A holiday-themed Open Mic discussion, where we delve into navigating the holidays after infidelity – the unique challenges and triumphs of affair recovery during the festive season.

navigating the holidays after infidelity

By Linda and Doug 

With the holiday season upon us, we’re bringing a special twist to our Open Mic discussion. We know this time of year can be particularly challenging for those navigating the journey of affair recovery and healing. The festive atmosphere, family gatherings, and traditions can trigger a mix of emotions when your relationship is in a delicate phase.

So, in the spirit of the season and in line with our focus on affair recovery, we’re opening up the floor for a holiday-themed discussion. Share how you’re managing, ask questions, vent, or offer support to others in similar situations.

Here are some prompts to get the conversation going, but as always, feel free to bring up anything that’s on your mind:

  • How are you handling the holidays while working through affair recovery?
  • Any particular challenges you’re facing related to the festive season?
  • Success stories of navigating the holidays after infidelity – we’d love to hear these! 
  • Learned any valuable lessons recently that could help others during this time?
  • Any holiday-specific advice or exercises from therapists or counselors that are helping?
  • How are you and your partner approaching holiday traditions this year? 
  • What’s working or not working for you during the holiday season?
  • Has your spouse done anything lately to rebuild trust or bring joy during these times?
  • Feel free to share a bit about your holiday plans and how you’re incorporating healing into them.

Remember, the holidays can be tough, but they can also be a time for reflection, gratitude, and renewed hope. We’re here to support each other.

And as always, we encourage you to engage with each other in the comments. Your experiences, struggles, and successes are not isolated – they’re part of a shared journey many of us are on.

Looking forward to hearing from you all. Let’s make this holiday season a stepping stone in the journey of healing and recovery.


Linda & Doug


Whenever you’re ready, there are 2 ways we can help you:

1. If you’re still looking for traction in your affair recovery experience, we’d recommend starting with an one of our affordable programs. Here are 2 options:

Survive and Thrive after Infidelity – A unique and complete resource that will guide you through the recovery and healing process starting at D-day. It will provide you with the knowledge and tools to not only survive the affair, but thrive! Get started now!

The Unfaithful Person’s Guide to Helping Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: For the struggling unfaithful person, this program delves into the 24 ‘tasks’ that the cheater must complete for them to move from betrayer – to healer, while gaining a better understanding of their betrayed partner and what he/she is going through.  Become a healer.

2. Individual Mentoring – Whether you’re the betrayed or the betrayer, to talk to someone who has gone through what you’re going through and who can listen and empathize with you is an incredibly powerful and valuable thing. It’s not just sympathy – it’s empathy – and it’s irreplaceable. Reserve a session (limited spots available). 

    6 replies to "Open Mic #48: Navigating Affair Recovery During the Holiday Season"

    • Gaia

      Hi. This holliday will be very different from every other year. At Christmas we always celebrate just our family. Me, my husband, our 3 kids and my husbands grown up boys. They grown ups live here 50% of the time. This year in july. My husband says his in love with our neigbour anf that he wants a divorce. Now 5 month later he is still seeing her (she moved away from her husband and has shared custody of ther 3 young children) but still no divorce between us or selling our house. One of his boys don’t wants to celebrate Christmas with us because of his fathers actions. I’m actually not sure my husband wants to be here for Christmas. (We still live together but he come and goes when ever he wants) I’m so lost but still believe that the infatuation/affair fog is temporary. I really do love my husband and I do really want to reconcile.
      I need to talk to my husband about the christmas and also with his son. His sons mean so much to our children and has always been there fir them. I’m so devostaded of this hole situation that I dont know where to start.

    • BeenThere

      I’m truly sorry to hear about the pain and uncertainty you’re experiencing right now. Holidays can amplify our emotions, and when you’re dealing with an affair it can feel overwhelmingly complex. The situation you’re describing is very challenging, and it’s completely natural to feel lost and devastated. When it comes to discussing Christmas plans, perhaps you approach your husband and his son to express your thoughts and feelings about Christmas. It’s important to communicate honestly about what you feel comfortable with this holiday season. If his presence might cause more pain or confusion, especially in the current state of your relationship, it’s okay to express that. It’s also fair to discuss boundaries regarding his coming and going, as this impacts not just you, but also your children. Regarding his son, it’s understandable that he might be struggling with his father’s actions. Perhaps reaching out to him, letting him know how much he means to the family, and that you respect his decision, whatever it may be, can open up a dialogue. It’s important to assure him that he is valued and loved, regardless of the situation with his father. The main thing is that you need to take care of yourself. It’s okay to feel hopeful about your husband’s affair being temporary, but also prepare yourself for all possibilities. Your feelings, needs, and wellbeing are just as important as anyone else’s in the family. Good luck! BT

      • Gaia

        Thank you BT. I don’t have any christmas feelings at all. Usually i start listen to christmas music in november and watching christmas movies alot. I havent even start to buy christmaspresents. I dont feel like doing anything. I hava lost 44 lb from juli. But I try to take care of me and my children. Ive called his boy yesterday, telling him that I want him to at least call his father. My husband think its my fault that his boy doesnt want to talk to him. He promised he would call his father this week.
        I will try to talk to my husband about christmas. Christmas means so much for the children and that perhaps we should try to make it the best for them.
        When it comes to boundaries, its Hard. He left home yeasterday to go to the OW. He says he might be back at Friday. I really dont know what to do. Should I just let the affair run its corse or should i do 180?
        He says his not feeling well, that he is not happy at all. But he has no idea how me and the children feel. I guess the fog makes him only care for him self.

    • Jessica

      Hey folks, my D day was 5 months ago as well. We have 6 year old twins and Christmas was always my favorite time of year. My spouse has had months of ambivalence about sticking with the marriage or leaving for his affair partner. He seems pretty miserable to me but continues to go back and forth. Lately he has even started to consider taking his therapist’s advice and being on his own. I told him to do that 3 months ago for free so he could figure himself out and stop torturing us all (himself included) with this sitting on the fence bull crap. But hey, what do I know right? We’ve been together for 22 years, since we were 17. His affair partner is a stay at home parent like him and they let all our children become very close in the 10 month affair before he confessed. Initially I was told they planned to divorce their spouses and marry eachother so I was trying to ready the dreaded path of having the OW be a step mom to my kids. That was before I knew anything about affairs. I got wise of the low likelihood of success they could possibly have about 10 weeks later and have been trying to fight for our marriage since then. Once I began fighting for it, my husband SOMETIMES felt more pulled to return (a few short lived times). We have since kept the kids separated giving them excuses about how busy the other family got once school started. They seem to be recovering from the loss of their friends slowly but surely. It sure is awful that they had to though. They both cheated on their children too unfortunately but I’m a fan of seeing things for what they are and making choices from there. Though I do think most people are redeemable and Christmas was always a time I liked to reflect on our stupid humanness and how we can always learn and grow through even the most awful times.

      So this Christmas is tricky since we normally would have spent time getting the kids together for playdates or enjoying the Mom’s group that had adopted my husband in as the only stay at home dad of the bunch. Instead I’m focused on finding another play group or family oriented group to fill in with or just getting closer individually with a couple of families outside that group so the kids have something else to connect with. They dont know about a possible divorce (or at least have not said or questioned us about it). But my husband leaves after they go to bed to stay at my family members home up the road (per my request/insistence) and he returns before they wake up for the day to do his usual stay at home parent roles. This is not how we initially did things but my heart just couldnt take him being so close all the time and not being mine. My mode shifted even more about 3 weeks ago. For the first 4+ months I was making him know how much I love him. Then I decided based on some things I’ve read and discussions with my therapist that I was making nyself nuts and none of that is going to make him any less torn or any more faithful to me. So I’ve removed myself from the equation temporarily as much as I can (without disrupting our kids) for now. It feels odd and a bit lonesome not to be trying for or supporting him more to come back to me, but its also been a pretty nice sanity break. He’s not allowed to talk to me about “her” or make grand gestures about coming back anymore because it makes me unwell. If he wants to be here I need to see committed action, period. Just between me and all of you, my involvement seemed to add to the cake eating dynamic in ways neither of us fully understood until i removed myself. He’s not usually a dramatic person but all these interactions and half cocked choices just dripped of drama. I wrote a boundary letter based on some of the materials on this site including his need to get a job and to not try to spend time with me outside of home tasks or childcare. I made this shift because I decided that up to now… he’s been faithful to keeping his options open, NOT faithful to me or our marriage despite my ongoing loyalty and care in these crazy months. He does seem to be trying to figure himself out and make a decision, but texts, calls, presumably meet ups are still happening and so I want no part. It seems the past 2 weeks from his habits and the phone records he’s going through days where there is at least no calls, but I couldn’t know more without sneaking on his iPhone which I have no intention of doing to myself (as of yet anyway). I am neutral around him and act as a business partner in raising our kids. I dont say i love you and ive asked him to never be affectionate toward me so long as there is any contact with her or a plan for contact. Its an abuse of me and my trust and i wont allow it.

      I’ve asked him to gain some independence emotionally and otherwise because I’ve worked hard to make sure he knows how committed I am and would be in regrowing ourselves and this marriage. In coversations with myself, my mantra is AT SOME POINT HE needs to take on the fight, because otherwise what kind of relationship am I chasing after? I do long for him and wish with all my heart that he would wake up and realize I’m what he wants if that is to be. But I also read somewhere that if he’s stupid enough to leave, then I have to be smart enough to let him go.

      This holiday season I started going to DivorceCare groups which most churches offer nationally (though I’m not religious I do like the content, structure and group based support). I also met with a lawyer to get the lay of the land. Not doing any of this because I want a divorce for Christmas, but taking these steps helps me feel more in control and ready for whatever comes. Knowledge is power. I would say I can hold this position for a few more weeks or maybe 2-3 months at most before I start just moving on with my life. For now I am on hold and just focused on my wellness and kids and building new things into my month where I can. Maybe thinking of joining a choir or bowling league or something?? Even if/as I move on, I probably won’t ask for a divorce right away and may put the legal things off as long as I can as I do hope he comes to his senses and finds me to be the valuable and beautiful person I am (even if I don’t feel particularly beautiful or of value on my tough days). But he’s certainly in no space to give me what I need and deserve with where his head and choices have been, so for now I’ll sustain myself and nourish my life with the small joys like Christmas decorating. I’m going to make myself watch a Christmas movie tonight (good reminder from one of the other comments). And I’ve invited a favorite uncle and his wife to stay nearby the week of christmas since they just always make me laugh and I need as many good people around me right now as I can get. I have a handful of close friends and family that know about my life disaster, everyone else I don’t say whats happening and just try to focus on them or tell them I’ve been stressed but I’m ok and change the subject. Weather me and my husband survive this in our marriage or come out the other side apart, I’m focused right now on healing and looking after my heart. And until he decides to join me actively and voluntarily in that endeavor and stop making a triangular joke of our long worthwhile relationship, my emotional door and my wife door remains closed. Should I get a key moment or if he asks, I can tell him what I see with as much objectivity as I can muster Otherwise it’s honestly fairly easy to be kind and courteous with the kids around, that’s who I am at my core. Bitterness and pain made me forget that at times but Christmas is a good reminder of love. In this case I’m gonna need to love me most this Christmas. And if all this leads to inaction or more of the same from him in the coming weeks and months, then I’ll have my answer too. Either I’m the whole package or I’m not. But I had to stop coming to him with this empty cup and then being devastated when he pours nothing into it again and again. He can wake up on his own schedule (or not) but in the meantime I’ll be working to get myself strong again. Ball is in your court, my dear. Until I decide it can’t be anymore. I can’t save you from yourself but I can save me if you make me.

      • David

        Jessica – Wow that is one heck of a story. So sorry to hear what you’re going through. 5 months is still pretty fresh, but it sounds like you have the right perspective and doing everything you can to create boundaries. Knowing what to do and executing against that plan doesn’t make it easy. I wish you all the best. At the end of the day, you will be fine.
        Being in limbo is the hardest part. It’s good to have the patience and maturity to hopefully let this pass, so you can get back to your marriage, but it’s lonely being the only adult in the relationship. Hang in there.

        • Jessica

          Thanks David, it’s good to hear from someone other than my own head that I will make it through and be well eventually. I am learning a lot about myself and becoming much closer in knowing me. I had the thought the other day that wouldn’t it be odd if this were somehow the worst and best thing that ever happened to me? There is too much pain and chaos for me to see any of that clearly yet. And as you say it’s so very fresh. But I do tend to be a pretty resilient person, I’ve recovered from a lot in my life. So far this one takes the cake. But here we are making it through right? I hope the spirit of the season finds a warm place in your heart and mind David. Thanks for sharing in my long, meandering thoughts lol.

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