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Ep. 60 – Divorce and Feelings

In this episode we discuss the difference between a therapist and life coach as well as the seven main feelings most often experienced with divorce.


Hey, my beautiful friends and how are you? So today I want to first have you all recognize that going through divorce is challenging. It may be one of the hardest things that you have done thus far in your life. . You know, as life coaches of people post divorce, Jeff and I work with our clients on changing their story, changing it from looking at it as all bad, to thinking about it in a way that will propel you forward to your best life.

It truly is an opportunity for rediscovering yourself what you want for the next chapter of your. Looking at the divorce as an opportunity to reconnect with the you that you may have lost in a marriage, gone bad, and to follow your dreams once and to rediscover yourself. So if you are ready to rediscover who you are, let’s get started.

Are you ready to create a life that’s better than ever before? We are Doreen Yaa and Jeff Wilson, and we are here to give you the strategies you need to create the life after divorce that you. 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.

Hey everybody. So today we’re gonna have some fun. How you doing, Jeff? I’m doing great. How about you? Good. Good. How’s your week? The week is going fantastic. Getting a lot done. Okay. That’s always good. Well, I hope our listeners are having a good week too. You know, divorce is time consuming and challenging, right?

It is. When we, as the humans are in an emotional rollercoaster, it is difficult to think logically. As coaches, our focus is on helping our clients recognize their thinking and to break through the overwhelm and confusion to make. Sound choices and decisions post divorce to rebuild your life and honor yourself with purpose.

I think it is such an amazing time. Really, really it is to recraft your life in such a special way. What are your thoughts? Well, I think from adversity one could, should and could appreciate that they have a chance to st. and build resilience and now take this opportunity to move forward with a new vision for themselves by having specific plans for their future.

You know, we work with our clients to be what I call future focused. Yep. And not stuck in a, a past that doesn’t serve them. , you know, this is where we come in. Cuz even if it’s just listening to the podcast right now, I would suggest that it’s a step in the right direction and they should be very proud of themselves.

Absolutely. A hundred percent little baby steps. Make all the difference in the world. I like to think of us. as our client’s thinking partner, right? Like a place that we can clean up negative thinking, celebrate successes, and brainstorm what they want for their futures. It really is a step by step process.

It just takes time. I also think that with the tools that we teach on this podcast and with our clients, they should learn how to. with the challenges, with a new perspective of clean thinking. I want to think that, uh, we offer the listeners a place where they can come once a week and they feel safe when there’s just so much uncertainty surrounding them.

Yeah. It is an uncertain time for so many people, right? Yeah. Um, because I have seen people, obviously after divorce, stay stuck and tell a story of pain and suffering and hurt. That’s very commonplace in what I see with my clients. But what I really wanna emphasize is that there is another way of thinking about divorce.

There really is. If you are someone who is thinking about your divorce and telling a story that is all negative, what I want to suggest is that negative past thinking is truly optional. Right? That kind of blows my mind when I think about it. Jeff, why do we say it’s optional? Well, it is optional because, you know, two people for an example, the same stages of divorce can think of about it differently.

True. Uh, when you choose to think about divorce as negative. As opposed to thinking about it. Divorce has an opportunity to recreate yourself and grow. You end up likely staying stuck and that doesn’t lead to anything of value to you. That’s very true. But how do they get out of that negative thinking?

Right. That’s always the big question. Sometimes people ask me how, you know, just changing subjects for a minute, right? Sometimes people. ask me how coaching is different than therapy. I think it’s important that our listeners understand the difference here, and I’m gonna jump around a little bit today, but I know our listeners are so smart that they’re gonna stay with us.

They can handle it. Oh yeah, for sure. But you know, it’s important to know because some people are like, Hey, are you therapists or what? And we’re not. We are. licensed mental health providers. We are simply life coaches, you know, but therapists are generally focused on the past that they help their clients to identify and to basically work through challenges stemming from past issues.

They help identify. Feelings may be stemming from the divorce. Looking generally at the experiences, many times helping the patient to identify patterns of behaviors and choices so that the patient learns and avoids certain behaviors moving forward. Jeff, can you think of any examples to give the listeners?

Well, it, it could be something like if you had a history of being with a guy or a girl that, uh, let’s say is abusive verbal. and they treat you badly. The therapist might, uh, discover why, and to recognize that this example of, uh, for an example, the father might be abusive to their mom. Wait, so you’re thinking the, so the father meaning their father Yeah, the client.

So, so goes back to like their childhood. Their childhood. Exactly. And, uh, it may seem familiar with them, however, not healthy. and where this is coming from so that they understand it to make new choices on a different partner moving forward. Yeah, I think they equate that to like, um, known behaviors. So I think what you are saying is that if you came from, as a child from an abusive, um, Relationship, meaning that you witnessed your mom and your dad in an abusive relationship.

Um, therapists teach us that you might tend to gravitate towards somebody as a partner who is abusive to you because it feels familiar. So the therapist is working with a client on past behaviors and situations that created. where they are today. Coaching, on the other hand, is much different in that it’s very future focused and that’s what I love about it.

And that’s the difference, is that we look at rediscovering the client’s goals and steps needed to assist them in moving forward. And I always say like on purpose, Like moving. I think that things that you do in your life, you know, you want to really do them with purpose. So many times people go through life just on automatic pilot.

Right. And I love that purpose focus. Coaching is goal oriented. Right. And fut and varied. Like I said, future focus. Many people after divorce are so emotional. They’re like just really. and they just need a little boost, a little direction, a little help. That’s where we come in, right? Yes. Identifying what it is they do want and the why of it.

You know, it’s not just what you want, but why do you want it? Yeah, and I also think that the accountability part of it is important that weekly check-in with your coaches to, to keep the clients. , I like to think of it as kind of like a, a sports coach, right? Uh, did they do your practice? Are you lifting your weights?

Uh, where are you now? How do you keep on track for, uh, getting better and stronger with the, you know, on the purpose of, uh, of the goal? And in sports it might be getting to the playoffs or winning the championship. And I like to think of it this same way when, when we coach. Yeah, for sure. Like little steps getting you stronger, right?

Yep. And I mean, at times we have. That are working with us and a therapist together. In other words, a joint effort. Um, so we’re looking both, they’re cleaning up both past issues and then they’re looking simultaneously at their future to move forward. There are different states of mind that the client encounters and in which they come to us, right?

Mm-hmm. . And I think that identifying where they are is super important. identifying why they’re feeling a certain way and what that feeling really is. So many people have feelings that they don’t even recognize. You know what I’m saying? Like there’s so many different feelings, and so we always talk about recognizing our feelings and no, not reacting to them or resisting.

So many people try to resist their feelings, right? So why don’t we talk about the different feelings that people often en often encounter as they go through and post divorce, because I know how important it is to recognize this and to also know that these emotions will come and go like, Roller coasters.

Mm-hmm. , you know what I’m saying? So, and that’s okay. Like you might feel angry one hour and sad the next. It’s just, it’s just part of it. It’s part of what happens anyhow. Even if you’re not in a divorce. In a divorce situation. But I think it’s even heightened after divorce. Your life can feel like it’s spiraling out of control.

And I think it’s easy to wonder if things will ever get better. Right. But it can and. if you permit yourself to feel your feelings, you know? And I also wanna emphasize that feelings are just a guide. True. If you can permit them and listen to them, and your feelings are your feelings, they are a guide to not who you are.

That if you are dealing with these or really strong emotions, it will pass. And I think that what we feel after divorce is. Such an amazing tool, right? Like identifying what that is. Self-awareness, I think, is key. Learning about what triggers you, the more you can use it to really push you forward, right?

Like what is triggering you to sadness or anger or confusion, whatever it is. Listen, what works and what doesn’t work is important to understand about yourself as well. , understanding negative emotions, dealing with them. While it’s hard, it is one of, I think the first starting points in healing and moving forward.

So I’ve gone ahead and done some research as I always do, and I think I, you know, based on past clients, I looked and really thought about in my 28 years, I say that of handling divorce cases, I’ve really looked at the common feelings that people have after divorce, and I came up with seven, so I wanted to talk about them and I wanna suggest that when we do talk about these seven common feelings or emotions, I’m one is not more important than the other.

So they’re not in any order or anything like that, you know? Yes. Yeah. They all come at different times and, uh, we discuss them and this is what they are. I, I, I have, the first one is anger, right? Uh, overwhelm, fear, sadness, loneliness, grief. and guilt. Yeah, that’s what I’m generally seeing. Right. So it’s the anger, the overwhelm, the fear, the sadness, the loneliness, the grief, and the.

right? Yes. So let’s uh, break them all down. I’ll start if I can with anger. I think anger is so expected and I believe just a very natural part of the healing process of divorce and moving forward. Right. You’re definitely gonna be angry at sometimes. So I wanna also suggest that the anger and what that looks like depends on how the divorce came down, right?

Right. In other words, depending on the situation that led to the. Was the divorce, like for example, a mutual decision, right? Was it because one person was unfaithful? Was it because of maybe financial issues or substance abuse? These are just a sum of the examples, and I’m sure our listeners have a lot of reasons why they got divorced.

And so their circumstances are their own, of course, but you can see how the anger would or might be experienced differently depending on the situation. Right? Yeah. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. You know, anger in situations can be, uh, both people angry at, angry at, uh, each other, right? Uh, you could also be angry at yourself.

Yep. Or an, or angry, uh, due to a failed marriage. Yeah. I think a lot of people. , a lot of people are super, they want successes in their life, right? Mm-hmm. , and I don’t think anybody goes into a, a marriage thinking that it’s gonna be over, right? So when it’s over, even if it’s a mutual decision, I think just the disappointment and the anger for the failure of it is something that’s common, but the anger of your spouse cheated on you and you didn’t even like know about it.

That’s gonna be a different kind of anger. All right. Well, and it still could be, you know, you blame other people and angry and be angry at yourself for that. Absolutely. So working on that and understanding where it’s coming from and why, and who it’s directed at, and I’m talking about the anger right now, is super important.

The key here is to deal with the anger in a way that is like constructive and of course non-aggressive, right? Mm-hmm. , the last thing. anybody wants to do is act out from a place of anger so that you are dealing then with another emotion. Right? Exactly. Like maybe you’re so angry at your ex that you just call him out and just like, you know, yell at him and scream at him, or whatever it is.

And then now, you know, let’s say an hour later you’re like, oh my gosh, why did I do that? So now you got anger and maybe like shame on top. . So because understanding the anger and not making mistakes from a place of anger is, is really important, right? Yeah. Yeah. Not to mention it’s a huge use of energy.

That bottom line could be refocused and used in a, a much more constructive way. Absolutely. Every emotion, if you are, if you’re reacting as a result of. is taking energy away from something else, right? Yeah. I always think like our energy and our, you only have 24 hours in a day, right? We talked about time before.

And so using it in the most effective way for the best results in your life or for your family, for your now new family, um, meaning, you know, wherever you find yourself is really, really important. . So using your emotions in a way that creates amazing things for productive things, for your future goals and creating life on purpose is important.

It’s like such a beautiful thing to be able to release these negative emotions. Yep, yep. And the next one. Oh, the next one. Okay. The next one we said was overwhelm. I don’t know. I deal with that one still every day. , , don’t I? Yeah. No, seriously. Anxiety and overwhelm are one, are two of the emotions that for me, like in the morning, I just wake up and I’m just feeling it.

Yeah, it, it’s something that I have to deal with every single day. It’s very common, very, very common, and especially overwhelm after divorce. This is one. So common, right? It comes from, I think, a place of upheaval, right? The changes and the stresses of divorce. It’s challenging to have to deal with all the changes that divorce brings with it, right?

The chaos and the uncertainty of it all, even when the day-to-day is not good, right? People, I think, stay in bad marriages because they fear the o. , right? Mm-hmm. , they fear the change. When people are dealing with the feeling of overwhelm of divorce, many times they shut down. And I have to say that there are times that I feel so overwhelmed that I feel like shutting down.

So I have to really work on my own thoughts to change them so I, I can be, you know, productive. . Exactly. Well, that’s where we work with our clients in finding clarity. You know, clarity gives them power and breaking down the issues into smaller, like bite size, uh, pieces and taking one bite at a time.

Absolutely. You know what they say. How do you eat an elephant? how One bite at a time. used to use. That used. Well, let’s tell our listeners, you used to have a martial arts school. Yes. And uh, actually two of them. Yes. And you used to, uh, tell the kids all that, I guess when they would get overwhelmed, right?

Yeah. . Well, you know, there’s a lot of things they have to learn, whether it’s in school or things from parents, and you break it down to the smallest pieces, it makes it so much easier. And that’s what I think we want to tell our listeners about overwhelm is that, just break it down right is, first of all, take a deep breath.

Don’t, don’t be kind to yourself. I always tell them, you know, don’t, don’t beat yourself up and just like break it down and really think about where that’s coming from. That’s where a lot of our time management comes in play too. Yeah. So the next one we talked about, or that we listed was fear. That’s very common.

I see that a lot. Um, with people after divorce, it’s, which is many times coupled with other emotions, right? It’s, it, it’s because I think fear is one of those feelings that can paralyze people. I spoke, we spoke before about fear in one of our episodes. You know, and fear can lead to indecision, the fear of the unknown.

Again, I think many people stay in a bad marriage because they’re paralyzed by fear. But staying in a bad, bad marriage doesn’t feel good either. Right? No. In order to move on, it’s important to recognize the fear. Yeah. Yeah. Fear is something that everyone deals with, not just during or after a divorce, right?

Absolutely. Yeah. Anytime that we try something new, We always have a little bit of fear to deal with, you know, the feel, uh, fear of failure. Uh, the fear of not knowing, but, uh, that is, that is what we have to embrace to move forward and grow. Yeah. And you, um, you also, I know that in your martial arts, you talked about this a lot, you have this little thing that you call fear, right?

Yeah, I, I, uh, I call it false evidence appearing. . And what does that mean? Well, I, I used to teach the kids about fear this way, you know, when you’re, uh, going to bed and you’re afraid of what’s in the closet in the dark mm-hmm. , um, what happens when you turn on the flashlight and you turn on the light?

Nothing’s there. Nothing there. Yeah. But that fear to you is real Right At the moment. At the moment. But there’s evidence showing that it is false. So you have to kind of keep your fear in check and realizing that some of it is self-created. True. I love that though. False evidence of appear real. But I’ve also heard people talk about it as feel everything and rise.

Right? That’s a new one. I’ve never heard that. Did you hear that one? No, I like that. Okay. I came up with that one. Well, I didn’t come up with it. I’m not owning it, but I’ve read about it cuz you know me. I like to read it all the time. You came up with it in the, in this. . I think gaining clarity on what you are really truly facing is helpful because the fault evidence is just that, right?

So many people stay stuck where they are, and so I want everyone to realize that you can do this, you will be okay, and that failing ahead of time without even trying. is so much worse than failing because you tried. So many people don’t even try because of that false evidence appearing real. And so they fail ahead of time.

Mm-hmm. , well, if you’re gonna fail, why not try and fail? Do you get it? Yeah. Does that make sense? Yes, of course. All right. The next, that’s why we say, uh, fail forward. Fail forward. Anything you’re gonna do in life that is worth. You have to accept the fact cuz it’s a fact that you will fail. There will be adversity.

But I love that because you know why? Because that means that if you fail, yay. One more thing that you know doesn’t work. And now you get to try something new and you keep just failing until it works. I love that. That’s, that’s like one of my favorites. Let’s talk about sadness. There’s a lot of sadness after divorce.

Sadness is an another common one. You know, when you think about it, it’s a loss of a marriage, which I’m gonna like go into a business for a minute. It’s like an entity, you know, a husband and wife are like their own little island, their own little entity, and the sadness is really common when it’s over.

So marriage is, you know, it’s just one of those things that when it’s over, . It disrupts everything, right? Everything changes. You’re on this like pattern. . I always say that wrong. That’s okay. Did I say it right? You did. Okay, good. Not , did I? Not? I didn’t, no. Okay. How do you say it? Pattern. I don’t know why I always say it like that.

I don’t know. It’s kind of cute though. That’s kind of cute. But anyhow, but you’re in this like day-to-day life where you’re married and everything has kind of like, it’s it’s rhythm, right? And now everything. Not that way, and there’s a lot of sadness with that. There’s new issues to deal with, such as moving and being a single parent.

Then you have financial issues, of course, and all this can bring on thoughts of loss. I think the key here with sadness is that sadness does go away. Time really does heal. That clarity helps moving forward, taking steps in the right direction, like doing positive things. Yeah, it’s kind of like what we talked about earlier and taking baby.

You know, that make you feel better, uh, along the way. Like for some it might be starting a new exercise program. Uh, taking a walk, even listening to the podcast that you’re listening to right now is that, uh, step in a positive direction. It’s so easy for people when they’re in sadness just to like throw the covers over their head and just stay in that state of sadness.

And the last thing you wanna do when you’re in that state of sadness is probably get up and like, go for a walk or do something that. maybe think will make you feel better, but I can tell you that if you can force yourself just to get up, put on your sneakers and go for a walk as an example, you’re probably at the end of that walk gonna feel a lot better.

you know, moving forward really is essential and I don’t know, but setting intentions on positive things for your future does help with this, right? Yeah. Think of the release of the endorphins when you’re doing exercise. Always times. Yeah. Well, and that’s just one example. Like we said, maybe listening to our podcast or someone else’s podcast or reading something positive or maybe even like going and doing something special with your child or with a friend.

Anything that you can do to get, try to. , you know, of that state will help. Yeah. What’s the next, but it, it does go away. What’s the next one? Loneliness. What did, why don’t you talk about that one? Well, now that you’re divorced, and even if you had, uh, a bad marriage, being alone is challenging. Yeah. You know, for, especially for me, you know, some embrace it.

some embrace it. Like, I like being. , but it can be lonely when you’re used to having somebody around you. Yeah. Like your spouse. Yeah. We always say, we always say you’re needy. Yes, I am. What do you mean by that? Well, you know, I’m an only child and now that I’ve experienced having somebody around me, I kind of like it , and I’m one that needs my time alone.

I like my time alone, but you know, and with our listeners and after divorce, you. Your spouse, it obviously isn’t there, but also children are spending time with the other. . And so this is very new for a lot of people to have like an empty house where the kids aren’t there, your spouse isn’t there, and it’s just quiet.

You know, there’s no one around that can bring on a feeling of loneliness. So I want to suggest that this is just a natural part of divorce. Being alone is a situation. It’s just a situation and does not mean being lonely. Does that make sense? It makes sense. So I wanna suggest that this is an opportunity to rediscover themselves right to our listeners.

This is when showing kindness to yourself is key. Use the quiet time to rediscover yourself and what makes you happy. So many people, I think, in their marriages have lost themselves. Yes. You know, to embrace the time with your. To, to learn to enjoy your own company. Yeah, it’s really important and uh, to really like who you are.

Get to rediscover yourself, right? Yeah. Okay. What’s the next one? Grief. Grief. This one I think, can go hand in hand with sadness, grieving the relationship, the marriage, that one. time you thought would last forever. Right. And grieving a future that you likely planned. That’s now over like with any loss, there likely comes, you know, there comes the feeling of grease over the.

Did I say grease? You said grease? . Why did I say grease? Uh, you just made dinner . No, I didn’t. And we, I don’t like to use grease with dinner, but, no, but feeling the grief over the loss. I think the five stages of grief are relevant here, you know, in divorce. So let’s talk about those. Yeah. The, the stages of grief are, are common.

They are denial, bargaining, depress. Anger and finally acceptance. And I think that it’s important to understand that these stages is important in the process of recovering and moving on from the divorce. Yeah, the denial, bargaining, depression, anger, and finally acceptance. You know, that’s just part of any loss.

It can be the loss from death and a lot of people. Um, divorce. You know, when I, when I research and I look at therapists, they equate, or, you know, what they have to say, they equate divorce to death, like a very similar feeling. And so this is just part of what you’re gonna go through, right? Mm-hmm. and being aware of what stage you are in with regard to this, with regard to the grief is important.

It’s empowering to the healing process and moving forward. So, The last one is guilt. I think many people feel guilt as part of the divorce, right? The guilt, a personal failure we talked about at the beginning of the podcast here, which can be coupled with shame and even inadequacy. But guilt is just a feeling, right?

Exactly. Remember that getting divorced is not wrong, right, bad, or. Right it is. Instead, whatever you make it, you are much more than your divorce. Moving forward really is essential and I don’t know, but setting intentions on positive things for your future does help with all of these emotions. So, like I said, and what I want our listeners to remember, that all of these feelings, all of these emotions, identifying it first and really understanding it, not resisting it by buffering, pushing it down, right?

We’ve talked about that on other episodes. and not reacting to it, right? But really understanding where you are and giving yourself kindness in that respect is super important. So today we talked about the difference between therapy. And coaching. One is past focused, one is future focused and they can work in combination.

And we talked about the different feel, seven general emotions that I’ve identified on and that you deal with after and during divorce. So I hope that it’s been helpful to our listeners and I hope that they can work well. I know they. Work towards their best life and best chapter ever. Let’s use the divorce to propel you to move forward.

Anything else? I had a great time today. Oh, me too. I always have a great time with you. Aw. Aw. So sweet. I got a cavity. Yeah, I got a cavity. . All right everybody, listen. Love yourself. Be kind to yourself and remember, yes, you can have an amazing life after divorce. Have a great week and we’ll talk to you next week.


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 l a d That’s l a d as in life after divorce.

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

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