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Ep. 94 – Is resistance to change keeping you from your best life?

With divorce comes many changes. This week Doreen and Jeff discuss why we resist the changes, associated with divorce, and how to embrace these changes so you can transition sooner into your new life.


Doreen: Hey, my beautiful friends and how are you? Today we’re gonna talk about resistance, resistance to change, and we all know that when you’re going through divorce and after divorce, there is a lot of change. So if you’re ready, Let’s get started with episode number 94.

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, Jeff.

Jeff: Hello there. How are you?

Doreen: That is a loaded question right now. You do know that.

Jeff: Well, you must be very excited about this weekend. Your awesome daughter Megan is graduating.

Doreen: Yeah. We’re so proud of her. We need to be with some family time.

Jeff: Yeah.

Doreen: It’s been a tough, tough, tough week. Remember, life is a balance of 50 50 and for me, And for you, we’ve had some family issues and my mom who’s in the hospital right now, so we’re sending her all kinds of blessings and well wishes because life kind of threw that at us and we’ll get through it.

Jeff: A little bit of an emotional rollercoaster, right?

Doreen: Yeah.

Jeff: A little bit ups. A little bit of downs.

Doreen: Yeah. It’s been a, it’s been quite the week. So let’s talk about change and let’s talk about resistance to change, you know, when you’re going through a divorce and after the divorce, there is nothing. Like that you don’t know about change, meaning you know about change because it happens whether you want it or not.

And even if you’re resisting it, it’s still gonna happen. So the point is, if you’re resisting it, what that looks like, what that means and why. And how you might wanna consider not resisting, right?

Jeff: That’s right.

Doreen: So can you explain a little bit?

Jeff: Well, it’s inevitable they say that the only constant is change.

Doreen: That’s true.

Jeff: So if you embrace it and go with it, you’re gonna be more successful in life in many cases, especially after divorce.

Doreen: Yeah. What happens when you actually try to resist change. Well, let me just say it this way better. It’s really what happens in divorce when you resist it. I will tell you that as a lawyer, what I’ve seen with my clients, it makes the case that much more challenging for us and for the client.

You know, it’s hard when you don’t wanna accept certain things that are happening legally and the procedures that you have to go through the courts and then, you know, many things as a result of either a settlement. You know that you have to change or if you have a trial and the judge orders certain things. When you resist things that are inevitable, it’s going to have an impact on you that’s most likely negative.

Jeff: Yeah, it’s probably gonna be mentally, it’s gonna be physically,

Doreen: Oh!, it can be in many ways. So physically, you know, it’s emotionally for sure. We know that you’re dealing with a hard time with divorce. But I can tell you, and you all out there probably know this. Having dealt with your own divorce and you and I having dealt with ours, it is physically exhausting.

Jeff: Absolutely.

Doreen: You know, when you’re emotional like that, your emotional health and resistance being one those things, when you’re resisting things, it is a lot of effort to resist something,

Jeff: And I’m sure you’ve seen it. It also plays factor onto the children as well. If you resist it, it makes it harder on them as well.

Doreen: Oh, I mean, I would suggest that if they see mom or dad kind of doing okay accepting things and moving past it, they have a much easier time because they learn from our example. We talked in other episodes about, being the change that you want in your child.

Jeff: Mm-hmm.

Doreen: Right? As opposed to saying the words, I want you to do this or do that, to actually show them that you are doing it so you can’t tell them things are gonna be okay.

And we’re gonna be okay after divorce if you are not acting that way.

Jeff: It’s called lead by example.

Doreen: Right? Exactly. So where do you wanna go from here.

Jeff: Well, I’d like to talk about the stages of resistance to change.

Doreen: Okay.

Jeff: It’s very similar to the emotional stages of divorce, but the first one is shock.

You know, when people initially react to change, they likely be shock or they deny as if to refuse and accept that it’s gonna happen.

Doreen: Right.

Jeff: Yeah. And then the next one is anger. Tell me a little bit about that.

Doreen: Yeah, I’ll tell you about anger.

Jeff: Go ahead.

Doreen: You know, once it starts to, and it’s interesting like you said, that these are very similar.

Once it sinks in and you start to accept the divorce that it’s going to happen. You can expect that with that acceptance comes a bit of anger and it’s like, okay, fine, I get it. I gotta do this, I gotta answer this. I gotta, you know, I’m getting divorced or whatever’s going on. You start to get angry and your anger is probably part of the resistance and the protest against the change, right? It’s kind of like, okay, I’m gonna get divorced and these are the things are that are happening, so I have to accept this. And it’s understandable. I mean, you’re used to how things were in your life, whether they were good or bad, or somewhere in between.

And so amazing to me that, you know, people will live in an unhappy marriage for so long. And then on the other hand, they’re resistant to the divorce, and it’s kind of like a little bit of an eye-opening thing when you look at them and say, but wait a second. You just told me that you’ve been miserable for so many years and this is not your person anymore.

You have very different interests. Why are you being so resistant? Let’s just flow through this and get to the other side.

Jeff: Mm-hmm.

Doreen: Because you can’t get to the other side of resistance or to the good of the after of divorce, you gotta go right through it. Like there’s no way of going around it or over it.

You can’t jump over it, you can’t go around it, you can’t go under it. You just gotta go right through it.

Jeff: Exactly.

Doreen: Right.

Jeff: And that’s why the next stage is acceptance. You know when, once the anger wears off and you move into a more positive stage, it’s called acceptance, and you stop focusing on what they’ve lost or the change itself, and they start accepting the change.

And people begin to test and explore what the changes mean to them? You know, how’s it gonna affect my future life?

Doreen: Right. Yeah. I mean, the acceptance is  gonna happen anyhow,

Jeff: Sooner or later.

Doreen: I mean, whether you like it or not, right? I mean, eventually, eventually you’re gonna accept it, so why not accept it sooner than later.

Jeff: Exactly.

Doreen: So the next one is commitment. You know, when you reach that last stage commitment, then you not only accept the change, but you can embrace it. And that’s where you see a lot of people after divorce, when I run into our clients. And they’re doing good. You know, they’ve committed to the change.

They’ve looked at it as being more productive, positive, and because they’re in a different state of that commitment and acceptance, good things start to happen in their life.

Jeff: Yes.

Doreen: Right.

Jeff: And, and like you said, it eventually does come. Everybody should know that it will come. It’s a matter of your acceptance and your commitment and how soon it, it will be there,

Doreen: Right.

So if you are a person in divorce right now or after divorce that’s resisting, you might wanna just examine that and just be aware and find out where you are in the stage. The four stages that we just talked about, and how long you wanna stay in that stage. Now we’re not suggesting that you shouldn’t go through the stages, mourn the stages, be in the stages, but you don’t wanna be stuck in the stage, right?

Jeff: Right.

Doreen: But I wanna turn to something that’s a little bit off topic for a minute. You know, cause our topic, today’s resistance to change, you know, after divorce really, or end during divorce, but, resistance to change. Okay, I’m gonna take this over to a different topic for just a second. Sometimes you’re looking to change something in your life, and this is with or without divorce involved, you know, or you’re presented with an opportunity, let’s just say, to change something.

Okay. To start a new job or to be involved in something, you know, something, whatever it is, and you know, when you just don’t feel it, you know what I’m saying? Like there’s obstacles in the way. You’re kind of hesitating. You’re kind of like, mm, something’s off, but you’re going with it. But going with it is not easy.

Jeff: Right.

Doreen: Okay. There is a distinction. I know that’s a little bit, intellectual and in our, in concept, but divorce is inevitable if you’re in the middle of it and you both have decided, or your spouse has decided. It’s inevitable, it’s going to happen. Right? But I just want you to be aware that when you make other changes in your life, some people push too far, too much.

You see it when you sell trying to sell a house.

Jeff: Yeah.

Doreen: People are trying to buy a house and there’s all these things that are happening. There’s the report on the inspection comes back with some things that are concerning, but then they’re trying to jump past that. Right. Then maybe there’s an issue with financing or there’s an issue with something else. It’s just like not working out.

Jeff: Yes.

Doreen: That’s different because you can choose to buy another house.

Jeff: Right?

Doreen: Okay. So if there’s resistance and it’s kind of telling you in the world, the universe, listen to me, there’s something not right here that’s different than what we’re talking about today.

Jeff: Exactly.

Doreen: I just thought it was important to talk about that,

Jeff:  I think. Yeah, I like that a lot. I thought you were gonna talk about our other off-topic subject, which is explaining why the primitive brain kicks in when change is around.

Doreen: Well, we talk about that a lot.

Jeff: I know.

Doreen: I mean, if anybody’s listened to us more than a few episodes, we always talk about how our human brains are made,

Jeff: Right.

Doreen: And you have your primitive brain and your prefrontal cortex and your primitive brain is there to protect you. So it doesn’t like change,

Jeff: Right. They’re very, it’s, there’s stuck in the status quo.

Doreen: And when you know that, and you can realize that you can be a little less resistant. Right?

Jeff: Yes.

Doreen: And you can use your primitive brain and say, yeah, yeah, I don’t like this divorce and I don’t like what’s going on.

I’m kind of resisting it. But it’s gonna happen. That’s, but it’s going to happen. That’s coming from your prefrontal cortex, your human brain.

Jeff: Right.

Doreen: Which I believe we’re one of only, we’re the only species in the world, in the universe that has the ability to think. Like this, right? To really be proactive and think on purpose and say, okay, I don’t like this change primitive brain, but it’s gonna happen, so I’m not gonna let you like, take me down that route of resistance.

Jeff: Right? Yeah. I think where I was going with it was the failing forward part because a lot of people will think that divorce is a failure.

Doreen: Right.

Jeff: And if they see it that I’m failing forward, that the divorce is going to make me a better person, it’s gonna make me have a better future, a better. parent.

Doreen: Right.

Jeff: I think that the change might come a little easier.

Doreen: Yeah. You know, there’s a lot of society puts and, and certain religions and all of that. And I want to get too political on all this, but, you know, society, let’s just say in general, have certain thoughts about divorce, Right? and religions as well.

And so there’s a stigma that goes along with it, meaning that if you get divorced, it’s a failure and I wanna suggest that why does it have to be considered a failure? You said you like, look at my example with Sam. You know, we spent. I don’t know how many years together. We spent years together.

We had three beautiful children. We had a nice marriage. He is still an amazing father. We still communicate with each other and like each other generally. I mean, is that a failed marriage? Well, the marriage didn’t work out, but there was a lot of success in the marriage, right?

Jeff: Yeah. I mean, I wasn’t around when you guys were married, but you certainly are great friends.

Doreen: Yeah, but what I’m suggesting is that it doesn’t always have to be a negative. Sometimes people just outgrow each other. Circumstances outgrow each other, and you know, you can still like see the marriage as what it was good for. Just thought I’d throw that in.

Jeff: Yeah. It’s almost like the the divorce or the separation is a positive thing.

It’s almost a process.

Doreen: It is a process

Jeff: That people look at it as a negative thing.

Doreen: Yeah.

Jeff: Or they’re going through it, and then once they’re past it, everybody’s happy again.

Doreen: Well, I don’t know about everybody, but I would say that most of the people that we work with and that we, you know, talk to and communicate after divorce.

I don’t have a percentage on that. And I’m sure maybe the Googles do, but look, you and I ended up together and Sam went on with his life and the kids are doing well and things, everybody, it worked out, you know?

Jeff: Yeah.

Doreen: Um,

Jeff: As a matter of fact, we’re. He’s picking us up tomorrow to take us to the airport and we’re going to the graduation together.

Doreen: Yeah, we are.

Jeff: So we’re pretty excited about it. Yeah. We’re all gonna take the same flight over to, to Spartanburg South Carolina, you know, because Why not?

Jeff: I just think that’s pretty cool.

Doreen: It is very cool.

Jeff: But, but for you and I we’re used to that because Sam’s part of the family.

Doreen: Absolutely. We talk about Sam a lot.

I don’t even. I don’t think he ever listened to any of these episodes.

Jeff: I hope not.

Doreen: No. He would probably be like, what is going on? Okay, so where do you wanna go?

Jeff:  Well, you know, there are reasons why people resist change. And I want to kind of go over that. We have quite a few reasons and I want to just, you know, quickly talk about ’em.

The first one is misunderstanding the need for the change. In other words, some people might think that it’s beneficial to stay in the marital home for the kids.

Doreen: Right.

Jeff: And they don’t.

Doreen: Well, I get that one a lot.

Jeff: Yeah. Okay, then you, you could take that one then.

Doreen: No, go ahead.

Jeff: But I’m just saying that they don’t understand that it’s beneficial not to.

Doreen: Right.

Jeff: So they don’t understand why the change is important.

Doreen: Ugh, I get that so much. You know, I’ll, I’ll have a, a client that is like, well, I have to have the home. And I’m like, well, first of all, truly don’t have to have the home. A home really is, I’m gonna be kind of hallmarky where the heart is.

You can establish a new home. Do you really wanna be in the home that has certain memories, maybe not so good? Do you really wanna be in a home that might be too big for you or too much to maintain, or too expensive? Or maybe you wanna try a new home. Your kids get to go and decorate their rooms and you can look at it as a positive thing.

Jeff: Exactly.

Doreen: Like a nice thing. Yeah, that’s a good one. The next one, which we’ve kind of touched on already, is connected to the old way of doing things. You know, after you’ve been married for a while, maybe your spouse had certain responsibilities, like they handled the finances and someone else handled the shopping or the cooking, or the kids, or whatever it is.

And so you’re kind of stuck in that, connected to the old way mentality and setting yourself up for failure if you think things are gonna be the same. They’re not. That person is no longer in your life, so you have to just move on from it and connect to yourself. Find who you are inside to take on and make a new responsibility, a new way of doing things.

Jeff: Yeah, that’s a good one. The next one is focusing on the new and focusing on the new you. And sometimes we compare what your ex has, what I have. And he got this and she got that. And that’s gonna continue to fuel the lack of change. So I think what you really want to do is focus on you.

Doreen: Right.

Take the focus off what your ex. Is doing.

Jeff: Exactly.

Doreen: You know, because I promise, whatever you think in your brain, your thoughts about your ex that you’re spending, if you are one, spending energy on that and oh, they’re getting over it easier and he’s dating or she’s, you know, moved into a new place and the kids came back and they were so happy after spending time with dad, whatever it is.

I promise they’re struggling as well. Nobody, no matter what they’re portraying on the outside, is going to just move past divorce and just be in a great place, even if it’s something different. And why would you want to expend that kind of energy thinking about those things. Think about you. Think about what’s good for you and how you feel, how you wanna grow, how you wanna learn from divorce.

And believe me, the rest will come into play.

Jeff: I know when we teach the model, that’s what it’s all about, is the thoughts are gonna create the feelings and the actions and the results that you’re gonna have.

Doreen: A hundred percent. So the next one is benefits and rewards. When the benefits and rewards for making the change towards your. I’m gonna, I don’t know if I wanna call it recovery from divorce, but getting past a divorce that you may not be able to see them right away. Right? The, there’s like the benefits and rewards. In other words, the positive things that you will encounter, that you will have, there will be positives.

Because of the divorce, there will be negatives, but there will be positives. Now you can choose to focus on the negative, and if you focus on the negative, you will have negative in your life. Or you could focus on even just the smallest positive thing that is in place that happened as a result of the divorce.

Jeff: Right. And even realizing that the negative or your let’s say negative perception of things. Is a part of becoming a success in the future.

Doreen: Right.

Jeff: Part of becoming a positive future.

Doreen: I think you’re saying realizing it, right?

Jeff: It’s all a part of it. Yes.

Doreen: Yeah. So look at the benefits and the rewards, cuz a lot of people don’t wanna look at the good side.

There is a good side. So that’s it.

Jeff: Yeah. I want to end on a little story that I used to tell.

Doreen: Okay.

Jeff: Success is

Doreen: I wanna sit back and hear your story.

Jeff: Great, great. Success is like a speedboat.

Doreen: Okay.

Jeff: Okay. And, and you looking at this and the ability to change as well, you know, these racing boats can achieve up to 200 miles an hour.

I’m sure you’ve seen the speedboat races, like the poker run and all that?

Doreen: Actually, I haven’t.

Jeff: Oh, no. Oh, well, they go pretty quick.

Doreen: I mean, I’ve seen them on tv.

Jeff: Yeah.

Doreen: We live in sunny south Florida, so we tend to have stories surrounding water. Because we live on the water. So not that there’s race boats where we are.

We’re in no wake zone.

Jeff: Well, I mean out in the ocean. I know you had a client once at race boats

Doreen: I did. I did. Yeah. And as a matter of fact, I remember seeing some videos from some footage on that.

Jeff: Yeah,

Doreen: Really kinda scary.

Jeff: So imagine keeping the RPMs where they are and taking that boat, going 200 miles an hour.

Take it out of the water.

Doreen: Right.

Jeff: How fast will it go?

Doreen: If the RPMs are at 200,

Jeff: yeah, two rp, this is the same.

Doreen: Gonna sound really loud.

Jeff: Sound really loud, and it’s not gonna go going anywhere, isn’t gonna go anywhere. The boat propellers need the resistance of the water to propel it forward.

Doreen: True.

Jeff: So we do also need that resistance to propel us forward.

Doreen: Right?

Jeff: Success needs resistance.

Doreen: True. You are going to go through resistance in life to get to the other side of success. If you believe or have a thought that you can just stay in a state of happy non-resistance, then you’re probably not a healthy person. Meaning that there’s something go else going on because it, that would mean that you have no emotion, no contact with the outside world.

Nothing is affecting you in any way. So resistance is just part of life.

Jeff: Yeah. How do you know you have a good day? Unless you had a bad one.

Doreen: Right. Right, but doing something about the resistance so that you can get past it and just accept is the key.

Jeff: Embrace it.

Doreen: Embrace it, even when it doesn’t feel good.

Right. We always say also just to close it up, fail forward.

Jeff: Yeah.

Doreen: Right. Which is a lot of people, I like to use this mostly in business, but when you try something and you’re  trying to launch a product or a service, and one way of trying to launch it out in the world, let’s say marketing wise didn’t work and it just didn’t, it wasn’t as successful of the marketing plan that you had envisioned.


Jeff: I have some other things about failing for you that are pre-day interesting.

Doreen: I didn’t say I didn’t finish that well.

Jeff: We’ll keep going. I’m sorry to interrupt.

Doreen: No, what I was saying is that I almost say that if you have failures, it’s chalk one up and put it in your bag. That’s one less failure because it takes many failures to be successful, mostly at anything that we do.

Jeff: That’s true.

Doreen: Most people aren’t born into this world having this innate ability to be a success at anything. You have to learn it. And when you learn things, it’s just like a toddler walking. They’re gonna get up, they’re gonna fall down, but what do they do? They get right back up again and they just keep falling and you watch them and they’re giggling and then maybe they cry a little bit cuz they hurt themselves, but they get right back up there and they keep going.

Jeff: Yeah.

Doreen: And then one day they’re off to the races.

Jeff: Well, you know how I love to look up the Googles.

Doreen: Okay. Are we closing with a Google?

Jeff: Closing with a Google? Do you know that Thomas Edison had 1000 failed attempts at creating the light bulb until he was successful.

Doreen: To me, that doesn’t even seem like enough.

Jeff: A thousand failures.

Doreen: A thousand is like, okay. Well, I would’ve thought the number would’ve been more, but Yeah.

Jeff: Well, I’ll have another one.

Doreen: Okay.

Jeff: Do you know that Walt Disney was fired from his job because of his lack of imagination?

Doreen: And now what is the

Jeff: He is the king of imagination.

Doreen: King imagination.

Jeff: Here’s another one. I have two more. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.

Doreen: Oh my goodness. I did not know that.

Jeff: You didn’t know that? Yeah.

Doreen: No. He kept going though, huh?

Jeff: Yeah. Well, unfortunately, all these situations they used as opportunities to learn to fail forward.

Doreen: Yeah, to learn and grow.

All right, my beautiful friends, listen, have an amazing week. Be kind to yourself and others, and we will see you next week. And again, if you ever wanna send us something to talk about to explore, just visit our website at, www.lad that’s life after Divorce hyphen coaching Dot com, we’d love to hear from you.

And listen. Consider giving us a Google Review, a podcast review. It really helps others in your same situation cuz people read those things and it would be super, super kind.

Jeff: Have an amazing week, and we’ll talk to you next week.

Doreen: Bye everyone.

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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