Embracing Life’s 50-50 after Betrayal and Divorce

Have you ever found beauty in the breakdown, or peace amidst the chaos? That’s the heart of our latest discussion, where I, Life Coach Jen, invite you to explore the 50-50 concept of life – a balanced approach to embracing both the pain and pleasure that life invariably throws our way. Delving into the aftermath of betrayal, I share insights on the intertwining of joy and sorrow, illustrating how they coexist within us like the timeless yin and yang. In a candid reflection, I emphasize the human capacity for both inflicting and healing from pain, urging a path of forgiveness and self-discovery. Through personal anecdotes, I encourage you to set intentions for your healing journey, whether it’s seeking peace, freedom, or something uniquely yours.

Navigating life post-divorce, especially when children are involved, presents its own set of challenges and growth opportunities. In a deeply personal narrative, I recount a recent encounter with my ex-husband while planning to attend a family event, which unexpectedly brought past emotions to the surface. I dissect this interaction, the power of respect, and the vital role of coaching in gaining perspective on emotional triggers. The importance of asserting personal boundaries for the sake of one’s own well-being is a key focus, as I share the valuable lessons learned in advocating for oneself in the delicate dance of post-divorce co-parenting. Join me for an episode that’s not only about the heart’s resilience but also the strength found in setting healthy boundaries.

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Hi friends, welcome to Happily. Even After I’m Life Coach Jen, a certified life coach that specializes in relationships. I’m a mom of four awesome kids and one amazing son-in-law, a home decorator, a remodeler, a shopper, a scrabbler and a snuggler. I want to help you with your relationships, mainly the relationship you have with yourself, your family and God. Thanks for listening and letting me share the tools I have learned that can help you live happily even after some of life’s greatest challenges. Hey, friends, I’m so excited to be here this Monday morning with you, if that’s when you’re listening to this podcast.

I’ve been thinking about this concept. I actually teach this concept a lot in my coaching and this particular concept has actually freed me from a lot of pain and feelings of inadequacy and judgment. But it’s the concept of the 50-50. And I have actually done a few podcasts. I think Really one of my favorite thoughts about this is like being the world’s okayest mom, because sometimes I’m an amazing mom and sometimes I fall short and don’t show up at the exact way that I want to fall short and don’t show up at the exact way that I want to. So I just love the idea that and really, if you think about it like life is lots of times really awesome and lots of times it really sucks, and especially for those of you, like me, that have experienced betrayal, if you’re going through it right now, you probably think, like I haven’t smiled in days or I can’t imagine feeling happy again, like I don’t even know what that feels like. And so just know life, like the whole purpose of life is, we have the good and the bad, and the happy and the sad. There’s always opposites, because we wouldn’t even know what happy felt like if we didn’t know what sad felt like, and so that’s a good thing. So realize that that is. It’s an important concept to understand and it can be really freeing and know that you’re just not going to be stuck in all these horrible angry emotions for the rest of your life and to really look for little glimpses of moments. You can, in a given day, feel mad and then, a few hours later, you might feel some joy or happiness, and it’s interesting, might feel some joy or happiness, and it’s interesting.

I, of course, love anything Chinese, because I served a mission in Hong Kong and so I really loved the Asian culture and I love the idea of yin yang. I mean this has been a Chinese philosophy for thousands of years, and so there’s lots of ways other cultures can talk about the 50-50, and that is one of them. In the past month, I went to this trauma conference. I know that sounds really exciting, but it really was amazing and one of the presenters their name was Kai Cheng Tom, I think, is how to pronounce it and they spoke about this exact concept and how two things can be true, because a lot of times we always think like no, they’re right, I’m right and they’re wrong. However, what if it’s possible that we are both right and we can also both be wrong, instead of having this tug of war of pointing fingers and not doing that? So when Kai was speaking, they had this heart, and we’ve heard this before hurt people hurt people.

Brene Brown, I think, made that famous, and I I can embrace that like. I believe that, like, when you’re hurt, you want someone else to hurt and, especially if you’ve experienced betrayal, you feel so hurt, you want your spouse to hurt as bad as you, and so we can understand that. But, on the flip side, good people also hurt people. So don’t think that only if you’re hurt are you going to hurt people, but also, sometimes good people say things that are offensive or upsetting and can hurt someone else. I always think motherhood is my greatest teacher, because I love my kids more than anything, and sometimes I say things that are hurtful, and my kids are young adults and so they definitely will call me out on it, which I’m so grateful for. But they’re like mom, that really wasn’t nice and you know it gives me a chance to reflect and be like you’re right, that sounded terrible. I’m so sorry and so being aware, but just know, like just because hurt people, hurt people doesn’t mean good people also don’t hurt people. So I like how there gets your brain to think that we don’t just categorize people in certain categories.

Another one they spoke about is I’ve been hurt, which is true. If you’ve experienced betrayal, you feel and you’ve been hurt. You feel and you’ve been hurt, but also we have hurt people, okay, and so I just want to challenge you to know, like just because you’ve been hurt doesn’t mean you’re not susceptible to also hurting people. I want to be forgiven was when they spoke about, and I don’t owe anyone forgiveness. So think about that. Like we want other people to forgive us, yet we are not willing to forgive other people, and so I think that’s your internal work. If that feels like, oh yeah, people definitely need to forgive me, but I’m not about to forgive someone else, and so pay attention to moments in your life when you’re wanting one thing and then refusing to do the same, and in betrayal it gets tricky, but it’s totally possible to have this and that.

So emotions that you feel in betrayal, they can be intense, but we can also choose how do we want to feel and think about it. Like, eventually, you’re in the middle of it. If you’re in the middle of it right now, you’re just feeling anger and betrayal and sad and probably many, many emotions. But I want you to think about, like, what is your goal? When I first started really healing I think several years ago my goal I actually drew a picture and I’ve talked about this a little bit, but I wanted to feel free and peace. Those were the two main feelings I wanted to feel, and I would say that I feel free and peaceful 85, 90% of the time. However, sometimes I don’t feel that way and that’s okay, right, because I’m not supposed to feel free and peaceful all the time. There’s going to be things that happen to my kids, just in life in general, that are going to bring up different emotions.

My goal with my ex is to feel neutral, and so I would consider, if you did end up getting divorced, decide like, how do you eventually want to feel regarding your ex and see if you can get there. It’s going to take some work, it’s going to take some practice. It’s going to take moments, and don’t beat yourself up if you have moments where you don’t feel neutral, that is totally normal. I’m going to share an experience that recently happened to me. So I’ve talked a lot about the nervous system and my goal is to strengthen my zone of resilience. I want to have my nervous system. I’m trying to build it, make it stronger, and one of the ways that I have been choosing to do that is to periodically talk on the phone with my ex.

Now, I have lots of compassion for anyone lots of you that have to, every day, several times a week, have to see your ex, and I’m glad that’s not me, because for me, since my kids are all 18 and older, I really don’t ever have to talk to him. However, I do have four children. We have four children together so sometimes I do need to have a conversation with him, and so I decided I was going to reach out, I needed to talk to him and the conversation was going great and I was like, oh, I’m doing so good, this is my thoughts inside, doing so great. Like I feel nothing, I feel neutral, like that’s the goal. And I was like, oh, my gosh, this is going so well.

And then he said something that triggered me so much that I like, if you know what a trigger feels like, it’s like your whole blood pressure, your body. I definitely went immediately into fight mode in my body, which is what our nervous system is telling me, like I don’t feel safe, even though we were on the phone, like I, technically, yes, was safe, but I don’t feel safe. Even though we were on the phone, like I, technically, yes, was safe, but I did not feel safe. So I had this experience and when that happens, your logic, part of your brain, totally goes offline and I just could not. I just couldn’t even like think. Clearly, I was just, it was like anger, rage. I can’t believe you would say that to me. Anyways, so we had this conversation and that is how I felt.

The word that he had said to me that was so triggering was because I’m getting ready to go to my son-in-law’s graduation from college in Oklahoma and to me that’s really important. I wasn’t originally going to be able to go because of other scheduling issues for myself, but those changed and so I really wanted to go. But I needed, for my own safety, to make sure I was not going to be on the same plane as my ex-husband and his wife, because that feels very scary to me. I know it’s not like I’m totally safe. However, like the thought of doing that was, I was like I can’t, so I need to let him know. Hey, you probably want to go to the graduation. I don’t know. I’m for sure going to the graduation. I want to make sure you choose a different flight. And yes, that was me trying to manage the situation for me, so I could feel safe. So as we were talking, it was going well. He said I just want you to know that me and my wife respect you and we will do what you want.

So in that moment, when I heard him say he respects me, that’s when I got super triggered, because I was like you, what? Like you don’t respect me. And as I’ve been analyzing this for the past two weeks because for me, when I get triggered, I want to know, okay, what inside of me isn’t healed yet. Why did that bother me so much? And is it true? Is it possible that in the past he didn’t respect me?

This is the definition of respect. It means that you treat your spouse or partner in a thoughtful and courteous way. It means that you avoid treating each other in rude and disrespectful ways. You do not engage in name-calling and do not insult or demean your spouse or partner. Having an affair is probably the ultimate act of disrespect. Among other things, the cheater disrespects their spouse and their vows, but what about the loss of respect suffered by the betrayed spouse? Respecting your spouse again after an affair can be a major obstacle to overcome.

When I heard the word respect, I was like thought all of those things. I’m like wait, no, you can’t respect someone and have an affair. So, as I’ve been thinking about this, I’m like, okay, my, please get on a plane, a different flight than me, because there’s only two flights a day. You know, we both like the same airline. We both probably have points on the same airline, so we were probably both going on the same airline and after I thought about that like yeah, he actually was respecting my wishes at that moment.

But what I did was go into the past and that’s why I got so triggered is because I took his past behavior, which was disrespectful and most of us could agree upon that, and then brought it into the now and that is what triggered me. So I’m grateful I got off the phone quickly. I didn’t say too many unnice things, only a couple. But I realized like okay, it is possible, just like the other things hurt, hurt people, hurt people that okay. No, he didn’t respect me when I was married to him. However, in this moment of me asking to choose a different flight, a different hotel, I’m he is respecting my wishes. So that’s now taking me two weeks and like two coaching sessions to come up with that and I feel good about that, right, that’s why I think coaching is so powerful, because I couldn’t see that in the moment Like I was, just like I was so triggered and so angry and hurt.

How dare you say you respect me that if I didn’t have someone to say, hey, this is my situation, this is what happened. Please help me. And it’s not to say that how I reacted was not okay. It was totally valid, it was totally okay. There’s no judgment for me and no judgment for him. But I just want you to see that in situations, especially when you get triggered, like, okay, what’s going on for you? And I had to really think, okay, do I respect me? And I think I did respect me because I was asking for what I needed and I needed to not be on the same flight as him. Now, if I really wanted to stretch my zone and make myself stronger, maybe I could have the courage.

But I didn’t think my son-in-law’s graduation was the time to meet his wife and what I refer to as his affair partner, and so I’m like that’s not the time to meet her. It could be another time, but not at the graduation, not on the flight to Oklahoma. I didn’t want to end up on the news or have like some crazy thing happen that I, you know, just my emotions got out of control, who knows. I don’t envision me doing that, but you just never know, because when you get triggered and your fight and trauma responses, we all have done things that were like, oh, I wish I wouldn’t have done that. I wish I wouldn’t have done that.

So this is the idea that I want you to understand and consider why it’s important to look at both sides of a situation and this is like I’m going to say. This is definitely like 2.0, 3.0 work. When you’re in the beginning of experiencing betrayal. This is not where you’re going to be working on. This is definitely like when you’re in the growth part of healing your trauma and in your healing journey, but just to know that you’re going to have good days, bad days, all sorts of different emotions, and that is okay and normal and what is supposed to be happening.

So I’m just going to give a few more things that I just want you to consider that we say and do all the time, especially around any difficult subjects, around any difficult subjects. They call this splitting If you’re not with us, you’re against us, and if you’re against us, you are evil. So consider that thought, because that’s, first of all, that’s a very closed-minded way and I know sometimes for protection, for safety, you might need to feel that way, but I just want you to consider the idea of this that in your relationships, is this who you are? Are you this person? If you’re not with me, you’re against me. Because if you want to live in a world with lots of different people and lots of different ideas, it’s going to be really hard to have. This way of thinking is threatening Now.

Of course, it feels scary to disagree, but that is why we need to strengthen our nervous system, our abilities to have difficult conversations. And so, if you find that you struggle with this, this high conflict, don’t start off in something that’s super. Don’t have the conversation if you know that that’s going to be a very conflicting conversation. It’s your way or the highway. I mean, I feel like parents used to say this all the time it’s my way or the highway. If you’re a parent and you’re saying that like stop, like that is not a good way to build relationships with your kids or your spouse, so no one wants to be around you.

If you’re saying it’s your way or the highway, we need to have a conversation, like that isn’t healthy. That is not the idea that there is give and take, the yin and the yang, the back and the forth, the good and the bad. If that is your way of thinking, if you’re in a situation relationship, if you have to watch what you say and do, because one wrong move and you’re out like you might have a job like this, like that. Just just so you know that’s unhealthy, that is not a good environment. You need to not be in that environment. If you’re in that type of marriage, there’s something wrong and you need to get help. So just know that there isn’t one right way of doing anything. There’s not one wrong way, and sometimes we are all wrong and we’re also all right. So the more you can embrace the concept of that being true, the happier your life is going to be. Actually, the more peaceful your life will be, the more content you will be.

And I just want to challenge you, if you are in the thick of betrayal or as you’re, you know, coming out of it and working on healing, that it’s possible to decide ahead of time. How do you want to fill in the situation, what do you want to do? And practice, because it’s going to take practice. It’s taken a lot of practice for me to feel neutral towards my husband because I loved him and then I had to basically hate him, and then now I’m coming to like being neutral with him and that feels so much better. It’s very painful to love him, but it’s also very painful to hate him, and so now me feeling neutral feels like the best case scenario Best case for me and the best case, I think, for my kids. And I don’t know. I’m just going to say best case for him. I haven’t asked him, but loving him was too painful because what he did to me was so, in my opinion, awful and hurtful. And then hating him also felt very awful to me because I just am not. That’s not who I want to be is someone that hates someone, especially who I had four children with.

So, just like the concept, I like the idea, I like the grace and the compassion of the 50-50. Make sure you’re giving that compassion to yourself as well as other people. Thanks so much for listening. Have a beautiful day, people. Thanks so much for listening. Have a beautiful day. If you like my podcast and know of anyone that could use tips and tricks and ideas of how to heal from betrayal, please send it their way. I would love to hear from any one of you. I love getting emails, so send me an email, like and review my podcast and have a great day If you want to learn how to live happily, even after sign up for my email at. Hello at lifecoachjen with one n dot com. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook at happily even after coach. Let’s work together to create your happily even after.

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Hi, I’m Jennifer

I love helping women and men heal from betrayal. I originally started this podcast with my husband and since my divorce I have taken it solo. I love sharing and talking about the 50/50 of life and providing tools to help you along your path to healing.

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