Even during our 'best' years the Christmas season holds challenging moments, right?
In December 2020, Lisa Taylor shared a Surviving The Holiday series by Dan Drake, Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) and Clinical Partner Specialist (CPS) highlighting partner survey responses describing their Christmas holiday experience. To further open a window into how partners experience Christmas, I'm including a couple responses to three of the six survey questions. For a deeper understanding, click on the links above leading to the full articles.
What was most difficult for you about the holiday season after the initial discovery/disclosure of sexual betrayal?
Navigating triggers associated with the holidays,
Holding secrets; tension of just being present with my spouse while holding the reality of our situation inside.
How was the holiday season post discovery/disclosure of sexual betrayal different from holiday seasons pre-discovery?
I went shopping for Christmas gifts and started wailing out loud in the middle of the mall. I had never done that before. I was hurting so much thinking about how my family had been blown apart. I had to flee the mall. That year, I gave money. I just couldn't bear shopping. Before discovery, Christmas was always a magical time. I decorated the house beautifully and cooked and cooked and cooked. My children loved getting ready for the holidays. After disclosure, it was never the same.
My partner & I were not living together & he had to give a vague explanation of what was going on because we were in crisis & told that it was too early to share the details of what was going on with our adult daughters.
I really couldn't deal with the gift thing at first: my husband betrayed me while buying me a birthday gift and I didn't want any gifts from him (or to give him any). Over the years my husband has made amends in various ways including some very creative "do it myself" gifts. He never shops online now.
The 2nd year was so much better. We could be together for the holidays even though we were still separated.
What words of encouragement would you like to give other partners as they enter the holiday season this year?
Be kind to yourself. Don't press yourself to make a prefect holiday. Consider letting go of some activities or traditions that you participated in previously.
You're not alone. There are communities of women thinking of you, praying for you and who have been there.
Waiting on a Promise Partner Retreat
As the partner encouragement above reminds: "You are not alone. Here's a community of women who have been there, are thinking of you, and praying for you." If you're a partner (or know a partner) who identifies with the the challenge and overwhelm of the Christmas season ahead, co-leaders Cindy Bajema and Corinne Foley would love for you to join them.
Cindy recently shared an update: "I've just completed the final read through and edit on the (now 54 page!) booklet for the Waiting on a Promise Advent retreat. It is a beautiful thing - and I can say that because I didn't create this on my own!
With readings, activities, and explorations around Preparation, Expectations, Lamenting, Growth, Mindfulness, Patience, Burdens, Hope, Illumination, Gratitudes and Visioning... there is some powerful stuff here and I am SO looking forward to sharing and exploring with those who have signed up! We would love to have a few more people join us and it is still possible to register for the retreat at the $60 (no gift box) level."
DATES: Sunday November 21st, November 28th, December 5th, December 12th, December 19th with a final Epiphany session on January 9th.
Times: 8:00 - 9:30 pm US EST, 7:00 - 8:30 pm US CST, 6:00 - 7:30 pm US MST, 5:00 - 6:30 pm PST To convert to other time zones: Time Zone Converter
For more information and registration click here. Co-presented by Cindy Bajema of Corahaven/Naked Truth Recovery and Corinne Foley of Sozo Grace. Questions? Please email Cindy @ firstname.lastname@example.org or Corinne @ email@example.com
Research Volunteer Request, $10 Amazon Gift Card in return for 20 minute feedback call about boundaries experiences
From my APSATS coaching colleague and ADOH alumni, Pam Blizzard:
"I'm looking for women who are in problematic relationships, or women who experienced betrayal trauma and are staying with their partner. I'm working on creating some powerful content on the power of boundaries and would like to have their input.
I'm looking for input about the struggles you've had with boundaries; what has worked for you, what hasn't worked, and where gaps might exist in current boundaries education for us women.
I'll only keep you on for 20 minutes or fewer (unless you want to chat more, of course!)
I know your time is valuable, and so I want to send you an Amazon e-Gift Card for $10 to help compensate for your time.
This is NOT a sales, promotional or pitch call! This is me, gathering information about your experience and picking your brain. You will not receive any further emails from me.
If you, or someone you know fits this description and would like to provide input, please click here.
Thank you for your consideration!