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Single at the Holidays

singleholidayToday’s post goes out to anyone who’s feeling a bit morose about being single at the holidays.

Why should I feel morose, Tracy? HUH? Are you saying I’m LESS THAN because I’m alone this time of year? Hey, just because I’m not coupled up wearing matching holiday reindeer sweaters with some Goober doesn’t mean I’m not HAPPY. What would YOU know? You’re not single anymore, so STFU.

Ooh. I just channeled my single holiday self there. The Ghost of Christmas Defensiveness.

I understand the tetchiness. Thanksgiving and Christmas are a time of oppressive Intact Family Togetherness. Look, I’m married and I want to throw a brick at every Kay Jeweler’s TV ad.  “A Memory She’ll Wear Forever.” (Oh, hey, I have a holiday memory I’ll wear forever — D-day.) The holidays are not always super jolly fun times. Raise your hand if you had a D-day during Christmas! Double shit sandwich bonus points for anyone who got a D-Day AND a crappy gift! Triple shit score if you got NO gift. Anyone with me here?

So if you’ve ever wanted to set sail for the Island of Misfit Toys, take heart. Here are my pointers for getting through the holiday season if you’re unaccustomed to being single.

Realize you can do anything you want to do. Skip church, eat cookies for breakfast, live in pajama bottoms. It’s your holiday, celebrate it your way. Maybe you like a formal holiday dinner and your ex didn’t? Invite people over and go all Martha Stewart. Maybe you want to curl up under an electric blanket and have Netflix marathons? When you lose a partner, you also lose at least HALF of your holiday obligations. I’m not driving to Pittsburgh in three feet of snow. It’s almost a decade later. I’m still grateful.

If you’re lonely, do something about it. And I don’t mean go on a date. I mean REACH OUT. Pet a dog, invite over a neighbor, go volunteer. Heck, go to work and make some overtime. It’s harder to feel sad when you’re active. It’s okay to feel lonely, just don’t indulge too long in self-pity. It doesn’t help anything and most healthy people find it repellent. (So ultimately, you’re not helping the Loneliness Problem.) You know who excels at self pity? Cheaters. So, be the opposite. And if you must, just fake it for now — you’re self reliant! Independent! Plucky!

If you get misty, make a list of every crappy thing your ex did. Make a virtual bonfire of every shitty memory and set it alight. Burn, baby, burn.

If you’re a single parent, find your own tribe of other kick ass single parents. (Even if you have to find them online.) You there, at the holiday choral concert by yourself? I’ve been on that cold metal folding chair of Single Parenthood. Surrounded by all those uber mommies and square-jawed Irish Spring dads and their photogenic offspring, at every school function making videos documentaries of their Legacy. If you’re feeling wobbly, avoid flamboyant displays of Public Family Unity. Bring a plus-one. Find another single parent to unite with. After a period of adjustment, you can mingle again with the Coupled. But in the early days, especially, it’s rough.

Don’t feel bad about that either. If you just lost a child, you wouldn’t want to hang out at playgrounds either.

It always bears repeating that being single is a gazillion times better than being in a lousy relationship with someone who disrespects and abuses you. If being “single” gets you down, maybe you need to reframe this as mightiness. You’re single because you didn’t put up with crap and respected yourself. That’s admirable, not “less than.”

And if despite my pep talk, the holidays still really suck? (Sometimes they do, sorry.) Distract yourself madly. January is coming, I promise.

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  • This is my second Christmas since dday #2 . The first was a nightmare! He walked out the door on December 20th as soon as I discovered the new “friend”.

    I used to spend every Christmas day with his family.

    This year I am spending the day with a friend. We are going to play music. We started playing together just about a year ago after 15 years. We have our first real gig on the 26th!!!

    Life does get better. I never could have done the things that I do now if I was still with x. Now I get to have a life and do things that make me happy.

    It is true being alone, I prefer to call it free, is so much better than being with someone that controls and abuses you.

    • Every time one of these posts come up I start wondering again why they choose holidays to make their exit. The last year A-hole managed to ruin every holiday and my birthday, either with his hateful actions or interactions with his “friend” and finally walked out right after Easter after acting shitty the whole day. Didn’t stop him from scarfing down the entire basket of his favorite specialty white chocolate I’d bought him though.

      • Lina,

        Vikki Stark who wrote the book, Runaway Husbands, has some interesting theories about the holiday exit. When she did her WAS project she found holidays to be the most popular time of year cheaters abandon (Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years topping the list).

        I don’t have the book in front of me but if I recall correctly two reasons were they can’t do another holiday facade and pressure from the OW who doesn’t want to spend another holiday alone. Her book is quite interesting.

          • My divorce was finalized Dec. 20th. After 31 yr marriage and a year battle with breast cancer he ” loved me but was not in love with me.” Vicki Stark’s book saved me. I didn’t understand what was going on, why he acted like I was dead. He proposed to his gf on Christmas Day!, 5 days after our divorce. What an ass.

          • I actually think it’s pure hatefulness. Also being cheap. No gift required. Never realized what a cheap bastard he was until he left.

            • My FIL, a minister, a cheater and a narc and the XSB’s (Shitbag) role model even managed to die on Christmas Eve! Still all about them…amazing.

      • Lina, my ex husband chose Mother’s Day to throw me to the wolves. Not a holiday I know but I never celebrate that day any more as my 2 kids don’t consider me worthy of anything. As I am on my own all through the year, on Christmas Day I volunteer at a Salvation Army house and I find it very rewarding. I also volunteer through the year at one of our largest public hospitals and helping the nurses with the patients gives me pride and a sense of purpose which I had lost. There are some very sad, lonely and sick people in our midst who we simply are not aware exist. I count my blessings knowing I have been very fortunate in life.

        • A-hole. I know of another woman who’s ex chose Mother’s Day. So sorry you had to go through that. X

          Unfortunately, I can’t commit to volunteer work at the time as caring for my Dad is a full time job. It is rewarding though, probably similar to the rewards of volunteering.

        • Yeah, my D-Day was Mother’s Day, which was also my birthday!
          Not sure how many bonus points that will get me but I’d sure as hell rather be single than stuck with him for another second.

        • Maree, my X left me on Mother’s day also after a 20 year marriage.
          We have a son who has no respect for me and I never see unless he needs something. I was a devoted wife and mother, sacrificed everything for my X and son. Family meant everything to me. I could never treat anyone like my son and X have treated me. Sadly my son has become like his Father. I’m so disappointed,
          From as far back as I remember Christmas was my favorite time of the year.
          I decorated the first couple years after Satan left, kept my chin up and with a smile.
          This year I’m indifferent, I tried a couple feeble attempts to decorate but I know my heart isn’t into it.
          I’ve also tried volunteering but to be honest volunteering for me doesn’t work.
          Makes me miss having a family and the life I thought I had.
          I’m accepting that this is another shitty thing Satan brought to my life.
          Maybe someday I will get back into the festive, Christmas, mode. I’m not all doom and gloom, I enjoy the decorations, Christmas music. I know it’s a time of year that will soon be over. just another loss that I hope to get back someday.
          It’s better to be alone than to live a fake life with someone who looks at you in disdain and is an imposter. It’s just a tragedy I didn’t leave Satan a long time ago. Better if I had trusted my first instinct and not gone out with him in the first place.

          • brit, hindsight is a wonderful thing. I have a great gut instinct and I literally ignored it completely in regard to my ex husband. I have known him for 46 years and we were married for 37 years and now he is happy living in Phnom Penh with a 23 year old and her 2 little boys. Maybe that is his karma. I don’t know and I don’t care. I, like you gave 110% to my ex husband and our marriage and our 2 children. I loved being a wife and mother and I always referred to myself as just ‘Maree”. I never considered myself to be special and that possibly is the problem because my kids have shown me absolutely no respect and treat me like dirt. Having said that, I will not give them the opportunity or pleasure of ever hurting me again. I am learning to accept that they don’t want me in their lives any more and that is okay. My life will go on as it has for the past nearly 64 years and I feel it will be good. I wish you a very happy and peaceful Christmas and a fantastic 2016. My very best wishes to you brit. xo

            • Yes, hindsight is a wonderful thing, I also had gut instinct and ignored it, there were times when my instinct would be more nagging than others, a couple of times I questioned him. He reassured me he wasn’t like that, he was my best friend.
              He would go on to say I was paranoid and had quite the imagination. I would shrug it off but I knew deep down something wasn’t right.
              I enjoyed being a wife and stay at home Mom, I did every thing for my son and our family. I put myself last which could be one of the reasons why my son has no respect for me. His father has alienated him from me too. He criticizes and laughs at our son when he sees me. I’ve asked my son what he says and he tells me just know it’s derogatory. X is so immature and a poor role model. Still no excuse for my son’s lack of respect and treating me like trash. He’s changed drastically from who he once was.. I’ve been coming to terms that having my son in my life is toxic.
              It’s another tragic loss, I compare it to a death maybe worse, he’s made the choice to not to want me in his life and treat me like crap. If I call he is horribly rude and condescending. He’s changed from the son I once knew and loved. I don’t know him anymore. I’m coming to terms and acceptance too.
              I do hope that Karma going to slam X, all of our X’s.
              Things are better without the X trying to figure him out and wondering what kind of mood he’s in. I don’t think they change for anyone, it’s a matter of time before their true colors come through as they have with us.
              Marlee do you have sons or daughters?
              I hope you too have a wonderful peaceful Christmas and all the very best in 2016.
              God Bless xox

      • Hi, Lina 🙂 They ruin everything. I think destroying holidays and special occasions are just icing on their freaking cake. The days are winding down here and I am sad and angry. And trying to choose which day will be the meanest for Asshat. I assume his birthday which coincidentally falls on CNY. Happy Year of the Flaming Fire Monkey, ASSHAT! If only I could arrange to have him served DURING the little office shindig. Sigh.

    • freedom,

      Agreed…it does get MUCH better! It is much better celebrating with someone you can trust or no one at all.

      My ex-wife dropped the bomb the night before Thanksgiving. Called me and finally came clean about her adultery, which she had been denying for months after I had confronted her about it.

      Holidays are much better cheater and contempt free! My first holiday as a newly single man was spent at a young adult conference over New Years 2012/2013. It was a great time!


  • I am an avid reader, not much of a poster, bit of an introvert – but for what it’s worth I have to say this is the first year that I have genuinely felt that I am sooooooo much better off being single at Christmas than being with the “Alien”

    It’s been 4 years since I had my triple shit score D-day just right before Christmas (and my birthday is just two days before this festive highlight so I should get even more points!) and at the time I had not discovered Chump Lady. I could just about breathe and had amassed a stack of stupid wreckonciliation reading material. If I had read then what CL has just posted I would never have believed it!! I believed in Unicorns and thought Aliens had just abducted him overnight, they might bring him back…..I had some vague hope.

    Year 1
    I spent crying on the couch Christmas day on my own with my cat and fell into a champagne induced coma. Boxing Day I painted the spare room and wallpapered another room after 16+ years of living with a procrastinating cheating fuckwit, I was blasting loud ‘non-festive’ music, but the cat was happy hiding under the dust sheet whilst I painted away in a frenzy. I was mad, I was angry, demented, grief stricken and the DIY was the only way to get through the holidays.

    Year 2
    I had migrated to the other side of the world, suffered another DDay (via Skype) filed for divorce and I really struggled participating in Christmas activities whilst living in my sister’s spare room. I hated seeing happy couples and struggled with crowds, parties, preferring to find my own ‘morose’ space. I was in victim mode struggling to find ‘meh’ still. I blamed myself for being stupid and not realising he was cheating much earlier.

    Year 3
    I was living in a rental unit, struggled to put up any Christmas decorations and forced myself to go to my sisters for the big day but kinda enjoyed not being on my own (for a while), still struggling to find ‘meh’, but definitely more aware I had a married a full blown narc by accident, I read loads of articles on cluster B type Narcs and control freaks, the penny finally dropped.

    Year 4
    I am finally officially divorced, matrimonial home sold, lost my job, nearly gave up and went back to my old country ‘cos I could have got deported, got another job at the last minute!, sorted visa and I am now looking at buying my own place next year once I am officially resident.

    Oh, and the best bit is that since 1st Dec, my decs (increasing by number every year) have been up! My Xmas tree, which has all my decs that I (cos XH hated Christmas) collected over the 20 odd years , every one has a story to it and I can watch them glistening and sparkling and I don’t feel too sad, I even feel a bit more alive!

    In a few days I am flying off to visit my best mate in CA for Christmas, we are going to Vegas for my birthday, and spending New Year in a cabin in the snow. I am gonna veg on her sofa with her doggies and eat chocolate, drink Margaritas, watch trash TV and do nothing for 3 weeks.

    Christmas is definitely getting better…… will always still trigger some bad memories but I am no way near as bad as I was those 1st few shitty years. I can’t wait for January 🙂

    I suppose what I am saying is that there is hope for all you new chumps out there, especially at Christmas. I will agree it seems the worst possible time for someone to leave, when I asked asshole “why did he have to do it right before Christmas?” he replied ” I didn’t want you to remember it (Christmas) as a bad time………..”.

    No words…………:-)

  • I am on my 3rd Christmas without X.
    Honestly it is easier. Still some sad times because our Wedding Aaniversary was during the holidays too.

    This year I do not have the kids until later in the holiday. That means I wake up alone Christmas morning.
    I was not sure about this until friends kindly invited me to their Christmas Eve party. Fun gifts and lots of wine!!!

    Their children are adults and it’s a different type of holiday for them.
    Complete opposite of the many church services and children’s parents of my past.

    And did I mention wine!!!!

    Looking to re-invent the holiday season this year ( I may be too hung over to care on Christmas morn and happy to wake up to a quiet household ).

    • That’s great, Lucky! This is my fourth Christmas since D-Day and my 11 year-old son spent last year (and I think he’ll also spend this year) with his Dad’s new family on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. He likes the boisterous household while mine is quiet (not by choice – just how life is right now). Last year, it was like a gut-punch and the anticipation of being alone was making me ill. It took incredible effort, but I turned it around and looked at it as “me” time. I wrapped gifts and watched Christmas movies/played Christmas music – two things I wasn’t able to do with ex since I was doing all the work while he cheated – and I happily reminisced about my Christmas Eves/mornings as a kid (some of my happiest childhood memories). This year, I’m looking forward to the same movin_on Christmas tradition with me, myself and I. It’s not for everyone, but it works beautifully for me.

  • This will be my first Christmas enjoyed without my STBX. It’s my Birthday too so it will be doubly celebrated! It’s the first time I will feel the loneliness of not having my mother or my father though. My mother, no matter where I was, always made it to my birthday.

    • First without my dad and my niece and, as an added shit bonus, my crazy assed mom decided yesterday would be a great day for a church memorial service for my niece…and invited my X. Nothing says shit holiday like having to take communion with your X in the cheater church where X and OW first met each other. Yeah, what are the chances of THAT? I’m sure that was just icing on the cake for my mom. No kids for support due to other obligations and finals, so it was the entire shit show package. I made it through without burning the church down, which is good on me, but I am now officially done!

      I have been trying so hard to make this a good holiday. I even decorated my tree in time for Thanksgiving. I bought beautiful, thoughtful cards and sent them with special messages. It is as if my mom knew this and deliberately set out to fuck things up! My sister (niece’s mom totally agrees). Oh, and we aren’t “allowed” to celebrate Christmas Day in my family because my nephew was killed on Christmas Day eleven years ago. How’s that for some bullshit? I am trying with everything I have to get out of this funk but this fucking sucks! Why don’t I get the Hallmark Christmas for just one year?

      I know I’ll feel better once all my kids get here. We’ll have an authentic holiday and just enjoy one another’s company. Still, yesterday set me way back. Sitting in church (and with the insight gained here), I understood in a very profound way how my mom groomed me to be a people pleaser, but I’m not that person now. Is it 2016 yet cause this chump is ready to move on.

      • Hi Violet- yes it’s the first since my Dad died- the second since my Mum died and the third without the XH. The best I can say about the XH’s behaviour was that it prepared me for the other losses that were to follow.

        Oh, and I did have a D-Day on Boxing Day (XH in drunken relapse confessed to stealing money from me to pay for prostitutes. Yet it was another nine months before I threw him out. Sigh.

        I would recommend Melody Beattie’s book The Grief Club. It addresses most of life’s losses -from the death of a child to divorce. The premise is that we become members of the Grief Club whether we like it or not. Chumpdom is another of those clubs….

        The other thing is losses can be cumulative and you have to really take care of yourself if you find you are dealing with say, Divorce and Death. I’ve just had a health check and have agreed to some bereavement counselling – just to help get grounded.

        But it’s all survivable- and one of my favourite quotes is from Debbie Harry who said “Surviving is a happy ending” ( from the BBC’s Desert Island Discs programme 2011).

      • Sometimes my mom doesn’t get it either, Violet.
        I’m sorry you had to deal with that as an add on to an already crappy time.

      • Violet, I’m so sorry your mom’s antics are putting you through holiday hell. I understand (more than you know), and I agree with your insight (again, more than you know). Sending hugs your way as you navigate the rest of the season.

      • Violet, I’ve got one of those Moms, too, though she is less of a matriarch. It sounds like yours has the whole family dancing to her tune. I’m so sorry you have to deal with that. In fact, I’m kinda outraged. So deliberately insensitive.

        I’ve been delving into FOO issues lately, especially with regard to my Mom, and so far I’ve found that subtle little acts of resistance can be surprisingly effective. Little things like simply not agreeing where some signal of support is expected. Think grey rock. It might be interesting for you to experiment with that a little.

        • Thanks everyone. I am much better today, but I am determined to keep mom at arm’s length this holiday season. My dad and niece died 4 months apart and being in close proximity to my mom has reminded me of why/how I put up with way too much from my X. Ghosts in the nursery and all that…Well, I am not going to fall down the rabbit hole again.The insight I have gained here is always so helpful to me and keeps me strong!

  • This is my second one alone. And, yes my hand is raised for my d-day on December 7th. Last year I was not ready for any kind of celebration. This year I’ve realized it may be the most stress free Christmas since my youth. I’ve really been enjoying the season on my own (it helps that I live in downtown Chicago which is a great town for Christmas time distractions). I look forward to seeing my girls around Christmas, but they’ll be with her on the day (they were with me on Thanksgiving :). I’m invited to my brothers family in Virginia, so who knows, I may hop on a last minute flight and go. I have that freedom. Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to all of Chump Nation and especially to you Chump Lady!

    • Go to the Music Box for the Sing-a-long holiday movies. They give you a bag of props, a few rehearsed songs and then it’s like a G-rated version of Rocky Horror. Or wait until the 26th, they are screening the Hateful Eight on a very large screen in 7mm.

  • Although I dread explaining where Mr. Sparkles is this year – my first officially alone – I’m looking forward to the holidays, mostly the new year.

    Holidays with him were horrible. Even before DDay #1 in 2011, then #2 in 2012, I rarely got a gift and he did everything he could to avoid spending the holidays with my family (who loved, accepted and included him, even post DDay in spite of everything).

    The holidays have taken on special significance relative to his screwing around: he banged an intern at the Christmas party one year. She was the one who later spilled the beans. Then after I left him for the first time in 2012, he decorated our house alone and still celebrated Christmas himself, as if I’d never existed, Xmas tree and everything. It was very creepy.

    All those Christmas memories of years gone by had been sullied by the truth long ago. Our first Christmas living together in 2005 also happened to be a day after he banged his friend’s ex girlfriend, I later learned. The list of horrors are endless.

    My 2015 resolution was to finally get up the courage to leave, which I did. It’s been the worst year of my life. I’ll be happy when it’s over.

    • Oh Sad I hear you! Dr Lurch was always accepted by my family as well, they went above and beyond for him. Include monetarily helping him out. This entitled turd never appreciated a thing, mind you. Isn’t he worth it? NO! I had DDay one on the day after New Years Day.This was when he said he was on call and could not join the kids and I on a ski trip. I plan on being up at my parents ski lodge with my family at that time so I think I will be ok. All his ski and fishing gear is still in the lodge so perhaps I can make a homeless person’s day by sharing his crap with them. I hope they enjoy fly fishing gear!

      As for gifts, last year he got me a bluetooth speaker in the shape of the Death Star. I am not a Star Wars fan. I should have taken the hint;) He truly never cherished me and this year has been the hardest of my life, and I had cancer in the past. This is worse. But sometimes I have glimpses of regaining my old self when I was into music and art and most of my friends were too. I feel perhaps I did not choose the right guy and I felt sorry for the timid forest creature who was awkward and socially off. Well I guess you live and you learn.

      • Yes. Yes. Yes.

        “But sometimes I have glimpses of regaining my old self when I was into music and art and most of my friends were too. I feel perhaps I did not choose the right guy and I felt sorry for the timid forest creature who was awkward and socially off. Well I guess you live and you learn.”

        I wish the days I feel fine were the “end” of the pain. The process of grieving is hard. Accepting the reality is hard.

        Crazy life, right?

    • I been in the same boat s.i.s…..1st Christmas, shitty 2015, 14,13,12,11, 10 9 8 7 and 6 sheew… 2016 can only be good and not looking back….the future will be better knowing and getting through all the bullshit just makes a person better in so many ways…..torture follows reward…..follows torture….follows reward>>>>> keep that going in the way of the good

  • For those chumps who will be missing their kids for part of the holiday due to visitation, I know it can be hard, but it can also be really nice. I now spend the time that my kids are with the ex having a nice dinner with my parents and my sibling who doesn’t have kids, getting all the presents wrapped, and usually drinking cocoa while I watch a nice grown-up Christmas movie on my own. It was really upsetting to me the first year I had to deal with it, but once I had to deal with it, I realized that it could be a really nice day. So, try to think of fun things to do (like go to the movies!), or make that your day where you finish up the cookie baking, get the presents wrapped, or do your Christmas cards.

  • My first Christmas without my babies was heartbreaking. I love the holidays and he thinks they are worthless. Our first Christmas, I was on the ladder, 6 month pregnant, putting up the star while he sat his lazy ass on the couch. 10 years later, and I was sobbing in bits and pieces because I was with my family and he was with his whorid thing.
    Christmas #2, I get told I should replace something he ruined that belonged to our child instead of paying someone to put lights on my house. The nerve of the twit to try to extinguish my twilights.
    This year, all is beautiful and merry because I am single and delighted to be without his narc madness. Counselor said he was an emotional batterer and I needed to internalize this because it wasn’t my fault he preyed on me. Love that I have the freedom to do what I want, how I want, and when I want…especially because everything I do, is with the benefit of my kids in mind. Life is definitely grand.

  • After I told my husband to hit the road I spent the X-mas with my adult children. I laughed because my X had got re-arrested and spent Turkey Day. Christmas and New Years in a TX jail. He got 90 days for parole violations. My boyfriend has 4 sons so we all get together prior to X-mas with his family. One of my boyfriend’s sons works in the Jail. He always informs me when my X shows up in there. My children never receive a card or gift from their father. I take joy in my granddaughter who is 11 now and as tall as I am. My daughter always takes pictures and posts them on her facebook. I imagine my X’s family gets pissed over the photos. I always insist no pictures of me get posted.

  • I must be honest last Christmas I spent it with my family and I was shit faced and don’t remember it at all. I was already separated and still holding on to false reality that my X husband was a human being with human feelings.

    This year? My neighbor has invited me over to her house and made me my own stocking…. And I have a stocking and gifts and love with my own family. I have friends that want to see me as well…… I just feel like I never realized that in my marriage I was the likable one.

    Every Christmas with him I did all the work while hearing this Droning in the background, ” I hate Christmas”. Christmas is my favorite holiday. If you believe in Jesus than you believe Christmas is the birth of hope. Isn’t that what all of us chumps needed one time or another? That there’s something better out there for us, we just had to have faith.

    • “If you believe in Jesus than you believe Christmas is the birth of hope.”

      I like this. Thank you 🙂

  • My first Christmas after D day, I threw a HUGE party on Christmas Eve. The ex had to bring the kids home and had to park on the street and walk up the driveway through all those cars. He came in and asked, “Who all is here?” My response, “That is none of your concern.” We had a great time with family and friends!

  • We, the kids and I, are DOING stuff. Lots of stuff. Living an active life. I used to suggest things to do with the creep with the kids. He was never all “in” because he was checked out and into his double life.

    I don’t mention or post the things the kids and I do, but they do tell him. I have no idea how he processes it and don’t care. He’d rather watch endless hours of tv passively living through fictional characters in a fictional world.

    • “He was never all “in” because he was checked out and into his double life.”
      “He’d rather watch endless hours of tv passively living through fictional characters in a fictional world.”
      /\ my life with cheater to a “T”.

      We live a “less than” life with cheaters, becoming a shadow a of our former selves to accomodate them. Right now sitting on my couch listening to all the Christmas music that I love but cheater abhored.

      Blessings of the Season, CN & CL and onward to a ROBUST, healthy, and Happy New Year!

      • Same as above. Would make up excuses not to go with children and I. Usually work to do. I would arrange family photos annually and he would complain but come. At the time I put it down to being a grump but now anyone about family would not ruin family moments with sourness. After he left he agreed that he did not make the effort and wanted back in. Ummm…takes u 7 years and walking out to figure it out. Someone with that thought process is too unreliable for me. Plus u know toss in serial cheater.

    • Life is SO much better without the ex in that regard (and in many others). My ex went to everything, but he either dragged and made us late or acted like I was making him come. I’d actually offer to make an excuse for him– “You don’t have to come; I’ll tell my family that you weren’t feeling well.” Isn’t that sad how I spackled for him? I never had to make excuses, though, because he’d always come and cast a pall upon everything. One night at a family holiday dinner, he actually went into the other room with the newspaper and sat and read while the rest of us socialized around the dinner table. I was humiliated, and I let him have it afterwards (for once) since everyone noticed and wondered what the deal was.

      Now, the kids and I go and do fun holiday things without him, and we have a great time. There isn’t anyone to ruin family dinners or to make us late, and no one is grumpy about getting a Christmas tree (“The pine needles get all over the car!”) or listening to the Charlie Brown Christmas album (which, according to the ex whose musicianship is superior to just about everyone’s, isn’t “real jazz” and is overplayed). I’m listening to Vince Guaraldi’s “O Tannenbaum” as I write this. 🙂

        • Wet blanket is a great word to describe X especially when it came to family gatherings or outings, dragging his feet, expressionless, indifferent are a few adjectives that come to mind to describe him.
          When I would entertain family for the holidays he would be miserable. X never participated in decorating or gift buying, not for his family or his son. X never came up with ideas for family outings or vacations. The year before he left I had made plans for us to Hawaii but had to cancel them because X decided I didn’t deserve to go.
          If we did have plans for anything he would stall. Never failed we would be sitting in his truck ready to leave, suddenly he would remember he forgot his comb. It would take him at least ten minutes before he came back.
          Always disinterested unless he was the center of attention, then he’d come alive.

          • Holidays, birthdays any celebration, or outing I found myself dancing faster, dancing it up looking for some morsel of approval.., sick

  • Hand up & waving for your attention. December 26th will be 6 years since dday. I came across something suspicious & confronted him. Out came the spewing as I lay stunned crying on the floor half under the Christmas tree. This from a man who just over 24 hours before gave me a card that read, “Life gives me beautiful things – it gave me you.” Wonder (not really) what the card to the OWhore said.

    First Christmas Day spent crying as I walked around Central Park. 2nd & 3rd wandering around NYC not crying. 4th dating a guy & I decorated the house for the first time with all new stuff. 5th on the couch with cats watching random tv in an undecorated house. 6th will be spent in my decorated house with a few friends stopping by. It took awhile but I here & celebrating.

  • Last year for Christmas, I got false reconciliation. This year I am free, Free, FREE!

    Doing the Martha Stewart thing this week (dinner party for 14), the Netflix and jammies thing for the next week, and headed to the beach on Christmas Day.

    I couldn’t be more delighted to be rid of the disordered fuckwit this year 🙂 My gift to myself

  • Our exes and people like them are pure poison, they poisoned the holidays, our birthdays, our homes, our families, and our very memories. It takes a while to spew it out of our systems and move on. The damage they do and pain they cause reverberates for years, but slowly surely it does get better.

    My solace on the holidays has been to enjoy the traditions (I come from a large Italian family, there are lots of people and lots of traditions, especially on Xmas Eve), lean on family, and savor every blessed moment that ex found annoying. My children often comment that we barely recall ex being present for family events, he was so remote and withdrawn when he was here that it was hard to miss him after he was gone.

    This is our 4th Xmas post divorce and I am remarried, with 3 children of my own and three step-sons. But even with all the changes and additionally people in our new blended family, the holidays are happier and calmer than when ex was around. We no longer have that cold disdainful presence that forever wanted to be somewhere anywhere but where he was when he was with us.

  • When I first met Saddam I’d been hosting a “stress free Christmas” dinner/party for years. Within a few years those friends melted away (isolation is a favored tactic). But met a person I clicked with so for several years we did TDay and Christmas with this close friend and her wife. Then Saddam started getting “sick” every single holiday so that came to an end. The last years before DDay he’d successfully talked me out of getting a tree. That was big, I love the tree!!!!

    So the first year he was gone I got a tree and decorated it over a week. I love to look at it naked, then with only the lights, while I look, I trim it here and there over the course of a night. Next I put just the really large ornaments and the topper. The last night, Christmas eve, I get up and add an ornament here and there until I think it’s just right :). My house is in no order for guests so my tree is in my large basement bedroom. I enjoy lying in bed next to a nice fire crackling, with the beautiful tree winking at me.

    Maybe by next year I’ll have rebuilt my social network and got my house in order to host another “stress free Christmas”. In the meantime, I have peace on earth.

    • I started getting the tree on my own years ago. He didn’t want to be bothered. The clincher was the year the tree started sliding off the roof of our car in the middle of a high traffic street and he just sat there and let me get out and deal with it. So I KNOW he sucked but why can’t I just be glad he’s gone?

      • Bad habits are hard to change, you are used to having him there. Alternatively, I know this letter to Captain Awkward is not what we had, but many of us did have love and some good times. I really like how she talks about our feelings in “The Golden Retriever/Kwisatz Haderach of Love” answer. Try reading this:

        Merry Christmas, get that tree up !

            • Oh, and I meant “memories” not “members”. Ha ha!

              I just remembered the other day that he’d put those cheap little packages of Kleenex in my Christmas stocking. Prophetic I guess.

              • LOL, I’ve no doubt the member had something to do with some of the good times. There are plenty of other members out there 😉

                PS: Captain Awkward has many good advice columns, her Darth Vader boyfriend columns are excellent too

              • Kleenex? Who is he? Uncle Vernon? Sheez! My first cat used to take Kleenex out of the box and stuff them inside my shoes. I used to worry it was bc he was telling me I had stinky feet but now I think maybe he was just trying to give me a useful present, lol.

        • I love Captain Awkward, and the link to his article, with all the Dune references (I read the Dune books in my twenties, and completely enjoyed them). Thank you for sharing that.

      • Same here! X never purchased a single tree, even when the kids were little. Did not put a single light or ornament on the tree or help in any way. I have two amazing trees (a small one for all the handmade kids decorations) and lots of beautiful ornaments I have collected over the years. Don’t need what I never had.

    • “In the meantime, I have peace on earth.”
      God yes, there is no better gift than that. I’m so glad to no longer have the “gift” of my ex’s drama in my life.

  • “Our exes and people like them are pure poison, they poisoned the holidays, our birthdays, our homes, our families, and our very memories. It takes a while to spew it out of our systems and move on.”


    The damage they do and pain they cause reverberates for years, but slowly surely it does get better.”

    I hope so. Not quite feeling it yet.

  • Asswipe moved us so far out in the boonies to hide his business to avoid paying high commercial prices far away again from all family and friends. Third time he moved us. All friends and all family hours away. Kids out of state. He chased off most of my friends or didn’t want to hang with them. Pffft! Jealousy I’m assuming but welcomed with open arms all the whores family and friends. Go figure right. I have no one close by if not for the phone and you guys I would have checked out long ago. He walked away leaving me completely and totally alone and then gets angry no one is here for me. Asshole? I think so. The madness is slowly winding down and house should be sold soon. I will move hours from here and start a new. Scary? Yes. Gonna be hard? Yes. But I know I will have a reasonably free of drama life. That is my Xmas present to me. Hopefully new friends on the horizon and no ugly lying cheater anywhere in sight!

    • Best of luck, Kar Marie! I had to sell our house, move, and start all over, too. I tried to see it as an opportunity, and have put together a nice little life for myself. Change is inevitable in our lives and at least we get to choose now, without a Turdbucket telling us how things will be! I also was moved away from family by my X, and the more isolated I was, the better he liked it. When we had our kids, he started ditching me! Why I put up with that, I will never know. Trying to be the peacemaker, I guess.
      I have a boyfriend now, and he asks me ahead of each holiday- Can I spend it with you? And, where would you like to go? It’s such a nice feeling, someone who wants to be with me, after all those many, many years of X making me feel like I sucked, and he always had a reason to run off as soon as he could, or just act like holidays, or my birthday, were such a chore!
      Anyway, KM, you sound strong and determined, I hope you can make your life just the way you want it to be!

      • Ex was great til he met the whore but boy did he change. Next year my daughter comes home from college and will live with me in MY NEW HOME. Asswipe still tries to tell me what is wrong with me and how wrong I do things. Right now I don’t even tell him when I talk to the kids. Me and the kids have remained closely in touch while he pretty much ignored them now between bitches he’s shown interest again but not much. No one can tell him anything but he loves telling others what to do! And how they should conduct their lives. The kids are more aware than he thinks. I tell him “hey asshole you fired me, remember so keep your opinions to yourself!” Go look in the mirror and fix your own lying cheating nasty ass self. I used to be the peacemaker and keep my mouth shut. Not anymore. I was shaken to my very core, thought I was gonna lose it. I have a light at the end of the tunnel and I finally have back the strength I thought I lost. Can’t wait for the house to sell so I can be free of this convoluted, pea brained, asswipe excuse of a human being who used to be a half way decent guy. He let the demons out and the other woman he left me for or somebody else can have him. Asshole! Thanks free woman!

      • Kar Marie

        In time that fear will turn into joy once you start your new life. After 17 months I’m finally able to look forward with excitement. Having no one to complain, sabatoge,or shift the very ground you walk on is FREEING! I used to think Ioved my life before DDay. You will never have to put up withhus shit again. Fucking amazing!!!

  • For those, who, like me, were totally blindsided – just to add my Christmas story to yours:

    Christmas 2013 I asked my now X what was on her Christmas list and she said “A whole year of love and kisses from you. ” January 2014 was when she started seeing her affair partner. She dumped me right after her birthday in April and moved in with him the next week.

    This is my second Christmas alone but I am determined to enjoy it. It does help to know there are other people in the same situation. I went to a church group last week where everyone basically just complained about the holidays – that was very supportive! As is CN.

    Funny to think of (my) church as a bunch of people who hate the holidays!

    • It never ceases to amaze me that the people who have (still have) large families complain endlessly about what a pain in the ass Christmas is. While I wish I had the chaos back, I grew up with a huge family, since dispersed, so I am conditioned to want that crazy whirl. But a quiet peaceful Christmas can be cool.

    • your story is almost exactly like mine. Christmas 2013, we went to midnight mass as a family and I whispered him I was praying for our marriage. he said me too. then after mass we take our yearly family picture, I didn’t push him but he made sure he was in the picture. so I really thought that he wanted our marriage to work. 2013 was a very bad year for us and I was looking forward to everything being better. New years eve he comes home, tries to pick a fight with me, tells me he has to run to auto store for wd40 and never comes back. I kicked him out new years day 2014.

      he immediately moves in with his oompa loompa hood rat. she even put her relationship status as Jan 1 2014. hmmmm wonder where he was that night. I didn’t find out about her until Feb 9 2014, I filed the divorce papers the next day. she gave me hell from that day on, he let her. divorce was final march 20 2014 and she STILL gives me hell. she interferes with his visitations to the point that I no longer schedule them anymore. Of course with me not scheduling them, means he hasn’t seen or talked to his boys since Fathers day 2014. (well, once n may 2015 which was a train wreck)

      this will be our 2nd year without Diablo. and everything is peace and quiet. no drama, no upset and anxious and worried momma, no missing and/or drunk hateful selfish daddy. it is wonderful. although Christmas has lost some of its glamour for me. (some of that is also due to my daughter death in 2012) I am struggling financially but decided not to stress the gifts. I will get the boys what I can which will be more then diablo will get them (last year they did not get anything, no gift, no card, no phone call no visit) I don’t expect this year to be any different.

      ironically just 2 hours ago, I was sitting on the couch next to the Christmas and was wondering just how many times diablo cheated on me in the 14 years. so many times I was suspicious. so many times things just did not add up. And i heard police sirens somewhere outside and I realized just how peaceful my life has gotten without his selfish immature and messed up actions. I don’t have to worry where my asshole is, who he might or might not be fucking, how many drinks he had and if he is going to drive drunk, get in an accident or a fight or get fired. I get a full nights sleep instead of sitting up in a dark room at all hours of the night just waiting, for a phone call, for him to answer my text or call, or from the police telling me they arrested him. I don’t have to call the hospitals, or police station or all his friends when he doesn’t come home (which actually only happened that last year in 2013, but it happened often) or I don’t have to sit up listening to his puking, or dealing with his tossing and turning in bed or his drunk ass arguments. I don’t have to lie to my boys saying daddy is at work, that daddy came home after they went to sleep and left before they woke up. or that daddy will not come to another one of their school things, boy scout thing, soccer thing because daddy has to work.

      sometimes I get lonely but I don’t miss all the toxic shit I had to deal with while married to diablo. it finally dawned on me that he really was NOT that good of a husband, he was NOT that good of a dad and all the good we had was because of ME!! yes, we had a good marriage but that was because I worked very hard for it to be a good marriage. he brought very little to the table and we really haven’t missed too much with him gone. sad but true. the only thing I really miss is his paycheck and his muscle that I would have to tell him what and how to do. he was good in bed, but that was mostly my work also. I had to initiate, and I had to spice it up. left to his own devices and we did not have sex at all. how good sex was or was not depended on how much work I put into it. if I was tired or just not into it, then it was pretty plain. Just like everything else in our marriage. vacations were on me, hotel reservations and all planning on me, holidays on me, bbq’s and birthday parties on me, and yet it was my fault that he did not see his family. I did not even know all his family and those fucker change phone numbers like they do underwear. I could never keep up with them. they all had his phone number thou, but yep it was my fault. they never invited us to their house, kids parties, weddings etc but it was my fault.

      damn, I really don’t miss that at all.

      • mrsvain, satan and diablo are the same. Your life sounds like the life I led with satan,

        I’m with you! I get lonely too but I do not miss the toxic fog I lived in.

  • And take refuge in the fact that Ex has probably bought Schmoopie some shit-sandwich *ahem* I mean, “chocolate” diamonds. Trashy diamonds for his trashy whore.

    (Sorry – THOSE ads are the ones that make me sputter. “What idiots are buying these? They’re the garbage used in industrial cutting!”)

      • It was outed by a “friend” (a gaslighting cheater mom who told everyone else she was not only cheated on but abused, which is why I confided in her) who was a co-worker of Cheater’s. Really, she’s a psychopath… very narc, manipulative, pity-me, “depressed,” boundary-pushing with creepy affects when she’s performing. She did this after I recognized her for being like this, saw she was using me, and broke off contact.

        She sent my blog address to his employer and co-workers. Thankfully, I made everything private entirely before they checked.

        What I did NOT need was his income dropping (sales) from being ignored and black-listed on referrals. Said “friend” – having appeared to smash a colleague and nothing being visible to read (though they knew the theme) – was sent to a location far, far away. She was on her last straw for shit-stirring at work and personally, among co-workers and her bosses, anyway. (She’s a pro… a narc whose degree is in psychology. Ugh.)

        And me? Stuck but bearing it. No one wants to hire a SAHM of 10 years at a self-supporting wage – no matter how resourceful and able she can prove she is or how many amazing references she has – unless she has open availability with mandatory nights and weekends. I would literally never see my children except briefly in the mornings and for dinner on Sunday. They’re 9, 10, and 11… they need a parent. Cheater has the above schedule, with Th/F off only… yanno, while they’re at school. They need A parent. Someone needs to make them dinner, help with homework, and be present on the weekends. I don’t have family available to help… my parents still have SEVEN of my siblings at home, from 7 to 21 years old. The youngest has Down’s. They can’t help – I wouldn’t even ask.

        (Why do I need to be self-supporting FIRST? Because Cheater’s income fluctuates WILDLY… so support would be based off of his base – half the grocery bill, basically, and I’ll have to petition for the commission every six months. By wildly, I mean his take-home might be $350 or $2000/week. Based on his average, I should get $500/week from him. But since he sometimes doesn’t make that in a week, the structure defaults to taking it out of the base instead, because that would trigger support being more than leaving him at poverty level. It’s shit.)

        Cheater is, however, being good. He’s the guy I wish I’d had from the start. But I don’t trust him. That’s why this won’t work. I always think, “It’s fine, NOW. Until he does it again.” The strain of being perfect will wear on him and he’ll do it again… it’s just a matter of time. So in the meantime, I’m trying to line it all up. I mainly ward off anxiety about it, now. I exist and am creeping forward at a snail’s pace.

  • My D-Day was New Year’s Eve two years ago. Our last Christmas was just as horrible, because my XW was full of rage, and I did not know why. We agreed that we would pick out what we wanted and then give each other that for gifts. I chose a couple sweaters, she a pair of expensive boots. I specifically remember her saying that she did not want anything but those boots, so I complied with her (because she would have gotten pissed off if I did not). After we opened all our gifts, right in front of the kids, she started yelling at me and said she couldn’t believe I did not get her anything else. She gives this incident as one of the reasons she left me. It had nothing to do with our neighbor that she was screwing. They later asked for divorces in March, made fake reconciliations, and then ultimately asked for divorces on the same day in June. Although I will not have the kids until 1 pm on Christmas Day, I will be sipping coffee and enjoying the silence and lack of negative energy that my XW would have produced if we were still together.

  • Raising hand for the crappy last Christmas with ex. He refused to move out of the house, while I was working on the divorce he was still lying to his OW that he couldn’t leave cos it would hurt me. Getting me falsely arrested and forcing me to live with him was hurting me, always a kernel of truth in the lies. In a few months he was going to really cause me a world of hurt, I just didn’t know how yet. Anyhow, he insisted on exchanging presents so I went shopping at the drug store! You’d have to know me to realize just what that meant. I got a him a candle and a $15 boxed Magic Set. I was hoping he’d vanish himself. He didn’t like his gifts much, I really think he expected me to buy him something awesome like usual. Nope. He got me half gloves that were very nice, I was amazed he’d found something I’d like without asking me. Then I realized they were the perfect gift for his elementary school teacher. That’s right, he bought both of us the same thing. I know this without having to confirm it, OW must have asked for them, he never had a creative idea in his life. I kept them, but can’t forget the memory attached, so I suppose I should toss em, or send him to his girlfriend with a note that her’s are probably worn out by now.

  • It has been almost 6 years for me. I threw his sorry ass out on January 7, 2010. Divorce was final December 22, 2011. it’s been quite a trip.
    But here – my horse rescue is good, 39 head and going strong. Great support, good kids, wonderful families, fabulous bookkeeper! Always broke, but huh, what else is new?
    My kids are thriving, one 25 yo, the little one 18, happy, healthy, and bitchin’.
    Got a new truck last week – I’m not really into vehicles, but this one….well, it was worth taking out a 5 year loan. Ford F-150 King Ranch, tuxedo black. Enough said. I’ll die with it.
    Men? The only ones I’ve met are like old men and waaayyy too concerned with their health. And judge-y as crap. Um, no thank you. Spray my pastures, take down some trees, here is your check, bye!
    Got my kids, my barn family, dear friends, dogs, and great neighbors.
    Life is good.
    I am so grateful.

  • The worst thing about Christmas while being single for me these days is when I forget it’s Christmas and drive into the vicinity of the Galleria and get stuck in that traffic.

    The best thing is no cheater to screw up the Holiday. Yay.

  • Thank you for posting this. I really hate the holidays. Mine walked out a few days before Christmas. Plus, he “left” a crappy gift (his used Kindle circa 2007) on the bed as some sort of goodwill gesture.

    Each year, I am determined to enjoy it, but it goes with my attempts to take up running as a hobby. So this year, I am just going to roll with it. It’s just one month of the year when everyone goes batshit over tacky lights and the Hallmark channel.

  • The Christmas before Dday was the worst ever. It was during ex’s affair, and his temper was worse than ever. He declared that we wouldn’t be getting each other any gifts that Christmas. Uh….okay. I didn’t get him a gift, but I did give him a photo of the kids, which threw him into a rage. My 3 year old got diarrhea immediately from the stress, which made us a wee bit late arriving at his mom’s house, which was, of course, all my fault, as he didn’t give a flying fuck about how sick our daughter was. He yelled at the top of his lungs that I ruined Christmas. No joke, he really yelled that. It would be funny if I hadn’t been so distraught and terrified.

    So….yeah. Now, I do Christmas for my kids, because I want them to have great memories. That is all.

    • I’m so sorry. I don’t care about gifts, I care about the feeling of Christmas. I am actually waiting on my dday exposure to be post holiday, in part, because I refuse to ruin this season and waste my joy on him.

      Maybe someday you will get some joy back for this time. Hugs.

  • This will be my second Christmas without the douche! Also my second Christmas Eve without my sweet girls. It is getting easier but still sucks. Last year I watched Hallmark movies and cried all day. I refuse to do that again so I am going to make some efforts to get out and visit family and friends. At least that is my plan.

    However, good news is that life is not that great for the XH. I found out that he and his girlfriend are having relationship issues…same issues we had. Cheat-ahs don’t change their spots. Also, he is having issues with his best friend. The same guy who gave me marriage advice while knowing that XH was cheating on me. Such a good friend!!! Also, he is very poor and in debt. Managing the finances was my area so now that he is doing it on his own it must not be going so well.

    Along with those juicy tidbits of joy, I am doing good. I have my MEH moments more and more as I go on. My girls and I have a better relationship than ever. I have my health and sanity. All that I am truly thankful.

    So being single over the holidays still sucks but you’re right CL, being single is a gazillion times better than being in a lousy relationship!!! So CN raise a glass during this holiday season to ourselves and each other. We are mighty!!!!

  • My ex was Colombian so she had like 30 people in her family. (Sorry Colombians) That’s 30 less gifts I have to buy this season!

    • Hahaha… I had that realisation last year – no more buying all these gifts for people while he sat back and bought one gift, mine, usually some last minute piece of jewellery that became the standard – something nice but with no real thought or effort put into it.

      So I buy for my kids, something nice for myself, and host a big dinner for friends later in the day. It’s quite fun and I save tons of money.

      • I just bought myself a lovely pair of boots for Christmas! I knew exactly what I wanted! The X was the worst at getting me gifts, if he was chasing down his latest female victim, I got nothing, and he would hardly be around, too distracted for his family. I will probably always be burning with anger over that, our sons got so gypped by his uncaring attitudes (which he also denies ever happened). I would get our boys all of their presents, and he would just sit there like a worthless bump on a log.
        Now I do enjoy taking very good care of myself, and the people who loved, and stood by me. I just got back from flying out to see my sons, and they are all doing well. It made me so happy to be around them, I am glad they survived the divorce, and are letting Cheater make his own mistakes, and fix his own life (I was VERY worried he would land on one of their doorsteps, destitute, but he is still renting OW’s basement and she hates him, and they are not speaking, according to my kids. It’s his F-ed up life). He continues to be ridiculous.

      • I’m amazed that I keep passing by the “gifts for him” signs, and don’t really give a damn. I have always been a BIG Christmas person, love to buy & give gifts. X was impossible to please, and being a narcissist, was more than happy to show his displeasure if something wasn’t exactly what he wanted. Can’t express how relieved I feel that he’s not around for this holiday season.

        • Gifts for him, check. I dresses the asshole and literally made him look good. The whore is shopping in the depends aisle, stocking up on heating pads, bleach to wash the pee sheets and pain meds for his bad back due to fucking yet another, other woman he’s seeing. Merry Fucking Cheater Christmas.

  • Perfect post at the perfect time, CL! Thank you!

    2 years ago, the day after Thanksgiving was the day I consider D-Day. I kicked Gollum out because of his verbally abusive and erratic behavior but gave him the option to return, so long as he was ready to do a full reconciliation and give it his all (did not know of the infidelity yet). Did he dance pretty and give shallow apologies or thinly veiled promises? NOPE. He terrorized me in the form of blackmailing threats & scare tactics to make me fear he would take our child, financially destroy us by withholding money & forcing our home into foreclosure, voice record me crying hysterically after one of his drunken tirades to show the court how unstable I am….and things of the like. He had cop friends of his sit outside my home in the culdesac for hours a day, making me afraid to leave my home or have anyone over. He would physically & cyber stalk me….dear Lord, the list goes on. I lost 20 pounds in less than a month and scared my family half to death when I arrived Christmas Eve looking like a different person than I was on Thanksgiving. Merry effing Christmas to me!

    But with all that, yes, thank God I’m not there’re is year. I may get silently jealous watching seemingly joyous couples enjoying their little ones in harmony at the Christmas light show. But then I also am slapped back into reality when I see the miserable parents bickering back & forth with total contempt in the toy aisle at babies R us about what to get their 1 year old. As if it matters…

    I am currently going through another breakup but it’s different this time, it’s empowering. I know how much worse the Christmases to come will be if I don’t walk away now….I’ve already been down that road and I just don’t have the spackling ability I once did.

    So Merry Cheater Free, Abuse Free, Oppression Free, Judgmental In-Law Free Christmas, chumps. It’s so much better to experience this life living in the truth, no matter how heinous.

  • In the divorce I negotiated to get my daughter each year on Christmas eve, Christmas day, and her birthday. I have no familybaround so Christmas is just me and her. Last year we made a gingerbread house on Christmas eve. This year I’m continuing the tradition of a gingerbread house, then ice skating and we are going out for fondue for dinner. On Christmas morning Santa brings me a nice bottle of wine in my stocking and we open gifts and then wear pajamas and watch Christmas showd until we go see a movie on the afternoon. It’s nice, and special.

  • I celebrate the seasons, not specific events (but celebrated Christmas every year with him and his family even though he would make fun of my Solstice … how can you make fun of a scientifically proven event?). It’s still hard to imagine him parachuting into his instant family on Christmas Day, standing at the head of the table, carving the turkey, winking at Poopsie, feeling pretty studly, surrounded by her “adult” kids who knew about the affair before I did. He has found his wholesome family values. How lovely for him.

    Let me rewrite the Grace for their meal … “For that which I’m about to receive … and I mean ‘receive’, like bring it on baby, ’cause it’s all about me … I am truly blessed because, hey!, it looks good if I appear humble and hide behind my religion while my atheist wife back at home causes my world to be destroyed because she chose to take the dog for a walk that Saturday instead of paying attention to MEEEEEEEEEE, so I stayed home and sexted Poopsie even though atheist wife insists she asked me to come with her on the walk because it would be “nice” … ugh! … and by the way, what do you think of my turkey carving, God? Amen. Oh, and I kind of miss the dog, so if you could bring me a puppy for Poopsie, that would be good, but don’t ask me to pick up its shit. Okay, Amen. Thanks.” [insert pistol shooting finger, click, and accompanying wink here]

    Me? I’ll be spending quality time with my pets, doing my spring cleaning (from 2007 … I’m a little behind), making “our” house MY home, working overtime, and removing myself from their drama. We’ll see how I do.

  • 4 years since D-day for me. My ex started the sobbing, I love you but I’m not in love with you, crap right before my birthday in November and it carried on through Christmas. It was beyond hard to try to pretend to be upbeat and happy for family during that time. I remember being so relieved when all the celebrating was over. Then my ex left on Jan. 17. Nothing could be as horrible as that Christmas was for me.

    I’m having Christmas with each of my children separately, one before and one after Dec. 25. I keep telling myself I’m having 2 Christmases so I should be happy. Not sure what I’ll do Christmas Day since half my immediate family will be in the hospital. I’m trying to reach out to others that might be alone that day to see a movie or something. It is hard being alone on the holidays but it’s getting better. It’s easier to focus on giving than receiving.

    • I cook a big meal on Christmas Day and invite any friends who are around and at loose ends to join me and the kids. WE have a blast. Loads of food, a bit too much wine, and a lot of laughs.

  • My last Christmas with the ex was craptastic for sure. He tried to tell me the engraved pocket watch he got as a gift was from his best friend, the beer guzzling football watching couch potato. My mom gave my dad a pocketwatch as a romantic gift when they were married. and I was very suspicious. Christmas morning there were a lot of hangups on the house phone ( this was before we had cell phones). He was grumpy. He was rude. He was unappreciative of the fantastic gift I got him. and then my D Day was January 9th when he left his emails up. The pocket watch was from Schmoopie. This will be my 7th Christmas divorced! I admit there were a lot of hard holidays, especially not having my kids on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning cause it was his year. I’ve repartnered and the blended family, teenage step children ex wife drama sucks too. This year he and I have an ours baby and I have a 16 month old baby that no one is going to take away from me on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning this year.

  • I’ve always loved Christmas, but not so sure the ex did. At any rate, the absence of the Loon in Laws is the gift that keeps on giving ! Goodbye disordered asswipes!

  • My Hand is raised CL!!!!!! 12/25/14 was DDay! We were showing off our new home we had put large sum of cash down on and were weeks away from moving in. On this day at the new home I discovered a text app on spouses phone. The back and forth of what they were going to do to each other on 12/22 was still there. I was graced with “I am going to ejaculate (C word changed) on your face then munch on your vagina (p word changed) in the shower! And so much more. Gift? I may or may not have gotten a gift. I really do not remember! A great Christmas gift!!! Seeing her sext when she always told me she did not know how. And to top it off….. NO PROTECTION! And he was in his 20s. I should win the prize!

    • DavidB, I am truly sorry to read your post. I do not know how people, be them male or female can be like this. I don’t know what to say but I sincerely hope that you have a wonderful Christmas with many, many more. ((HUGS TO YOU))

    • Good Lord, David, your ex is filth. This year might be tough, but you really have nowhere to go but up after such an awful Dday.

      • David, that is just an AWFUL D-day story and you have my sincere sympathy. I hope you have some friends or family to spend this holiday with BUT if you do not- treat yourself to doing what you want and KNOW that anything you do will be SO much better than wasting any time with your cheater ex! Merry Christmas and here is to all good things in 2016 for you.

    • If there is any prize, you certainly do win it. Hang in there! I was told about 6 months after renovating the kitchen into something she wanted. So, that’s about $20K i’ll never see again. Just amazes me how they go along like nothings wrong with no regard at all for the money spent or the dreams that go along with the purchase. I gave up trying to understand and i’m a lot healthier because of it. One day we will reach MEH! Sorry your Christmas will always be tainted by the heartless act of a slunt!

    • Davidb, yes, whether you liked it or not, you were presented with the prize at the worst award ceremony of all time, but sadly I (and many here) had been nominated (and won!!!) these fucked up Academy Awards. What would this Oscar statue look like?

      I remember the day I hacked my ex-wife’s email and found the similar prose that you did. I usually laugh when I remember, but it still can illicit a gross-out shudder that possibly i was mixing with this other man’s … er…as General Jack D. Ripper said in Dr. Strangelove, “essence”.

      I remember the day, and it was close to leap year. I am glad it was not 12/25 which has enough baggage stuck to it already. I am your fan and have a strong feeling you are going to awesome.

      • Yes the ESSENCE! I had a sexual encounter with her on the 23rd! UGHHHHHH later finding out I was mixing it up with her boy toy! Also, the welcome home kiss! Did all the above get washed off good?

        • LOL! I try really hard not to allow my mind to go there. Did the STD test and everything was negative so I just count my blessing for that. It’s does make my stomach turn when for a moment I think about it! Her affair partner happened to be the well known male whore in our town. That makes it even more special thinking about all the skanks he has been with.
          Hope that makes you feel a little better!

          • Oh soooo gross. They never think of what they subject us to. In addition to his long term OW and random bar skanks, mine hooked up with women from “dating” sites and I traced numbers on his cellphone bill to an escort service. I was sweating those STD tests pretty hard.

    • I had the “good fortune” to find a vast archive of similar prose in my wife’s email shortly after she passed away suddenly in late August. Including intimate discussions of our intimate life (mostly lack thereof!). A dozen online partners and 2-3 actual physical boyfriends over a two year period, with actual physical intimacy during the pregnancy with and most likely after the birth of our daughter. The evidence of infidelity dries up about 2 years ago, right when she started developing substance abuse issues. Coincidence? Sigh. Who the heck did I marry?

      • HeatDeath–I can’t imagine what it must be like to have this information revealed postmortem, and have no one to rail against. That sucks.

        • There was another thread on here that I found helpful, in a way. It reminded someone else in a similar position that any face-to-face confrontation would not have been any kind of satisfying closure – that these kinds of confrontations never involve the cheater being contrite and repentent – it’s always really just more furious anger, gaslighting and blameshifting. I got called a “jealous jack*ss” often enough after discovering (what was really only the tip of the iceberg) some incriminating but not completely conclusive texts a few years earlier. I can well imagine how that conversation would have really gone. At this point, anger has mostly given way to sheer sad slightly shocked disbelief at the mindbending chutzpuh and hypocrisy of some of the things she said and did during that time, and how they contrasted with what was really going on. Like most narcs, as I’ve come to learn, she was compartmentalized well past the point of utter indifference to me bordering on sociopathy, almost into the realm of clinically significant multiple personality disorder. I knew she could be a little “difficult” going in. Heck, her parents warned me that much. But she was broken inside far beyond what anybody now will admit to having suspected.

          • HeatDeath you didn’t miss anything not having that conversation with her…satan became so incensed when confronted with the facts I had learned he broke my ribs and roared in my face while beating me on the floor. I am so grateful I am free of him…regardless of the non closure.

            These people are dangerous…it’s hard to believe we actually slept beside them…

            • HeatDeath….I wanted to let you know that I am absolutely blown away by how well you write and the depth of your description of your nowdeadwife. Wow just wow. I can’t imagine finding this stuff out afterwards. I’ve re-read your post several times. I’m trying to let it sink in….

      • HeatDeath, No words can convey comfort to you. However it must be said, I’m so sorry for your situation. it is so hard when you can’t have an argument with the disordered. Always futile anyway but at least most get to try. I don’t know if it helps to know you are not alone, a friend of mine had a situation similar to this and he found out only after asking 2 OM to be pall bearers. She left a detailed diary for him to find. Again no words exist, except I’m sorry.

        one day life will be better, I know that doesn’t help now, and in this season especially. but only time will provide that healing. take care of yourself and your children who are hurting.

  • Grew up in a family with a Sociopath father and Christmas was ALWAYS the worst – the drunks, the rages, the “everything”‘s were worse…. the beatings of my mother and us. sigh. And I was married to a narc/socio for 21 years – unable to leave (many reasons….mostly my fear, and sickness). But when I left, it was Christmas 2004. I have never looked back!!!! I’m 57 this year and I have spent the last 5 Christmas’s alone. The first two were hard – I cried a lot. I felt “expectation” that my grown children “should” think of me. Well – they (3 of them) are all 30 and older with no kids … so? they’re busy. I’ve just had to learn how to be happy. I am melancholy by nature, I think? So its been a struggle at times – but I can finally say – FINALLY lol!!! that it it ALL good. I can always find somewhere to go serve meals at Christmas…. or even …. go for a HIKE! last year I did an all day hike that was magnificent. I am immediately healed from self-pity when I think of all the years of my life I have spent miserable on Christmas (and other holidays) at the whim of an asshole 🙂

  • I found getting out for a walk every day helpful. Also, start learning to say ‘no’ to attending an event/gathering you won’t enjoy or find stressful.

    Listen, it takes a while to get to meh and to deal with Christmas. This year I am finally OK to shop in the mall with the Christmas music blaring without having an anxiety attack.

    I really am very content to be single. My EX was always miserable at Christmas — except for the maybe the first year. I didn’t realize how much he impacted me. I feel so much lighter now.

    The worst Christmas was not DD#2 but the year before when I was living in limbo. My EX told me he wanted space to think and was moving into a basement apartment for a while, and so I waited. What he really did was move in with the 25 year old OW in a house they purchased together – and everyone knew but me. I admit that I still carry some anger towards the Switzerland friends who didn’t say anything.

  • Third Christmas without asswipe for me. Lonely but peaceful. Our marriage was a good one til he met that whore and then everything was wrong with me and our life. Asshole. He currently is not living with but still sees other ho who is furiously playing the big big pick me dance to get him back. Holiday invites, family stuff, texts and calls constantly. Pick meeeeee again!!! What a couple of losers. My kids can’t be here for Xmas and more than annoyed at dad for leaving me utterly and totally alone. I’ve grown used to it. So Christmas for me now is nothing. Used to be my second favorite holiday now I just don’t give a damn. Ex keeps coming around being “nice”. Puke, but I play the game to keep him calm he can be vindictive. Divorce should be final couple of days, house sold couple of months. Then I will be free of the drama and negativity. He promised to be here to have dinner with me, promised my daughter but of course other woman has bigger better plans. I realized long ago he checked out of what he only recently calls our dysfunctional family. In his head as he is the one most fucked up. Being away from him, her, the madness, drama and other bullshit will make my next year’s Christmas pretty good I think. I’ve given away every scrap of the old family Christmas shit and next year will buy new. For Xmas this year I hope he goes back to her! She deserves the lying cheating angry bastard she already knows he is!

  • This is my second year of cheater free holidays. My dday was shortly before Thanksgiving some 5 years ago. I dragged the corpse of our marriage around for three years post dday and officially buried it in 2013. I let the ex talk me into faking it through the holiday season in 2013 (chump much?)but I escaped right before New Years.

    My first holiday season was rough. I didn’t even decorate. This year I bought a few new decorations for the new homestead and I figure I will add a little bit each year. I’ve been burning my Christmas Yankee candle all month and it really makes the place smell great!

    My boys and I will have Christmas breakfast together and I will pick up mom and dad and travel to my sister’s place for the day. This year is so much better than last year and I just know it will keep getting better every year!

  • This will be my fourth X-mas without EX, first one officially divorced! Yeay!
    In 25 years married – I never received a jewelry gift or a thoughtful gift, the year before D-Day he bought be a perfume, when he was out “shopping” with OW. Yuck! Threw that sucker out once I put two and two together!! What an asshole!!

    Taking back my holidays this year, previous years and deactivated Facebook, so I wouldn’t see all those “perfect families” – not doing it this year.

    Also, I have not mailed out Christmas cards to far away family and friends. This year, I plan on spending a day in the city with my two Kids (20/17) and torturing them with lots of selfies of the three of us, until I find a good one and that will be my Christmas card. This is my family, my kids and I.

    Spending X-mas eve at my sisters, X-mas morning at home with the kids until they go to EX’s in late afternoon.

    And on 26th, I’m getting together with 3 other FABULOUS Single Mom’s – and we are going to town, lunch, movie and drinks. I am seriously excited about this year’s holidays! It does get better.

  • It really is just another day. This is my second without Asshat. But I have a lovely home with a fireplace, Nifty decorations, kids and extended family to share it with. Life just gets better. This holiday everything is final and I am so happy about that.

    Making new friends, have hobbies I love to do and with new extended family, with little kids (mine are grown) holidays are once again fun. Have no idea what Asshat is doing and do not care.

    He has his skank and her kids to deal with.

    Wishing everyone a happy, joyous no-drama holiday where you appreciate the most important person – YOU.

    Hugs to all

  • I knew there was something very wrong with my marriage when I took care of all the logistics of a family move in December of a stressful year.

    I made a point of putting the tree up with the kiddo in our new half empty apartment. I went out and bought a few gifts to put under the tree, bought special food, and set up a festive table for Xmas Eve. We get to the opening of the gifts that evening, and everyone got gifts… Except me. Zero gifts, or cards for Mom. X apologized, the kiddo and him went out to buy me a post-Xmas gift later that week, but to me, Xmas was never quite the same after that.

    When we separated, I took all the ornaments because each year I buy a new ornament for the kiddo and me to put on the tree. We recall memories of when we both which ornament, and also do our own with craft materials. Last year was our first in our new chapter, and it was bitter sweet, compensated by gift galore for the kiddo from my family. This year putting the tree up was fun!

    This weekend, I will be wrapping presents for the kiddo and myself, with plenty of spiked egg nog, and fun Xmas music!! Did I mention how amazing freedom feels?

    Most of all, I can’t wait to see the face of my kiddo when she opens her presents on Xmas Eve! My wishes for 2016? For all of us chumps to revel in more Meh moments :)!

  • Dday was 12/22/14. My world crashed yet I faked a smile to save my children from a horrible tsunami of heartache during Christmas. It was horrible, I was just an empty vessel with a shit sandwich smile going through the motions.
    And now, a year later I’m trying to get my head straight and figure out how I’m going to tackle this season single (divorce was final on the 11th of this month) and create new traditions for myself and kids. Fortunately, I do have my children Christmas morning. The pain and heartache is still there and sometimes unbearably intense. All the loss I’m feeling around traditions is hard to accept sometimes. But at least this year I am living in truth. Hoping to enjoy as much as I can through these next couple of weeks…and I’m giving myself permission to laugh, cry, be sad or incredibly happy. It’s going to be a bumpy ride but I’ve got loving family and friends that are supporting me through it.

  • Today is the six-year anniversary of meeting my then-husband of 20 years for a quick afternoon cup of hot chocolate at a local coffee house, only to hear him say that he didn’t want to be married anymore, never should have married me to begin with, and no, there wasn’t anyone else. The next morning he left the house and sent the mass text message to everyone we knew, informing them that our marriage was ended. The day after THAT, I saw the photo on Facebook that told me instantly that yes, there was someone else, and that it was a woman I knew.

    Two weeks later, on Christmas Eve, he moved back into the house, saying I could not legally prevent him from doing so. The next morning, he gave me two cheap pink washcloths as a gift as I sat in stunned silence watching our son open gifts.

    Nothing will ever top the terror, grief, disbelief and disorientation I felt at that time. I didn’t think I would survive.

    But I did. Several single holidays followed, and although they were hard, they were better than the holiday of 2009. I decorated my apartment, bought too many gifts for my son, went out for Chinese food on Christmas day, spent time with friends.

    I’m not single now, been with Nice Guy for two years and this holiday season, we’re living together.

    I’m here to tell all of you who are new to Chump Nation…. it does get better. It does get easier. The anger fades, you’ll eventually be able to eat again and sleep again. Maybe you will eventually decide to date again, maybe you will decide it’s better to remain single. There are pros and cons to each. But either way, remember to treat yourself gently and kindly at the holidays. Buy yourself a gift. Do something special. Get some new ornaments or a new stocking or a new menorah. Drive around and look at decorated houses. Go to a concert or a play or a religious service. Never again let yourself be defined solely by whether you do or do not have a partner. You’re entirely whole on your own. I think chumps often forget that.

    • I am an emotional iceberg right now, as I try to line up my ducks. I am quiet so I can achieve this ^^^ as soon as possible. But today, when discussing Christmas gifts with the only girlfriend I have confided in, I had a moment of near tears. I had pre-d day thought of asking for a slow cooker for making easy meals. But seriously. In a year I will be divorcing a cheater, eating alone. I will go buy that tiny ass one for just me, (Yknow, the one that’s actually for warming sauce) from Walmart, and save the other 60 bucks for my lawyer. Seriously. The stupid stuff that makes you realize alone is not the same. I actually can’t wait, I revel in the idea of being done this pretending. I want what you have. Peace. Not Pieces. Maybe that’s what my tears are. Expectation, in a good way.

  • I feel like my life changed so quickly. And I didn’t leave my husband, he cheated and chose to leave and it was all pretty sudden for me. I don’t have the relief of getting rid of years of a bad marriage or giving up horrible traditions or horrible in laws.

    I guess he showed me who he truly was towards the end. But before this summer, I thought my husband was wonderful and I was happy.

    Yes, I set boundaries and I enforced them and I chose not to let him disrespect me, but that was just what I had to do once he started behaving badly.

    I feel like I’ve only lost things, I’m almost universally just worse off. And sometimes I really struggle with the notion that the person that harmed me is the same person that I loved so deeply and that seemed so fun and loving and caring just before the summer started.

    • I am sorry you are having to deal with this. My circumstances are very similar to yours. She never acted like anything was so terrible that we couldn’t work through them. Until she was ready to leave. Just know that some how they can go on like everything is good while they disconnect from us. Then they start treating us poorly. And it’s still a huge shock when they spring the divorce on us. So, we have to process that they cheated, lied and manipulated us while planning their exit. There is nothing you could have done to stop him. You’ll never understand how he changed on you so quickly. You’ve taken steps in the right direction to heal. For me limiting contact as much as possible has been the key for me to really begin to heal. It’s going to take time and you have to process everything at your pace. Most importantly you have to have hope. Hope for a better future, healthier relationships, and anything else that helps you dream for a better future. I hope you will make plans with family and friends to help you get through the next few months.

      • My ex was telling me he loved me and I was his best friend right up until Dday, when suddenly it all changed to how he never should have married me and we had nothing in common. To say it was a shock is an understatement. I actually think this is very common, I know many chumps here share this experience.

        • GIO, count me in! I was also his soul mate and the best thing that ever happened to him. Go figure. I bet he says the exact same thing to his 23 year old prostitute live-in lover. Don’t know and I don’t care.

        • Glad, absolutely share that experience. Horribly disorienting. It’s like a bad ride at the the fair. Even after DDay, still saying I was the love of his life, he loved me, etc etc.

      • Lostntx,

        Thank you for your words. I know I’m not alone, but sometimes Tracy makes it sound like “be proud of yourself for quitting that asshole” which is totally not what I did and I feel worse. Like being left by a cheater is just as bad as leaving a cheater but you don’t get the self satisfaction.

        I’m spending holidays with my family going back home thankfully. I don’t have anyone in Texas, so I’ve been chugging along trying to hang out with friends and get my work done. On the one hand I’m very happy to have my family to myself this holiday, on the other hand I’m pretty sure it will just be a permission lose my cool for a bit.

        • It’s true. You have never had the chance to deal with the propulsion of emotion in your story. The physics of it imply there’s probably a ton just sitting under the surface. The folks who get to toss the cheater out, enforce all these boundaries, see them cry and snivel and beg, give reconciliation a shot (yes I know it’s also a terrible stress, but at least you have more evidence that the marriage the relationship, their character, all of it- it’s irreperable)… They get to expend that energy. You’re basically left to shout at the potted plant in the corner, and it just doesn’t get rid of the need now that he has exited, for you to have your day of retribution. It can take you down a whole other rabbit hole- was it that he is ‘better’ than most cheaters and stopped hiding and left, just a little bit of overlap instead of being a lying ass for years? Was he terrible at communicating which makes relationships with him ticking time bombs? How do you get to stop caring when you never had the chance to choose to stop caring. To uncover it and take your power back? Was he so unhappy with you that he cheated but then left, where so many people will choose to try to have cake even when they know the relationship is crazy and everyone is miserable. (Oh that makes it sound negative when really my thought was: Oh my god did you invent some sort of internal cheat repellant by setting real boundaries? Because that’s kind of a score for you…) yep. All this stuff is just… Twisty and terrible. And that’s your shit sandwich. But this place is for you. It’s for me, who still hasn’t done anything about ending this shit, (planning), it’s for people who were denied their day of anger and throwing things and guilting and making the ass realize they have stomped on your soul for the sake of strange…, it’s for people who didn’t get a clue until their spouse passed (which I would find so hard because so often you can’t say anything real about dead people… Which brings its own rabbit hole)…, it’s for the people who walk in and see it all, point blank and will never unsee their sister screwing their spouse and she also brought her boyfriend…pretty sure they would argue that an ending with no fight no throwing no ‘I have my power back moment’ would be worth it to unsee that visage… It’s relative. I am sorry you ever felt less than becuause this place is for all of us. Some stories might be more common. Red and yellow pink and green we are all invited to dine on the strange misdyed wonderbread shit sandwich that is our specific breed of cheater, but we all dine United at the table of Chump Nation, and dammit- there’s wine.

    • I had very similar experience. He strung me along until the very end, I still loved him and until the day he left he was saying he loved me and literally that day we were texting about signing paperwork with a realtor about getting our house on the market to move to a larger home to have more children.

      One thing my therapist this year has helped me to focus on is grief. He had me write down everything I feel like I lost and we are processing through those feelings. Even losing things I never had, like the second and third child that I always hoped for. Losing the warm family celebrations with our grandchildren and us all together. That may help you if you allow yourself to grieve a very real loss, of what you had and what you expected to have.

      My heart goes out to you. It will get better in time. I hope it doesn’t sound trite, but it’s true. Keep plugging along.

    • Yeah, wasn’t my choice either. At one point she said “you thought I’d never leave you”; well, yeah, that was one of the promises we made to each other. At another point she said I “should have known it was possible” given her past. So either she was proud of blindsiding me or she felt I was stupid to have not seen it coming.

      This is my second Christmas since she left. I hate that I had a family – her and her son – and now I don’t. It’s what I had always wanted, I had it, and she ripped it away. Oh, and regarding acting like everything was fine, she had me buy her an electric car that doesn’t get very far (perfect second car!) four months before she announced that after thinking about it for nine months she was leaving me.

      It’s been about a year and a half now, and while I’d like to at least date casually, I haven’t had any luck. I sometimes find myself panicking that I’ll be alone for ever. Every online profile I read is looking for someone 6 feet tall and athletic. Spoiler alert: not me.

      I was doing pretty well until the holiday season started. Bah humbug!

      • Which way did she go, here’s a spoiler alert. Any of these bitches that are mostly interested in appearances, money, job, whatever are just cheaters waiting to happen you are better off without them. Wait on a quality person who likes you for the real you. Best wishes.

      • Me too, WW! I was on top of this stuff and feeling genuinely joyful, accomplished and hopeful about the new life I’ve been creating this past year – until last week when the reality of being alone, having too much time on my hands due to time off of work next week, missing my old life. Whatever it is has triggered a few nightmares this week, which have then affected my mood during the days. Ugh. I feel you! Guess we can use these lower mood days to realize and appreciate the coming months when we’ll be headed back into a new year, and springtime, and the better moods we were experiencing right before these holiday days. Hope you (and all of CN) gets thru these next few weeks as easily as possible.

        • Thanks, UC, and I’m sorry that you’re also cycling back around. I didn’t mention it, but my ex rudely trespassed into several dreams last night / this morning. What a crap start to the day! And if it wasn’t for Fallout 4, I’d be a complete mess; as it is I’m about 60% ?

          Spring is almost here, right? Right? Im a little short on hope at the moment.

          • WWDSG and UC, Just my opinion, but you guys ROCK. I am an outsider and by definition have a more accurate assessment of things (HA! HA!) but you two are seriously wicked (according to a couple gens behind me wicked means very, very GOOD). Do not buy into your mood or the shit about Christmas. You guys have a whole new life ahead and I, for one, can’t wait to hear how deliciously that unfolds.

            Please. Stay the course and keep CN informed. We read and care and can’t wait to hear about your successes. It gives us hope!

            • Virago, thanks! You’re always so positive and complimentary here. I know a happy future awaits you, too. Hope your holidays are joyful and fun and full of things to be grateful for as well. You’re totally right.. the only thing that can bring us down is allowing sad or stagnant thought run our mind instead of thoughts of things already accomplished or creative thoughts of the future we’d like. So, on with the better feeling thoughts. 😉

          • Yes, spring is only about 100 days away! And the beginning of a brand new year is only about 15 days away 😉 Dream a little – write down a few things that you want to be grateful that happened in 2016, when you’re reading that list on NYE 2017. Sounds silly, but I’m doing the same thing and it has actually helped me feel a bit more hopeful today than I felt yesterday. You’ll find your family base again. This time it’ll be with someone beautiful inside and out, and she’ll desire loyalty, honesty and a future with you.. not just temporary satisfaction or material goods. Btw, don’t you always wish that you could join those dreams while you’re still sleeping/dreaming them, and go kick their asses verbally, then wake yourself up laughing and full of confidence and personal security?!? Lol. I so wish that whenever x or his ow creep into my dreams. I hope you end up having a joyful and peaceful holiday time, WW!

      • WhichWay, isn’t it amazing the cruelty in these sub humans. Your x’s quote triggered a memory. My x wasband said in his grand finale “I bet you never thought I had the balls to leave you”. I stood there so sick with ports into my heart and a friend in the other room (oh, the irony when I look back, I lost 110 lbs. because he was consuming me and the fact that he had been working on breaking my heart over years). The only thing I could say was “I never thought you had the capacity for such cruelty to me”. He just raged on, it was not great for awhile. I thought it was because I had become so sick, but the truth is I was no longer meeting his selfish needs and he had made plans to move on but needed to find a soft landing spot first.
        They really suck.
        The day after this past Thanksgiving was my 30th high school reunion and I had been doing pretty well and looking forward to the event, but I bailed. The sadness of where my life is right now is too distressing to fake it with old high school acquaintances.
        At 2.5 years out from the discard, I think I have more ok time than sad time. The way I look at these cycles is like a graph of an earthquake and its aftershocks or a diminishing sine wave.
        Things still suck quite a bit, but I am better able to recover quickly and they are further apart and less intense.
        I loved holidays with the x. He did his damnedest to destroy everything for me. I am going to work to find joy and peace in this life despite that asshole.
        For those who are just awakening to the horror of what the estranged partner has been doing, I am sorry, I know the pain personally. Only time will distance you from the traumatic event. The holidays will pass quickly no matter what and there will be nice holidays again in the future, once the cheater is distant in the rear view mirror. This I know.
        Peace and Love Chumps!

  • Last year, I moved out on Mr. Pervert three days before Thanksgiving. I wanted to be kind and give him enough time to decide where to have turkey with which Schmoopie (he’s estranged from most of his family. Imagine that.). Not really, I wanted to be with MY family for Thanksgiving, and it was wonderful! For Christmas last year I was in a fog, scrambling to push the divorce toward finalization and be FREE from that sick POS.

    This year it’s sunk in. I have my cozy new home, my sweet dog, and me. It feels peaceful, and yet poignant. I certainly don’t miss him, but I still have occasional grief spasms because I feel, as CL puts it, I have lost my story.

    15 years ago, I lost a much-loved immediate family member to cancer. She and I were kindred spirits, and I still mourn her passing – especially this time of year. During my first Christmas season without her, I heard a song on NPR that may resonate for anyone who’s grieving during this time of year when we’re expected to be so full of joy: Get Me Through December with Alison Krauss and Natalie MacMaster. Here’s to you Majean, I really miss you, but I know you’re in a peaceful place.

  • The snake slowly but surely chipped away at my joy in the holidays year by year. I’m in legal limbo, in a temporary rental, so I don’t have the decorating bug, even though I made sure to grab my Christmas stuff when I left the snake. My daughter lives out of town, and I don’t think she has the time off to come visit.

    So this year is a quiet one.

    But I’ll hit up the after Christmas sales on outdoor decorations, because that’s something the snake could never be bothered with, and look forward to decorating my own house next year, assuming my attorney puts an end to the snake’s ridiculous obstruction and delaying of our divorce, so I can finally move on with my life.

  • This is the first Christmas in YEARS that I actually have some beautifully wrapped presents under the tree. And a tree of sorts for the first time in a long time for that matter too. I always had my family over for a nice dinner but everyone goes home at night and I was left alone. It bothered me for the longest time that the XH was off with Schmoopie having nice a holiday with trees and gifts and I was all by myself since I forgot to come up with a Plan B when married to him. This year is different. I have a wonderful man in my life who I plan on making my husband soon. The XH and Schmoopie are a distant memory thank God. The pain I found, is finite. The XH and I had nice holidays together so I can’t really think of things to complain about with him when it comes to that. I missed a lot of things when he walked out the door.

    The years I spent single were hard but necessary. I fixed my picker and learned how to live all by myself and alone for the first time in my life. I learned how to take care of myself and I learned just how resourceful I can be. I know these are things that my fiance appreciates about me. Good luck and God Bless Chump Nation.

  • This is my first year without Haggar the Whoreable. Last year was horrible. He was nasty and spent more time hiding out in the house that with me and the kids. He pretended to be somewhat nice when his family came over for brunch the day after. Then as soon as they left, he was back on his phone and missing in action somewhere in the house or garage. Now I know what was really going on. Ugh!

    This year is odd being alone. My son is mostly grown and doing his own thing. I did finally buy a tree and hope to have it up this week. Not really sure why except we have always had one and my son wanted one.

    As for Christmas and New Years, I expect some deep cleaning and painting to be going on to keep busy. Not looking forward to one minute of this year. Maybe next.

  • This will be my 3rd Christmas without cheater – but it’s the first one since our divorce was final and the first one in my new home. Those are two things I’m most grateful for, in addition of course to my daughter (18) being home from college.

    On Thanksgiving this year, daughter went to her dad’s for lunch so I took a nice long walk by the river. It was a beautiful day and I was able to relax and enjoy it. I’m not sure yet when she will go to her dad’s on Christmas Day but I’m up for that walk again if the weather is good. Otherwise, the cat and I will be snuggled on the couch watching old movies together.

    I still struggle with the loneliness but I know the worst days are behind me and I’m looking forward to better days ahead.

  • Thanks Tracey. I need this! Im thinking of booking a day of spa treatments and helping the homeless in the evening at a refuge in the kitchen. Will update in the new year on where I got to

  • Maybe I’m crazy, but I am already enjoying the holidays more without my STBXW!

    This is the first go-around of holidays after I dumped her cheating ass. While divorce is not yet finalized (this crap takes FOREVER!!!), I’ve got the house, almost all of the assets are in my name, it’s not a child support or an alimony case… so I’m not really in any hurry.

    Right now, I miss intimacy, but not any more so than I would if it wasn’t the holidays, and not really any more so than I did being married to a cheating bitch who has her moral head stuck up her spiritual posterior regions. Sex is not the same as making love (in my experience, that’s actually much hotter than sex without the real connection; and yeah, I am a guy!).

    I **really** like the change of pace of not being coupled up with a frigid, duplicitous deadbeat for the holidays. 🙂 I don’t have my daughter on Xmas day this year, but will host a group of family on Xmas Eve when I do have my daughter. She and I have already started a couple of new traditions, went out and got a tree and trimmed it together, and generally are enjoying ourselves.

    On Xmas day, I’ll travel by car to visit family, and probably host a friend or two overnight at my house; people who are big supporters of mine, and are also flying solo that evening in similar situations with their kids. There will be copious amounts of wine consumed, and we’ll just have a great time hanging out.

    I’m looking forward to all of it!

  • My first Christmas alone I was miserable, ate too much sugar, and sat in my pygamas surfing the web. I saw no other human for two weeks then returned to work, pretending I’d had a great holiday. That was a low point in my life. I resolved that if I could do that and survive sane, then I could likely be happily single forever.

    The following year, I booked a trip to Asia with a singles travel group. Had so much fun, I’ve never looked back. There are so many other lonely people out there. You just have to find them, make plans, and make a life for yourself.

    Get good exercise, treat yourself well, love yourself, and be happy. That will bring good results.

  • I’m glad to see you guys will have a great Christmas/Solstice/whatever religious/non-religious observance with the people you care about.

    Myself – my life has just been blown apart in a D-Day of my own. This time – its not a cheater, however, the dynamics are the same.
    In short, I fucking despise people with the fire of ten thousand suns, who pretend to be ‘upper class’ when really they are not, who plant seeds of doubt and poison the mind of one of my immediate family, to the point where the rest of my family are despised by said person because she believes their poison. Planning ‘fancy’ Christmases and thinking they are oh-so-awesome because they drink fancy wine and buy designer goods – and look down upon people who do not, or who are simpler in their tastes. No. You are a bunch of fucking alcoholics and piss your money away on frivolous shit, thats what. And you have shit for morals and are a rats nest of Cluster B fuckwads. You always have to make it ALL ABOUT YOU.

    I will never forgive these cunts. EVER.

    (That being said though – the rest of my family will have a Christmas, which while marred by this crap, will be spent focussing on the kids. They shouldn’t have to suffer because of it)

    • Lania, just remember that people who pretend to be ‘upper class’ are usually not and besides even if they are, that does not make them any better than the rest of us. As my old dad used to say, ‘they are just bunging on side” or my mum would say, ‘they are slapping on side”. Either way you get the picture ??
      Have a great Christmas with your family. Santa with sweat stains isn’t a good look but hey, we are in Australia, what do you expect? Stay safe and be happy dear girl. 🙂

      • I know they aren’t. And I don’t personally give a fuck about them or their ilk.
        Its the fact they have poisoned the mind of one of my dearest family.

  • Lania, I rid myself of these cluster B’s one by one. First, it was my toxic narcissist father who abused my mother. That ended the day she passed away. He made up lies about me to my alcoholic brother who was the scapegoat who bore the brunt if my fathers abuse. He threatened to kill me in an alcoholic rage. Done. Two down. Next it was the serial cheating civert narc sociopath who picked up a whore on my anniversary and was dating two others simotaneously. I threw him out and filed three months later. There’s no room at the inn for any these toxic, disordered delusional fuckers in my life.
    I burdened myself for way too many years. Fuck every last one of them. Authentic is better than crystal, diamonds, pretentiousness, or entitlement.
    Enjoy the children it will give you peace and joy.

    • Donna, I refused to speak with or even associate with the likes of said people pretty much from day one – I knew one of their lot from a long time ago, and knew she was a pretentious shithead. I met the mother a grand total of once, who sneered at me because of the clothing I was wearing and what I was saying in conversation – and I thought “Who the fuck do you think YOU are? If you think you’re better than me, I have more class in my left hand than you do in your entire body, and your designer goods won’t change that one iota”. Nor their ‘prince son’. Calling me a ‘loser’ behind my back when he thinks I can’t hear it, casting asperations on my sanity or life choices – when its plain as day that I have made something of myself with my own merits and education – while that dick has pissed away privilege like its his god-given right.

  • My final D-Day was Christmas Day 2012. Yep, threw cheater ex out that day after we got back from vacation, visiting our son. I now mark that day as “liberation” day from a life ridden with lies. I now celebrate Christmas with joy and laughter because that was masquerading as a marriage. Don’t get me wrong. The first year after the divorce was tough and the first Christmas was really hard but I accepted that was part of the process, part of the healing. I refused to let the cheater win any longer. “Act as if” I was happy was my mantra back then. I did things that made me happy (and no, not another man) even when I didn’t feel like it. Now three years later? No need to act as if. My heart and my mind are all in sync and life is truly good. Cheater ex truly, truly sucks and I cannot even imagine a life with him, even for a nano second. He is now someone I used to know.

  • Christmas 2013 was six months out from D-Day and my children, god bless them, came to my house and spent it with me. But I was a basket case. I don’t even remember any of it. Two weeks before xmas, I emailed Asshole and asked him to come here to our house to get his Christmas stocking. I was not yet NC with him and I was still craving contact with him. I still missed and loved him even though he was “committed” (his words) to OW and had lied to me that they were breaking up but I hired a P.I. who saw Exhole at her house for two weeks starting on Dec. 23rd. He came here, where he lived with me for 12 years and got his childhood Christmas stocking and argued with me for about two hours blameshifting and pontificating to me about how his betrayal was All My Fault. I tried to give him his boxes of ornaments he’d had from before he met e and he told me to throw them in the trash. What I heard was throw Me In the Trash. He succeeded in getting me to understand he was discarding me for the Exciting New Vagina he’d found with Lots of Money.

    Christmas 2014, some Switzerland “friends” invited me to their house to spend Xmas day with them and I did it, still craving these so-called friends but they have stayed friends with the Fuckhead. I just foolishly accepted their invitation last Sunday to their daughter’s Xmas play and was subjected to the wife lecturing me about how I was Being Too Negative about asshole and his fucktard ways. They are still friends with him and his OW whore.

    This year, two of my (grown) kids and their girlfriends are coming to spend Christmas with me. I was always the one in our household (with Exhole) who put up the ornaments, cooked all the food, bought all the gifts for his family and mine. My kids truly love me (they are from first marriage, not Exhole) and I am looking forward to music, laughter, fun, frivolity, food and lots and lots of love. What I want for 2016: Meh. Thank you for all your wonderful posts. I am just blown away and amazed by the brave, strong people who post on this site. Thank you to all of you and to Tracy for being Chumplady.

  • This is my fourth Christmas since DDAY and divorce and it is the first one I’m really enjoying. Before it’s been trying to enjoy and moments of enjoying but this year is different. I got a couple more decorations and peacefully enjoyed putting them up. I enjoy walking around the neighborhood and looking at the lights. I’m hosting a holiday dinner. My dog has about a million holiday toys.

    It just keeps getting better – not just the holidays but life. Don’t lose heart, recent chumps. You really are on your way to a better life. I don’t even feel like complaining about all the x-y Christmas Pasts!

  • CL, my throat gets very, very tight when I think how grateful that I am for you and CN in my life. I was beyond lost. Bleeding out on the street. And there you and your tribe were. Almost like a mirage. Blessings and love to the entire nation as we trip, stumble and lurch our way through this bizarre experience and holiday season.

    • This site has been my Christmas Miracle, too. Thank you everyone – for your kindness, your honesty, your stories, your inspiration.

      Ironically, my STBX’s cheating preference has been online, interactive porn. Where you type your bizarro sexual requests and they type you back. He said it was the most intimate love he’s ever known.

      I think Chump Lady is MY internet porn. In the best possible and healthy way (and I would never be afraid if someone happened to grab my phone and read my messages here)

  • I am going to buy myself some chump lady swag for myselfmfor Christmas this year since The Evil One never bought me anything worth a shit!!!! I did pre-order your book on Amazon for myself, thanks men!!!!

  • Sitting here reading the comments about all these sick fucks, I realize how much I hate all these damn cheaters and the shit they do. I can’t even read the reconciliation boards, where the chumps are still putting up with these low life bastards. I did it myself, but to read where someone is posting that a creep is actively doing this crap to them and they are defending the cheater is just heart breaking.

    I think there should be a law that is someone is caught cheating, divorce is automatic. And immediate. And they have to marry the co cheater, and can never divorce. That is your karma right there! Two whores stuck with each other for eternity.

  • This is actually my 10th year since I kicked the cheater out, just a few days before Christmas 2006. I’ve never been a big fan of the holiday but there’s always that turkey dinner. That first Christmas I was sick with flu and after losing 20 lbs on the I-diet, very, very weak. But… my son was with me and I was determined so I did the turkey dinner. Even though it was small, I remember barely having the strength to pick it up out of the oven. And then, my son also got sick so neither of us was able to eat. Lol. Pathetic much?

    Every year since then (with one exception) I’ve made a turkey dinner, and despite living on the other side of the world, have always had at least a couple of family members or friends around to share it with. So much more relaxed that when I had to deal with the abusive ex and his crazy family. And the following weeks of turkey soup, turkey sandwiches, turkey pot pie etc. are definitely worth the effort. Yeah, I’m all about the turkey!

    I mentioned one exception, and hope some here will find this info useful. Christmas day is literally the cheapest day of the year to fly, if you time it right. I had to fly home one frozen winter and not only paid a dirt-cheap fare but also got bumped to business class because there was hardly anyone else on that flight.

    For all of you who are just beginning your new lives, believe me, it has its rewards. Stay strong, chump nation!! And happy holidays to all 🙂

    • Thanks, Sass, for that tip about flying on Christmas day. I’m fortunate I have my boys each Christmas for the next 3 Christmases, but when Spawn of Satan has them in a couple of years for Christmas and I need to fly 2000 miles to pick them up, I’ll fly on Christmas Day, thanks to this nugget of knowledge!

  • Hello. All!
    I can concur with all the posters that say the first holiday season after D-Day is the worst. I am on #2 and it feels good! I have a fake tree- with two curious little cats a real one would be insane. But I have a tip for thrifty chumps- this one is a nice evergreen one, the kind that cost a few hundred new, and I got it at Volunteers of America for 25.00.

    I didn’t have much energy for Christmas last year, but I am proud that I struck a balance between Grinchdom and exhaustion. After Christmas I got a small bonus and I hit the clearance sales hard, got so many new ornaments and a new tree color scheme for this year.

    This year is much better. The ex’s taint on my family home is fading. I tidied up my Dad’s giant barn of a shed and brought out ALL his holiday lights. He’s been gone 5 years and 90% of them still worked! It took me two bone aching weekends but they are up, and the red and purple tree is pretty &^%$’n fab. Neighbors were stopping by to complement how everything looked!

    Aaalso baking. I have made several batches of cookies and miniature pies already that are gone. Pumpkin, Chocolate and Lemon Meringue. I didn’t exactly invent such a thing, but they’re pretty adorable.

    One last thing that occurs to me- I moved into this house a few months after my mom died and two months before I met Cold Slab O’Meat. I had never lived here, my parents bought it when I was an adult, So the memories of ex and stepdaughter (this one still hurts) were just soaked through. And my ex was NOT a neighborly person. This is a neighborly place. Since he left I have been coming out of my shell of isolation and getting to know them. Being friendly was considered below him, btw and my talking to the neighbors was considered scally. Scally chav he called me once. The fuck do you expect marrying someone from Southern Ohio?

    Ignorant Taffy.

    So in his honor I have every neighbor directly around me a decorated plastic cookie tin. I fill it up and they bring it back and I fill the mofo up again. Cookies, brownies, cupcakes and mini pies.

    I get to be me again. I’m giving myself that for Christmas!

    • Luz, you are mighty!
      I really want to be more festive at the 3rd Christmas single. Unfortunately, my mom (I live on her sofa) is soo needy with her Parkinson’s and my eldest niece are sucking the life out of me with their issues.
      I am lying beside the tree typing, but no lights yet. I have started making the Swedish smorgasbord goodies including pickled herring and head cheese. The agenda is for 14-17 different traditional cookies and to pack and deliver them in person or mail. I am about half way through the thousands of cookies project.
      I guess all in all things are not so bad, but I was hoping to be healthier myself and for my families needs to not be so draining…
      I wish I had more health/energy and time to do the things I used to do…. oh well, next year will be a little closer to back on track.
      So for this year, I am going to live vicariously through the mighty Chumps and revel in your self growth.
      Merry Christmas Everyone!

  • My husband of 22 years (now ex husband who married his AP) dropped the bomb the week of Thanksgiving. OH, and by the way it was my birthday. The first draft of divorce papers were delivered to me right before Christmas of the same year. He moved out the next year on my birthday and married his AP the year after that…almost immediately after d-day.. I guess by the other posts that I’m not the only one.

  • Tracy…this post had me laughing hysterically and crying. This is my first Christmas without the cheater. I have had several D-days over 5 years. Every few months I am reminded of one of them. I finally had enough and kicked him out 7 months ago. As “happy” as I am supposed to be according to everyone who is on my side…this sucks. It really does. I can relate and have lived all you described about the single parenting (I have three girls 14, 12, and 3) thing at the concert, or recital…surrounded by intact “perfect” families. The Christmas cards, the jewelry commercials (Jewelry? What is that? My STBX didn’t believe in spending his money on jewelry, craiglist whores were much more valuable in his eyes). The holidays, first one “alone” in 20 years…have me spiraling. Reading your post has helped so much. It is the first I have truly laughed out loud in days.

    Thank you.

  • Luziana you ROCK my dear! I am awed by all the work putting up Christmas lights on a barn for two days! I am sure your Mom and Dad are smiling down on you from heaven admiring your Christmas lights among with your neighbors.

    • Thank you, Hope! It made the daughter really happy, and it helped me reclaim my home to those who know family is not temporary. The only ghosts I want here are Mom and Dad!

  • I am really struggling, fucktard left in September, moved slunty and her kids in three weeks ago and they are all set up for their happy family christmas together. Fucktard hated christmas, I had to really push for him to get the tree out of storage, get the house ready for friends etc etc, he was the epitome of the grinch. But now he is Mr Christmas cheer, lets go get a real tree, lets go look at the lights lets have a really wonderful fucking christmas and leave the chump on her sad lonesome self. I know what is wrong with me, I am jealous, yep green green jealous of the ‘family’ time they are having and The fact that they destroyed my family life. I have plans, but I am not looking forward to it at all. I just need to get over the jealousy ?? nope thats not it, I just wish they would break up (not to have him back at all) Or that they die a horrible death.

    • The ONLY reason hes doing it, is for kibbles. Not to actually mean anything – because its all about him.
      If there wasn’t anything in it for him, he’d be grinch-like.

    • How long do you think he can keep up the act before he shows his real self to slunty and her kids? Eventually he’ll get tired of them, and they won’t be worth the effort to go see lights… He’ll have to ‘work late’ or something else. Don’t be fooled by all the sparkles, it’s smoke and mirrors, it’s not real.

  • My Ex didn’t leave on a holiday. He left right before we were supposed to take a family vacation in August of 2014. This is my 2nd Christmas since D-Day and it’s still hard..

    This year:
    1. Ex lives with OW and so my son will have the two Christmases
    2. I am tired of being the 5th wheel at holiday dinners and events
    3. I do not have my own home….yet
    4. My son is displaying sadness at the loss of his family
    5. My mom also groomed me to be a pleaser and I’m suffering for it.
    6. I am having bad dreams.

    On a good note:
    1. I am grateful every day for my life and my son
    2. I know God is doing great things and preparing good things for me.
    3. I have my health
    4. I have friends
    5. I have my family
    6. I can give my son a good Christmas
    7. I have CL and CN to read every day.
    8. My current situation is temporary.
    9. I am strong.
    10. I am a survivor.
    11. And I am fucking cheater free!

  • That cartoon is so spot on, CL! Been there and will not ever again try going online to meet someone during the holidays, especially on Craigslist – yikes! With the right frame of mind, I suppose the dick pics might be somewhat amusing but otherwise the “date scene” there just made me feel even more lonely and disgusted with humanity.

    I really miss being held and having someone to talk to on a daily basis, otherwise I have no chaos and drama in my life, and I’m grateful for my relatively good health. I think I’m feeling better this year. Managed to put up lights around my windows and bought holiday greens to decorate the place.. couldn’t do any of it last year.

    Thanks for posting this, Tracy, and hugs to all the other solo ex-chumps out there.

  • My Ex asked for a divorce in the middle of a trip to Disney World ( happiest place on earth MY ASS) 10 days before xmas… Then on xmas day he spent hours giggling on his phone talking to OW…I coudn’t do anything because we were living at my parents while Our house was being renovated… It was HARD watching my mom cooking his favorites to please him, cause he was such a good son in law…
    Today is OW’s birthday and my kids are there with them celebrating…December sucks…

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