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Ep. 111 – Avoid Making The Same Mistakes

If you can figure out the reasons your last relationship broke up, you’ll be less likely to travel the same road again. Do you keep choosing the wrong type of partner? Do you sabotage your relationships by hiding your true thoughts and feelings? Reflection can be painful and time-consuming, but it’s the best way to gain insight. If you keep making the same relationship mistakes, it may be because you haven’t taken time to stop and think about your relationships. In this episode Doreen and Jeff discuss why this happens and how to avoid making the same mistakes over and over again in relationships after divorce.


Jeff: Hello, friends. Today, we’re going to be talking about not making the same mistake in our relationships and the people we choose. So, if you’re ready. Let’s get started.

Doreen: Are you ready to create a life that’s better than ever before? We are Doreen Yaffa and Jeff Wilson, and we are here to give you the strategies you need to create a life after divorce that you deserve and desire. As partners both in marriage and coaching, we use our expertise as well as our own personal experiences to help you make the next chapter of your life, the best chapter.

Jeff: Hello, Doreen.

Doreen: Hey,

Jeff: What’s so funny?

Doreen: I don’t know. You’re just funny.

Jeff: I’m in a good mood. Yeah?

Doreen: Yeah. Good. Yeah, I’m sure you are.

Jeff: Why?

Doreen: Why not?

Jeff: Okay, well, I guess I should be. So today we’re going to be talking

about mistakes and not repeating them when it comes to relationships

and the people we choose.

Doreen: Yeah, I think it’s really important that when you are coming out of a divorce or any kind of a long term breakup or even a short term breakup, that you sit and think about, you know, have you basically been on a path or a pattern of choosing the same type of people in your life? And maybe that needs to be evaluated a little bit? Right.

Jeff: I think that.

Doreen: Or a lot of bit.

Jeff: I think the key is to slow down and kind of take a deep long look at yourself and kind of understand what it is you’re looking for and what is your pattern of relationships that has gotten you not into trouble, but has gotten you into a situation where you’re saying, I’m not going to make that mistake again. I’m going to choose a different type of partner. I’m going to choose a different person, and you keep doing it over again. So I think the key is slow down and take a deep look at yourself.

Doreen: I think the first thing is you really should probably take some time first to heal from the divorce. But there’s nothing wrong. You know, first, and some people want to get out there and just start dating right away. The question is if when you get serious in a relationship where you’re looking for a serious relationship, what have you learned from your past and what you want in the next partner that you have? Because I think one of the most important things is to remember that what you wanted at 25 versus what you want now, you know, whatever age you are is different, right?

So I think a lot of times when people come out of a divorce, they’re not taking the time to really think about, you know, the characteristics of what they think will be a good match for them. They’ve changed, obviously, just based on time, based on different stages of life. You know, if you’re starting a family versus if you already had your family and you’re not going to have any more children, I mean, obviously you’re looking for different qualities in someone in both of those situations, or maybe you’re someone who’s more like in retirement age. Right?

So you might be, for example, looking for someone who has the ability to trust. Let’s say you like to travel in your you know, in that stage of your life where now you’re going to really enjoy some travel. You want somebody that is compatible with that meaning

Jeff: Great companion.

Doreen: Well, not only that, but also have the ability to get up and go. Right?

Jeff: Yeah. So your situation has also changed at that stage of your life where maybe you’ve acquired property or assets and you have already have kids, let’s say, and you’ve raised them.  And you know ,the situations are totally different. Like you said, you’re not ready to start a family, but you are trying to blend a family. So the needs, your needs are different.

Doreen: Yeah. So the first thing is, as you said, to slow down the next thing, I think that’s really important for our listeners to think about is to be honest, you know, to be honest with yourself.

The key is to avoid future divorces and bad relationship choices is and that really is taking time to be alone and not rushing into your next relationship. Give yourself time to breathe and to know yourself after the relationship and really think about what your part was in the breakup of the marriage. Because you can’t just think about or we suggest you’re not just thinking about what it is you want in someone else.

Think about maybe some of your own characteristics that you might want to, you know, just be aware of and what type of a person might best suit that. For example, if you have two people that I don’t know, give an example like for example us, let’s just talk about us for a minute.

Jeff: Okay?

Doreen: Okay. I’m more of the here’s how we’re going to do. Here’s where we’re going, here’s what I want kind of thing. And you’re more like, okay, you’re such a smart man. Yes, man. No, just kidding. But you’re really more easygoing. You know, you’re pretty good and okay with 99% of the things that I suggest, like if I say, you know, let’s go to this event or let’s go to this restaurant or let’s, you know, get together with these friends or let’s go see the kids this weekend, you’re like, okay, let’s do it. You know, if we had two of me, that would be a little more challenging.

Jeff: Yes. Well, I think that what you’re trying to say or no, you’re certainly you’re saying it is interests and values, your core morals. They have to be kind of they have to be jive together.

Doreen: That’s true. I mean, but what I’m also suggesting is that your strong characteristics, your strong traits. You want to find someone that’s going to blend well with that.

Jeff: Right.

Doreen: My traits tend to be a little more, you know, a little more assertive. And your traits are a little more laid back.

Jeff: Receptive.

Doreen: Yeah, we do share many of the same similar values in raising a family and you know how our interest and the type of people we like to be around that type of events. Not that not that. And let me just stress this because this is really important and I believe that we did another episode on this and if we didn’t, we should. Is that you don’t have to have all your common interests intact because one of the things that I think is really important in relationships is to have your individual personality, your individual thoughts, your individual goals.

So, for example, you know, let’s think of something that I like to do that you don’t like to do. Yoga, yoga.

Jeff: Yoga. I mean, I enjoy it, but I don’t like it as much as you want.

Doreen: You don’t love it. So, I mean, like and if I was to say to you, I’m going to go to yoga class tonight, why don’t you come with me? And then you say, No, I’d rather not. I shouldn’t get disappointed about that.

Jeff: Right.

Doreen: I should be okay going myself. Like you don’t have to be hooked at the hip. But that’s a different episode for a different day, you know, is to really try to have some similar thoughts and things you like, but to also be an individual. Okay.

Jeff: But it does tie in with being in the wrong relationships over and over again when you’re trying to become something that you’re not.

Doreen: That’s true.

Jeff: I think one thing that’s very, very important when it comes to relationships that’s very, very difficult to do is to be yourself and be true to yourself and not try to become someone for somebody else.

Doreen: No, no. That’s a people pleasing issue that we also should probably do an episode on. I think that I’ve done one in the past, if I’m not mistaken. But you know that’s another issue. Being honest with who you are and being honest with the person that you were dating as to who you are as well. Certainly you don’t want to throw it all on the table the first date but there comes a point in time where there are certain things that might be, you know, they might be a deal breaker for you, you know, and think about those things when you’re pursuing a new relationship, know what your deal breakers are.

For example, I had a client recently. She does not want to have any more children. I mean she has two children. They’re almost you know, they’re like in high school and it’s a deal breaker for her if somebody wants to have another child, she that part of her life is closed.

Jeff: Right.

Doreen: So, you know, when do you bring that up in your relationship? You know, journeys, you know, maybe it’s part of a questionnaire if you’re on a dating site, I don’t know.

I haven’t been on one in a while. Of course, a very long while. But yeah, you know, you want to make sure that you know what those deal breakers are for you.

Jeff: And it’s not just you know, having children. I mean, people have maybe bad habits.

Doreen: For them. That was just an example.

Jeff: Or they have behaviors that they feel that if they keep it a secret, that’ll help the relationship. But in the long run, it’s just the opposite. It’s going to hurt the relationship.

Doreen: Right. Right. I think there is a comes a point in time where you just need to get it on the table. But, you know, they say that you’re more likely to repeat the same mistake in your next relationship if you don’t gain the clarity and insight. It takes time to really think about that, to give yourself the time. Plus, it takes relationship mistakes. Things that you’ve done wrong in the past, or that you’ve noticed to know what those mistakes are. You know, you learn from your past. The past tells you about your future, you know, should tell you.

Jeff: Gives you more clarity as far as what your needs are.

Doreen: But, you know, let’s talk about the human brain, because sometimes I call it the smaller brain. It’s been called the primitive brain. You know, the way that we’re built as humans is that we seek things that are familiar to us. We also seek pleasure and avoid pain. Part of that seeking pleasure and avoiding pain, if you think about it, is to be in surroundings that are familiar to us because the brain interprets something new that it’s never experienced as Oh no, we can’t go there. We don’t know about this. We don’t know about this type of a person, this type of a character trait.

So let me stay with you, the kind of guy I know, the kind of woman I’m used to. And, you know, this is why a lot of therapist I don’t want to you know, I’m not a therapist. Neither one of us are. But from the books and from my many conversations with therapists is a lot of people, they look back to their childhood when you’re in therapy because it helps to understand why you make choices in your adulthood. Because if you were raised in a certain environment, let’s say you had a very controlling mother or you had an abusive father or a verbally abusive father,  you may without even understanding it, your primitive brain unknowingly will seek that same type of individual.

So, it’s really important that you think from your prefrontal cortex, which is our higher brain, are what I like to call the adult brain. I like to also call the smaller brain, the toddler brain, because this is just like a toddler going crazy, right? It just does what it does. But our adult brain is what we have as humans.

And we can really sit down and think, what am I really looking for in my next partner? Right. What are the things that are really important to me that I’m going to seek out and why? You know, you’re why.

Jeff: I think the key word there is we, the primitive brain also will try to avoid the change. It’s change. And at this point of your life where you don’t want to make the same mistakes, you have to embrace the change.

Doreen: Absolutely. The other thing about new relationships, you know, post-divorce, is that once you’re committed to someone and spend a number of years together, your needs, and I talked about this earlier and your desires change and evolve.

You know, I said that you aren’t the same person at 25 as you are at 45 as you are 65 as you are 85, you know, Right?

Jeff: Yeah. Like you said earlier, later on in life, you know, we’re looking for different things now and most of us may look for companionship or maybe we might want to seek understanding and a partner. So depending upon where you are in your life, that’s what you want to make a change at.

Doreen: Right. Exactly. You know, what are you looking for.

Jeff: That peace, stability.

Doreen: I mean, I can tell you that someone I was speaking to recently who is going through a divorce, he was telling me that he is dating, too. He’s on one of these dating sites, I think. What is that Bumble or?

Jeff: I don’t know.

Doreen: Well, what is eHarmony, I think is the one that he mentioned and what he has chosen to do, which I thought was brilliant. He is going out with two completely opposite women, like opposite like one is outgoing and she’s, you know, very showy and she goes to, you know, all the new places and she drives a nice vehicle and she sends pictures of herself, like working out of the gym and with her friends. And the other one is an intellectual. She’s very quiet. I think she’s psychologist. She’s very much about reading and family and, you know, developing herself, self-development completely opposite.

And he thought it was so brilliant himself, even because he says, I have a date with one on one night and I have a date with the other one. These are the first two dates he’s had since he’s been, you know, divorced.

And then he said, and then I’m going to really give it a chance. Like I like both of these ladies from I guess their conversations through the dating site or whatever it was. But he’s like, I’m really going to try to see what type of a person I’m best suited for. And I thought that was so interesting, you know, and a very healthy way of looking at it.

Jeff: Let’s turn and think about reflection.

Doreen: Yeah, that’s good.

Jeff: I think it’s one thing that’s very important when you talk about making this or not making the same mistakes again is reflection on your past relationships and even though reflection can be painful and time consuming, it’s the kind of the best way to gain insight on your past and what you’ve done in the past. You know, if you keep making the same relationship mistakes, it may be because you haven’t taken the time to stop and think about relationships.

Doreen: And that’s very true. And if you can figure out the reasons your last relationship broke up, you’ll be less likely to travel that same road again, right? Do you keep choosing the wrong type of partner? Do you sabotage your relationships by hiding your true thoughts and feelings? Are you afraid of commitment or intimacy? Try to be specific about why your relationship last ended. What happened? Be honest with yourself and you may see a reason you keep making the same mistake in the past.

Jeff: And another suggestion may be to have asked some other people that you trust. Why you keep making the same mistakes and just try it. Ask them to be honest with you and promise them that they you won’t be offended. You know, I’m not going to get mad at you. But take the time to think about what they say.

Doreen: Yeah. And something too, if you are not comfortable talking to anyone in your circle about it or a trusted family member or friend, that’s, you know, something good to talk with a coach about as well, because we can look at some patterns that you may have and get you to dig a little deeper as to the thoughts behind why you’ve made certain choices because remember, thoughts create a feeling action result.

So if you’re making a choice for a particular type of guy, a particular type of girl, whatever it is, you know, that’s in your action line. And the question is what is going on in your thought line? What is your thought that drives you that to that type of person?

And that’s where it really gets deep. I mean, again, it could stem back many years. Many years even before you married your current spouse. So, you know, you’re now probably divorced from if you’re listening to this podcast. Right. And the sooner you figure out what role you played in your last marriage in the divorce, the less likely you’re going to make the same relationship mistake. We already said that.

Remember that there is a difference between knowing that you made certain mistakes in your relationships and understanding why you made those mistakes. And if you’re not open to reevaluating your self-compromise and growth, you’re likely going to keep making the wrong choices.

One of the most difficult things for us to do is initiate and sustain long lasting, healthy changes in our life. But it’s one of the best ways to grow. Right?

Jeff: Right. So looking back when we said it’s all about slowing down, being a good look at yourself, evaluating yourself what you want in your next relationship.

Doreen: And I think giving it the time that it needs. You know, this isn’t a decision that you make. You know, you just sit down in one sitting. This is something that, like we said, you really want to ponder for a period of time.

Jeff: And I think that this can probably get our listener very excited about the future. Future relationships.

Doreen: I think that it’s really something that should give you hope and give you a goal that you can have a healthy, loving, caring relationship with somebody new in your life after divorce. And you know, it happens to many people. Most people end up in another relationship. Many people end up in second marriages, third marriages. So we’re just suggesting that you take the time and think about what it is you really, really want for yourself and with your partner and for the life that you want to create.

Jeff: A fresh start.

Doreen: Yes, a new life.

Jeff: Right, My friends, that’s the episode for this week.

Doreen: Have an amazing week.

Jeff: And we’ll talk to you soon.

Doreen: Bye.

Jeff: Bye-bye. You have the vision of what you want your life to look like after divorce, but maybe you just don’t know how to get there. So if you’re ready to take control of your life and want to find out more about our coaching, visit us at That’s L A D as in life after divorce dash

Doreen: Until next time, have an amazing rest of your day. And remember, yes, you can have an amazing life after divorce.

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