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Ep. 69 – Don’t Let Your Ex Get The Better Of You

In this episode we discuss how to take the focus off your ex, and to instead focus your time and energy on healing and getting to the life you want after divorce.


Doreen: Hey everybody. How are you? Hope you’re doing well today. Well, today we’re gonna talk about something that I think is really important, which is don’t let your ex get the best of you. In other words, understand and be responsible for your own emotions and how you are dealing with your ex, the focus that you’re putting on him or her. And is it benefiting you or not? So if you are ready, Let’s get started.

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 the 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.

Hey everyone.

Jeff: Hey. How you doing Doreen? Good to see you.

Doreen: I’m doing good. Alright, so we’re gonna talk today about something that I think is really important and it’s don’t let your ex get the best of you. And as you know, I get inspired by things that are going on. So first thing is, let’s talk about how this episode came to be, right.

I have a client who is in her seventies and she got married, second marriage. She’s only been married for a couple years. She thought this was the love of her life, right? She met this guy, and he is, you know, what she was really looking for to travel with. She’s at that stage. She’s very comfortable financially.

She wants to travel now, you know, her kids are out of the house obviously. She’s got grand grandkids that she’s really into. And he does as well and they, you know, were starting a beautiful life together and out of nowhere. Out of nowhere as she explains it, because there’s his side, her side, and then there’s the truth as we say, you know, but he filed for divorce and she had no idea it was coming and she has been suffering.

So for those out there that are suffering right now, dealing with the divorce, maybe your ex hurt you in some way. Maybe you got, you know, blindside sided like she did outta nowhere, you know, filed for divorce and here you are. Or you know, maybe it’s a combination of different things that happened that brought you to the divorce.

The bottom line is how much time and energy are you spending focused on that, what I like to call, or what’s known as not like to call the victim mentality. You understand what I mean by that? Jeff? Maybe you can explain a little bit more about that victim mentality. Living in that focus of poor me.

Jeff: I think it’s also a blaming mentality that when you’re blaming others or blaming your ex-husband or your ex-wife or something, then you obviously become the victim.

And there’s typically four stages of this kind of pattern that we, you go into, first you’re feeling fine, then your spouse either said something or did something that now you don’t feel fine anymore. And now you’re blaming them for not feeling fine, and now you become the victim and they’re the problem. Right? So, you know, and that’s where, where you become the victim.

Doreen: Well, let me first suggest the following, and I know for some of the listeners out there probably you’re gonna be like, Hey, Doreen, what do you mean you don’t know my ex? But it really, you know, doing practicing family law for as long as I have. It’s never one side. Right. I mean, I shouldn’t say never because never is too absolute. There are few cases out there in which really you married a jerk. I mean, I don’t know how else to say it. You got taken. Okay. This person, I’ll just say this guy, this whomever you married, it’s just not a good guy. And you know, they had a motive, but that’s rare. Okay. That’s rare. Most people out there in the world are pretty good, right?

Jeff: Yeah. I mean, I, and it could be a guy or a girl, doesn’t matter.

Doreen: But most people are good and they come into a marriage with true intentions of wanting to get married, being in love and wanting to, the intention of wanting to spend the rest of their life together.

But then things happen, right? Relationships change, people change. We don’t all stay stagnant. We all change. And neither, you know that expression. You grow together, you grow apart. In most cases where one person has asked for the divorce, is that person really responsible for the divorce? In other words, there’s a lot of focus on, well, he filed for the divorce.

But what was going on in the relationship before that? You know, can you honestly say that you didn’t have a part in it? I’m just suggesting that even within fidelity and things like this, right, There’s things that are going on in that relationship, in that marriage. Not that it’s warranted something like infidelity, but if things were great, normally that doesn’t happen. Right.

Jeff: Right. So, well, it’s easier said than done. I’m sure a lot of people will say, so tell me, I’ve gone through a divorce and now I feel like the victim. What do I do? I mean, I feel like I’m blaming her for this, blaming her for that. What do you somebody do?

Doreen: Well, here is the issue. You know, I get inspired, like I said, now my client, whose name I will not mention, is so mentally, emotionally taken back by the divorce.

So much in that victim mentality, so much in the poor me can’t believe that this happened. Can’t believe that he filed for a divorce when she thought everything was amazing, that she is physically sick, literally physically sick. So why would you want your ex to have that much control over you, your emotion?

That it is number one, stealing your life away, meaning all that energy and time that could be spent on so many other productive things. Right? And even if it’s gotten to the point where it’s physically hurting you, there needs to be a change. Right. And that’s where I think coaching, life coaching in particular is so helpful because what we do is we look at our thoughts that are creating our results. So her thought is, he did this to me. He filed for divorce. He’s a bad person and her feelings are hurt. Let’s just take that. And her action is she wants to get back at him. She wants to do everything that she can do to punish him to make sure that he is hurting as much as she is.

And hurting through the divorce process, meaning not coming to the table and able to settle things because the mentality is no, no, no, no. He can’t have that. He’s not entitled to that. I’m gonna make him suffer. And I understand that. I mean, I get that. Right. That makes sense. A lot of levels. But why would you do that?

You know? In other words, why would you wanna, it is one thing to have a position legally. That makes sense? It’s another thing to take a position legally to hurt somebody, right? Because she doesn’t need the money. It’s not about the money. She has millions of dollars in her own right. I mean, this woman will not need for anything in her life. So it’s not about the money. And what I wanna try to suggest to our listeners today, when I talk about don’t let your ex get the best of you, it’s like, if you’re gonna focus in on your ex, why are you doing it? Make sure your reason is good.

Jeff: I mean, it’s very, very important. I mean, I have a kind of a saying I looked up when we talked about the podcast, not a saying

Doreen: About this episode. Right,

Jeff: Right. Yeah.

Doreen: Well, he’s saying podcast, but episode within a podcast.

Jeff: Right, right. There’s an author of Victor Frankl who wrote in The Man’s Search for Meaning.

When we’re no longer able to change a situation, we are changed, or excuse me, we are challenged to change ourselves. So if, and I know you do this a lot, you’re future focused versus past focused. So after divorce, if you’re now future focused, is very, very important that you understand that you do have control. You do have control.

Doreen: Yeah, you do. You do have control. So how do we help my client? Let’s take that as an example and let’s help the listeners. The first thing I think we have to teach them, or we wanna say to you is to recognize that you’re doing this. Recognize that you’re focused in on your ex. That’s the first thing.

So realizing it is number one, are you a person that’s going through a divorce or just finished a divorce that is focused in on hurting your ex and what is, and then the next question you ask yourself is, what is your reason for doing that? If your reason is to hurt that person, I would suggest that you might want to rethink your reason, rethink your focus. Right?

Jeff: Yes.

Doreen: Why would you want your ex to have that much control over you? The person that you dislike probably the most in the world at this very moment in time, right?

Jeff: Yeah. And first realized that he or she is controlling you.

Doreen: Yes, a hundred percent.

Jeff: And that’s the most important thing.

Doreen: You know, my client is physically hurt it, you know, it physically, it’s being, it’s affecting her. So, you know, obviously in that case it’s blatant, it’s obvious because she’s in the hospital, right? But she’s okay now. Like she’s getting the help she needs and we’re trying our best to, to assist from a coaching perspective. But the first thing is realizing, second thing is, what is your purpose for doing it?

Third thing is, could you be spending your time and your energy in a better way? Because what is the end result that you’re trying to accomplish? You know, I wanna suggest to our listeners that you could take all that time and energy and put it into something meaningful for you. For you. You deserve that.

You know, whether it’s starting a new career, learning a new hobby, getting out there and socializing, you know, I don’t know, whatever it is, you could spend your time so much better, right?

Jeff: Yeah, I agree. And realizing that it’s a fact. You’re divorced. You’re now by yourself and it’s a fact. So you might as well do something positive for yourself and take the certain steps that you need to take to not become that victim.

Doreen: Correct, which is all in one place.

Jeff: In your thoughts.

Doreen: In your thoughts. It’s in your head. You have total control over that. We teach that when you, and this is important when you get into new relationships, but it’s very commonplace in marriages and relationships is people go into, many times people go into relationships thinking that this person is going to make me happy. Right?

Jeff: Right.

Doreen: The person is going to be the person that’s gonna change my life, you know? And what do we say about that? We say the only person that can really make you happy is you, because you cannot control another person. It’s impossible. And it’s exhausting. Right? I mean, I’m probably guilty of that on a daily basis, right? I mean, you could speak to that.

Jeff: Well, I mean, I think the big difference, well, I’m not gonna speak about you because, you know, you’re amazing, but what I’m saying what I wanna talk about sometimes if someone forces us to feel something, I wanna talk about the difference between reacting and responding. You wanna talk about that for a second?

Doreen: Let’s take the example of my client. Yeah. Who obviously feels, if has a thought that she was blindsided by this divorce and he’s a bad person. Right?

Jeff: Right.

Doreen: All right, so what should she do?

Jeff: Well, we assume, well, first we, we assume that we’re stuck with this emotion and there’s nothing we can do about it.

And we choose and, but we have the choice to do with what we feel, what we have a choice to do what we want to do, how you want to feel, how you want to react to it.

Doreen: Okay, so let’s take the example of my client. She’s obviously feeling sad and a lot of anger. Okay.

Jeff: Okay.

Doreen: Use that example and explain if you can.

Jeff: Well, to the anger she’s responding back or reacting back in a very negative way, and either taking it on herself physically and making herself sick and not responding in a very, very positive way. Her thoughts need to change.

Doreen: Right. So how would you suggest that she changed her thoughts? Here’s one of the things I was thinking, right, and we’ll be discussing is thank goodness you found out now two years into the marriage versus 10 years into the marriage. You know, she’s in her seventies, so 10 years for her, she’ll be in her 80. And so, you know, you could say, Hey, I got blindsided.

He’s a bad person. I’m angry about that. Or you could say, yeah, that happened. He filed for a divorce and I’m not happy about it, but I didn’t know this guy. And obviously he’s a different person than I thought I’d married. And I’m glad I found out now as opposed to 10 years from now. Right.

Jeff: So you’re saying looking at it a different perspective?

Doreen: Correct, because now she’s young enough to, you know, move on with her life, whether it’s as a single person or she finds somebody new in her life, or they find her, she can move on.

You know, that’s a different way of looking at it, right? Yeah. And if she comes from that place, then obviously her thoughts would be, well, he’s not a nice guy and I’m glad I found out two years in and not 10 years in.

Jeff: You’ve been a lot worse.

Doreen: You know, now I can move on, heal, and go on with my life and that may include somebody else in my life or not. So, I don’t know. That’s what I thought we should speak about. Any further tips, because we’re gonna have to wrap it up soon today.

Jeff: Maybe just talking to yourself in a different way. You know, in other words, instead you make me angry, you could say something like, I’m feeling angry. So you’re taking responsibility for your own feelings.

Instead of saying, you lied to me, you could say, I felt deceived. So you can change that and say, okay, I felt deceived, however, now I want to feel this way.

Doreen: I think what you’re saying, because you’re jumping to a thought, I wanna make sure the listeners understand, instead of you deceived me, the thought could be, I feel deceived.

Jeff: Correct.

Doreen: That the blame doesn’t go towards the other person, but comes back on you as to, I feel that I was deceived. You can deal with that.

Jeff: Then you can change the thoughts and change your feelings.

Doreen: Own it then. But if you say you deceived me, then you’re focused on that person. Does that make sense?

Jeff: Yes, exactly. That’s what I’m trying to say.

Doreen: All right. Just wanted to clear that up. All right. Well listen, it’s a short episode. You know, we’re gonna move on to something else, but meaning next week we’ll talk about another subject. Of course. We just wanted to bring this to your attention and, hope that, listen, you have a great week, right? You have anything else to say, Jeff?

Jeff: Just happy Anniversary.

Doreen: Oh, thank you. We just celebrated, what was it?

Jeff: 14

Doreen: 14

Jeff: 14 years.

Doreen: November 21st. But listen guys, why do we do this as a couple? We coach? Well, first of all, we coach individually. I coach mostly women, and I have one-on-ones that I do. Right now, I don’t have any spots available. You coach mostly men?

Jeff: Yes. Professional men.

Doreen: You know, not that I wouldn’t coach a man if the opportunity arose and you know, I’ve had some men that asked me to coach, but I don’t have any slots available at this moment. But you really work with the men on it cuz it’s, you know, it’s different. It’s from a man’s perspective when you’re going through divorce.

Jeff: How do they find us?

Doreen: They find us on our website.

Jeff: Our website, which is Right, like LAD, life after divorce, so And they can also email us at either [email protected] or they could go to [email protected].

Doreen: Perfect. Perfect. All right, everybody, listen, be kind to yourself. Be kind to others, and first and foremost, love yourself.

Listen, you deserve it, people. You deserve it. I know you went through a lot. I know you’re going through a lot. You’re gonna get past the divorce, you’re gonna move on, and yes, you can have an amazing life. All right, everybody, listen. Have a great week.

Jeff: See you soon.

Doreen: We’ll speak. See you next week. Bye.

Jeff: 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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