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Hi friends,<P>Am I the only one who is having a down time right now? It sure feels like it.<P>I cry all the time. I don't know what is bothering me, but I feel some sense of doom or that something bad is going to happen. I can't explain it but its to the point that I can't sleep well anymore.<P>I can't help but wonder if part of it is "the holidays", since they were always so special to me, well not as a child, but from the day I became pregnant with my first daughter until last year. <P>Most of my friends I talk to on the board, are going thru their first holiday too. Anyone out there past the first dreaded year. <P>I guess I knew holidays would be rough this year, but its not even Thanksgiving and I can't explain this sadness.<P>I can't sleep, I'm hardly ever hungry. I don't really feel like associating with anyone right now and I'm just feeling so tired of all of this mess. <P>Could "the holidays" coming up really be enough to cause all this grief??<P>Many hugs, Dana<BR>

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Nope, its a syndrome, kind of like SAD. As one who never felt the holiday season lived up to his expectations, I'm sure this one is going to be a doozy. Thankfully I've got some terrific friends in here, and elsewhere.<P>I'm going to need them....<P>{{{{{dana}}}}}<P>------------------<BR>nick<P>it's only time that heals the pain and makes the sun come out again

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No, Ma'am--I think that I am in the same boat. Here I am--struggling with the reality that I cannot give my kids toys and games and all the things that they want for Christmas--I have enough money to pay the rent and keep the house warm.<P>I would not worry about that, either, knowing that just having my family together for the holidays is the most important thing. The cookies, the popcorn balls, the caroling, the school plays--that's Christmas to me, anyway. But a member of the family seems to missing this year--and nothing can make up for the sadness this brings.<P>We have each other, guys. Please know that so many of you are my friends and that my wishes are for your happiness this holiday.

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{{{{{{Dana}}}}}}}<P>Sorry to hear you are having it so rough. This will be my second holiday season without my w. Last year she had the kids on Thanksgiving. I don't remember what they did. I delivered meals to shut ins and then went to a friends for dinner. They invited me again this year, but I am going home this year(with the kids!).<P>I had the kids for Christmas, but their mother came over and just sort of hung out. It was weird because we had the divorce date set by then. She was mad at me because I wasn't warm towards her.<P>This year she is working on Christmas and asked if I would bring the kids over after Christmas Eve church service. I said okay. I didn't ask the kids what they wanted. They might want to go to the midnight service.<P>The kids and I had a New Years Eve party for their friends and their parents. We had over 40 people there. My d wanted to invite her mother. It got a bit sticky there, but x ened up working. NOt sure what this year will bring . She will probably be working again as she changed jobs in July and is low man so she will have to work the holidays. She is also money hungry and will probably want to work.<P>I forget what you said about where your kids will be, but try to keep busy and enjoy the time.<P>I am not very much of a holiday person anyway. We were always running around visiting between x's work schedule, and rushing to get decorations up and then down that it was kind of a hassle for me. They are now a little more relaxed, but it still hard trying to make sure its special for the kids.<P>God Bless,<P>Bob

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Dana (and everyone else who needs this thread)- read the next paragraph of this post. Follow the instructions. Then go on and read the rest. But be sure you follow the instructions first.<P>Put the palm of your right hand on the back of your left shoulder. Now put the palm of your left hand on the back of your right shoulder. (It might be easier if you do this with the fingertips pointing up rather than down. Play with this a few minutes if it takes it to get comfortable.) Now squeeze hard. You have just given yourself a hug from me. And from yourself.<P>Now, for the other stuff. x has been gone 5 years now and I still get mad as an old wet hen about all this. It just changes and it's so &@#! unfair. Those scumbags who do this to their families just don't deserve all the stuff they get but - on the other hand - they don't legally deserve to be drawn and quartered. <P>So, you do what you can. and you give yourself permission to not do it all. Remember, they won't ask to do everything we think they need. Pick what you can manage. Look at it this way, you have the enviable opportunity to start whole new traditions now. What did you want to do as a child. This is the time to do it. I've always wanted to carol in just our neighborhood. Not for anyone - just to do it. But, there are only three of us. I feel like we'd sound puny on the doorstep by ourselves. Only one other "young family" in our neighborhood and we don't know them. Just don't want to embarass myself. Or my children. Basically my d and I would be the only one singing. Son's not usually loud enough to hear when he sings.<P>Slice and bake cookies please children as much as homemade ones. <P>Relax, do what you can, and love yourself. I love you. God loves you. It'll be ok - even if you do cry a lot.<P>It does get easier. But I still find it overwhelming often. But, It'll be ok. No one ever died because they didn't get it all done for christmas or thanksgiving or birthdays.<P>It'll be ok. And e-mail me if you need someone to say that to you again.

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{{{{{{{{cinderella}}}}}}}}<P>Thanks for the reply, it made me cry. (as does everything this month).<P>I can't imagine still being ticked off after five years, but I'm sure I will be. It certainly isn't fair. I can't see how my ex is all happy and cheerful at this time of year. It makes me sick.<P>I am tired of crying, tired of feeling sorry for myself, and so tired of this struggle.<P>I can't wait til the new year comes and personally I would skip the holidays this year if it weren't for my kids. But I really wanted to make this holiday special with them since their dad left on xmas last year.<P>Sending a big hug to all ,Dana<BR>

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Dana ,<BR> It's pretty rough on me too ! this is the first time in 18 years I won't spend with my W and the kids and is really , rellyhard. She has the comfort of seeing the kids daily and really hasn't admch of her life disrupted , but me ....my whole world has been turned upside down , I ran a small buisness out of my home which occupied most of my idle time , and I always was doing some sort of remodling project...so for the last 3 months I have been going STIR CRAZY , living in a rented room . So , I volunteered for Habitat for Humanity , and the folks house we just completed have invited me for Turkey tommorow...and I am really excited about it Dana as long as we are still breathing we can find something to cheer us up....and seeing those people in a house I helped build is going to be the greatst thing !!!!<BR> I see you are from NY...I snowmobile around Watertown,,,,close to there ?

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Yes, that is so sweet, Cinderella--you did make me cry, also. Here I am using my kitty-cat's fur to wipe my eyes (she won't stay off the keyboard while I type.) It is warm-hearted people like you who keep me here and who keep my strong--thank you so much.

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If you put that kitty on a stick you could dust........From a dog lover...... [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]

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Gary - you are sooo wicked!!! Actually, I could use either my cat or dog to dust - they are both REALLY FLUFFY!!!<P>Cinderella - Thank you!!!<P>Dana - My prayers are with you. I know it seems as if this &*%@ never ends. Even though I am mostly over this whole mess, I am still sad during the holidays, and wonder if things will ever "feel" normal again. But I have the most wonderful friends and family and am spending as much time with them as possible, and making special, new memories with them. I pray that I may never take all that I do have for granted. Without gratitude, there can be no true happiness. Love and God Bless - Lady M<P>HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL!!!!!

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Hi DanaB,<P>This is my first Thanksgiving alone too. In fact is was a year ago today that I found out my H was starting an affair. Last year for Thanksgiving we cried, hugged, talked, held each other, yelled, screamed, etc. He didn't decide to move out until January (of this year) and now lives with the OW.<P>I'm doing okay, but can't believe it's been a year. Thanksgiving was always my favorite time of year.....I did the whole sh'bang for Thanksgiving dinner, rented a movie, listened to Christmas music, etc. I loved this holiday. Now it's kinda wrecked, as are the dreams I had about my life. <P>I don't have kids, so for me and my family (my H) it's crap. I KNOW I can go out and do something for others. I KNOW I could go to someone's home for dinner. I KNOW all of that. I don't want to do that. I want to be in MY home, with MY family, relaxing MY way. And I'm not a selfish person! Is that wrong to want?<P>I don't mean to sound bitter here.....I'm actually doing better these days for the most part. It's just that I feel so sad and I am very lonely for him. There's nothing I can do to change that. I'm trying not to dwell on it, but it's there. It's hard to dream new dreams, when the dream you were living was all you ever wanted.<P>I've got plans to do some fun and different stuff over this weekend...plans I made so I wouldn't get into a funk over this. But I also am allowing myself to grieve, if I need to. I don't think it would be normal not to grieve, esp. during holidays which for us were always "our" time together.<P>I've also decided to say a very special prayer for all the lost spouses who are in the fog as well as for all of us who are still trying to believe, still trying to go on with our lives and still trying to find the real meaning of this time of year.<P>May God bless you,<BR>Mrs.O<BR>

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Use my cat to dust?! I am sure that she would work well in that capacity if I could get her to lie perfectly still on her side and not wiggle. What a novel idea--but then I would be disturbing all the layers of dust in my house! That seems to be the only stable thing in my life these days--the mess!<BR>I need a maid!

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Mrs O,<P>Thank you for writing. Its strange how so much can happen in a year isn't it???<P>This morning, I went to my ex's Dad and Step mom's house for brunch. Then to lunch at a restaraunt with my ex's grandma and his aunt and uncle, and then to my grandma's for dinner.<P>First off, I only did it out of respect because they are all grieving terrible for their lost son/nephew who also abandon them for OW> Second, they have supported me tremendously, but it was a huge emotional strain on me today. Added to it, was everyone reminiscing (sp?), appologizing, and saying they still couldn't believe it. It was very hard.<P>Not only that but I ate every two hours and just lost 5 lbs from being sick. I hope I didn't put it all back on!!!!!<P>Its 7pm and almost time for dessert with my new "significant other". Very strange indeed, still doesn't seem like I'm living life, its more like a dream.<P>But life goes on, and so must we. <P>Sending all hugs AND prayers,<BR>Dana<BR>

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Man I feel that pain myself......all of it. This is my first set of holidays alone also. Not having my wife and daughter around is just a killer. It irks the heck out of me that she's got my daughter over there spending the holidays with her boy toy.... [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] Why should she be allowed to have a good time and not feel the pain she's inflicted upon my family? I don't know.....all I know is that this holiday is going to be really really rough. I hope I make it..........Take care all. Jax

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It's awfully hard, suffering through this when they look like they don't have a care in the world. Oh well, maybe next year will be better, although I doubt it. We'll probably be finishing the Divorce this time next year...<P>I hope she's happy. I know I'm not...<P>------------------<BR>nick<P>it's only time that heals the pain and makes the sun come out again

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HI DANA,<P>AS A MEXICAN THANKSGIVING WASN'T A TRADITION NEITHER IN MY HOMETOWN OR AT HOME, BUT SINCE 1983 WHEN I MET MY NOW (ALMOST OFFICIALLY) EX-W IT HAS BEEN. ONE YEAR AGO I DIDN'T KNOW THAT THAT WAS TO BE THE LAST T-GIVING DINNER AS A FAMILY- 2 DAYS LATER SHE GAVE ME THE NEWS THAT ON NOV. 12TH SHE "REALIZED THAT SHE WAS LIVING SOMEONE ELSE'S LIFE".<P>"Am I the only one who is having a down time right now? It sure feels like it". <BR><B>NO, YOU'RE NOT</B><P>"I cry all the time…. I feel some sense of doom or that something bad is going to happen…. I can't sleep well anymore."<BR><B>ACTUALLY I HAVEN'T HAD A GOOD NIGHT SLEEP SINCE NOV. 27TH, 1999. IT'S PART OF THE HEALING PROCESS. SOME SAY THAT IT TAKES AN AVERAGE OF 2 YRS., WHICH ACTUALLY MEANS THAT SOME PEOPLE CAN HEAL IN A VERY SHORT PERIOD AND FOR SOME OTHERS IT TAKES 5 OR EVEN MORE YEARS. PERSONALLY, MY REAL HEALING BEGAN JUST 3 MONTHS AGO WHEN I ACCEPTED MY FEELINGS AND REFUSED TO HIDE THEM OR DENY THEM.</B><P>"…wonder if part of it is "the holidays", since they were always so special to me… from the day I became pregnant… until last year."<BR><B>SORRY FOR BEING SO BLUNT: IT'S NOT THE HOLIDAYS BUT WHAT YOU MAKE OF THEM. AGAIN, FOR ME THANKSGIVING IS PART OF "MY FAMILY" NOT OF MY CULTURE</B> <P>"I can't sleep, I'm hardly ever hungry. I don't really feel like associating with anyone right now and I'm just feeling so tired of all of this mess."<BR><B>ENJOY IT (I MEAN IT!) WELCOME THE FEELING, UNDERSTAND IT AND THEN GET IT OVER WITH) WHENEVER YOU ARE READY)</B> <P>"Could "the holidays" coming up really be enough to cause all this grief??"<BR><B>AS WITH ANY FEELINGS, THE ANSWER IS WITHIN, NOT WITHOUT</B><P>THE EX WIFE PICKED UP MY D & A LITTLE FRIEND FROM SCHOOL TODAY AND THEN TOOK THEM TO HER HOME. THE LOVER MADE DINNER. IT WAS SCHEDULED TO BEGIN "AROUND 5:30". I GOT THERE AT 5:40. DINNER WAS SERVED AT 6 AFTER SOME POLITE CONVERSATION AND A DRINK. IT WAS WE 5 PLUS ANOTHER FRIEND OF BOTH THE EX & I. WE STAYED UNTIL AFTER 9, THEN WE (DAUGHTER & I) TOOK HER FRIEND HOME. TOO CIVILIZED??? I WAS NUMBED… I WISH I WAS DRUNK… SOMETIMES I THINK OF MYSELF AS SOMEONE TRULY SPIRITUAL BUT MOST TIMES I SEE MYSELF AS A DUMB JERK WHO IS HIDING AWAY FROM HIS FEELINGS. THE EXCUSE? MY DAUGHTER, OF COURSE.<P>SO YOU'RE NOT ALONE, DANA, BUT WE MUST DO THE BEST WE CAN. WE OWE IT TO OUR CHILDREN, THE REST OF OUR FAMILIES, OUR FRIENDS, BUT MOST IMPORTANT: WE OWE IT TO OURSELVES.<P><B>HAPPY (I MEAN REALLY HAPPY!!) HOLIDAYS TO YOU!!!!!</B><P>ALEX<P>------------------<BR><B>Live fully and always learn</B>

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Thanks everybody who posted a reply to this topic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<BR>This is one of the things that is making me soooooo sad. I appreciate your feelings on this matter.

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Hey Dana,<BR>I just read your post about eating with all the x family members. I have decided to cut back on my visits with them.<P>The last time the x'x were here they innocently dropped some bombs on me and I don't need that pain. Also over the summer wehn I was at x's sister's place it felt really weird, like why was I here? I'm not really related to thse people anymore. <P>So I have decided to cut back, if they want to see the kids they will have to make more of an effort.<P>Hang in and God Bless,<P>Bob

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Bob,<P>I think your right about limiting time with the ex inlaws. You have a point. I got a few bombshells dropped on me this summer too from mine.<P>For the most part, they have supported me completely, although partly due to the fact that their son/grandson/nephew has dropped right out of their life.<P>After xmas, I'll have hit the one year mark, OK, right on xmas, but thats it for me and the ex inlaws, from that point, I am going to back off little by little.<P>I'm glad this post helped others to vent. On the upside, strange enough, I'm feeling pretty good today, I have yesterday too. DO you suppose most of that REALLY was over a "holiday", I can't seem to feel like it would be so simple.<P>On the downside, my ex left a vmail message telling us how he is putting up the tree with OW and her son. BAAAAAAAAAA HUMBUGGGGGGGGG.<P>I begged him for years to do this as a family event (with decorating, music and cookies), and he refused every year. Now this year he has done everything I ever asked him with OW and never would with me. I almost think he's taking what he knew would have made me happy and using it on her. Either way, my two oldest are disappointed that daddy didn't save that to do with them. Oops, forgot, he doesn't spend time with them on his visits, they go with OW for most of it. GRrrrrrr.<P>SO one down, and one to go, thats what I say. Then I have one more thing to go, Valentines Day (the day he served me D papers) but somehow, that is not as big of a day for me, so I am not as worried.<P>Have a great month and I hope everyone takes time to slow down, enjoy each other and remember what makes us the most happiest at this time of year. Its not about the gifts, although I too am struggling with not being able to do what I have done in the past, its about the true meaning of xmas, which I think we'll all go back to just a little more this year.<P>Hugs to all,<BR>Dana<BR>

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One down one to go!! I think that pretty much spells it out. This is also my first year without him since we have been together. I went out of town to another family members house. Had to answer all the questions about the marriage etc... That was rough. How do you explain what you don't even understand? I have the big Christmas dinner at my house (inherited this one last year) and was debating on not doing it this year. Decided that no matter what, my family (who have been more than supportive) deserves more. I guess that's how I am getting through everything. I figure that I will concentrate on others and not be as miserable. It worked for Thanksgiving. Lets hope it does for Christmas.

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