Friday October 24th 2014

How to Get Your Ex To Talk To You

Question: I am finding myself in a situation where my ex flies into a rage every time I ask her why we broke up. She just came out from the blue one evening after we returned from a friend’s house and said, ” I can’t do this anymore. This relationship is sucking the life out of me.”We had not had a fight or argument that day or even days before and it completely took me by surprise. I pleaded and begged for her to reconsider but she wouldn’t. After two weeks of pleading she sent me an email saying I should get it through my head that it’s over between us and there is nothing in this world that I’ll ever do to make her want to be with me again. She says she just wants to forget us and move on with her life. I tried getting her back, but I’ve accepted that we’ll never get back together, and have stopped trying to win her back.

Now I just want closure and to move on with my life. She never actually lets me finish trying to explain to her how not knowing why she broke up with me is making it hard for me to move on. What’s the best way to get her to talk to me?

The Love Doctor’s Answer: The why could be anything. May be it’s something she’s complained too many times before but you just didn’t pay enough attention. May be she feels guilty or embarrassed about the role she played in the relationship coming part. May be she doesn’t know why herself. Only she can tell you, but from the looks of it, I don’t think it’ll be any time soon.

That said, may be you’re not really looking for closure. The reason I say this is, if someone is refusing to give you something and you get hurt every time you ask, why keep asking?

My experience is that some people use “I just want closure” as away of staying attached to someone they obviously still love and want back in their lives but who doesn’t want them. To the person seeking “closure” even the flying into a range is better than nothing. Asking for closure gives them an excuse to contact their ex hoping that their ex will somehow feel some “sympathy” and set some time apart to talk. Some exes after repeated asking may give in hoping that talking will finally get rid of you. But most just get more irritated with every request because emotionally weak or fragile people are just not that attractive, especially when you are a guy.

Others think that an ex’s emotional reaction means that they still have feelings. So they keep asking to get an emotional reaction that reassures them that the other person still cares. It’s an unhealthy attachment. People who care don’t intentionally hurt those they care about, let alone do it over and over.

Stop asking her for closure — and find the closure you need (whatever that means) for yourself.

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10 Responses to “How to Get Your Ex To Talk To You”

  1. Lillian says:

    Christine, I think you made a fair point that some of us want to find closure from our partner is in a way hoping that they would return to us somehow, despite knowing that the chances are very slim. I think finding closure from someone you’ve loved and shared so much in a relationship is important, at least, you get to understand why they decided to let go and since when they started contemplating to end the relationship.

  2. As you might have read elsewhere on my blog, I’m not a great fun of “closure” but other people believe differently, and I understand/appreciate that.

    But more importantly I do not believe that someone can be that clueless about why a relationship ended. I’ve worked with people who say “all I want is to understnad why” but after talking to them, it becomes clear they knew the “why” all along! They just thought it was ONE reason as opposed to many reasons leading to the end.

    The reason why some people seem to believe they “don’t know” why the relationship ended is 1) they really didn’t know their relationship that well, 2) they really didn’t know the person they were with very well or 3) they’re in denial. Unfortunately, in most of today’s relationships there’s all of the three going on. Too many people busy playing mind games, trying to outsmart the other or simply relating on a “superficial”/feel good level. No suprise that breakups are so frequent and divorce is so high. Why wouldn’t they be?

    If you are very well tuned to the relationship, really take time to know the person you are with and are realistic about what’s going on, you’ll have a clue! Before someone leaves, they’ll have left so many clues behind. It’d be nice if they did the work for you and gave you the summarized version. But if they refuse to do that, it’s up to you to piece the clues together.

    Might have really helped to have tried to put all the clues together before the relationship ended. May be one would have been able to avoid a breakup.

  3. Paul says:

    Yangki I agree with you that we somehow always know why a relationship ends but because we think its’ one thing that ended it we try to figure out exactly what that one thing IS. When my ex broke up with me I was shocked. In my mind, we had a good relationship because unlike other couples we did not argue or fight. I’m the sort that doesn’t like confrontation and even when she delivered the bad news, as shocked as I was, I tried to be calm and reasonable about it. I asked her to at least tell me why she was breaking up with me. Her response was “you really don’t know?” I told her I really had no clue and that seemed to infuriate her even more. I’ll never forget the look in her eyes.

    I was looking for her to tell me the ONE thing I’d done to make her break up with me, and I’d fix it. But apparently she was breaking up with me for all the things I’d failed to do. I really love her and trying to change so I can have her back.

  4. Sorry that you had to learn the hard way that one of the most annoying things for people of all sexes is someone to hurt you so badly that you walk out of the relationship and claim they have no clue what they did to hurt you.

    I tell my clients trying to pressure an ex for “a reason why” to stop at once. For an ex to even give you a second thought, they want to know with some degree of certainty that you GET IT. Saying “I’m clueless” is the same as saying “I still don’t get it but take me back anyways.”

    I hope and pray you get her back!

  5. From Japan says:

    What a coincidence that I bumped on to this. My ex broke up with me in May, I’ve been trying to get her back ever since but every day she comes up with one other reason why she broke up with me. The list never seems to end. Like Paul, I’ve been doing many things to become a better partner, but just today I was wondering if I’ll ever be good enough for her. May be I’m just wasting my time doing all these changes and she’ll just keep coming up with something new.

  6. It’s always a good idea to try to make oneself a better person. But if you’re just doing this for her, then you are doing it all wrong – and you’re right to say it might be a waste of time. If you keep changing for one woman… you might find yourself changing so often that you’ll hardly recognize yourself.

    Change only what you personally believe will make you a better person/man/boyfriend/lover/partner etc and present that to her — to accept or reject. If you sincerely believe you’ve done your best and she rejects that, you’ll still be happy with yourself and it won’t feel like a waste of time.

    In my experience, it’s all about HOW YOU PRESENT the new you to her!

  7. Luigi says:

    We always managed to make things work every time we broke up. But this time she won’t even reply to my texts or return answer my phone calls. Why?

  8. May be she’s fed up of the on-and-off relationship and this time is determined to stay away, may be she’s doing “no contact”, may be she’s angry at you for something you said/did or may be you’ve “over contacted’ her and she’d put off by the neediness.

    Send her a brief note saying you understand that things haven’t worked out and you’ve let her down. You wish it was different but it is what it is. Add something about needing to work on yourself to become a better partner if not for her, for someone else. Then end by telling her, you’d wish that the two of you stay in contact but if she says she’d rather not, you’ll respect her wish if that’s what she wants.

    This may not get you the response you want, but it will at least make clear where you stand and it leaves the ball in her court in terms of contact.

    No “I’m sorry” or long apologies. It’s counter productive to apologize when you have no idea what you’re actually apologizing for.

  9. Picca says:

    All I got from my ex when I asked for closure was “I don’t want to talk about the past. Lets move on, please!” It angered me so much that he had no decency let alone care for me enough to at least grant me that one last wish. But after talking to my counsellor he made it clear to me thay that asking him for closure was not taking full responsibility for my self and my life. I was giving him so much power over me by letting him dictate my happiness and future.

    Blaming and depending on others for my happiness was something I’ve done in all my relationships. Since taking responsibility for my happiness, I don’t need any closure from him, and I can say I’m sincerely moving on. Closure is overrated, that’s all I can say.

  10. You summed it all up so well in… “giving him so much power over me…” and “taking responsibility for my happiness and future.”

    That’s what truly MOVING ON looks like! I’m so happy for you.

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