stephanie chad mashup jpi days
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI (2)

And no, we aren’t talking about Alex!

Few folks on Days of Our Lives seem to be as conflicted as Chad these days. His wife, the love of his life, died a full half a year ago when Clyde murdered Abigail in cold blood. It wasn’t easy for Chad to continue on afterwards, but he pushed through and chose to live, rather than just give up. But living isn’t easy and loving once again is even more difficult.

Despite his clear pull to Stephanie, Chad pushed her away when he had his chance, telling her he couldn’t move on. And in the space he created in that moment, Alex swooped in and won Steph over.

Lately, though, Chad has seemed more willing to give Stephanie a chance. Sonny’s advice to fight for her even in the face of Alex’s attentions seemed to spur him — at least briefly. Because when Steph asked him outright if there was a reason why he might not be able to work with her — like, say, if he had strong feelings for her — he backed down.

Abigail Klein, Billy Flynn stephanie's hand on chad's shoulder jpi days

He’s conflicted, but he clearly wants to move on. Or at the very least, he wants to be able to move on. Or so we thought. Because now, as he gets a Christmas miracle, we have to wonder if it might be signaling that he’ll also be getting a slightly less joyous new year.

According to the latest issue of Soap Opera Digest, Abigail will be home once more for Christmas — in a way. Chad sees a vision of her before the Horton Christmas tree, just as he’s worrying about how he’ll be able to give his children a special holiday.

But it’s not just a vision. Much like in the graveyard, they interact, they talk and they work through things. It’s just a bit calmer than that big scene.

“I remember the moment and wanting to make sure that it felt conversational,” Billy Flynn told Digest. Abigail telling him he caught her killer was extremely emotional. But this talk “is like she’s his wife again. There’s a familiarity and comfort in seeing her that one would have being with somebody they’ve been married to.”

Chad, he continued, has “taken Abigail’s spirit and it’s moved into his heart. We played it as if she was still alive and Chad kind of just came home from a day at the office. There’s a groundedness to it. It’s familiar. They’re now accustomed to this new relationship. That’s what their marriage has evolved into, and there’s more of a comfort in it.”

And that’s great. That is, after all, what we’re supposed to do — in a very literal sense — when we lose a loved one. We keep them alive in our hearts. But if Abigail’s still so alive in Chad that she can come back to talk over life as if they’re still husband and wife, how could he ever move on with someone else?

Chad crouches next to Abby's gravestone and reaches out to it

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Why would he ever really want to? It’s still unclear if this is a spiritual presence or Chad working life out in his own mind. If it’s the latter, though Chad may yearn for Stephanie, he’s clearly not ready to let go of Abigail as his wife.

And if it’s the former, well, Flynn flat out refers to Abigail’s occasional visits as “their marriage,” so we’re still left with the question of how in the world could he move on with Stephanie?

In the end, as touching as these scenes are, they could be even more insurmountable than Stephanie and Alex’s attraction. Perhaps he just needs more time. Perhaps he needs a bit more of a push. But Abigail already told Chad at her gravesite to live and love once again.

And while his head may agree with her, his heart may never be able to let go. And if that’s the case, the triangle with Alex may be over before it even begins.

Check out our Days of Our Lives relationship photo gallery to see where all of Salem’s couples stand!