As the holidays approach, it’s important to start preparing yourself now. We can fall into depression, hopelessness, and discouragement if we are not being proactive to guard ourselves against what may try to take us over. Lies, misunderstanding marriage, and fear.

Please don’t skip over this next part, as I know that many avoid this subject. I want to open your eyes to what it REALLY is and the misunderstanding and lie that is behind self-pity.

What is self-pity?

Be aware that self-pity is a very real EFFECTIVE way of providing comfort during a situation you can’t control. When you are not invited to family functions that you once attended, or have to watch your children spend the holidays with someone that has ‘replaced’ you. This is an extremely unfair, unjust, and horrible situation that should NOT be happening. God never designed or intended this kind of thing to happen. 

But it does. And when you can’t get others to stand up and take it seriously, can’t get God to DO something, and everyone seems to have accepted this as normal and moved on, you can become desperate to make others understand this is important and not right. When your heart can’t handle all the pain that it brings, along with the anger and resentments, it seeks a way to make itself feel better. Self-pity is something that has proven in the past to work. If you can’t get others to comfort you, be compassionate towards your situation and pain, you will try to control and manipulate the outcome by putting on self-pity and operating out of that place.

I have seen Standers, not speak to a single person, but wear this cloak of self-pity as a way of telling God “See God? See what is happening to me today, I am alone because YOU did not make my spouse give that life up and come home.” 

Self-pity is manipulation. Ever listen to someone that is feeling sorry for themselves? The way they speak and explain things are meant to get YOU to feel sorry for them. And that is what they want because self-pity is meant to give a person something they can’t seem to find any other way. But there is a way out. A way to face your situation and be validated, comforted, justified in your feelings, your pain without trying to manipulate others into giving you all the things you need.

Most often it’s lies that we believe which opens up the door to having to get our needs met. If you don’t believe that God cares about what your spouse is doing and how they are hurting you. But you NEED God to care, you may turn to self-pity to force Him to care. If your family is not expressing sympathy and treating you as if you are not hurting, you are normal and they expect you to be normal, you may turn to self-pity and speak in a way to force them to say things to meet your needs, to even acknowledge that you are hurting. 

To stop self-pity, you have to recognize when you have a need and it’s nothing to feel guilt or shame about. You are in a difficult time in your life. You hurt. You feel lonely. You don’t need to feel guilt or shame for that, even if it’s been 10 years without your spouse, and you still hurt and ache for them, that is NOTHING to feel guilt and shame over. Throw that lie down and stomp it beneath your feet. Sometimes when others mistreat your pain, and can’t understand why you are “putting yourself in this” they will take the stance of shaming you for it, and your defense may be one of ‘self-pity’ to get them to care about you.

So let’s talk about the Holidays. It’s OKAY to spend them alone IF you are not keeping yourself alone to make God and others feel sorry for you. I have seen some that could not get their families to pay special attention to them, to treat them as they believe they need, so they thought by isolating and staying home would force their families to feel bad for them. They got their needs met when families called and begged them to come, saying they felt so bad that they knew they would be sitting home alone.  See how self-pity is manipulation?

So, it’s something that we must be aware of and not let it near us. If you want to stay home alone, you can. But make sure you are doing it with heart motives that are not rooted in making someone else feel something. It’s tempting to make yourself be alone just so that news gets back to the spouse to make them feel really bad for what they have done to you.

IF YOU ARE KEEPING YOURSELF ALONE TO GUILT THE SPOUSE THAT IS WRONG! First, they are going to see right through it. The enemy will make sure they discern that you are trying to guilt them. That will only harden their heart.

IF YOU ARE AFRAID OF GIVING OFF THE WRONG IMPRESSION! Don’t let fear make you stay home, stay in grief because you fear that if your spouse or anyone else that you are trying to convince that things are not right, think for one moment that you and the kids are OKAY then they have no reason to change. I have seen Standers refuse to let the spouse’s family see the kids to make a point that they are all too upset. All hurting too much and therefore since the spouse did this, it ruined the holiday.

In fact, fear of living normal keeps people acting like a victim and keeping hurt alive because they truly fear that if they move on from pain, they will destroy all hope of getting their spouses home. Hear me on this. You can be pain-free and still want your spouse home, pain-free, and still desire and pray for a restored marriage. 

Some are under serious misconceptions that they need to convince God and themselves that their marriage should be restored.

IF you don’t believe it yourself, you will posture yourself to always have to prove to God or others that your marriage is worthy of restoration. 

This is why you need to understand how God created and intended marriage to be, and how the World has created this totally false narrative. We now have to use the word covenant as a way to try to make the word marriage have the power it already has. Do you know that marriage in itself doesn’t need another word around it at all to define how powerful it is! How worthy of restoration is it?

There are some that think if they say covenant marriage and can prove that it’s non breakable that God has to honor their desire to be restored. I am here to tell you, that when you married your spouse, as long as God doesn’t consider your spouse already married to someone else, then when you married and became ONE with them, that right there was enough to deem your marriage WORTHY OF RESTORATION. You do not need to fight to make it worthy. You do not need to keep yourself stuck in pain, stuck from prospering, stuck from living life with joy, and fall into a motive to manipulate others so you can prove that you deserve to have your spouse back. 

When you fully understand about your marriage and how God never intended it to be broken and joined with someone else, that He is FOR restoration, even if it means another relationship or marriage has to dissolve in order for yours to become whole again, even if their child has to go through a breakup so your child can have back what was lost, then so be it. You need to realize that it’s not just YOUR marriage that was taken from you, but your spouse’s marriage too. This is not just your stand for your half of the marriage. Your spouse’s marriage to you needs to be restored in God’s eyes! 

So be free from the guilt that you want marriage restoration. Be free to celebrate the holidays with joy and peace. Be free to buy new things, celebrate life, and be happy. Don’t hold yourself in pain out of fear of what message that will give off to others. BE FREE TO THRIVE! Trust me, you are not going to make God think “Oh, they are doing SO great, they don’t need to be restored!” 

Standing with you,
Sheila Hollinger


IF our ministry has blessed you, and you want to SOW in faith into marriage restoration and the work God is doing, would you consider GIVING


Email Newsletter
FB support group,
ZOOM meetings and Classes

(~Marriage Revealed Ministries Inc. is committed to helping bring healing and restoration to couples who are struggling in their marriage. We do this through the revelation of Who God is and His heart and design for marriage which never intends abuse in any form. If you suspect abuse in your relationship, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit them online at