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Ep. 99 – Retell Your Divorce Story Podcast

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We all have “stories” that we tell ourselves and other about our divorce. What is the story you are telling? Is it focused on the negative? In this episode, Doreen and Jeff discuss seeing the positive of divorce, even if it is small to start so that you can move forward and find the evidence in your life that can fuel you to recover quicker and start to live in a happier and better place after divorce.


Doreen: Hey, my friends and how are you? I hope you’re doing better today. I hope you’re having good thoughts and so we’re gonna talk more about that cuz today we’re gonna talk about retelling your divorce story. 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.

Oh, I know what you’re gonna say, Jeff.

Jeff: What do you, what am I gonna say? I know what you’re gonna ask me.

Doreen: Well, you can ask me.

Jeff: How are you doing today Doreen?

Doreen: I’m doing great. All right, everybody. So listen. The first thing is that, you know, when you’re going through divorce and after divorce, you really can have an amazing life after divorce.

And I just wanna throw in that divorces generally just don’t occur, meaning you just don’t wake up one day and get divorced. There’s a lot of stuff going on. Generally, most people go into marriages, right, Jeff? With good intentions. And it builds up. And then something, you know, something happens maybe, like I said, before in some episodes, maybe breaks, what is it? The straw that broke the camel’s back. But it’s really not the only issue, right?

Jeff: Typically you can see it coming.

Doreen: You can see it coming, whether you wanna it admit to it or not. You wanna see it coming. So, or you don’t wanna see it coming, but you probably saw it coming.

Jeff: Yeah. But your gut’s telling you.

Doreen: I’m trying to rush around here. So look, I we’re gonna tell, we’re gonna talk today about retelling your divorce story. Now I did an episode back when I used to do the podcast alone when it was called Your Amazing Divorce. Amazing of course, cuz you will be okay and your life can and will be amazing. And then my amazing husband, Jeff, decided to become also a certified coach.

And so now we do this together. So I got inspired because I have a client whose name will not be of course, shared. And to make a long story short, I just wanna say that what triggered this episode was because he has a story about why his divorce, why the divorce occurred, why the marriage failed.

Okay. But when I was speaking to him, I said, well, but what about the fact that you are now divorced and that you found out about whatever it was you found out about? Now as opposed to 10 years from now. Okay, so there was something that happened that he became aware of, that he found out about that, you know, triggered the divorce and the good thing is, that there’s an opportunity now to have the rest of your life together. Does that make or not together? Separately, of course. But for him to have a new, amazing life, so there is the upside to divorce and there is a downside to divorce, just like anything.

Jeff: Life is 50 50, they say.

Doreen: Well, and you can look at any circumstance, and the circumstance that we’re dealing with here is the divorce. Okay. It’s a fact. It’s happening whether you want it or not. It’s there. Nobody likely is gonna dispute it. It’s a matter of law as they say.

Jeff: It’s a circumstance.

Doreen: It’s a circumstance, which is a fact, and it’s how you think about it.

And you can choose to have very negative thoughts about it. You can choose to have negative thoughts. You can choose to be okay with it. You can choose to even be happy about it and find positive about your divorce. So when we talk about retelling your divorce story, we’re asking you to be aware of the story you are telling yourself and the world about your divorce, because we all know that the thoughts you have will create the results in your life.

Kind of like when you’re, it’s basically because your brain will find evidence of whatever it is thinking. So, if you are thinking that your ex is a piece of, you know what, and that he or she caused the divorce, and here’s all the reasons why, and this is all negative, you will find evidence of that.

There’s no question about it, but if you can find some positive, you will start to find positive and evidence of positive things.

Jeff: Yeah. It’s all, it’s all about perspective. I mean, you, you can look at anything and find the good and bad in anything that we do in life. And when it comes to your future, there is gonna be both positive and negative to look at.

Doreen: Right.

Jeff: And searching. You know, I look at it as a, when you search for gold, you know, they don’t look, start out looking for gold, but they have to dig through a ton of dirt and they’re not looking for dirt, they’re looking for gold. And even though you have to dig through a ton of dirt, they’re looking for that little bit of gold.

And it’s the same thing in divorce. You could find a ton of bad. But if you look hard enough and find a little bit of good, you can expand on it.

Doreen: Because when you wake up the next day, tomorrow when you wake up tomorrow, you can have a negative thought about your divorce or you can try to try, for some of you, it’ll be harder for others it’ll be easier to find some of the good. And when you start to find the good, you will start to find the evidence of good in your life, which means that you’ll have better results.

Jeff: You know? And typically, if it is harder for those that you know, kind of make it harder the benefits are greater.

Doreen: What does, does that mean?

Jeff: But they have to work harder at something.

Doreen: Who’s they?

Jeff: The ones that you say may have a difficult time finding the good you?

Doreen: Our listeners?

Jeff: Our listeners, yes. Two listeners out there that have a hard time finding the positive, you’re gonna benefit the most. From what? From finding that little bit of positive and having a very difficult time finding that positive.

Doreen: So what we do when we coach people after divorce to get there, you know what together? Okay. And to move on and start to have a better life and to start to recover and heal and to really be intentional about the life you want is we really try to understand the story that they are telling themselves and the world about their divorce, right?

We try to find out and meet them where they are. Okay, so we’re suggesting that you need or should, cuz you don’t need to do anything. You can choose to turn us off right now and dwell on the negative, right? Or you can choose really, really, I’m not being facetious, I’m being totally honest with you.

You can really try to find the positive. For example, let’s talk about some of the positive things.

Jeff: Okay, well, how about if I hit you with a negative and you counter it with a positive?

Doreen: Okay.

Jeff: All right. My spouse left me.

Doreen: Okay.

Jeff: And they cheated on me.

Doreen: Right.

Jeff: Okay. What would be a positive statement for that?

Doreen: And now you get to be alone. And you need to, you get to hopefully find, if you choose someone in your life, that’s not going to be a cheat.

Jeff: There you go. How about,

Doreen: Because there are plenty of people out there that don’t cheat.

Jeff: The kids hate going back and forth to the houses. It’s horrible.

Doreen: Yeah. The kids love having two rooms and two homes that they get to be involved in decorating and enjoy and they enjoy it.

Jeff: I like that. Okay. You know, I think basically what we’re talking about is empowering yourself. You know, when you, when you talk positive to yourself and give yourself strength, you find the power within yourself to go forward with the next stage of your life.

Doreen: So when I talked, when I spoke about this in episode number 38, you can listen to that, but you know, what I wanna suggest is that you sit down and you really write in your journal or scribble it on a piece of paper, do it on your laptop, whatever. Write down have a piece of paper and write in the middle.

Put a line all the way down and put all the negatives. Just let them flow that you’re thinking about, that you might think about even something that somebody told you. Just put ’em down.

Jeff: We, we call that a thought download.

Doreen: Just put ’em all down. Put all the negative thoughts. Okay.

Then take a break, go out, you know, go for a walk. Do what you need to do for a few minutes. Come back, clear your brain, and now really try to write down all the positive things. There are so many positive things about divorce. And I know that sounds like just doesn’t go together.

Jeff: It’s an oxymoron.

Doreen: Yeah. Like, because society, I wanna suggest this. Okay. We were listening to a coach recently who talks about inclusion and diversity and how, as coaches, we have to be aware of you, our listeners and our clients as to where you come from, what your cultural background is like, what your zip code is what your parents are like.

What ethnicity and your religion? Right. Because what happens is you have certain predispositions based on your upbringing. Okay.

Jeff: Exactly.

Doreen: And so I question and I just wanna throw it out there for size. Throw it on for size. Why society in general has this thought, this general understanding that divorce equates negative. Bad. Divorce is bad. Right. That’s what they, that’s what a lot of people think.

Jeff: Yeah. We’re talking about that the other night and you and I, when you said, oh, I’m going through a divorce. What’s the normal thing you would say?

Doreen: A lot of people say, I’m so sorry to hear that. Right. Or, oh, that’s really a shame. Or, you know, is there anything we can do to help? Or have you tried marriage counseling?

Jeff: You must be so upset.

Doreen: I wanna suggest that the divorce itself is not negative. It is neutral until you have a thought about it. Because two people, how do I know this, that it’s neutral until you have a thought about it.

Because two people can go through divorce and have very different feelings and thoughts about the divorce. Some people are glad that they’re moving on. Other people come to peace with being a co-parent with their spouse and with an understanding that they just grew apart and that’s okay for them

Jeff: Afnd they probably get along better.

Doreen: Exactly. So we know that divorce and the, the word divorce itself has a lot of negative.

Jeff: Connotations.

Doreen: Right. I’m sorry that my brain is like, drive.

Jeff: You’ve been through a lot today. Don’t worry.

Doreen: No, no, no. It’s not that. I mean, I’ve, I, I’m one of those people that works like I have a calendar and I work like I get a lot done in one day.

So I apologize that my brain is still trying to catch up with my mouth kind of thing to the listeners out there,

Jeff: But that’s why you brought me into the podcast.

Doreen: Yeah. But I really wanna, for people just to consider that, consider, consider where your negative thoughts after you do this download on your negative side, I want you to consider where they’re coming from.

Jeff: Yeah, no, we’re not saying this is, we we’re. I usually say it’s simple but not easy. We’re not saying it’s easy to do that.

Doreen: To do what?

Jeff: To always take something where you’re in your heart or in your, at the moment, you’re feeling something negative and try to focus on the positive.

Doreen: No, you can’t.

Jeff: Change your thoughts.

Doreen: We’re not suggesting that you can just switch it off like a light switch. Okay. This, this work, this coaching that we do, that we do, it takes time. You know, we don’t work with a client and automatically, within a few sessions they’re like, you know, they’ve totally changed their mindset and now they’re gonna have this forward thought and you know, goal setting.

Jeff: We’re gonna turn you into Tony Robbins. Three sessions.

Doreen: That’s not possible. You have to take little baby steps and that’s why I’m asking you to consider the things that are benefits are the good things from your divorce. For example, it could be spending more time with your children, right?

Getting closer to your children because you’re not, you’re having to have one person in the house with them, right? One less person to have to take care of or clean up for, or make dinner for. You get to choose what you wanna watch on tv, right?

Jeff: We have a whole list of benefits.

Doreen: I mean, you know, you can go out Saturday night. And you don’t have to answer to anybody other than, you know, making arrangements for your children. So there’s so many things.

Jeff: Our last episode, number 98, where we talked about being able to do the traveling that you’ve been wanting to do.

Doreen: Correct? Yeah. So let’s talk more about this. What do you, where do you wanna go from here about telling your, retelling your divorce story?

Jeff: Well, let’s start with that. Let’s say somebody, you’re, you run into somebody and they ask you how is it going? How’s the, how is the divorce? You first have to kind of take a deep breath and think about what it is you wanna say and in your mind, how do you want, you might be already talking, kind of a negative topic about the divorce, but you catch yourself and when you catch yourself, take a deep breath and say, what thoughts serve me the best in this situation to talk about?

And you may just say, you know, I’m doing fine. You know, thank you for asking.

Doreen: Right. And you, there’s, look, there’s nothing wrong with people. Well, first of all, let me start by saying, unfortunately a lot of people out there want to talk about the gossip, the negative, right? And so it’s not uncommon when you’re going through divorce for people to pull you into what they think your story should be, right? I’m sure this is really hard for you. Must be really hard on the kids. How are you gonna make ends meet? Oh, what a piece of, you know what that he did that or she did that? They wanna start to pull you down a certain road. It’s just what some people do.

Number one, you wanna be aware of who those people are, and you may want to keep a little distance from those people. But if you can’t, let’s say it’s a coworker as an example or a family member, then you can, there’s nothing wrong with honestly looking at the person and saying, things are good. I’d rather not talk about the divorce.

Or you can even go into things are going well, and they might say they’re gonna be, they’re gonna be stumped. If you say something like that, they’re expecting you to go down this road with them of the negative thoughts and gossip, but when you say, you know, I’m doing pretty good, you can change the whole conversation of your story about the divorce with someone by simply just changing a few of your words.

Jeff: You know, what might be beneficial is, like I talked about, empowering yourself is after you do that, kinda relive it, so you give yourself a little pat on the back and say, wow, that felt really good. I’m very proud of myself that I was able to change the conversation to a positive direction.

Doreen: Right. And you can, you know, and again, you can choose not even to have the conversation.

You can be kind and say at, you know what? I’d rather not talk about that today. If you cannot bring yourself to think of anything, to change the direction, maybe to more of a positive direction, you can simply say, you know what? I’d rather just not talk about this today. You know, And just try to change the subject.

There’s nothing wrong with doing that if you are not ready or you don’t honestly have anything positive to share or that’s going to be helpful for you to start, basically recovering from the divorce. You don’t wanna be, be stuck in that negative mindset and if you don’t have anything to really honestly grasp onto, that’s okay.

You are where you need to be right now, and you can simply avoid the conversation because this is not a circumstance or a situation where you just automatically shift your thoughts. They have to be believable in order to make that shift. You know, it’s not like a, what do they call it, a mantra.

Jeff: Yes.

Doreen: Where you just say it and you believe it. No, no, no. It, it has to be real. And it can be a small little thing that you can start to feel to try on for size.

Jeff: Yeah. It’s like baby steps, right?

Doreen: So let’s think of a small little thing.

Jeff: You know, let’s say you wake up tomorrow and you say, today’s gonna be a great day.

I get to spend more time with my kids. I’m looking forward to their soccer game. It’s gonna be great.

Doreen: Perfect.

Jeff: Yeah.

Doreen: Right? And you get to spend that one-on-one quality time with your children. That’s a qual that’s a positive. Right? And the next thing I wanna offer is that when you start to retell your story of divorce and taking those little baby steps, eventually you get to the place where you get to really create your own life on purpose without anyone interfering with that.

Right, because when you’re married, obviously you have to be at least somewhat in sync with certain things that you have planned for your life, you know, and certain responsibilities to the family, to each other, et cetera. But when you’re single, you get to create now a life that you design. You don’t have to answer to anyone else about it.

I always say, not always. I sometimes say that marriage is super challenging, and it can be, as we all know, especially my, our listeners, because it takes two, right? When you set a goal for yourself, whatever your goal is, to become educated, to get a degree, to open a business, to, you know, run a marathon, whatever the goal is that you set for yourself, it takes one person, you.

And your commitment in marriage, it takes two people to be aligned and to have this, forward focused thinking that is together. You know? And that doesn’t always work out. But when you’re single as you are now, you’ll get to a point where you should get excited about your future and about the fact that you have a second chance right now to really set some high expectations for yourself.

Jeff: I guess choice is probably one of the best benefits of divorce is you get to choose a lot of things. What to do, how to feel, what to think.

Doreen: What to watch on tv,

Jeff: What to watch on tv,

Doreen: What to eat for dinner.

Jeff: Yeah.

Doreen: All these great things.

Jeff: Yeah. You could choose to be stronger and set forth on becoming the best version of yourself.

Doreen: I wanna talk about something else, cuz it, I know it’s in one of our episodes and maybe you know the number of that episode, but you know, we talked about it a little bit. We talk about it a lot that life throws both positive and negative to you. And we use the expression, life is a balance of 50 50.

Now, people sometimes will challenge us on that, and maybe there’s some listeners out there that are saying, you know what, I don’t believe that. Right? I don’t believe that life is really good and bad. But it is,  and some people will say to us, you know, but I really feel like my life is more like 90 good and 10 bad.

And what I wanna suggest to those people is that if you are one of those people that really feels that like you’re in a good place and you are like 90% of what happens generally in your life is all good, then you’re not what? Putting yourself out there

Jeff: Well your goals aren’t tough enough

Doreen: Right? Because it’s very easy to live kind of in a little but a bubble of sorts and know what’s predictable and what you can count on and is safe. So I suggest for, I sometimes suggest to our clients that, you know, how big are your goals?

Jeff: Yeah. And, and the other thing to, a thought for that, and I’m not trying to scare anybody, but just because it’s 90 10 today, that doesn’t mean it’s gonna be 90 10 tomorrow.

Doreen: Well, and you know what? People were, were conditioned so much in our society and marketing, social media, et cetera, that life is supposed to be all, you know. Rainbow and daisies and sunshine, right? And we all are looking great and eating wonderfully and going on these amazing trips and loving life to its fullest.

But that’s not the reality because the reality is people get sick, people get hurt, divorces happen. You know, people get fired and you’re not supposed to be happy when those things happen.

Jeff: Yeah. And even though we’re in the Sunshine State, it rains.

Doreen: Yes, it does. Right now, almost every day. Exactly. We’re in one of those interesting in, in Florida, cuz I’ve lived here, I don’t even wanna say how many years, but let’s just say forever.

That’s long enough. And isn’t it true, like sometimes in the summer it barely rains. It’s very dry. And then other summers, like this summer so far, it’s that typical afternoon. Oh yeah. It’s dark and it rains.

Jeff: You can set your clock by it.

Doreen: You can see it right now. Yes. You know, as we look out the window.

Jeff: But you know, just like I said to a client of mine, you know, she said, when is it gonna stop raining down there? I said, well, the streets are clean for you. The grass is greener. So much greener. The trees are standing up straight and nice and tall.

Doreen: Everything gets a nice wash.

Jeff: Yeah. Yeah. So, and she wrote back to me, she’s like, I like that. Yeah. I can’t wait to move down there.

Doreen: Well, isn’t that also on point today? You can look at it from the negative or you can look from the positive.

Jeff: Exactly

Doreen: Right.

Jeff: Oh, that’s why I brought it up.

Doreen: Yeah, I know. I know. So good. So good. The last thing I wanna leave you with is to really make an effort to retell your story is, to be very aware, aware of buffering, which is avoiding your story.

You know, overdrinking eating, we talk a lot about that I can’t remember

Jeff: Episode number 90.

Doreen: Is that on buffering? Yes.

Jeff: Yes it is.

Doreen: Okaying my friends. Alright, well, listen, I think that’s enough for today. Let’s retell your story of divorce and if you wanna come work with us on retelling your story, please come visit us at We’d love to have a discovery call with you complimentary so you can learn more about what we do. We have a great program we’re putting together for six weeks and uh, yeah, come join us. Love to hear from you. It’s gonna change your life. All everybody have an amazing night.


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.


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