Closure without Goodbye

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-06-2013
Closure without Goodbye
Sun, 01-06-2013 - 11:47pm

I am so thankful I found this board!  I have been a wreck for 6 weeks since the end of my affair. Just reading through the posts makes a huge difference.  Someone mentioned that it is really hard to find someone to trust and talk to- since affairs are generally secret- in my case the man was someone my close friends and family all knew (know) very well.  My difficulty is closure- my own closure on a relationship I thought of as a loving friendship as well as an intimate love affair.  I have known this man for over 15 years. We worked together, very closely- at one time our families were friends.  We were very good friends and colleagues for years before we were lovers.  We were attracted to each othere, flirted harmlessly (it seemed anyway) and then over a period of about a year, some 11 years ago, we became lovers.  We were both married. We had a wonderful relationship- and no real expectations that anything more would come of it but a good freindship. Things began to change- we became more entangled with each others lives- began to count on each other more. He had trouble in his marraige- mine seemed fine- the whole thing seemed an abberation of what I believed myself to be; a loving wife and mother. I was conflicted- I began to pull away- but not hard enough.  Then tragedy struck my family- my husband died suddenly- I was completely devastated- and he was at my house when I arrived home from the hospital, stayed in contact iwth me- was just my best friend for the longest time. We picked up our intimate relationship and it was complicated- at one point he told me he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me- and two weeks later told me he was reconciling with his wife- we didn't see each other much for about 6 months-but I just didn't want to lose someone else I loved and cared about- he pursued, I gave in, and slowly I just got to the place where it was ok- he loved me, I knew he wouldn't leave his wife- it just was that way.  In an odd way I was happy.  We talked nearly every day- emailed, texted, shared thoughts, ideas, dreams...saw each other a few times a month (we were no longer working together).  I moved to another city when I got a new job- and he visited me here- while this relationship was not without its ups and downs it was more up than down, Still- looking back, there were lots of times when he hurt me badly; refusing to talk, or telling me half truths, or not making good on promises he made.  We talked about ending the affair and just holding on to the friendship- promised we would-but neither of us could do it.  He was here in early Novemer and then a week later called and told me he couldn't talk to me anymore for awhile- not much explanation except he'd had a conversation with his wife.  Then a week or so after that he called and told me he had promised not to see me again.  I was devasted at the abruptness, and the lack of conversation- no goodbuye, no closure- nothing- just like 15 years evaporated in 24 hours.  I guess he is practicing NC- but he wasn't honest about it- I would not have begged him to stay- I think we both knew the day was coming- I just really thought we would part, sadly, in a more humane way. I never believed a 15 year relationship and friendship could end so harshly. I feel rejected, discarded, soemtimes guilty, ashamed- angry...I don't even know. I miss him terribly-I obsess over what happened to create this final rift. The last time I talked to him he promised to call "when he could talk to me."  He told me he loved me, would always love me, and hung up.  He sends me text messages every week or so and says he misses me; every once in awhile I send an email back- last week I just asked point blank- are you ever talking to me again/ ever going to see me, even to say goodbye?  How sad is that?  I had typed out a whole letter to him- and now I am reconsidering what to really say.  It seems like the best strategy- as difficult as it is- is to just let it go- but I can't seem to do that without creating some kind of closure for myself. I have lost a colleague (we still work in the same business, have lots of the same freinds), my best friend, and a lover.  How can I get some control over my feelings and take care of myself without obsessing about the whys and hows of how this relationship ended? 


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-26-2009
Mon, 01-07-2013 - 4:34am

Hi Gecko

Welcome to EAS, I am glad you found us!

Closure has been discussed many times on this board. And I guess there will be a few different points of view. I personally see no reason for closure. When my A ended, there was nothing more to talk about. My mind was made up, and talking to my xAP about it, or saying goodbye properly would just prolong the pain, or make the whole situation impossible.

I think you should see it as a blessing in disguise. Give yourself closure, by blocking him from your life, and starting a new life of your own. Delete his e-mail address and phone number, and start looking into how you can do more for yourself. From what I understand you are single and are free to be with who ever you want. Why no focus on forming a frienship with a man who can be available to you all the time, who doesn't have to lie to be with you.

I know you feel like you a loosing a wonderful friendship, and there are others here that will hopefully chime in and help you put this into persective. I was not friends with my xAP - we were work colleagues... and even though I really enjoyed his company when we were together, I did not feel I lost a good friend when we ended. I don't think he ever wanted to get to know me... even though 3 years we mailed, sms'ed throughout the day .... that was a hard habbit to just stop over night... but I picked myself off the floor and decided to improve my life and be a person that I could be proud of.... I'm getting there :-) :-)

And you will too - if you accept that closure is not necessary for you to turn your life around. No matter what his explaination is, its still over.... not matter the reason.... its still over.... noone has won or lost.....its just over... you have reached the end of your A, but its not the end of your life.... its a painful start to something new.... but believe me, its a wonderfully empowering journey if you take it on with your whole heart and do it for yourself.

Best of luck, and keep writing... it really helps :-)


Every recovery is a kind of rebirth
Avatar for ratherbeme
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2010
Mon, 01-07-2013 - 9:22am

You are looking for something very complicated. You have reasoned out how complicated your A is/was. It wasn’t. All affairs are the same. They are just different in the details.

It wasn’t any more complicated, any deeper, any more important than any of the A’s here.  It’s just that you were involved in it. That’s the difference.

All A’s have an ending and an ending date. Just as sure as childhood ends, and life ends, so do A’s. The reason is because they are NOT real. Someone didn’t love the other enough to actually do the things that real love and commitment need.

The Good/Bad news…………’s not done yet.

It’s simple to see what happened here. He chose his wife over you. He is throwing you under the bus. Sticking with what works for him. Rejection isn’t pleasant, no one likes it. Millions of good reasons to do what we do. We have all been on one side or the other of rejection. You aren’t accepting that part of it yet. YET!!! It may be because you haven’t realized that’s what really happened. You are both still hanging on to this fantasy.

That’s why it isn’t over yet. It’s just in the serious trouble, in the disintegrating stage. Wife knows/suspects something, he’s cooling it by protecting himself, you are still communicating, he’s hoping things die down, he’s hoping you will hang in and be his extra, and you want some type of commitment to you making you feel that you are important in his life.

That may be an over simplification, and hard to hear but I’m sure you will find a lot of truth in it.

Why do you need someone to knock you over the head with closure?  Can’t you see what’s coming? Either it ends, or you go deeper underground to hide it from everyone. That’s the choice.

You have accepted being second best in his life, and yet you still hang on wanting to be even less. It doesn’t make sense.

You may want to do some soul searching to determine what you do want. Evidently what you have is what you wanted, but that isn’t going to happen or continue. At least not while wifey is on point. Remember, this could all get a lot worse. You could have an embarrassing DDay if front of all your friends, work mates, and family.

So where do you go next?

Professional help is the best course.  You may need to explore why you are like what you are. Sometime you are going to have to make up your mind what YOU want. It won’t be a simple decision, and as you leave the affair fog that you are in, you may change your mind a million times. It becomes a journey.

We are all here to help you. If ending is what you choose, and they are all choices, then No Contact is the 100% guaranteed way to ending it. It’s tough. It’s only the first part of the journey.

Come here often, we will give you support in ending it.


We only miss what could have been. I know I don't miss what it really was.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2012
Mon, 01-07-2013 - 9:41am
Hi Gecko, Welcome to EAS and big hugs to you for we all know how you are feeling, and it hurts for sure, especially after such a long A. It sounds to me like you are in some way accepting of the fact that it has ended, and your biggest distress is from how it ended, but prehaps I'm wrong. You will get control of your feelings and take care of yourself by jumping in at the deep end. Sending a brief I am moving on with my life email and then blocking all avenues of contact. Easy for me to write but oh so much harder to do..... But that is how you will take back control of things. It will give you space, to see it as it really was - a fantasy. This is the beginning of the end of your A and neither of you can let it go. One of you has to be the strong one, let it be you, otherwise you will both just continue to hurt over and over and over. The A is over now sweetie, don't torture yourself for longer than you have to. It will hurt really bad at first but I promise you it will eventually stop. My xAP and I did the letters, the I love you's, on and on and on it was exhausting and the enivitable happened anyway...... Now 8 months later Im in a much happier place, am I over it, probably not but Im not hurting the way you both are, I hope xAP isn't either, but he isn't important anymore, I am and thats what has changed for me. Jump in the deep end and swim for your life. We are here with life jackets and rafts when it gets too tiring. You can do this! Wishing you strength on your ending (((Hugs))) Sunny Soon Xxx
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2011
Mon, 01-07-2013 - 10:41am
Hi Gecko55, I am sorry for what you are going through but glad that you found us. I was very good friends with my xAP for 10 years before the A, which lasted 2 years. Neither of us were ever leaving our spouses and kids. We were also in the same business, worked for the same company at one point which is how we met. I have been out of the A for 19 months now and NC for just over 12 months. I had a blip at 4 months out where we tried to "be friends" for 3 months. Unbelievably painful. My advice is to cut all ties and go No Contact. It is very, very hard. But having tried several times to "stay friends" before I had absolutely had enough, and then falling back into that quagmire for 3 months, I really wish that I had been strong enough to just end it cleanly the first time. It will hurt like h*ll, I won't lie. I still miss him, as my friend, a year later. But it is sooooo much better than it was. And I dont' miss feeling like a liar and a cheat. I don't miss wondering when I am going to hear from him next, when we will be able to see each other. I don't miss wondering what I really mean to him. Well, I still do that last part but it is getting better. I don't miss my heart stopping the time he told me his W had seen I had emailed him. You won't get closure even if you talk to him. That is what i was hoping for int he 3 months xAP and I were talking/emailing after 4 months of NC. We sent each other these very tortured emails, each trying to explain how we felt, how important the friendship was to both of us. It didn't help. In fact, it was just more pain. You will obsess either way. You'll get more closure here, and from within yourself, than you ever will from talkign to him. I am sending you a big cyber hug, I know how tough it is. Rain
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-03-2012
Mon, 01-07-2013 - 2:04pm

Hi...and welcome.

I'm sorry. Wish we could give you a magic, and easy answer. I, too..had rocky closure (at best) with my close friend and xAP. We had a very rocky best..but the closure was never really there. He ended...we went n.c. a few months later he fished..I bit..we continued..only I couldn't do it anymore. The lying, the 1/2 truths, etc...i could no longer  do it  to my family , to xAP or to myself. So I told him we needed to end...and then we sent messages back and forth..the I miss you's. the how are you's and then I just changed my number and went n.c. Because I knew we would never find a clean break. I would like to tell you that was the end of the deal..but 4 months out...I was haunted by the feeling that I was just ignoring I sent a text saying I know it's been a while. Sorry for pain I've caused. I needed (and still need) to take back an honest life. Hope you are well. Lucky for me, he never responded. Truth is..I don't even know if he ever received the message.

 I felt like it was something I needed to do...did I really? Probably not. I have been out of A for 6 months..and n.c...for a little over 1 (due to that last dang text!). 

As for the questions on how not to dwell, obsess, etc. That IS the million dollar question. I focusing on how we got into A to start with...what part of us ever made it okay to begin with...then the dwelling and obsessing on A itself becomes much less important..and our understanding of ourselves..of who we are ..our past, presenty and future selves..becomes our own and we learn to let go... ..if THAT makes any sense.

Hang in there. Post, read..check out baggage reclaim. Know we are here to support you.

  The difference between who you are and who you imagine yourself to be, is what you do.

Avatar for wClarity
Community Leader
Registered: 11-04-2012
Mon, 01-07-2013 - 4:06pm

Welcome to EAS, GeckoSmile

You received responses from the cream of the crop.  

You already seem to know/feel that just letting go is really the best way to go. 

What is closure really?  To me it is a closing a chapter in our lives...a chapter in which we don't come out looking so good.  Best to close the door and hammer in a few nails for good measure.  And the only time you want to look back is while in therapy.  We can provide oodles and boodles of support, but a professional can work with you and get to those core issues.

If it helps you to write it all out...put it in draft form...because believe me your emotions will be all over the place and you'll probably want to revise it from time to time.  Get it all out...and never ever send it.  That will have to suffice for closure, imo.

If you've been reading here, you know how it works.  You'll experience withdrawals, and so you'll come here and talk it through rather than to reach out.  Like someone here once said "why run towards your source of pain".  Come here before doing anything rash, and we'll help you refocus and reframe some of your thinking.

Keep all you can...all the posts, and check out our Healing Library which is in the process of being rebuilt and which contains the ways and means to stay the course.



Community Leader,

Ending an Affair Support Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-24-2011
Mon, 01-07-2013 - 4:11pm
Welcome to EAS. I am so very sorry for the loss of your husband and for the way your A ended. I guess the thing that struck me the most was the lack of you mentioning the grief you have/had for your husband. This is by no means meant to be an 'attack' or accusation, but it got me thinking. I just wonder if you have not fully grieved for your husband and maybe your AP is proxy for your late husband, emotionally. I don't know...maybe I am barking up the wrong tree. But I was just concerned about that. You sound very well thought out and I think that with time that the pain you are feeling will pass. I wish you all the very best. progression
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-20-2010
Mon, 01-07-2013 - 8:41pm

Hi Gecko...

Welcome to EAS.  First, allow me to share my condolences on the loss of your Husband. I can't imagine how challenging the past few months have been for you. I don't want to push too much on that, but I think Progression's question, though difficult, is something to think about.

The title of your post really resonated with me.I was involved in a very intense A for 5 1/2 years with a MW, that ended very abruptly. No last conversation, no sharing of regrets or "what might have beens", just an end to communication.We had a fairly normal conversation one day, said goodbye, and then nothing; from either of us.I know that I was fed up with the whole circumstance and can only assume she was as well. We had experienced all of the A roller coaster - the dreams, the "let's spend our lives together", and all of the tumult as well.  We had each tried to end it before, but were always pulled back for one reason or another. Some on this board might remember when I first showed up around here having "ended" my A, but being asked to have one last meeting with my XAP. I suppose we each wanted to talk it over, but you know what happened. I was warned about the dangers of looking for "closure" in that last conversation, but I didn't listen. Instead, I got sucked back in and went through another 12 - 15 months of A torture. So, the last time it was finally enough. Walking away without a last discussion, without an exchange of email, without saying anything was the only thing that would work - for either of us.

So here I am, 20 months or so of NC, and I still believe that leaving that way was the best thing that could have happened. I'm not going to lie and tell you that I haven't wondered what she thought, what she felt, or how she dealt with it - I have. I have learned though, after all of this time, that whatever it might of been, it just doesn't matter. All that matters is that it needed to be over, and it is. 

It's sad to lose something you thought was special, but if you dig hard, really deep, you might realize that it wasn't as special as you thought at the time. I've been sad, heck, I even cried once or twice (or three times), but it pales in comparison to all the hurt I felt during the A.

Closure is fleeting. To my way of thinking, it's just another way that we keep ourselves in the A and connected to our XAPs. If we want out, we have to be out. It's one of the reasons why NC and blocking is so important. Declaring to yourself that you didn't want to remain in your A is critical to your healing. No closure, no last letter, no last conversation, will replace getting your head wrapped around knowing that being out of the A is a better place for you.

Spend your energy, and your effort, on people that bring you happiness, joy, and add to the experience of your life.

I hope you find this community to be as helpful to you as it has been for many of us.

Good luck.


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-06-2013
Mon, 01-07-2013 - 9:00pm

I just got home- eating pizza and reading all of your comments- and weeping.  I needed to hear all that you had to say,and as hard as it was to read- I feel better having done so.  I DO have a long note I wrote after the last email-and several journals full actually- that I have never sent over the years. I know I struggle with what was real and what was not- especially this last few years. I do know I never want to be in that kind of relationship again- that I deserve better than that, and it is up to me to be certain I don't repeat the same mistakes.  That's why this is so important. This last post caught me off guard- because while I have often thought about it, I have rarely explored the lingering grief from my husbands death.  The first 3-4 years were horrible- I needed all the help I could get just to survive- and I had many, good, true friends, people I still have in my life, who helped me through the worst of that. He was a remarkable man, and certainly did not deserve my infidelity.  I think the guilt of the affair kept me from feeling like I deserved to be forgiven for the transgressions while he was alive- and for awhile I wondered if his death was some kind of punishment- a good friend and minister helped me through that.  Grief of any kind takes a terrible toll-I am stunned at how similar this is in some ways- though it does not have the sense of finality death brings- perhaps that is the problem for me- accepting the finality- even though I know it is beter for us both if I do.  I used to be so genuinely cheerful, engaged in life, focussed, felt like I was contributing to the world- moving was the best thing I have done for myself in years, and the distance will likely be, at least in part, what  give me the strength to end this.  I have also really considered a therapist- even though it makes me nervous to think about it- how do you even begin to choose? So-the good news- I did not send any emails- did not making any more calls- I have eliminated 2 email accounts I created just for "us" that had thousands of emails.  I put away all the things he gave me-and put the pictures in boxes.  Maybe someday I will throw them away.  I don't want to cry every day- wake every morning and go to sleep every night thinking about this- I want to find my own peace.  It seems like it has been a very long time.  Patience is something I reserved for my children- we will see if Ihave nay left for myslef.  :) 

Avatar for wClarity
Community Leader
Registered: 11-04-2012
Mon, 01-07-2013 - 9:31pm

Hang with us, and we'll help you in your journey to get back that cheerful, focused, engager of life...we'll leave the real heavy stuff to the therapist who will help you figure out why and where you fell off the beam :)  

I'd first check with your insurance provider for a listing of in-house providers and then check with someone close in your area...explain what you are looking for...if that's not up their alley, then perhaps they can refer you elsewhere. And it may take a couple of visits to different ones 'til you find a good fit.  I remember making my first appointment.  I felt some immediate relief.  I'd been proactive and felt in control, and I knew things could only start to get better.  

Good for you for staying NC, and losing those accounts.  Big steps.  Okay, for now some pics and mementos are in some boxes.  Hopefully the 'someday' you throw them out comes soon.  They are only reminders of the past when we need to let go of everything about the affair...and they are ticking time bombs that can blow up in our face when we least expect it.  But babysteps.  


Community Leader,

Ending an Affair Support Board