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Ep. 100 – Independence After Divorce

As we celebrate our 100th episode and the 4th of July, we are discussing your new independence after divorce. We discuss your independence from your spouse and some things you may want to consider as you explore new relationships.


Doreen: Hey everyone. Today we’re gonna celebrate our hundredth episode. Yay. Yay.

Jeff: Happy Anniversary.

Doreen: And what’s super cool about this is that we’re also celebrating and talking about Independence Day and what independence means after divorce and to you as an individual before you get into your new relationship or if you do.

Jeff: So we have a lot of celebrating to do. Let’s get started.

Doreen: We do. So if you are ready,

Jeff: Let’s get started.

Doreen: 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, Jeff.

Jeff: Hey, how are you?

Doreen: I’m good. How are you?

Jeff: Oh, I’m amazing. I’m looking at this beautiful view that we have from the Blue Ridge Mountains here in blowing Rock, North Carolina.

Doreen: Yeah. We have come up here to get away from the Florida heat and do a little vacation.

Jeff: And celebrate Independence Day.

Doreen: Yeah. And so that’s the topic of our podcast because as you know, we’re trying to always think about things as they come up and make ’em as real as possible. And yes. Independence Day is next week. 4th of July. And we got to thinking about independence, divorce, relationships, and here we are.

Jeff: Well, people say that divorce is often scribed as a declaration of independence, but there’s only two signatures.

Doreen: Right. Yeah. That’s cool. So what’s the Google definition of independence?

Jeff: Well, first I wanted to read a part of our declaration of Independence that was written 1776 US Americans?

Doreen: Yes. Okay, let’s do it.

Jeff: It says, we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men, and of course nowadays, it’s all humans are created equal. That they were endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. And that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,

Doreen: Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Jeff: Yeah, and I think that it ties right in with divorce.

Doreen: Yeah. It does. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Yes. Because one of the things that I think is clear from our coaching is that no one else can truly make you happy. That it is your own independent actions, thoughts, pursuits, liberty, that make you happy.

We talk about that a lot in some of our other episodes, like in the manual. I’m sure we’ll touch on that today. But anyhow, so let’s talk about it. What else did you want to talk about? Well, you know, you just said something about, like after divorce.

Jeff: Well, you know, divorce is definitely a legal procedure. However, it can also be seen as an act of independence that leaves you standing alone for the first time in a very long time. And you have to reestablish your independence. And sometimes that could be a little overwhelming.

Doreen: Yeah, it can be, it can also be extremely exciting.

Jeff: Yes. It depends on the view.

Doreen: Right. And we talked about that retelling your story last week, wasn’t it?

Jeff: We did, didn’t we? Yes.

Doreen: Yeah. Yeah. So you might wanna go back and listen to that one as well, but yes, there’s both good and bad, positive, negative with everything, right? Including divorce. So being independent and seeking your liberty and your new life.

Jeff: Happiness and pursuit of happiness.

Doreen: Yes. It’s part of that. So we thought about you.

Jeff: Yeah.

Doreen: So where do you wanna go from here? Well, cause I have some things to talk about too.

Jeff: Okay. Well, I know one thing I think that you should do as soon as you get divorced, the divorce is fine. I was throw an independence party, you know, and make it a celebration.

We always, we were talking about telling your story and making it, you know, happy thoughts and kind of deep down looking for the happy things that are going through in your life and make the divorce a celebration.

Doreen: Yeah. I mean it can be, and I don’t think that we’re telling people to do this.

It’s certainly, I wouldn’t have done it in my first divorce. I didn’t consider it a happy situation. And I certainly didn’t wanna celebrate it for a number of reasons. I wonder sometimes if people are celebrating cuz I’ve seen, I’ve heard about divorce parties of course before. If there’s kind of like a in the other person’s face kind of thing.

Jeff: Right. Well, I mean, I also look at, it’s kind of like, you know, some people may mourn a death in the family and some people may look at it as a celebration of life. So I guess it’s all in the twist on things.

Doreen: Right. If you’re doing it for the right reason and truly for the right purpose and the purpose is for you and not for some other reason. Yeah, why not?

Jeff: Exactly.

Doreen: Why not have an independence party for yourself as a new independent.

Jeff: And it may not be a throw blonde out party, but it could be just  something that you do for yourself to celebrate, like our episode on traveling.

Doreen: Absolutely. Absolutely. So I looked up the word independency, in the Google, of course, as you know, I love the googles.

Jeff: Me too.

Doreen: Love me some Googles. And it says, freedom from control or influence by another or others. Right? And so I was thinking about that when it comes to relationships, not just marriage, but just relationships, so from freedom, from control or influence of another, and I’m not. I can understand, like I think in a relationship, obviously there is a level of influence with your partner, with the person you’re with because there’s a combination of your independent needs, their independent needs, and then your relationship as a couple. So you know. I don’t know that you’re free from independent from the influence of your partner but you certainly are free from the control because the control is within yourself.

Jeff: Yeah. And you know, when you talked about the Googles, I also like a site that’s called Brainy Quotes.

Doreen: I guess we’re done with my comment. You had nothing to talk about with regard to it, huh?

Jeff: I agree with everything you say dear.

Doreen: I, well, that’s not good either, right?

Jeff: No.

Doreen: But I was talking about the freedom from influence of another, and I was saying how when you’re in a relationship, you don’t have to, but most likely you’re going to consider the influence or what someone else wants.

Jeff: Right. And that could be a good thing or a bad thing also.

Doreen: Right? And so today I’m gonna talk more about that. Okay. So let’s go ahead, let’s jump on.

Jeff: No, we’re gonna end the podcast episode with my quote, so we’re gonna stick with your feelings right now. So, your thoughts.  Go ahead.

Doreen: So that’s what I was suggesting is that you have yourself obviously, And your desires, and your needs and what you want. Right. What makes you tick? What makes you happy, right. And what your path is. And then you have the other person who has their same set of what they’re looking for. Right. And then you have the combination of together. And I think what happens in a lot of relationships, and why this is important to talk about now when we’re talking to our listeners who are post-divorce mostly, is to be aware of these things as you get into new relationships.

Right. Because a lot of times I think, and I don’t know where maybe it comes from story books, story, you know, stories, you know, like, and she lived happily ever after kind of thing. Like waiting for the Prince to come and take her away on a white horse, and then she lived happily ever after. Almost suggesting that the prince on the white horse is what’s gonna make her happily ever after. No.

Jeff: Like when I put that glass slipper on your foot.

Doreen: No. But seriously, what makes you happy is yourself, and if you think that someone else is going to make you happy, well they may make you happy at certain moments with certain things, it’s really your own independence that makes you happy.

Jeff: I agree.

Doreen: Okay. And I want people to think about that as they get into new relationships. Are you getting into a relationship with someone who doesn’t want you to be an independent? There’s a lot of controlling people in this world who come in, they try to control you, they want certain things and they’re expecting you to fulfill a role, and maybe you’re not interested or maybe you’re not capable of filling that role.

So you have to really look at it as two independents coming together as one in a relationship.

Jeff: I know you had earlier mentioned the manual. It seems like that’s kind of what you’re referring to is people want to control you and they want to control the way you want to be.

Doreen: Right. But you also have people that are codependent, that want to be controlled, that feel a need to have another person in their life for certain reasons.

And I mean, we probably should do it episode on codependency because I think it’s something that’s prevalent in a lot of marriages and relationships.

Jeff: Sounds like a plan.

Doreen: So one of the things, so I wanted to talk about like independency. In a relationship, right? So I think it’s important that when you start to, to get into a new relationship, that you carve out your own space, your own existence, separate from the relationship.

This is interesting that I’m saying that cuz you and I spend a lot. May, may I say that again? A lot.

Jeff: If you saw the face oral expressions, you would get the award a lot.

Doreen: We spend a lot of time together.

Jeff: We work together. We, you know, go travel together. We do everything together.

Doreen: And most of the time we enjoy spending time together, but I also know that we have very, very different independent goals, needs. The way we’re put together is very different. And I know that I personally get very frustrated when you’re not kind of like following along, like, Hey, let’s, like right now we’re trying to get out of this cabin not get out.

We’re not trying to get out. We are enjoying the cabin we are in, but we are working in the mornings and we’re trying to get, you know, doing some truck,

Jeff: Go sightseeing and go visit places.

Doreen: Do some things. Also workout. Go just some hikes and things of this nature and get out into blowing rock and explore the town a little bit more.

So like, I’m like, come on, let’s go. Like, you know, trying to push us out the door here. Or maybe I should just sit back and relax.

Jeff: There you go.

Doreen: We’ll get there when we get there kind of thing.

Jeff: Relax on a vacation in the mountains. No,

Doreen: I don’t consider this a vacation.

Jeff: Well, maybe you should.

Doreen: I consider this a semi vacation with work. It is work in a new location where we happen to be doing a half a day of work. Hopefully it seems to be more like a whole day today. And although this is not work, I’m going to, let me just stress this, that the life coaching for us, it is one of our jobs, but I’m talking about our other jobs trying to enjoy.

But anyhow, let me get back to it. So, carving out your own space, I think is something to really think about as you get into a new relationship because so many times you’ll be in a new relationship and there’s a lot of chemistry, there’s a lot of newness, there’s a lot of fun, and you know, from the sex to experiencing the new person and who they are to enjoying new things and meeting their friends, all the things that go along with it, right?

It’s an exciting time when you hit it off with somebody, right? But don’t lose yourself. Remember to create your own space to do the things that are important to you, and that that may be things that are separate and apart from your, what your new person wants to do. Right. And that’s okay. Right?

Jeff: Yeah. I think it’s okay. And I think you have even mentioned it last week that maybe we should do some things not, you know, separately or apart, but there’s nothing wrong with you going to a, let’s say a yoga retreat by yourself or going out with some friends or just doing some things on your own. And I think that’ll give you that sense of independence again.

Doreen: Well and for you as well.

Jeff: And for me as well.

Doreen: Yeah. That right.

Jeff: That’s what you meant when you said get the hell out. Right. Just kidding. Just kidding.

Doreen: So, let me just take an example. So, you know, someone may be the type of person who after work enjoys just vegging out. You know, kicking back, maybe, you know, having a glass of wine or a beer, maybe a hot cup of tea, or. whatever. And just watching tv, you know, what we call, Netflixing How do they say it?

Jeff: Netflixing, you know that.

Doreen: Yeah. You know, like just like chilling out and not thinking about much and just really vegging out where the other person might feel energized in the evenings after work and want to go to yoga or work out or go out with their friends.

And I think both have to be respected. It’s okay to have different interest and not expect that each other partake in the couch potatoness or the yoga ness.

Jeff: Yeah. And there’s nothing wrong with the couch potato nest every now and then, but I guess if you’re that kind of active lifestyle where you wanna go to the gym, you wanna do this cause that, and, and you’re at the couch potatoes every day. That can become an issue.

Doreen: It’s not an issue because what I’m suggesting in this podcast is that you can maybe, if it’s every day, of course, but in a relationship, you know, you don’t have to spend all your time with someone, right. When you’re married to someone, even, you know, hopefully, if you wanna go out and you wanna enjoy going to the gym or doing something after work, if you have a partner who has an issue with that, That’s something to really.

Jeff: That’s what I’m talking about.

Doreen: That’s something to consider before you go further in the relationship. Right?

Jeff; Right.

Doreen: Right. Because if that’s the first thing is are you with someone potentially that respects your independence and you respect theirs and isn’t gonna get hung up on jealousy or, you know, you’re no not spending time with me and it’s okay. Okay. What else do we wanna talk about?

Jeff: Well,

Doreen: I gotta the next thing, know who you are, you know, and also your self-worth. Because I’ve seen at least through my many years of practicing marital and family law that sometimes spouses lose themselves in the marriage. They lose who they are. They lose what’s important.

They take on certain roles and they make an agreement and an understanding with their spouse to take on that role, but really understand what that role means. For example, if you’re gonna give up your career and you’re going to be a stay home house person and take care of the children in your next relationship.

Is that truly what you want? You know, being true and knowing who you are, is that something that five years from now if you did that, you’d be okay with it? Right? Right. What are your thoughts?

Jeff: Well, I mean, I agree that people get lost in the other person because they’re into them or they wanna make the marriage work.

But I think that self-awareness that comes along with, is this who I am and this is what I want to be? I think that’s something that you always have to ask yourself. And I think that’s a good point.

Doreen: And maybe you start with do you, are you aware of who you are and what you really want to do? Right. And you know, that’s always seems to be a big theme in our coaching, determining your future or planning your goals and really living a life on purpose. Right.

Jeff: Yeah. Maybe just ask yourself, on a scale of one to 10, how happy are you? And if it’s below eight, Just ask the question why. Right? And maybe those self-awareness answers will come to you.

Doreen: Yeah. And when you, when you know who you are and what you want in your future, and if you intentionally decide to concede on that, meaning you’ve made a decision, your new relationship, that you’re not going to go that route, are you?

You know, again, is that something that you’ve really thought through independently? Right. And being confident at what you do and what you want for the future is not a message of being in my mind, of being like, conceited. It’s just being confident. Right?

Jeff: Right. It’s selfish.

Doreen: It’s being confident. And does the other person value what that is that you want from your life? Do they value it?

Jeff: If they truly love you? They do.

Doreen: They should. And if they question it on any level they say, well, that’s silly. Why would you wanna pursue that? That’s probably a

Jeff: Can of worms.

Doreen: What did they say?

Jeff: Being opened?

Doreen: What did they say? GT F O I’m not gonna say

Jeff: Oh, I know exactly what you’re

Doreen: Quickly, quickly. Right. You might wanna run in the other direction.

Jeff: Yeah. Get the woo,

Doreen: Get the woo.

Jeff: Get out of there.

Doreen: Okay. Get out of there. Okay. The other thing that I wanna suggest in your next new relationship is communicate what it is you would like from your other person.

From the person. I like calling it your person. You can come communicate. I would like for you, Jeff, to come to yoga with me this Saturday.

Jeff: Wow, that would be nice to hear.

Doreen: Okay. But do not expect it if the other person doesn’t truly, maybe they’re just not into yoga, okay? They just have no desire and they say yes, but they really don’t wanna go.

What do you think that’s gonna show up like?

Jeff: It’s resentment.

Doreen: Right? Yeah. But there’s nothing wrong with asking the other person. I would like for you to go to yoga with me. It’s something I really enjoy. Would you try it out with me and see what you think?

Jeff: I think there’s a lot of power in the words we choose. The way you said just said that is very, very strong as opposed to, I think you need yoga. Let’s go.

Doreen: Right. But that’s, that’s more of the control thing I’m talking about. We already talked about establishing what you want to do. And that you should not be giving those things up. So let’s say we have someone who enjoys yoga and meets somebody that really is not into yoga. Right? Okay. They’ve tried it, they don’t like it. They’re just not into the whole thing, right? Right. You know, this going in. And you can ask, would you go to a class with me? But you can’t expect it. Right? And if they don’t go, don’t be disappointed. Right? If you don’t like the way they respond about it or if they give you crap about it, like, I, you’re gonna yoga again, that’s another probably a red flag.

Jeff: A red flag definitely.

Doreen: Right. So I think just having that awareness when you get into your next relationship of really thinking about these things, and again, we’re talking about independence and who you are as an independent, who you’re, what yourself worth is, and not losing that and kind of like testing the relationship a little bit to see how you guys fit. Right. And if there’s that respect level, right?

Jeff: Absolutely.

Doreen: So, if you really want someone that is a particular way, like you’re looking for somebody who really wants to be involved in yoga, you know, like that’s super important to, you know, that list. I really want somebody to share this with, to go to the retreats with, to you know, cuz it whatever the mentality is.

And if the other person doesn’t have that quality or not quality doesn’t have that interest. Let me correct that word, doesn’t have that interest. Is that okay with you?

Jeff:  Right? Or are the other qualities that they have strong enough that you can live with it?

Doreen: Exactly. Well, it’s all about that, you know, list. We love making list, write it down. First, understand what’s important to you as an independent, and then go from there and figure it out, you know, must have. And then maybe it would be nice to have list and then don’t really care. Right. You know, and it’s an individual choice. Of course. The other thing is if the other person asks you to do something that you are not interested in, it’s not really your thing.

You know, we talked about this person likes to come home and sit on the couch and you’re like, this is just not who I am. Be realistic about that. Be communicate kindly and clearly, but with kindness that this would not fly for you. Right? Another thing that happened to someone I know recently is, he got involved in a new relationship and everything was great.

You know, like they were, they seemed to be happy. They were developing, they had a lot of common interests. They loved spending time together. And they were together for like six, seven months and really committed to each other boyfriend, girlfriend, whatever. And then he asked one question, do you wanna have more children?

And her answer was No. And so she wanted more children that was on her must have list. I think there’s some questions that are really important when you get into to commitment in a relationship other than just having fun or dating that you probably wanna have those gotta know list the list

Jeff: The make or break questions.

Doreen: I think you need to take the list out on the first date. I’m just kidding.

Jeff: The make or break list.

Doreen: These are the things I need to check off before we go for first the book.

Jeff:  Not the list, but I got the book.

Doreen: No, but the, you know, with all kidding aside. Okay, the next thing I wanna talk about is something that my mom talked.

My sister and I, and maybe too well in some respects is to protect yourself, right? This, again, is about being an independent, and I don’t know. I’ve always thought that it was important, at least in my own mind, that you have your independent money, your independent work goals, your independent education.

And whatever else you find important, right? But that security of protecting yourself, how many times do we have a client in the law firm who comes in and has no access to money? None. None. They’re totally dependent on their spouse. For every dollar that they spend, they have access to. And then in some circumstances, they don’t even know how much there is or what there is. And so protecting yourself if something happens is, I think important.

Jeff: Yeah. And it’s not just for protection but it also gives you a self-worth and builds your confidence too to be able to have that for yourself

Doreen: Right. I think that’s why I’m not against nuptial agreements I like them and I think they work for certain relationships because it sets the groundwork on certain things that people find uncomfortable topics to talk about like money, who stays in the house. Let’s say you move into his house. And it’s in his name. If we’re talking, you know, second marriages, mostly what happens if the relationship ends?

You know, is there an understanding as to when you’re gonna be removed from that property? Or do you want to know that you have some security for a period of time? Do you wanna buy into the property? You know, how, what are the financials look like?

Jeff: I guess that is kind of a, it sounds to me what you’re describing is a form of having that independence in the back of your mind? Yes. The what if independence.

Doreen: Yeah. Because unlike other goals that we have in our life as independence, you wanna run a marathon, you can get up, you can train, you can eat right, you can put the time in. You don’t have to really rely on anybody else. Right.

That’s true. Maybe eventually a trainer or somebody like this, but you can figure it out yourself. But in relationships, it takes two. And so it’s really important that you just understand that. Sometimes marriages don’t work out. Sometimes relationships don’t work out. We all know this who’s listening to this podcast. Right. And so protect yourself.

Jeff: Sounds good.

Doreen: Okay.

Jeff: Well, I’m going to finish the episode.

Doreen: I have one more.

Jeff: Oh, you said, okay. You had that look on your face that you were like

Doreen: Oh! No, no, no! Why are you rushing me?

Jeff: Because I’m not, I know you want to get out the door and go have fun, but I’m enjoying and excitement speaking to everybody. Get out of the cabin.

Doreen: The next one that I wanted to talk about was find fulfillment in yourself first. Okay. That I wanted to circle back like that. Being happy with who you are and the life you’re creating independent of your partner. Right. Because like, I think we already touched on that. If, if you wanna go do something you had said to me like, I, we had talked about me or you going on independent, Retreats. Right? Because we have different interests. Right? And if I have a lot of, if I find a lot of fulfillment in going to a yoga retreat, right? And that’s something you don’t wanna share with me, or maybe  I just wanna do it myself, I just want to be alone and just in the retreat by myself, that happiness that you find doing the things that are important to you.

You then are gonna be bring back to the relationship because you’re gonna be a more fulfilled, happy person. And when you’re a more fulfilled, happy person, that means you’re an, you’re probably a happier partner.

Jeff: And I think we need to also address the person on the other side. You know, if you said you want to do this on your own?

It may not have nothing to do with me, nothing to do with our relationship, nothing to do with what your feelings are for me, it’s just something that you wanna do by yourself. Right.

Doreen: Right? That goes back to the communication that we talked about with kindness. And letting that person know before it gets too serious that this is important to you.

Whatever the, this is, right. Just like I was speaking about somebody and it was important she wanted another child, he didn’t, they probably wanted to know that before they got more seriously involved, and it was kind of sad that, you know, they just weren’t on the same page. So independent

Jeff: Independence

Doreen: Independence Day.

We hope everybody has an amazing Happy 4th of July, and that you think a little bit on that day, and as you celebrate with your friends and family and loved ones about what independence means to you as a newly divorced person and the independent that you are and who you want to be in the future.

Jeff: And be very careful with those fireworks.

Doreen: Yes, of course. Yes, of course. Use extreme safety on all levels. And, have a happy, healthy, be safe and happy 4th of July. Okay. All right. Everybody have minute.

Jeff: Wait a minute. You’re not letting me get out without my quote.

Doreen: Your quote.

Doreen: That’s, I am so sorry.

Jeff: That’s okay. That’s okay. I apologize. Okay. Here’s the quote from Stephen Covey. He’s the writer of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Yes, I love him. And he writes, every human has four endowments. Self-awareness, conscious, independent will, and creative imagination.

These give us the ultimate human freedom, the power to choose, to respond and to change.

Doreen: Absolutely. To choose, respond, respond, and change, and to change. All right, my friend. So with that beautiful quote and we thank him for it. We wish you the best and happy fourth. Happy fourth, and we’ll 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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