A Little Christmas Eve Pep Talk

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

Hello Ladies!

I’m so excited to start working through your burning questions that you have asked me from the last blog post.  Such great questions and I’m excited to dig deep with you guys.  If you are new here, it’s not too late to add your question.  Go here to do so.

I was actually planning on answering one of those questions here today.  But as I sat down to write, I realized my heart was leaning toward talking to each of you about what you might encounter over the next 24-48 hours with your family.  With your husband.  The craziness of Christmas.


Think of this as a pep talk.  I’m sitting in a coffee shop right now and if you were sitting across from me with something warm and yummy in your hands, this is what I would want to tell you:

1)  Some of you might be experiencing your first Christmas without your husband by your side.  It might be that you are separated or newly divorced.  This probably wasn’t the way you thought it would go.  Know that I’m proud of you for not putting up with his shenanigans anymore.  Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to love ourselves enough to walk away.

2)  Some of you might be experiencing your first Christmas with a man that you never thought would break your heart as badly as he has.  He might be working hard to repair your heart or he might be flailing in the background.  Either way, I want you to know that it does get better.  It won’t hurt this bad forever.  I can’t guarantee the outcome of your marriage but I’m here to tell you that we are all guaranteed to have Jesus by our side as we walk through this ugly mess.

3)  Some of you might feel like you are in the thick of a wait this Christmas.  It’s not your first Christmas knowing his ugly truth.  You might not have clarity yet on which way to go.  It’s okay to camp out there.  To take your time.  This is your choice and nobody else’s.

4)  Listen, sweets, you are not responsible for your husband’s actions.  If he chooses to (insert a number of behaviors here, but for example – ) disconnect and sit on the couch on his phone all Christmas day, it’s not your fault.  Will it effect you?  Absolutely.  Do you have every right to feel disappointed?  Yes ma’am.  Does this mean you can’t enjoy the day with your family or friends?  No, it doesn’t.  This is where healthy detachment comes in and we choose into focusing our energy elsewhere other than our husband’s choices.

5)  This Christmas doesn’t have to be perfect.  Release yourself from the pressures that might be building.  This is a time to connect with those you love.  To celebrate Jesus’s coming to save us from having to be perfect.  Do you see?  We don’t have to be perfect anymore because of Jesus.  Now that’s something to celebrate!

6)  Give yourself grace over the next couple of days.  Heaps and heaps of grace.  Remind yourself that you are worthy and you are loved because you are a Daughter of the King.  This isn’t anything that you’ve earned.  It was given to you.  There is no need to prove yourself worthy with the meal you make or the gift you give.  No way.  So your turkey ends up being dry.  Big deal.  Turkey is overrated.  Give yourself grace.  (And as far as I’m concerned, be proud that you know how to make a turkey.  I have no clue.)

7)  As you are working toward being fully known and loving yourself well remember that the best thing you can offer yourself and others is honesty, grace, and love.  It’s when we do this that we move closer to Jesus.  That we comprehend His love for us.  Unconditional.  And this being fully known and loving is really. hard. work.

8)  And some of you might be pinching yourself this Christmas because your husband is changing before your eyes.  You can hardly believe it.  He’s working really hard.  And maybe you’re watching and waiting OR maybe he’s inspired you to work really hard, too.  Either way, take a breath and thank God for the progress you see.  Know that it’s real and it’s okay to feel the joy.

I’m glad we could have this talk.





12 thoughts on “A Little Christmas Eve Pep Talk

  1. Kim

    December 24, 2015  |  08:16 pm

    Thank you for this post, Shelley. I think I’m the one who’s disconnected this year and not finding much joy in anything. Second Christmas after discovery and I can’t help but wonder (fantasize) about what this time would be like if he would have been loyal to me. Oh well.. This too shall pass, right?
    Anyway, Merry Christmas to you and your family. Hope it’s fun 🙂

    • Shelley Martinkus

      December 29, 2015  |  10:53 pm

      Those thoughts and questions are valid. Sure, they will pass. It’s good to speak them out loud as you did here. xo

  2. Bethw

    December 24, 2015  |  08:37 pm

    Thank you for this. I don’t even remember last Christmas because I was in such crisis. This year is better already and I am actually enjoying myself. Hardest year of my life that I couldn’t have survived without Jesus. My husband and I are still together and trying to stay together and heal.

    • Shelley Martinkus

      December 29, 2015  |  10:54 pm

      Amen and Praise God! Hope it was a good Christmas for you, Beth.

  3. Jenna

    December 26, 2015  |  04:05 pm

    Thank you, Shelley. I’m solidly in #3, after thinking we would reconcile last year, then realizing he isn’t capable of giving up his vices, despite his 12-step work. This has been going on for years, and I thank God for His strength on days when I run out. It’s time to walk away and heal, something I couldn’t do without God’s grace.

    Merry Christmas to everyone and Happy Healing. 🙂

    • Shelley Martinkus

      December 29, 2015  |  10:54 pm

      So hard to do Jenna. God speed to you. xo

  4. Lollie

    December 27, 2015  |  05:42 am

    Great reminders Shelley! I am actually dealing with #8! Praise God! Thank you for giving me permission to find joy in my husband’s recovery (and mine). I never imagined we would be spending Christmas together this year (we are 9 months post discovery). God has changed me and has grown me so much since then. I want to encourage other women to focus on yourself right now. Get help! Don’t go through this alone. You can thrive from this! You deserve it. Your blog and book and group have been a light to my heart. I so appreciate you.

    • Shelley Martinkus

      December 29, 2015  |  10:50 pm

      Yes! Getting help is so necessary. It’s so good to hear that the group has been good for you, Lollie. I know that joining the group was a sacrifice for you and I’m happy to hear that you are getting what you need there. xoxo

  5. Jess

    December 28, 2015  |  07:25 am

    Combination of #1 & #2 over here. I’m reading this on Dec 27th and wishing I’d read it Dec 23rd. I may or may not have spent the holiday fantasizing about lighting the Christmas tree on fire and single handedly throwing it through the livingroom window. Fortunately I happen to sort of be a professional at hiding my true feelings (denial anyone?). So all I really did was offer guests more rounds of sparkling cider and roast lamb and discuss the weather while reminding myself over and over of that saying about making the decision not to go to battle against your husband because sometimes submission is nothing more than just ducking so God can hit him. If nothing else I’m learning that I’d rather be in the dark with Him than in what looks like the light, alone. Finding comfort in this post. Thanks for writing it.

    • Shelley Martinkus

      December 29, 2015  |  10:45 pm

      “Submission is nothing more than just ducking so God can hit him.” Okay, I’ve never heard this. And I love it. I’m totally going to use this in the future. Happy to hear that you felt some comfort after reading this post. xoxo

  6. Godspeach

    December 31, 2015  |  06:58 am

    I’m trying to work on moving forward. I believe the triggers are just satan’s reminders or attempts to destroy the work God is trying to do.
    Here’s how I visualize it; God and his Holy Angels are trying to fight for control of my thoughts from these traumatic events, while The devil and his cohorts are fighting in my thoughts to keep me bound!!
    I’m am working on remember that the battle is really spiritual! I must fight with God’s Weapons, the Armour of God in Romans. I’m fighting a battle not to focus on what is not kind, pure, loving, etc. and my husband’s mistresses surely count.
    I want to know how to walk the fine line between refusing to welcome these unprovoked flashbacks while remaining true to myself about the devastation and where I am with myself and the marriage.

    • Shelley Martinkus

      January 1, 2016  |  03:58 am

      You bring up such a good point. There is such a delicate balance between being true to ourselves and allowing ourselves to feel the destruction and devastation that our husband’s have caused and all the while realizing that this is a spiritual battle. Thanks for the suggestion. xo-Shelley

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