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Ep. 7 – The Myth of Happily Ever After

As women, we’re conditioned to unrealistically, in my opinion, believe that when we marry the person of our dreams or what we think the person of our dreams is, that we will live this make-believe story, which includes a handsome prince who will take care of us, a home with a white picket fence, perfect children and maybe one Golden Doodle. Oh and we’ll look amazing and never age.

We’re taught that marriage is the perfect formula for our life ever-after of happiness and bliss. But I ask you, if life is a combination of good and bad, then how is it possible to have a happily ever after? In this episode, we talk about how to have an amazing life post divorce, even when it’s not perfect.

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The content of Your Amazing Divorce is for entertainment and educational purposes. None of the content on Your Amazing Divorce should be considered legal advice, nor does anything herein create an attorney, client relationship.

As always, consult a lawyer for your legal questions.


Hi everybody. How you doing today? Listen, I hope that all is good your way. Anyhow, so what’s going on with. Last night I entertained along with my ex-husband, Sam, and my current husband Jeff. We had about 40 to 50 people at Sam’s house. We co-hosted a party for one of my daughter, Megan’s entire volleyball team.

The coaches parents, they were in Bo Raton from Walford down for a tournament at F A U, and we put together a. Now what’s interesting is that some of the new parents who haven’t seen me around as much with my husband, Jeff, at the games they were questioning, who is this lady, Doreen, who comes in with this guy Jeff, into Sam’s house with food in tow, taking over, putting things out, working with Sam on, you know, what you do when you host a party, and how does this all fit in?

Like Sam, Jeff, Doreen. Anyhow, who is Doreen and who’s her daughter? So I was talking to one of the moms and she was telling you about her divorce and how her and her ex sit in separate bleachers. They sit apart from each other. They don’t really interact and how, I guess she thought it was great that Sam and I do.

Look, I’m gonna talk about this I’m sure in a future episode because co-parenting together for yourself, for your ex, for your children. Super cool stuff, man. I’m telling you, I was really proud of how things came out. We loved entertaining and hosting together for the benefit of our children, for Megan’s team.

It’s all good stuff you. What if I told you that your divorce could end up being one of the best things that could happen to you? I’m Doreen Yaa, marital and family lawyer and certified life coach. I’ve been coaching and consulting women for over 26 years. I’ve seen it all. Now I’m sharing my expertise and my own personal experiences to help you turn a difficult time into your amazing divorce.

So let’s talk today about what I’m gonna call the myth of Happily Ever After. Many of you, at least that’s the way it was for me. When we were young, we were provided with these social avenues, these social taught norms, whether from movies or religion or our cultural backgrounds, just to name a few that we are to find our prince or our princess.

And when we do and we marry that we will live happily ever after that marriages are forever. And that if your marriage ends in divorce, your marriage was a failure. We’re conditioned to unrealistically, in my opinion. Believe that when we marry the person of our dreams or what we think the person of our dreams is, that we will live this make believe story, which includes the handsome prince who will take care of us, live in a home with a white picket fence, raise these’s perfect children, maybe have one golden doodle look amazing, of course, the whole time through and never age.

Now, I know I’m exaggerating, but we’re taught basically that marriage is the perfect formula for our life ever after of happiness and bliss. And we’re taught this from a very, very young age. But I ask you if life is a combination, as I talk about all the time and it truly is of good and bad, then how is it possible to have a happily ever after?

Look, we are not perfect people when we are single. And so how can two imperfect single people marry and make a perfect union? It’s not possible. It’s a myth to think that all the struggles and the heartaches and the imperfectness we have before we marry will be forever gone when we. Learning from your divorce to create a better life is where we are.

And why I am here with you today is to help you think about things, learn about the whys and the pain, and grow and lean into and move forward to your most amazing future. There is life after divorce and it can be amazing and it will my beautiful friend if you do. But no matter how amazing it turns out for you, just keep in mind it’ll never be perfect.

It’s always going to be good and bad. 50 50. What we’re looking for in our next chapter is more amazing, more growth, more good time than bad times, and when we have the bad times to be able to use them and deal with them and to grow from them. See, there can be amazing or there can be just, okay, we wanna get to amazing.

Not living in this little protective safe. When you put yourself out there and we grow, like we’re going to grow together, you’re going to have to do the hard work. There’s gonna be good, there’s gonna be failure. I love failure. I mean, do I love it? Well, let me say that again. I love what it does for me, that it makes me stronger, that I learn that if I try something and I fail, okay, fine.

That’s not the way to do it. Let me pick myself. Try something different. Listen, life will happen to us. Like your divorce and you will get back up. Dust yourself off and keep heading forward. Okay? I got you. We will do this together.

You see most of society support the notion that if you marry, it’s forever. Whether it stems from ancient medieval times religion, culture, or just the way you were raised, many of you were conditioned from a very young age that we have this one person, this one mate, for life. Well, if that’s the case, then I ask you why then do approximately 50% of all marriages end in.

Is it because we just give up or is it because maybe there’s something as to the way of thinking about marriage in the first place. You know, the belief that marriage is forever is so deeply embedded in our society that it is rarely questioned as to why so many consider divorce a failure. While it might be wonderful to be part of a lifelong marriage, and I certainly think that that’s beautiful and wonderful and.

Where you can be. That’s great. And maybe even something that we work to inspire to, but I want to suggest that the longevity of a marriage or any relationship shouldn’t be the end all as to whether it was successful or not. Think about the standard traditional wedding vows, which may have been included in yours.

And although there are several variations, a standard verse goes something like, To have and to hold from this day forward for better, for worse, for richer, for poor, in sickness and in health until death. Do us part cool with the whole beginning part of these vows cuz they make sense. Since life is a combination of good and bad, I get it.

Look, the part that I want you to question in the vows, and I’m not suggesting everybody does these vows, I know that a lot of people do not go with traditional vows probably for a lot of these reasons, but that end of that traditional vow that says Until death does as part. That concerns me, especially since we all know that the statistics show that approximately 50% of modern marriages end in divorce.

Gwyneth Patro a few years back when speaking about a divorce, suggested that maybe the line to death do we part should instead be until it’s time to move. A conscious decision to uncouple. I’m with Gwyneth on this one. I know that she’s been not so much of late, but in the past in the news about her conscious uncoupling, and when I was researching for this episode, I reread some of the things that she said and some interviews.

She has a very kind of real thought about marriage. She certainly is a role model as to someone who has taken divorce, separation, leaving the relationship and used it to grow as a person, to grow as a family, although be it a different type of family. And to do it with kindness and love. I came from a broken family.

My parents divorced when I was five and my sister was three. I was raised by a single mom and my father was not in our lives. I never got that story, book, thought process about the happily ever after. I’ve always been afraid to talk to my mom about the divorce. What happened with the marriage? What did she learn from it?

She never remarried again. She had some relationships after the divorce, but I was so young. I mean, now you know, she’s in her eighties and maybe one day I’ll sit down with a glass of wine and we’ll talk about it because I’d really like to understand better being the child from the divorce. What happened, what went wrong?

Why didn’t she move on? Not so much into another relationship because whether you’re in another relationship or not is irrelevant, but she just became stagnant in her life, is what I saw as a five-year-old and now in her eighties, and I’ve seen her very much alone. She seems happy, but is she really what happened as a result of it?

But I’m partially afraid to talk to her because I don’t wanna hurt her of course. And maybe, you know, I don’t wanna know as well what really happened.

I fell into the other half of that 50%. It wasn’t the happily ever after group. I was in the It’s time to move on. Child of Divorce Group. My mom worked as a librarian at my elementary school and she worked a second job at a local bakery to make ends meet. I vowed to never be in that position when I was older, broken, sad, alone.

I vowed to educate myself and never rely on a man for financial support. The 50% child from the divorce side that fell into the without the happily ever after is what shaped me into who I am today. And you. I wouldn’t change a thing about that. I would watch Disney movies like Cinderella as a child and think, well, that’s not me.

That’s not real. So from the Hurt my mom encountered from her divorce and the pain I thought I had as a small person, as a child of divorce, I gained insight into a more balanced story to look at a story of courage and ambition and self-care as a. I want the same for you to grow and learn from your past marriage, not just from your divorce, but from your marriage.

Why is it that there seems to be this universal response to divorce? You tell somebody you got divorced and they’re like, oh, I’m so sorry. Or What happened? You seem so happy. Or did you try therapy? Or maybe even worse, people judging you. There is, or hopefully it’s not as bad as it used to be. A general social stigma that goes with divorce.

That divorce is not good, that it means your marriage was a failure, which for you may bring a thought that you failed, failed societies, expectation of you failed, your children, failed yourself. But what if there was a whole new story that you can create from your divorce and for your.

You have the power to retell the story of your divorce from victim to empowerment. From woe is me to taking charge of your future. What if we stop thinking about the end, the divorce and start retelling our story about the marriage itself? A marriage of any span is a blessing and brings ups and down success and.

It’s just part of the 50 50 good and bad that we go through in life. How many of you knew that your marriage was over long before the divorce? I mean, if you’re really, really being honest with yourself, but you likely stuck it out and worked on it only to figure out that for some reason it was time to call it quits and move on.

When divorce ends the bonds of matrimony, it doesn’t mean it is the end of a family. It also doesn’t mean it’s the end of the. What I suggest would be worse than divorce is staying in a loveless, destructive, toxic marriage just because society wants or expects you to. In fact, part of the work that I want you to consider is to not only look at your divorce, where you are today, the hurt, the pain, the uncomfortableness of all.

But going back, going back into your marriage, appreciating the good times, appreciating the blessings like children as an example, but also looking deeper. Why did you marry this person in the first place? Was it because you were madly in love? Was it because it was time to have children? Was it security, companionship?

Maybe it was a combination of many reasons, but in order to heal, in order to move forward, in order to know what you want today, From your next relationship because that changes as we get older, right? , what we wanted way back then is not what we want today, and it’s not likely what we’re gonna want from someone in the future.

Think about why you married your ex and think hard and long and do the journaling about what you want from someone in a relationship in the. Because in order for you to grow from the divorce, you have to go back to your original marriage. Look at why things were good, why things were bad, how you grew, the blessings that you have, and the not so great things, and then what you want for your future.

You know, I’ve heard so many reasons why people get. But I usually don’t ask people why they married them in the first place. It probably would be a good question. I think that part of the healing is to take your time here and do the work. It’s important that you go through the exercise of having a little sit down with yourself on the why’s, why you married your ex and why you divorce.

In order to grow, it’s important to get real and raw on both sides of that equation. You have to know that every relationship is 50 50, no matter what you think, how you think you were wronged, or how bad you perceive your ex was, or whatever the case may be. I promise you one thing, whatever relationship you get into in the future will be a combination of.

The question I have for you is, are you brave enough to take the responsibility for your half and really look at your own garbage and your own trauma and how it’s presenting in your life now, and how it presented in your marriage? If you’re willing to do the work and learn, you can continue to heal based on real honesty, honesty with yourself, so you can live your next best life.

You know, we are all part of the good and the bad. We are all just trying to do our best. When you get clear and real, it is so freeing and it generates healing and peace, and eventually you get to such a higher level of self-awareness. If you don’t do the work, you end up being stuck where you are without any growth stagnant, and as a result, you end up in the cyclical situation of bad relationships.

I mean, it’s all over the Googles. You just go ahead and research it for yourself, but you have to do the work to assure the best chance of success in the future. You’ll grow as a new person, and what you realize is that the people in the life that you attract are also going to be at a different level and more in line with who you are and what you want.

Using your past marriage as a learning mechanism is key. A time to discover what drives you and what you want to show up like in the world. I know you get this. If you’re listening to my podcast, you value your growth more than you value being content and comfort. But listen, you can’t just listen to me.

Let me explain it like this cuz this kind of made sense to me when somebody was teaching me about doing the hard work many moons ago. I can sit here all day long and study reading a book about working out. But unless I get my tushy into the gym and actually do the exercise, I learned about nothing changes.

I can be the most learned person on how to lift weights, but if I never pick up the weight, if I never do the repetitions, if I never strive to the higher weight, then I’m gonna be stagnant. I’m not gonna. You got to do the work. You gotta put the time in. It just means sitting down and journaling with yourself and really getting real.

I want you to imagine what your life can be. I invite you to explore your life with all it’s good and it’s bad to all. Its endless possibilities. And yes, sometimes it means divorce. It’s what you do with it now that makes a difference. The shift, the change, the failures that breed. I’ve seen it with so many of my women clients, how they just blossom like a flower and they just grow.

I want this for you. Listen, take out your journal. Write down the Y’s. There’s two Y’s. Why you got divorced and own your part of it, why you got married to your ex in the first place, and own your part. The good and the bad of your marriage and what you want for your future. Be it, own it and be honest with yourself and with the world.

I love you. Have an amazing day, and know that. Yes, you can see you next time. Thanks so much for listening. For tips, updates, and expert advice, be sure to visit your amazing And remember my friends, yes, you can have an amazing life after divorce. See you. Views expressed by the participants of this program are their own and do not represent the views of, nor are they endorsed by Yaha Family Law Group or your Divorce Law Center, their respective officers, directors, employees, agents, or representatives.

The content of your amazing divorce is for entertainment and educational purposes only. None of the content on your amazing divorce should be considered legal advice, nor does anything herein create an attorney-client relationship. As always, consult a lawyer for your legal questions.

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