Hey Vets, can you talk about the closure letter?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-11-2013
Hey Vets, can you talk about the closure letter?
10
Tue, 01-29-2013 - 7:23am

I've been here for a short time.  Like many of the other ladies who come here wanting to end things, there is a desire to send a letter to finally end things and wrap it up.  Most of you say NO! Can you explain your reasoning so that when people come here in the future, they understand the best way to end the relationsip for good? What about after an initial healing period when you can compose something more rational and well thought out?  I think the information might be helpful for a new person needing reference.

Tam

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2012
Wed, 01-30-2013 - 9:37pm

LOL - it dawned on me this morning!  Darn faux pas!

Agreed!  The "closure" letter is something I'd send to myself.  I had lots of closure thoughts in the first month or two that I wouldn't dream of sharing with my xAP.  I will say this -- for me, it reinforced all the reasons why my A simply had to end.

I *do* think the more time we keep emotionally investing in something that's over, the longer we prolong our recovery.  It does take time, but it will eventually get so much better.  We need to do all we can to help ourselves get there.

Avatar for wClarity
Community Leader
Registered: 11-04-2012
Tue, 01-29-2013 - 9:27pm

http://www.dr-jane-bolton.com/support-files/feelings-release-letter.pdf

I just remembered reading about 'the feelings letter' by John Gray...so I just googled 'feelings letter'...and this came up.  I think this will be helpful...I still would not send it.

Don't forget to write his response to you, and if I remember correctly, John Gray said it should contain everything you need JAM to say.  Such as, I am sorry I hurt you...I am sorry I made you feel less than, I didn't mean to make you _____, I wish you peace and happiness....things along that line.

((hugs))

Clarity

edited to add that I just went into another link...this format can help.

      Dear ------------

I am writing this letter to let go. I am angry because.....(everything you can think of) I am sad because..............I am scared because................I am ashamed because.........I regret........THEN choose positive feeling and continue even if it feels hard to do. I respect ...............I admire............I love............I am grateful.......I wish.....What I want now is................. From (you)

Light a match and burn it. Say goodbye to the pain.

Community Leader,

Ending an Affair Support Board

Avatar for wClarity
Community Leader
Registered: 11-04-2012
Tue, 01-29-2013 - 9:16pm

Hey Pac :)

I think there is a difference between sending the formal ending vs sending the closure letter.

I agree that a formal ending can be sent...just so everyone is on the same page and no one comes around fishing 'hey, wheredchago, I'm worried, are you okay....?"  Formal ending such as yours, short and simple...feelings need not be included.

((hugs))

Clarity

Community Leader,

Ending an Affair Support Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2012
Tue, 01-29-2013 - 8:29pm

I wrote one.  It was early into my A.  He was a very sweet man going through a difficult separation and I was/am married to an insecure/angry man.  My xAP lives 500 miles away.  I knew there would be no good end to it, especially the longer it continued.  So, one night, after being unable to sleep, I decided to walk away.  I wrote him a short 3-4 sentence email.  I was kind, told him the truth and asked him to stop any future contact.  It kind of came out of the blue - we were still in the early stages.  But I just couldn't stop thinking about the reality.   He wrote back the next day, said he would respect my wishes and asked me to take care of myself.  That was over 4 months ago.

Since then, I've taken control of my life - and my marriage, and insisted on counseling with my H.

I still think of my xAP but not nearly as often as I was during those first weeks/months.

Anyway, the general advice on this board is to end the A first - and I did, and am glad for having done it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-17-2011
Tue, 01-29-2013 - 1:21pm

Tam,

Let me ask you - what is it you seek from a closure letter?  Closure letters are rarely written to wrap things up - they are written to get a response, in response to a situation we don't like.  We don't want to end (let's be honest all of us have that moment of heart-breaking where we realize it's really over) and having even MORE contact after making the decision that things are over does what for us? What is it you want him to say to make things neat and tidy that will reduce your hurt, your betrayal, your harsh realization that you were just crumbs to him? 

Do you think he (or any xAP) will suddenly wake up and say - Oh holy hell - I really love you, I'll leave my M, my kids, my life.  I mean a part of us often wishes for that - it would give us validation that what we have done was justified in some sordid way.  The fantasy of that fog filled high wants us to think it possible - But that rarely if ever happens.  Quite often they see it as a tantrum or validation of their own decision to end things - things are "too much" and no longer fun and free. 

Regardless in your role as ender or endee writing a closure letter should be a letter to yourself.  I will no longer tolerate the intrusion into my home, my M, my relationship with my kids.  I am worth more, I am enough, I am good, able, loving.  I have talents and abilities that are worth more....  Writing to him to give YOUR opinion of him and all his faults will fall I deaf ears, I promise.  xAP's who take it to heart won't respond because they are trying to sort out their own lives - and those who read it and tsk tsk your feeble attempts for attention will think you are still available and eventually fish.  And because you are waiting for validation that you are right - you will give in to fishing and fall back into that inevitable black pit.

Closure is personal.  It is action for YOURSELF.  It is validating to YOURSELF that it is the end.  It is the last time you are willing to accept so little for such great worth.  Closure doesn't come all at once - there is a process of grief, of acceptance, of forgiveness, and of letting go and moving forward without being a victim or bitter.  This is why we say don't bother.  xAP DOESN'T MATTER.  This is where you start separating yourself and start thinking of what is good and right for YOU, your family.  Your life.  Closure means it is over.  Having a say so doesn't make you right or validated - it just makes you the last contacter.

So let me ask you again - what is it you seek from your closure letter?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2011
Tue, 01-29-2013 - 12:33pm

Girlfriend,

It's not about him, it's about you. Believe me, I spent a lot of time sending good wishes and praying for my xAP's life to improve. And now that I'm out of there, I realize, first of all, that I can't fix his life, and second, that if he had really cared about me, he wouldn't have stepped across his boundaries to have an affair with me. I killed our friendship the minute I walked into his house, and there's no closing that Pandora's Box now. You can try to feel magnanimous for wishing for yours to find someone to love, but honestly, you are the one you have to care for and take care of.

Do you know how many times I said to mine: "I will never leave you"?

I had already made that promise to someone, and he lives here with me, and is married to me. First of all. His happiness should have meant more to me than xAP's.

And also, keeping that second promise would have ruined my life. No doubt about it. And all those conversations of "Yes, but then we'd be together"? I had everything to lose, and he had nothing. Not only was that a promise I shouldn't have made, but it was a promise he should have never let me make.

Turn some of that love back on yourself, Tam. Take care of you now. Love yourself!

--Bird

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-11-2013
Tue, 01-29-2013 - 11:49am
Thanks Bird. I haven't written one. I have second guessed myself on it, but like you said, why now? I don't think things would open back up for us. He had been looking for someone and when he found her he cut back on communicating with me. He still was a little, but I felt it was more of an obligatory gesture on his part. Then I found you guys and decided not to reply. It is too painful for me. Our relationship was kind of different. He wanted someone to share his life with and I wanted that for him too. I had prayed and prayed for him to find someone special. I wanted him to be happy (I couldn't be what he wanted or needed) and I also knew that if he did find someone, it would force an ending to our relationship. Well, I got what I prayed for, but it's been hard letting go. A lot because put myself into a position of self-inflicted pain. I promised him I wouldn't hurt him because he had been hurt a lot in the past. So, I stayed and waited until he found someone then tried to back away. DUMB on my part! Instead I have been trying to heal from the wounds while he is moving on and happy, I presume. DUMB!
Avatar for wClarity
Community Leader
Registered: 11-04-2012
Tue, 01-29-2013 - 11:42am

I watched the movie "He's Just Not Into You" the other night.  The guy said "If a guy treats you like crap, it is because he doesn't give a crap."  

I'll list out what I think about closure...in any way, shape or form.

1.  He doesn't give a crap, and it could be the one last communication that could get you/both of you busted.

2.  He doesn't give a crap.  You don't hear men running around "I neeeeed closure"...and you already gave him enough ego boosts, so why let him think after all this time that you are still hung up on him.  He'll could very well think "Why can't the girl just move on." We are through looking pathetic.

3.  He doesn't give a crap, and it will leave you still engaged...wondering "Did he get it?"..."Did he read it?"  "Will he respond?"  

4.  He doesn't give a crap, so you will gain your closure by accepting what is and not what you'd like it to be and closing the door and moving on and focusing your attention where it belongs....on you.

5.  He doesn't give a crap, so you can draft it out, pretend you sent it...or talk it out to the Universe and move on.

You see, I would never want him to know my inner most thoughts...and they changed from one minute to the next...along with my emotions...and so I would wish I had said this, and wish I hadn't said that.  Draft it out, file it away for now, go back and revise it when you have more to get out and then delete it before anyone finds it.

He will not give a crap about your need for closure or what you have to say...so why embarrass yourself.  Chances are good that after the first sentence, all he'll hear is "blah blah blah".

Close the door, accept that you made one horrendous bad choice, and strive towards making sure you never go there again.

((hugs))

Clarity

Community Leader,

Ending an Affair Support Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2011
Tue, 01-29-2013 - 10:55am
p.s. The phone call was also within that 2-week span. It did not come weeks later. I just want to make it clear that my ending all happened within a short span of time, and I never reopened that WOUND. It took long enough to heal without that. It's still healing, believe me. --Bird
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2011
Tue, 01-29-2013 - 10:47am

Well, I did have a closure letter. An email, I mean. I wrote it, and I said what i had to say. I talked to him once after that. I can still tell you what parking lot I made the call from and probably which parking space. I couldn't even look at that parking lot for months afterwards. I was not sorry I wrote the email. I am not sorry, either, that I deleted it, with all the other thousands of emails, poems, pictures, and stories we sent to each other. I remember some of it, but if I had kept it, I would have kept looking back at it and thinking, I really should have said this or that.

The difference being, maybe, that my last email was written within the two-week span of time of my finding out that xAP had stepped out on me, and with someone I knew well and saw on a weekly basis. That he had had the nerve to blow kisses to me behind her back the night he went home with her. Etc. So it was written in heat, to say the least.

I assume most of you newbies had that kind of exchange with your xAPs before your ending. But see, I include that particular email with all the other emails I wrote him. After that email, and the follow-up phone call, which happened for a different reason, somewhat, there weren't any more communications.

I think most of us vets would say don't do it. But the reason we say that is that a "closure" letter, especially if it is weeks or months after you go NC, is an invitation to reopen the dialogue. Believe me, I have things I would like to say to my xAP, even now, more than a year later. But now I know that if I said them, it would be an invitation for him to respond, and we all know how that ends up.

Each and every time I've wanted to contact him, a day or so later I am so relieved that I didn't. But it does take some self-control not to do it.

I guess my thoughts are, first, that there will never be any real closure (and I think I'm pretty correct in saying that--"last letter" or no), and second, that if you write it weeks after you've ended, you'd better search your soul and be sure that you're not doing it to invite a reopening of the relationship. Because once he gets it, be sure that he will want to respond. And--think of this--if he DOESN'T respond, how will you feel?

Either way, you're screwed.

Be careful. Protect yourself. Especially while you're newly ended and you are so fragile.

--love, Bird