I’m so excited to share with you my beautiful client Tela who has totally been in your shoes. She’s been there and gone through it and totally is a new human because of her divorce.
Here’s her story …
She was laying on the floor sobbing in her office at work desperate for anything to make her feel better. She was physically at work, but mentally, she wasn’t there at all. Her mind kept racing replaying all the memories of her husband and his now affair with this other woman. Her heart was aching, and she felt so much pain. It seemed like everything she used to know had shattered. She felt so lost and didn’t know who she was. Her identity was torn to pieces. She had no idea what to do or where to go from here. That was me, and this is my story.
On November 8, 2018, I came home for the evening, and my husband [now ex-husband] unexpectedly told me he just wanted to be “done” and then said words I never expected to hear: “I’ve been talking to someone else.” I sat there in complete and utter shock as he told me he had developed feelings for a coworker. I didn’t cry. I didn’t get angry at him. I just remember sitting there on the couch and looking out my front window. I remember asking him if he loved her, and he said, “yes,…well, I have strong feelings.” I don’t even remember what I said next. I honestly don’t think I said anything as he grabbed his Nike bag he had already packed before I got home and walked out the door for the fourth and final time for good. The past four months had been traumatic for me, as he had left for a few days at a time, three other times prior, only to return telling me that he wanted to work on our marriage. I thought there was something wrong with me all this time. I went to therapy. I made new friends. I started reading marriage books. I avoided conflict with him if I was upset. I felt like I tried so hard for our marriage, only to find out that he had been having an affair.
I trusted him 100% and never thought he would cheat emotionally. I was never the type of girl to check his phone, and I never did. I never thought he would cheat on me emotionally, especially after he saw what I went through before with an ex-boyfriend who also cheated on me. I loved him more than anything. He was my best friend. We were together 10 years total, married for 2. “He was my person”, I thought. I was flooded with more thoughts “What was wrong with me?” “Why?” “How could he do this to me?”
I filed for divorce the very next day on November 9, 2018, and not because I wanted to, but because I was deeply hurt. I thought if I filed that it would be less painful. The following weeks and months were gut-wrenching. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I barely could get out bed in the morning. I couldn’t stop talking about it all with my friends and my family. I definitely couldn’t stop thinking about it. I felt so helpless. My life felt meaningless. “Who was I, without him?”, I thought.
In the midst of going through my divorce, I found out that my mom may potentially have cancer. The doctors told us she likely did. I was devastated. I couldn’t process it all. “Where was my person to help me through this pain?”, I thought. It all hurt like hell, and I felt like I was dying inside. Thankfully, my mom ended up being okay, and she doesn’t have cancer. She’s 100% healthy to this day.
One of the days where I was laying on my office floor with my door shut at work crying and browsing on my phone, I remember this defining moment very vividly. The very best life coach, Dorothy, posted a video about her new coaching program on Facebook. I was desperate. For anyone and anything to make me feel better – so I scheduled a coaching call with her and then signed up for her program. At that point, I thought, “What else do I have to lose?”
During one of my initial coaching calls with Dorothy, I was standing, actually pacing, back in forth in my breezeway just wanting the pain to go away. I was willing to try anything to stop the hurt. I just cried and cried and told her what happened. She started talking about some “model,” and I all I could think about was “okay, a model….yes, but he cheated.” I’ll never forget what Dorothy said to me – “This is happening FOR you, not TO you.” Huh? I thought. “NO WAY”, I thought.
Oh, but let me tell you, Dorothy was SO right! Over the course of nine months, I have had weekly coaching calls with her, and each week, I could not wait to talk to her and tell her about my interaction with my soon-to-be ex-husband and all the feelings and pain I was going through. She would walk through models after models with me on my thoughts about the affair, my ex-husband, my mom, etc., and I would hang up the phone with her always feeling a sense of relief. She assigned weekly homework to me, and I listened to podcasts on repeat on my drive to work and back that she sent me. I did the work, and although it wasn’t easy, it was SO worth it. Over the course of nine months, I truly started to believe my thoughts.
My personal favorites that I will share with you are:
This is happening for me, not to me.
It doesn’t even phase me.
I’m so fucking strong.
I’m up-leveling my life.
Today, I can tell you that my divorce did happen FOR me, not TO me, and here’s why. The bottom line is that I’ve Iearned who I am as a person – my goals, my wants, and also what I seek in a future partner. I learned how to process pain – to feel it, to sit in it, and not avoid it. I learned not to rely on a relationship as my only source of happiness. I was always the type of girl to be in a relationship and jump from relationship to relationship. I allowed relationships to consume me and never be my own person. In fact, this is the longest I’ve ever been single since I was 15 years old (now 31), and holy shit, it is a blast! I thought that I needed a man to make me happy, in which really, I can (and have) created my own happiness.
I feel hella strong, and I have up-leveled my life in all the ways. I developed a stronger bond with my amazing family, and I see them almost daily. I created so many new friendships and deepened old ones. I ventured out to new places that I never used to want to go to and have had the time of my life. I stopped smoking and joined OrangeTheory Fitness, and I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been. I joined a hip hop dance class. I practiced throwing darts. I traveled to Arizona, Mexico, Vegas, and Nashville and created so many new memories. I budgeted to save money and started bartending again on the side because I truly enjoy it. I redecorated my house. I changed my last name to my step daddy’s. I developed a passion for coaching, and I am in the process of creating a program at my work for employees who also experience pain. I am also researching the Life Coach School Certification because I want to help others going through a divorce too. That girl who was once laying on her office floor sobbing, who’s life felt hopeless, ended up working like a boss and finished #1 HR Manager in her group territory!
Coaching is like going to the gym. The first time it may feel awkward and uncomfortable, but eventually, you walk in and kill your routine, and you get stronger. Coaching has provided me with so much self-love, self-worth, confidence, and growth. It truly has allowed me to recreate my life that I once thought was meaningless, and I’m forever grateful.
It’s hard to put into words, but I will tell you that if I can do it, you can do it too.