Tune in to part one of my heartfelt conversation with the inspiring Cathy Butler Teichert, a woman who has emerged stronger and happier from the ashes of two divorces. Cathy talks about dealing with feelings of abandonment, rejection, and betrayal, while also highlighting the harmful narratives that can often hold us back during such trying times. What if there was a way to heal from the pain of a broken marriage and channel it into self-acceptance and love? Well, Cathy is here to share her wisdom on just that.
We talk about the concept of radical acceptance and discover how it plays a critical role in the healing process. Cathy shares one of the most helpful narratives for being able to turn something difficult in your life into something full of love and life. Don't miss this incredible first half of my conversation with Cathy Butler Teichert.
For more information about Cathy and how to work with her see below for the links.
Cathy's Podcast, LILY Pod.
Cathy's social media.
Cathy's book, Intentional Courtship.
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Grief and trauma are the two biggest struggles women deal with as they go through their divorce. It's highly likely that you are experiencing both and don't even realize what you're feeling. I'm here to tell you that it's okay for you to grieve your marriage (even if it was shitty) and it's normal to be experiencing some kind of trauma (which is essentially a disconnection from yourself - your mind, body and soul). I can help guide you through the grief in all of the forms it show up so you can heal. I can also teach you how to ground yourself in healing so you can ease through the trauma. Schedule your free consult by clicking here.
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Full Episode Transcript:
What is becoming you again? Well, it's the podcast that helps you move through the grief and trauma of your divorce by reconnecting with yourself. It's where you learn to create lasting emotional resilience, and then you learn how to live a truly independent life so that your life can be even better than when you were married. I'm so glad you're here. You're listening to Becoming you Again, episode number 140. Welcome to Becoming you Again, the podcast to help you with your mental and emotional well-being during and after divorce. This is where you learn to overcome the grief and trauma of your divorce. We're going to do that by reconnecting with yourself, creating lasting emotional resilience and living a truly independent life so that your life can be even better than when you were married. I'm your host, Karin Nelson. Welcome back to the podcast. My lovely ladies, I am so excited that you're here today because I have a very special guest and I really think you are going to love our conversation. My guest in today's episode is Cathy Butler Teichert, and actually our conversation was so long and so beautiful and so full of so much wisdom on Cathy's part, of course that I had to split the episode into two parts. So you're going to listen to the first half today and then make sure and come back next week to listen to the second half, the conclusion of our amazing conversation. But in today's episode you are going to hear about Kathy's journey through not one but two divorces to her relationship now that is thriving and happy with her husband Jeff. You are going to learn how she had to step into radical self-acceptance to fully embrace her divorce healing, and you're going to learn so much more just about healing in general and about things that you can do to create the best possible outcome after your divorce. I'm so excited for you to listen to our amazing conversation. So, without further ado, here is the first half of my conversation with Kathy. Welcome back to the podcast. My lovely ladies, I am so excited for you to be here today and listen to my podcast guest. Today I have my friend, kathy Tichert, and she is going to share so many amazing things, I'm sure, about her divorce experience and what life is like now and so many other tidbits, and I'm just very excited that she's here today. Hi, kathy, thank you so much for being here on the podcast.
Cathy Butler Teichert: 2:33
Hi Karin, Thanks for having me.
Karin Nelson: 2:36
Yeah, I'm so excited. So you and I have both gone through divorce. This is something that we have in common, which is clearly why I asked you to be on this podcast, because I think it's so important to share experiences that other women can listen to who are going through a divorce, because I know at the beginning of a divorce and when you're in the middle of it, it is very hard to imagine that life gets better, that you can get out of a divorce and actually thrive and be living a life that you are excited about. So can you kind of share your story or your journey as far as it goes, with the divorce and dating and remarriage and anything else that you kind of want to share with my audience?
Cathy Butler Teichert: 3:18
Sure. So for me, I got married when I was 19. I think you got married young too, right, yeah, 19. Yep, yep. And so my whole adult life was as a married person and 14 years in two kids. I didn't know how to be alone when he opted out, and it was his choice to get out. However, we both contributed our fair share of drama to the relationship and I'm not going to go into details, but very painful situations. I think in a lot of ways we hurt each other in the worst possible ways for each other. I think, and one thing I wrote about in our Amazon bestseller intentional courtship, is how easy it is to create what we fear.
Karin Nelson: 4:12
Cathy Butler Teichert: 4:13
Even though we don't want it. When we focus on what and hyper fix on what we don't want, our partners almost can't help but show up and give us the exact thing, right? No, isn't it so interesting how that happens.
Karin Nelson: 4:27
Yeah, it's almost like the universe is working in tandem with us and our thoughts and going oh, this is what you keep thinking about and you keep saying you don't want this, but it's all you talk about. So here you go, let's serve it up on a platter for you. Exactly.
Cathy Butler Teichert: 4:40
And I don't think either of us meant to do that. Yeah, I just think that our fears really got in the way of creating goodness and what we wanted, and so, unfortunately, we did hurt each other in the worst possible ways. And I think I mean now I'm very grateful that he, he opted out, but at the time I felt very abandoned and rejected and like my life was over.
Karin Nelson: 5:15
Which is so very common. So like I can't even tell you, you're a coach as well, and so you know, like I'm sure you have client after client who comes to you and is just like this is exactly how I'm feeling. I'm feeling abandoned, I'm feeling betrayed, I'm feeling rejected, and so it's very common to feel those things as you're going through this experience.
Cathy Butler Teichert: 5:37
Well, and then we start telling all sorts of stories around the situation and I didn't even know that's what I was doing. I mean, for a long time I just didn't know what I didn't know and I didn't understand that I was creating my own pain in a large respect. Now, would I have gotten through that without pain? No, because if you have loved and lost, it's going to be painful whether it's a death or divorce, and that's the cost of love, and that's the kind of pain that I do want in my life, because I want love, right yeah. But the dirty pain that comes from all those divorce stories that we tell over and over and over to make ourselves feel better, and usually we're vacillating between shame and blame, and either one is completely unuseful and unhelpful and unsupported, right yeah. And so I did that for a long time and I created a lot of my own pain. And so if I could go back and give myself any advice, it would be radically accept this as part of your life path.
Karin Nelson: 6:44
And that, what a huge like that advice. Right, there is gold, absolute gold, because it is so true. We, just as humans it's our human nature we create unnecessary suffering, like, as you said, the divorce is already going to be painful it is, it is a byproduct of loving right. And yet we pile on way more pain, way more suffering than has to be there in order to tell ourselves some story that we have decided is true or we've decided to believe. And just really getting to that acceptance is where you're allowing yourself to feel the pain that's necessary, but you're not piling on all of that unnecessary, undue suffering on top of that.
Cathy Butler Teichert: 7:40
Well, and our primitive brains are meant to survive the world, and in that survival mechanism, we think that it's crucial to our life expectancy to be right, more than we are wired to be happy and create joy. So true, and yet we're not living in those primal times, and so we really can choose the better. But our brains are just so wired to want to be right, and when we need to get divorced, somebody's got to be wrong and we need to be right, and it really can take away a lot of our joy and our potential for moving on and recovering our lives. Rebuilding, that is so true.
Karin Nelson: 8:37
What a good point of just recognizing that it is so natural for our brain to want to be right rather than it's like happiness. But then I couldn't be right if I really went after that and understood what was actually happening right now, and nothing. You can't create happiness and be right at the same time, but it doesn't always go hand in hand in the way that you're describing and feeling to be wrong in question our thinking. Yeah, absolutely, I love that point. So tell me what else. Tell me more of your journey and the experience that you have had in creating something that you are excited about after divorce.
Cathy Butler Teichert: 9:15
Well, I didn't know how to be alone, so, kind of like, I married the first guy that proposed in college, even though that wasn't my plan. I didn't go to college to get married, but that is what happened. I went with the first guy that came into my life, naturally, and I didn't date around and even though I postponed marrying him for a year and a half, I really was quite attached and I was engaged for a while and we were trying to be intentional about the way we were going to blend our family. But ultimately it wasn't the best person for me. I didn't go seeking for that. I felt still in the despair of being rejected and that's not a good energy to attract someone. So I'm a big proponent for so my husband and I we run an organization called Love in Later Years and so we're life, single life and relationship coaches, anywhere from divorce all the way through remarriage, and one of the things we've noticed is that sometimes we tend to harp quite a bit on be more healed, be more healed, be more healed, make sure you heal and then date. But the problem is sometimes we can go to the opposite extreme and we're healing for decades and we never start dating because it's never quite good enough and we've discovered that there's a lot of healing that needs to happen in a relationship. Now that doesn't mean put all of your garbage on the new person. I think it really is important to wait. It's not like we're changing our minds. It's just that we have to balance waiting and being wise with moving forward and being wise.
Karin Nelson: 11:15
That is an interesting perspective. Yeah, no, it totally makes sense. In fact, I was just talking to one of my clients the other day about this exact thing. I had told her, if you had asked me like when right when I got out of my divorce, or right when I was going through my divorce seven years ago if I thought you should date someone right away, or if you should wait my answer 100% would have been you need to wait, you need to heal, you need to get to know yourself and all of that. And I do agree with that to a certain extent, because then I started dating while I was still separated, as I was going through my divorce, and I met the person that I'm with now, my partner and I. Looking back on our relationship, I've really recognized how much healing he allowed me to do for myself which sounds kind of counterintuitive, but he was the right person for it, because he taught me that it was okay for me to have opinions and to feel feelings and that those feelings are valid, and I didn't know those things before that. And so to have someone's perspective that was very loving and open was something that I needed to create that healing for myself and I'm not saying that's for everyone, but for me that's what I needed. So I love your perspective of Wait, do some healing, but not all. Don't wait years, decades and have that go by and at the same time, don't jump right into a relationship when you're really not, with someone who is prepared to offer you what it is that you might need in those moments.
Cathy Butler Teichert: 12:57
And when we're not prepared to be in the energy and the mind space to attract a really good companion for ourselves like the best match.
Karin Nelson: 13:06
Cathy Butler Teichert: 13:08
And it's interesting. You touched on something during your story that really resonated with me, and I believe each person has their own journey and we can each have our own instincts about these things, about what's best for us, right, and it has been interesting as I've developed new relationships since my first marriage. I've learned that every person shows up a little differently in our lives to teach us something, yeah, and things that we wouldn't learn in our own minds, that have gotten kind of set in things, and so it does open up our world to a new way of thinking, a new way of relating, a new way of being to develop those new relationships. And so the other concern we get when we encourage people to heal first is that saying time heals all wounds, while time is required for some wounds to heal. I mean, right, we don't go in and get surgery and then come out the next day running, and we do require time, but you can give yourself endless amounts of time with a broken bone that never gets reset and it heals wrong. And that's what our brains do when we make up all these stories, and they're never checked. We never go to therapy or coaching or anything that helps us reset those thoughts that are plaguing us, and so I do believe it requires an intentional effort as well as some time.
Karin Nelson: 14:48
I love that too, because I think it's so true. There's all of these sayings that have been passed down through generation of but time heals all wounds. Or it takes half the time that you were in a relationship to heal from that relationship, and I just want to be like, but is any of that really true? The idea that if we just wait long enough, yeah, seriously, where's the person out there that gave these and is passing these down through generations? Because the idea that just waiting a certain amount of time, some kind of arbitrary amount of time, and then all of a sudden, oh look, I've healed, is preposterous when we really think about it. And yet, setting that intention, I think you're right. That is the key of just really being intentional with what it is that you want, where you want to go and how you want to be feeling, and then and then set out to do those things to make that happen, to do the work that needs to be done for yourself, to create that healing.
Cathy Butler Teichert: 15:55
Yeah, and then be patient with the time it does take, because a lot of us want to have that pain over with.
Karin Nelson: 16:02
Oh yeah, I'm so tired of feeling this. I hear that. I'm sure you do too. I hear that all the time. I don't want to feel this anymore. I'm tired of feeling this. It's too heavy, it's too hard, which, yeah, you're right, being patient is such a key aspect of the healing process.
Cathy Butler Teichert: 16:17
Yeah, I think patients combined with that intention is going to give us our best chance. And you mentioned that radical acceptance is golden advice. Sometimes it's easier said than done and yet it does make it so much easier. There was a time when I was dating after my second divorce. So that second marriage did lead to a divorce again, and that's when I set out to really find the best match for me and I dated like a crazy woman, but it was very empowering to be able to choose and I was very hesitant to get into relationships and finally I decided, because I was dating a lot of people and I'm like I just need to move in a direction and I chose a direction and then that direction fizzled very fast after I let everyone else go and I was really tempted to ruminate and to think about, well, why did he do this? And to be upset about it and like, well, you know, does he not know the sacrifices I just made and how seriously I take any kind of commitment at this point, Because I'm trying to belong to myself. Anyway, it's interesting because the same man had just told me the last time I saw him he loves nature and he picked up a leaf off the ground. And you know, he said you know plants are very wise, they know how to take poison and turn it into love and life. And it was fall when I walked into the relationship and back out very shortly thereafter. You know his level of commitment and I went out to my red flaming maple tree that was in full fall season bloom and I picked a leaf and I flattened it and I've kept it all this time and it just reminds me to take poison and turn it into love and life and that we can do that and love that. Just doing that alone gave me peace and I just moved on. It was like not a big deal. I didn't let the poison come into me and turn my brain and my heart into mush for the next few days or weeks or months.
Karin Nelson: 18:32
Yeah, that's such a cool visual of like getting that red leaf holding onto it, but then really making it mean, like really putting meaning to those words of like I am not going to take this rejection, this breakup, this whatever you want to call it and make it mean something about me, and make it mean that, like I did something wrong, there's something wrong with me, I'm not lovable, whatever, whatever our brain wants to tell us, right, I love that. I love that you can take that poison and create something beautiful out of it, that that is just going to help you on your journey to the next thing, to the next best part of your life, because I feel like our journey is never just like we reach a best part and then we're done, that's it, we've hit the peak.
Cathy Butler Teichert: 19:26
No, it's a journey and it's a 100% journey. I have to remind myself about radical acceptance and that that's a thing I can do. Yeah, I'm not perfect at it, I don't know if I ever will be. I think it's an effort because, again, we're always fighting that primitive brain of ours that wants to be right and wants to make our case and wants to have our day in court, and we have these conversations with ourselves, so true, and we really can just accept and move forward, like okay, that wasn't the right direction.
Karin Nelson: 20:00
And so what happened after that? Like after you have recognized, like I don't have to accept this poison that has been offered to me, I can truly turn it into, I can truly turn my life into whatever it is that I want. Where did that? Where does that take you?
Cathy Butler Teichert: 20:15
Well, I kept dating and I was super impatient with the process, but I had told my maker, my God. I had said, please, if this relationship is not going to be a win, if it's not going to be good for me long term, forever, I want a no, Because I'd felt in my previous two marriages that God had kind of left it up to me and if you want to make this choice, I support you. Like it was kind of more like that and I think it needed to be my choice because and I think every really good relationship does, every healthy one does but this time I was saying, okay, I've learned from two really hard marriage and divorce experiences. Whatever, if there's anything left over, I need to learn how. Help me learn it now. I don't want to learn it again. And even if that means for however many years it takes to get a lot of no's and I did I got a lot of like no, no. I mean, even my current husband at first was a no.
Karin Nelson: 21:41
Oh, that's fascinating yeah.
Cathy Butler Teichert: 21:43
Yeah Well, we tell our love story at the end of intentional courtship and it's quite a wild ride. He went through, see, we had a two year journey and one of those years we were just friends. We did not date at all. But it's interesting how our lives kind of paralleled each other's in how we were preparing intentionally for a companion. He narrowed down his belongings, I cleared out space in my home and actually downsized. And when I say cleared out space, I mean I bought a new bedroom set and I left dressers empty.
Karin Nelson: 22:21
Oh, I love it, I love it. It's like, yeah, you were preparing, and when he moved in.
Cathy Butler Teichert: 22:25
he literally had exactly the right amount of stuff for my downsized home and I love it.
Karin Nelson: 22:30
My simplified lifestyle.
Cathy Butler Teichert: 22:32
Because I had this huge yard before and it was so much work and now we live in an HOA and they do most of it. It's great, it's great.
Karin Nelson: 22:40
I love that. I love that part of the story which I didn't know. I don't think I've ever heard that part of your story before and I love that you two were, first of all, that he was first to know and that you still just kind of were each on your own journey in your own way, preparing yourself for what it was that you truly wanted. And then, when the time we was right, or the stars aligned, or however you want to look at it, you two came back together and are together now and are creating this beautiful life together, which is incredible.
Cathy Butler Teichert: 23:16
Five and a half years and it is by far the best relationship either of us have ever had. We know we're better companions than we were for our first two. We both have been divorced twice, so we both had like a long first marriage, a short or a short second, and really they taught us a lot about how we wanted to show up and how we wanted to create differently and we are very intentional about it. We believe that intentional courtship leads to intentional marriage and the intention is how we beat the odds with second and third marriages, which the divorce rate is higher, but we can be in that 20 to 30% success when we are really striving striving to show up the way we want, create what we want and be in agreement about things that are important and give a lot of grace along the way, because we've all got emotional sunburns and hard things we deal with emotionally. That will probably always be tender.
Karin Nelson: 24:21
Yeah, I love that. I love that idea of giving grace to your new partner, because and not that he's new, I mean, you guys have been together for, as you said, five and a half years. But I just think that is such a key thing when it comes to being in a relationship that is successful is you do have to give grace to the other person and to yourself, because, again, we're not going to ever get to this point where I'm perfect now and you're perfect and we've got this perfect relationship. We have emotions and we're humans and we make mistakes and we don't always show up as the person that we want to be every second of every day, and so being willing to recognize that in your partner, but also recognizing it in yourself, I think is key to having a really healthy, beautiful, long-term relationship.
Cathy Butler Teichert: 25:08
Karin Nelson: 25:10
All right, my friends, that was the first half of the conversation with Kathy. Make sure and tune in to next week's episode to hear the conclusion of our amazing conversation. We talk about the importance of taking responsibility for your own emotions in your relationships. Kathy shares with us how she had to overcome codependency in order to show up as her best self in her now thriving, amazing relationship. And at the very end, Kathy is going to share what she believes is the most important thing that you can do if you find yourself going through a divorce right now. So make sure and tune in next week. I can't wait for you to hear it. I love you all. Thank you so much for being here and I will talk to you soon. Hi, friend, I'm so glad you're here and thanks for listening. I wanted to let you know that if you're wanting more, a way to make deeper, more lasting change, then working one-on-one with me as your coach may be exactly what you need. Together, we'll take everything you're learning in the podcast and implement it in your life, with weekly coaching, real life practice and practical guidance. To learn more about how to work with me one-on-one, go to karin nelson coaching dot com. That's wwwKARINNELSONCoaching dot com. Thanks for listening. If this podcast agreed with you in any way, please take a minute to follow and give me a rating wherever you listen to podcasts and for more details about how I can help you live an even better life than when you were married. Make sure and check out the full show notes by clicking the link in the description.