Divorce is one of the three biggest stresses that a person goes through. When it happens to you, how do you move forward and reclaim your life? In today’s episode, Esateys and Rafael Stuchiner discuss the struggles and the emotion in the weeks and months after you and your spouse decide to get divorced. They dive deep on the delicate balance between the tendency of retrospection versus the eventuality of letting go. Discover gems of wisdom about self-awareness, forgiveness, and communication, as well as how to avoid repeating your mistakes towards your next relationship. This episode is the first step to starting your life over after divorce.
Takeaways from today’s show:
- Everything that happens is always in your best interest as the Universe is always conspiring to Give You Everything that You Need
- Divorce is a huge tool for personal development, Awareness and Awakening
- It’s never about Your partner, its always about you.
- Awareness is the key to how you handle anything in life. It is a gift.
Watch the episode here:
Listen to the podcast here:
What To Do After Divorce
Esateys, how are you doing?
I am so amazing. I don’t even know what to do with myself.
I hear you had an awesome retreat.
It was amazing. It was off the charts. We did five days and the transformation that occurred for the people was so heartwarming. Everyone was very authentic and they allowed themselves to just let go of lifetime’s worth of old stuff stuck energy. One person said they were seeing in technicolor when they were done with the retreat. It was very awesome.
That’s not typical, seeing in color?
When you’re seeing in technicolor, then you are seeing at a whole new level. That’s a very significant sign that you’re at a very high vibration in a very connected place.
We have a very interesting subject. Our subject is what to do after divorce, the big D word.
What to do after a divorce? I hope that people are reading this even if they have been divorced for a while because it’s important to recognize that when your life starts all over, your life starts all over. Divorce is an interesting thing. It’s first of all, one of the three biggest stresses that a person goes through. That tells you right away with the amount of divorce that there is, that there is a tremendous amount of stress on the planet. The first thing to do is to be aware that everything is always happening in your best interest. It’s hard to do that when you’re in a place where you’re the one who comes home and the partner says, “I want a divorce.” Immediately most people will go into shame and guilt, “What did I do? How come I wasn’t enough?” It activates that I’m not enough thing. For most people, it’ll bring up anger pretty quick right behind that first thought. The anger is “How dare you?” Because what you see underlying here is there’s a control thing. When the other person makes the choice to get out, then you don’t get to be in control anymore about that situation and that can be irritating to anybody.
No one wants to feel it affect or controlled by anyone, especially when they don’t see it coming. I would imagine it’s even much more shocking.When your spouse chooses to get out of the marriage, you lose control of the situation, and that can be irritating to anybody. Click To Tweet
It’s an interesting thing because a lot of people will say, “I had no idea,” but that’s not true. There are symptoms in a relationship that is not functioning at its highest level all the time.
Just to say that because I’ve had this experience personally myself, is that if you don’t see it coming, it’s a symptom of your relationship to begin with.
It also was a symptom of your recognition that you’re not very aware. You’re not in touch with what’s going on in your relationship. You’re probably not in touch with your partner at a very high level and you’re not having communication powwows that allow each other to constantly be checking in. How are you feeling about our relationship? How are you feeling about things in life? What’s going on with you? What could make your day more awesome? Sometimes people will divert to, “If Susie would just get an A in class, I’d be happy.” We know those kinds of answers are not true. Sometimes you have to support your partner in going into a deeper level of communication by saying something like, “I know that would be helpful,” but how are we doing from your perspective?
What I heard you say is it’s a two-pronged thing. It’s self-awareness of being aware and being aware of what’s happening in your environment and your relationship. It’s also an awareness of what is going on with your partner. The idea of being cut off from the other aspects of what’s going on.
When people are in a relationship, many times there are little things that irritate them that start to build up. Because most people don’t want confrontation, they won’t say anything. Little by little the wall builds up between themselves and the other person. All of a sudden, the person who’s been building the wall little by little and not communicating it, then just has a meltdown and “We’re all done. It’s over.” The other person goes, “What are you talking about?” There are things that are symptoms of people not telling the truth.
You might notice that your partner is feeling a little distant or is not asking you things about your work, your day, your moment, the kids or depending upon what your life is. If they don’t ask, they’re probably not caring. This happens a lot. This happens in pretty much in every relationship where somebody will ask a question and they have no true interest in knowing what the answer is. They will turn away, walk away, look away, they start reading the paper, their phone or whatever is around. It’s almost like the required courtesy. There’s no level of presence there. There’s no real, “I’m with you and I sincerely care about what went on with your situation or your day.”
I want to bring us back because we could do more discussion on this subject, but the topic and what you started is what do we do after divorce? The first thing you were saying is realizing the macro picture of it. Do you want to continue that because we somehow got off the topic?
We didn’t get off the topic because if you are divorced or in the midst of getting the divorce, then one of the most powerful things you can do is to have some retrospection. Look at what the relationship was like and notice the things that you didn’t notice then. What signals and signs were happening? The reason that this is important is that you want to learn how to be more present, more aware and a better communicator in your next relationship or the relationship with your boss, your employees, your children or wherever. Because this whole communication thing is a big thing. When you’re in the heightened trauma or upset over a divorce, you can go back.
Most of the time people are replaying in their mind over and over again all the different kinds of things that occurred. When you take the time to do a little retro look, then you will be able to see that if you’re the one who is leaving or left, then you know that there were things that were going on with you and maybe you didn’t communicate them. Maybe you didn’t give the other person a chance to do anything about what was going on with you. If you’re the person that got the wakeup call, then you may be wanting to look at, “What wasn’t I seen? What wasn’t I hearing? What did my partner need that I missed and what part did I play in that?” Divorce is never ever one-sided. I’ve talked to a lot of people and they swear it’s the other person, but simultaneously they’re pointing at the other person and they think they have nothing to do with it. They feel that they’re not responsible.
This is wherever you go, there you are. This is a situation of people not taking responsibility for what’s happening in their lives and in their relationship.
A lot of times they don’t know what they don’t know. That’s one of the reasons that we do this is to help people become more aware of what’s happening inside of themselves and in their relationships. They can prevent or at least be in a higher level of clarity about what they want, who they are, where they’re going, and what their expectations are in a relationship.
What about the anger that you were talking about? You were saying that it almost instantly brings up huge anger, huge resentment and all the other things that are underlying that. Take this situation where we’re post-divorce, maybe it’s three months, six months. The reality sets in and then there’s a huge tendency to feel sorry for ourselves and stop blaming and all that. What do we do? What advice can you give people to get through that by seeing things differently?
One of the things that’s important is to give up this victimization. Once you get that you are responsible for your life and how your life unfolds and most importantly, how you perceive your life, then you feel empowered. That means that if you get angry when somebody does anything for that matter, especially like in divorces, always one of the factors is that “I’m not in control.” Humans are control-oriented. They’re in so much fear that they have to control pretty much everything. Based on that, when they have something smacked in their face, then they’re not in control. The control is always based on the underlying fear. It doesn’t mean necessarily be conscious, but the person who’s getting the information is thinking, “What am I going to do now?” It might be, “This is going to cost me a fortune,” or “How am I going to make money,” or “What’s going to happen with the kids and where our dogs are going to go?” All these things go through that are pretty inconvenient for a person and terrifying for most.
It’s downright scary because our perceived foundation, which is illusory because it was never there, is seemingly gone.
The first thing that you do is breathe. When you get the information or if you’re post-divorce by a period of time and you recognize that you’ve been going through a lot, the most powerful thing you can do is get very grounded and very present in your life. Breathing is one of the best ways to do that. You’ve heard me say this before. Breathe in through your nose very slowly to the count of five, hold it at the top of your head or in between your eyebrows for the count of five, and then exhale slowly to the count of five. Repeat that cycle five times. It’s called the cycle of five breathing.
When you do that, the first thing that occurs, especially if you put your focus only on the breath, is that your body will start to calm down and the hormones and the adrenaline and all those things will start to become very minimal. That will help you think more clearly. Usually, I know having been through a divorce a couple of times, what I noticed is that I would leave my body. I’d be driving down the road and I would hardly know where I was or where I was going. It was an interesting experience. Even if I was the one who wanted out. It’s traumatic to have somebody leave your life that you’ve been connected to. Although, I will admit that there are many exceptions to that. Somebody has been abusive to you in any way, shape or form. It may be your holiday and for other people it’s not so much.
Is it realistic for somebody who’s been in trauma and is in trauma because of all this to do this themselves just by breathing? Do they need external help? Do they need a buddy? Do they need someone who can help them center? What about that support?
That was only the number one I was giving. Another thing that is important is to not ruminate over the past. “She was so wonderful here.” “He was so terrific about that.” What many people do is, “I’m glad to have that little witch out of my life,” or whatever. We come up with whichever extreme that we want, to try to either make ourselves feel better or make ourselves feel worse. No matter what we do, we don’t feel good. The bottom line is that we don’t. The important thing is to take your focus off of what has occurred. What that means is just be present in your body and notice how your body’s feeling. For many people, keeping themselves with not a real empty schedule at first is pretty important. Having friends that you can be with and perhaps talk to if they can be supportive if somebody who’s going to take you into a negative place that’s not suggested. If you’ve got somewhere to go and things to do that will support you and not being alone and going right down the tubes, that is helpful. Most people will go through pretty deep depression when they get divorced unless they have a lot of self-awareness.When you eliminate victimization and blame from your life, you see the universe is conspiring to support you. Click To Tweet
If you have a lot of self-awareness, you can help yourself through a divorce by certain tools and certainly the things that you’ve been listening to. This show will give you many things to do. Joining a Meetup group or finding people to go dancing with and all these other things to help support you in moving through the time frame that frequently needs to happen for people to let go. The other thing that’s important is maybe you go out dancing or you go do something. If you can even bring yourself to do that because many times, we don’t feel like it. When you’re in the throes of that intense feeling and it is tears or whatever it may be, then feel that feeling in your body as profoundly as you can. That means that you may lay down in your bed and cry your eyes out as you are aware of the pain in your chest or your heart or your belly. When you do that, look at what it feels like and feel what it feels like. Maybe it’s a tenseness or a trembling and make it very clear inside your mind that you are noticing what’s happening in your physical body. First of all, that will help you move through the feeling and dissipate it away completely and very rapidly. If you are in a place where you are mentalizing it, you’re going to stay stuck in that pattern for a long time. You’ve got to get out of your head and into your body and onto whatever the next moment is bringing to you.
Do you recommend that people go out and go dancing and those kinds of things to get them out of their heads or do you recommend that they stay with those feelings as difficult as they may initially be and go through with like that? In other words, is distraction better than self-confrontation, I guess, is the best word?
It depends on the person and the level of awareness that they have. You’re going to go through a grief process whether you like it or not. The thing that happens is grief comes in waves. You’re going to go through a place where you feel a lot of different feelings. I do not recommend that you deny your feelings. On the other hand, you have to be careful that you don’t get into the “poor me” feelings at such a high level that you become addicted to them. There’s this balance between feeling your feelings and moving in very deeply and then out, versus feeling the feelings and then going deeper and deeper into victimization, which you could become very bitter, resentful and hateful. Those energies, even though it looks like it’s to the other person, it affects your own physical body and your inability to let them go. There’s a little thing that’s important for everyone to realize. When you spend time thinking about another person, what occurs is that you are throwing out energetic links to them or chords to them. You are going to keep them closer and closer to you. If you think you want that person out of your life and you are constantly thinking, “He was such a schmuck. He was not a kind person. He was not compassionate,” and on and on.
What that does is the attention creates more energy and then it will attach them more and more to you. The most important thing you can do is move into a place of just feeling your feelings and forgiveness. Because it’s about forgiving yourself for all the things that are going on inside of you. There are no right or wrongs to any relationship. Relationships end because there is something that you needed to experience with each other and now you’re complete with that and it is time to move on. That means that you are free to take a look and see what you learned from the relationship. See what it is that is going to be different for you the next time you’re in relationship and allow it to be an amazing experience. I had a call with someone who I hadn’t spoken with for about a year. He told me that after he retired within a very short period of time, his wife said, “I want a divorce.” He had just quit his job and now he was confronted or handed the papers. His whole life seemed like it was going up in the sky in a very disrupted way. He’s done a lot of personal work. He started looking at what was happening. He took total responsibility for what was going on. He took responsibility for his feelings. He worked on the principles that we’re speaking about here.
One day, for whatever reason, which he didn’t say, he called his ex-wife, who he had been married to for 25 years and divorced for 23 years. They got to talking. The short story is he’s now going to spend the rest of his life with that woman. He said he was able to see, because he’s very aware. “This was the most awesome thing that could have happened for me because I got to be with and complete my relationship with the wife,” which he is now still friends with. “I am now in the place where I feel like I’m meant to be.” It was a true gift and that can happen, it will happen if you have awareness and self-responsibility. He never blamed anybody. Now they’re friends and they both moved on in different directions in support of what’s next for each one of them.
I’m gathering what you said is that this person went back to his first wife?
You were talking about forgiveness and forgiveness of self because I know when I went through my divorce that pretty much everybody that you talk to is probably had a divorce experience. I just beat myself up to something terrible. All these questions, all these doubts about what I had done. Can you speak more about how to go about, especially when you’re in overwhelm or trigger to implement forgiveness and how to be with that?
What I would recommend is Colin Tipping has written a book and has worksheets for free on the internet called Radical Forgiveness. They’re very good and I would go through the radical forgiveness process more than once probably and look at what’s going on. It will help bring you back to yourself and help you look at what you’re holding on to. When we’re not a victim, there is no blame. When we’re not a victim, there’s no forgiveness necessary because nobody did anything wrong. Life just happens. Your mastery is to decide how you want to be with what happens. When you eliminate victimization and blame from your life, what you see is the universe is conspiring to support you. We don’t see it usually at that time. When I look back on my relationships, I can see that everyone taught me and led me and evolved me to another whole level. Did I take myself with me? Yes, I did. Each time I was with another person, even if I never got married and I was just in a relationship with him, I learned more about myself. I learned more about the human condition. I learned more about how I will be in my life every day and what that meant in regard to my relationships. It always comes back to ourselves.
I’m just thinking post-divorce, would you recommend someone to seek out a support group? For example, when I was doing it, I was in a group for non-custodial male parents. Do you recommend that as a way of getting yourself re-oriented? Back then I was not anywhere near as aware as I am now. That’s for sure. I don’t know how I would’ve gotten through it otherwise. What is your feeling about that?
It totally depends upon the focus, the energy, the vibration, the philosophy of a group or any group, including any counselor if you go to a counselor. If you are not dealing with somebody who will bring you back to your own empowerment, then I don’t think it’s necessarily going to be the most uplifting, powerful thing for you. It’s an experience, so it’ll be all right, but I do not feel that it’s going to bring you the results that you’re looking for. That means that you need to seek out someone that thinks with a more macro view. That looks at things as a place of being responsible and capable and empowering. It brings you back to who you are, which is completely awesome with or without a mate instead of doing other things. In the old days, way back when, when I would break up with someone and I had a hard time letting go of them, I would write out. I remember this so clearly. I’d get 3X5 cards and I’d write out everything I couldn’t stand about them. All the things that caused me pain and all these things, because what I found is I want to go back with them, in spite of how they were not the person that I wanted to be with and how hurt I was and all that stuff.
The fear of being alone is one of the reasons that we continue to stay in relationships that are not healthy for us anymore. I did that and I can remember I was working with my father. I was a nurse practitioner and I work in his office. When I would have these feelings of yearning or something, I just pull out my little 3X5 cards and I would read all the stuff, all that reminding me all the reasons I did not want to be with that person. It actually was very effective for me. There’s probably a better way to do it now then than that. Although, if you’re finding yourself wanting to go back to an abusive relationship, you might want to try that.
Get a friend to smack you in the face for a minute to wake you back up.
No, that may enhance your abuse desire or something.
We could keep talking about this forever. Do you have any final thoughts of advice or a ray hope for people?
First of all, there’s nothing to be hopeless about. Secondly, if you go with trusting with your process of life, sometimes as challenging as it is, always know that something more awesome is on the horizon. It’s an opportunity for you to come back to yourself and learn how to be self-reliant and how to be in a place where you are feeling that you are worthy of being loved and you’re worthy of love. When we have all of our attention to our partner, we can lose ourselves and then we become impotent in our own lives. It’s very important that you stay within yourself and with your own sense of wellness and strength. You’ll feel the feelings of grief and whatever else it is that you feel, but you are going to know on some level that this is a great thing for you. Even when you are crying, you will have that awareness going on and that’s very powerful. Because if you can stay with what is, you will move through this much more quickly and what you want to also do is make sure that you’re clear about what you learned and what you want before you go out and get another relationship and repeat the same pattern.
Because if you didn’t clean up your own issues, then they’re going to go with you into the next relationship or you will attract someone in your next relationship that will give you an opportunity to see that again. That’s why people marry the same person over and over again because it’s the universe’s way of saying, “Excuse me, I think you forgot about this. Let’s get this cleaned up.” From there we get to have another person to shine that light on us.
That is such good advice. As a reminder, we did one episode and the title was something like Why do I want to be in a relationship to begin with? After one goes through the experience that we’re talking about, this divorce experience, that would be a good thing to read to find out what you want afterwards and to make sure you keep self as your primary focus and importance so you don’t lose yourself.Always know that something more awesome is on the horizon. Click To Tweet
If you’re going through something like this, I can’t tell you how many people I have supported in getting clear about whether to stay or whether to go and how to deal with the loss of someone, even if it was you who wanted the separation or the divorce. It’s just something that I can support you in, especially when you are hurting and you want to go off the deep end so to speak. You may want to go wild or you may want to be rageful.
When we experienced all of the things in divorce, what we’re bringing in is all of the programs, all of the experiences we’ve had in our life, which they become like an entangled mess of a matrix that some sometimes is seemingly very challenging to parse out. We have to realize that we’re going through many years of old experiences and beliefs and our parents and all that stuff. It’s all intertwined with this. Give yourself a break and just love yourself.
No blame on you, no blame on them. No guilt on you, no guilt on them.
As you say, life is just happening. When you say that, just duck if someone doesn’t agree with you.
They cannot agree with me and that’s okay.
This is awesome. This is a great conversation. We’re going to move to the next section, which is Ask E. We have a question from Marissa from San Antonio, Texas who read our blog about cheating. This is her question. “Have I ever had the urge to cheat? Yes. My husband does not communicate with me and I don’t feel like he even cares about me. I can have a decent conversation where I feel heard. I want someone who I can relate to and who will listen to me. I don’t know how to handle this.”
Marissa, the first thing I suggest to you is to go back to the episode we did on June 14th, 2019 called How Communication Can Make or Break Your Relationship because there’s a lot of tools there. The fact that you are not getting what you want, the question I would ask you is, “How open are you with your partner asking for what it is that you want? Do you say it’s important to me that you sit down and speak to me? Do you ask him at times when it’s not a good time for him to speak because he’s running out the door or he has an appointment on the phone or something like that? Are you doing it at a time when there is availability?”
Pay attention to that. You can start by letting your heart soften and be a little more open minded and compassionate. If you may be a little bit beyond the ability to be able to do this, but the ideal would be to sit down and say, “Honey, I love you, but I feel like we’re just far apart. I don’t feel like we’re connecting in a way that at least I’m feeling particularly good about. I don’t know how you feel about that, but I’d like more.” One of the things Marissa and you probably know this and this is for everybody to know, when you do not get your emotional needs met and you’re a woman, you do not feel like having sex 99% of the time.
Men that want sex have got to realize that the foreplay is not right before being in bed or in bed. It’s about having a relationship that is relatable, a relationship that is kind, that is compassionate, that is open-minded and open-hearted because that creates safety. A woman does not want to expose herself literally or figuratively if she doesn’t feel safe. The truth is men don’t either, but they have a more animalistic thing about sex. For some of the men these days, that’s not the case because they’re more balanced with male and female.
For the most part, most of the time, men are just looking to create their level of empowerment and safety from the sexual act. When that doesn’t happen, then they get more irritated and then that irritation creates the woman feeling like she is not safe because he’s yelling at her or he’s putting her off or whatever. It just turns into a real mucky thing. Go back and read that episode and then write again if you still have a question about that. What’s important is that you first start with communication. If that doesn’t do it, then there are more things that are underlying what’s going on. You might need a coaching call or you might need more episodes to read and see what happens. Let me know, my heart goes out to you.
To recognize that the longer the communication gap continues, the longer you two are not communicating, the more water will be under the bridge and walls will be created. After a period of time they seem and will become unsurmountable. That is something to keep in mind.
I was thinking to myself as you were speaking that the thicker and thicker the wall becomes between the two of you.
At some point, it’s like, “I don’t even care anymore.” Because what happens is if you’re not feeling heard or whatever and that wall is there, you’re going to feel worthless. You’ll start taking on your own stuff and pretty soon it’ll snowball into something that is very difficult to recover from. We hope we have helped you, Marissa, and if there’s anything more we can do, please give us another question. That relates to anyone who’s having or in the process of divorce and who would like some support. Please write to us, ask us your questions. It’s a very complicated, very complex situation with tons and tons of emotions running around. Please, we’re here for you and we’d like your feedback and we’d like your questions.
Marissa, think about flying out here to our retreat because we do them regularly.
Yes, we do. We have some pretty awesome ones. That was great advice. I liked the way you framed that for her. That’s good. The last thing is let’s talk about our question of the day.
The question I’m going to give, I’d like you to relate to the person that I gave as an example that had just gone through a divorce and how it worked out. Because at the time that it occurred, he didn’t see this. He didn’t know that it would turn out the way that it did. It’s has catapulted him to a whole new level in his life. Here’s your question. “What if I trusted that what is happening is always in my best interest?” The truth is it really is. You may not be able to see it at that moment, but when you become a much more macro thinker and you see things beyond where they appear to be, you’ll see that your life is awesome.
It’s a very powerful question that you ask and it’s not just limited to, as you said, relatable to the person who’s having the communication issues or divorce issues or whatever. It applies to any issue in your life that doesn’t go the way you think it should. It’s about being able to trust and be okay with that. We want your questions. We want to hear from you. Please contact us. We love to hear you.
I’m so glad that you’re with us. You mean so much to us. We appreciate your comments and we appreciate hearing from you. Until next time, feel a hug.
- Radical Forgiveness
- How Communication Can Make or Break Your Relationship – previous episode
- Relationships Done Different Facebook
- Relationships Done Different Twitter
- Relationships Done Different YouTube
Author: Esateys Stuchiner
Esateys (pronounced Ee sáh teez) is an International Life Transformational Speaker, Author, Master Facilitator, Life Coach and Expert in the Human condition. She is a Nationally and Board Certified Nurse Practitioner. For over 30 years, she has practiced, taught and lectured extensively in the allopathic and alternative medicine field.
Esateys is known for her groundbreaking work in the areas of personal empowerment and health restoration using mindset and inner connection as the catalyst for all change.
Esateys describes herself as the ‘Architect of the New You’ and has dedicated her life and professional career to helping her clients create “New Beginnings” by facilitating self empowerment, economic freedom and restored health.
For more information, go to esateys.com.