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Getting through Valentine’s day


Remember that Valentines day when you were the only one without a girlfriend/boyfriend, and it seemed everyone else was happy in a relationship? Yeah…this feels worse doesn’t it? Trying to get through a holiday hell bent on celebrating the saccharin syrupy sweetness of love, when you’ve just been stabbed in the heart. It hardly seems fair. It isn’t.

For many people who have experienced the pain of infidelity, Valentine’s Day represents a significant trigger. For some, even, it represents a major setback, causing them to lose ground on what they felt was a forward momentum in their healing journey. Hallmark cards lining the aisles, beckoning you to read stories of love, compassion, and caring, all the while knowing that the person to purported to love you decided to break your heart instead of buying you a chocolate one.

I’ve grown to dislike valentines day. I used to like it. That was also when I was naive and thought that my wedding vows meant something and that my husband was committed to me. For me, I am not sad because of what i went through. I am sad thinking of all the people who experience love shallowly, albeit blissfully unaware. Now, I watch as naive couples get wooed into the magical and love struck world of valentines day, as men rush out to buy roses, as couples scurry off to their dinner date…and I wonder if they are aware of the dangers that lurk. Gosh, they look so happy…I wouldn’t want to burst their bubble, but c’mon people…get a grip on reality. Love isn’t about one day of showing someone you care. It’s an ongoing commitment to doing the right thing. It can’t be encapsulated in one day, and a box of chocolates won’t right the wrong.

Instead of allowing Valentine’s Day to bring you down in the dumps, and giving you permission to dwell on how horrible your situation is, perhaps take this time to be your own Valentine, to show yourself some self-care. Treat yourself to something luxurious tomorrow, whether it’s a manicure, a massage, a walk in the woods, a coffee with a friend…a trip to the bookstore. Whatever your guilty pleasure is, gift it to yourself.

Then, as much as I hate to compare stories of infidelity and to consider any one person’s situation as more “traumatic” than another’s, I think there a value in adding perspective. There is always a way that your situation could have been worse. There is always one part of your story where you can say: “well at least ___________ didn’t happen. For me, that something is an STD or the my husband didn’t leave me to be with his affair partner. If he had, my story would feel so much worse, at least I think it would. Valentine’s day is approximately the day my husband would have found out that the OW was pregnant. He screwed her on her birthday, Feb 1, and ta-da she would have tested and found out….about now.

For some, you might read my story and say “oh my goodness, at least my husband didn’t father a child”, or if a man, “at least my wife didn’t get pregnant”. For some, my story is their ultimate blow. For others, their story went far beyond.

There is always one step beyond how bad your situation is to a place that you would have felt worse. Perhaps taking some time to be thankful that it wasn’t as bad as ____________ can be your gift to yourself.

These sappy romantic holidays make me feel sad now. Not for me, but for all of these love struck girls who are tickled to have a date this valentines day, who just don’t know the signs. She doesn’t know what to look for. She doesn’t know how to affair proof her relationship. The problem is, she doesn’t yet know that she has to. Therein lies the irony….no one ever takes the time to do this work, until it has happened to them.

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Comments

  1. I agree wholeheartedly with this. Myself and my husband place more importance on our wedding anniversary. Unless you’ve been there (infidelity) everyone just thinks its not going to happen to them.

  2. Thanks for your post. For me, it’s almost 3 years since Dday. This week is the week that the OW got pregnant with the OC. I have basically ignored Valentine’s Day since that year (I suspected he was cheating but he kept lying whenever I confronted him).

    One thing I’ve found that really helps is to be try to be selfless on Valentine’s Day. Go out of your way to be nice to others. The first year I sent virtual flowers to a bunch of women I knew from an online support group. Last year, I kept myself busy all day with errands & etc. but wherever I was I went out of my way to be kind to others.

    This year I’m participating in Generosity Day:
    https://www.facebook.com/generosityday?fref=ts
    http://sashadichter.wordpress.com/2009/12/09/generosity-experiment/

    One other thing I’m doing is that I thought of all the people I know who are going through hard times and created a list. This evening I went to the store and bought cards for all the people on my list. Tomorrow I’m going to write cards to all of them and pop them into the mail.

    Sure, I have tiny bouts of setback, but no way I’m going to let it rule me. Tomorrow I’m giving to the world as much as I can. I hope you can too. If not, if you’re still in place of hurt, that’s OK too. I know many people like me will be thinking of you. Maybe next year. It takes time.

  3. Thank you for sharing this perspective. My husband and I are currently separated working on our own issues (mine codependency, love addiction, and ACOA. His????)
    His affair has produced a child, due in June. At first he told me he didn’t want to engage other than financially for this child. Then she hooked him with “I’m sad this baby won’t have any grandparents” ( her parents are both deceased) . He then proceeded to talk to her first in regards he had changed his mind and does now want to be a part of it. This action violated one of our most recent agreements that we would discuss things first, come to a conclusion, then he/we would talk to her.
    He professes his love to me and explains to me he wants us to move forward, but I’m pissed with his decisions. By talking to her first it reopened the initial wound of deceit and thinking so little of me. Then the decision to be a part of this child’s life without coming to a clear definition of what that looks like.
    Which leads me to this evening standing in the card isle wishing they had a tab saying “thanks for continually ripping my heart to pieces, you self centered shit!”
    Does anyone have suggestions how to move past this fear of “when will he deceive me again” or is there room for real healing and a future.
    The first 8 yrs of our marriage he was a good man and husband. These past 2.5 years he’s had a short fling lasting maybe a week, being his first indiscretion 2.5 years ago and now the most recent being a 4-5 month affair with a coworker with full blown lies to my face about it. Am I just stupid or what?!?!
    I need some feed back. My head just spins:-/

  4. So true. “Love isn’t about one day of showing someone you care. It’s an ongoing commitment to doing the right thing. It can’t be encapsulated in one day, and a box of chocolates won’t right the wrong.”

  5. So true….just today I had someone post that they felt that ‘after all this time ‘ that my marriage was a ‘no hope’ situation ….He had a lengthy adultero nous ‘arrangment’ …I REFUSE to call it an ‘affair’ ….just makes it sound too much like a social event of the year ….’REALLY???!” I am one that shares your deep pain …my husband and his OW PLANNED TWO children …I found out about it 6 years ago and it has still a deep wound in my heart …and life ..and that of our children. Homeschooled…raised to not date and remain pure and my husband gave a whore two anti-family citizens of tomorrow.

    I think I posted my lengthy story elsewhere somewhere. You are one of the only people I know that has had to endure this …For me the fact that this was not an accident is simply unbelievable!

    We remain married …but the damage is huge. Continuing to see the kids so they have a father is something that has been very hard…I do not think they should suffer because of what selfish and thoughtless decision the parents made but it has really damaged our relationship at home try as we might.

    It is true you cannot serve two masters….you will hate the one and love the other …hate is not evident here but but his guilt has caused him to move out or our bedroom and deny me yet he has always maintained he would never leave me.

    In this case the OW worked and manipulated to get children because he had ‘used up’ all of her opportunity to get married! She KNEW from the beginning which I have testified in her OWN WORDS in an email that this had been the arrangement and agreement…

    She even researched becoming a “Single mom by Choice’ which was a lie since all her expenses including a new Lexus and a townhouse when she first got pregnant were out of OUR finances.

    She never cared that much FOR my husband ,,,just has been into power brokering for money and at first a position in his company …then after a while she tired of “working ‘…which was a cover for the adultery …I think for my husband it was his way of legitimizing giving her money…

    So now she is STILL not working full time ..we are in deep debt …my husband is demoralized and even as he tries to see those kids and make up for the fact that she takes the several thousand we give her FOR THEM …they often have no food in the house and are left alone frequently

    So according to her emails …I SEE this was all a big ploy ..a CON …and finally my husband saw it and it really HIT him below the belt! Too bad it did not hit him BEFORE he did such harm to OUR Children’s hearts and mine!

    Adultery is a heinous crime against humanity ….it is not penalized here in this life except for the consequences which are slow in coming ,…just as the Bible tells us ..longsuffering grace extended so they may turn and repent and change their lives…

    Don’t see that coming any time on the horizon….Happy Valentines Day to all ….I may not see the finale of this but GOD is faithful and I pray they will change ….at least for the children’s sake and their own soul…

    But to be honest. …the inner man is REALLY still very furious …it comes and goes….I am assured that is what PRAYER is for …for me , us and them …then the waiting while I learn to DEAL with this according to faith.

    I loved your sharing here …I it nice to know that we are not alone in this struggle to find our lives again …hopefully with the man we once knew …I keep wondering where he went!

    • god bless you
      there is nothing else I can say. Have you consulted an attorney? which state do you live in?
      if you have proof that the money is not being used for the kids, you can file a case
      go to http://www.avvo.com it is a good site with legal advices

    • Please post more I want to know more. even after givng thousands for child support, do you have enough for your kids? which state do you live? please tell me. Id enquire about its legal rules.
      how are you coping up?

  6. Foolish Woman says:

    Valentine’s Day means sadness because it used to be a day we could ignore in the safe knowledge that our marriage didn’t need all those commercial hearts and flowers to shore it up.

    • Yup, Foolish Woman, I totally agree… Just last year I told my husband how every female co-worker in a relationship received flowers delivered to the office on V-day. I told him over lunch (and not receiving any flowers) that spending time together was all that mattered–not a showy exchange of flowers & candy. Not that one day can make up for a whole year of effort but when there is little to no effort on V-Day–why was that okay? He gave me slippers and sunglasses last year.

    • exercisegrace says:

      Couldn’t agree more. I always told him he treated me so well, so lovingly the other 364 days of the year, I didn’t need a big fuss made on just one, over-commercialized day. Makes me sad now to think of what was. Hoping it can be again.

  7. Valentine’s Day is D-Day for me. It was the day I found out that my husband of 27 years was having a year long affair with an old girlfriend. He did not tell me. I caught him through phone records. 3 years later I am divorced. My Ex-asshole is now living in our family home with his new wife “The Whore” and her 2 teenage kids while my daughter and I live down the street in a crappy apartment. I am forced to stay in this hell until my daughter graduates from high school. He parades his new family around town acting like husband and father of the year yet his own two daughters haven’t spoken to him in 3 years. It amazes me how everyone thinks these two are so wonderful yet they broke up two marriages – the Whore was married as well – and only thought about what was best for them. Honestly I hope they both choke and die on a Valentine’s chocolate. It would be Karma!

  8. Struggling with this says:

    I am having a hard time, this was the first year I did not receive flowers and I feel crappy. I know that it is not important to receive something on this silly day and yet imam so sad to not be remembered. My husband is off celebrating this holiday in Quebec with his slut and I will be taking our girls to our cottage for FAMILY day. How sad is that…

  9. A few days ago I was listening to a Beyond Affairs seminar and learned of this blog. IT has been 10 months since I discovered my husband’s affair… and his affair was for 10 YEARS. How does one get over such a long affair… I made him leave the day after I discovered it. Today being Valentine’s Day… my heart is still so broken. I stayed home, didn’t turn on the t.v. because everyone seems to talking about their wonderful Valentines Day – I just want this day to be over. Every hour I found myself telling myself… I made it through … now just make it through another hour. It’s 10 minutes til midnight… and then it will be over.
    I am not certain about reconciliation. My husband said he was relieved when I discovered the affair… then it ended. He wants to reconcile. For a long time my husband was not seeking any help… he felt he didn’t need any help – hard to believe he could feel that way. He is now doing some coaching with Brian from BA, so that’s a beginning… I am considering the Take your life back seminar… I’m lost. It’s been hours since I found this site… and I’m still reading – it’s all so familiar… Thank you for taking the time and the energy to write this blog. It gives me some hope.

    • In glad you found the blog, and that your husband found Brian, and opened up to the need for help. Take your life back was wonderful, inspiring and empowering. It has nothing to do with the affair…and all to do with you. It was really wonderful. If you should choose to go to the “tylb” weekend in October, it is being held in Charlotte, and I will be there as a coach.

      • I expect you must mean October 2013. i thinking of the tylb in April and I see there is the couple seminar in may. Perhaps the tylb will help me decide whether the later one is an option. its the 10 years thats the BIG stumbling block for me. thanks so much for getting back to me. i didnt expect a response. keep writing!

      • Gee RMM I may have to sign up for the Charlotte event just to meet you ! That is if you are up for a face to face with someone older who has endured your nightmare and has possibly learned how to read between the lies of these sociopaths. Preparing strategies for dealing with the babymama-OW’s revenge tactics.

      • Absolutely 🙂

  10. What is tylb? I live in NC and have heard of different seminars and such. I do agree that most of us take our marriages for granted, I know I did. Never again..that’s for sure.

  11. I'm The Prize says:

    This was the third Valentine’s Day after D-Day, the first being only a couple of weeks after the affair ended. The first year we decided to skip the day all together. It felt to fake. A week or two later I was looking for some paper work in a cabinet he uses for his things and I found the most beautiful Valentine I had ever seen. It had a Victorian look to it and had the sweetest words of love in it. Then it hit me. He had hidden it in the cabinet because he had bought it early for HER. For years he had only bought me “humor” cards, nothing romantic at all. The card wasn’t put there because we had decided to not celebrate (although that is what he said), it was hers.
    The second year I spent a whole WEEK leaving small gifts and notes for him. On V-Day I gave him a gift card to an expensive restaurant and 2 gift tickets to a near by theater. I received the usual half dead, last minute WalMart flowers and a card, A COPY OF THE CARD HE HAD BOUGHT FOR HER!!! I know it wasn’t the same one because I burned that one along with the silk boxers he had worn when he was with her (I told him he should be glad he wasn’t in them at the time). The card wasn’t even signed.
    This year I did the whole week long thing again. I got a card, plain, uninteresting, bought at the last moment, signed with nothing but his name, and the half dead flowers. Joke cards for our Anniversary (this considering that during the affair he gave me a ticket to fly to see family, that she paid for, so that he could get me out of town to screw her). His affair started on my birthday, went through our anniversary, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Mother’s Day and Easter are the only days I have left that haven’t been marred by that Gold digging whore.

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