I received the best Christmas present ever

In my last entry, I talked about some rather unpleasant things and I want to take a minute to clarify something important. 

The boys had a really good Christmas and so did we. It was really nice to spend time with my parents over the holiday. It was also nice to spend Christmas day with my in-laws. 

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I told my mother in law last night that I really appreciated being there because I took it for granted before the separation. 

We’ve had a hiccup and the boys have been in rare form but it’s been a good Christmas as far as I’m concerned. The absolute best gift I could have received was having my family whole and Santa delivered. 😁 


  1. J_R

    Catching up on some posts, but it sounds like you figured something out this Christmas and realized the best way to celebrate and enjoy it is to forget about everyone else’s expectations (or maybe even your own) and just celebrate in the way that works best for your family. Great job- it sounds like your whole family enjoyed the holiday.

    I saw Kim’s comments on an earlier post. She may be a bit blunt but she’s hitting the mark. I would just add that just because you have chosen to accept your wife back into your life — and just because you can put a name on the reason why she left — and just because you say that you’re happier with her back — doesn’t mean that your family members have to accept it. And it may not because they don’t understand caregiver burnout. It may be because they- and honestly, probably a lot of people– wouldn’t take someone back after that, irrespective of what name you call it. So it’s definitely not necessarily a situation where they simply should be happy for you because you say you’re happy. Their unhappiness about the situation may not be about a refusal to understand or be supportive, but rather out of concern. And that concern may not necessarily be unwarranted- as you- nor they- knows what the future holds.

    Christmas with your family worked because you figured out that you shouldn’t put unrealistic expectations on how you should celebrate. Don’t have similarly unrealistic expectations on how your brothers should react towards your wife. Whether they ever come around or not, their reactions don’t necessarily seem unjustified. I think your only option is to just deal with it, as difficult as that is.

  2. Kim Gebhardt

    I agree with all of what JR just said. I think you will be much happier if you stop trying to control this situation and force your siblings to welcome Lizze back. As he said, set realistic expectations. I’m still curious why you felt a need to bring it up when Lizze asked you not to.

  3. J_R

    Just wanted to add that I understand the point of your post – wanting so badly to make things ok, you ended up pushing and it was the wrong choice – and the frustration at the situation – and yourself- that you now feel. I get it. That sucks.

    I guess I just really saw the contrast in how you handled Christmas – to me it seemed like you really figured it out, and your family reaped the benefits — and how this situation with your siblings unfolded.

    Managing expectations isn’t giving up or conceding anything – it’s always a balance. And sometimes you’re going to feel like it’s the right time to push and it doesn’t work out. Very frustrating to deal with.

    Glad that Christmas worked out so well and I wish you the best in the new year.

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