Not Just Another Christmas

Samuel discusses how to make it through the holidays, though the marriage's future may be uncertain.

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Ambivalence and Separation

Is there anything you would add to encourage those of us whose spouses are ambivalent? For those of us who are currently separated?

ambivalent....

thank you for your comment. i'm sorry for the added pain this Christmas season....it's rough when it's like that. at some level, i'd be rather selfish and let Christmas be meaningful to YOU personally as much as possible. you can't make them want to enjoy the season right? but you can. you can't make them choose you, but you can choose to enjoy the season and you can choose them, to the degree they allow you into their life depending on whose been unfaithful/betrayed as i didn't pick that up in your post. ambivalence is just tough as all get out as it strikes to the core in many ways. i would encourage you to celebrate the fact that we need a savior. when jesus was born, the fact that a savior was coming was highly questionable and highly ambivalent by most. the fact that you're in a situation where you need a miracle can drive you closer to the Lord. it can drive you closer to the sense of expectation and hope, like many had in the day of the birth of Christ and it can serve you the same way. hoping, expecting, believing, trusting, all in the face of uncertainty fear and doubt. Christmas isn't for one spouse or the other, it's for YOU personally. it's for your own recovery and you're own salvation and you're own healing. i would do all i could to stay active, and to make it as meaningful as you can for YOU and for your kids if you have any. it doesn't have to suck at all. it can be very peaceful and very joyous for you but you'll probably have to work at it. when it was ugly early on, we still did some great stuff and just made the best out of it and i chose to do all i could to make it special for me, despite the fact that it was surrounded by pain. i sure hope that helps some. thank you for posting and watching.

Thankful

Thank you for this post, and comment. it has helped me keep perspective through this tetter totter season - we've had great joy, and deep grief as we have been "mourning" the loss of who we were before due to my indiscretions. I'm daily desperately in need of a Savior....for unto US is one born.....for he so loved the world.

Amen. Marantha

Christmas, anniversary, birthday

Samuel,
We've celebrated our anniversary, my birthday and Christmas (within a week) over the last 18 years. This week was our 19th wedding anniversary and it was disastrous, the worst day ever since disclosure 8 months ago. We're in recovery and I hoped to toast a new beginning-he wasn't ready, it's too painful for him. It sent me into a tailspin of rage, despair, grief for 2 days. How do we deal with celebrating birthdays and holidays during recovery? We have 2 beautiful girls. Any more advice you could give would be great.
Thank-you.

that's alot in one week Annalisa....

hi annalisa. thanks for posting. i'm terribly sorry. .that's a lot to handle in one week for sure. for starters, please remember, that anniversary's are ALWAYS hard as heck for about two to three years for sure. so it's no doubt at all that he was flooding and it all came back to center stage. that's what happens in anniversaries.....it brings it all back. it reminds them heavily of it all. it's like they are back to day one. one year is the hardest. two is still hard, three isn't bad at all and after that, it's usually very easy. in terms of holidays in general this is an exceptional article: https://www.affairrecovery.com/survivors/Jack/surviving-the-holidays........... and keep in mind, 8 months is actually no time when you look at the grand scheme of things in recovery from infidelity. i would encourage you to be careful as your two days of anger and rage are normal but send a negative message to him for sure as i'm reading between the lines but safe to say you're the unf spouse right? if i'm wrong, then i'll have to re post as it won't relate as much. but if he's betrayed, this is a huge reminder season and will be for a couple years. typically it's tough for two to three days for sure for the betrayed spouse. i would not pull back, but instead push forward. more specifically, i'd give him space but yet be loving and kind. if you pull back you're only ministering more rejection to him and he won't feel safe to share his heart and be emotional. he will be angry and probably feel like "oh great i have a bad day and then you get angry at me? you have no compassion. you have no mercy. you just love me and things when it's going well and you don't have to feel the pain of it." so i'd be very gracious and long suffering with him (again, if he's the betrayed) and understand it's still fresh. yes, at 8 months its fresh. i would still pursue him but give him compassion when it's tough and realize he's still re living it right now. but make it special for you too. enjoy the time. make it redemptive for you and the girls as well and realize it's not over and you're not cascading into divorce or the end, but it's a highly sensitive time and he's not himself right now at all. he's going to need patience from you and compassion. the way you diffuse the intensity of it all is to be patient, and let him know that YOU KNOW it's a tough time and you're willing to do whatever he needs to feel safe and to make it through this tough time. it won't be like this all the time or every anniversary. it won't. but right now, it's tough and will be difficult. there is no way around it and you'll make it worse if you pressure him or make him heal or make him hurry up and enjoy the season. that only turns the knife, if you will. i sure hope that helps you .

Thanks Samuel, but I am the

Thanks Samuel, but I am the betrayed spouse, he's the unfaithful one. Hope you can add to your post, I look forward to hearing from you. Annalisa

wowza....i'm so sorry...

annalisa, i'm very sorry. man, that's tough and quite honestly toughER to deal with. im going to be blunt, as i think you need to be concerned about a few things so brace yourself a bit please. for him to have that mentality at 8 months when HE is the unfaithful is very concerning. I don't blame you at all for feeling the floor come out from underneath you. to me, that's a huge red flag. he may be grieving the loss of the affair partner still and still in detox mode, depending on the severity of the affair and the connection with the affair partner and he may be resenting you for making him have to break things off. he may still be angry for the life he has and secretly want to be somewhere else. for him, the unfaithful, to be the one who is angry and is upset at a toast to new life when HE is the one who cheated would make my skin crawl and i think it may be the tipping point of something going on inside of him. or another thought is he may be so struggling with self absorption and shame that he said 'it's too painful' as he's immersed in his own pain and self absorption and is way short sighted right now. have you done any recovery work? what sort of help have you received? i would be concerned and think about accelerating the recovery work you're doing and get what we call 'infidelity-specific' help asap. i can help with some suggestions but please give me some thoughts on what you've done thus far? take care and thanks for your post.

Hi Samuel, we are in weekly

Hi Samuel, we are in weekly couples therapy so far, have been for the last 6 months. We actually discussed our anniversary this week and he said it was too painful because he couldn't face the truth of what he did, he's committed to recovery, but he was in a bad place emotionally, reflective, quiet. I was ranting and raging for 2 days at him, and I know that wasn't good either. We are to discuss our expectations on our special occasions so we're not disappointed and to start doing couples things like going to a movie, dinner and create new memories to replace the bad ones There's still a lot of work ahead of us, but our therapist says we're getting better slowly.
Thanks, Annalisa

thank you for clarifying...

annalisa, thank you for your clarity. at some level, it's very early on in recovery and i get that for sure. it still does concern me he would be that overcome with shame and miss an opportunity to grab a moment like that with you. having been where he is at and worse, i still (graciously and honestly) would express some concern over that reaction. at some level, time will tell on whether or not it's the deep inward truth he is experiencing....i just have my reservations about believing that at face value. i'd also encourage you to give the ems weekend some thought as i think it will expedite the process you are in. "We are to discuss our expectations on our special occasions so we're not disappointed and to start doing couples things like going to a movie, dinner and create new memories to replace the bad ones There's still a lot of work ahead of us, but our therapist says we're getting better slowly."----careful with that, as unless you do some deep recovery work, that sort of 'reconnection attempts' may be harder than you think. i hope you'll be able to continue moving forward. all the best to you in your recovery.

Dday1

Christmas Day 2012 was Dday 1 for me. I was treated horribly on that day and humiliated in front of my family. Since then, for the past two Christmases, I have spent the day alone, with no one, not even my grown sons and their families. I just can't be around anyone. If I could skip the holidays altogether and go and hide out until January 2, I would be good with that. We are still married but living as roommates because I can't stand the thought of his dirty hands touching me after they touched her. Our 37 year marriage is no longer pure and that eats at my heart. His 20 year relationship with his coworker ( 2 physical affairs within that relationship- that I KNOW of) has destroyed my joy in life. I feel robbed of those years now. All I want to do is isolate. I still have meltdowns because of the many gaps in his story that do not add up. I do not trust. He says he is trying, but he is still getting angry and emotionally abusive when I ask questions about the affairs. . I want nothing to do with Christmas, except to go to church, and yet I have to fake it so my kids and grandkids won't be disappointed. I am so emotionally exhausted.

Dealing with Infidelity and Unfaithful Spouse wanting divorce

Hello I am having a hard time adjusting this Christmas holiday to a possible failed marriage. My husband and I have been married for 6 years and have 2 beautiful daughters under the age of 5 (4 yr old and 3month old). I recently just had our last child in September and in October noticed things weren't quite right with the hubby and thought it would pass but then after a few weeks he told me he didn't have feelings for me anymore and the love was gone and that we were just two different to stay together and we had nothing in common anymore and wanted a divorce. So I was devastated and packed up my things and went home to my dad to clear my head. A week later he said he was looking for an apartment and wanted us to move out. There was nothing that I could say to him that would change his mind and he didn't feel like counseling was an option. Then a few weeks later I found out about an affair he was having with a coworker which started in October (around the same time he became distant) and I have been going down a spiraling path ever since. When I told him I found all the incriminating love notes to his significant other and saw how they were talking about moving in together. It was only then when He then tried to apologize and feel sorry for his actions. He suggested that we get a divorce cuz I didn't deserve that and I needed better. But then I suggested that we get a really good counselor to help us cope with everything and figure out the underlying cause of why he has been so unhappy all the years of our marriage. And I thought that maybe we could salvage some amount of hope for us as a married couple. He agreed and me and the girls moved back to our home thinking that this would be a good idea for our family but after just one week of being back he still would rather stay at his apartment and only comes to visit with the girls a couple of hours a day and we have only had one counseling session but didn't get to talk about the infidelity. He has been back and forth about whether or not he wants to be married or not and he still from time to time keeps in touch with the other woman. He doesn't want us to come to his apartment unless we call first and he flinches when I try to touch him or suggest he spend the night. He gets angry that I want to know things about the affair and only tells me bits and pieces. He also feels like I am trying to keep tabs on him by calling or texting at random times and yes I admitted that I have checked his phone records and Facebook cuz I feel like he hasn't really showed me that I could trust him completely yet. Now we are at his family's home for the holidays and its is so hard being here with him cuz he has clearly expressed to me once again that he just wants a divorce. I am having a hard time enjoying myself and am trying to put on a good face for my kids and his family even though his family already know what's going on. I cry all the time and feel so confused. He still calls me babe and wants to do family activities but we don't talk or sit next to each other. I feel stuck almost cuz I just moved me and the kids back in to our home and thinking their dad would be willing to work on things now my feelings are hurt even more. I don't know if my husband feels like he should be with the other woman (who just got a divorce from her husband) or feels like he was robbed of having the single life and wants that again. I don't know how to let go of this feeling that he is making a horrible decision because he may be going through an inner life crisis within himself but then I feel like it may be the best cuz we are both dealing with depression over the unhappiness. I keep wanting to try and he wants otherwise. And this is not the first time where he has cheated. He cheated 4 years ago right before the birth of our first child and had a miscarriage with that woman and he came running back and apologizing and I took him back.
Should we keep doing counseling to help us cope or should we just part ways? It's so hard to not keep in touch with him because the kids are involved. My heart is so hurt and my mind can't take much more of this confusion but some part of me still loves him. I don't know how to let go.

tough branda but glad you posted

Branda, thank you for posting and watching. it's a tough spot, but from my view, he's only sorry when you're tough and call him out and stand up for yourself. when you're pursuing him, he's the rock star. some call this a rock star affair. meaning, he's getting attention from the affair partner as well as from you, so he's got all he wants and feels like he's wanted non stop. i know it's tough to hear, but I would change the dynamic totally and stop pursuing him. as long as you're chasing him back to the marriage you'll unfortunately have to chase him to stay in the marriage and you'll be chasing him again and again and again. i'm sorry to be so direct, but it's the truth of what we typically see. i'd pull back and begin to work on your own healing and start to protect yourself legally meaning consult an attorney and possibly, i know this is tough, file for divorce to protect yourself. i would also safely assume he is still in contact with the affair partner more than occasionally and is probably still in the affair. his ambivalence is key to the fact that he's probably still in the affair and is pushing for the divorce to go chase the affair partner. it's sad but he's in a huge pit of deception and confusion and typically people only change due to the threat of loss, consequences or real pain and right now, there doesn't seem to be much at all . i know this is direct, but it's what I'd suggest you do if i was a friend.

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