How do I get closure?
Visitor's Question from a 41-50 year old Female
It's been a year and half since I stopped seeing this guy. It started out as friends who had sex now and then. Over time it grew to be a relationship. It was always kind of unusual -- we didn't see each other or talk to each other every day. We'd talk when we were making plans to get together. That was usually two to four times in a month. We'd spend the night together and sometimes spend most of a weekend together. It was unusual but worked for both of us. A couple of times I told him I loved him and he didn't answer. I just chalked that up to him being a VERY unexpressive person. He always ACTED like he cared about me and that was good enough.
After about four years, he started sharing more about his life with me, seemed to want to spend more time together just doing everyday stuff instead of a "date". I rather liked that since it still wasn't overly intrusive or demanding. The only thing was... we stopped having sex. When I asked him about it, he said he was getting older and was going through a stressful time. He WAS going through a stressful time and I didn't want to make an issue of it so I just let it go. I tried initiating things a number of times and he always said he was too tired. But we were always affectionate with each other and it was feeling warm and cozy and close.
It was about a year after the sex stopped that I asked about it again. His answer was, "Well, I'm getting older. If this isn't enough for you, you should move on." I was furious at the dismissive nature of that comment. As if he didn't give a damn one way or the other. I got up and left and we didn't talk for a couple of days. When I called to talk to him he said he thought we should have this conversation in person and I knew for sure that it would be over.
We got together and had a sad conversation. He said that it started out as friends and never really went beyond that for him. He said that he had been feeling that I "wanted more" and so he thought we should quit seeing each other. That's all he would give me -- that he felt like I "wanted more". He's right, I did. When we stopped having sex I came to realize that that was how I'd defined our relationship and without sex, I'd need something more. We ended that conversation hugging goodbye and both of us had tears in our eyes.
We have a lot of mutual friends and run into each other sometimes. We've had lunch together a few times and that's good. We are old friends and I don't want to just loose all of that. BUT, I'm finding it very difficult to see him and talk to him. I've figured out it's because I want/need some closure. I feel like he didn't ever acknowledge that we had more than a friendship and I want him to. I'd also like some help with figuring out what went wrong -- I really don't get it.
There are a couple things I could do here... I could distance myself from him and just cut off the friendship. I wouldn't get any closure but I could make something up for myself and be fine I think. Or, I could ask him to discuss it with me. Tell him that I want acknowledgement and some kind of explanation and see if he can help me. I'm not sure that he CAN much less WILL. Or, I could just keep muddling along trying to maintain some kind of friendship, shut up, and deal with it.
I don't much like the 3rd option. I think it will just drag out my pain.
So the real question is, is there any point to trying to get him to talk about it with me and help me get some closure? Somebody who has never shared his feelings with me isn't likely to start now. And, if I decide to just stay away from him, should I tell him that's what I'm doing or just be "too busy" to get together and let it wither away? What's the best way for me to get closure on this so I can stop feeling bad about it?
Tell him that you still (after a year) need closure from your relationship. Tell him that you only have two questions and that you would appreciate it if he would be enough of a friend to discuss them. It would be nice if he could help you.
My guess is that he will say that his feelings started growing beyond friendship without him knowing it and when he realized it he changed the way he interacted with you.
As far as what went wrong, it is probably the same deal. He got in over his head and couldn't deal with it and so backed out (clumsily).
Hope he is willing and able to discuss this.
Good luck! George
-- from George
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com