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New Beginnings :
Christmas has been…a hell of a lot harder than I thought it would be.

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 CheesecakeBaker (original poster member #78991) posted at 3:54 AM on Monday, December 27th, 2021

I thought I was doing okay. I thought I could distract myself. I thought I could pretend that the first Christmas post divorce would be alright. I went on a trip with my family to celebrate the holiday. It’s been more frustrating than fun. Seeing my parents and my siblings all interact with and hug and hold hands and talk with their significant others has been super hard on me. I feel like just these last couple of days of "Christmas vacation" have knocked me backwards a few yards on my path to healing. I felt like I was doing so well - and BOOM - it’s like I opened a closet and all this infidelity-related trauma and PTSD started pouring out.

I felt miserable all Christmas. I Still do. I just want to be alone at this point. I’m way over my social limit right now, with all these heavy feelings about to spill out of me. On Christmas, I couldn’t help but think about all the holiday traditions and memories I made with my ex-wife and ex-puppy over the last several years that are suddenly, cruelly, lost out the window. The holiday brought back all that sadness I felt throughout this year. All the betrayal I felt. The anger at my ex wife for not being willing to communicate with me about what was really going on. For making me feel that it was somehow *my * fault. For leading me to believe that she was willing to work on things, but doing nothing to actually demonstrate that. For leading me on, letting me think that me doing what she told me she needed, for "giving her space", was all to help us... and she was going behind my back and investing all her time and energy into pursuing another relationship.

I keep beating myself up. Thinking about how I feel so down and miserable and broken up so often and how I have all these pieces I have to pick up to start to put my life back together and she has...seemingly nothing like that. She got to keep the house we lived in, the dog we raised, the friends we made, the restaurants we loved...the new boyfriend she started dating while we were married. And here I am, terrified of being alone forever. Nervous to start interacting with women again someday. Clueless as to how, or when, to even begin.

I’m upset about how things ended. I’m angry at myself for not speaking up sooner, for the things I left unsaid. For not defending myself when she was treating me poorly. For not calling her out on her shit (like staying out till 2am, getting drunk and "watching movies" with another man while her husband stayed home...what the hell is that!?). For not making it abundantly clear that I was being hurt and felt disrespected and that lines were being crossed in our marriage.

It makes me so sad to think how she didn’t even seem to *fight* for us. How I wasn’t worth her just telling the other guy "no" or cutting things off the moment they started to get even *close* to "the line". Why wasn’t I worth that to her? How much of our relationship was bullshit to her? How much of it, if any, was real? I remember how fucking devastating it was when, after I told her we should get divorced, she cried and said that seemed really drastic and that we should try a separation for a few months first. I responded, "why, so you can just fuck around with Mark (her AP) for a few months and *then* decide you don’t want to be with me? No, let’s get it over with now." I told her point blank several times that we could not improve our relationship while the other guy was a part of that relationship too (because, no matter what she said, he certainly was a part of it--against my will and knowledge). She always refused to cut him out or deflected and told me he had nothing to do with "us". I asked her one last time to cut ties with him and she flat out said no. I knew it was over.

I’m angry that I lost friends when I moved. I was planning to get season tickets to the local NFL team near where I used to live and go to football games every week with them. Now, I watch them on TV and feel like shit that I’m not there with those buddies I got to know and subsequently lost.

I don’t want her back. I don’t want anything to do with her. Well, that’s not true. I *do* wish I could know if the way she handled things has fucked her up as much as it’s fucked with my head. I know I’m not ever going to get that closure from her--but I wish she could truly know how badly she made me feel, how absolutely torn apart and broken I have been. I wish I knew that she was feeling guilty and torn up for how she treated me. A Taylor Swift lyric has been hitting close to home with me lately: "just between us did the love affair maim you too?"

I miss coming home to someone to talk to. I miss having someone to text memes and inside jokes to. I miss having someone *miss* me. I miss being hugged and kissed. I miss being desired. I miss going on long drives and listening to meaningful music and holding hands with my partner. I miss having a partner and now... months after the divorce, I realize with her...I never really even had a partner.

Anyway. Sorry for the ranting. Why do I keep hashing this out? Why do I keep thinking these things? Having the same arguments with myself over and over again?? Why can’t she get out of my head??

posts: 111   ·   registered: Jun. 22nd, 2021
id 8706092
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src9043 ( member #75367) posted at 5:45 AM on Monday, December 27th, 2021

The holidays will be over shortly. This is a terrible time for newly minted Betrayed Spouses and the newly divorced. I have been there and experienced it. No fun whatsoever. I have followed your story from the beginning. The changes in you are quite positive. You were a doormat. She was simply horrible and treated you miserably. She is now Mark's problem or the next poor sap's problem. You are rightfully angry. It can fuel your need to move on and meet someone worthy. You have much to offer and the new year offers you a fresh start. It is time to dust yourself off and start going out casually with other women. Keep expectations extremely low or you will find the process quite a chore and disappointing. But, eventually, you will find love again. Take what you have learned from your marriage in order to find someone of much better character. Be careful, but you just might be pleasantly rewarded in getting out there. Also, try and cultivate friendships with other men. I don't think I am telling you anything you don't know or haven't been told to you by others. But, I am urging you to start moving forward socially now. There is no better time to start than the beginning of a new year.

Your last entries indicated that work was going well. I hope that it is still the case. Draw for your successes there to provide you with well-deserved pride and a sense of accomplishment. You are young and your opportunities are limitless now that you are free from a very toxic marriage. I wish you a successful and happy New Year. Your life will improve immensely if you put in the work. We are all pulling for you.

posts: 506   ·   registered: Sep. 7th, 2020
id 8706095
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BearlyBreathing ( member #55075) posted at 6:53 AM on Monday, December 27th, 2021

Hey there. You are doing well, actually. The holidays are hard — the "firsts" are hard. And it feels like you take a step back, but actually you just are purging some of the stuff that you are still working through, and that is good. Feel the feels— and then let them go.

the roller coaster is smoothing out a bit, and it will end in time. (TIME— worst four letter word, right?).
Keep moving forward. That 2-5 years healing is if your R or D… so these little bumps will pop up now again. But you are healing. You are getting better.

Hang in there for the new year.

Me: BS 54 (49 on d-day)Him: WH. 64D-Day 8/15/2016 LTA
Kinda liking my new life :-)

**horrible typist, lots of edits to correct. :-/ **

posts: 4374   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2016   ·   location: Northern CA
id 8706102
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LostInHisFog ( member #78503) posted at 9:49 AM on Monday, December 27th, 2021

Christmas has been...a hell of a lot harder than I thought it would be.

Thank goodness it’s almost over. I’m sorry to read it hit you so hard at once and distractions didn’t work. Don’t compare the two of you because right now we, the BS we, are not reaping the benefits of leaving a life of infidelity yet, it’s still too raw, everything is incredibly unbalanced and unfair right now, but the positive is it’s a fresh start, the opportunities and new discoveries are there waiting for us until we’re ready to embrace it.

I get the social limit comment but start micro dosing yourself with social exposures, even if that starts in the early new year, but it’s going to happen so band-aid rip that shit. A lunch with brothers or coworkers, after drinks with sister and her friends, download tinder and swipe/chat, it’s ok to not take it further, but do dip your toe in... I’d hold off the blind dates set up by family just now simply because they’re likely to set you up with more serious companions (especially mothers, holly-molly I had a date set up for Christmas lunch shocked ) and the last thing you want is to explain why you’re not returning Sally’s text to your sister/mother/aunt and feeling pressured.

As to your whys at the end... because being cheated on is shithouse. you’ve mentioned before you handled getting out of your M like a check list, now you’re free of infidelity there is no check list to follow to occupy your mind so now the work to heal begins, force yourself out of the mental quicksand however you can (physically like exercise/gaming or mentally like meditation or reading), some days you won’t find that branch to pull yourself out of the quicksand but other days you will but you need to try at least so you learn what works and what doesn’t, it’s all we can do now, try to make it better. I still believe distractions are the easiest way to get through the mind loops, wether it’s washing the dishes or going for a hike or blasting music or gaming, distractions help.

You’re doing better than you think! Best wishes CCB

I edit because I'm fluent in typo & autocorrect hates me.

posts: 266   ·   registered: Mar. 14th, 2021
id 8706108
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 12:49 PM on Monday, December 27th, 2021

This normal. This is to be expected. The first holidays after a break up are rough.

You posted "why weren’t you good enough for her to fight for the marriage ". That is backwards thinking. YOU were good enough. It was HER flawed behavior that allowed her to cheat and lie.

It’s hard to see it has/had nothing to do with you. But I suspect she will be the type of person to cheat again and again. Only after she cheats on the next guy or two will you see it was never about you.

It was about being with a person who was morally bankrupt. You just didn’t know it.

Be thankful you had family to spend time with at the holidays. Next year will be better. You’ll see.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 11183   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8706116
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 12:54 PM on Monday, December 27th, 2021

I dated a serial cheating boyfriend on my early 20s.

After I dumped him and refused to "go back" with him, he tried all sorts of things to "run into me". See me. Chat with me.

Every time he tried to lovebomb me I would remind myself of his crappy behavior and selfish tendencies. He would be "pouring his heart out" and making promises but I knew it was over.

When you get those feelings of despair, remind yourself if the lies and disrespect you had thrown at you in your marriage. Be thankful for peace you have now.

It takes time to start over. You made the hardest decision of your life — To move on. Keep looking forward.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 11183   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8706118
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guvensiz ( member #75858) posted at 4:18 AM on Tuesday, December 28th, 2021

Seeing my parents and my siblings all interact with and hug and hold hands and talk with their significant others has been super hard on me.

It's all about how you look at things. Yes, you may have not your SO but you have the people who you love and who love you, it is a privilege and luck for you to have them by your side at a time like this.
You are not cursed forever, there will be Christmas in the future when you hug your SO, maybe some times there will be not, that's life.
Unfortunately, most of the people in today's world have to experience what you are going through. You've been successful in a way that most people fail to do. Of course, healing doesn't happen as fast as making the necessary moves. But I believe it will not be as much as others.
There are things that you are quite rightly angry about at her.
The things you say show how clearly you see what was going on. But another thing you have to see is that there is nothing you can do to change them. All you could do was do the things you've already done. That's why most people here, including me, congratulate you.

You get angry at yourself too for things you didn't do. But again, you did you could do. You said what you had to say to her, you told her about your discomfort. It's not like she didn't notice anything because you didn't say it. She was aware of everything, how can't she be? She did everything knowingly and willingly. She was already out when you came here to take advice to save your M. By passively doing nothing, she showed that there was no hope. Sad but luckily, she didn't make any efforts to false R. She may have said reluctantly she wanted to work on marriage, but she really saved you from wasting any more time by doing nothing. In fact, she could n't say even in words that she chose your marriage, she asked for a trial separation (which you give her the best answer), she never accepted to cut the contact with her AP etc.
And now it doesn't make much sense to question the reason for the effort she didn't show. Clearly, she didn't want that. She found herself a new excitement and wanted to go after it. Don't expect to see any remorse or sadness from her, she wanted and chose it. She didn't do it to destroy you, but she knew it and didn't care. I don't know if she hears about your situation, but I still don't think she would care. It may even give her inner pleasure to see that you aren't recovered yet. So when will things change; when you are happy and her relationship is frayed. The impression I get from what you've told is that she's a bit depressed and not that much of a lively, cheerful person. Let her share her depression in her new relationship. While not so for now, it will be in time.

I'm not saying that she will sincerely apologize to you, and want to get together again. I'm just saying that maybe only then can she start thinking about what she did to you, what she lost and feeling sorry. Some people do this, some don't, even if they realize the evil they've done, and move on with their lives with others. I've hoped for something like that for years too, but it didn't happen. And now that's impossible, she died last August. Even if she lived 100 years, this probably wouldn't have happened.
What you're going to do is finding happiness on your own, living your own life. When you find it, you will not care about them too.
Be the person you want to be. Don't do what you don't want and don't stop doing what you want for anyone. I suggest you don't expect anyone else to change either. Be with people who love you for who you are and love them for who they are. If there is no such person, it is not a necessity, be happy on your own.

posts: 624   ·   registered: Nov. 14th, 2020
id 8706232
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countrydirt ( member #55758) posted at 2:23 PM on Wednesday, December 29th, 2021

Last year, I spent every holiday as an emotional wreck. Halloween was hard, Thanksgiving was harder, Christmas morning was brutal. I was angry, sad, pissed, outraged, melancholy. I felt like I was going crazy as I thought about all of the things I had "lost". A good friend reminded me before New Year's Eve that I had the opportunity to choose to start moving on as the New Year approached.

Holidays this year have been much better. New memories with new people, with family and with old friends. It takes time to heal.

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 8706396
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Shehawk ( member #68741) posted at 2:40 AM on Thursday, December 30th, 2021

Really sorry you are going through this.

It did get easier for me. With time. And for me realizing that no matter what he gets he still has to live with himself.

posts: 827   ·   registered: Nov. 5th, 2018   ·   location: VA
id 8706479
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MickeyBill2016 ( member #56459) posted at 8:15 PM on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

As you learned the first year after a bad break up will suck.
Xmas, New Years, V-Day, your and her birthdays, anniversary, fun family holidays like Thanksgiving, Halloween, vacations all will trigger you the first year.
I lost my mom and got divorced the same year so the next year of holidays were really hard. But I made it through as you will too. It is ok to be mad, sad and all the other feelings, they will pass as your new life without her emerges...
You got this.

9 years married.
13 years divorced.

posts: 1193   ·   registered: Dec. 17th, 2016   ·   location: West of the 405 North of the Mexican border
id 8707736
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Launch ( new member #79242) posted at 3:00 AM on Wednesday, January 12th, 2022

CBB-
I’m a few months behind you, divorce yet to be final. I sold our home, and I’ll be back to apartment life in a new city. First holidays alone here too. It hurt. I’m sure the hurt will be less over time. Just wanted to say that as bad as it feels, your story, and others, have been a huge comfort to me. Rooting for you hard, we have a lot of road ahead, and I’m sure we will find the right path.

posts: 12   ·   registered: Aug. 5th, 2021
id 8709202
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JanaGreen ( member #29341) posted at 4:33 AM on Wednesday, January 12th, 2022

Big hugs, and I hope the New Year is treating you well. The holidays can he so, so rough.

posts: 9446   ·   registered: Aug. 17th, 2010   ·   location: Southeast US
id 8709212
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StrongGeisha ( new member #69740) posted at 4:42 PM on Friday, January 21st, 2022

Hi there. I have not read your backstory yet but I saw this post and I can relate. My divorce was just finalized. Everything feels similar for me. I know how you feel and I'm sorry it does completely suck for now. I believe in time it will get better and better. I keep reminding myself nothing my ex did was about me. Infidelity is not about you. The AP is not better than you in any way, shape or form. Your ex has issues and it manifested this way, by cheating. Nothing she ever does is about you. You are good enough, you are lovable, you are fine just as you are. It was never about "why wasn't I enough for them?" YOU ARE ENOUGH. She is a bad person and one day she will be just a memory. She is despicable, a liar, a cheat. No one wants to associate with liars, period.

You do have to start over in some ways and it's not fair. None of this is fair. But it is reality and you must keep putting one foot in front of the other and starting rebuilding the parts of your life you feel cheated out of. You can do this.
"

posts: 6   ·   registered: Feb. 11th, 2019   ·   location: Florida
id 8711168
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 CheesecakeBaker (original poster member #78991) posted at 7:13 PM on Wednesday, January 26th, 2022

@StrongGeisha:

Thank you for your kind words. It is always a much-needed reminder that I am, in fact, ENOUGH and that nothing my ex did was justified, or a reflection on who I am as a person, or how lovable I am. I now know and have come to terms with that. I know that I am in a much better place now than I was three months ago, six months ago, or hell, even a year ago (before any suspicions of infidelity even arose).

posts: 111   ·   registered: Jun. 22nd, 2021
id 8711960
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