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New Beginnings :
Anyone feeling triggered by the holidays?


 Fablegirl (original poster member #56784) posted at 6:17 PM on Monday, November 29th, 2021

Just wanted to hear how everyone copes with the holidays, hoping for some uplift. This is my second Thanksgiving/Christmas since my divorce and the first since I moved from the family farm where I lived with XWH for more than 20 years. I live in a beautiful place now that I love, but don't have the indoor space to entertain anymore. However, I am feeling sad that my matriarchal role in entertaining my nieces and nephews and friends seems passed. My china and silver are [packed away in boxes.

For Christmas Eve I am having dinner out with SO and DD. But I have to admit this hurts, and that XWH's family, with whom I tried to remain close, has not indicated any interest in having me join them for any gathering this year. I am close with them individually, for the most part, but it's a different deal now that XWH and AP are now a couple. I feel excluded and then end up doing dumb, reactive stuff, like posting photos of me, SO and DD having Thanksgiving dinner together as if to say, "See? We are doing great." But doing that makes it worse, my sense of exclusion and being thrown away.

What hurts the most is that this time 7 years ago I invited AP to sit at my Thanksgiving and Christmas table because I felt sorry for her. She had no family or friends. That's when her affair with XWH began and my family unraveled. I relive that every year.

posts: 226   ·   registered: Jan. 9th, 2017   ·   location: Mid Atlantic
id 8701646

twicefooled ( member #42976) posted at 8:46 PM on Monday, November 29th, 2021

Very much, especially this year. This will be my 8th Christmas as a single mom to my kiddos (now 15 and 18). Their dad has had addiction issues for a long time but he managed to keep them mostly in check and at least see the kids (sporadically). This year, though, radio silence. My son and I saw him back in March of this year and he looks like walking death, was mumbling incoherently and stopped by the house to talk to our son. That was the last time any of us have heard from him. Our daughter hasn't seen him since last November.

Their dad's family still invites us to celebrate holidays (I normally decline because it's too awkward, but the kids have fun and normally get to see their dad). This year the kids have NO interest in being around him. He missed our son's 18th birthday this year and also missed our daughter's 15th. The kids have advocated for themselves with him family and said that if he is invited, that they will not be attending but will make arrangements to see them separately. They know that they cannot force anyone to do anything but have their boundaries firm (I'm so proud of them).

Now I'm on pins and needles till the holidays are over. The kids will be pissed if he doesn't communicate and will be pissed if he does. It's not their fault and they are trying to process his shit while being teenagers.

I've reached out to a therapist to help me with this, both kiddos are in therapy and I thought I was healed but how can one be healed when it comes to dealing with an addict? crying

May 29 2021 ***reclaimed myself and decided to delete my story with my ex because I'm now 7 years free from him and mentally healthier than I've been in years.

*********When you know better, you can do better*************

posts: 432   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2014
id 8701661

countrydirt ( member #55758) posted at 1:38 AM on Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

Last year, my first as a single man, every holiday (Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas) was an emotional melt down and I spent many hours weeping over memories. Thanksgiving was really tough in 2020 but I survived. It was the first with my family single after 31 years married. Mom asked me to bless the table that year, and I barely made it through.

I "decided" on New Year's Eve 2021 to not allow the memories to creep in.

This year has been great so far. Thanksgiving was wonderful. My new girlfriend came along with my son and I and fit right in with the other 15 family members who were there. The only slight trigger came when I was showing her around the house and we came upon the "wall of couples"photographs in a spare bedroom and she saw the picture of my ex and I along with the photos of my siblings and their spouses. I think she was a bit more disturbed than I was.

Related, my ex texted me before Thanksgiving and told me that she was having a hard time since she now has no family. Hell, her own sister and family came to my family's celebration. I told her that last year was hard for me, but I expect nothing but smooth sailing from now on out. I guess XW is just starting to realize what she threw out.

3 adult sons
Married 32 years. DDay1 - June 2016, DDay 2 - April 2017, Final DDay - May 2020. Divorced - January 2021

posts: 363   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2016   ·   location: Colorado
id 8701712

JanaGreen ( member #29341) posted at 5:01 AM on Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

Oh wow, I can see why Thanksgiving would be a trigger. Ouch. I'm sorry the AP and your ex repaid your kindness in such a shitty way.

Holidays stress me out. Coparenting and sharing time over the holidays stresses me out. Having to see ex more often than usual stresses me out. My family acting like it's tragic anytime my kids aren't there because it's their dad's time stresses me out AND makes me feel guilty. It's not fun anymore unless they are with me but I fake it.

posts: 9446   ·   registered: Aug. 17th, 2010   ·   location: Southeast US
id 8701731

leafields ( member #63517) posted at 6:15 AM on Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

What about having a family potluck before Christmas? Maybe there is a place that you can rent or is free that you can use and invite your family and use your special dishes.

Me: BW
Married 34 years, 3 DS
DDay #1: March 26, 2018, DDay #2 8/26/2019
Filed for D: 11/16/2020
D Final: 2/25/2021

posts: 782   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8701736

cbgrace1980 ( member #64109) posted at 10:14 PM on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021

This will be my first Christmas officially divorced from my spouse but last year I was alone. I am planning on trying to live as normally as possible, focusing on my blessings and the fact that I don't have to do anything I don't want to do this year! I know it must be very hard for you to be in a new place but I am so glad that you love it. I bet things will go better than you think. I'm going to focus on being grateful for what I have this year. I don't even have money to buy anyone presents, but it will be okay. Hugs to you! Let us know how you are doing!!!

posts: 143   ·   registered: Jun. 12th, 2018
id 8702024

Shehawk ( member #68741) posted at 3:15 AM on Thursday, December 30th, 2021

Sorry about the changes in your life.

Infidelity hurts. I have seen the pain it causes my adult child what their father did and is still doing to the family. That and Covid made the past few years very hard on me and people I love.

The good thing is that each year I am away from wh the healing increases. And my life gets better. Lots better

I wish you new beautiful experiences. Less pain. More healing.

posts: 827   ·   registered: Nov. 5th, 2018   ·   location: VA
id 8706481

Shehawk ( member #68741) posted at 3:19 AM on Thursday, December 30th, 2021

And if it helps, lots of us side with you and think the AP is aweful for what they did to repay your kindness with deceit

posts: 827   ·   registered: Nov. 5th, 2018   ·   location: VA
id 8706482

BrokenheartedUK ( member #43520) posted at 5:38 PM on Thursday, December 30th, 2021

I feel you. I still struggle with the holidays but for me it’s the run up to New Years. My wedding anniversary is New Year’s Eve so that’s always fun. And Dday was 1/4. Im going on 8 years now and it does get better. But there’s always a little part of me who waits for the shoe to drop this time of year. (((())))

Me: BS
He cheated and then lied. Apparently cheaters lie. Huh. 13 months of false R. Divorced! 8/16 3 teenage kids
"The barn's burnt down
I can see the moon"
-Mizuta Masahide

posts: 3342   ·   registered: May. 24th, 2014
id 8706532

Justsomeguy ( member #65583) posted at 8:26 PM on Thursday, December 30th, 2021

I guess it's true what they say, no good deed goes unpunished...your XWH & AP are a piece of work.

Yeah, I get the feeling robbed of your life part. We hosted for Christmas every year and I loved it. We even invited people who were alone to join us. I built a table that sat 12-14 and with the island and other options, we could easily host 18-20. Anyway, all of that is gone and I try the best I can with my kiddos. Christmas is okay, but it is very subdued. My best friend who is also alone usually joins us and brings his guitar, and my sister pops in as well, so that makes five, six if you count the cat.

I just resolve myself to making it through and getting back to work. My career is demanding and thankfully a distraction. It's good you have an SO during this time of year, especially considering the pandemic. I spend a lot of time alone which was difficult initially, but has gotten dangerously comfortable. I might not be able to change.

I don't really have any advice other than getting the feeling of loss and injustice. Life can be shitty I guess. Just remember that you are not your feelings. They are temporary and just something you experience. They do not define you.

Me:53STBXWW:51DD#1: false confession of EA Dec. 2016. False R for a year.DD#2: confessed to year long PA Dec. 2 2017 (was about to be outed)Called it off.Denied having an affair in court papers.

posts: 1187   ·   registered: Jul. 25th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8706571

Tallgirl ( member #64088) posted at 3:15 PM on Monday, January 3rd, 2022

I was putting out the Christmas stockings, and there were four. Had a small gut punch, then took out a deep breath and hung three.

Christmas was nice if not subdued this year.

Glad that you have an SO to spend holiday time with. Creating new Christmas traditions is not always easy.

May 2022 treat you well

Legally separated, one more step.

posts: 1787   ·   registered: Jun. 11th, 2018
id 8707132
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