For people who have lost the trust of their spouse this year, the holidays won’t feel the same as the year before, and they don’t have to.
November and December are busy months. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s are all scheduled to be back-to-back joyous celebrations with your closest family and friends.
What’s supposed to be a happy time can become lonely if you are either lacking in family or friends, but it can feel even more desolate if you’re maneuvering the holidays after just learning your spouse has been unfaithful.
It’s important to remember that healing after a betrayal is a marathon, not a race. It takes time and space to be able to properly process, digest, and heal.
This blog will serve as a gentle reminder to be kind to yourself, practice patience, and speak to yourself with grace. You might be dreading the upcoming holiday season, but oftentimes the anticipation of the season is worse than the actual day.
This is because grief often intensifies during the holidays because the expectations of being happy don’t align with how you feel.
During times like these, there are a few things to consider to prepare yourself for what’s to come.
- Have a plan for what you are going to do
There are sure to be invitations coming any second, inviting you to a Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas/Hanukkah party, or New Year’s celebration! But just because you used to attend a party every year doesn’t mean you have to this year. Honor how you feel. Meaning, if you want to rent a movie and stay home in the name of self-care, that is absolutely up to you. Thank them for inviting you, and let them know you have other plans. I promise it won’t be the end of the world.
- Spend a lot of time outside
When our emotions are ricocheting inside our hearts and we can’t sit peacefully without being assaulted by memories of our spouse and their betrayal, it’s best to go outside and get some fresh air. This is especially true if the two of you live together. Staying with a close friend or family member will help you think clearly about the relationship and give you more time to decide whether you are willing to put in the work to fix it or let it be. Spending time in nature has been found to help with mental health problems such as anxiety and depression and is a natural mood booster that can distract your mind from all the gloom and doom it might be replaying.
- Limit social media
It can be hard to see lots of happy family photos from friends. Maybe take a break from any social networking apps that will force you to see things you might not be ready for. Similarly, staying off your phone and instead diving into a hobby can help you express your emotions and make sense of them. Your partner can also be trying to contact you this way, and limiting your phone usage can help you face them only when you’re emotionally prepared for it.
- Decide which holiday (if any) you will celebrate
As previously mentioned, holidays are the perfect time to see all the people closest to you that mean the most. If there’s a setting, like a New Year’s Eve party, that you’d like to go to with a close friend to let loose and have fun– you deserve to do so. Sometimes
- Come to a conclusion on whether or not you want to rekindle the relationship
After taking however long you need to clear your head, you’re going to have to have a hard conversation with your spouse. Hopefully, by this point, you will have realized whether or not you are willing to salvage your relationship. If you’ve decided you’re better off without them, then say your goodbyes and let them walk out of your life. However, if you’ve found that the feeling you get when you’re with them outweighs the pain they’ve put you through, trust can be rebuilt. It will take time and hard work, but it is doable. Find a professional couples therapist to work through the problems that led to the infidelity and restore the bond between you two.
At Coral Springs Counseling Center, our mission revolves around strengthening couples and individuals while ensuring more emotional and mental stability. Our telehealth counseling sessions have immediate openings to see anyone in Broward, Dade, and Palm Beach County as well as throughout the entire state of Florida.
Email or call us today to schedule your complimentary consultation call. We look forward to talking with you!
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