Rick Reynolds, LCSW
by Rick Reynolds, LCSW
Founder & President, Affair Recovery

Surviving the Holidays: 6 Tips

Cover more ground faster with the life-changing experience of EMS Weekend for couples.

This isn't another light-and-fluffy program that only scratches the surface of your pain. The EMS Weekend Experience is a safe space for you and your partner to start putting the pieces of your life back together, transform your trauma and begin healing from infidelity. Skeptical about the effectiveness of this experience? Don't be! Backed by a slew of previous participant testimonials, EMS Weekend delivers results month after month for countless couples.

Sign Up Now!

Christmas of 2020 was my daughter's first Christmas without her children. Being recently divorced, she found herself facing what she feared would be a desperately lonely time. The thought of a traditional Christmas seemed fraught with painful memories. If she came to our home, our traditions— even something as simple as the family tree—would serve as reminders of Christmases past when the world seemed right. Alternatively, staying home alone would leave her haunted by the ghosts of betrayal and abandonment. Her solution was brilliant. She invited us to join her in making a totally new Christmas tradition: a fishing trip to the coast!

As a teen, she had spent many weekends with our family on the beach of Port Aransas, Texas. Walking that beach and searching for shells had always been one of her favorite pastimes. For her, it was a place that represented happier times, before marriage, before children.

Upon arrival, we created the first of our new traditions. We went up and down each aisle of the store in Port Aransas and loaded the cart with everything we wanted. Kite flying was added to our list of new traditions, afterall!

We especially loved walking the beaches night and day, searching for shells. Our daughter's solution wasn't just a godsend for her, it was a blessing for Steph and me. Like her, we grieved the loss of time with our grandchildren. Her choice to create something new allowed us to also have a joyous time. New traditions were established that I believe we will continue to celebrate each year that the children are absent. It's something I already look forward to, even though I'm not sure what to do with all the shells!

Nearly all of us have witnessed in the life of someone else (and/or experienced ourselves) the pain of a broken marriage. My daughter's dilemma of how to spend the holidays is one many of our readers are facing this year as well. Frequently, betrayal trauma leaves people feeling as if everything that happened before discovery was a lie, and it transforms once-cherished memories into painful memories. The trauma brain views the world through a lens of scarcity and loss and is limited in its ability to see anything positive. Trauma reflexively takes anything familiar and connects it back to the point of pain.

If this describes where you (or someone you love) are in your healing journey, my first suggestion for this holiday is to leave the familiar and find either a totally different place where new memories can be molded or an old safe place where you can firmly stand in finer times.

6 Tips For the Holidays

1. Set healthy boundaries.

Setting boundaries for what you will and will not do is important for maintaining relational health. Share your preferences with friends and families. Are there gatherings you'd rather not attend? Are there topics you'd rather not be brought up? Let others know what you need. It will help them be sensitive to your needs during the season.

2. Stay in the moment.

There will be times when you will be tempted to mood-alter using alcohol or drugs. During the first 24 months of recovery, the pain is such that this can seem like a good idea. However, indulging in mood-altering substances will only result in uncontrollable behaviors or worse, an unwelcome addiction. Asking friends to keep you accountable will help you stay present and make good choices during your darkest time of recovery. There's no need to make the holidays memorable in a negative way.

3. Focus on your children.

If you have children, don't make an administrative (or selfish) decision to cancel the holidays. This will only make things worse for them in the midst of what is potentially already a chaotic and emotional time. Focus on making their holiday bright, familiar, and cheerful. Helping them experience a positive holiday season can also help you find joy.

4. Volunteer.

Giving to others can become a new tradition for the holidays, and it takes the focus off of yourself, allowing you to be a blessing to others. If you're already connected to some sort of organization that serves others during the holiday season, then offer your services. If not, research and find organizations that are helping those in need during the holiday season. There are so many! Be aware that some organizations need to do background checks, so you will want to begin this process sooner rather than later.

5. Identify what activities put you in the holiday mood.

In happier times, what would put you in the holiday mood? Was it shopping, parties, decorating, watching football, putting up Christmas lights, or caroling? Make a plan that includes doing more of these things.

6. Cultivate gratitude.

Make it a daily goal to record ten things you're grateful for. Keep it in a note app on your phone, share them on social media or write them in a notebook. Retraining your brain to focus on the positive rather than the negative is one of the healthiest skills you can develop. It is a gift you can give yourself to facilitate your healing. It will be the gift that keeps on giving throughout the year. What are you thankful for during this holiday season?

Other Helpful Suggestions

In addition to the previous suggestions, here are some additional ideas from Patty Fleener and Dr. Calvin Frederick to help in coping with the holiday season after infidelity1. We have also included here some suggestions from our Affair Recovery community.

  • Remember that family get-togethers may be difficult. Be honest about your feelings. Sit down with him/her and decide what you want to do for the holiday season. Don't set expectations too high for yourself or for the day. If you wish things to stay the same, you are going to be disappointed. Be open to doing things a little differently. Undertake only what each family member can handle comfortably; it's okay to say "No" to things. Initiate activity yourself; do not wait for others.
  • Keep in mind the feelings of your children and other family members. Consider trying to make the holiday season as joyous as possible for everybody.
  • Set limits. Realize that it isn't going to be easy. Do only the things that are very special or most important to you. This way, you won't exhaust yourself trying to be a happy hostess who does it all. Just do the best you can and give yourself grace for what you can't.
  • Once you have made the decision on the role you and your family will play during the holidays, let your relatives and friends know. Time spent by yourself can also be rewarding.
  • Tasks such as baking goodies and cleaning the house can get blown out of proportion. If these chores are enjoyable for you, go ahead, but not to the point that it is overtiring. If it reduces stress, either buy baked goods or go without this year.
  • Enlist help from those who know your struggle. If your spouse or another close loved one or friend is willing, give them jobs you usually do, like transporting relatives, picking up pies, taking the kids to look at lights, etc. Use the time saved for yourself. Sit with your Bible or a book you enjoy and zone out. If not your spouse, get a friend or family member to be on your team.
  • Keep in mind, it is just a day. It's a date on a calendar; it only has the importance you give it. Sometimes it helps to look at the day as just another day off. The more I emphasize the day as special, the more I know I'll be hurt and disappointed. I am better off looking at the day as an opportunity to use the time for something constructive, which may or may not include the "typical" holiday events. It is important to plan the day, though, and take some time to decide what events you would be disappointed about missing and which ones you can do without.
  • Stop comparing this holiday to those before "D-Day" (Discovery Day). It puts unfair pressure on you to be okay, and the fact is—everything's different. If you're new to recovery, it's different in a really painful way, if you're further out, it's (hopefully) different in a really beautiful way. Either way, comparison will not help you. Take the day as it is.
  • Find some alone time. For one member, D-Day was Christmas Day. That person said, "On the one-year anniversary of discovery, I took a trip by myself and it was the best possible solution to making it through the holidays. I have adult children, so I didn't have to worry about their Christmas morning. I just sat in some hot springs and enjoyed what peace I could find."
  • Another member said this, "I know we usually think of the subject of holidays in terms of how hard it is for the one that was betrayed, and I think it is certainly important that we never forget that. I just wanted to note that from my perspective as a regretful betrayer, the holidays serve as a reminder of what I risked losing and of the wonderful gift that forgiveness and reconciliation is both from God and from my beautiful wife. During Christmas, I'm especially thankful for the gift of grace."

I hope you've found some useful suggestions and ideas to help you navigate your holidays. For more direction on surviving the holiday season, visit our Survivors' Blog as well as the Healthy Holidays category in the Recovery Library. If you have any tips or suggestions to help others through the holidays, we'd love it if you would share them in the comments!

This season is full of hope and new beginnings. If it doesn’t feel that way to you, it will again soon! If you're looking to begin a new journey of hope and healing, I recommend our Harboring Hope course for betrayed spouses. Join thousands of others and give yourself the gift of hope and healing this holiday season.

Those of us at Affair Recovery wish you a very Merry Christmas and a joyful holiday season!

Below you will find information about our January Online Courses registration schedules. Please subscribe to be notified.

Melissa Fisher - Finding Joy During the Holidays

Finding Joy During the Holidays - Alumna Blog by Melissa Fisher

Don't just survive the holidays; use them as a catalyst for hope, healing, and flourishing in new life by finding the Joy in them. The holidays are one of the many difficult times an individual faces when healing from infidelity and our Alumna, Melissa speaks directly to this challenge while giving your practical and real guidance, tips, and encouragement in navigating the holidays.

Hear directly from Melissa who has been where you are, experienced what you have experienced, and has taken the journey of recovery and wants to lift you up so you know you are strong and you can do this. She shares the ways to help you find the Joy in the Holidays.



RL_Media Type: 

Add New Comment:


We're at 2 and 1/2 years

We're at 2 and 1/2 years since D Day ( of my husband's intense 4 year affair) and are doing very well together: praise God! However, I've been plagued with nightmares and resulting migraines ever since the calendar flipped to DECEMBER. The dreams are usuAlly about him and some form of him rejecting me. Exhausted, it is really hard for me to match his elation and delight at, as your article states, the joy of beautiful home and family togetherness...

surprised by emotions

I am 19 months post d day. I thought that since I had "survived" last year's holiday season that this one would be easier. I could not have been more wrong. The depression and loneliness that I have been feeling is overwhelming at times. I have even had days that I have rethought my decision to stay with my husband after learning about his affair. I think last year I was so lost in the fog of discovery that I wasn't aware of the overall impact his affair could have had on our family. This year I am painfully aware of the damage and hurt he could have caused our children and that breaks my heart all over again.

I have already made the decision to stay away from events, friends, and family that I have to pretend to be happy around. This year I am not forcing myself to be happy simply for appearances. I am letting myself feel what is inside me and dealing with that emotion when I feel it, unlike last year when I held those feelings in so that no one would know. This year I am ok with leaving the mall and crying in my car because the simple act of shopping for presents for my husband is to hard, to stressful and to emotional. I am ok with not going to the holiday parties and pretending to be happy and in love. This year I am ok with telling our families that we are staying home for Christmas this year instead of traveling to their homes.

Not denying or ignoring those feelings this year is very freeing for me. I am not pretending to be someone I am not.

good tips

I appreciated the information in this article. My spouse's family usually hosts Christmas and this year, she elected to step away. They are elderly and I welcomed the shift in paradigm not only because it gives me a chance to start my own traditions with my grandchildren and adult children, but it breaks me from the triggers that the "routine" of years past create in my mind after learning of the infidelities. His parents consider my husband above reproach and I would not want to burst their bubble if they knew what we've been going through. I made plans for a family brunch and invited my in-laws for what I hoped would be a welcome change and also give me a positive goal in celebrating my first Christmas post DD. A week or so ago, my MIL changed her mind and now wants us to return to her house. I am refusing to change my plans. She is invited to our home and I welcomed an opportunity to host her and my FIL. They are in good health and able are active socially with their friends, so they are not incapable of driving the 10 miles to our home. We have 3 young grandchildren with "out of the box" presents prepared for them. I have my menu and food purchased and the table set. My husband's parents considers him a saint and don't know anything of our issues. I am willing to keep our private lives "private" but I do not feel it's fair nor do I need to be made to feel guilty that I won't cancel my plans ,My husband's devout loyalty to his mom and dad seems mis-directed at a time for which I need him to support me. He is using a lot of passive aggressive attitudes to imply that this might be their "last" Christmas and how selfish I am to not give in. I cannot begin to express how angry this makes me when I see him interact with his mom and dad and not want to disappoint them in any way..yet, he could nearly destroy our marriage and relationships with his own wife and children and grandchildren and live with himself for years! Obviously, this is a difficult difficult time for us.

He also gets very angry when

He also gets very angry when I express my anger about how he worries so much about what his parents "think" and not what I might "think" of him...he thinks I should separate the affair implications as they don't have anything to do with his parents...I disagree...true, they are not personally involved and they gave him a wonderful upbringing, but somewhere along the way, he learned how to compartmentalize his behaviors from the "image" that he presented to the world. I want God to work on his heart for him to see that no behavior is ever conducted without some sort of affect on oneself or others. Despite the separate worlds he was able to keep private from his "family", the heart and soul knew the truth. My choice to have our holiday with my adult children and grandchildren to break the "trigger" of him running off and texting his GF while we were at his parents house needs to make sense to him. When it comes to his mom and dad, he turns into the "golden" child who can do no wrong. It is extremely difficult for me to look at that dynamic. I would never want his parents to know his secrets, but I know them, and I want him to consider our reality over a "pretend" reality that his has with his mom and dad. If anyone wants to add their opinion to this, feel free.

The holidays

Thank you for all your online support! I'm coming up to our one year D day anniversary and dreading it with all my might! The information and helpful material you send me has helped feel better about the emotional roller coaster I'm on! Merry Christmas and thank you again so much

3 years past Dday one

This is the third Christmas I will be spending by myself. Dday 1 was Christmas 2012 and even though we are still married, my spouse enjoyed and employed the spousal torture
of "trickle truth" and I have had several Ddays over the past 3 years, the last one being this past spring. I WANT to be alone at Christmas...it is preferable to me to be alone in my misery with the triggers than to spend the day pretending normal and trying to fake it around him and relatives who all know and judge me for my decision to try and see what is on the other side of this nightmare instead of kicking him to the curb for his 20 year infidelity with his AP and subsequent emotional abuse/physical abuses. Our marriage has lasted 37 years,although the past 21 have been a lie as far as I am concerned. I have to make it until the middle of January when both the AP and I celebrate birthdays--we have the same birthday--and then after that, I can resume some kind of normalcy to my life and the triggers will subside for a while...at least until Valentines Day.....and then Easter....he always found time to do special things for her on birthdays and holidays, but "didn't have time" to stand in line or "was too busy at work" to do anything for me most years...and I took it as normal for him and believed him and never really expected much, accepting that he was not raised as a person who outwardly shows emotion or makes romantic, caring gestures. Now that I know he is capable of beautiful loving romantic gestures and emotions, as demonstrated by his actions with his AP, I now know what I COULD have and SHOULD have had in my marriage and it hurts so much that he gave it to someone else. Yes, he is now showing some positive changes, says he wants our marriage, supposedly has had no contact with the AP.....and that is why I have not yet chosen to leave, but STILL grieving my losses after 3 years.....I am looking forward to the solitude of being alone at Christmas. Solitude at Christmas may be my new tradition.....

My support for you

Oh my God, Karen58, my heart and support go out to you. I, too, have been betrayed for 28 years by my husband who is a sex addict. We have been married for 36 years. When I read your comments, my heart just broke and wept for you. My husband also "trickle truthed" me for 6 months, and it is the most horrific torture, as you said. Please know that my heart is with you and you are not alone. My husband, too, says he wants to stay married to me and is demonstrating remorse, but the pain of knowing that his secret life took priority over me, our family and everything else in his life is killing me with pain. I will pray for you and hold you in my heart as we both move through this horrible time.

Thank you

The holidays were my D-Day. Halloween to New Years. After nearly 3 months of gaslighting I threw my unfaithful spouse out on New Years Day. We are reconciled but I still loathe the season. It's so hard because we have small children. This article was helpful. I still wish I could just sleep through it all...

Hate Thanksgiving/Christmas!

This year marks the second straight Thanksgiving/Christmas season since disclosure and my wife (the betrayer) is still with me but still very disconnected spiritually, emotionally and physically. I am still in so much pain.

And it doesn't help that, for the third time in five years, I enter the holiday season unemployed after being let go by my employer. My original lay off five years ago started my wife's slide into disconnection and then my second job loss three years ago sealed her into her emotional affair that lasted 2 years with a youth pastor in our church.

So now I have come to hate Thanksgiving and Christmas because it has brought nothing but pain and heartache. As long as my wife continues to stay disconnected with me, I see nothing positive will ever come out of this holiday season indefinitely. It is very hard to be thankful or celebrate the birth of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, when so much pain exists in my heart and my wife does not love or respect me as her husband, even though she claims to be trying.

Pain of holidays

I have always decorated the entire house. Made all sorts of cookies and candies and really enjoyed Christmas. I'm 16 months out from day (I have been married 35 years). I thought I would be better this year. But I think it is worse I could hardly stand to put up the Christmas tree very little decorations did I put up and I have made nothing. All I want to do is cry. I feel like the very joy of holidays has been sucked out of me by his affair. I am trying my very best to be strong for my adult children's sake but inside I'm dying. The hurt is do strong it feels like it is crushing me. Can anyone please tell me how to make this go away

Pain of holiday

I am so sorry for what you are going through, i feel your pain because i am going through the same thing, i can't tell you how to make it go away because it does not i pray that you will find peace in your heart.


The pain can be so overwhelming at times, and during Thanksgiving and Christmas, my heart is much more sensitive to the deep losses I feel. Crying is a symptom of my pain, but crying has also served as a great healer for my soul. I want you to know that you are not alone. Not only do I grieve with you, God is with you and He mourns with you. At Christmas, I remember that Jesus was called Immanuel, which means "God with us" (Matthew 1:23). In this season of our lives and in this season of Christmas, I pray that God would comfort you and give you rest. There is hope, and Christmas itself is evidence of it.

This interview Rick had with Dr. Karen Royer about the holidays was helpful to me and perhaps has some thoughts that would be helpful to you:

Blessings to you!

Re: Pain of holidays

I am literally in the same boat as you except 27 years of marriage and 33 years together ... I too won’t let my children (23 & 22) see me cry and I put on my “happy” face but I’m dying inside... I cry when hearing certain Christmas songs or even the other day trying to buy Christmas cards while standing in CVS... I’m sorry I don’t have advise to offer but just wanted to share that someone else,me, is pretty much going through the same (which almost seems exact) situation... my best to you in that you find strength (I know I’m hoping for the same!)

Pain of the holidays

look.at the Christmas tree with not one single package under it its only up because he went and bought it and guilted me into putting some decorations on it. And I cry because I feel so sad that my house used to just explode with the Christmas decorations. I miss the me that joyfully put up all the garland and extra themed trees. I miss the me that used to shop and find the perfect gifts for everyone. I miss the me that made candies and cookies Now I cry and wonder was it ever enough all I did I tried so hard to make it all so festive and perfect and it was for nothing. I wonder did he ever love me or was I just there for his comfort He started his cybersex affair 2 days after Christmas and used the tablet I bought him for Christmas . I guess I did buy the perfect present for him that year. My heart is broken. I don't think I will ever feel love or joy again. He is trying in his own ways to make me feel.better but I can't make him understand that. It's the emotional connection that he broke that needs to be fixed. All the gifts in the world cannot bring back the trust and love I had for him.

Still bad, after 5 years

It has been 5 years, and it has been a blur when D- Day on 2.1.2013, crushed on me. I do not think I have made any progress, and the Christmas holiday and new year for the past few years are very difficult.
Never a day goes by I am not thinking about it. I am still stuck at how could he, after being married for 33 years. He just expects me to snap out of it, after he has said, I am sorry.
I wish I could make it easier for myself. It is me who is trying hard to recover as he said it is all in the past, and why am I still living it.

Christmas season

I discovered my husband's affair the day after Thanksgiving in 2016, so last Christmas was awful. I was numb and nauseous the whole time. Nobody knew at that time, and keeping it hidden and having no support was a huge burden. My husband was ambivalent and very unsure of what he wanted to do, told me he was confused and needed time to think about what he had done. After a few more months of lies and subterfuge, I found out he was continuing the affair and had to tell him that he was no longer welcome to share our home. He left to live with this woman in another country. 2017 has been a long year of emotion and heartache but I was determined that last Christmas would be the worst one, and so it has turned out. Our family Christmas is intact, decorations, tree, lights, baking and cooking, gift buying, family traditions and events are as they have always been. I have had a few moments of sadness, a couple of tears, and a little anger that he has given this horrendous legacy to our children, but I have made myself listen to and enjoy as I usually do the Christmas carols and songs, the lights, festivities and parties. I have kept my focus on the children and am sustained by my incredibly supportive family and friends. I have pulled back when I felt myself slipping into sadness. I am lucky to have my life intact, I am surrounded by good people who remind me what the season is about and I am determined not to let the holidays be defined by my husband's behavior. Our Christmas will be filled with the same warm traditions as it has always been. We are together having a joyous family time, he is apart from us for the first time in 24 years. I am sorry my husband has chosen not to be part of our family anymore, but my job this year is to find the joy in all the other people who share this time of year with me. They are the ones who matter. Wishing everyone peace for Christmas and hope for a better 2018.

Tip for survival

Every year we host Thanksgiving at our home. This year we were 6 months out from our 1st Dday (I am the unfaithful). We had 21 for dinner, and over half were out of town guests. The one proactive step that we took that helped more than anything else was having a “holiday” plan. We adapted the AR travel plan to use as a guideline for how to handle tough situations. (In-laws on both sides, extended family, triggers, pretend normal). No one in our family knows of my infidelity. My husband, in his overwhelming grace, has protected me and our marriage from outside judgement or criticism. It was incredibly helpful.

Unfortunately, I am a slow learner who still struggles with pride and shame. I trickeled truth (such a fool!) and we had our second DDay December 12. :( We will be home for the holiday with just our immediate family, but I plan to use much of our holiday plan this week. My main focus is giving my husband the time and space to be sad and feel pain. I will be doing a lot of pretend normal with the kids, and that is okay. He needs to have outlets for himself throughout the holiday.

I am praying for peace and continued healing for all this holiday season.


Not to be judgmental, but offering advice from a man who was in your husband's shoes. If you have any hope of recovering, you need to stop the trickle truthing and answer all his questions with 100% honesty now. That is by far the best gift you can give him. Lying by commission or omission after discovery of the devastating betrayal is the absolute worst thing you can do to a good man. It will become the biggest obstacle to recovery, not the physical acts of adultery. My wife still shows some denial, does not own all the crap she did, and we stumble over them way too often triggering painful memories and setting back recovery.

Afraid to wrap presents

My spouse video’d me surreptitiously for about 5 minutes while I wrapping Christmas presents one night while and was obviously distraught (shaking, crying). She asked me “how is it going” and I was amazed at how strongly I replied “ok”. I have no idea why she would video me in such an embarrassing state.

Recently while helping my son move in to a new apartment I was sitting at his kitchen table trying to cut contact paper for his cabinets. I couldn’t make my hands work. I took everything to keep from crying.

Now I’m afraid to even think about the upcoming holidays.


I suggested to my spouse, that we incorporate new activities into our holidays. Activities that were not part of our old celebrations. This will be our second holiday season. Hopefully new memories will help. Everyday continues to be a struggle but I feel stronger and am convinced that the affair was not so much about me as it was about my husband's struggles with life in general.
My struggle continues to be "stay or move on".

Hi Sara, I'm working on 2 1/2

Hi Sara, I'm working on 2 1/2 yrs since D-Day and my struggle is "stay or move on" also. I feel guilty every time I get bogged down with those thoughts because I feel like I have made the decision to stay, but yet here I am wondering if I would be happier if I left, because ultimately he is my trigger. It's like you can never escape the feelings he instilled in me with it all, because he's always there. If I left and it was just me would those feelings still consume me? Probably, just like he learned the grass isn't always greener on the other side. I am lucky in the fact that my husband is a good man who made bad choices and now he's trying to make things right. I know it could be worse I'm just glad to see others have the same issues as me, it doesn't make me feel so alone and wrong with my emotions. Thank you for sharing.

16 months since my nightmare

This is my second Christmas since my dday. Last year was so unbelievably hard. My kids are grown but they were both home and so I had to put on a happy face. I cried all day in my room on Christmas Eve. Somehow they didn’t know what was going on. This year I’ve been having some difficult days again, although not as bad. Still a lot of ruminating and asking myself, “How could he have done this to me-this person I trusted more than anyone?” I found out he had been cheating on me for our whole dating time and marriage - so for more than 30 years. How does a woman move forward with the reality of such extreme betrayal? It still feels like a nightmare many days. I try to compare it to a severe physical injury or accident and how long it takes to recover from that, all the treatment and physical therapy needed. And I feel like I’ve been in an emotional head on collision so why do I think I should be “all better” yet? I pray for healing every day and the grace to reach a state of forgiveness. He’s truly repentant, doing everything right, received treatment, etc. But I struggle with feeling like my past has been stolen from me and I don’t know who I am anymore.

3 years since D-day

This is my third Christmas since finding out about my husband's year long affair that began with a female colleague at work...at Christmas time. He left me for her. I prayed he'd come home and after two weeks he did. Then my pain well and truly kicked in. I really thought the decision to stay together would be the right one but I struggle with feelings of 'am I an idiot for having him back'. My husband seems repentant but lied so much that my trust is shattered. I've prayed for healing...wanted to change and feel good again but the pain is relentless. How on earth do you get rid of the pain?


I think you are doing a disservice by using the 2 year mark for recovery. Some betrayals are complex issues and takes much longer than 2 years to recover from. Yes, by 2 years the pain is less but I believe it depends on the type of marital counseling couples have afterwards that determines how long it takes to heal. If you are basing your opinion on couples getting into your program immediately after D-day I think it would be best to say that so people aren't thinking there is something wrong with them for not being in a better place at the 2 year mark.


I love this time of year usually, but, my D day was two and a half months ago and I was trickled information from my husband's APs husband as he found out more about their affair. The last information I received was last month. The main bump in the road for me is that we go to his parents every year and his parents house is one of the places my husband took his AP. I know, I know, you're wondering if his parents knew anything about the affair. My husband's affair was with his second cousin who lives out of state. He took her back to their hometown to see relatives they hadn't seen in a long time. I'm having problems with this because it is the last place they had sexual intercourse. I'm not sure if I can make it through a day at their house and I don't think I could stay home and let him go there alone. The last two times he went to his parents without me are days he was with her.

Re: I still don’t know whether to stay or go

What am I supposed to do? At this point, I’m still married only for my children. My feelings towards my spouse have changed. I found out the end of May that he was having an affair. He has cheated on me before as well. We have been married 13 years, and he confessed that throughout our marriage he has hit on other women and gotten their phone numbers. He had secret phones on several occasions to talk to other women. He lied to me for almost 2 years about sleeping with other women, and I knew in my heart there was more than what he had told me at the time. He says he’s sorry and wants to work things out. I’m just so unhappy and things are not getting easier. If he is a habitual cheater, is it possible for him to ever change? I’m so worried about him hurting me and my kids again! I’m so not in the mood for Christmas or anything else anymore. I’m sad all of the time. He is doing counseling, but how do I know he’s committed or just trying to make it better for now? Please, someone tell me whether I’m supposed to stay in this marriage just for my kids, or is it time to let go?


I think holidays are going to be hard so we just wait until they are over before we make choices. I try to avoid triggers but the world can be small and triggers will happen. On D Day, my husband said "I will do anything to make this up to you". My response was "give me two years to process it". In that time I have tried to forgive, tried to show empathy and tried to work on me. I still hurt everyday but not as much as in the beginning. Some days I feel a small measure of gratitude toward him and other days I feel anger and frustration.
I think all of these feelings are normal.
With God's help---I will come out on the other side stronger.

You are only “supposed” to do

You are only “supposed” to do whatever you want. You can just stay for now and take it a day at a time. You can only handle what you can handle. When that’s too much, leave. Until then, grow and work on yourself and live your best life so that this time isn’t wasted! For me I’m 1 1/12 years in and I am having a rough holiday. I try to take it a day at a time and I definitely do a lot more for myself. When I look back, I have a lot of regrets that I can control, so I’m working on those. Be patient. Don’t expect to be further in recovery than you are, and don’t worry about when to leave...just worry about staying or leaving today.

Stay or go?

It would be nice to have a magic answer to this one. It's been almost a year since I found out about my cheating husband. Never in a million years would I have thought he could do something like this. We have been married almost 38 years. He is trying to make it right, but the trust is not there for me. I'm not sure what I am going to do. I am acting like I am ok, but I'm really not. We are in counseling, but I'm not sure he will change or that I can look at him in the same way.
I guess my advice to you would be give it some time. If you have just found out, give yourself about 90 days and really sort things out. I know it is different if you have kids at home, but if his cheating is affecting them, is it really worth it? Divorce is not the end of the world. Good luck to you and God Bless you. This is one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with. My heart goes out to anyone who has to endure the pain of an affair.

Holiday s

How does one leave? When you have 25 years worth of friends, family, retirement savings etc...
On the other hand, how does one stay when you do not trust your spouse?

4 months past "revelation" & my family hates my husband

I too am experiencing mixed emotions about the upcoming holidays. Thanksgiving is in a couple of days and I've been dreading about having to make this choice for months now. Hindsight is 20/20 but I wish I could go back in time and not tell my family anything about the affair. In my raw emotional state, I confided in them & now they all hate my husband and want nothing to do with him. They aren't interested in being apart of the recovery process. They don't want to see him, don't want to hear his name, and he is not welcome at any family get-together including Thanksgiving and Christmas. So I've been faced with a decision: do I choose to attend Thanksgiving (and Christmas) at my parent's house and at the same time choose to leave my husband to fend for himself and/or attend his parent's without me? Or do I choose to spend the day with my husband and choose to forego the holidays without my family this year? My thoughts: I'm choosing to stand by my husband down this path of recovery and I'm choosing to stay in my marriage. So how can I do that and at the same time choose to spend the holidays apart from him, even if it's only for a few hours with my family. I just hate that my family is taking this stance and making my life increasingly more difficult than it already is. I have to worry about my life and my marriage right now and these "outside" views is putting unwanted pressure on me/us. Any thoughts or insight is greatly appreciated.


Wayne. I love all of the videos affair recovery provides but I am 2 1/2 years past D Day(and 81 ) and I cannot cannot get rid of the visions of my husband and his lover together. It really has me in a giant hole. We are married 60 years.I know I do not love him at this time but we have spent so many years together.The affair lasted a year.DD

I can't get past this

The holidays are such a trigger for me. My husband has never given me gold jewelry but gave his mistress a gold "past, present, future" necklace. It took months after D day for him to confess that and still brushed it off as no big deal. Her birthday is A day removed from Valentine's day so that too is a reminded of his 8 year betrayal. I was stonewalled and not permitted to have any intimact..no hand holding, nothing. I specifically asked him for a "past present, future" piece of gold jewelry but he said he will not buy me jewelry. I feel resentful and depressed every holiday.

What type of affair was it?

Our free Affair Analyzer provides you with insights about your unique situation and gives you a personalized plan of action.
Take the Affair Analyzer

Free Surviving Infidelity Bootcamp

Our experts designed this step-by-step guide to help you survive infidelity. Be intentional with your healing with this free 7-day bootcamp.
I would highly recommend giving this a try.
-D, Texas