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Tips on coping with first christmas

(13 Posts)
stickydate65 Sat 13-Dec-14 22:11:19

Dear mn's
I need some help coping with my first Christmas since H left 3 months ago with OW.............
I'm still at the grieving/heartbroken stage and if it wasn't for my lovely children I probably wouldn't have bothered with Christmas at all this year! It's hard enough to get through each day at the moment without the added pressure of Christmas.
I am struggling so much trying to do the things on my own that we used to always do together. Bought the Christmas tree today (usually his job with one of the kids!) and DS scrambled into the loft to get the decs down! managed to decorate the tree with the DC but now they've gone out/ off to their rooms I'm sat here looking at 'our' 24 years of shared Christmas memories and all I want to do is howl! I keep imagining him 'doing' Christmas with 'her' and wonder if he's thinking of us at all?

Christmas day is going to be a real trial! I actually have to work, so the kids are going to their grandparents for Christmas lunch, but it broke my heart when my youngest (15) asked if she could go visit friends in the afternoon and I said no Christmas day was a family day and she said 'what family?'

Despite posting my own Christmas cards early with a letter explaining what had happened, I have still received loads of cards to both of us! Each one is like a knife through my heart!

So what coping processes have others used to get through this time?

GingerbreadPudding Sat 13-Dec-14 22:16:11

Plan alternatives to the 'special' stuff you used to do together. Like if you always spent Christmas Eve evening wrapping presents together, wrap presents on another day and go to the cinema Christmas Eve - break the traditions rather than do them alone or with other people. And it's rubbish that people sent you joint cards when they knew it wasn't appropriate anymore. Have a thanks for that one.

Finola1step Sat 13-Dec-14 22:22:20

I agree with the breaking of routines and traditions. Start making your own, new traditions. In time to come, there may be old traditions that you will welcome back like an old friend. But not now, not just yet.

Above all, be kind to yourself. And bin the cards addressed to both of you if they are not from those who really did not know. Bin them. There is no rule that says you have to display them. Bin them and that will be a new tradition.

crispycookie Sat 13-Dec-14 22:25:08

Try and create some new traditions with your DCs... My exH left 18 months ago... He was a workaholic so he left me to do a lot of stuff with the children anyway! But I have taken my DCs to Brighton for a special weekend and it's just us despite me having a new partner and he has a daughter they get along very well with. We have had a brilliant day of doing the arcade, picking up presents from them to my exH, his ow girlfriend and his parents from my DCs, having dinner in a restaurant together, having special treats like massive ice creams etc! They are only small items like scarves and socks but even if I don't see them anymore, it's important for my kids to show appreciation and love to those who love and care for them... They have said this is the best day ever! I would love to do this every year with them and make this 'our' special thing now! It does get easier I promise... thanks

stickydate65 Sat 13-Dec-14 22:34:22

It's interesting you all advocate making new traditions. I have been so focused on keeping things 'normal' for my DC that I hadn't even considered changing what we do at Christmas! I too have made sure they all have presents for H from them (not OW who they don't know and it's far too early for that!) but I bet he hasn't even considered making sure they have presents for me!!! two oldest are financially independent and will I am sure make sure they have but youngest has no money of her own! Do I give her some money to get her presents and 'pay' for my own present so she doesn't feel bad on Christmas day? In the past he would have taken the m shopping for my presents, but I don't think it's even crossed his mind this year!

Finola1step Sat 13-Dec-14 22:37:14

Ask your dd what she would like to do re present buying. Maybe take her and have a nice lunch together.

Mrsgrumble Sat 13-Dec-14 22:44:35

I don't have any advice really but I think it will be good to get this first year out of the way and make a promise to be kind to yourself in 2015 flowers
Do nice things for you..

I hope you're ok

stickydate65 Sat 13-Dec-14 23:00:24

thanks mrsg . I think I have forgotten how to be kind to myself! I am still at the beating myself up/blaming myself for him leaving! irrational I know, but that's how I feel at the moment. I do just want Christmas to be over! which is sad as it's usually one of my favourite times of the year!

Sickoffrozen Sat 13-Dec-14 23:07:44

My ex left me for someone 10
Years younger (ouch) about 3/4 months before Xmas. I was like you, hurting and to be honest wallowing in my own self pity. I could see no light at the end of the tunnel. My little one was the only thing keeping me going. I didn't even want to buy a tree that year but I forced myself to do it and put on an act to make life as normal as possible for him.

Between Xmas and New Year I got the news that my friends husband had been diagnosed with cancer and been given 3 months to live. He was in his 30's.

At that point my crying stopped and I realised how lucky I was. I was alive, I had a child, I had a loving family around me, I lived in a nice house and I was healthy.

The New Year was a new start for me. I started divorce proceedings, decorated all of the house, started to socialise again and in a few months tears had stopped and had been replaced by laughs.

I started to date again using my time when he had the little one to enjoy myself and let me tell you this, I did enjoy myself!!!!

I changed my job that I hated and now have one I love and took my son away to Spain on my own which proved to me that I didn't need him.

This was over 10 years ago and in that time I have had some great experiences, have a DP that treats me well and actually a good relationship with my ex and his wife despite what they did.

Life is too short and what happened to my friend illustrated this to me.

I'm not saying don't cry and don't grieve for what you had but I would say live for the day, be grateful for the three children you have, your health and see this as a new chapter in your life, not the end of your life.

It is amazing how many new adventures you can have in life when you are forced to do so..

Good luck and happy Xmas x

stickydate65 Sun 14-Dec-14 00:23:51

In my more positive moments, I do know I am not as badly off as some people, but I don't feel I am 'wallowing in self pity'. I am heartbroken at what H has done, confused and grieving and struggling to get through each day! I have to believe there is light at the end of the tunnel, but it feels like a blooming long tunnel at the moment! My immediate aim is to struggle through Christmas!

whyMe2014 Sun 14-Dec-14 02:43:38

This is also my first Christmas after my stbxh walked out (August 2014 after 23 years and 14 married - found out about OW in September).

I was dreading it but I let me children put the tree up. Something he would never let them do. We had Christmas music on and ate chocolates and got into the spirit. So a new tradition was born without him.

I love the tree now as if reflects my children not him the controlling bastard .

I've also decided not to send Christmas cards this year as I couldn't face it and I must admit that it stings when you receive a card with their name on it too. But it's not other peoples thought as they don't know.

I feel that every day is a challenge to get through because all you see are couples everywhere - especially on the tv - all happy families. I never thought I would be a single mum but I am and one day I will have to accept that. You will too and once we do it will be the start of a new beginning.

Sending you hugs and supports. Take care.

crispycookie Sun 14-Dec-14 08:45:58

stickydate In some ways, you will ALWAYS grieve for that family you had. I am way over exH but part of me feels sad when I see other people getting married and having children cos I think I will never have that feeling of hope again but then again, I will never be 15 again so take your time to grieve, let yourself be sad as that's normal but things will get better... thanks

Hobbitwife001 Sun 14-Dec-14 10:16:51

Hi stickydate, I am at exactly the same stage as you and can completely understand the pain and loss you feel. I am going to get the tree with my DB instead and my boys and I will decorate it and have a few drinks and eat chocolate and Pringles and it will be ok. Any cards I have received with his name on I have thrown straight into the fire. You and I are not the first and will certainly not be the last to have to deal with these selfish peoples behaviour, it is just a difficult time of year to cope with, surrounded by images of happy family Christmases, but you will get through it,and you will start to feel more positive, it is not your fault so don't blame yourself for anything! I have hardly bought anything yet, but will do it in a big rush next week. Just take care of yourself and keep posting , I found it a lifeline when I was drowning in sorrow. X

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