Candlelit dinner…a bottle of champagne…slow dancing in front of a roaring fire…long-stemmed roses…a box of chocolates…a moonlit walk on the beach…rose petals strewn across the bed…sexy red lingerie… Ah romance is in the air! But for many of the people in the Affaircare community, this time of year can be anything BUT romantic. Many are struggling with feelings of hurt and betrayal after discovering their spouse was cheating…or struggling with feelings or guilt and shame after being caught in an affair -OR- feelings of entitlement and stubborn pride refusing to give up their affair and deflecting guilt, blame-shifting and gaslighting their spouse!
If you find your heart shattered this Valentines Day, here are 10 thing you can do to ease your shattered heart and help Valentine’s Day pass less painfully.
1. Feel the Pain. Many times people are tempted to avoid how they actually feel, or deny to themselves that they feel pain and just suppress it. Instead of pretending everything is okay and acting like if you ignore it, it will go away, actually allow yourself to feel what you feel. Don’t ignore it. Give yourself a private time and place to relax, be honest with yourself, and feel what you feel.
2. Avoid Your Ex or STBX. If you and your spouse are currently separated or your spouse is still actively involved in their affair, the temptation can be to try to do something–anything–romantic to try to give it “one last try”…or you hope that by doing something loving for them, they will love you back. Please-do not do this. If your spouse is committing adultery and hardened their heart, right now they will not be available to give love back to you and your hopes will be crushed. If you want to be cordial, that’s fine…but do not have the intention that you’ll do this great, romantic gesture and they will return it and make you feel better.
3. Love Your Friends. There are many people surrounding you who love and care about you. Express your gratitude and love for your friends, your family, your neighbors, the folks in your support group, or the people at church. These people are in your life, daily, and they demonstrate Love in its truest form–by acting in a loving way toward you. So love THEM on Valentine’s Day. Have them over to dinner or go out to dinner together.
4. Think of Others. There are many, MANY people who are not in stable, loving relationships on Valentine’s Day. Some are not even in homes and worry every day where they will sleep or eat. Some are in nursing homes, unloved and forgotten by their families. Can you imagine how it would feel to be alone in a nursing home on Valentine’s Day? Get over yourself already and go get a box of kids’ valentines and pass them out at a homeless shelter or a nursing home. They’ll LOVE it!!
5. Claim the Day–Carpe Diem. You know, you can choose to eternally have Valentine’s Day be the annual reminder of the love you don’t have in your marriage…or you can choose to eternally have Valentine’s Day be the day that you SHOW those in your life whom you love what a loving person YOU ARE. This is YOUR DAY–claim it. Make it what you want it to be. Make it “I Love Me Day” or pick one person at random who’s alone and love them. Or even better yet, make this the annual reminder of The One who showed you ultimate love by giving Himself for you–Love GOD today.
6. Do Something Active. If you sit around, alone, at home all day, by yourself…guess what? You’ll be lonely and all you’ll do is think about how sad you are and you’ll get depressed! Choose to do something active today, like going to the gym, or try something active that you’ve always wanted to try like dance lessons or that yoga class. The activity will release stress and create endorphins, so you’ll feel tired but happier.
7. Do Something Creative. Maybe you’re like me–honestly I hate exercising, so #6 above is not for me! But rather than use my mind for sorrow and grief, I would rather use my mind for something positive, helpful and innovative, so Valentine’s Day is a GREAT day to create something. What is your skill? Are you a writer? Submit a guest post to your favorite blog! Are you a painter? Paint the sunset. Whatever your talent, use it to produce something beautiful! OR if you have always wanted to try that cross-stitch class at Michael’s…sign up. Always wanted to be a better chef? Try a new recipe! Go to Walmart and get that cool craft that you thought you were too adult to buy!
8. Be Anti-Valentine’s Day. This is actually a little tonge-in-cheek fun. There are “Anti-Valentine’s Wakes” and Anti-Valentines cards and everything, so rather than being a romantic mush, join the resistance and make fun of the pink foo-foos. Roast Cupid and his silly arrows! Romance? HA, who needs it! Refuse to give in to the drivel and FIGHT! LOL
9. Ask Someone Out. Okay I’m not advocating dating while married, but if you happen to be alone on Valentine’s Day, and you want to go out, why not ask someone and treat them? Ask some of your same gender and the two of you go out to dinner, go shopping, and have some fun…or if you’re a guy, go to the steakhouse, go to the ballgame, and have some fun.
10. Buy Chocolate ON SALE! Well this is weak, but it is true and can appeal to your thrifty side. Right around this holiday, there are boxes of chocolate, Hershey kisses, and all kinds of gourmet chocolates on sale! If you purchase wisely I bet you could buy a year’s worth. Soothe your sweet tooth and save money–there ya go!