Dear Hopefuls,

It is Christmas. There are decorations, lights, gifts, expectant children, bio and chosen family, parties, gatherings and meals, all twirling together in a mix of joy, stress, busyness, quiet, connection, loneliness, beauty and sadness. 

Following fast on Christmas’s sled tracks is New Years and the bittersweet recognition that another year has passed that we will not see again. Along with this is the sense of beginnings, fresh starts and hope for something new that the turning of calendar’s page can bring. 

Christmas and New Years can be a minefield for betrayed partners navigating the contradictory emotions – hope/despair, joy/grief, connection/loneliness, beauty/destruction – that all partners experience in the aftermath of betrayal but that are significantly heighted by the crucible of the holidays. 

My Christmas and New Year’s wish for you is that you will take some time over the next week to sit with a cozy blanket and a mug of something warm and reflect on the poem below by Mary Oliver. As you turn your attention to the new year in front of you, I hope that you will know deep within your heart how precious you are and that you are worthy of time, attention, support and whatever else you need to help you move through the devastation of betrayal so that you can flourish once again. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,


One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice –
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do –
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Mary Oliver, Dream Work, 1986


Sign Up to receive the PartnerHope blog post in your email inbox each week.

We respect your privacy.