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Ep #158: Embracing Strength and Healing After Divorce with Jessica Frew | Becoming You Again Podcast

This week I'm joined by the vibrant Jessica Frew who shares her story of marriage, betrayal, divorce and so much more. Jessica talks about the moment she knew divorce was right for her and how she tapped into that knowing. She shares how she and her ex were able to come up with a 'divorce plan' for the sake of their daughter. 

You'll learn the importance of coming back to yourself after divorce. You'll also learn about the pitfalls of 'perfect partner syndrome', what it is and how to avoid falling into the trap of trying to be the perfect partner as you move into new relationships after divorce.

Don't miss this incredible conversation on divorce, growth and reconnection to self with Jessica Frew. Want to know more about Jessica? Check out the links below.

To schedule your complimentary consult with Karin click here.

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List to the full episode:

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 shows 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.

Featured on this episode:

  1. Interested in the Divorce Betrayal Transformation? Learn more here.

  2. Are you lost and confused about who you are after divorce? Don't worry. I've got 51 Ways to Get to Know Yourself Again. Click here to download.

  3. Want to work first hand with Karin so you can stop worrying about what your life will be like after divorce, and instead begin making it amazing today? Click here to schedule a consult to find out more about working 1:1 with Karin as your coach.

  4. Haven't left a review yet? No problem. Click here to leave one.

Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to Becoming you Again, episode number 158, and I'm your host, Karin Nelson. 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, this week. I am so excited for you to hear my conversation that I have with my guest.

Karin Nelson: 0:35

My guest this week is Jessica Frew. She is a wife, an ex-wife, a mom, a stepmom and a bold action taker. She has a very successful podcast called Husband-in-Law that she records with her husband Matt and her ex-husband Steve, and together they have been sharing their stories of love, marriage, coming out, divorce, remarriage and co-parenting to help others know and understand that they are not alone. And that is literally one of the reasons that I wanted to have her come on my podcast to talk to you, tell you about her story and to just give you more validation, more evidence that whatever you are going through is okay, that you are not alone and that families can look so many different ways divorces, co-parenting it can look so many different ways, and I'm just so excited for you to hear our conversation. Jessica is amazing. She owns the Bold Logic Company, which is devoted to helping people figure out what now, when they go through a crisis in their relationship. She is a firm believer that by knowing and understanding what it is that you really want in your life, that you can boldly create a life that you love, no matter what your circumstances.

Karin Nelson: 1:53

Our conversation is so incredible and I'm again I'm so excited for you to listen to Jessica, and her story, first of all, is amazing. It is not like a story that you've ever heard on this podcast before. Jessica is full of light and life and she is very engaging, and I know you're going to love our conversation because not only does she share her story, but she also talks about how she and her ex-husband were able to create kind of a divorce plan. She talks about having perfect partner syndrome, which is something that she realized she had when she got remarried, and so many other things that I truly think you are going to get so much out of.

Karin Nelson: 2:40

I'm very, very excited for you to hear this. If you can't tell. I'm just like I had a great time talking with Jessica and I'm really grateful that she was on and I'm just excited for you to hear. So enough of me just yammering on and on, let's jump into my conversation with Jessica. Jessica, thank you so much for being here. I am so excited to have you here to talk to my audience about your story and share so many, I'm sure, amazing things about life after divorce. So story and share so many, I'm sure, amazing things about life after divorce, so welcome.

Jessica Frew: 3:10

Thank you for being here.

Karin Nelson: 3:10

Yeah, thanks for having me Super excited to chat with you. Oh my gosh, I'm so excited that you're here, so let's just dive right in. I think that my audience is going to absolutely love our conversation. I know they will because I think your story is incredible, so share with my audience, please, as much or as little of your story as you would like, okay.

Jessica Frew: 3:27

Usually I start with when I met my ex-husband which was crazy to think like 20 years ago or something now which just blows my mind. I'm like, wow, but we met in college and I went to a choir concert one night. I was a vocal performance major and so I was required to be at this choir concert and I was like I do not want to be here, I just want to leave. I am not in the mood, and so before it started, I was like I'm just going to leave, I'll find some other event to meet the qualification.

Jessica Frew: 3:58

And I'm out of here and right when I was getting ready to stand up, this line full of girls comes walking down the aisle and they start filing in to the row in front of me and I'm like, okay, I can't get out until they leave. And at the end of this row is this tall, really good looking guy and there was nowhere for him to sit next to all these girls, so he sat next to me and I was like, okay, I'll just power through. Like I can stay and sit next to this guy for this choir concert, not so bad I'll sit here.

Jessica Frew: 4:27

You know we'll make it through. And we were like chatting on and off, you know, when appropriate, during a choir concert, and at the end he's like, hey, I would love to take you out sometime. Can I get your number? And I was like sure. And the next day he called and asked me out and we were basically together any chance we could get.

Jessica Frew: 4:45

From then on it was just like an easy relationship and we had fun together and right timing for both of us and so we continued forward. We met in February and we were married by December. So super quick, very quick, yes. And then people always talk about how, like the first year of marriage is the hardest and whatever and all that stuff. And I just always say Steve and I just didn't experience that. It just felt like this easy flow into this next chapter of our lives and there wasn't like any big adjustments or anything. And I always say this and then I laugh because six months into our marriage we did have like we had moved across the country just for a summer job and Steve was out at work and I was home like I got on our laptop and was going to look something up. No idea what it was, but at that time you know like there were pop ups on your computer.

Karin Nelson: 5:41


Jessica Frew: 5:41

I opened up the computer and all of this pornography starts popping up. And the pornography itself didn't surprise me. He had told me he looked at pornography and I was like, okay, whatever. But as it's popping up I'm realizing there are no women in sight, Like there are no females on these screens and I was like, okay, that's not what I expected.

Jessica Frew: 6:03

And so I started like looking at a little bit and I'm like, okay, this is really just straight gay porn. No men, and so I mean no women. And so I was like, okay, this is something we need to talk about.

Karin Nelson: 6:15

Like I. What is going on here?

Jessica Frew: 6:17

And like I'm processing through by myself in the middle of like we're not by anybody we knew, and he's out at work and I'm just like crying on the floor in our apartment and he comes home and he knew instantly, like he could tell I wasn't okay and he would, and he knew what had happened. He's like okay, I guess we need to talk about this. I'm like yeah, and I asked him at that point, point blank. I'm like well, are you gay? Like are you? And he's like no, I'm not gay, I just convinced myself it was better to not disrespect women, to look at like this is what he convinced himself. He's in extreme denial and he's like I just, you know, thought it was better to not look at women and so I just look at men and then I'm like okay, you're gay.

Karin Nelson: 6:59

Like I'm thinking this in my head you're gay, but this is fine.

Jessica Frew: 7:02

Like we're really happy, we have so much fun together. He's lots of things that I wanted and so we continued forward. A couple of years later he was in counseling and the counselor's like you know, these things you're telling me are an issue, but until you accept the fact that you're gay, we're not going to be able to work on them. You need to be able to love yourself for who you are before these things are going to fall into place for you. And at that point Steve could tell me he's like okay, I am gay and could verbalize that, but he didn't want to come out to anybody else. He wasn't ready for that. We've been raised in very conservative Christian religion and so it just wasn't an option in his mind. Like this is the life he wanted. He wanted to be married to a woman, he wanted to have kids. Like this was the path forward. And we were both again happy and enjoyed each other.

Karin Nelson: 7:54

So we stayed married and we're like in the midst of like fertility treatments at this point like actively trying to have a lot of stuff going on, and this was and this was an intentional choice. We're staying together, yes, yeah.

Jessica Frew: 8:06

And so we're like okay, like that's fine, like I'm good with that. And we did end up bringing a little girl into our lives five years into our marriage and then, two years after that, steve did end up having an affair with the man and we were like, okay, what does this mean now? How do we work through this? I was actually just writing an email about the exact moment I knew we had to get divorced.

Jessica Frew: 8:32

Like this feeling of like okay, this needs to be done. Like Steve needs to be able to go live his life as who he truly is and love and accept himself for that and find the people who are going to love and accept him as, as a gay man. And and also I needed to be able to go find somebody who was attracted to me in all the ways he had been. People always ask about this, but we had a great sex life before this and like, until he had the affair and then he was no longer attracted to me, and so I was like I need that, like I can't. I didn't think it was going to be that big of a deal, but I'm like no, like I, we need this connection. That's part of the beautiful part of a marriage is being able to connect in all of the ways.

Karin Nelson: 9:16

Can I ask you about that moment you said you were just writing an email, about that moment, like was there, was it, was it almost like an epiphany or just a realization and actualization for you? Because I had, I mean, my situation is different, but I did have kind of the same realization that, like it was time for a divorce and I needed to ask for a divorce and so and it was just like this peaceful feeling I just knew it was right. And so can you kind of talk a little bit about like what that was like for you.

Jessica Frew: 9:47

Before you said it was this peaceful moment that was my thought Is that for me it was like this peaceful moment and like a release of some of the heaviness that I was carrying Absolutely, and also knowing there were big decisions that had to be made and a lot of clarity that still had to be made about this decision. But I knew those would come. I knew, as I continued forward in this path, knowing and speaking the truth, that we needed to get divorced. I knew that would come, and so it was just like this moment of clarity and I can remember the exact spot I'm holding my hand like I'm on the phone.

Jessica Frew: 10:23

I was on the phone with Steve. I was driving down the freeway, I'm holding my hand like I'm on the phone. I was on the phone with Steve. I was driving down the freeway, I was not holding my phone, but you know, whatever. Yeah, yeah. And I just remember him being like we could work this out. I want to keep going, I don't want to leave you, I don't want to get divorced, and just thinking I can't anymore, steve, we can't keep doing this Like it's not okay. And him then being like I know, like we can't. And it was a crazy process, like I was.

Jessica Frew: 10:55

We were living in Oklahoma at the time. I went to visit friends so we could have a little space to see if we could make this decision, because none of our family knew what was going on. Only his mom knew Steve was gay and nobody really knew about the affair. And so I'd gone away just for a couple of weeks. And I remember like calling my parents and being like so I'm going to be moving back to Boise because that's where we lived at the time, like that's, we owned a house there and and Steve's gay, and just like I remember just silence on the other end of the phone for quite a while as I'm telling them.

Karin Nelson: 11:30

They're trying to process through this information.

Jessica Frew: 11:33

They're like hang on, catching them up on like the last five, six years of my life, and so it was just like a weird process to go through. And and so it was just like a weird process to go through, but in that I remember just thinking, like what are my major fears around this divorce? Like I didn't want to get divorced. I'm here. What is the next thing that, like, is really the fear on the other side of this, what is it that feels maybe like a failure, or the things that I want to avoid, cause I'd seen them in other people's lives and really it came down to my daughter, which I think it does for most of us. Is our kids Like what does this look like for my kid?

Karin Nelson: 12:14

And I was like.

Jessica Frew: 12:16

I don't want to be this parent who can't be in the same room as the co-parent. I don't want Penny to have to worry about any of her big life events, anything that she would want both of her parents at. I don't want her to worry about us. I want her to be able to enjoy those moments without thinking holy crap, my parents are in the same room. This is scary, you know.

Karin Nelson: 12:38

Like you hear this all the time. Now I have to choose which parent to invite, or everything's going to feel awkward and like, yeah, I totally.

Jessica Frew: 12:50

And so ultimately that came down to me of like I need to heal whatever is in me that's pained, that's hurt right now, so that I can have that experience and I can show up for Penny and Steve and I can be friends. And we literally created a plan of how we wanted our divorce to look. I mean, you plan out your life, kind of like a general view of what you think it's going to look like and hope that it looks like and how it feels and all of those things. And so Steve and I went through together and kind of planned that out for our divorce, like what would be our ideal situation, how would we feel, how would we be able to interact and laid that out there and by some gift we've been able to create this and be able to make this happen so fast forward. We are 12 years divorced now. I've been remarried for 10 of those years.

Jessica Frew: 13:41

Steve's been in a partnership for almost three years now with his current partner and we do Christmases together and, like last night Steve's at my house. We've started doing like these family get togethers on Sunday night. This is like super recent, but I'm like I miss having him in my home and Penny, our daughter's not at his house as much because she's a teenager now, and so I'm like we need to create these moments of connection. But he was over. Like we've been watching shows together on Sunday nights as a family and it's like the one night everybody doesn't have something going on. Yes, but we've been really. We've worked really hard to have that and I was going to say we've been given a gift but honestly, it's been with a lot of intention and a lot of work that we've been able to have this gift and be able to create this relationship and like we will like Matt and I, my current husband, I will show up at Pride occasionally for a little bit to support him and Jalen, his partner, and just really show that we are cheering him on. And it's been interesting to watch like we have a very different relationship with Matt's ex-wife.

Jessica Frew: 14:49

So I know this doesn't work for everybody, but also we've created a relationship where it is okay now it's taken a lot of years we're 10 years in but where we can be in the same rooms and it is okay and we're not chummy. We don't hang out together, we don't like do things together, but it doesn't matter. We've been able to resolve our own issues enough to just show up for the kids in those moments. So you don't have to be best friends to have a co-parenting relationship that works. But Penny has also been able to see like, oh, I see what my parents have kind of created here and she will acknowledge at times. I mean again, she's a teenager but she will acknowledge at times like that this is, you know, ultimately easier. Not that she doesn't express sometimes like when she was little she'd be like I just wish we could all be back together and she doesn't even remember when we were together.

Karin Nelson: 15:40

I'm like.

Jessica Frew: 15:40

I know, honey, but we can't, and so this is we're going to make the most of it. So that is the short version of the story. It's long but it's short.

Karin Nelson: 15:52

That is incredible and thank you so much for sharing that, for being so vulnerable with your story, because no matter what situation people who go through divorce you know whatever brings them to divorce there's so much similarity in the feelings and in kind of the journey and in trying to figure out co-parenting if you have children together kind of the journey and in trying to figure out co-parenting if you have children together, like that's where the similarities lie and I think we can learn a lot of things from other people's situations, no matter what they are, when we can kind of look at them and kind of question okay, let me look and see where the learning points are or where I can take something from that story and apply it to my own life and decide. I love this like the intention that, that idea that you and your ex-husband like intentionally planned out what you wanted your divorce and moving forward with your life with your daughter, what you wanted that to look like. I just think that is brilliant because co-parenting can be one of the most difficult things and so like I know you are a divorce coach and I am also a coach and so like that is one of the things that my clients will come to me and say and you can add anything that you want to this, but their children is always on their mind. It's always on the forefront of like, am I screwing up my kids, am I traumatizing them for life? How do I get through this without, you know, ruining my children's lives? And I love that idea of like we're just going to plan it out and do the best that we can do on our end and lay it out there and, of course, our kids get to create what they will and make meaning of what they will, but like we can create an environment to make that a little bit easier for them, to kind of support them in the ways that they might need.

Karin Nelson: 17:43

So brilliant, I love that, so, so much. So you have talked a lot about, kind of like this experience and the relationship that you have created with your, your ex and your husband right now, and that that kind of co-parenting all around relationship. What do you think that you learned about yourself? Was there anything that you really learned about yourself through this whole experience that has stuck out for you?

Jessica Frew: 18:10

Yes, and the first thing that came to mind involves a swear word. It's okay, you can throw ice around my pocket sometimes.

Karin Nelson: 18:17

No, worries, I'm like I never know if that's okay or not.

Jessica Frew: 18:21

Um, but first and foremost comes to mind is I learned that I am a badass, which I knew before, but like embracing that on a whole nother level. Coming out of this experience was just like that connection back to ourselves, every woman that I work with going through a divorce or something hard in their relationship, whether they get divorced or not because some of the women I work with don't end up getting divorced, which is great. But we all have to come back to ourselves to be able to heal through this, to process through whatever has happened to us, heal through this, to process through whatever has happened to us. And so for me, that was really the takeaway is that, honestly, I realized how much I protected myself and taking care of myself through my marriage, of realizing I had done so much work leading up to this point that it was a lot easier than I expected it to be. It still hurt, it was painful and it was a lot easier than I expected it to be. It still hurt, it was painful and it was sad and I mourned it for years, even into my second marriage, like I was still mourning parts of this relationship, but there was a strength in me that I learned to love and appreciate even more and to acknowledge even more.

Jessica Frew: 19:34

But I think that's the thing is.

Jessica Frew: 19:35

Just coming back to ourselves after divorce is the most empowering, greatest gift you can have, and I always tell women this.

Jessica Frew: 19:44

I'm like I know right now you do not see this as a gift and it hurts and it sucks, and I see that and I also want you to know that someday you are going to look back and you are going to be like man I am amazing, like I am so strong, and you are going to see this next obstacle that comes up in your life and you're going to be like I got this, I can do this.

Jessica Frew: 20:06

I know it's going to hurt, I know there's going to be moments of pain and also I'm going to find so much more joy and connection to myself on the other side and the more connected we are to ourselves, the more connected we are to our kids, and so we worry about our kids. But I'm like, if you can take care of yourself and work through this process and show them in real time how you're doing this, first of all they learn from that and also that gives them the space to feel through and to feel seen and to express their emotions in a safe place. And that's healing. That's what gets them through and makes it so they're not screwed up down the road and dealing with it when they're in their 30s or 40s or whenever they decide to deal with it. But ideally they've had this space kind of processed through alongside you and that's huge and we can teach them that and help them do that, because they're going to go through crappy hard things too.

Karin Nelson: 20:59

Yeah, so anyway, oh, my gosh, I love that. I love because I totally, 100% agree with you, like first of all, women are just bad-asses like in general, can we just like put that out there we are.

Karin Nelson: 21:11

We just are like we handle so much shit constantly and to be able to come out on top of that over and over and over again all all day long with everything that's happening with our family, our kids, our work, our you know school or whatever.

Karin Nelson: 21:26

Whatever is you're dealing with in your life. We as women are just, in general, freaking amazing, yeah, which is great, but I totally agree with you. This this idea of like going through something that is very, very challenging, like a divorce, a betrayal, figuring out if you even want to get divorced, like even just that decision, is a very difficult thing to face. And to be honest with yourself about whether, whatever way you decide to go Right and to be able to handle those things with grace and compassion for yourself and then grace and compassion for all the people around you, like that's just not everybody can do that, and so to be able to show up in that way and recognize it in yourself and then honor that and then also like be that example for your kids as well, that's huge, so huge. So I love that.

Karin Nelson: 22:15

That was that's been like one of your biggest takeaways as, like, what did I really learn about myself? And I think we all should be doing that, like that self-reflection of like what, what is great about me in this moment? Maybe where do I need to like step it up? Or maybe I'm just stepping it up, great, and I'm doing amazing and like I'm doing the best that I can. I'm a badass.

Jessica Frew: 22:36

Let's live in this space and let's own it, because I love that I was going to say, and in this process, I always feel like when we think about, like I'm ready to level up or whatever, like you were just saying, like go for more, I feel like sometimes that means doing less, especially when you're going through a divorce or something hard less, especially when you're going through a divorce or something hard.

Jessica Frew: 22:59

The ability to do less and to carry less in your life is huge, and so leveling up might not be like I'm powering through all the things it might be, and more often than not is I am releasing all these things that aren't serving me. Maybe I'll come back to some of them, maybe I won't, but right now I can't carry it all and I'm going to focus in on the things that really matter and, honestly, going back to like what is one of the things that came out of this that is one of the greatest gifts for me, too is being able to release things that were not serving me and embrace what is.

Karin Nelson: 23:29

So just a thought there. No, I love that. In fact, I was just coaching a client the other day and she's starting to come to that realization, that exact realization of just like showing up for herself and kind of answering that question of, like, what, what does that even mean? Because before it was the white knuckling, I'm just going to do it, because I've been taught I should always just do the thing that I said I would do, or because you know I've got to be the type A personality or whatever, right. And so she's starting to learn like it's okay for me to like do what's best for me in this moment, and if that means saying no, or if that means like taking a break, taking a nap, if that means like not being on the PTA this year, or like whatever, whatever, right.

Karin Nelson: 24:10

We all have things going on in our lives and it can mean that can mean many different things to many different people. But like really taking a look at yourself and going what is going to be the best decision for me in this moment Not everyone around me, but me and really like take care and protect me right now, because I don't think we do that enough as women right now, because I don't think we do that enough as women. I think we're very much because we're the nurturers, because we're looked at in society as like these, the person who takes care of everyone else and puts everyone else first. It can feel very uncomfortable, right To put yourself in that situation where you're like wait a minute, I have needs and wants that need to be looked at.

Karin Nelson: 24:49

I've never done that, I don't know about that, and so I love that, that you really pinpointed that as well, as maybe this means taking a step back. Maybe that's, in some ways, the better decision here, so, oh, love it. This is gold audience.

Karin Nelson: 25:07

I know, you're loving this, but this is such gold. Thank you so much. Okay, so, as you are going through your divorce and you're figuring out your plan and all of these, you know things that are happening in this, the future that's coming. What do you think that the biggest struggle was? I know you said that you grieved, even for many years into your new marriage, but what do you feel like was the biggest struggle for you as you've gone through this process?

Jessica Frew: 25:30

if there's anything that you can identify, I mean, obviously, just staying focused on not losing myself in this process was probably the hardest thing. And it wasn't even the divorce where I thought I lost myself because, again, like I'm a very, like I stay very connected to me and what it is I want it came out when I got remarried of like this need to prove my worth in some way to this new man and to his ex-wife and to his kids and his family, of like I need you to know how awesome I am type thing, and that I can do all of the things and I can show up in all the ways. And in that I gave away so much of who I was and what I needed, because I was still mourning, like I got married very quickly after my divorce and so I needed time to lean into that simplicity. And this wasn't because of things he was putting on me. Now his trauma reared up as soon as we got married. Like literally the day we got married I was like whoa, he's not okay. And so like, yes, I was feeling that I was feeling him pull away because he was dealing with his trauma, but he couldn't express that, he couldn't, like he didn't fully understand what was going on or what just happened either, and so I was like, okay, well, I need to do more. I need to do more. And I've realized that it was part of me trying to prove my worth to him and all those things, and I'm like I know better than this.

Jessica Frew: 27:03

Like a couple of years Well, one year into our marriage, I really started leaning into it. Two years in, I was like, okay, full on, lean into this. I know that this is what I'm doing and I need to release it because it wasn't serving any of us, but it was that need to prove my worth because I didn't want my marriage to fail again. I didn't want to lose somebody. That being said, I also wasn't afraid to walk away. I think once you've been through a divorce it's like the second time you get married you're like I don't need this person, like I don't need this drama in my life ever again.

Karin Nelson: 27:38

It's not worth it to just try and make things worse so that I can walk around on eggshells for the next 10 years or 20 years of my life. Yeah.

Jessica Frew: 27:47

Yeah, yeah, and I mean there's a reason second marriage divorce rate is so high. Like I'm, like I get it. It is a mess, and so for me that was probably the hardest part of it is navigating like the random things that did come up, because we need the triggers. We're not going to heal everything before we get remarried. We can do our best and all those things. But inviting another human into your life, especially if you have kids we had young kids at that time it had so many dynamics that you can't really prepare for all of it. It had so many dynamics that you can't really prepare for all of it. But also remember how you process through and come back to yourself and all of those along the way. So there was that of like needing to prove my worth.

Karin Nelson: 28:35

Yeah, and I think that's an important one to kind of pinpoint, because a lot of women just in society, especially Western society in general, have kind of been taught that, like marriage means you've achieved your full potentials worth, right, you've. You've achieved it when you've been chosen, you're there, and so divorce can often subconsciously mean I'm not as worthy anymore, clearly, because I'm not married anymore. And in society, marriage means like, you've made it, you've hit the pinnacle, you're worth something, and now I'm a little less worthy, I'm a little less valuable, whatever, and whether or not I mean I don't think any of that's true, but it's out there, right, that story is out there and it's in our heads and we're taught it and we see it in movies and we just it's just there. And so learning to like, recognize your worth is inherent and it's in you and there's nothing you can do or say or be to create more of it.

Karin Nelson: 29:35

It is an interesting thing to kind of step into and learn, especially when you're going into another marriage where you are bringing in that new relationship and you you want it to go well, like. I mean, I'm not. I haven't been in that situation. I've been in a partnership but not remarried since my divorce.

Karin Nelson: 29:50

But it's the same kind of idea, like that idea of breaking up and you know, having to go through that, that sadness, that grief, that mourning, the all of the things, all the separating of things and people and emotions and all of that, it it's scary, right. And even if you've been through it once, it's still scary a second time, a third time, however many times. And so to want to prove yourself, to want to try and make it like perfect in some way so that hopefully that doesn't happen, makes total sense first of all. But I love that you were able to kind of pinpoint that and go all right, I gotta, I gotta release this because it's not doing me any good and it's not going to do our relationship any good no, doesn't show up, yeah, yeah because we show up like inauthentic, in some ways, right of like, this isn't truly who I am, and so to be able to step into.

Karin Nelson: 30:44

and how did you do that? How were you able to kind of realign with yourself in the ways that you needed to?

Jessica Frew: 30:51

Yeah. So I always say this comes down to listening to our own intuition and trusting our gut and then acting on it. So most of us do this in our first marriage. I call it perfect partner syndrome. We give away who we are because we want to show up perfectly, because we feel this person pulling away, we know something's not connecting, and so we try to show up perfectly. We're like I can do this and I can do that, and and I will suppress all my needs and show up perfectly for this person. And so now we have to come back to learning to trust ourselves and learning to trust our gut again.

Jessica Frew: 31:23

And also then we put on this well, I should have known, I should have seen this coming, I should have whatever. And so coming back to that is the key. And then having the courage, the boldness to act on it. And it doesn't have to be big things, like some of them are just random little things that you're like oh, I needed to, I need to do this thing, I need to.

Jessica Frew: 31:47

I don't know whatever it is, but that was key for me of just remembering that and coming back to that and realizing, okay, I need to show up for the things that are in alignment with who I am, and I need to. Well, I need to do them in with alignment with my values and what I actually know who myself to be. And the thing is like when I say trusting our gut or coming back to ourselves, first of all we're a new version of ourselves after going through divorce or betrayal or whatever you've been through. But then, secondly, most of us lost ourselves from a very young age. We started as kids. Our parents would tell us oh, you know, you're fine, it's not that big of a deal, you don't feel that way, it doesn't hurt that much.

Jessica Frew: 32:35

And so we start internalizing that we can't trust what it is we feel, what we're actually feeling.

Jessica Frew: 32:36

Yeah, or any of these things, and then and of course it's done out of good intentions, like I'm sure I've done it as a parent and then as teenagers, of course we lose that even more because we need to look this certain way, to conform, we need to act a certain way, we need to whatever, we need to eat certain foods. My one teenager that won't take lunch to school because it's not cool, and I'm like what? Like she won't eat anything for lunch because it's not cool and I'm like that is so weird. Whatever, but like. And so we're denying, like she's denying that internal need for food, and so, therefore, we're signaling to ourselves that what I want and need isn't right or it's not real, and I don't need to listen to myself. I need to take these external things and make them fit for me.

Jessica Frew: 33:23

And so it keeps going. And then you know we feel like we have to be the Pinterest mom or the wife or whatever, and you do these things, and then you've done it correctly, and so we've shut this down. And so now, when we're on our own and we have to figure out who the heck we are, again, it's like oh my gosh, I really have no idea. I don't know what I want to eat for dinner, I don't know what I want to wear, I don't know how I want to do my hair because I've just been doing it for somebody else for so long. And so that's what I did was go through this process again of making sure that I am in alignment in these areas and starting with the little things.

Jessica Frew: 34:02

What do I actually want to do today? What feels good for me today? And then acting on it, identifying that and acting on it, and the more we do that, the more we regain this trust in ourselves and it will invite in the people we want into our lives and it will improve our relationships with our kids and with ourselves. And one of the main reasons is because, as we do that for ourselves and acknowledge what it is we want and need, we are able to and I should say without judgment of what it is we want and need we are able to do that for other people. So for our partners, for our kids, we are able to say, okay, I understand that you might want and need something different than me, because what people told me I want and need didn't work for me, and so I'm here to support you with your want and needs, without judgment, and so it fosters these relationships that are so healing and that are real and genuine and connected in the ways we actually want to be connected and accepted.

Karin Nelson: 35:02

So yeah, everything that you just said is so. It just resonates with me so much because I've told my story many, many times on my podcast. But that idea of like trying to figure out who I was and you know after my marriage and really coming back to me which you've spoke about basically this entire time just coming back to yourself, which you've spoke about basically this entire time just coming back to yourself and like understanding who you are and your needs, your wants, what it, what it is that you truly like, what it is that you truly don't like, instead of just taking on that persona of like the other person, the other partner, their wants and needs and and being that person for them, now you get to be that person for you and figure out who that is, and I just think that is so. I mean, you're right when you do it for yourself. That like fosters that environment for everyone around you to also be able to show up as their most authentic self. And learning how to do that, like we talk about this, like it's very easy or something Like you just know who. You are right, you just do it.

Karin Nelson: 36:04

It's there's so much like journey in this. There's so much like a journey in all of it and trying to figure out all of it, and and not to say that it's like a destination, it's not I think it's this ongoing place that you just continue to get to, and then you're like, okay, now, what, what else about me? Do I need to reconnect with? What else about me? Am I learning? How else am I evolving? But I think it's such an important part of the process of just being a human in general questioning and showing up with introspection of what's important to me, what am I feeling? What will I allow to be around me? What do I want to learn about All of the things that we come here as humans and experience. It's just bringing us closer to who we are and the direction that we want to go moving forward, and I love that so much. As we bring this podcast to a close. First of all, everything that you have said is so beautiful and I think we can take so much from it. But is there anything?

Karin Nelson: 37:05

that any advice that you would offer someone who might be going through a similar situation, or just in general, trying to figure out, you know, what life looks like for them in their current relationship? Is there anything that you would offer as great advice or something that you truly believe in that you're just like? This really helps me and it might help you too.

Jessica Frew: 37:26

Yeah, yeah. So in this process of hearing ourselves again and learning about ourselves as we're going through this, the biggest thing that hinders us is the amount of information we take in from other people and the amount of voices we let in. And so that is what I encourage people to do Like, stop letting other people determine the trajectory of your life. Like you are going to have your mom and your aunt and your sister, and like your best friend and whoever is important to you in your life your dad that's going to be telling you, oh, but you should do this, or, oh, you should, whatever, and just shut off the shoulds of everybody else. You are going to shut on yourself enough and you have to release that, because nobody knows what is right for you. Nobody is inside your body feeling the things you are feeling, and nobody has been through your relationship. I don't care how close they are to you, they don't understand fully. And so when you can get clear on what it is you want by releasing, like, all of these other insights, then you get to take action.

Jessica Frew: 38:37

And I always say, like, turn off social media platforms that aren't serving you, or pages or whatever. If you leave somebody's social media page and you're, like I feel so defeated and feel like I'm not doing enough or feel like I should do this, I should do that, but it doesn't feel in alignment for me. Turn it off for a while. They might be a great person who you love following, but shut them down for a bit and then come back a while. They might be a great person who you love following, but shut them down for a bit and then come back to it. But if you can silence that outside noise, it is one of the most powerful things you can do as you navigate healing post, whatever it is you're gone through.

Karin Nelson: 39:16

Yeah, I like to tell my clients sometimes that, like their life after divorce is like a little egg and we want to protect it as much as we can. Like you're holding it in your hand and you just want to protect it because those outside influences can, they can make you feel so, whatever, but often it's a bad, it's a negative, like I've done it wrong, I've ruined everything, I'm the worst, my life doesn't look like that person's life, you know. And so we want to just protect that egg and I love that idea of just like let's bring it back to this, what's important about this? And we got to let all of that outside noise just go as much as we possibly can. So that's beautiful, beautiful advice. Thank you so much, jessica. Can you please tell my audience where they can find you if they have more questions or they want to work with you? I know you have a podcast. Just tell us all the places and all the things.

Jessica Frew: 40:04

Yeah, so you can find me on Instagram. That is where I'm the most active on social media. At hey Jessica Frew, you can also find myself with my husband and my ex-husband sharing all of our crazy, weird stories on our podcast called Husband and Law. Start with episode one. It's not like your normal podcast. It's us like literally going through and chronologically well that was hard to say today telling our stories of love, marriage, divorce coming out, co-parenting, all of the things, and so you can go find us on any podcasting platform under Husband and Law. And if you are wanting to take steps to start learning how to trust your gut again, if you're like, okay, I need to learn to trust myself again, and this is the very basic starting point, go pick up a free workbook that I have. It's called Trusting your Gut After Betrayal and you can can get that at the bold logiccom forward slash free workbook. It's a great place to start.

Karin Nelson: 41:06

I love it and I will have all of the links in the show notes so when you're ready and you're wanting more from Jessica, you can just click any of the links down there. But, jessica, thank you so much for being on the podcast today. You are a light. I follow you on Instagram and I just I love your stories. I just I love everything about you. Also, can we? The audience cannot see your wall behind you, but it is incredible. So if you go to her probably Instagram there's probably a picture of it somewhere, but it is.

Karin Nelson: 41:36

It's just like these. Are they paper, paper flowers, that just off the wall, and they're huge and bright and colorful and beautiful and it's amazing. But you are just. You are the epitome of that. I think that your personality and your love and it just is like exuding from you and I think you're just amazing. So thank you so much for being on the podcast today. I appreciate you and all of your wisdom. It's been amazing.

Jessica Frew: 41:59

Well, thank you for having me Glad to be able to share.

Karin Nelson: 42:06

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. 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.




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