Free Webinar: Loving Your Life After Divorce | Join us February 27 at Noon EST |   REGISTER NOW

Ep. 84 – Relationships After Divorce

Relationships are important to most of us. Whether it’s a friendship, coworker, romantic relationship, or another type of relationship, the truth is that they take time to nurture. In episode #84, Doreen talks about why you should take some time to look at the relationships in your life after your divorce. Which ones do you want to spend more time on, which might you consider saying goodbye to, and which new relationships would you like to create? Listen as we explore some things to consider when it comes to the relationships in your life — some of them might surprise you.


Doreen: Hey, my beautiful friends, and how are you? Hope you’re doing good. Today we’re gonna talk about relationships after divorce, might be during divorce, but really focused on after divorce. And this is all types of relationships, romantic relationships, family relationships, coworkers, friends, and more. So if you’re 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.

Hi, my friends. Well, I’m solo today. Jeff is a little under the weather. He’s got something going on and we were hoping that he would feel better, but he’s not feeling well enough to do the episode today. So big shout out to him. To rest. He’s in the other room and be back next week. So today we’re gonna talk about relationships because after divorce it seems that a lot of people struggle with relationships.

Maybe you had certain friends or even couple friends, like couples that are friends that when you were married you kind of knew what the relationship was about how it worked, you know? And what I find is that some of my clients tell me, and I’ve heard this time and time again, that during divorce you quote, “find out who your real friends are”. Does that resonate with you? But we wanna suggest that maintaining relationships and deciding about relationships is something that takes time. It can’t just be something that’s a given. It has to take thought, honest communication, and understanding about really what each person wants from the relationship.

So some people, they seem to be, you know, those are the ones that are like exceptionally good at being really proactive in the relationship, and so you know who those people are. But there’s really two types of being in a relationship. There’s proactive and reactive. And sometimes, sometimes it’s a combination of both.

You might be more proactive during the relationship at some points and more reactive at other times. So let’s start with proactive. So proactive is when you are the one that basically is reaching out or initiating the contact. You know, that is the person you know that’s always making plans. They might start a conversation with something like, Hey, let’s get together.

You know, they’ll text you a message. They’re the people that are always reminding you that you need to get together, that you need to stay connected. And I would say like in my relationship with Jeff I’m definitely more of the proactive type. I’m the one that’s kind of like, let’s make plans, let’s get together with friends.

Not that he doesn’t do that, but in our relationship I’m more of that type of person. And so I know for many of you, your focus might be on getting the basics in your divorce. Done meaning the priority. So what I mean by that is that dealing with your relationships, whatever they are, right? Might not be on your agenda at this moment, right?

But at some point after the divorce, when you have things settled, you know you’ve moved into your new home, the kids are pretty much on board with regard to, let’s say, your times sharing your custody arrangement, you got your finances in check, you’re starting to feel better, and now you wanna think about your relationships.

So timing and commitment is something that you wanna address. How much time do you have to really nurture your relationships and how are you emotionally to do that? You know, for me, I know that, you know, now that my kids went to college and they’re basically generally out of the house, I’ve made it more of a goal.

So I’m being proactive to rekindle my relationships with my girlfriends. You know, I made some mistakes throughout the years when I was raising my kids and trying to balance that homework, life balance, you know? And I made some, some mistakes because I had some really good friends, some really great girlfriends who were in different stages of their life.

One never got married, never had kids, the other one, that again, we’ve been close since Scott, probably 30 years had older children than me. So we were all at like different stages and we had our relationship starting from early twenties, right. And then we got married and we started to have kids, well, one of them, and then, you know, started to move on with our lives and business and all that.

But I wasn’t honest with them I should have communicated, I should have said to them, you know, where I was in my time restraints, what was going on with my business and my family. Not a long drawn out conversation, but just to let them know, Hey, it’s. Not that I don’t love you. It’s not that I don’t enjoy our time together, I do.

It’s just that right now. Please, I want you to understand that I have these other things going on, my commitments to little ones and my business, and so you know, if I don’t respond right away or if I’m not able to get together as often, it has nothing at all to do with us. It has everything to do with what’s going on over here.

So now I know that. So if you are at a stage in your life and you value certain relationships, like I valued these two friends that I had from again, very, you know, like twenties, you might wanna consider the communication. How are, how are you letting them know where you are and what’s going on with you?

So I always like to look at the upside of divorce, and one of the upsides that I see is deciding which relationships you want, really doing like an analysis of that. And one of the things you can do is look at your past relationships, your current relationships, and your future relationships. So let’s start with the past relationships, like your marriage and what you liked and didn’t like, and what you might have done or wanted to do differently, and what you learned about that love relationship that maybe you can grow from and bring into the future.

Maybe take the time to list out the things like the must have things, it might be something like financial security. You might want that in a spouse or a romantic relationship in the future. Or maybe you want someone who has a sense of humor and that’s really important to you. That’s a must have for you. So whatever you must have is, think about.

And when you start to get into a new relationship and it’s a must have, think about why you’re continuing in that relationship. Is it because of some other reason and if it continues, are you willing to change your must have? Then there is the second part of it, which is what I like to call the would be nice to have things.

Right? Like maybe, you know, a certain look or a certain attractiveness that you like, right? Those are your, like, would like to have, and you likely know this again, based on your past relationships and getting to understand yourself. And again, divorce forces us in many ways depending on how you use the divorce to take that time out to really think about that.

Let’s talk about current relationships. So looking at your current relationships and getting to understand yourself is also something that you wanna do. You know, what do you enjoy spending your time doing? And maybe consider that, you know, also, how about those people that maybe you don’t really click with anymore?

You don’t really want to have them in your circle. You’ve decided that it’s better maybe to move on for one reason or another because you have limited time most likely to nurture your relationships. So you wanna do like a little bit of an inventory on who do you wanna keep in your life and why?

Understanding your why is. Really important. Then you have your future relationships. You know, who do you want to get to know more? Who do you wanna have fun with? What does that look like? You know, there’s always that person that you’ve met along the way. could be out socializing or maybe through a business associate or you know, one of your, your child’s, um, mothers or fathers, you know, during play dates and you’re like, you know what?

She would be really interesting to get to know. I really love her energy. She’s got a great sense of humor. I think we would super click and we have things in common. And from there you can start to build on this and decide if you want to be proactive. In looking to nurture that new relationship, kind of fun, right?

So first question, we suggest after, you do this little analysis on your past, your current and your future is what is your expectation of yourself. In other words, not what is your expectation of the other person in the relationship, but what are your expectations of yourself? How do you wanna show up in the relationship?

How do you wanna be as a girlfriend, a boyfriend, a friend, friend with this person, whatever it is, right? What do you want it to look like? Because so many people don’t think about it from that angle, the angle of what you want to be, act to give to the relationship. Thinking about, you know, the expectations of yourself is a different way of thinking about it.

Most people don’t do that, and I suggest it’s kind of cool. Kind of really interesting when you start sitting down. And of course I like to journal, so I’d like to journal about this stuff. Second thing is you may wanna ask yourself, what do you wanna do for this other person? You know, how do you see yourself showing up?

Because when you know, what that is, you can then decide to take action, be proactive from that place. You know, like maybe I liked, you know, she likes to do yoga, so it’d be really cool for us to do a yoga class together. You know, I know that she enjoys that. I’ve been trying to think about getting into yoga.

So, you know, maybe that’s something that you should consider as well.  The other thing you want to maybe ask yourself and to be mindful of is when you’re looking at what to do for or with the other person, make sure that you’re doing it from a real place. You’re not just people pleasing and I did an episode on people pleasing.

It was episode number 32, if you wanna go back and listen to that. But when you decide what you think you might wanna, you know how this relationship that you wanna nurture is gonna look like. Make sure that you’re doing things with this person, for this person that are things that you really, truly want to do.

I’m not suggesting that you don’t from time to time in whatever relationship, especially with family, let’s just say you do things because you love them, because you have a history with them, because it makes them happy and that’s okay. But when you people please and you do things for people cuz you’re trying to get them to like, That’s a different story.

That’s something that is a whole episode in itself, and again, that’s episode number 32 if you wanna go back and kind of think about that as well. The third question in building relationships is what are your expectations of the other person? And you have to kind of have another real good conversation with yourself about that.

What I mean by that is that if you have expectations of what you want from this other person, what you would like them to do, right? You want list. If they don’t follow through with it, how are you going to take that? Are you going to see that as a disappointment or are you gonna let them be who they want to be and if they don’t wanna give you what you want?

To not judge them or get all caught up or controlling in that. That’s another life coaching theory that I wanna talk to you about in a future episode called the manual. Happens a lot in romantic relationships, and I will tell you that I struggle with this myself. I have expectations. A manual for Jeff as an example, what I expect him to do, how I want him to be as a husband, as a father, as a business partner, right?

And so when he doesn’t do what I want him to do, and then I start to become controlling or disappointed, I have to check in with myself. Number one, did I tell him what I want. Number two what did he say about that? Because a lot of times we have these unwritten manuals for people, what we expect of them, and we don’t even share it with them.

But then we end up getting disappointed when they don’t do things. So, that’s something to also consider. And like I said, I’ll do an episode specifically on the manuals because I think it’s really, really important. It can be so destructive to relationships. Now, when you have expectations of another person and they don’t follow through and you’ve communicated your want list, I would love for you to do this or do that.

And if you get disappointed, then you get to make a decision. You can, and I suggest not nag them about it, right? Because adults are gonna do what they wanna do. You’ve already communicated your want list. If they choose not to do it, then you have the power of controlling whether or not you wanna stay in the relationship, and you get to understand your reasons for staying or your reasons for leaving, and you want to be okay with that.

Because we really, most of us don’t want to be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t want to do certain things for us and is doing them just because we’ve nagged them 10 times to do it, right? I mean, we want them to be there and be involved in the relationship because they want to, because they feel, you know, there’s a connection there and they’re just gonna do it.

Are you in sync with this person on that level now, no relationship. Whatever the relationship is, is perfect, right? We’re not gonna find this perfect relationship where our want list are so in line with each other that, you know, we don’t even have to think about it. They just do what we want and we do what they want.

That’s just not real. because we’re humans, right? And our want list may change from time to time and depending on what’s going on in our life, right? And when you start to think about your want list, there might come a time where you have deal breakers, right? Like for example, maybe it could be something like, my expectation is that you do not date other people.

My expectation is that you show up on time. My expectation is that you’re not on the phone when we’re at dinner, right? These might be things for you and you’ll have your own that are like deal breakers. That, sorry, but that’s just something that’s not acceptable to me. But whatever your expectations are communication when they’re deal breakers is key because you may find out if you communicate, let’s say you’re dating somebody. You’ve been dating for, you know, a while or whatever, you know, or maybe you are just one of those people that dates one person at a time and you want the other person to just date you whatever it looks like for you, right?

You gotta communicate that deal breaker up front. And maybe they’ll tell you right off the bat, well, that’s not gonna work for me. And then you can make a conscious decision if you wanna stay or you wanna. If you wanna agree to that or not, but be real with yourself. If you’re going to agree to bend a deal breaker for yourself in a relationship, know your why, are you doing it to people please? Are you doing it because you truly are okay with it? Because one of the biggest issues we see, in relationships is a lack of communication, and when that happens, things happen as a result, right? We have these emotions when we get disappointed, but we haven’t communicated like rage and frustration and you know, anger.

So that’s really, truly not fair to the relationship or to yourself. If you are someone also. or in addition, who maybe is anxious in relationships. You know, you notice that sometimes you fly off the handle when your expectations aren’t met or when you don’t know what the other person’s expectations are.

Let’s say you get frustrated, you know, you haven’t heard from them a while in a while. Or maybe you text a friend and she hasn’t text you back and it’s been like a day and you start getting all drama about that, like, oh, she must not wanna be my friend. She’s not texting me. What does that mean about you?

You know, why are you getting so frustrated? Why are you having potentially, if you do drama about these things, when you really sit down and look at it, how you’re reacting, and if it’s having a negative impact on you, you just want to truly. be aware of this, right? Why am I doing this? Relationships should not, I mean, relationships by choice should not be these types of drama situations ongoing.

I see that a lot in romantic relationships. You know, as a divorce attorney, I see a lot of, sometimes in marriages, you know, just like ups and downs. They have a, you’ve heard it. They have a love-hate relationship, but what is that doing to you emotionally? Why do you have this love-hate relationship? Why are you hot one day and cold the next?

You know that rollercoaster of emotions in a relationship probably is not healthy and needs a deep dig. Why am I staying in this? You know, is it some self-esteem reason? Am I afraid of being alone? You know, whatever it is. Right? And as example for me, and it’s really important that I let people know, especially like friends.

So going back to the communication, I’m not a good fast responder. Like as an example, I don’t text back right away. And that doesn’t mean that I don’t care, that I don’t love the person. It doesn’t mean I’m not interested. It just means that for me personally, during the workday generally, you know, let’s just say from like nine to five-ish.

I’m not a person that’s on my text all the time. You know, sometimes even my kids will text me and I don’t look at it until the evening. So I always tell people, if you need me, call me. You can always reach me out my cell phone, you know? But if I’m not responding right away, give me, give me 24 hours, and sometimes I do miss them, but please understand just that I’m dealing with a lot of different avenues of communication.

I run several businesses. I got emails, not excuses, but I let them know upfront. Okay. And I also let them know what type of a person I am in the relationship. I like making plans. I have some friends, some girlfriends, and I told you in the beginning that have really been trying to get out there and nurture my girlfriend relationships for me, I think it’s an really important part of who I am. I love my girlfriends, like I miss having that now that my kids are away. I like spending time with them and I don’t mind being the person that reaches out to them and says, Hey, let’s get together. You know, such and such new place just opened down the street.

Let’s go check it out. And I have friends that really appreciate that and let me know and return that they’re just not that kind of person and that’s okay. Right? So if you go through the things we discussed today and take the time to look at and really think about your own relationships and the ones you want to cultivate after divorce.

You can have truly, truly more satisfying and beautiful, beautiful friendships and relationships. This is just another piece of what I consider a beautiful, beautiful part of creating your new existence, a life on purpose a life after divorce, and if that’s you, then I think that most of us really want close relationships, so we can be the best friends we can be.

The best romantic partner we can be. And one of the easiest, most simple ways of doing that is being proactive, thinking ahead, setting expectations, and communicating kindly and honestly. All right, my friends. Go out. Think about your relationships, look at your past, your current, your future, and set your intentions.

Maybe reach out to somebody new this week or somebody you haven’t spoken to in a while. It’s a beautiful thing. All right, my friends. I’ll talk to you next week. Hopefully Jeff will be back. He’ll be recording with us again and be kind to yourself and loving and have a great week. Bye.

Jeff: 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.


Start creating your best life after divorce and book your complimentary Discovery Call