Join us for part two of my conversation with Cathy Butler Teichert who has triumphed over the emotional turmoil of divorce and successfully rebuilt herself. Cathy's story serves as an inspiring testament of overcoming codependency and making peace with past relationships. Her journey, rich with valuable insights about commitment, trust, and the power of self-love, is a beacon of hope for those navigating the tricky path of divorce. We dive into the nitty-gritty of taking responsibility for your own emotions and how it can be the first step towards cultivating healthier relationships.
Cathy and I explore often overlooked commonalities of the human experience, the transformative power of vulnerability, and the crucial importance of self-value beyond relationships. We unpack the art of transforming negative emotions into love, a gift we all hold within ourselves. During our conversation you'll learn how adversity often serves as a springboard to personal growth, with discomfort paving the way to self-discovery. And Cathy shares what she believes is the most important thing you can do if you find yourself going through a divorce right now. Don't miss the incredible part two 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's going to help you move through the grief and trauma of your divorce. How are we gonna do that? We're gonna reconnect you to yourself. In this podcast, you are going to learn to create lasting emotional resilience. You are going to learn how to live a truly independent life so that your life can be even better than when you were married. This is episode number 141 of Becoming you Again. 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 gonna 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, karen Nelson. All right, my friends, I am so glad that you are back because you are in for a big treat. Let's just say it's like an early Christmas present. If you celebrate Christmas, here's your early present from me. This episode is the continuation of my incredible conversation with Cathy Butler Teichert. In part two of our conversation, we talk about the importance of taking responsibility for our own emotions in relationships. This is key to having a healthy relationship. Kathy is going to talk about how she was able to overcome codependency in order to show up as her best self in her now very thriving, very loving relationship that she has with her husband, Jeff. And then, at the very end, kathy reveals to us what she believes is the most important thing that you can do for yourself if you're going through a divorce right now. Do not miss this. It is key and it may be the thing that you need to hear as you're going through your divorce. So, without further ado, here is part two of my conversation with Kathy Butler Teichert.
Cathy Butler Teichert: 1:59
You hear in movies and fairy tales and TV shows. I mean it's so big for people to say we just fell out of love or I just fell hard for him, I couldn't help it. Yeah, if we fall in and out of love based purely on emotion and not choice or accountability at all, it's going to be fickle. Yeah, it's going to be based on the human ways we show up and fail, and then the relationship will fail if we don't have that commitment. And I don't ever say that people should stay in an abusive relationship by any means. In fact, I think that's giving up on both people. If you stay in a situation like that, I think the commitment has to be bigger than just being attached to the relationship, but being attached to creating goodness with that relationship. And I mean what we all want really is for it to mean that we're creating goodness together. But that's not always possible because it really does take two. Does that make sense?
Karin Nelson: 3:22
Yeah, it absolutely makes sense and I like that key point that you made of creating goodness in this relationship, because I think you're right. Like I'm never going to be one to tell someone to leave a relationship. However, I do think that protecting yourself and keeping yourself safe if that is an issue you need to take that into account. And yet there are good relationships where you are going to work together with your partner to create goodness and you can show up, you can continue to show up as the person that you want to be in that relationship, and I think the more you can work together with your partner on that front, the better off the two of you will be and the more goodness you will create between the two of you.
Cathy Butler Teichert: 4:08
And one of the things I've learned from moving through divorce, recovery, dating and beyond I would say I've even learned quite a bit of it in this new marriage is the importance of taking emotional responsibility for ourselves, to be accountable to ourselves for our emotional well-being. No one can make us happy, no one can make us feel loved, no one can show up and tell us that we're beautiful and wonderful and awesome and make us believe it. That really is up to us, whether we're single or married. But if we can work on that when we're single, I think we're a lot more likely to receive it well from a companion, and when somebody's trying to love us, they want it to be received. One of the things I've learned about relationships is the importance of assuming good intentions. Yeah, and most of the time we're gonna be more correct than when we assume someone's trying to hurt us or out to get us. I mean, yes, there are truly evil, horrible people in this world, but I don't think most people are. I think most people are actually trying to show up for us in a good way, and when we believe that and we give them the benefit of the doubt, we give them the opportunity to show up that way. I mean, it's kind of like the opposite of fear creating, you know, bad behavior. It's like I'm trusting you're gonna show up for me and then people kind of want to.
Karin Nelson: 5:43
Every person is truly ultimately going to have the ultimate decision over their own relationship, over their own life, and only you or they will know what is best for them, and I think that's an important distinction for each person. I think that's something very important to know is how do I get you know, how do I find the alignment between my brain, my body and my intuition in knowing what is truly right for me, and no one else will ever be able to tell you what that is. I talk about this on the podcast a lot of just really recognizing the truth that is best and right for you and being able to tap into that.
Cathy Butler Teichert: 6:22
I think the truth of what is, because we also might try to talk ourselves out of seeing abusive behavior. That really is yeah. We want to believe this person wouldn't hurt us, and yet we keep feeling hurt and we're not sure why. Because we think this person is supposed to love us. And you know, sometimes we can really get caught up in believing lies that we know aren't right because it feels better than the truth. And so, you know, I say all this with caution, because I would never want someone to go full steam ahead in one way of thinking. I think there's a balance here, because life is full of dichotomy.
Karin Nelson: 7:05
Yeah, absolutely All right. So, Kathy, tell me one thing that you have learned about yourself when it comes to your divorce, or, like, since your divorce. What is one of the main things that you feel like you've learned about yourself?
Cathy Butler Teichert: 7:24
Well, that I am a very strong and resilient person and I'm also very tender and human, and that combination can be kind of hard, because sometimes people think that I've got it all together, or even I think that, and then I'll fall apart and wonder why.
Karin Nelson: 7:50
You're like why is this? I thought I had it all figured out.
Cathy Butler Teichert: 7:57
So I guess it's taught me to accept my humanness.
Karin Nelson: 8:02
I love that. That's beautiful. That's beautiful because I think it's a kind of a funny thing that you say that, because, I mean, we all are human. That's literally what every person on this earth is, is what we all have in common, right, we are all human beings and yet it's like often the one thing that we overlook. We expect perfection out of other people, we expect other people not to be making those choices, not to be making mistakes. We even expect that of ourself very often and we forget that we are human and we are going to make mistakes and we are going to mess up. We are going to have bad days, we are going to go through difficult times and we're also going to have happiness and create joy and live amazing experiences. But in moments it is very easy to forget that we are human and I love that. Like I mean. It sucks that it was divorce that had to kind of teach you that lesson, but at the same time, put a beautiful lesson to take away from that as well. For sure, yeah, yes, absolutely.
Cathy Butler Teichert: 9:12
I think, for everyone.
Karin Nelson: 9:14
That's one thing to just remember. Is that it's a journey. It really is. What do you think is the biggest struggle that you have had since your divorce? Since your divorce?
Cathy Butler Teichert: 9:29
Well, I really struggled to accept it and that's why, if I could go back, I know I could have held faster had I known how to do that. Kind side is so much more clear.
Karin Nelson: 9:44
Cathy Butler Teichert: 9:45
Yes, but I would say the biggest struggle the sides that and creating more pain for myself that way was co dependence I didn't even understand had taken hold of me and it's taken a lot of years to unwind that. I mean, I would say I still, I still work on it, even in my current marriage to be less co dependent on my husband for my sense of self or my self worth or my happiness and take responsibility for that myself and then show up happy and to happy people really get together and have a lousy time. So if we both do that, when we both do that work, yeah, being happy people, we have a great time yeah.
Karin Nelson: 10:37
Yeah, I think it really goes back to that point that you made a little while ago about taking responsibility for your own emotional life, and that's kind of the the antidote to a codependent relationship, and not that it's bad to be dependent on your partner. I think that can be a beautiful thing. However, there is a difference between that kind of healthy dependency that we want in a loving, great relationship and codependency, where you need that other person to kind of validate you, to kind of tell you that you're worthy, to kind of show you that you're a great person and be constantly feeding that to you. When you kind of step into this idea of I'm going to create that and believe that for myself, it takes so much pressure off of the other person for having to provide that for you.
Cathy Butler Teichert: 11:35
It takes pressure off the relationship itself and that person and besides that, we can get our needs met in lots of different ways and it doesn't always have to be our spouse. I mean certain things, yes, but not everything. Yeah, certainly, and you know I was just thinking about how I'm kind of in a space right now that I'm almost sometimes too independent, and when I try to move into the space of connection then I worry about being codependent. Something I've been pondering a lot lately is intimacy and how really intimacy isn't no-transcript, isn't usually what we think it is, it's really just the willingness to be vulnerable, the willingness to share who we are authentically and honestly and allow people to show up. How are the gun new, I mean, and it's, it's not actually as fun as it seems. It actually can be really invalidating, because a person might say, oh, really, well, you know, this is what I think about that and yeah, darn.
Karin Nelson: 13:00
I was on a different page than you here.
Cathy Butler Teichert: 13:03
And I would have liked to have been validated here. You know, but the things when we're honest with each other in a relationship, sometimes it's going to be validating, which is amazing and awesome. Sometimes it's going to be invalidating and it takes a lot of courage to deal with that and to deal with it in a way that's loving like okay, it's okay, if you don't like this about me, I can like this about me and I can still like you, yeah.
Karin Nelson: 13:34
Yeah, and I think that, truly, when you can get to that place in your relationship is what creates connectedness. It's what creates strong bonds, because you're allowing yourself to really just show up as authentic as possible and you're allowing your partner to also, because they might not like that part about you or they might not accept that part about you in the way that you really hope they would. They're still accepting of you, but this might not be their favorite part about you, right?
Cathy Butler Teichert: 14:09
Well, they're still going to. It's not so interesting, as I'm the same person. I mean, yes, I think I've grown and I've changed and I've evolved, and I think in a lot of good ways. Yeah, but I'm the same person. I was in my first marriage, my second marriage and my third marriage and it is really quite intriguing the things that each of them appreciated me that are very different from each other, and I think what that's taught me honestly is that our worth and what is good about us is in the eye of the beholder. It always is, it always has been, it always will be. And they aren't like the person we're with, that we choose to be with, or our friends or our family are not the determining factors for the value of what we offer. It really is independent of them. It's just that we so often make it mean, ok, well, that part of me must not be that valuable because they don't appreciate it. Well, no, it's just that maybe that doesn't mean as much to them.
Karin Nelson: 15:12
That's it. That's such a good point of having the experience to be able to look back at these, these three. You know big relationships in your life and recognizing I truly am, at the core, the same person. I'm the determining factor of where my worth is, where my value lies. Because they're all going to have their own opinions.
Cathy Butler Teichert: 15:33
Well, and I actually personally think it's beyond me. I think even when I have crappy thoughts about myself, it doesn't change my value.
Karin Nelson: 15:43
Yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah. You're so. You're so right, my value is just what it is it is. It's so inherent and that's that's also a very good point that that it truly doesn't matter, like we could be in the most depressed moment in our life where we don't see any value, and yet it's there, it's inherently within us.
Cathy Butler Teichert: 16:06
I think what you were saying, though, is what matters most is is what we think, because we have to live with that.
Karin Nelson: 16:12
Yeah, we've gone over, kind of what you felt like was the hardest part or the biggest struggle. What do you think has been your best success since divorce, or maybe the best thing that's come out of it, I could say.
Cathy Butler Teichert: 16:32
You know, interestingly enough, with my second marriage came the opportunity to be a stepmom to a teenage daughter, and the opportunity to learn about energy work, and a lot of healing came through that for me. So, even though I wasn't ready to get remarried it was probably a bad idea, in a lot of ways it was my path, and it was a path that I do have gratitude for, because his family showed up for me in ways that they couldn't if we hadn't been married right, and I love what I learned from that. And then I continued on after the divorce, and that's a marriage I opted out of, and that was very empowering to me to know I could choose, and so I would say just the journey of really intentional efforts to heal, to do the very best I could to thrive and live my life to the fullest and learn how to be alone and to say no to relationships that didn't feel like they would serve me best long term and then ultimately to choose into the marriage I did kind of in a really kind of unique fashion and in a way that allowed me to step into a space that actually felt quite uncomfortable, and so this is one thing I would like our listeners to hear, especially if they've had a tendency to attract people who aren't good for them. It might be uncomfortable to walk into a space in which you're treated well. Go with the discomfort if it feels right for you and learn to receive it. Because that's something I had to do. I didn't want to do the thing that most people do in their teens and early 20s, where you find someone you're attracted to that you enjoy making out with and then you get married and see if you're compatible. I wanted to find someone I was compatible with and then intentionally choose to move into a space that we created love and comfort and goodness on purpose, and someone who could grow with me, someone who was self-reflective and working on themselves, and that I did get blessed with that. Not all people are like that, but I think that's really nowadays what marriage requires. I mean, that's why so many people get divorced is we do it backwards usually.
Karin Nelson: 19:33
Yeah, that's a great point and I wanted to add to what you just said. You had said, like, lean into that discomfort and really just allow it if it feels right for you. And I think that is so important because often when we feel uncomfortable about something, even if we think, but maybe this is right for me or maybe this is the next step that I need to be taking, we feel uncomfortable and so we think, but something's gone wrong, this is uncomfortable, and I think we have to kind of shift that mindset and really think about it with this idea of maybe the discomfort doesn't mean something has gone wrong, maybe it's just something that I have to. I think you had said something like you grow into that discomfort or you allow yourself to grow and feel and learn from it. And I think that's an important thing, because if you aren't used to being treated right, if you aren't used to being in a good relationship, if you aren't used to even getting to know yourself and giving yourself grace and recognizing the things that you need and allowing yourself to have those things or do those things that you need, that can feel uncomfortable and again, it does not mean, anything has gone wrong. Yeah, awkward is another really great descriptor of that. It doesn't mean anything's gone wrong. Lean into it.
Cathy Butler Teichert: 20:52
It probably does feel good though, doesn't it? It might feel uncomfortable and awkward, but it feels good, I think, when we take a step in that direction right, it will feel good.
Karin Nelson: 21:03
Even, yeah, yes, and I think that's part of the key of really stepping in to understanding your own intuition and what's going to be best for you is that, like, nothing here feels off in a way that is bad, that feels wrong, and you have to allow yourself those moments to recognize it within yourself of this does feel good. Even though it is uncomfortable, even though I might be scared or I might be nervous about this, I can allow myself to take this next step. Yeah, it's such a beautiful thing. Kathy, as we wind down this podcast episode, is there any advice that you've offered? First of all, thank you so much for offering so much wisdom in your journey and the things that you have learned and the things that you have recognized in yourself and in your relationship now. But is there any like just piece of advice that you would want to leave the listeners who might be going through something that is similar to your experience?
Cathy Butler Teichert: 22:05
Well, if it's still fall when this airs, go pick a leaf off a tree and think about turning poison, or what feels like poison to you.
Karin Nelson: 22:18
Even if it's not poison.
Cathy Butler Teichert: 22:20
If it feels like it could become poison in you, try to transfer it to love and to life. And one thing I wanted to clarify about love in later years. And yes, we are all for, and we do encourage new relationships after you've left and lost, because we think that most of us are happier in happy relationships than single, but we're certainly better off single than in unhappy relationships. Not that relationships are happy or unhappy, it's really just two people getting together that are either unhappy or unhappy in what they create together. But anyway, what I'm saying is love in later years is actually about having more love in us, having more loving experience, having more loving relationships, and it doesn't have to be romantic, even, I would say. When you're trying to take that poison and turn it into love in life, remember that as a human being, you came into this world with love in you. Love is something that we have in us, that we can access, and I think we forget that and we believe it's outside of us and therefore, when we're left, we're rejected. We feel like our tribe has abandoned us in the divorce process, that our love is gone. It's not, it's with us and it's something we get to take with us and it's something we can develop. And I know sometimes I felt like where do I put all this love? I don't have a companion to put it into when we're single. We can put it into us and to our loved ones that are left, whether it be our children or our parents, or our sisters or brothers, or neighbors or friends. You know, there's all sorts of people that are still in our lives that can be our support system and that we can support as well. So there's all sorts of opportunities to love and to be loved, whether we're married or not.
Karin Nelson: 24:46
I love that that is slicing on the cake to the end of this conversation, because I think that is such a beautiful sentiment and so so true of just recognizing how much love we truly have inside of us and it doesn't all have to go to everyone outside of us Like we are worthy of our own love and our own, you know, creating that own love and our own life within us as well, which then, I think, always will open us up to being able to better share it outside of us to our circle, to the people that we want to Every time. So that is such a beautiful end to this episode. Kathy. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing so much of yourself today. If my listeners want to find out more about you, can you tell them how to do that?
Cathy Butler Teichert: 25:41
Yeah, absolutely. We have a website. It's loveinlateryearscom and love in later years. The acronym for that is L-I-L-Y Lily. So our podcast is LilyPod, our YouTube channel is LilyTube and our weekly Lily Letters come, I believe, on Thursday afternoons, and so we're always putting out new content, free resources, because of how much we love the singles community and the way that we have so much compassion in our hearts for people who've loved and lost and the sorrow they're going through, the pain, the anguish, the frustrating change of circumstances and all of the stuff that goes with it. I know it's not easy and really any decisions you make along the way that you think are mistakes are totally understandable. We can really have a lot of compassion for ourselves in the journey and I do hope you'll take advantage of the resources that we do offer and we do have courses and we also do free consults for anybody interested in just kind of getting to know more about what we offer. Besides the free resources, I have a women's group, jeff has a men's group and he does some pre-merital coaching as well. So we've got lots of stuff to take advantage of to help you on your journey. You don't have to do it alone. We felt very alone, and so and I'm really grateful for what you do and for what I see other coaches doing in this realm, because we need everyone.
Karin Nelson: 27:31
We need everyone who's willing to reach out to people who are struggling yeah, yeah, I think that's a great point is you don't have to do it alone, because I felt the same way that you and Jeff probably did when you were going through your journey of just like I'm here, I am and I'm just figuring this out on my own, and it's such a great thing to know that there are so many people out there who have gone through it, who have created resources, who are really out there in the trenches helping people through, heal and create the lives that they want after divorce. So I will have all of the links that Kathy just mentioned in the show notes. So don't worry if you didn't get a chance to write any of that down. You can just check the show notes. But, kathy, thank you so much for being here. I appreciate your time and your wisdom. You have been amazing. Thank you so much. Yeah, thank you. Thanks for listening. My friends, I love you so much and I will be back next week with another episode. 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 KarinNelsonCoaching dot com. It's wwwkarin nelson coaching 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.