Elisabeth – You need people who understand, so when you say things like, “So this happened today whatever whatever.” and that might seem really small to someone else like a friend but when you tell another divorced woman, “They’re like oh yeah no that’s big. I’m really sorry you’re having that day today.” It’s to talk to those people, you don’t have to over explain yourself. You can just simply say, “So this happened today” and you know 30 people within five minutes go, “Oh your poor thing, I’m sending you hugs.” Right?


Nicky – Right


Elisabeth – That’s what you need, just someone who can say to you “I get it.”




Nicky – What’s up CorrNation, welcome to another episode of Coin for Thought. Today on the show we have Elisabeth Parsons. She’s the founder of the separation club and online Facebook group and she’s absolutely amazing. Today she’s going to be sharing her personal story of her own divorce thank you so much for joining me on the show.


Elisabeth – It’s really great to be here with you Nicky.


Nicky – Yeah thank you so you’ve been you’ve been divorced now for 14 years. 14 years have passed since.


Elisabeth – I have you’re right 


Nicky – Yeah so what is that what’s that really like you know. Do you think about it? Do you, you know it doesn’t feel like a lifetime away? 


Elisabeth – I guess it feels like a long time ago but I honestly never think about it. To me it’s not a it was something that happened and now it isn’t part of my life anymore.


Nicky – Yeah 


Elisabeth – It’s um, it’s a it’s an interesting question that you asked me because it’s one of those, I actually don’t get asked that very often but I like that you did because one of my big goals or reasons I should say for starting the separation club was I didn’t want women to wear their divorce like this badge of suffering. That they took with them for the rest of their life because a lot of people do not just women but I just happen to work with women but yeah you can you can meet people who have been divorced for 10, 15, 20 years and that’s one of the things that they’ll tell you it’s like my name is whatever and I’m divorced and I’m whatever.


Nicky – Yeah


Elisabeth –  and I just thought that’s 


Nicky – That’s like a badge of dishonor 


Elisabeth – Really a badge of suffering or something that they just carry with them. It, basically their divorced defined who they were and everything that happened after that happened in some way because of the divorce.


Nicky – Right


Elisabeth – But not in a great way right and it would be like you introducing yourself to me and saying um, “Yeah my name is Nicky and then when I was 18, I was in a car accident with my dad’s car. He was pretty pissed.” It would be like saying something like that but who cares it’s not who you are. It’s just something that happened. So my divorce is something that happened it wasn’t great at the time it was definitely a difficult time but it has nothing to do with who I am now except for the fact that I run the separation club.


Nicky – Right, okay.


Elisabeth – Because I loved how I came out of it 


Nicky – So how long were you married and how did it all go down? You you met just like any other girl, you met this guy and then…


Elisabeth – Oh yeah I met like this super good looking guy this advertising agency I was working at. They actually nicknamed us, like the Barbie and Ken of advertising. 


Nicky – Yeah 


Elisabeth – You know. 


Nicky – Yeah


Elisabeth – Yes, I fell in love big time. We were married for 19 years. We have four boys together.


Nicky – Wow


Elisabeth – so you know it was, it was a long marriage for sure. I grew up with him I mean I met him when I was 22. I was married when I was 23 and I had my first son when I was 24. So… 


Nicky – That’s so much to happen in such a short amount of time


Elisabeth – And now that I have kids who are in their 20s. Like my boys are in their 20s


Nicky – Yeah


Elisabeth – Like the thought of them actually you know, they’re children.


Nicky – Well yeah


Elisabeth – I realize now, I realize now that I was a child.


Nicky – Yeah


Elisabeth – So I grew up with him and and it yeah it was an interesting marriage. I guess it had his high points and low points. We were probably never really that well suited because at 23 I didn’t know how to decide if this person was right for me. I just knew I was madly in love so that’s why 


Nicky – Did you know you were though? Did you?


Elisabeth – No


Nicky – No


Elisabeth – No I was a kid I mean if you asked me then I tell you I did 


Nicky – Yeah


Elisabeth – But I know now I didn’t


Nicky – Yeah


Elisabeth – Yeah I didn’t really start catching up with that until my you know started to think more about it in my mid to late 30s and then I got divorced when I was in my early 40s and that’s when I asked myself for the very first time probably in my whole life, who am I?


Nicky – Yeah


Elisabeth – And what do I want? I hadn’t and I realized I’d never asked myself that I mean I knew I wanted children so I had children I knew I wanted to get married so I was married I guess I had asked.


Nicky – It’s just a common milestones


Elisabeth – Yeah but I never said to myself what do I want out of life and who am I? Like I had been introducing myself as you know Clayton’s mom or his wife to people. Like if I went to a work function with him I didn’t say my name’s Elisabeth, I said I’m so-and-so’s wife. It’s you know it’s just one of those things you just kind of lose yourself and I was that’s just what I did


Nicky – So how did it all go about? Like you know you guys you know you guys, did you guys come from like a wealthy background when you guys came together? Was money ever an issue?


Elisabeth – Well we thought about money I think a lot of people do but yeah but no I I’d say we came from different backgrounds but not that that was not a factor that played in for us I probably grew up with more than. He did, I know I did but it wasn’t an issue between us that in itself we had just had you know we had many issues so I don’t I wouldn’t say that those were our problems. We’re different people and we have a different value system and that’s really what started shining through and then you know cliche he had a an affair and it was the second one in our marriage. We’ve gotten through the first one but I couldn’t get to the second one


Nicky – So how did you feel when when it first happened? I feel like a lot of women are so embarrassed to say that you know their husband or their partner cheated on them and they almost take it like it’s a reflection on them, really and what’s your what’s your take on that? How did you feel?


Elisabeth – I probably spent, I’m going to say not more than a week in the place so this is my fault somehow like I’d done something wrong. That I had not been good enough and then I realized fairly quickly that no this isn’t on me. Like this was a choice that he had made and so I said to him the day I found out my exact words were I’ll take 50% of the responsibility for anything that was wrong until the day you unzipped your pants. I said that’s 100 on you.


Nicky – That’s really powerful.


Elisabeth – So I you know it’s really I just understood that his that choice was his the problems leading up to it, yeah I had to own some of that.


Nicky – Yeah so that that was crazy how what was your action plan really to get over that cheating because sometimes you know that’s the last straw often times. People always say like you know he cheated on me or she cheated on me but I find that you know it’s when your values and your foundations aren’t really good and cheating happens it’s almost like the last thing that happens because there’s so many things before that, that hasn’t worked for quite a long time. Do you kind of agree with that?


Elisabeth – Absolutely, like I said it’s clearly he wouldn’t have done that if he’d been totally happy.


Nicky – Right


Elisabeth – So there’s definitely there was something that was wrong and it’s not like I didn’t know that you know. In my group I often hear, “I was blindsided.” Shis is this is often how they come into the group you know my my husband of x number of years, or partner, had an affair and I was absolutely blindsided. Now I was blindsided in that I didn’t know that he was having an affair until I knew like.


Nicky – Right


Elisabeth – Until I knew I had didn’t know really.


Nicky – Were there signs? Did you, did you sense it?


Elisabeth – There was a sign a couple months before and I had actually flat out asked him and he’d said no and I had accepted it, which in the self is kind of strange since he had done this before but when I found the evidence there was no disputing it anymore. It was the usual, I saw it on this phone right but yeah it’s it’s devastating for sure. It’s an insult. It’s an incredible insult. For me one of the big feelings that came out of it is that I felt like he was treating me like I was an idiot. Like that kind of like oh I can lie to you and go behind your back you’re too stupid to know.


Nicky – It felt really condescending maybe.


Elisabeth – Yeah like yeah like did you think I wasn’t going to find out and I guess you know it was there’s a lot of feelings.


Nicky – What did he say? What did he say when you confronted him about it?


Elisabeth – He went from saying nothing to saying very little to saying things that were very unsatisfactory and I honestly realized also that so I really wanted an explanation and I see this in my group actually all the time. You want that tell me why and ideally tell me why so it isn’t my fault.


Nicky – Yeah


Elisabeth – But when you when an affair is discovered emotions are super high I went on attack mode. Like I launched myself at him, not physically, but I was like you know how could you and of course you say things and whatever so the fight that the conflict is there and you’re both saying things in such a heightened state. I don’t even remember all the explanations or the things that he said to me and what I kind of learned from that too is it didn’t actually really matter why.


Nicky – Yeah


Elisabeth – He did it and the biggest thing that I had to decide was whether I wanted to save our marriage again. Whether I wanted to be in this anymore and I decided that the marriage that we had was not good enough for me. It sounds so bad. Was not satisfying or.


Nicky – It wasn’t going in a direction where you felt like it was amounting to anything…


Elisabeth – Yeah


Nicky – That connected with you


Elisabeth – That was really the bottom line was what


Nicky – Yeah


Elisabeth – Because I’d gone through having to learn to trust him before and at the time it was the right thing to do and I’m glad I did that a lot of people ask me that do you wish you’d left when the first one happened. No, I don’t we put things back together and we did it the right way and we had some really good years after that. So when this happened I wasn’t like, “Oh I should have left.” That was not my thought it was more I can’t do this again. That and the marriage that I’m trying to save if I have to go through all that again is not one that I really want to save. So my thing was we’d have to have a whole new marriage. I remember saying that to him and he didn’t understand what I was talking about


Nicky – Yeah


Elisabeth – Which I I also get because I was basically saying I need you to be completely different


Nicky – Right


Elisabeth – And


Nicky – Well I feel like sometimes like you know you have to look at your partner and you have to really recognize who they are as people.


Elisabeth – Yes


Nicky- And who they are in in their marriage and oftentimes there’s this concept of change. I need you to change to be this person but oftentimes people don’t really understand that the person that they’re asking this person to be is so different from who they are right now and there’s that there’s that cloud where you know all this motivation where it’s like you can be anything you want to be you can just do anything you want to do you just have to want it and I think that there’s a lot of limits to that. Don’t you think?


Elisabeth – Absolutely and I knew that he could not be the person that I now needed him to be and so what had happened you asked me earlier you know I grew up I said you know I grew up in my 30s. I started to find myself started to and when this happened I just realized I just couldn’t go back to where we had been before this had happened. I just I backwards was not an option for me and that’s what it felt like going back to that and it wasn’t it just wasn’t right for me anymore and that really was my decision was that this wasn’t right for me anymore. So it wasn’t so much about “You cheated I’m leaving you this is all your fault.” It was more of a “I can’t do this anymore. I can’t do this again,” and so that was my decision to leave


Nicky – I also think that a lot of women when they ask that question why it’s because they’re looking for closure but I think closure comes from you. You give yourself that closure, you give 


Elisabeth – Yeah


Nicky – You know they’re looking for that hall pass or something like that.


Elisabeth – Well you know what they’re looking for is validation. So


Nicky – Yeah


Elisabeth – I think we all look for it for a while. That whole like, yes you’re right, you know your partner who cheated is wrong. You get to wear the medal of suffering. I am a victim of that someone cheated on but I didn’t want to wear that badge very long. I wore it for a little while for sure and I cried a lot and I complained to my friends and I enjoyed that they jumped into my rabbit hole and told me what a jerk he was for doing that to me and yeah I needed that and then I woke up one day and commented “Okay I can’t do that anymore.” Like that just that’s not making me happy that’s just like that’s making me just… The way I referred to now with my clients I would that was me sitting in my own mud puddle and splashing around and enjoying it. As opposed to getting up and dusting off and putting on some clean clothes and let’s just get on with life.


Nicky – So tell me about the day that you you told him that this was done


Elisabeth – Oh you like to pick the bad days don’t you? I so this had happened once before and I had almost left then and I told a lot of my friends my family and the reactions had not always been ideal so that was one of the things that had held me back. So I didn’t, you asked me earlier if I who I told and I didn’t really tell a lot of people right away. I actually told more strangers than I told like my mom and dad I didn’t tell them until after we had separated but I


Nicky – You didn’t tell you didn’t tell them that you wanted to separate.


Elisabeth – I didn’t tell them anything. I just phoned them one day and said you should know that we have separated and this is why okay because of their reaction the first time when I was talking about doing it. So I was very guarded with my choices and what I had learned from before was that this is a big decision and I had four teenage sons who needed to I needed to do right. I needed to make a choice that was the right choice for me and for them and I couldn’t mess around what I didn’t want to do was one of those you’re out or let’s try again, oh no that doesn’t work like I didn’t want to do that to them or myself. So I made a decision to just kind of sit on it for a while which is what I did and I did a ton of reflection and growing and learning and so a couple of events which aren’t important to mention but happened around a particular weekend and I just knew. It was just kind of like a flashball moment for me it was like I am done now. I’m ready and so actually we had company, I remember so I remember waking him up at five in the morning and just saying we need to talk and I’m done and I need you to move out and that was and I was clear I wasn’t even crying that morning. I remember I was like I cried


Nicky – You just knew.


Elisabeth – Yeah but I knew I was done. I knew that I had done. So I did my thinking with him still with me as opposed to doing my thinking apart.


Nicky – Was it really hard going through a divorce with with kids? You have boys.


Elisabeth – Yeah I have four of them. Yeah yeah the hardest part about going through with the kids, first of all they’re hurting as well so of course your kids hurt you but you’re also hurting so badly yourself. So it’s one of those, it’s like this everyday balance of pulling yourself together and presenting yourself as as good a mom as you can. Right? My goal was really just to be the same mom because they needed some stability right their world was being flipped upside down and they needed something to be the same and I decided that was going to be me. Like same rules say mom same whatever but yeah I have definitely had some parenting moments I’m not particularly proud of but you know.


Nicky – I think it’s hard too because you know when you’re going through such a tumultuous time it’s hard to really be your best.


Elisabeth – Yeah


Nicky – It’s hard to be able to put your hundred percent forward and I think to a certain extent kids really understand. Especially you know if you have a certain connection with them and they can see that you’re really going through a hard time and we can all do our best you know. We can only do our best and I always I always say that and everybody’s best is really really different oftentimes I think we get so caught up in comparing someone else’s best you know to our best. Like say for example I didn’t have a friend that you know like when when I had my twins I I had friends you know snaped back just like that their bodies were perfect like they never had babies and I carried on with that weight for so long and you know I blame myself. I’m like why am I not like this person you know and I think that I find that a lot in in situations when people are going through a divorce or they’re trying to be you know a good mor dad, when all of this is happening, well it’s not as easy, it’s ideal but it’s not always as easy it’s not and…


Elisabeth – For sure you I think because the filter kind of comes off. You know that ability tone down and to choose your words more wisely, vanishes when you’re going through something like that and my interpretation of what was happening at the time for myself anyway was you know we become heightened as ourselves when something like this happens. When we can’t filter, we can’t be polite, we’re just we’re too emotional, so if you are naturally someone who’s going to be anxious, you’re going to be more anxious now. If you’re naturally someone who’s calm anyway, you’re probably going to be painfully calm. You know if I think we become more ourselves whatever version of ourselves that is


Nicky – Yeah because we retreat to what we know


Elisabeth – Well what’s easy for us because everything else is so hard, so scary, so emotional, that we’re not able to also think about, “Oh how am I handling this moment?” You’re just not able to you, just you just are being you amplified. Like amplified big time I did learn about myself that I’m stronger than I thought and that I handle pressure well which was a really awesome thing to discover about myself and I also realized how important it was to me to come from a place of values. So my value system, my integrity was incredibly important to me. So whereas I was really mad at him for what he’d done I also wasn’t able to get him because so my question to myself was always and the big decision came was can I sleep tonight with a clear conscience like sleep like a baby if I, I wasn’t sleeping anyway, but if I was going to sleep


Nicky – Yeah


Elisabeth – I didn’t sleep for like almost a year. Was you know will I will I sleep through this and will I be still good with this decision in the morning? That was my test and I again I use this with my clients all the time, “It’s how do you want to show up in your divorce for your family?” I know I was far from perfect with my kids and I said I had some parenting moments that were not not good, I’m not proud of them at all but overall the overall takeaway you know for the kids would be that you were mom and that’s what they needed from me to be myself.


Nicky – So did they all kind of deal with it the same way? Or what was there one child that dealt with it different than the other? Or did they kind of band together?


Elisabeth – They definitely banded together. They are so tight because of that it’s like they went to war together, which I hate that they feel like that but that is what happened and they and they very much say to me that’s what you told us to do mom, stick together, stick together, you’re brothers, stick together, which is I guess what I said because that’s what they did. My oldest son I think carried a lot. He felt very that he needed to kind of be there for his younger brothers so I think he found that really hard. He was heading off to university so I I would say that he’s probably the one who’s carried most of it. As a burden I think the other three let go of it a little bit easier. The two youngest ones they’re twins, I have twins as well.


Nicky – Yeah


Elisabeth – They were 11 going on 12 when all this came down and they were less aware but the two older ones were much more aware of what was happening but they’re also boys so they don’t necessarily sit down and talk. They talk about themselves and they did that with me a lot which was great but my son asked me my oldest asked me like a year later he goes “Mom I think back to that summer,” like which was the summer that I was contemplating which they didn’t know anything yet he goes “I think back to that summer and I’m trying to remember if you were different but I don’t remember you being different at all.” He goes, “I don’t remember you even being sad or quiet or nothing,” and he goes “How did you do that? How did you hide it from us?” I said, “well I did until, I couldn’t and then I go into the bathroom and cry for 10 or 15 minutes and then I come back out and be normal again.” Normal.


Nicky – Yeah


Elisabeth – But it was I thought it was sweet that he had gotten to maturity where he actually realized like how did you do that so and then I shared with him that I hadn’t done quite as well as he might have thought but I had hidden it well. So


Nicky – Did you tell them about the cheating? Do they know about it they do now?


Elisabeth – I it was something I wasn’t going to tell them and my what I, that was actually the first question that my ex asked me. Are you going to tell them? I said, “No” but I’ll never lie. So if they ask me directly then I will tell them and the two oldest boys ask me directly at some points so okay


Nicky – Yeah I feel like people it’s if they’re younger it’s hard because when kids are really really young they don’t really understand that concept of of cheating. They don’t understand the concept of togetherness, they don’t really understand that concept. So it’s very confusing for them I would say you know but when kids get older I think that they want the truth. Right?


Elisabeth – Yeah


Nicky – And they feel like they deserve the truth and it’s it’s different there it’s you’re on a different playing field at that point.


Elisabeth – Well this is where parents need to put their really big boy and girl pants on because ultimately they don’t deserve the truth. They need to know that what’s how this is affecting their life. They need to know that we love them that and they’re safe. We need to know, they need to know that those things are not going to change. What they don’t need to know is how badly one of the parents messed up.


Nicky – Yeah


Elisabeth – Or that the other parent is super angry at that parent. What they don’t need to know is that there’s someone to blame. It’s not healthy for the kids. It’s actually better that they don’t know. So I hated that they found out and it wasn’t something even when they first asked me I avoided answering but I was speaking to a 15 and almost 18 year old. They weren’t really accepting my vague answers.


Nicky – Yeah


Elisabeth – Whereas the younger two didn’t ask so they didn’t find out for a long time honestly they found out because it slipped in conversation from my older boys because they didn’t realize that they, they’ve forgotten that they didn’t know. So but at that point it didn’t even matter anymore


Nicky – Yeah


Elisabeth – So it was okay


Nicky – How do you felt like the kids moved on after the divorce?


Elisabeth – They carry a lot more of it than I do. So I get to walk away from it right yeah and um


Nicky – Because they still see their dad.


Elisabeth – Of course they do. Yeah, they do they love him they had a troubled relationship with him for a number of years very much because they knew what had happened and I see I don’t think that that was a benefit to them and I do not fall into the school of thought of that you know he deserved this and therefore doesn’t deserve a relationship with the children. I don’t believe in who you are as a father and who you are as her husband are actually two different things. Ideally they meld together in a beautiful way but they don’t always and I don’t believe that the two have to be connected. So just because I chose not to be with him doesn’t mean that I felt that they should not be with him. So that was there were some tough years in the beginning for sure. There was a lot of conflict and that hurt my kids more than anything. More than the actual divorce which is hard and that was hard for me to see they still deal with that they still deal with that, it’s still there.


Nicky – I think that you know a lot of times like parents sometimes put their burden on the kids.


Elisabeth – Yeah


Nicky – They want their kids to be as mad at the other parents because they want to feel supported and that’s how they feel supported in this really warped way. When really I mean like no amount of you’re not going to get any amount of support from your little one. You know and their relationship with the other parent is their relationship with the other parent. It’s got nothing to do with your relationship with your husband or wife. You know?


Elisabeth – Yeah is very true older kids often find this so much more difficult because the parents share too much. They find out too much and now they’re carrying the burden of what went wrong in the marriage and it’s not theirs to carry. So ideally you treat your adult children the way you treat your young children when something like this happens and you you just say to them this actually is not your worry. You know I understand this is hurting you and I’m happy to talk to you about that but the details of what happens between a couple it isn’t the children’s. They don’t have a right to know it actually isn’t their business. What they need to know is what’s going to happen with holidays? What’s going to happen with our home? Where will we be living? When will we see you? Do you still love us? Are we still safe? Are we still looked after? Am I still going to go to school? Will I still see my friends? Am I again going to the same school? These are the things that they want to know.


Nicky – Right


Elisabeth – Answer all those questions. In fact, answer them before they even think of them because they’ll worry about that stuff. But to get into the hole you should be mad at the other parent because of what that parent did to me, hat’s a terrible position to put the kids in because they love both parents regardless of what they’ve done right and they want to love them and it’s better for them to have a good relationship with both parents.


Nicky – Agreed. How did how, what was it like you know when say your your ex met somebody? you know and…


Elisabeth – Well he’d already met somebody.


Nicky – So what was it like kind of having the kids kind of see him move on and move on so quickly.


Elisabeth – Well he he was he’s still with her. He has actually married her. So so this I I seem to be different in many women in this regard. Once I decided that I was done with this marriage I was also done with the affair and her. I I actually never carried any anger towards her at all. She had made no vows to me, no promises to me, she had not you know, I didn’t even know who she was. So you know the the fault if you will or the blame late with him not her because a lot of people channel their anger towards this other person who came in and ruined the family.


Nicky – Right


Elisabeth – No, the person who walked out on the family is the one who technically did that but


Nicky – Yeah


Elisabeth – I am I just you know I don’t think she’s got a high moral value system but I


Nicky – I do I like I I I agree with that because in you know if you know that somebody’s married and if you’re still gonna engage in a relationship with them. Then what does it say about the commitment that you’re trying to build with them? Okay it’s it’s based on something so shaky it’s based on a lie that they’re sort of, you know a lie that they’re kind of creating with somebody else. Also you know what does that say about your relationship as it goes on. I would personally be worried you know hey you know if this guy cheated on on this other woman with me what to say that he’s not going to do it again?


Elisabeth – Well she also cheated on her husband, so 


Nicky – Well there we go


Elisabeth – So it’s you know it’s interesting and I this will be for another another interview altogether but I actually met with her because I had questions like that for her and she asked me. I asked her if she had any questions and she go you know she said well I have one and she yeah she was like once the cheater always a cheater and she goes I’m hypocrite even ask but and I was like that’s not my problem I didn’t even wanna, I’m like you have to sort that out. But


Nicky – Did you find that cathartic talking to her


Elisabeth – It was very good for me. Yes it was a conversation I was incredibly afraid of having but I was my choice I I contacted her and asked her if she’d sit down with me 


Nicky – Did you find it intimidating? Were you nervous about the answers she was going to give you?


Elisabeth – I was actually just super nervous about meeting her because she was 10 years younger than me. Like it was so cliche right like she was so much younger than me, so much younger than him and I had this image of who I thought she was but I was okay. I remember calling my girlfriend on the whole way down to meet her and I was like, what if I cry? What if I cry? And she goes if you cry, you cry. Like no big deal she goes you have every right to cry but I didn’t. So I was super proud of myself for that.


Nicky – Yeah


Elisabeth – But no it was I needed to do that. I needed to put a face to this person that I thought so much about. I don’t know if I’d call it closure or anything like that. It was just a step that I needed to take and I did but she was honestly a non-entity that’s always how I because people ask me all the time like, “How do you feel about her?” She’s a non-entity, she’s not someone who I carry any particular emotions one way or the other for. She’s not she’s she’s good to my kids. Like she’s been nice to them


Nicky – And that’s all that really matters


Elisabeth – She’s never been mean to them or anything like that and and and that’s that’s all I need to know. I don’t really you know.


Nicky – What is their relationship with her?


Elisabeth – She’s their father’s wife, yeah. She’s there.


Nicky – Yeah


Elisabeth – Yeah I mean again they she’s been very nice to them. They think she’s a nice person and they like her and yeah I mean at this point it’s 14 years. So yeah I’m sure they have they care for her on some level but yeah and I never felt like again that threat of like you know, she’s gonna take my place or I never worried about that.


Nicky – So why didn’t you worry about that? I know a lot of women do.


Elisabeth – I know.


Nicky – Why didn’t you?


Elisabeth – I’m their mom


Nicky – Yeah


Elisabeth – That’s a kind of end of conversation. Like I don’t believe that you just replace someone like that.


Nicky – So you went through your divorce. You hired lawyers. Okay?


Elisabeth – Yeah


Nicky – I find that you know especially for my mom when she was going through her divorce that was the hardest thing she had to do.


Elisabeth – Oh


Nicky – Yeah


Elisabeth – Oh that was the first thing I did.


Nicky – Signing that retainer. I think that that was really a how should I say like if any if there’s always moments I find personally. I always find that there’s moments in someone’s relationship or someone’s divorce where it hits them that they’re divorced now. That they’re going to get divorced now and the clouds separate and the sun shines, bam you’re divorced kind of thing and this is really really happening and there’s there’s no going back. You know and that moment was was you signing that retainer with with my mom’s lawyer. Right that was that moment for her. For my dad I think and I I can’t I can only speculate because he hasn’t said it but that was selling their marital home.


Elisabeth – I think that was the moment for me as well. I was sitting in that real estate office alone with my agent and then he was sitting in a different room. We were so hostile so that we couldn’t even sit and do this together. He was in the other room with with his girlfriend which was not, I did not like that she was there that day.


Nicky – Right 


Elisabeth – But yeah sitting there alone and signing papers that we have had sold and you know accepting an offer of purchase of our home. That was probably that day where it’s like this is now done now we are truly done


Nicky – Yeah


Elisabeth – So I mean we still had some legal things that had been sorted after that but but yes I felt very. That was that was definitely a momentous moment.


Nicky – How long was your process from you know you telling him that you know you got to move out you know to okay the divorce papers are signed I got my I got my certificate


Elisabeth – He moved out in september the following june I moved out of the that’s when I we sold the house


Nicky – Okay


Elisabeth – So that was when I had that moment and then the following march so I guess a year and a half.


Nicky – Yeah


Elisabeth – Is when the lawyer’s office called me and said your divorce is final. I’m like what exactly does that mean. Like what do you mean and she said well I have your divorce decree it is final like there’s it’s done you’re divorced. I said I’m like that’s it I’m divorced and she said yes and I literally whooped on the phone. I was like and she starts laughing and she said that’s not the reaction I usually get. I’m like really what is it usually? She goes ah people are usually a bit sad and they cry I’m like no not me I said no I’m planning a party.


Nicky – I did what was that year and a half slow for you was it fast for you


Elisabeth – That I don’t remember I the the slowest part was the first four months first four or five months. Once we left the house I can honestly say it felt like it went faster. Like I was moving on my life so once I moved out and I was living on my own now with my boys and getting on with my life kind of. The fact that I also had this legal thing going on on the side and that’s you know that’s another thing I talk to my clients about all the time because they’re like oh I can’t feel bad I can’t heal until my divorce is final.


Nicky – Right


Elisabeth – Yes you can I once I moved out it would that was like oh okay so I was out of the memories I was away from the bad stuff that had happened and all what had felt slow and now I was just I was free to be happy and I was happy. I had healed I’d done the work and I just happened to have this legal thing going on the side.


Nicky – You didn’t have any support at that time you didn’t have anyone helping you telling you what to do you had to figure it out all on your own.


Elisabeth – I had my lawyer I learned very quickly that she’s just there for legal questions because I even learned like yeah I call her paralegal not her when I have questions. Like if I can avoid it because it’s 


Nicky – It costs you.


Elisabeth – It costs every time. Chit-chatting about the weekend costs money right. Like I did it was a tough lesson to learn but you know I didn’t have I had friends but what I didn’t have was people who got it. I did not have a single friend who was divorced. I didn’t have someone who could just sit there and say oh I get it. When you have when you have thoughts that aren’t necessarily all that nice or when you’re super angry in a kind of irrational way but you just are. Someone who just can say oh yeah yeah yeah I’ve been there and that was such a big part of why I created the separation club because I know you need your close friends and your family and your lawyer and your therapist but you also need women.


Nicky – You need your a community


Elisabeth – You need people who understand. So when you say things like, so this happened today, whatever, whatever. That might seem really small to someone else like a friend but when you tell another divorced woman, they’re like oh yeah that’s big, I’m really sorry you’re having that day today. It’s to talk to those people you don’t have to overexplain yourself, you can just simply say so this happened today and you 30 people within five minutes go oh you’re poor thing I’m sending you hugs. Right. That’s what you need just someone who can say to you. I get it.


Nicky – Yeah


Elisabeth – I did not have that


Nicky – I think that that’s really important because I feel like people even though you know divorce rates are so high it’s it’s very common to be in a situation where you don’t even have one person as part of your personal inner circle community who’s divorced


Elisabeth – Yeah


Nicky – And when you have a situation like that people don’t often know how to support you and people don’t want to get involved. They might know both parties. They don’t want to say things but what makes me sad personally is that they don’t want to ask either. They don’t want to be able to turn around and say hey you’re going through this divorce, I don’t really know what you’re feeling I don’t really know how to support you,. Can you teach me along the way? Let me know what you need and I think that that that’s something that’s really lacking in people. What do you think?


Elisabeth – Well yes but I also think from someone who’s gone through it if somebody had asked me what do you need, you know you’d be a default to that I’m fine. Right? I think if you want to help someone who’s going through divorce and you don’t know how they feel because you haven’t gone through it yourself then help them by either just sit and listen and don’t talk or do something for them. Like bring them dinners you know we often talk about inside the group how it’s a loss. When you lose your partner it’s a loss. Whether you listen to divorce or death it’s a loss. When you lose someone to death the community rallies they bring you dinners for a month they take your kids to school for you they they rally around and they offload daily tasks because it’s hard for a widow or widower to manage those tasks when they’re grieving. Well these women are grieving but there’s no rallying. There’s no one who shows up with a pot of you know soup. There’s no one who comes and says hey when I take your kids to school for the next until you tell me to stop kind of thing. Right? So that’s something that people can do but again I think that’s why this community has grown so much because it is a place where they can reach out to women who understand. The thing they find with their friends that happens too often is that they try to fix and then they don’t get it so they say the wrong thing and then it upsets them even more. So they just stop talking to them. So as a friend just listen.


Nicky – Yeah, how did you feel about your your parents? You said that it was hard for you the first time. You know you went to them you would share that with them.


Elisabeth – Yeah.


Nicky – Was it religious? Was it cultural?


Elisabeth – No 


Nicky – What was it you know that?


Elisabeth – My mom was being a mom right so the first time the first time when I was talking about it and I went to them right away. My kids at the time were three three like three three oh my god now I got to do my math six and nine something like that. They were young anyway yeah I think she was just so worried about how I was going to manage. So she tried to talk me out of it like your kids are so young and and is it really that bad blah blah blah right which was not what I wanted to hear.


Nicky – Yeah because you never want your kid to be telling you this news also no.


Elisabeth – And and and of course at the time I had no capacity to even begin to understand her point of view I was just like how could you possibly say that to me. So I just shut down I didn’t talk to her anymore I just talked to my friends who were supporting me which is okay as well. If somebody’s not saying what you need to hear then don’t talk to them. So the second time around I knew I had a really big decision to make of course and I wanted to make it on my own without being told what I should do. So I very was very careful about talking to people the first few people I talked to like they were kind of strangers that you meet in this world who you know someone just makes a mistake of saying to you say “how are you doing today” and you just start crying and then next to you know you’re telling this person your story, right. So that’s but they’re not gonna they’re not invested in your future so they’re not gonna really give you a lot of advice they’re just gonna listen and give you a hug and let you go on your way, right. So those are the people I told in the beginning so when I decided to tell my mom I had made my decision he had actually moved that already or he was moving out that weekend or something like that and I phoned them and told them and it was interesting because she she was totally on board.


Nicky – She was?


Elisabeth – Yeah she just said she goes I’m not surprised hH was never that nice to you anyway that’s what she said to me


Nicky – Wow like okay that must have been really comforting


Elisabeth – Yeah


Nicky – Yeah


Elisabeth – It was nice to not I was expecting to get on the phone and having to justify and explain and I didn’t have to do that. So that was nice.


Nicky – That’s awesome yeah actually I’m really happy to hear that. So if you could if you could give people three tips on getting through their divorce. You know going through that tunnel, right. What would you what would you say?


Elisabeth – Find a community of women or men if you’re a man but find a community of like-minded souls. Let’s put it that way, who can support you so reach out for help. Get a therapist or a coach that would be number two and number three do the work on your personal growth. Find out who you are. What your values are and stick to them. Don’t make it about the other person, make it about you and your rise. Yeah.


Nicky – Thank you so much for joining us on this amazing episode. If you want to work with Elisabeth check out the description below to see how you can get in contact with Elisabeth. Thank you so much Elisabeth for joining me on the show


Elisabeth – This was great thank you so much Nicky


Nicky – All right don’t forget to like subscribe and hit that notification bell for more videos to come. Have a great day everyone! Bye!