affair recovery wish listFor our discussion this week, let’s delve into your affair recovery wishlist during the holiday season.

As the holidays fast approach, many of you I’m sure are thinking not only about shopping and gift giving but also about the affair triggers, rebuilding trust, recovery and healing from the affair.

This time of year can certainly provide you with a challenging roller coaster ride of emotions that run from one extreme to the other.  You may experience many emotions that you don’t normally experience.  Depression can be a real concern.

Most everyone has a holiday gift wish list that may include clothing, toys, gadgets, electronics, etc., but…

What is your wish list as it relates to affair recovery?

What is the best gift that your spouse can ‘give’ you?  – Perhaps…To end the affair.  True remorse.  To talk about things more.   A safe environment for trust to build. Transparency.

What gift for healing can you ‘give’ yourself?  – Forgiveness. Self-esteem.  Inner strength.  Physical strength.  Control over the painful thoughts. Therapy.

In a nutshell, what are the top things that you can think of that will help you in your own journey towards healing from an affair – especially during the holidays?

Please respond to each other in the comments section.


Linda & Doug



    24 replies to "Discussion – All I Want for Christmas Is…"

    • rachel

      All I want for Christmas is for it to be January 2, 2013.
      A new year of a new life.

    • chiffchaff

      As we returned from a day’s hike this weekend and my H held me around the waist as we walked and talked I realised I had got my christmas present early this year.

      Last christmas and new year was so awful I have been worried that this year would go pear shaped too.

      I feel closer to my H than I have done for years. It’s not perfect, it’s still a work in progress, but how we are now is nice.

      For christmas I’d like that to continue and develop. I’d like my H to continue building confidence in himself for himself so he doesn’t fall into depression and spin off into selfishness again. I’d like for myself to stop being so hard on me and to work out what I really like. I have learnt alot about myself as a result of this process and some of it is that I have been doing things not because I enjoy them but because I should enjoy them. This may take some time to work through.

    • Recovering

      What is your wish list as it relates to affair recovery?

      To be able to take what my husband says now at face value as the truth and not disect every word and keep making myself crazy. I wish to not feel so crazy and feel like I can believe that he REALLY loves me. I just want to feel comfortable… like I can breath freely again.

      What is the best gift that your spouse can ‘give’ you? – Perhaps…To end the affair. True remorse. To talk about things more. A safe environment for trust to build. Transparency.

      Well I have gotten transparency, but even with that it is hard to trust that he is REALLY transparent after all of the lies. It is so easy to sneak around and get a new email address that I don’t have any knowledge of, or to erase a text or phone call. The best thing he could give me… hmm.. I think that would be to grovel and cry and say he’s sorry in tears. That is so unlike him that I think it would have more of an affect on me than his regular apologies. I might actually FEEL like he feels my pain then… (these are wishes, remember, they don’t have to be ‘real’ things that could really happen, right? 🙂 )

      What gift for healing can you ‘give’ yourself? – Forgiveness. Self-esteem. Inner strength. Physical strength. Control over the painful thoughts. Therapy.

      The gift I can give myself…. choice. I have that now because I didn’t give up on searching for the truth when I was suspicious. I guess I need to REALLY forgive myself, and stop blaming myself for what happened. Even though I know that I wasn’t to blame, and thought that I had forgiven myself already, maybe I really haven’t because I keep thinking that if only I had been more adament about us spending more time together, if I had been less accomodating to him going out with his ‘friends’ instead of coming home to his family that never saw him…. I guess I really do need to REALLY forgive myself. The reality is that he lied. HE LIED. HE was the bad person, and he could’ve stopped at any time. HE COULDVE TOLD ME THE TRUTH when I confronted him instead of turning it on me and asking if I was cheating. I reacted in the way I did because he was manipulating the fact that I trusted him and believed him to be a good man. He wasn’t a good man then – I didn’t want to believe it, but it was true. Good men don’t cheat. I need to forgive myself… I need to realize that I didn’t ‘pick a cheater’ but that I picked the man he was BEFORE the cheating, and hopefully the man he is now. I need to forgive myself for staying. For so long I have thought I was weak for staying, especially since I said I would leave if he ever cheated and I didn’t. That doesn’t make me a liar even though I feel like one. I need to give myself forgiveness for all the guilt that is really his and not mine…. This Christmas I need to give myself the REAL forgiveness… I wasn’t a horrible wife. He even said during the cheating before I ‘knew’ that I was the best wife ever. Hmmm…. I need to forgive me, and accept the truth into my heart FOR REAL this time. Merry Christmas to me….

      In a nutshell, what are the top things that you can think of that will help you in your own journey towards healing from an affair – especially during the holidays?

    • Dave

      All I want for Christmas this year is peace, quiet, and an uneventful Christmas. We’ve been doing a lot better lately, but the holidays are always a difficult time for me. Plus I have a nasty habit of hanging on to bad memories. I remember the Christmas the year after I caught her. Even though she adamantly denied nothing happened back then, she was distant, upset, and different. I have the photos from that Christmas and it is obvious that she is unhappy. It is been so long now and her memory is so bad, she can’t honestly say why she was unhappy – if it was guilt about what she had done to us or if she was missing him. We both assume it was a bit of both because at that time, she admits she was still thinking about him even though she was trying to stop.

      However, this year I’m not going to dwell on it. We have bigger issues. Our trip home to see our families at Thanksgiving went badly, especially when she went to see her family. We’ve been together 26 years, but her mother and her family has never warmed up to me. That is stressful for our entire family already, but given the problems we had earlier this year, it is now even more so. This past June, six months after my wife’s confession, we were going through a difficult time during our anniversary week. Her family picked that week to visit, and one night I came home from work and heard her mother tell her she should leave me. The woman never thought Michelle should have married me and told me as much days before our wedding. I could have forgiven her, but she has never tried talking to me or apologized. We’ve kept the peace for the sake of my wife, until now.

      So, my goal is to get through it the best I can and make it a good Christmas for our kids. Next up, I have to prepare myself for New Years. This will be the 1st anniversary of her confession. I’m not sure what to expect. I have forgiven her and I personally feel better, but I don’t know how I’m going to feel that night. The current plan is to do something with our friends to distract us from thinking about it and to NOT drink anything so that I can keep a clear head and not let myself become emotional. …at least, not get outwardly emotional in front of everyone.

      So, the mother-in-law may come for a visit. Where’s my flack vest and helmet? :/ I don’t understand how this woman can’t see that she ISN’T helping. …but maybe that is her goal.

    • exercisegrace

      I would like my old life back. While I know that my life, OUR lives will never be the same again, I would like to at least have some of the qualities of that life back. When he says he loves me, I would like to just accept that for the gift that it is. I don’t want to have the immediate thought “yeah, sure. You said that to her too.” or “do you really?”
      I would like to trust again, and take life at face value. I would like to wake up in the morning and not think about the times on business trips that he allowed her that intimacy of spending the night in his bed. Of waking up with him in the morning.
      And I realize at this point, it is mostly up to ME. He is telling me he loves me and only me. He is remorseful. He is being transparent. He is participating in both IC and MC. He is willing (although I have to initiate) to listen to articles or passages in books I am reading, and discuss how they apply to us and our situation.
      I want freedom from the intrusive thoughts and images that haunt me. I want to believe in myself and our relationship again.

      • Dave

        I know exactly how you feel, but I started thinking…our old life was crap even though I didn’t know it. I don’t want our old life – the one where she cheated, deceived me, and nearly destroyed our family for her selfish pleasure. I want a new and better life for us, so I’m trying to look forward to new and better possibilities now.

        It has taken a lot to just let it all go and forgive her. She still doesn’t believe me. Sometimes I worry it was too early. But since I have, the intrusive thoughts and images have receded. They aren’t totally gone, but I am more able to stop them now and think about the future instead of the past.

    • KelBelly

      I am having a hard time finding the Christmas Spirit this year. I was so excited last year for the holidays and then the H and I had our huge fight just days before Christmas that led to him having his EA in Jan.

      What is your wish list as it relates to affair recovery?

      My wish is to find something beautiful about this year and to replace that memory with a bad one. I want to find my love for the Christmas Holiday again. I want to look at my H and find trust again. I want to feel his I love you’s like I use to. I want to forget the OW ever existed and lose the burn her name has left on my heart. I want my family together healthy, happy and whole.

      What is the best gift that your spouse can ‘give’ you? – Perhaps…To end […]
      He needs to continue on the path he is on. When I look back to where we were this time last year, I can say our marriage is in a much better place this year. He has taken my healing serious and has given me everything I have asked for to make that happen.

      What gift for healing can you ‘give’ yourself? – Forgiveness. Self-esteem. Inner strength. Physical strength. Control over the painful thoughts. Therapy.

      Time! Time heals all wounds. I may always carry some scars from all this but one day, I will be able to look at this all and see it as a distant memory.

      In a nutshell, what are the top things that you can think of that will help you in your own journey towards healing from an affair – especially during the holidays?

      Making new memories, finding a new tradition to add. Realizing that my life is not my H affairs and that I have so many blessings to be happy for. To continue my work to repair my family.

    • Benny

      I’d like to get through the holidays without being upset by the past and letting it ruin my peace of mind and interfere with the progress my wife and I have made.

      It is difficult for me as it was just before Christmas last year when I started wondering what was going on with my wife and just after New Years when I read the cell phone messages, etc & D day when she admitted some of the emotional affair. Much more in the way of admissions was to come later but the whole holiday season brings lots of bad memories to the surface for me.

    • KelBelly

      It amazes me how many of us this has affected around the Holiday times. I have read story after story where the BS found out about the affair through this time of year. It makes me wonder what it is about this time of year that makes people more apt to cheat.

      I am also wondering what you all are doing to make your holidays better to help get over the pain of the past as I am having a hard time not letting the depression of last year suck me in.

    • Mandy

      What is the best gift that your spouse can ‘give’ you? –
      To show me that he really, really “gets” what this has done to me. Not just to know that he has hurt me and to feel bad for that, but to really feel what I feel and know how deep this wound is. And for him to really talk to me about his feelings, good or bad, so that I can get some understanding of what this meant/means to him, too.

      What gift for healing can you ‘give’ yourself? – To completely let go of the fantasy I still sometimes have that I will wake up to find this was just a nightmare and never really happened. I still sometimes think, he couldn’t really have done this to me. But he did, and I need to find a way to completely accept this reality. I’m getting closer to that.

      In a nutshell, what are the top things that you can think of that will help you in your own journey towards healing from an affair – especially during the holidays? Learning to control intrusive thoughts. Finding a way to channel the pain into something productive instead of anger and rage.

    • Virginia

      I want to be able to trust again. Trust that my H is telling me the truth, that he means what he says and is where he says he is. I want to trust in love again. I want to believe again that love is good not something you give so others can take advantage of you.

      My H could give me the gift of understanding he changed who we were and forever will be. Also to understand rebuilding trust is more difficult than first acquiring it. Lies aren’t little fibs they are soul altering admissions of guilt (for all involved).

      I would love to be able to give myself the gift of NEVER thinking about the OW again.

      In a nutshell, because I’m a Christian, I want to reastablish Christmas as a day of gratitude for a greater good. I want to remember that my spirituality helps me attempt to transcend the ugliness of this marital trauma.

    • Hopeful

      I wish ….

      to continue to develop and build our relationship, which has grown stronger, more aware, better in most every way since the EA.

      to find a way to truly forgive my husband and learn to trust him.

      to become a stronger person irrespective of my relationship.

      to stop the train of negative thoughts and to think of the EA less and less.

      and sweet jesus, to never think of that nasty affair partner again, or at least not in a meaningful way and certainly not in a way that threatens me or my relationship. (god, I hate her, so I guess I would love to just not give a shit one way or another.

    • JLH19

      I want her (the other woman) to finally go away. It’s been almost 2 years since my husband’s EA ended. She just set up a fake account on LinkedIn, with no picture, and contacted him AGAIN. When he did the right thing and told both me and her boyfriend/fiance, who’s been dealing with her constant cheating for years, she sent ME a sarcastic, mocking email. I want to finally put it all in the past. Every time I think I’m finally getting over it, she seems to reappear. It’s like we both have a stalker now, and she has no regard whatsoever for the destruction to our family. I know my husband is ashamed that he ever brought this on us both, so I guess his introspection is my gift this year.

      • exercisegrace

        Oh I can soooo relate to this! My husband’s affair partner cyberstalks his linkedin account and facebook too. It’s been eleven months since no contact.

        I will freely admit that after d-day, I deliberately left our facebook pages set to where if she looked at them, she could see them (although she is not on either of our friend lists of course!) . I WANTED her to see the pictures of my husband playing with the kids, going out places with the family, and particularly one of the the two of us that my sister snapped, where we are standing with our arms around each other, and we are smiling at each other. I felt I deserved that much, since i never got to confront her.

        All it did was stir the crazy, and we have since ratcheted down the security on mine, and my husband deactivated his account as he never really used it anyway. He needs his linkedin page for work. She will stay off of it for awhile and then she visits it. Nothing on it has changed. I think she is just trying to insert herself into our lives and into his thoughts. She has put us both through so much, he hates her now and he hates what she is doing. We had to have our attorney address an issue about a month ago, and that backed her down a little.

        In general, I would say as hard as it is, just don’t respond. Block her where you can, delete accounts where you can. I truly think these women are crazy, and obsessed with our husbands. I just don’t understand their sense of entitlement. I never will.

    • jewel

      I would like to not be afraid of running into the OW during the holidays when she invariably comes back to town to visit family. I would like to not be terrified that my H will see her and all the ‘feelings’ he had (has?) for her will come flooding back and i will be ’25 years wasted’ like i was 18 months ago. I would like to be able to truly believe that he cherishes me and loves me and that i am his one and only…not just his ‘first best chance for happiness’.

      I wish you all peace and comfort throughout all the season and love for yourselves.

    • Disappointed

      All I want for Christmas is for my H to say he will try again. But I know that won’t happen. I do not believe he is in contact with the OW, but he is telling me lies again. I think he is meeting someone once a week during the day. I would finally like to get the truth about everything. When he moved home I asked for honesty, that is all I asked for.

      And if there is no chance for him to get out of this MLC, then I want my love for him taken away from me. The pain is too much!

      I am happy for all of you with spouses that are remorseful and helping you heal. How do you heal when the CS does nothing?

    • justbecause

      This holiday season . . I want to be a kinder, more gentle person. Let there be peace on earth and calm in my mind.

      While others want to avoid the OW, forget about her, I want to confront her. I want to make her life miserable … make that more miserable. I am trying to get her out of my head, to stop this obsessive wondering. I can’t be the person I want to be until I let this go.

      • exercisegrace

        Hugs. For me, it’s not that I *want* to avoid her its that I know I should. Believe me, I have run numerous scenarios through my head of how I would react, what I could say that would hurt HER, etc. I even have run what I call “if only” scenarios through my head! If only I had caught them, If only I had stopped it sooner, I could have done *this* or *this* or *that* and I would have busted them red handed.

        At the end of it all, I have to trust that it played out the way it should have. That I can’t see the bigger picture, the blessings God has for me, that would not have come if I took things into my own hands. I CAN say for sure if I confronted her, it would not end well. I know for a fact that she has NO remorse, has placed all the blame on my husband (despite the fact she told him she “chased” him for ages and did everything she could to “catch” him) and generally has shown herself to be completely amoral.
        I believe she would take GREAT satisfaction in knowing how much am I still hurting from all this, and would not care how much our children have been hurt by all this. What is that old saying? never get down and wrestle a pig in the mud… will just get filthy and the pig will enjoy it!!!!

      • KelBelly

        Just because~ I am so with you on wanting the other woman to pay and be miserable! I see her in pics with her family and it just enrages me that she gets to go on like nothing happened. I don’t know why but as it gets closer to the 1 year DD anniversary, I feel more and more like I want to just let my evil side shine and let her have it!

        But of course then my forgiving christian side struggles with that and wins out but believe me when I say those dark thoughts are very much there. It is a really good thing that she lives over 2000 miles away from us.,

        • chiffchaff

          It’s also been a good thing for us that the OW in our case lives in California and we live in the UK. I wouldn’t have been responsible for my actions and I also think my H would have left for her if she had lived in the UK.
          But as you say, it wouldn’t have ended well, we would’ve been no further forward in recovery for ourselves and the OW would have got a massive ego boost by feeling so important again, when she should feel anything but. I’m sure it hurts her to feel discarded by my H when he had to choose – when she’d probably been certain he would take the risk and go and be with ‘the love of his life’ when the time came to choose. I don’t blame her anymore, I blame my H squarely for all of this crap. He lied to me and he lied to her.

    • Kali

      I agree with Jewel that “I would like to be able to truly believe that he cherishes me and loves me and that i am his one and only….” Seems like an elusive goal right now, though….

      Having a hard time this year even though it has been almost 2 years since last contact with AP. I’m not sure why, but I feel very alone right now and am wondering if being in this marriage is really a good thing for me. Maybe I can’t get over his betrayal after all…just feel so sad…

    • Kali

      Well, some one-on-one time with my H and a good night’s sleep can do wonders! Feeling MUCH better today! When I start ruminating again, it’s time to get busy doing something else – my mind can definitely play tricks on me…

    • Strengthrequired

      I know this is last years, but all I want for Christmas this year is my h back home every night, and all my family back together. Ohhh and to finally be at peace.

      • Strengthrequired

        Ohh and the horrid ow to never be apart of our life especially my h life ever again. ( would love to see him hate her). Just like the hate he held for me when his ea started.
        I would also really really love to see all my children happy again.

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