Valentine’s Day can be a crippling reminder of what an affair has destroyed. It is a set day of the year where someone is supposed to demonstrate their love for you, and you for them. Having a specific day where couples celebrate their (apparently) fabulous relationships leaves those whose relationships are falling down around them watching, envying, and feeling incredibly lonely.
The question of whether to give a Valentine’s Day gift to a spouse/partner who is currently in an affair is one that I hear every year. If you choose to give something, understand that you are doing it for yourself, and it will likely not be received in the spirit in which you gave it: It can be viewed as a manipulation at worst, and as needy and clingy desperation at best.
However, if you decide that you want to acknowledge Valentine’s Day to your cheating partner, then do something small and simple. Get a relatively plain and under-stated card, and sign it without any declarations of undying love, or guilt-inducing references to Valentine’s Days that you have celebrated together. If you feel that you must give a gift, try and keep it to under $5-10, as a small token, but understand neither the card nor the gift will bring a partner who chooses to continue an affair running back to you, filled with declarations of love and remorse.
Instead of obsessing about your cheating partner/spouse, or wallowing in the sadness that infidelity brings, try to find ways to help you focus on something positive or that just make you feel a bit better! Do things that distract you from the upset of your partner’s affair, and instead do things that make you feel good about yourself. You simply don’t need the validation of a cheating partner to believe in your own self-worth.
Alternatively, just decide that today is nothing more than Thursday and give yourself a break.
Check out the tips to survive Valentine’s Day in the article we also published today (by Debbie Robbins) - they can be used by anyone, whether they are still with their partner/spouse or if they are separated or divorced as a result of an affair. No matter what your situation is, try to build new memories today instead of lamenting past hurts or triggers about the day.
The video is a lighthearted look at how to survive Valentine’s Day without a partner.
Realize that this is just another day - you can choose to make it about something other than your partner’s affair or your pain.