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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. 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 over 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.

This one ran previously. 

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  • So thankful I don’t have to go to my in-laws on Christmas Eve anymore. It totally ruined my whole Christmas spirit every year. There were times I’d have a drink waiting in the car for me when we got out of church before going to their house. Also grateful I don’t have to open up a who-in-the-hell-knows-what-might-be-in-there gift from my ex. It was just further proof that he didn’t have a clue about me nor did he care to take the time to find out.

    • I totally get you. Ditto. My MIL treated me shabbily (even her daughter, my SIL said so). Now, the gloating I-won-the-FW OW gets that special treatment & that makes me smile every holiday…while I enjoy doing whatever want peacefully 🙂

    • Inlawfree, do I ever relate to your name. I had a pack of wolves for in-laws. Which is unfair to wolves. My in-laws were horrible people. I am so glad to be free of them too. They get to cook their own meals and be racists without me.

      I also relate to being given gifts that were clearly not for me. You are so lucky to be free of those fucks.

      • My ex SIL gave me a book on intricate hair braiding that came with a kit of ribbons and adornments. I had been wearing my hair short for the 19 years she had known me by then. It was a clearly a re-gift of some crap she didn’t want.

        How can you be so high on your own farts that you want to watch someone open a totally inappropriate gift from you and sit smugly with how clever you are to have offloaded it?

        It is astounding how these people find ways to show us we never mattered.

        • Wow, what a miserable piece of work. I extend a virtual bitch slap to her and imagine wiping that smirk off her stupid face.

          Mr. Dingleberry actually had the gall to re-gift to me stuff his mistress didn’t want. He’d also ask for odd gifts from me, not stuff he normally liked, like coffee mugs and water bottles with inane sayings on them, dumb chick Pinterest meme level drivel like “YOLO” and “Walk Your Own Path.” He said he wanted them to keep at work, but I later found out they were actually for her. Imagine how smug he felt getting me to shop for her gifts with which she was congratulating herself on supposedly being a brave, rebellious trailblazer operating in the wonderful world of whoredom.
          Sure, like the world isn’t full of self-involved simpletons with no moral compass. I can pretty much guarantee Eat Pray Love is like the Whore’s Bible for her.

          “High on their own farts.” ???? Exactly, and you never have to see them again. Ain’t it grand.

          • I love “high on their own farts” Says it all.

            I suspect the last Christmas gift I got, might have been something whore didn’t want. It was two necklaces (he had never bought me jewelry). One was a gold wide choker, the other silver beads. Maybe something he got her that she didn’t like. She didn’t have the money to buy her own jewelry. Or maybe she helped him pick out my last gift.

            Choker I guess would fit the bill.

            He gave it to me a few days before Christmas, because we were going to my sons for Christmas. He left the day after New Years. I gave both pieces of jewelry to my daughter in law.

            • I threw the re-gifted stuff out. Couldn’t even bear to donate it.

              You’d think she would have kept that jewelry, especially if it was real gold and silver that she could sell. So maybe she picked them out for him to give you so they could snicker about you unknowingly wearing stuff his mistress picked out. My fw had his whore with him to pick out gifts for our daughters, and he went with her to buy gifts for her daughters. They like to do creepy shit like that.

              In fact, as shown by the stories on this blog, fws are so sick in the head that they often feel the need to covertly involve their kids in their vileness in some way. My daughter’s therapist, normally a calm man and not easily fazed, was aghast at the ways fw had tried to involve her, which had included bragging to her about how much fun he and OW had on their first drunkass date, only her told her he was with the classic “friends from work”. They first fucked that same night. “That’s sick!” the therapist exclaimed. He diagnosed fw as “an asshole” and said he knew no other licensed clinical psychologists who would treat somebody like him. In fact fw was turned down by several psychologists, but less qualified people did take a crack at him, which was, predictably, a wash.

              • “So maybe she picked them out for him to give you so they could snicker about you unknowingly wearing stuff his mistress picked out. ”

                Very possible. He had tried to get me to pick out a sweater for her. Maybe gave him a rush. Who knows. It was just about three weeks later that he left. Don’t know why he even gave me anything.

        • I hear you, NowIC. One of the last holidays we spent together with my ex-MIL before she died, she gave me what were probably a not-cheap pair of earrings with great flourish. I thanked her but never wore them; I had let my piercings close up after my cancer treatments, 20 years earlier.

          Even worse, I suspect that my STBX was the one who suggested that ex-MIL buy them for me. I can maybe slightly understand why ex-MIL might not have been aware that I had never worn earrings in two decades, but it’s much odder that STBX hadn’t figured that out.

          I’m not the best gift-giver myself, because I’m really not materialistic. But whenever I start to feel bad about not being able to read other people’s minds when it comes to gift-giving, I remember my clueless STBX and ex-MIL, both of whom probably considered themselves to be excellent gift-givers. ????????‍♀️

          All best to you! I got myself some great headphones for Hanukkah this year. And DD10 got me a great Princess Bride game, so maybe my kids will turn out to be much better at gift-giving than I ever was. #progress

          • Talk about being self-absorbed. She didn’t remember or notice that you no longer have pierced lobes.

      • Mine also especially my former MIL. The old hag died last year from leukemia. I’m just now out of Day 6 years and slowly healing!

  • I’m very happy to be single – but I have the really consoling cushion of living with my sister and her son (she is a sole parent) and a fat ginger cat.

    We are kind of a flexible family, but we’re all blood relatives.

    I’ve also been very happy living with unrelated people.

    I think shared living arrangements – with really good clear boundaries, due diligence, and trust – are fantastic for individuals.

    Finding the right person or people takes time, but with that and good boundaries, it can work.

    I’d love to hear from other uncoupled Chumps who have found ways to share accommodation.

    • After my divorce, my parents moved to live with me and my special needs son. We’ve had our growing pains, but they’ve been invaluable. I trust them with my son far more than with his dad. I never realized how much I was doing all by myself, even when married, than when they moved in and I learned to rely on them. It helps that although we’re all under one roof, they have their own kitchen, bathroom, and living spaces too!

    • My youngest brother moved in during covid. We also had some growing pains. But he worries about me and fixes things.

      • “But he worries about me and fixes things”

        Being married to my FW, I had forgotten what it was like to have someone worry about me. I live in North Idaho, and the winter roads can be dangerous. I was out with the girls one night, and texted my new guy that I was heading home. The conversation picked up again and I did not leave when I said I would, and did not hear my phone ringing in my purse. New guy was nearly in a panic by the time I called to say I was home safely. He had headed out to find me, because he was sure I had crashed on the side of the road.

        It took me a while to realize how caring this was. I had gotten used to the uncaring/ neglect of my FW. My FW had retired early, while I worked full time. My FW never called me to make sure I was safe as I drove home from the hospital on snowy nights. There were times that my 30 mile commute took me two hours, and my FW never cared.

        • I went out looking for my X Asshat on a glaze-ice night when he wouldn’t answer his phone. He had gotten in a wreck already once that night (his fault) on the way home from work before heading out again for a “holiday party” in his damaged truck. Starting at 1 am I headed out and searched for him for a couple hours, sliding around and nearly wrecking myself, trying to decide if I should call police.

          He was at OW#1’s house, the Nothing-Is-Going-On-Why-Can’t-I-Have-Friends-You-Are-So-Controlliong!!! ho-worker.

          He stayed out till 4am and was furious at me when I was still up waiting for him at home. He had already gotten in a FUCKING WRECK that night but decided that was a great night for him ignore me and play with that bohemian whore. I know now it was 100% to tweak my nose because I am not the boss of him.

          So glad I don’t have to deal with that selfish asshat ever again.

        • This is horrible. FW never worried about me, but we spent most of our marriage apart (his work), so I didn’t really notice.
          Hope New Guy works out for you. He sounds like a keeper & I’m happy for you ☺️

        • Same. I was in a car accident and went to the hospital. I was treated for a pounding headache and general soreness, mostly in my shoulders and neck. I know I wasn’t at death’s door, but asswhole got pissed when I called him several hours later to come get me from the ER. The doctor didn’t want me driving for 24 hours. Not once did he bother to text, much less call, while I was in the ER, and then he didn’t understand why he had to come get me. Sad to say that this was his behavior before he even started cheating. There was no limit to his discard after that.

          • I went to a conference in Hong Kong and my phone died. I was so worried about my husband worrying about me that I borrowed someone’s phone at the conference and sent him an email. He didn’t see the email and he was not at all worried about me nor was he curious to know what I’d been up to or how my lecture went. I got my phone fixed right before flying out and I sent him a text. His response was “you’re such an anxious little thing. I wasn’t worried about you because I trust you.” It was so odd at the time, but now I know that he thought I was worried because he’d think I was cheating, not because of my well-being in a foreign city by myself without a phone. Major projection and just not giving a shit about me in general.

            • I used to hear that all the time. “Why would I worry about you, I trust you.” And I remember getting upset more than a few times. Like, “I can’t get into a car accident because I’m trustworthy? I can’t get attacked because you trust me?”

              When I started getting sick I worried a lot about getting hurt or lost. I was having neurological issues. He would tell me he wasn’t worried because he trusted me. Then he would act like I was some insane, monstrous bitch because I would tell him he needed to worry because I was ill and I was at risk of being harmed. Trust had nothing the fuck to do with it.

              That makes me so angry when I look back on it now. He acted like I was some psycho with trust issues because I was afraid I’d forget where I lived or step into traffic because I was seriously ill and I just wanted him to occasionally check on me. I hope he fucking dies of a horrible disease and he gets to experience losing his mind. I also hope someone abuses him while it’s happening like he did to me. The fucker deserves it.

              • May all the cheaters end up alone at the end of their lives with nobody giving a damn about them.

          • Same here. Was in a 4 car accident in which I was hit a total of 8 times (me and the truck behind me bounced off of each other and the other 2 cars we were sandwiched between so I was impacted 4 times in the back and 4 times in the front). My seat came loose during and I hit my head on the roof of the car 3 times (ultimately leading to a concussion). Ended up with neck, shoulder, hip, and radial nerve damage, as well as my right leg and knee taking a beating (that bruise was super gnarly….and huuuuge).

            Not only did STBX not come to the ER but my dad picked me up and STBX came home that afternoon to tell me not to bother him at work like that if it happened again.
            He also refused to go with me for the MRI they did on my head (I’m highly claustrophobic and had never had an MEI and was incredibly nervous) and then the next one that did on my neck. AND he demanded I DRIVE and bring him lunch for the days I was off of work immediately after it happened. 2 days after the accident I had to walk through the grocery store because he refuses to grocery shop and it kicked my ass. Thank goodness my kids were there to help me. When we got home he was out in the garage smoking weed and listening to music so he couldn’t be bothered to bring anything in or put anything away. The kids made me sit down and they did it all.

            I’ve never been able to come up with enough words to describe how absolutely shitty all of that made me feel.

            He’s been all about the settlement money from the injury suit, though! Waiting for my money while he chats up Troll coworkers but fuck picking me up from the ER or helping me get to physical therapy, right?

            • These non-caring stories could have a CL blog topic all on their own. I was in the labor room in a military hospital and when you’re healthy, they don’t give you an epidural or pain medication. I was healthy. As I was going through transition labor, I was in pain and cried out at times. When the nurse left the room, the fuckwit leaned down within 2 inches of my face and said, “Stop it! Stop it right now or I’m leaving!” What a fucking dick I was married to!

              • What a dick is right! God, I hate these assholes. My exAsshole was horribly embarrassed by my falling down and bumping into things in public after I had the stroke and lost half my vision and my equilibrium. But actually help me to navigate? HAH! I will always hate him for that.

              • Amazon Chump,
                Having birthed two 10-pounders at Walter Reed Army Military Hospital, I can attest that they love natural births.

                Labor for the both of them began at 11 pm at night. When I awoke him to drive me for the second labor, he said, “fuck, another goddam all night labor.”

                Walter Reed practically forced the dads to be in the labor room. He left right after the birth and before the baby was put into neonatal care (because of size) and spent the next 2 days with buddies getting drunk.

              • Amazon- I was in labor for over 26 hours, during that time ex had gone home, showered, the nurses brought him a recliner to sleep in, they woke him up when I needed to push, I was exhausted after pushing for 2 hours, I was given a 5 minute break from pushing, ex walks up to me with a pained expression, to say, “Do you know how much longer, I’ve been standing a long time and my feet really hurt.”

                I should have filed for divorce that day.

            • Chump Me Gently,

              I have no words.

              Remember, that settlement money is YOURS. You were in a very serious accident, not Mr. Heartless.


            • Don’t let him near that settlement money. Please leave him before he can get his grubby little hands on it. Use it to fund your new fw free life. OMG what a bastard!

        • So profound, thanks for sharing. So many of us were so deprived of love and caring for so long, it’s heartbreaking. I remember crying the first time my now-fiance but then-new-boyfriend told me his plans for picking me up at the airport when I was planning a visit. I cried because my ex was so stingy with his time and couldn’t be bothered to collect me or our daughter from an airport. We were truly on our own. My fiance said at that time “it is literally the smallest thing I can do for you,” but it meant the world to me. Sometimes I cry now just thinking about how that all made me feel, how sad it was that I was so devoid of any semblance of caretaking

          • Oh yeah! I never got a ride home from the airport. It was only Uber for me and my daughter.

        • Oh boy, does your story ever ring a bell with me. Mr Dingleberry was completely unconcerned when I would go hiking, biking and snowshoeing alone. He would almost never come with me, even though he enjoyed doing those sorts of things with other people. I did get lost once, in the woods when a blinding snowstorm wiped out the trails, then freezing rain came and made a crust on the snow so slick that even in snowshoes I had trouble staying upright. I finally found my way back to civilization, nearly frozen stiff. I could have died of hypothermia out there but he expressed no emotion about it when I told him. I got caught in a terrible electrical storm while biking as well. I had to take cover because of lightning and pouring rain. He knew I was out there both times but it had not crossed his mind to worry or drive out to look for me. His nonchalance baffled both my mother and fw’s mother, who didn’t understand why he wasn’t worried about me doing such things alone.

          It must be great to be with somebody who cares. After three decades with that jerk I’ve forgotten how that feels. I’m happy for you. I do hope you have good winter tires though.

          • OHFFS, I’m so sorry that he was such an uncaring jerk to you. And I feel your pain. One time when I was to visit our daughter seven hours away in my 25 year old Honda, the car suddenly kept stalling. In a panic on the shoulder of I-80, I called then-husband in a panic, and that prick merely said “Oh, I’m sure it’ll be all right” and HUNG UP on me.

            I opened the hood, jiggled wires and banged a wrench against various engine components, threw out a prayer to the universal spirit, and miraculously the car stopped acting up. I continued the trip, visited my daughter, and made it home with no additional car trouble, but I will never forgive that asshole for exhibiting yet another horrible character trait.

            No doubt about it, we are all sooooooo much better off without them.

          • It’s odd, I had the opposite experience. My ex acted overly protective. When I’d go out for a night xc ski, or when I’d hop on my bike, he’d fret. I’m careful and experienced, and I take prudent safety precautions. He would paint me as weak and vulnerable when I’d travel on my own, but I have far more experience with this than he. Many times, I took the lead in emergencies. When he’d leave home (wonder why…), he’d leave an ax beside the bed. He put a machete in my car. Now I get it. It was all for show, though, and it worsened over time, and there were some major inconsistencies when I really was in danger and really did need him to be there for me. My ex is the only person who’s ever intentionally physically hurt me. Not to mention the unknown number of times he put my life at risk while drunk driving after secretly consuming vast quantities of alcohol (he behaved like such a buffoon anyway, I couldn’t tell). I took care of myself just fine, except for when it came to him. Of course FW never did anything real, like buy me a taser (which he’d bluster about to his ex-cop friend about, have to protect the womenfolk, you know). I think that in his mind, being “protective” and cleaning snow off my car and doing the dishes made him a good guy. It took care of his guilty conscience. Also, it showed he cared about me. ILYBINILY. What a mindfuck. For everyone who knew us. He is a master manipulator, and the mixed messages and gaslighting left me perpetually off balance.

            I do miss feeling (or pretending to feel) cared for and doted upon. Sometimes, I want to be hugged and soothed. Or I want a hand when everything goes wrong and I find myself in a pinch. Most of the time, I take pride in knowing I can take care of myself. I always could, even when my arrogant, controlling ex was doing his best to undermine my confidence and autonomy. I enjoy self-efficacy, and this experience has forced me to have more confidence in my judgement and abilities.

            • “My ex acted overly protective. When I’d go out for a night xc ski, or when I’d hop on my bike, he’d fret. I’m careful and experienced, and I take prudent safety precautions. He would paint me as weak and vulnerable when I’d travel on my own,”

              I had mentioned before that was how most of our marriage was. He didn’t want me to be out at night unless absolutely necessary or with him. He convinced me to give up a good promotion because it involved travel, and though he trusted me he said “I (meaning him) can take care of myself, you can’t etc. It sounds way worse in hindsight than it did in real time. I knew he was a controller and I figured well he does love me etc.

              Anyway, when he set up a meeting with our preacher long after he had abandoned me, I went because quite frankly I wanted a chance to reject him. Anyway, the first thing that came out of his mouth was “I always tried to get Susie to be more self sufficient” The preacher stared at him in horror, you could have heard a pin drop. Then he said “but I have always been a controller (meaning him)”

              Not only was it untrue that he always tried to get me to be more self sufficient, he flat out contradicted his statement within seconds of making it.

              Then he turned to me and said: “I can’t make any promises”

              At that point, I think the preacher was stunned, I looked at the preacher and said “thank you for your efforts, but we are done here” and walked away and left the asshole in his self created shit hole.

              The preacher called me later and said “I am sorry for that, he didn’t say the things I thought he would say” I said “really, he said exactly what I expected”

              He spent the rest of his life spinning around in that shit hole; though I am sure he was spraying perfume and sparkles on it like a madman to anyone who didn’t know his past.

              But, we shared a son and a daughter in law, so I pretty much know how it all went down.

            • I don’t know that my ex fw was a He is a master manipulator, but he was for certain a competent con man. At least until his house of cards was shot down.

              He definitely humiliated me but he also shit all over himself and could not recover on the job, or in the community. I assume that is why he and whore moved to a different county.

              It didn’t take me too long to realize it was not my shame to bear, but his.

              Oh and surprise surprise, I had no difficulty managing my life after he left.

    • 2 months after FW had left one of my daughters, her husband and their children moved in with me. This was Son in laws idea. They saved my life along with CL & CN. This was Nov 2020. I was scared about being alone at Christmas time. I needn’t have been. All my children and their partners surrounded me and kept me feeling loved. I really enjoyed my first ‘single’ Christmas after 34 years with FW. I had some sad moments but generally I just felt free!!!!

      • Just to add

        The living together has been so fantastic we’ve decided to make it permanent and buy a bigger house all together.

        I win ❤️

    • In lockdown, my dad came to stay with me, so that he could help me out with working from home and trying to home school. He had also been poorly and was scared being on his own in case something happened to him.

      He is now with us full-time and it works really well. He helps me by picking the kids up from school for me and he cooks dinner. I help him by providing each other company, walking the dogs as he isn’t able to walk too far and we respect each other’s space.

      It works well for us.

  • I had a Christmas DDay. He was gone for most of the day on the 24th. Then he left on Christmas Day claiming he had to go for a walk. It was snowing, Chumps. He returned without a snowflake on him. He walked around the corner and hopped in her Ho Mobile. She dropped him off at the end of the driveway after doing whatever cheaters do during a family celebration. The adult kids noticed he was gone and angered him questioning him as to his whereabouts.

    That was the Christmas he gave me a great big expensive Smart TV. I don’t watch tv. He was angry when I wasn’t thrilled with a gift that so clearly wasn’t for me. The previous two Christmas gifts were guns. Those guns went right into his gun safes. Clearly not gifts for me.

    I’ve been divorced one month and sixteen days. It is serene in my little house. The Blowmold Glow is strong here. There are pine cone elves. I have two trees. I fall asleep in the sparkly light of a glitter flocked tree. I have a disco ball heart. This Christmas will be even sweeter than the previous Fuckwit free holidays because I am finally divorced. I win.

    • I hope you enjoy every minute of your sparkly, cheater-free holidays! You deserve the celebration.

    • ???? Congrats!
      What an absolute wanker. I hope schmoopie gifts him with the clap for Christmas.

    • 33, I hope your disco ball heart dances the day away! Start with a little Gloria Gaynor and go from there…

    • I also had Dday on Christmas day. He didn’t confess, but I figured it out. He was very clearly trying hard to make it obvious.

      We were at my Son and daughter in laws house in Tuscon AZ. He had gotten up really early and gone out to the common area court and was talking on his phone. He had been talking in his sleep all night about picking up the BB gun, and he said “absence makes the heart grow fonder” He clearly was not talking about us. Though he did talk in his sleep sometimes, I believe he was doing this purposefully to tell me without having to muster up the balls to do so. Of course by then I had been pretty sure for about two months, as he was treating me so nasty.

      He left the house the day after New Years and got an apartment. He said he thought things were going to work out, he just needed some space to get his head on straight. Of course he thought things were going to work out, for him and the whore. I assume it did, they ended up married.

      Though for some reason I thought he got married right after our divorce was final, but I just recently found out after he died that they didn’t get married until about a year and a half after our Divorce was finalized. I bet that pissed her off. She had crawled around in the alleys with him for several years trying to secure that meal ticket and then she had to wait. Lol.

      To this day I don’t know how they kept it so quiet for so long. And I have plenty of evidence that he conned a lot of other folks besides me. I couldn’t do anything about it, but the mayor cut him off at the knees.

      My guess because he was funneling a lot of money to her, he made it clear if it got out that was over. She truly was in bad financial condition, so she likely depended on it. I have no doubt had he dumped her and she filed a suit, she would have won.

    • Oh, what a wonderful image. I actually had to look up what a Blowmold Glow is. Now I want one.

      Your place sounds lovely as does your disco ball heart!

      I hope you have a wonderful FW-free Christmas! Yay to you!

    • 33—my disco soulmate—-its my first xmas divorced too—3 months now…I have a white glitter flocked tree as well…..AND..the love, respect, and support of my 2 adult daughters….Maybe I win too….after 30 years…Blessings to you and yours….My New Years Resolution is to buy a disco ball:)

  • Being single rocks. I’m in love with independence. I hadn’t realized how held back I was–how much FW was an albatross around my neck–until he up and left. Even in the depths of my despair and fear after he left me to fend for myself as a single parent, there was a small spark of excitement… I wasn’t walking on eggshells anymore; I didn’t have to worry about not pleasing him enough; I didn’t have to tie myself into knots trying to be sexy anymore in all the ways he found attractive; and I could do whatever I wanted to. It was kind of thrilling… all that freedom. I spent a year as a vegatarian just because I wanted to try it out and steak-and-potatoes would have never gone for that at all. I began to (slowly) realize that my tenure as wife must have sucked if being single felt so damn good.

    It feels so good, actually, that I’ve never dated again. The idea of marrying again curdles my stomach. I love being on my own.

    Being alone at Christmas was difficult at first, but I admit that I am privileged to have fantastic parents. So, I had a living room that I could sit in with folks who loved me. Going home to an empty house was kindof nice too. Christmas time, even the “good and happy” Christmas times, is always a little stressful because of all the activity. Having a nice quiet house (with no FW ignoring me or letting me know that I wasn’t enough or that I was objectively “lesser than”) is such a blessing.

    No one tells me that I’m not enough anymore. I am the only one here and I am enough for me. That feels so good. Now I will pet my cats, watch a Christmas movie, and eat the treats that my parents and my children got for me.

    The picture attached to this post is particularly apropos. During my early lonely times, I would find myself scrolling through Tinder or Craigslist dating ads, looking to see if I felt any spark or any pulls towards anyone. What I usually felt was disgust and sorrow after an evening of scrolling through personals that ran the spectrum of dudes looking for side chicks (the phrase “looking for discreet fun” came up a lot) to ads of abject, sorrowful loneliness. I never felt good looking at dating sites or online personals; eventually I stopped and I started taking myself out on dates. Taking yourself out on a date is fantastic, honestly.

    • I feel exactly the same. I am LOVING being single. It truly rocks. I didn’t realize how much of myself I gave up or suppressed in some misguided attempt to please my ex (who was NEVER satisfied). Now I do what I want, wear what I want, eat what I want, go where I want. It’s so nice not to walk on eggshells, to feel like I have to live up to some standard of physical perfection that I am just not interested in (I was never thin enough, until I was, then I was “too skinny” and “didn’t look good”; it’s lovely not to feel like I have to wear short, tight clothes – I’m here feeling like a million bucks in my flowy garments, in which I feel 100% sexier than in a mini skirt). After a decade of being ridiculed by my ex for my interests, hobbies, and passions, I’m back to indulging them and having such a good time. If I want to read books on medieval history or a fantasy novel for hours on end, there’s no one to stop me. If I want to talk on the phone with my best friend for 5 hours, or go to a Celtic festival on a whim, or listen to Gregorian chant, or take a medieval cooking class, I just do it.

      I’m not looking for a relationship, but if it ever happens, I highly doubt I’d ever get married again, and probably wouldn’t even want to live together. We can be neighbors and visit. I don’t want to give up my independence or my own space. I love quiet (as much as I can have with a 9-year-old boy, lol).

      This is my first Christmas in my own (MY OWN!) place, and I am so looking forward to it. My son and I decorated our tree last night.

    • I love this. I realize that I don’t have the energy to hate or particularly dislike my partner. What I really hate is this crappy role of wife. I’m finding that the more I reject that role and every expectation that comes along with it, the easier it is to just accept others around me, including my co-parent, as flawed people who I can enjoy on a limited basis. My dday was last November and the Christmas season was beyond awful. Looking forward to embracing my inner peace this year. I’m glad I’m the one with the friends, and that I’ve been doing most of the work for Christmas long enough that it doesn’t even phase me to do it alone.

      • Yes! I, too, hated the crappy role of wife and the retrograde expectations that come with it, even today. And just as there is a Reconciliation Industrial Complex, there is a Marriage/Couple Superiority Complex that assumes all happy singles are on the defensive or protesting too much.

        I’ve been working on an essay along the lines of, ‘You’re not wife material? Here’s why that’s a GOOD thing.’

        I’d love a non-live-in boyfriend but have no desire to remarry. My last serious boyfriend expected me to move to his mid-sized town and into his house because he was the ‘breadwinner.’ I made $20K less than him.

    • Fourleaf,

      “…with no FW ignoring me or letting me know that I wasn’t enough or that I was objectively “lesser than”) is such a blessing.”

      Whenever you post something, I’m struck by the similarities between our situations. Some FWs punish with silence. They ignore us. They stomp. They make comments that sting and then walk away. It hurts like hell.

      And, I, too, tried so hard to please…in every way. Ugh.

      Anyway, the absence of a moody, critical moper during the holidays is freeing. No more eggshell walking!

      Enjoy your freedom! ((Hugs)) Spinach

      • The freedom is amazing. And I never knew that I was missing it until he left. He may have done it in the most hurtful way possible but he really did me a favor. I don’t miss him, like, at all. Which is weird to admit to because past-Fourleaf did the pick me dance until her feet bled. I had that “I will fight for my marriage” mindset and held onto hope until my knuckles were white. I told him I would always love him and be there for him, which he leveraged into a painful reconciliation. (Truly, I do not wish reconciliation on my worst enemy; it was hell.)

        Now? I don’t miss him. He enriched my life when he left it. Every day absent of him leaves me happier and feeling more vibrant. What a happiness vampire he was… and I never realized it because I was in love.

        • “He may have done it in the most hurtful way possible but he really did me a favor.”

          Agree. Devastating forest fires make way for new growth and clear out the underbrush.

        • I was in a similar situation with my FW. Not to try untangle anything but I think they like being coupled to have someone to blame for their own shortcomings. It is extra helpful around the holidays because they always fail to feel the warm and cozy feelings that everyone and everything tells them it is all about. So they monkey branch to avoid looking in the mirror.

          Likewise, I love being single now and celebrate how I see fit. I am done putting a huge spread out and baking dozens of different sorts of cookies. Just enough to enjoy with my kids and leave plenty of time for other activities.

    • Finding my sense of independence wasn’t something I was counting on to become so motivating when I first started this journey. Yes, I had assumed that once I started feeling better that I’d like being able to walk full-footed without eggshell worries, but I drastically underestimated just how powerful that freedom would become. My chains fell well and truly off.

      Like you, it was the little things at first–the foods, manner of dress, comings and goings; they all altered slightly and felt amazing, even in the fog of grief. And with each small dawning of being free to do as only I wished, bigger and bolder dreams, schemes and realizations started coming to fruition. The further out I got, the more significant that mindset was in taking me from the soul sucking depths of chump desperation, to an independent woman who learned how to embrace and cherish being on her own. Saying it rocks doesn’t quite cover how impacting discovering a strong sense of self really is….but you’re right, it does freaking rock!

      I may decide to date again someday–I am leaving room to change my mind, but honestly it doesn’t hold much appeal. I actually love being the ruler of all aspects of my life for a change and I’m not inclined to compromise that. Yes, I may be alone in that sense, but that doesn’t make me lonely. I love my work, my cozy home and my cherished friends. And on the rare occasion when a twinge makes me think I need a little more, I remind myself who it was that got me where I am today–it wasn’t him, or anyone else. It was all me.

  • “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.”

    I’m in the soon to be single category, so thank you for this great reminder CL. I think I have some codependency issues so coming here every day to read what you and other veterans say encourages me to stay the course.

    • Being single is so much better than being married to someone who treats you like the gum they found on their shoe. If someone had told this to me during my married days, or during D-Day, or even in the early post D-Day months/years… I wouldn’t have believed them. I didn’t know who I was if I wasn’t a wife… specifically *his* wife. I was very codependent. My identity was always connected to him somehow.

      I’ve been single how for anywhere from 14 to 10 years (it’s a pretty fluid timeline depending on which D-Day you factor in or if you do or don’t work in the period of reconciliation I went through with him while he just needed a place to stay until he could find another mistress) and I can honestly say that I’ve blossomed in the single life. It just feels so good. I hope you are able to blossom too once the nightmare is more in your rearview mirror.

      • Thank you fourleaf. I had my first attorney consult today, which I was strangely nervous about before we started, but then as we talked about how the process works I gained more confidence that this is definitely the right move. When we finished the consult, I actually started to look forward to my wife being served with the divorce papers. Gave me a feeling of peace.

    • Good on you! Codependency is a tough thing to shake, but I’ve found that acting like you’re not codependent, even when everything inside of you feels the opposite, keeps the ball moving in the right direction. In this case, feelings often follow actions. It’s been years since my divorce and I’ll still catch myself having some codependent sentiments toward my cheater ex…but I’ve trained myself to immediately recognize the thoughts/feelings and repeat to myself “he’s a bad person, he treated you like disposable cutlery, do not feel sorry for this man.” And…the feelings disappear!

      • NotANiceChump, I’ve been doing something similar, constantly repeating to myself a string of words to describe what I think about my wife, and none of those words are nice as I’m sure you can imagine. It helps slap me back into reality of who she is: a cheater.

      • YESSSSSSS!!! I’ve been doing the same thing for the last 4 years!! I guess when you’re married, you are somewhat codependent. When you get married you’re supposed to become one! So after being married for 26 years, I felt like my other half died or rather deserted me!! Time sure has helped me. I do love my singleness!! Go anywhere, do what I please, dress the way I feel and also eat what I want and spend what I want!! No children, just me and my dog. A few good friends too!!!! I’m pretty happy!!!! ❤️❤️❤️

        • “So after being married for 26 years, I felt like my other half died or rather deserted me!!”

          Goldilocks, I have had that same thought a lot recently. The person I married is dead and gone, not biologically of course, but in the sense of having permanently deserted our “oneness” as a married couple.

  • Let’s see…spending the holidays with my dogs who are unfailing in their affection and loyalty, or with my ex who texted his whore every spare minute he got, including texting her half an hour before or after he saw her in person, because any lack of contact was unbearable. Not a tough choice. How it must have sucked to spend the holidays with boring family rather than with a member of his tribe; another soul-sucking, predatory, substance abusing eternal adolescent. When he went away for work he felt it was an imposition for him to call me more than once or twice a week, so he didn’t. She, OTOH, heard from him all the time. After D-day he just had to cruelly rub it in by offering up the information that he had missed her badly but did not miss me at all. Gee, thanks. Just the thing you need to hear when your heart is already lying on the floor in a pool of blood and it hurts so badly you can barely breathe.

    Yeah, I’ll take dogs for the holidays. That’s my tribe. They don’t lie, they don’t betray and they aren’t sadists. They don’t smell that good, but then again, neither did he.

    Lonely? Get a pet rather than stay with a fuckwit.

    • I’m with you OHFFS. Yes, if FW was away working or playing, he rarely contacted me. But he was continually on his phone to exgfOW. But then I am a person with no likeable aspects, according to him. News flash: there’s not much I like about him either. It just took me 26 years to see the truth.

      • They say crap like that just to be mean, the shitheels.

        Now OW can experience being viciously devalued while you bask in your freedom.

        • “Now OW can experience being viciously devalued”

          My not-yet-at-Meh self hopes you’re right about that. But I wonder…

          I mean, my x MUST make his new marriage work. He can’t afford to fuck this one up. He’s getting old. He’s basically retired so doesn’t have the daily adoration of patients, nurses, secretaries, and drug reps. And he has really poor social skills. Painfully shy, he can’t make conversation. When a friend heard of his affair, he said, “How is that possible? He can’t even string three words together.” So, that’s my x. I think he’ll treat his wifetress well. And, gotta say, that pisses me off.

          Then again, he can’t have a character transplant. He sucks! And he still can’t make conversation. Boring, boring man. She won that.

          • My X’s personality is the polar opposite of yours: he’s vibrant, charismatic, extroverted, social, and is, generally, the life of the party. I was the introverted one in our relationship. One of the last things he screamed at me (in front of our kids; I’ll never forget that day) was (think of it in all caps but I don’t want to type it that way): “You want me to be boring just like you!!!”

            I mean… he knew what he was getting into when he married me. I like staying at home and watching movies. I don’t really party. He even told me “I love that you love just staying home and watching movies! I’m so lucky!” He didn’t think that way once ramped up the de-valuing. Oh well. He and GF#3/Wifetress used to be the talk of the town and would go out to a lot of events and, in their line of work, do a lot of television and internet interviews in order to raise money for their various charities. (I got very good at fiddling with privacy settings online and learning how to stop that stuff from filtering through to me.) If there was a video camera around, FW would get his face in front of it. When the pandemic hit, it really freaked him out. He has conditions that would make catching Covid hit him harder than the average person. Wifetress (apparently, as I was told by the kids) “gets sick really easily and even a cold will just murder her.” So, Covid came and it changed their dynamic. The kids complain that visiting their place on the weekends is “so boring” because “they NEVER go out and do anything anymore. They just work and go home. Work and go home. Weekends are boring.”

            I know he didn’t cheat on me repeatedly because I’m boring; that’s just a bagged salad excuse. He cheated on me because he’s a cheater. However, it is interesting that one of my many flaws that didn’t make me good wife material anymore was that I wasn’t exciting and that I was too boring. And now the kids tell me (organically and spontaneously; I never ask for any specifics about FW/Wifetress) that “Dad’s place is so boring; Dad is so boring.”

            Apologies. That was a tangent. Character differences aside between your FW and mine, I do feel similarly in that I feel that FW is trying much harder to make his second marriage to the Wifetress work while I treated me with resentment. I think he realized he’s finally ageing (still a little dumpy but not as much as he used to be but now he’s also gone bald) and his younger wife is something he absolutely does not want to lose. I don’t know what’s going on in their lives because I try to stay as far away as possible but last week FW and Wifetress went to see one of my kiddo’s school plays (something they’ve never done before/I arranged to see the play on a different night) and kiddo was *so excited* that they had actually come that she was babbling about it to me and couldn’t stop herself. I stopped her when she blurted out “and they met my teacher and they met all my friends and all my friends told me ‘Wow! Your stepmom is so hot!!’ It was such fun, mom!” I switched the topic quickly after that and went to bed hurt. I had to work through that feeling. Days later, I realized how blessed I was. I didn’t have a husband who cheated on his former wife to be with me and I didn’t have to make darn sure that I wore tight clothes every day so I was super hot for him so he would never want to leave me like he did his other wife and girlfriends. I am not in the position of having to prove myself daily like that anymore (which is emotionally stressful!). That’s her problem now.

            But yeah, Spinach… I think both of them are trying their best to make that marriage work. The problem is that they both suck. It used to bug me a lot (A LOT) that it seemed like FW was trying hard to keep this wife while he never valued me very much and, truth be told, it does bother me that they have now been married for longer than FW and I were married. But, I also stopped hoping for karma years ago and settled myself down with the strangely comforting thought that they will *be together forever*. Holy crap, that sounds awful.

            • Being introverted definitely does not make you boring. You’re thoughtful and have interesting things to say. The party hearty types don’t, so they overcompensate for their lack of original and interesting thoughts with a lot of frenetic activity and phoney sparkles.

              The most boring people I’ve known have all been extroverts. All they talk about is themselves, their shiny possessions, successes, vacations and such. Shallow people are not interesting. Don’t ever let those scum convince you that you’re boring because you don’t show a sparkly surface layer to the world.

            • Wow, I could have written the first couple paragraphs of your story. Same deal – I’m the introvert, he was the life of the party. I too got called “boring” at the end, even though he knew what I was like and married me anyway. His new gf and he were “out there” a lot more than I was. Lots of podcasts, interviews, and conventions (he was a filmmaker, she fancied herself a writer though her book was painfully awful). The pandemic also hit him hard. He turned to the internet for his kibbles.

              I thought this new relationship would last, but they don’t get a character transplant. OW left him (citing domestic violence – surprise, honey!), and he committed suicide a few months later.

              • Oh my god. I’m sorry.

                To your point about being criticized for character traits or other unchangeable qualities, even though they willingly married us with those very characteristics, is infuriating.

                When mine said, “You think you have a good body, but you don’t,” I screamed back, “You married me this way (I hadn’t changed size). I have an athletic shape. No curves. That’s nothing I can change. So it’s mean to point it out.” His cold response, “I know.” And then he kept reading.

                I couldn’t look like the porn actresses he watched daily. My bad!!

            • ” If there was a video camera around, FW would get his face in front of it”
              LOL. Narcs will do whatever it takes to be recognized and have their name in print.

              In any case, the odds are their marriage won’t last and the reason it has for this long is lack of opportunity and one of them is holding on for dear life. I’ve seen this many times and I don’t care how good Owife looks it doesn’t matter. If she’s glamorous and sophisticated the next OW will be athletic and au naturale. Can’t win.

              • I worked with a woman (pretty alcoholic who picks up men in bars) who I see from social media has to be front and center in ALL the photos. I’m guesstimating she has slept with hundreds of men. I got sexually abused as a child vibe off her. Thankfully she didn’t have children.

            • You’re not boring FourLeaf! It’s just what those FW say to crush you and because they don’t have what you have. But you know that already. Like Dolly Parton said: “Figure out who you are, then do it on purpose.”.

              And as far as FW and other person goes, we’re all familiar with sunk costs. They are invested in making it seem like the next relationship worked, but most likely they are both miserable. Not your problem (any more)!

          • Mine doesn’t have a sparkly personality either. He’s a passive, insecure guy.
            But don’t forget about the passive aggression these “shy” types mete out if they can’t afford to be directly nasty. She’ll have to deal with that. Mean people don’t stop being mean if circumstances make it unwise, they just find ways to do it more subtly.

            I don’t think it’s un-Meh to continue to wish bad things upon bad people, just so long as you don’t think about it that much. I’m starting to be at the level where if something occasionally triggers me, I’ll casually (and in good humor) hope his dick stops working and other humiliating mishaps. I call it recreational hate. That’s where you’re not attached to or passionate about the outcome, but it’s amusing to think about them getting what they deserve.

            • lolol
              “I call it recreational hate”
              This is a stepping stone on the journey to meh for me!
              Thank you for this on a ‘meh, it’s almost Tuesday’ kind of day.

            • OHFFS sounds like you’re getting to MEH pretty quick!! Yea!!! I’m not far behind!! When I feel a trigger, I just remember something shitty he’s said or done and brings me back to earth in a hurry!!

    • “After D-day he just had to cruelly rub it in by offering up the information that he had missed her badly but did not miss me at all.”

      My husband of 29 years, moved from our upper middle class home into a crummy apartment in a bad part of town with a sex worker who doesn’t even speak English. He did this while I was out of state caring for my sick mother. I was completely blindsided.

      After I got home he came to pick up some of his stuff. I asked him, sobbing, how could he do this? Didn’t he miss me, our comfortable home and the good life I thought we’d built? He told me he missed the dog. Me? Not so much. Cruel, heartless fucker.

      This is my third Christmas without him. It’s the first that I can honestly say I’m glad he’s gone and I don’t miss him. Or, at least the person I thought he was. I’m not quite to Tuesday; it’s maybe Sunday evening? But I’m getting there and it feels great to finally feel comfortable and content in my singlehood.

      • Mine told me he couldn’t breath he missed her every second of every day he wasn’t with her .

        Clearly he’s never missed me for 1 second after 19 years as I’ve never seen or heard from him once since D Day

        • I hate your ex too. I’m sending bad vibes his way. Who knows, if enough people wish ill on him, maybe the universe will provide. ????

      • Sunday evening is pretty awesome too. It takes as long as it takes and I try not to stress about it.

        I hate your ex. I hope he gets a painful STI from his hooker schmoopie. Fws don’t like to use condoms, so it’s probably already happened.

      • Nemesis!!! Bless your heart!!! I feel your pain… The cliché is, time heals a broken heart and it really does help. I was told this 4 years ago and thought everyone was crazy…well, it’s getting soooooo much better! I’m independent and really loving my life now!! Keep on growing and don’t get stuck in the past. ❤️

      • Nemesis, I feel you! I had those bewildering and painful conversations too where I would sob “don’t you miss me even a little like I miss you?” or “we’ve been through so much; I’m still your best friend if nothing else, right?”

        I was looking for validation but I sure was looking for it in the wrong place because the answer from the man I was married to was always a shrug and a “no, not really.”

        Staggeringly cruel.

      • They all say cruel shit like this… My exFW told me he was the happiest he’d ever been, one week into separation. I didn’t know why he wanted out at this point yet, not for sure, and I was alone with 2 little kids who didn’t understand what was going on either, picking myself up to continue a somewhat normal life for them.

        A week later his car got broken into out of his GF’s apartment and his computer and nice camera got stolen. A few months later he chopped his foot while chopping wood for what was probably supposed to be a romantic evening with shmoopie. He ended up in the ER instead. Meanwhile I was getting my ducks in a row and filing for divorce knowing full well what was up at that point.

        4 years later and finally divorced I see exFW and shmoopie trying to play the picture perfect family. Beep beep! Step aside the karma bus is coming. I am just going to make myself some popcorn sit back and see what going to happen next.

    • OHFFS!! You hit the nail on the head!!! You know, they’ll just repeat what they’ve done to us!!!
      They don’t have any moral character…
      I do believe God drives the Karma bus!!!

  • Im single and alone every day of the year . The only difference is at Christmas I feel no guilt for sitting in my PJs eating chocolate all day ????

    • Karmeh, I’ll join you this year. It’s my first single Christmas in over 6.5 years. My new-ex (this one was not the cheater ex) left me unilaterally just over two weeks ago. He was depressed and went away for a few days and came back and said he wasn’t depressed when he wasn’t with me. And then he left again. Didn’t even bring in his luggage.

      Anyhow, I ordered myself some nice chocolate last week, so I’ll also be in my pjs, alone for the holidays and munching on chocolate.

      • Sounds like a lovely plan, NorthernLight. Good riddance to new-ex, and enjoy your peaceful life without a depressing leech. I’m sure that you’re better off without him. Hugs to you!

        • Thanks, eirene. For me, the depression wasn’t the problem; it’s just that he wasn’t willing to do therapy and work on things he needs to work on in himself. (I was willing to do therapy, whether joint, individual for whatever I can work on in myself, whatever). But I can’t save a relationship by myself…

      • WOW a Chocolate Party sounds great!!! Wish we all could spend Christmas together with as much chocolate as we can eat!!!

  • I am having my first ever completely on my own Christmas Day with my puppy (so with someone I want to be with). I have had invitations to travel but I don’t want to! I would rather be alone at Christmas than spend yet another year as a waif and stray tagging on to someone else’s Christmas and providing distraction for them from their family rows. I can be myself for the first time ever. I have advent calendars for pup and me. But no other decorations this year as no safe place to put them out of his reach. I think I’ll make homemade chilli for Christmas lunch. And a yummy dessert. We’ll do Christmas Day parkrun and dress up for that. It will be fun. I won’t have to deal with a drunk and abusive husband. I won’t be cooking all day Christmas Eve and Christmas morning for a meal that, frankly, was never appreciated by the ex, or either family when they were with us. I can read, listen to music, garden, sleep, watch some tv, a film of my choice. I can’t wait. Currently dealing with people saying ‘but you can’t be in your own’. My answer ‘yes I can and I want to be’. I will see family on Boxing Day but Christmas Day is for me and the pup. His first Christmas and I’m not sharing it or looking for it to be spoiled by other people and their needs and issues. 2022 is going to be my year and I want to be ready for that. Perhaps I am a really strange person. That’s who I am and I am going to own it.

    • MW!! Boxing Day!!! You must be in London!! Whooohooo. I was there on a long layover there in Windsor on Boxing Day several years ago!!! Gosh, it was such fun!!!

      • I live just outside London, Goldilocks, and I work in town. It is a wonderful city. I’m very, very fortunate.

        • Mighty Warrior!! I’m in Texas!! I’m a retired flight attendant as of last year. Whooohooo!! I’m loving single life and retirement!! I really miss the wonderful layovers! I flew Internationally. It’s taken some time to come to grips with being single, (after being married for 26 years) but I really think I’m at Meh!!!! It has been easier for me, also, because we didn’t have children!! So, it’s just me and my BeardedCollie, Lucy!!

  • Five years divorced, while putting up the Christmas lights this year, finally realized that I was 100% responsible for all of Christmas for all 36 years of marriage. The tree, the lights (inside and out), the gifts, the wrapping, the shopping, the cooking and the baking. Midway through our marriage, I gave him the task of sending out cards as this became unimportant to me. Mr. So-Important would send a card to anyone that he ever knew! He just never understood the difference between friends and acquaintances. I actually suggested that he one year NOT send cards out, in order to see how many were just reciprocal cards. He was too afraid to find out the truth!
    Our last Christmas before Dday? He actually had me sit down to watch something he DVR’d. I later discovered that he was on the phone with the whore in another part of the house for forty-five minutes. Merry Christmas to me!
    I am glad to be alone. Glad to no longer be the Christmas slave.

    • This thread is really striking a chord with me today! I had the same experience NotMyFault. I did everything. Ok just two of us, but, still, I never rested at Christmas. I always got ill. One NYE he insisted that we went to dinner with his enabler friends. I coughed all the way through because I was so sick. One year I broke a rib due to coughing and I still did everything. It was the stress and anxiety and knowing that he was going to be drunk every day for 2 weeks ( every holiday, drunk for the whole of it).

      His way of distracting me when he wanted ‘quality phone time’ with exgfOW over the Atlantic was to run me a bath. Towards the end he was running me baths all the time. He knew exactly where I was and could disappear with his phone. I thought he was being caring. Then the realisation dawned.

    • Oh, I feel this. I was the Christmas slave too. I had to do everything and all of his Christmas shopping too. I remember him griping about his relatives’ not getting gifts and me being like well why didn’t you buy them something then? Well, he works! He works a job! Yeah, 40 hours a week. When i was working I still had to take care of everything but he was so, so offended by that. He was supposed to do NOTHING outside of his job. Even when I was working 60 hour weeks. I hope he’s really enjoying being single, he probably lives in utter filth and eats garbage. Ugh.

      And I even had to buy my own gifts, which sucks. But a year of having nothing under the tree and my son noticing that was completely awful so I bought them.

      I have to give him credit though, some years he would come through with gifts, if I gave him a wishlist to use, sometimes he’d use it. Or he’d buy me something completely fucking ridiculous like a huge goth gown that I’m thinking where the f would I ever wear this? And I actually wore it on a date with him so as to not hurt his feelings and I looked like a complete ass. No offense to goths but that is not my style and I really stood out in a bad way at the Olive Garden.

      Last year I was still all messed up emotionally and I did Christmas as well as I could with my son. This year I already told him, we’re having a chill Christmas. The tree is up, it has some lights on it, I haven’t put any decorations on it yet. It’s fine if that never happens. I might bake one pie recipe I’ve been wanting to try. I’ll cook a ham since all you do is heat it up and I’m serving mac and cheese from the deli of one of our grocery stores. Frozen dough makes lovely rolls. If I get a crazy burst of energy, maybe I’ll bake some cookies. But if I don’t oh well. I used to make everything from scratch and Christmas was so much work. I’m over it. I’m not having anybody over either. If they want a party so bad, they can host it. I’m done being the Christmas slave.

      • I did all the Christmas too KP. And honestly I didn’t mind much. Generally we didn’t go overboard; and I would shop throughout the year etc.

        What really pissed me off though is that he wanted to make his direct report a clock for Christmas and also one for our son and for me. It was a state shaped clock. He was short of cash, so I went to Lee Wards and got the materials he needed.

        Turns out the direct report was his fuck buddy. Of course I didn’t know that when I did it. Before he decided on the clock, we were at the store and he wanted me to pick out a sweater for his direct report “whore”. I said: “it is inappropriate for you to get a personal gift for your employee” He just shrugged and said that is what I want to get. I walked away.

        I figured the clock was what he decided on since the sweater was inappropriate. The level of my stupidity haunts me to this day. ????

        Oh and I never got my clock, though he clocked me good a few weeks later.

        My son and whore got a clock. I just recently told my son the story about the clock.

      • The dress image has me cry laughing ????. Mine thought the bigger the pendant the better, I’m barely 5’4”. Not a good look on me.

  • For those who are not completely comfortable spending the holidays alone or sharing the kids or feeling the sting of not receiving an invitation to a party because the host decided only to include couples, please remember that it takes a few years to build new traditions.

    Even if your holidays are lonely this year, you are not relegated to this experience forever. This year, extend an invitation to at least one person–even if it is just to get a cup of coffee or share a glass of wine and catch up at some point during the season. Try one new thing on your own–going to a parade or holiday market or a community holiday event. And give yourself at least one gift to enjoy on Christmas–whether it is a book or a beauty product or mini-blowtorch so you can make your own creme brulee. Next year, revise and expand the experiments until you reach your own peak holiday level of activity.

    I love baking cookies, and I give boxes of them to people now since I don’t need very many for my scaled down family. The first year when I baked them out of habit and had nothing to do with all my unappreciated treats was depressing. But I wanted to give up the depression not the baking. I go to my work place party (even though it is very date oriented) and consider it a success if I enjoy it for at least an hour. I have given myself pre-permission to leave at any point after the first hour if I begin to feel out of sorts or too single. (Reimagining it as a cheerful hour instead of as a blowout event was a game changer for me.) I invited a colleague who retired last year to dinner to catch up, but she responded by saying, “Oh please let me host. Jane and Ellen (two colleagues who retired several years earlier) would love to see you too.” So, I’ll be joining these other divorced and single women for a meal. (Heck, I’ll be angling to be included in their regular gatherings now that I know about them.) I buy myself a new book to start on Christmas Eve every year. I feel down right busy this month, but it has taken me at least 6 years to develop these traditions, and they are still works in progress.

  • Still in the midst of the process but FW is out. That is another reason to celebrate. It will be great not to listen to him whine of how he hates the gifts that I thought I had chosen well. He just loved to pout. Meanwhile, I got a plain envelope with some cash or a gift card. No thought put into it.
    This year will be different the holidays are mine. My son will not be able to come until after Christmas so we will put off our celebrations until then. He is 25 and no contact with FW. I will celebrate with my parents and some friends who are genuine and authentic. It will be a nice holiday with pre-Christmas events thrown in. I can’t believe how great it already feels without a cheating FW.
    Also taking time off from work to refinish some furniture I bought thrifting. FW took a bunch of stuff with him which helped eliminate his stink from the house.

    • ChumpedForANew, I love the idea of you industriously ridding your house of cheater stink. I hope you took before and after furniture shots. There is an analogy in there for ridding yourself of a cheater. You are doing a furniture glow up!

      I could never get Fuckface a good enough gift. He always made sure to buy himself a consolation gift. I’m free of that now!

  • There are lots of people, and always have been, since the Dawn of time, for whom Christmas and the holiday season is painful. It’s why we have 24/7 “alcathon” marathon AA meetings.

    I say this not to minimize my own or anyone else’s pain, but to give me perspective. It does bring me peace to know I am not alone and there are legions of people the world over who are suffering for many reasons.

    On my mind today is Oxford, Michigan, where I have relatives and spent a lot of time visiting cousins when I was growing up. I did go to a funeral there; my cousin died from leukemia when we were both ten. That is a very small town, and in Michigan those little towns themselves are like families Christmas is ruined forever for a lot of people there.

    Here’s what I do:

    Keep it simple. Do what is healing and comforting and leave the rest. Celebrate Christmas as I understand it. Or not. Make my own rules. Help others help other help others. Give. (Cheaters don’t give. They take. I have found that GIVING is healing for wounds caused by takers.

    My friend is foster parent to an adorable little baby. He is three months old and he is our new best friend. My daughter and I bought him flannel Santa sheets for his Moses basket and brought them over on a visit the other night. We got to babysit him
    while our friend went to the grocery store. But with this love given, my heart is afraid because another loss looms when he goes to his next stable family situation. Do I not love because there will be an end and it will hurt? It’s going to hurt and I am afraid.

    No. There will always be an end. When and how is beyond my control. I learned that when my cousin died. And when the end comes I will not want to have missed out on all the love and joy before it ended.

    (My cousin’s name was Joy)

    • Velvet, you are so brave to love that little baby knowing he will go to another family. I hope that somewhere in his little baby brain is the knowledge he was surrounded by love and soft flannel Santa sheets. I salute you.

      • I wish we could all come for a sleepover at your beautiful Christmas house. ❤️

    • Velvet, I love the idea of not letting those cheating FWs mess with our ability to love a baby or whomever we choose, despite the awareness of eventual loss and hurt. It’s worth it. And as CL says, our hearts were forged in a blast furnace. We got this. ????

    • Velvet- thank you for your kind thoughts for the community of Oxford. I live in a town nearby and teach in a different town in close proximity. To say our worlds have been rocked here does not even begin to describe things. The suffering and trauma that has been inflicted on the children and their families and the beautiful lights that were extinguished that day over such a senseless and preventable tragedy…..I can’t even put into words the feelings, anger and sadness.

      The more that I have read, seen and heard from reliable sources regarding the young man who committed this crime the more the importance of being a sane and grounded parent becomes glaringly obvious. To those of you out there who are doing a thankless heavy lifting of being the same parent stay the course and never give up it truly is a matter of life and death.

      • I moved to California from Chelsea in 1975. Jeff Daniels (the actor) was my next door neighbor. All of my extended family is in Michigan except for a cousin in Orange County (who moved there from Mich). My cousins live in Oxford on Tan Lake and I spent a lot of time there growing up. The news shocked the hell out of me and I can’t even imagine the impact of this on the local communities. It sounds like this was a very troubled family and look what happens when no one does anything about it. ????

        During the holiday season when the happy propaganda machine is operating full blast, it’s easy to feel like the whole world is happy joyous and free when you’re not. Accepting I feel like shit is difficult because I love Christmas and I just don’t feel like I want to yet. Remembering there are others who are hurting and have suffered even worse losses keeps me from feeling like I’m going down the rabbit hole alone.

  • This reminded me of the Christmas, maybe a couple before the divorce, that we spent as the Dickhead’s middle sister’s home. He never got along with her, and I was always defending her. She was a kind person, unlike her brother and sinister sister. That Christmas, her and her husband, who was running a screen printing shop for clothing, made sweatshirts for Dickhead and my two stepkids. Each monogrammed with their last name. And what did I get? A $10 bracelet you buy last minute at Penney’s. I was so perplexed and yes, my feelings were hurt. Now, I suspect that Dickhead was already running a smear campaign. It was just so odd and such a flagrant dig. I thank my lucky stars that my holidays are no longer spent with that pile of crap.

    • If it makes you feel any better, the sweatshirts probably cost ex-BIL less than $10. Bulk sweatshirts are very cheap, and screen printing itself isn’t expensive materials-wise when it’s your own business. Still, it was thoughtless at best that you were left out.

  • I don’t know whether the pandemic has made it easier or more difficult during the holidays (both 2020 and 2021). I am truly a solo chump – no children and parents have passed on.

    BUT WAIT, you say. What about your friends, neighbors, fellow community volunteers? Well, I will spend time with them earlier in the month because activities are scheduled not to interfere with actual holiday. And my “like-minded” people are not gathering in large groups as covid surges again.

    So I’m left with re-framing. And not a review of the painful memories of holidays past which are too closely tucked among some of my sweetest memories, including a marriage proposal over thirty Christmases ago.

    I will draw on my self-calming strategies and realize it’s just one day (one week?) and I can get through it. I will remember all the things I am truly grateful for – my good health, my cozy home, my safe community. I will visit virtually with extended family. I will visit in-person as schedules and vaccine boosters allow.

    I will buy myself small, useful gifts and suet for the birds. I will buy a warm jacket for a young refugee.

    • You’re allowed to have at least one small and useless gift for yourself as well.

      Just because.

      Merry Christmas!

  • I’m going to be alone for a few days leading up to Christmas, which I’m actually looking forward to. Going to have myself a solstice bonfire, burn some old photos, make my big bad New Years Tarot spread, and get some much needed sleep. If friends want to join, they can.

    I’ll get to spend Christmas morning with the kid and I have invited my landlord to come over for breakfast. Fuckwit will stop by to give the kid a gift. I didn’t get her anything. After she forgot Mother’s Day and my birthday, she can go fuck herself.

    • Dracaena, the Tarot sounds interesting. I want to sage my house again because there is still some lingering cheater stink that won’t go away. I know that sounds odd but no matter how much I clean, there is still a slight cheater smell. It needs to go so that is part of my holiday mission.

        • I make a list of the things I want to get rid of/let go and one of things I hope for/will work on for the coming year and consign them to the solstice bonfire while focusing on my intentions. I use really lovely paper, a great pen and my best handwriting to write them. There have been lists made into origami and lists wrapped around cinnamon sticks or cedar twigs in years past and they’ve been lovingly tucked into the pile before ignition. And then the smoke sends them into the universe and the ash becomes the earth and I feel good about the world for a while.

  • I have remarried since my divorce. This marriage is a lot better than the last one. Even so, it has some aspects that go well beyond the regular trials of a generally healthy relationship.

    I am never more acutely aware that I shouldn’t have remarried (and, indeed, will never marry again, even if I’m in an excellent, healthy relationship) than I am from Thanksgiving to the New Year holiday. For one thing, the infeasible romance angle is off the charts. It feels like 45 Valentine’s days with 45 times the gifting, decorating, crappy movies (and good ones, but they don’t bug me), expectations, and pressure.

    For another thing, the many things people describe here illustrate well how marriage ends up often being a legal trap that supercedes the relationship itself. Cementing myself into a contract I need the other person’s permission to end, one that involves every aspect of my life all at once, one that will ruin my life’s work toward security — that has nothing to do with my heart’s commitment, my loyalty, or my friendship. Its entire basis was to create a legal bond that is harder on the less privileged person who enters it. I wish I hadn’t done it now, and I won’t again.

    I get that marriage is important to many, and I understand why, and I am not saying YOU shouldn’t get married. I am saying every winter I am reminded anew how all of my choices — including spending another holiday married and sad and lonely right next to the person I married — might change if it wouldn’t be so hard to make the one I really want to make.

    (And that’s why this post will have a different name than the one I usually use — so if you recognize my voice in my writing, please help me stay anonymous. ???? )

    • Ah honey, that’s so sad – but incredibly honest! I hope you find peace and contentment whatever you decide to do!

    • I remarried too soon after divorcing my son’s father. I had been married 20 years, most of them difficult, but the last five were incredibly lonely. I was carefully planning my escape in a way that would not impoverish my son’s. I think I remarried because he was an attentive love bomber, and I was starved for attention. I didn’t see any of the red flags. I was looking for my “dream” of being married and having a father figure for my son’s. I had a broken picker.

      Once I realized what I had done, and how my marriage was destined for failure, I acted quickly. It was hard, but I was not going to go thru another long, lonely departure. My son’s had to adapt to a new reality, and I finally discarded my dream and accepted my reality.

      My life turned out to be amazingly better once I took off my blinders, evaluated my beliefs, and set up boundaries. My children proved resilient, and I realized one day I was actually very happy being single. I heard other women at work complaining about their spouse, or boyfriend, their in-laws, their stepchildren, and I thought how wonderful it was that I could go home to peace, quiet, and sanity. My workload decreased, my credit score got better, and I could plan my own budget and vacations. I kept my home clean, watched what I wanted to watch on TV, and made new friends who shared my interests and values.

      When I was young, I thought I was supposed to marry. I realize now that marriage is only good if you find the right partner, and I did not know how to do that. I am pretty good at being independent. I am not against pairing off, but I suggest that you need to know who you are and what you need and choose carefully. I had to stop listening to my FOO programing, and instead trust my instincts and logical thinking. Don’t date just to go out, and don’t marry just because you have been dating. Your time is precious. During the holidays, reflect on a gift to yourself — the gift of peace in your life. You will never have that with a cheater.

      • Bravo Portia!!! I hope some out there will heed your post!!! I’m not the least interested in even dating after 4 years!!! I feel if God wants me to meet someone, He’ll put him right in front of me!! Haha. Single and Happy OR Married and Miserable!!!!

    • You’re very brave, dear heart. Thank you for your honesty at a time of year when lots of Chumps start feeling like remarriage is the answer.

  • I used to hate Christmas because while fuckwit used to insist everything was totally over the top he sat on his arse like King Canute “surveying” my work while he did bugger all! But then it was always like that. I worked full-time, two young kids (and I was the bigger earner – not that that mattered to me but you’d think he would chip in a bit of effort on occasion)! On Christmas morning he would run around like a headless chicken “correcting” all my mistakes before the guests got here and then yet again sit on his throne in his Perry Como sweater “surveying” his dominion while getting slowly pissed out of his nuts! Towards the end he never bought me anything for Christmas and when my youngest asked “where are your gifts mommy?” it broke my heart. Not for me, but because my kids noticed! Asshole lasted 3 years with the skank before she cheated on him and now he’s with Martha Stewart wannabe hosting “the perfect Christmas” but having to do some of the work himself now! Me? I have both my sons nearby and will get to enjoy my grandson’s first Christmas – it will be bliss. Oh, and FW hasn’t even met that beautiful baby yet because he skiddadled back to the US when the French permanently cancelled his driving licence! Happy days, Chumps, happy days!

    • The royal ???? “we have to do such and such to prepare for the guests/for our trip, etc” drivel which translates to chumps doing EVERYTHING whilst the fuckwits doing jackshit and criticizing.


  • Christmas #1 after divorce: It was important to me that everything to be as much like it used to be as possible (sans ex). I think I was saying, “I won’t let you take this from me, too.” I bought a huge tree, which a friend helped me choose and put in the stand. I put up lights all over my apartment (my ex bought me out of the house). My son came to decorate the tree, and on Christmas we had Christmas dinner together. I baked cookies and gave them away to friends (who reciprocated).

    Christmas #2: Condo-sitting a condo across from my then 93-year-old mother’s so I could be on hand to help her out. I wore myself out working to produce her Christmas as she’d had it, now that she couldn’t do it on her own. Decorating (her house with her decorations), baking (her cookie recipes, for people she wanted to give them to), Christmas Eve dinner (invited a neighbor who was on her own), helping her shop online (suggesting possibilities, looking them up, purchasing), wrapping. Taking her to my brother’s (we do not get along) for a Christmas meal and feeling like an outsider, which I was, as I haven’t lived in that town for over forty years. It was the first Christmas in my 31 year old son’s life I didn’t spend Christmas with him.

    Christmas #3: Covid. I didn’t even buy a tree, but did have a huge poinsettia I put on a bookcase I wound with lights, and put gifts for my son, and a few I bought for me so I’d have something “under the tree,” there. I revived an old habit of mine of lighting candles each night at dusk, and brought out some heavy Scandinavian glass tea light holders that look ice. I made a crock pot full of caramelized onions to give as food gifts; my next door neighbor gave me a jar of preserved lemons. The whole season was, surprisingly, fine. I think the restrictions imposed by Covid made me feel less lonely, as I didn’t attend gatherings full of couples as a “single.”

    Christmas #4: I’m just back from a month at my mom’s (she lives a thousand miles away). I’ve spent four of the past seven months there helping her. I am beyond happy to be back in my own apartment–got in just at sunset last night–and am already contemplating how I’m going to decorate, where I’m going to put the tree, what food gifts I’ll make for friends (maybe those preserved lemons, maybe helpings of Moroccan lamb, saffron, chickpea, lentil and rice soup). Tonight the candles will be lit, and a fire, too, and I will sit and listen to the wonderful music produced to accompany Robert MacFarlane’s “Lost Words” (look up I’ll probably cry at the last words of the song “Let Raven call me home.” My father committed suicide in mid-December, so winter for me has been for a long time a time contemplation and stock taking, and of making warmth and brightness despite–or maybe because of–the dark. This next weekend I’ll go do the Christmas bird count out at the lake with a long time ornithologist friend–and love each bright or little brown bird we see. If we’re lucky perhaps my friend will call down a barred owl.
    Four years on, I wouldn’t go back!

    • i’ve got the candles at dusk habit, too. it’s peaceful and makes the house smell so good. i love it!

    • Thank you so much for the link to McFarlane’s book set to music. I have the book; now I have this unexpected pleasure. I am declaring it a holiday gift .

      • I was so happy to see other songs from the CD have made it to youtube, too. “Ghost Owl” and “Little Astronaut” are two of my other favorites.

    • That song was so beautiful! <3 <3. I subscribed to that Youtube channel. I never heard of Robert MacFarlane’s “Lost Words”. Thanks for sharing!!

    • Adelante, I also help my 90-ish mother to live independently by visiting frequently although I live almost 1000 miles away. I spend at least a week of every month with her, and I fully appreciate the dedication that it takes to assume this role.

      After almost 40 years together, Knave-man and I will spend Christmas apart this year. Good.
      I’ll be with my mother.

      Your holiday sounds lovely and meaningful, and I hope it’s just the best.

      Sending peace, love, and strength to all the selfless caregivers in this world, this holiday season, and that includes all the moms.

    • Adelante, I had forgotten the Christmas Bird Count. Thank you for reminding me of something I loved to do and will do again.

  • “I’d rather be alone than wishing I were.”
    Love that quote and thank goodness for our furry four legged friends. True blue loyalty.
    Merry Christmas.

  • this will be my first xmas on my own (with adult kids) after officially separating, and i’m looking forward to the following:

    1. the absence of alcohol. all X did was drink too much each day for 2 weeks straight.

    2. no in-laws who also, unsurprisingly, drink too much each day for 2 weeks straight accompanied by quiet but explosive fights. no more passive-aggressive then aggressive digs at me for who knows what. once, my SIL, who is a total piece of narcissistic work, alternating between telling me i didn’t bring enough food to the meal and, paradoxically, telling me i brought too much and “who did i think i was, showing her up like that?” this, on the same day.

    3. all the fussing over food, some of which is okay, others are not okay.

    last year, i was in a fallout of nuclear particulate post D-day and xmas was endured. my X and i lived together until springtime then he finally moved out, reluctantly i might add. so, this xmas is going to be relaxed and a bit different, but not too different because my son is upset about changes in our family. i’m cooking all italian food for dinner, just for kicks. the rest of it will be the same.

    i have to say that xmas used to be an enjoyable, shared event. my X was great about shopping for presents and celebrated the season. he just became an alcoholic, that’s all. and didn’t want to do anything about it, even in the face of family genetics–our daughter is a sober alcoholic and works the program with AA. this forced my X to stare at his own alcoholism but he wasn’t prepared to do anything about it and started acting out, big time. hence, D-day.

    the older i get the more memories pile up around xmas and so it’s a fucking minefield. my mom died on the 27th of december so there’s that anniversary–it made the christmas season difficult for a few years afterward, but that passed. my family drifted apart after mom died, as families often do, but i’ve got my own kids and that’s all i need.

    i’ve got the xmas tree, bare, in the stand in the living room. decorating will occur at my leisure. the kids will go to their dad’s house on xmas eve and i’ll be on my own–i’m curious about how that will go. i do have plans to catch up with a fellow single friend that day.

    it’ll be weird. the only way out is through.

    • discard days sucked. the constant criticism alternating with ignoring me. i think for me what really got me was my X’s immaturity. he acted like a 12-year-old boy and, as we all know, 12-year-old boys are cruel creatures. at least, that’s how i remember them.

      it took me a long time to realize that he’s just emotionally stunted, incapable of emotional maturity. i mean, he’s smart and well-read and interested in a variety of subjects/things, but he’s stuck at the level of a 12-year-old.

    • “Without him, I now feel less alone.”

      Amen. After D-Day 2 I finally realized that my family finally became whole because he left it. You’d think it wouldn’t work like that but it does.

    • Spinach: I concur that the most alone I ever felt was when I was with my ex.
      Very soon after I got divorced, in a fortune cookie I got the following “fortune”: “Better to be alone that in bad company.” I taped it the refrigerator, and used it as an affirmation when I felt lonely.

  • I always had peace about the holidays (he wasn’t the type to ruin holidays, as my mom was), so I can’t say my independence is superior to spending the holidays as a family – aside from the general superiority of the freedom single life brings!

    But I can say I’m very glad I don’t need to add to the list more Christmas memories that prove to be not what I remember them, just because some more lies come up to distort my reality. That’s especially important to me, because I did pour all myself into our holiday traditions and to have those memories and more re-written (after I uncovered his actions) was one of the most cruel parts about being chumped.

    I also am a Christian now, and I could never have found my faith if I was still with him.
    The holidays mean something different to me now, anyways.

    • I think the rewriting of the memories are the worst. I had to rewrite them, otherwise I couldn’t deal with them.

      So now the only memories I think about are the ones that included me and my son. If by chance he is in one, he is like a blur.

      Luckily I also now have many more memories of my now husband and all our grandchildren.

    • Quetzal, I’m thankful you found your Faith!! I can honestly say my faith and hope in God is the reason I made it through my D-Day and divorce!!!

  • I left my partner earlier this year and I didn’t fully realized how relieved I am to have him out of my life until the holidays came along. I didn’t have to put on a fake smile or muster up fake enthusiasm while visiting with his family, and I was able to create my own special day with my grown children. I was able to have open and honest conversations and share my opinions on social issues without fear of judgement or without it resulting in chaos. Honestly, I’ve never felt more free.
    I slept in, I watched what I wanted on tv, I made a great meal of steak and lobster, and we all went to the Gucci movie later on in the evening….it was truly magnificent.

    I couldn’t agree more about building your own tribe. I moved to where I am to be with my partner 8 years ago and many of my “friends” were his friends, so I had to essentially start over socially in May when I left, and it wasn’t easy at first. Then one day I decided to be vulnerable and simply ask for help forming a social network. My neighbor and her husband introduced me to their Sunday Brunch club, which grew into a Thursday dinner club and the beginning of a small rowing club. I also finally accepted my trainers invite to join his rock climbing group (something I couldn’t do previously because I felt I needed to devote that spare time to my shitty partner). Now I find myself turning down invites to social events because there’s just too many to choose from and I have to be intentional about allocating time just for myself. It’s turned into a magical liberating time in my life!

    One thing that’s been different about this time in my life is that I’m getting better about setting boundaries. I’ve chosen to opt out of romantic entanglements right now, and I make this clear straight away. When people in my social groups try to set me up with a friend or ask me out themselves, I decline and simply say “no thank you. I’m not dating anyone right now.” In the past I’ve been too afraid of hurting someones feelings and had a hard time saying no to things, including situations in which I wasn’t entirely comfortable. Now, when presented with the offer, my shrink’s words “What’s the worst that will happen if you say no” echo in my brain; and guess what, the worst has yet to happen. People have been respectful and understanding, and more often than not, I will get praise for my choices. People seem to “get it” and I think it even forces them to evaluate where they are putting their own time and energy.

    For 2022 I’m already working on a travel plan for the holidays, and I’m thinking of a solo trip somewhere spectacular….maybe back to Thailand or Central America. For those that are still on the fence or dealing with an ex trying to pull them back in, remember that this time in your life won’t be easy at times, but once you gain your footing and independence; it is liberating, exciting, and it’s all yours. Own it. Live your life on your terms and enjoy every moment. Since being single I’ve gotten on a plane for several long weekend trips and it’s been fucking amazing!

    • This is my 3rd Christmas post D-Day. I’m hiking in Costa Rica for 2 weeks. It’s great being single and FW free.

  • Mid December will be the 6th month mark of separation from my ex., DDay was 2 weeks prior. He was gay in denial and had been cheating from the beginning. Doesn’t know what he wants now. Acts like we are on an extended holiday from each other. Asks me often if there is anything he can do for me, buy me, help with. He was never mean or truly unkind outwardly, but kept secrets from me for decades, which now makes for constant confusion and major mindfuckery. Begged him for attention and recognition. I made a beautiful garden and home and catered to his every need. My trust was complete. The shock is wearing off a bit now and I have no plans to attend any Christmas gatherings with his large family. Too painful and I’m not interested in feeling worse anymore. My home is decorated simply with greenery and meaningful Christmas items. My dogs are here keeping me company, entertaining me. My community has embraced me, including me in holiday traditions and meals together. It still feels weird and lonely and unnatural to be by myself. 38 years is a long time to bond with someone, it will take time to detach and move forward alone. To any newcomers, just know that it’s a snails pace, but it does get better over time. Be good to yourself, you are worthy of your own loving attention. Just take one day at a time. They will add up to weeks and months and eventually years.

  • Our anniversary was very close to Christmas. I got a beautiful Christmas arrangement sent to her and she said it looked like I got ripped off and threw it away before Christmas. She started months prior ordering specialty made gifts for her friends. Then me and my son found $800 dollars she had in her purse and I actually got a little excited thinking I might get something really nice. Come Christmas morning, no presents for me. My small child said I must have done something to make the naughty list. Meanwhile I had gotten my wife a new apple phone and watch. Then she passed out drunk at my parents house later that morning and I covered for her and said we were up early.

    I then find out she sneaked out of the house like a teenager on the 23 and the 25th to meet one of her two married boyfriends. The lies, betrayal and realizing how everyone but me was in on the big joke I will never get over. This time of year makes it harder.

  • Definitely got a triple score. But add to that that I came home from the hospital during the holidays to find cheater asleep in bed with an affair partner. I feel like there’s a super star bonus with that one.

  • This will be the first Christmas that I wake up with just the cat. No one is staying overnight to open stockings, no one is here first thing for morning presents with coffee and danish. All festivities are at other people’s houses and I will go there, and I have to say I am excited to try this solo thing out once.

    I have stuffed stockings for 27 years now, staying up very late after being exhausted from holiday meal prep to hang them in the dark. I have done all the cheer-making and gift buying and holiday logistics, making everything bright and cozy with exactly zero help from that moody, petulant asshat. He was happy to text his whore in front of me while I wrapped gifts. He was happy to arrive to dinner like a guest. He looked for things to remark upon that were not just so. He hated me.

    He spent the holidays ignoring our family, off somewhere strumming a guitar with this head down. He always disappeared the moment guests pulled up just as I was trying to finish the last whirlwind chaos of dinner so I was expected to meet and greet, get drinks and coats, and be hostess extraordinaire while he wrapped up a marathon shit and shower session, phone in one hand and dick in the other. After the tension built and I was desperate for the relatives to get out of my fucking kitchen so I could finish the goddamn gravy he would breeze in with wet hair and too much aftershave to make his grand entrance.

    I would be sweating in my holiday clothes by then while he ignored the kitchen entirely, acting as master and critic of all he surveyed. He would chat and chortle with the relatives and take credit for my efforts while I fretted about whether the clam dip was chilled enough.

    While shopping for himself he would find some gift on eBay he thought would be great for one of our daughters and buy it, going way overboard for one girl without a care that things had gotten lopsided. I would be the one to make that right by getting additional things for the other girl to even it out. He liked to make problems between our girls that I had to soothe.

    I am grateful I no longer have to be the chaos janitor. I am not cooking a big meal. I am not catering to an unworthy man (h/t Spinach). I will be a graceful guest at someone else’s holiday this year, and I will wake up with my cat.

  • This will be my 4th Christmas since the divorce from FW after a 38 year marriage.
    I will drive to my baby boy’s house 10 hours away( he’s 28, my other two kids will meet us there).

    It will be just the four of us, we never get out of our PJ’s for the day and I’ve bought matching Grinch ones for us this year. ( and I can recite the Grinch book which takes about 15 mins,but I won’t subject them to that, once was enough, lol!)

    I load up my sleigh( my Buick Enclave) to the very brim with gifts, food, packages and also my very best friend.( my Yorkie who will be 5 on Christmas Day, he gets his own stocking and always knows what bags under the tree are his, which is a mystery to us)

    I ordered a karaoke machine and we will all be goofballs and have a good time with that. ( maybe I’ll scare my kids and master some rap song, always keep them guessing who the hell you are, haha!)

    I’m getting excited already!
    I will bake and cook up a storm and they all love that part and I sure do too. I need ppl to spoil.
    We stay up very late all nights together talking, laughing, playing games.

    I’ve come to realize it’s always been the four of us. The FW was the celebrity that would grace us with his presence every now and again and of course just steal the show, he’s that amazing, because no one is more spectacular or can do anything as wonderfully as he can. ( yet all the shopping, baking, decorating and planning was always me)

    I’ll take my keyboard with me so my oldest son can play Christmas carols. ( He’s a conservatory educated musician who plays with such beauty and reverence, it makes me cry to hear!)

    They are all leaving the day after Christmas this year for various commitments and then spending New Years with the cheater and his new young mistress turned wife in 2020. (The musician will not join them, he hasn’t wanted to meet her and is struggling on whether to continue any relationship at all with his father, the other two will go because they feel bad for the man who blew up his family.My kids have too much empathy, they didn’t get that from their father and I sometimes wish they had a little less.)

    I think I may stay a day or two longer at my son’s place with my pup.
    There are some great hiking spots, being near the Ozarks, which my doggie and I really love to explore.

    I have not fully reset from the pain of any of this, I feel like I don’t know where I belong yet and I chastise myself that it’s taking me too long to figure it out. I’m am 66, I can’t waste anymore time!)

    I do have great gratitude for the sense of feeling safe and secure and realize how little I felt that for way too long in my life. Feeling safe can never be an overrated goal. The eggshells were exhausting to navigate around.

    I’m comfortable hanging with myself and actually feel less alone now than the last crumbling years with Chester the cheater boy
    But the holiday triggers remain a difficulty, nonetheless.

    I am SO immensely grateful for finding CL, the validation and ongoing awareness of what the F happened has been the game changer of clarity and renewed belief in myself again.
    There should have been some epic StarWars level music playing when I read my very first intro to CL material so I could celebrate that day every year, lol.
    It has allowed me to have so much hope that, somehow and way, I might truly be able to believe I’m really going to be okay. That ‘meh’ might even be remotely achievable, means the world to me to have that hope.

    Two hurtful holidays come to mind with the cheater for me.
    One was a Christmas where he sat on our recliner crying because he had just broke it off with his gf to stay with me, the consolation prize, and he just missed her so terribly. ????
    ( mind you, not the one he is married to now, this crying on the recliner one, he had a 6 year affair with that caused her marriage to implode and her husband, then, drank himself to death).

    That’s a random “tell” by the cheater, it’s incredible what they will confess to you. I was just so freaked out by it all though, it was impossible to absorb the magnitude of what I was actually hearing at the time.

    He never even cried when his mom, who he claimed to love, died of cancer. But the gf was worth shedding tears over in front of me. (a sprinkle of magical Christmas dissonance and gaslighting to light up my tree)

    I recall saying to him at the time that I wondered if he’d be crying from losing me under someone else’s Christmas tree someday. I still wonder that occasionally.

    Then there was a New Years some years later. He picked a fight that included me and our 3 adult kids on New Years Eve ( I have no clue what it was about, since it was just one of those convenient made up arguments to position all the pawns where he needed them to be for his preconceived plan to work)

    We were at our beach house, but left days earlier than planned because FW wanted to leave the crack of dawn (New Year’s Day) after he started a fight on the eve before.
    I later discovered ( many months later) when I was able to crack the code on his Fort Knox phone, that he was out by the beach alone at midnight that New Year’s Eve, after blowing up our wonderfully planned evening, telling the current schmoopie how much he loved her and he would see her the very next day. ( his planned mission accomplished)

    So many of these stories, I wish I could get them out of my head.
    But maybe remembering I want nothing to do with this man forever is beneficial to me recalling the many heartbreaks.

    My dog is light years a better partner for me than that sick,twisted, selfish man.
    We all are so much better off without them blowing up our one “wild and precious life”.

    Stealing a line from the hilarious Sweet Brown viral video:
    “ Ain’t nobody got time fo dat!!”

    • Ah yes, the contrived arguments so they can “storm off” and get up to no good!

      • Yep.

        For me the funniest (in hindsight) is when I cooked his dinner, which included macaroni with butter (his favorite) I had salted it but he wanted more. I had run out of salt. I usually had an extra box or two, but I ran out. He launched into what seemed like an hour, but was likely more like five minutes of cursing and screaming at me about how no one with a brain runs out of salt etc. Then once he had finished screaming, he said I have to get out of here. I stood in stunned silence. I had not said one word in my defense.

        Quite frankly if I had kicked him out that night, I would have saved myself a lot of agony. That was his first hissy fit, and he continued those fits for about three months before he moved out.

    • So much of your post resonates with me. I love the holidays and my son does, too. We sing and decorate and bake. FW is just a killjoy. He has always hated the holidays. He also did not shed one tear when his mother, who he claimed to love, died of cancer.

      I’m still stuck in the house with FW cheater. I am resolved that this will be the last Christmas I spend with the Grinch. I anticipate filing by early spring if all goes to plan. I am waiting on two things to fall into place.

      But then, yes, there will be peace in him being gone. The holidays will have more music and more color. My son can sing Jingle Bells all he wants without FW telling him to shut up. I can keep on baking dozens of cookies and delivering boxes of them to the neighbors. And maybe next year I can finally attend Christmas Mass for the first time in two decades.

      Oh my gosh, I won’t be obligated to visit flying monkey SIL, either. She will be thrilled when I file, as she has wanted me out of her brother’s life for as long as I can remember. SIL only cares that she have her name on the deed of “loved ones’” homes and be listed in their will. She never married and has only used one man after another for her financial gain. I can’t stand being in the same room with her. FW liked to triangulate us. So much weirdness I will escape.

      Anyway, it seems many people have felt slaves to cooking, baking, and doing holiday things and I am with you in taking pleasure in them. I am looking forward to not being forced to fully dress before eating breakfast or opening presents on Christmas and every day. When we have been invited to social events, he acts like we aren’t there together. He has been that way our entire marriage. So I am used to standing there like a single person with my egg nog, talking with couples who are hip to hip. The laat New Year’s Eve invite I received, he had run off out of state to be with a schmoopie, so kiddo and I attended, just the two of us. Any Christmas where I felt married or had anything nice to remember with him is so far in the past, I don’t remember to get misty about. He has acted in discard toward me since 2012. Sad to be single? Hell no. This will be an albatross off our necks.

  • We always hosted her family and friends at my home with a big Christmas dinner. Our final Christmas, she hastily made everyone exchange presents and basically threw her own family out within an hour of arrival. Then she dolled herself up and told me she was going to support a long-lost virtual step-brother (whom I had never hear of) by visiting his daughter’s grave. She explained, a group of his relatives do Christmas shots and then pour one shot of her favorite booze on her grave (classy). Can’t make this shit up.

    Meanwhile my sons and I were sitting at home alone wondering WTF just happened, no visitors, the uncooked Christmas dinner still in the fridge, ham, squash, potatoes, the works. Not knowing if she was returning, my boys and I ate oatmeal for dinner. She finally came home late and never did cook that dinner.

    This was our first inkling that “mom was not acting right”. Four months of detective work revealed my worst nightmare. I filed within 3 weeks of discovery and she vaporized on us. This throws some shade over the day but my sons and I still enjoy Christmas together. Her loss, but she’s too selfish to realize that.

    • Whoa!!! That’s just the weirdest stuff I’ve ever heard!!! You’re right, you can’t make this shit up!!! I think I’ve finally heard it all!!! Bless your heart and your sons! Have a wonderful Christmas! Her loss!!!!

  • I am really dreading Christmas this year because I was still unaware of my Freak’s double life last year and it would still be another month until I found the Christmas cards she made with Tru – Wuv and my children. I woke up this morning and my thoughts were filled with images of that happy family and it ravages my heart.
    The real burn for me was how cavalier she was about hiding her double life and then how quickly she gaslit me and dismissed my emotions for her transgressions. Of course it got better when Tru Wuv took it upon himself to tell me he is a better “father figure” than I’ll ever be for my children. I can’t deal with repulsive characters as such, but it still burns me. And then, of course there’s my 10 month old who’s birthday is coming up and who I’ve only seen/ held for 10 minutes until Tru Wuv threatened me and ran me out of town. Yes, I made the very wise choice of fleeing because I did not want to end up in jail or the morgue. What a shitty year it’s been, but as CL reminds me, at least I’m not with that trash. ( Yes, for the curious, CPS is involved as are attorneys in regards to my children, but dealing with sick, repulsive freaks takes time and money and patience ). I wish you all happy holidays and hug your loved ones.

    • Stand strong. Now you see the world for what it actually is, you will never view things the same again. Rude awakening but way better than living a lie.

    • You can do this! Don’t give up! That baby is worth the marathon you’re now running.

    • Oh Xioba Xioba, what a year. But you are absolutely right, at least you are not with trash. Hopefully you can rest, take care of yourself and celebrate the end of this very crappy year soon. The next one will surely hold better things for you.

      • Xioba Xioba – stay strong and fight for your baby! I was pregnant at the time of my discovery and it was so hard to see my baby go off with my ex and OW. I once pulled up at a gas station and saw them there, looking like one little cute family, with my daughter. It broke my heart.

        I waved to my son, who was in the back seat with his dad, while OW was coo’ing over my daughter who was in the seat next to her.

        Fight all you can for your child.

  • My ex will take the kids to the other side of the continent this Xmas . It’s her turn , so that’s fair.
    I’m grateful not having to be part of the freak show which are my former in-laws .
    I’m very grateful not to be with my ex anymore.
    Christmas morning I will go to the beach ; I’m invited at a friends place for dinner . This day will pass and I will be happy once my kids come back for sure .
    My ex said she wanted to take the kids to her parents so that they can have a “true family Christmas “.
    As if family values would be anything she respects or upholds. Her cheating destroyed our family and my blood boils when she now claims that the new situation is anything but her fault .
    I know I will be melancholic on Xmas but the day will pass like it has passed for the last 3 years .
    Fuck those cheaters and their phoney lies .

    • AFS, I’m sorry you’re sad!! Glad you don’t have to live with the clown anymore. I don’t like that “karma” will catch up with them…… I like to phrase it as, God drives the karma bus, and it’s coming down the street!!!!! We are all at different points of our nightmares, but we ARE so much better off!! It just takes time to realize it!! You have been through a lot!! Be good to yourself and fight for your babies!!! Will be praying for you!!????????❤️????????

  • FW and I are separated. I kicked him out on Oct 1 of this year. But up until then I did a lovely pick me dance for the last two and a half years after my umpteeth Dday.

    But today I did something I hadn’t done before. I have one date that I know of for sure that he slept with someone else. Dec 8, 2017. So I went back into our Amazon photo history to find out what FW was doing on and around that day, with me stupidly unaware that he had porked a co-worker on the 8th. Turns out that he was so good at lying and gaslighting that he was able to buy and decorate a Christmas tree with me and our kids the next day! And the day after that? We went to Disneyland as a family. He is smiling like the fucking cat that ate the canary in every photo! I am filled with a rage that cannot be explained.

    I don’t care what future holidays will look like, as long as they don’t include HIM. How he can do what he did (ALL the things that he did!) and then act like the good family man makes me absolutely sick. I may have been a chump for the last 30 years, but by God 2021 will be the last year that I am one!

    • I remember doing that exact thing, putting together the timeline of dates. Realizing he was off with a whore one day and playing happy family man the next. It is sickening. Hard to imagine how a person could do that. Cheers on your new freedom.

      • Yep, and the thing is the whores know this is what they are doing, and that is the prize they are seeking.

        I mean, fws whore was alley catting with him for at least three years, likely longer. Does she or any of these whores really think they are not being intimate with us and that the spouse knows what is going on.

        Sure I knew the last few months when he turned from pretend husband to asshole abuser; but before that he was playing the part of happy family man. His very job depended on that image.

        Good news is he was demoted fairly quickly after someone called in a complaint. I don’t think he held those Captains bars even a year. I still have the picture of me pinning the bar on him. Yes he was grinning like a Cheshire Cat. He sure pulled a fast one on me and the mayor. When the mayor announced the demotion in the paper he said it was cough- organizational changes -cough.

        • We can only imagine what they tell these whores to agree to this set up. I’d imagine lots of how “crazy” the spouse is and promises to leave. They play family man well, their image is a perfected craft.

          • True and I think oft times it is to keep the money rolling in. I had three years of credit card history proving that he had spent several thousand dollars on her. Not to mention the unexplainable cash with drawals from our account.

            I am guessing the case of my fw’s whore, he flat out told her if it got out they were done. Which meant the flow of cash stopped. However by the time he was outed, the era of women filing lawsuits against bosses they had screwed around with was if full swing. No way by then he was walking away without a lawsuit.

            I was told by a city Counselman that they wanted him fired, I guess the demotion was a trade off to save his job, and save the city from a fight with the police union.

            But that aside, I do believe that in many cases the financially strained whores know that if it gets out the money stream may very well stop. Having said that, the whores have power too, and if the money stream stops they can destroy the cheater. Assuming he has any power over her at work. Which the cheater would deserve.

            If it is a non work rando whore she doesn’t have as much power.

            Please don’t get the wrong idea, I don’t think all poor women are whores, I was as poor as a church mouse for many years, but didn’t start whoring around with married men for profit.

      • OMG – putting together the timeline! I was on a mission. I was unstoppable. I needed to write down that timeline when I realized for 15 months, he had been weaving in and out of two separate lives. It was an important part of my journey.

      • I am disgusted by their ability to lie and deceive like that! It’s monstrous.

    • Yup. Sept 2019, I took a pic of FW walking our son on his first day if school. I asked him to take one of me. Our phones were set to auto-upload new photos to a shared drive in the house. I later went to retrieve the photo he had taken of me with our son and saw the other photos he had added to his phone, not an hour before playing Father of the Year walking our son to school – a selfie pic of OW in bed that morning that she must have texted him and he saved as well as two pics he took of himself in states of undress. One might have been for her that he had taken after getting out of the shower but the other looked like one he intended for a profile pic. But then there he was the same hour pretending to be a decent fucking human being walking our son to school.

      He could fall off the face of the earth and I could care less. How people like him live with themselves is beyond me.

  • I found a jewelry box in my stbx’s car the year I had a newborn baby, I remember when I never opened that gift on Christmas. I had 2 babies under 2, I just put my head in the sand and swallowed back the tears and kept the day happy. I am apparently good that that level of denial, I continued to do it for years. A few years ago it all seemed to connect, and I saw clearly for the first time maybe ever! He had a jewelry receipt for jewelry I never received. Came home smelling like old sex, and starting sleeping on the couch. That December started my climb out of this mess. I am still in it, but nearing separation, finally. On the bright side I am no contact with his enablers, I mean his family, and no longer will be hosting them on holidays. That alone is something to celebrate. I don’t care if he has secret gifts for whores in his vehicle.

  • For me this holiday season is going to be plain traumatic. I am giving birth to my first child…alone. Her daddy loved us beyond words and he died three months ago. I will be taking our new baby to the cemetery on Christmas eve and Christmas Day…before I need to go take pictures with her under the “Family” Christmas tree surrounded by happily intact couples and families. Literally not a single other solo parent or lone person there. I used to be the odd one out four years ago and now I return to that status. It’s going to be unbelievably painful for me but I have no choice, I need my parents to help me with baby and this is what they have already planned for Christmas. Beggars can’t be choosers.

    But I can tell you that leaving a cheater and being single during the holidays…it stings but it is SO MUCH BETTER than making excuses for your cheater as to why they are being a PITA or no show at a family function. There is nothing more lonely than being in a bad relationship with someone that genuinely doesn’t care about you but you haven’t realised it yet. Stay strong!

    • Bianca Irgang, I am sending you all the strength and courage and peace and good thoughts I have for you in the coming weeks. I am so sorry for your terribly painful loss and how you will be giving birth without her father. I’m glad you will be able to be with family and that they can help you during the early weeks, even if it does sound like it will be hard too.

    • Bianca,

      Hugs to you and your baby.

      (I’m confused. It doesn’t sound like your late husband was a cheater. Why are you commenting on this blog ?)

      • Her story is in the achieves. Her first husband was a cheater. Her second marriage was to a wonderful man who passed away suddenly at a very young age. She is in Australia and CN has been supporting her through her loss. She is pregnant (and soon to deliver) her incredible second husband’s child. Reach out to Rebecca if you would like to support her family regarding her baby registry.

  • I dread the anniversary of Dday (it’s during the holiday season) much more than the possibility of being alone at Christmas or New Year’s eve. I can make the holidays meaningful by myself, but getting through the day where memories flood me of the confrontation, the admission, the realization that I was chumped emotionally, financially, and repeatedly — that my married life was essentially a sham –that’s going to be hard to do.

    • That’s huge for you. The prospect of the pain – anticipating it – is the worst part.

      Have you tried preparing for the day beforehand with some structure? Like: “I will deliberately and consciously think about the events of this day for 1 hour – then I will take a breather with something that will distract and comfort me.”

      Or even just preparing yourself to be mindful that day: to roll with the tides of grief and pain and relief and disappointment, and to sit with those feelings as they rise and fall?

      Those overwhelming feelings are real, and they – and you – are worth honouring.

      A day like this can be like Armistice Day: you watch a solemn parade, you lay a wreath, you sing a hymn, you cry a little when they play Taps. And then you relax afterwards, be gentle on yourself, and go to bed early.

      And the next day, you have put some of the burden down, you feel purged, and you can look towards the future again.

  • When I found out I needed a mascetomy on my breast FW didn’t take off from work to come with me to the hospital. My sister and son came with me. He told people at work that I’ll be fine, my family’s with me.
    I hate him for that!
    Karma hit him years later I heard he got colon cancer and open heart surgery. ????

  • Single ?

    Or too discriminating to settle ?

    If you meet a person who shares your values and is compatible … then go for it. But if not, stay happily unattached.

  • 4 years ago I was forced to go through the holidays with FW knowing that he was going to leave on January 1st, “for the kids”. He’d announced that he wanted a divorce 3 months prior and nothing was going to change his mind, and boy did my feet hurt.

    Year after year I’ve tried to change my tradition and make it a joyful, peaceful time for me and my kids. The first year they were pissed at me because they wanted everything like before. But I persevered, took no shit while still respecting their feelings of loss of course, and it got a lot better. This year I will be alone for the kids’ first week of Christmas break. I decided to enjoy the quiet, take my time wrapping presents and baking some cookies and decorate however I want. I decided to channel my inner Elsa and turn my house into an ice castle for one with icicles and snowflakes everywhere. Let it go, let it go… it gives me joy and it will be a fun surprise when the kids come back to finish the break with me.

  • Your post just breaks my heart!! I pray for you and a safe delivery of your baby. I too, was confused by your post as I had not read your prior posts. ????????????????????????

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