you about it. But is that really the person you want to be with? Is that really the right foundations for the right relationship to be built on? In fact, let’s explore this further…

How To Gain Closure When It Ended Unexpectedly

If you were blindsided, if the relationship ended unexpectedly, it can be difficult to understand and accept – because you won’t have been prepared. You’ll have a new level of shock and readjustment to content with.

I mean, whether you had problems in your relationship or not, you didn’t think it would lead to this. It makes you question how strong you were, what you had and possibly even how well you knew your partner.

So how do you gain closure when it ended unexpectedly? How do you get your head around that? Well, in exactly the same way as above.

  • Were there really no warning signs? No clues?
  • Had this been building up but you’d been ignoring it? Didn’t want to believe it could come to this?
  • Maybe you weren’t paying enough attention to your partner, how they were acting, how they were feeling.
  • Maybe you were actually overlooking things you shouldn’t – the relationship was one-sided, toxic perhaps even, and things were mounting but you were blocking them out.
  • What signs show that – although it ended unexpectedly – it could be for the best?

In some ways, if your relationship ends unexpectedly – but you can get your head around it and know it is the right thing – it actually makes it easier than a long, dragged out breakup.

Yes, it’s still going to be hard, yes, maybe it wasn’t on your “terms”, but it’s happened. So if you want to gain closure when it ended unexpectedly, you have to stop holding on to what you thought you had – and just like if you don’t fully understand yet – try to understand, try to change the way you see it.

Recommended Read: How To Accept The Things You Don’t Want To

How To Move Forward When It’s Over

Once you’ve gained the closure and acceptance, it makes the “letting go” and “moving on” part a lot easier.

It’s not going to be instant. But take every day at a time. Step by step. Because slowly but surely, you’ll get back to feeling like you again. You’ll get back to feeling happier again. Trust me.

Still not ready to let go? Then click here – read this. It will help you evaluate whether getting back with your ex would even be the right thing!

In the meantime, be kind to yourself. Be gentle. Allow yourself to feel your emotions – I know it hurts, I know it’s hard, but you need to do it, and do it properly in order to process them all, to remove them.

You also need to make sure you don’t suppress or repress your emotions – because stopping them doesn’t make them go away either.

You’ll find lots of useful articles on this site, to help you along every step of the process. Have a browse, find the things you need and APPLY THEM – do the things that will help you. Keep working on yourself.

Take this “bad” situation and decide to turn it into a good thing. Decide that it’s going to make positive changes in your life, lead you to better things and put you in a far stronger, happier situation.

So good luck. Take care. And if you need me, know that I’m here.


How To Gain Closure When You Don’t Understand Why It Ended
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Ella Stearn
Ell is a Breakup, Dating & Relationship Specialist & Coach, with over 3 million annual readers, globally. As the Creator of Forgetting Fairytales, her mission is to help you learn to love yourself, find the right person to give your love to, then make it a love that truly lasts.

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