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Welcome to nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim Every Saturday at 10 am on AM 630, the word. Mandy is the author of Talk and Kim is the director of nextTalk, a non-profit organization helping parents’ cyber parent through open communication. Follow us on Facebook, instagram and Twitter. Find our free video series and subscribe to our weekly podcast at nextTalk.org. Are you ready for the nextTalk?
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We’ve just concluded our four week marriage series with our special guest. Our husbands were here, charles and Matt, and that was fun, you stumbled over the word fun girlfriend.
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It was fun, it was honest.
0:00:52 – Speaker 4
Yes, you said revealing. I love it. We didn’t even have that word Revealing. Yes, the other side of that whole marriage conversation is the dark world you know of when divorce happens. It’s a reality. It’s a reality, and so we wanted to bring in an expert today to talk about divorce.
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Annie Weyers from the Vine Wellness Group is here and she was here before. We did a show on cutting and you were phenomenal giving us some insight and expertise on how to handle that tough subject. And here we are again bringing you back on another tough one.
0:01:29 – Speaker 2
I’m happy to be here, thank you.
0:01:31 – Speaker 1
You know we had your partner in here earlier, Celeste, for a show on domestic abuse, and the two of you together are a powerhouse team. How can people get in contact with you?
0:01:43 – Speaker 2
We have a website. It’s thevinewellnesscom. You can check us out, see our approach, see who’s on our team, see a little bit about us and also our phone number, which is 210-490-4419. Awesome.
0:01:57 – Speaker 1
Well, we brought you in today. You know we are not in divorce relationships now, but Mandy and I both come from divorced families.
0:02:05 – Speaker 4
Yeah yeah, and we wanted Annie to be here because, you know, we haven’t walked through this with our kids as far as us getting a divorce, and we wanted her to speak into that because we cannot talk about something we haven’t walked through. Sure, but we do have a little history. My parents divorced when I was three, yep.
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Mine when I was two.
0:02:23 – Speaker 4
I was raised by a single mom and we didn’t talk about it, like there was nothing that we really talked about. And I’ll never forget when I met my husband I was, you know, 1920, and when we were thinking about marriage. That’s when I realized like I have some issues to work through, like I have some stuff, because I was like not trusting him for no reason and I, like all this baggage started to come up, that’s right, it starts to come up.
That’s when I knew I have not really ever dealt with my parents’ divorce and I had to do some stuff.
0:02:54 – Speaker 1
Well, on the other side of that, you know, my mom and I talked a lot and she gave me one of the greatest gifts she ever did. She never spoke negatively about my dad, she never put him down. She let me realize on my own who he was, and that was quite a process. And even though we talked about it and went through all of that, I still had a lot of issues to work through with going into marriage. But at least I was used to talking about it and I was committed to breaking that cycle. So I was very passionate about it, my husband and I both changing our family’s legacy because we come from long lines of divorce. Okay, grandparents, great-grandparents on both sides.
0:03:29 – Speaker 3
Yeah, me too, it’s a pattern.
0:03:30 – Speaker 2
It can be a pattern, it’s a pattern.
0:03:33 – Speaker 1
So we are the first, on both sides of our families, who have not divorced and have one of the longest running marriages, which is kind of crazy. Congratulations.
0:03:39 – Speaker 4
Well, thank you Breaking a cycle is what we’re all about. We’re breaking it. Breaking it, yeah, okay. So let’s get down to business, annie. So say you have a man and a woman. They’ve decided they’re divorcing. For whatever reason they are going to, they have made this decision, they are ending their marriage. How do you tell the kids like what kind of conversations? Yeah and when?
0:04:01 – Speaker 2
yeah, and that’s it. That’s one of our most common questions is is when do you tell them? And and we say it’s one seat, once you really fully commit to that decision, because I think it’s the process to get to that decision is can be so painful and and uncertain, so you’re kind, some sometimes some flip-flopping can go back and forth, yes, and so we really say you know, once you have really truly decided that that’s gonna, that’s the result, that’s the decision. So you’re either filing for, you’re really going through the system, filing for divorce or even a formal separation, then we say that’s the appropriate time to to talk to your kids about it.
0:04:43 – Speaker 1
You know, leading up to that, should there be conversations about? You know this is a challenging time, so it’s not.
0:04:50 – Speaker 2
Absolutely yes, and so it’s one thing to have a conversation about the actual decision but another to have ongoing Conversations about because there’s probably arguing going on things that the kids are hearing, so you do want to let them know. You know, mom and dad are working on some stuff right now. We’re trying. We’re trying to learn how to better communicate. We’re trying to learn some better skills. You know anything you want to say? That’s kind of a general, but it just gives the, the kids, an idea.
0:05:15 – Speaker 4
Heads up, things aren’t great. Absolutely yeah, yes, and they know already.
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They already. They See mom sleeping on the couch, yeah they hear the arguing behind closed doors.
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0:05:27 – Speaker 2
No, yes and having those open conversations along the way. Not too many details, mm-hmm, but just enough to say you know what? It’s kind of obvious we are having some hard times, but you know we’re working on it, or at the time that you’ve made that decision. Okay, now that this is what we’ve come to, this decision. Yeah but always making sure to. If you’ve come to that decision of saying you’re gonna divorce, then have that discussion together with the kids, mom and dad, both having you know that’s ideal.
0:06:00 – Speaker 4
I think that’s so good, because then it doesn’t pit one against the other, or one’s walking away, or that’s right. It’s like this is a joint decision. Yes, we’ve come to this decision together. Yes.
0:06:11 – Speaker 2
That’s right, because you don’t want it to be a power play or something that’s against the other parent. You really want to come together. It’s really about the kids right, Making sure that you’re. You’re both coming to the table telling them this was a joint decision.
0:06:23 – Speaker 1
I’m imagining that one of the most important parts of that conversation also is Assuring them of stability. That’s right and assuring them of what that’s gonna look like going forward and that it’s not their fault, absolutely.
0:06:36 – Speaker 2
There’s. There’s a few of those things that we always want to make sure you that you, that you put in there, is that they will be loved, they will continue to be loved by both parents, and that you’re gonna work as much as possible to maintain stability and in love yeah, love, stability and safety.
0:06:54 – Speaker 1
Yes, yeah, that’s what kids really need, you know I liked what you said.
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I grew up thinking it was my fault.
Yes for me. You know I I’m a perfectionist, a recovering. That’s one of the things that I learned when I met Matt. My husband is. I wanted everything to be perfect. Yeah, in our relationship, in our house, I mean, there’s all these things. And in one time he was just kind of pushing me on it, like what, why does everything have to be perfect? And just out came which I hadn’t even thought about before and I said because of it’s perfect, my parents will love me and they would have stayed together, mm-hmm. And he’s like what, what? I mean, I’m 20 and I sounded like a two-year-old, you know, like trying to make sense of my emotions, but all those years I thought if I would have been perfect.
Mm-hmm and I didn’t even realize.
0:07:43 – Speaker 1
I had thought that yes you know, it just came out, yeah, divorce has long-term effects and I think that’s something that needs to be said. It’s not just a one-time decision. I hear a lot of parents say, okay, it’s a resilient, yes, but there are long-term effects. When you do something like that that rocks their world, it’s a big decision.
0:08:03 – Speaker 2
I was to make yeah.
0:08:04 – Speaker 4
I was talking to a parent recently and you know that had walked through divorce and you know both parties are remarried now and they’re, you know, blended families and they’re doing great. But she said, if I knew how much work it was going to take to get here, I probably would have put the work in my original.
0:08:21 – Speaker 1
I hear that so really interesting, I mean she’s.
0:08:25 – Speaker 4
I mean they were. They’re everybody’s happy, you know there, but they’re. They’ve had a lot of stuff to work through, had to go through a lot to get there. Because, you know, blending a family is difficult too and takes a lot of work. That’s right and and I think her revelation, when she said it to me I was like wow, that’s powerful. It sure is to think you’re gonna have to do work either on this relationship or on this one one side or the other.
0:08:46 – Speaker 1
Yeah, that is one of the things that surprises people the most. When my husband and I do marriage talks, or when we were doing Pre-marriage counseling and stuff, they’d say you guys are so great together and you’re such a great marriage. It’s so fun and so amazing.
Well, ours is not like that, so it’s different, and I’m always saying and then girl yeah yeah, no idea it is so much work, but it’s so worth it and that’s a thing like there’s never gonna be a time when it’s not work, but it’s work for good and it’s work that’s worth it and valuable and productive.
0:09:20 – Speaker 2
Yes, that’s how I like to put it. You see the fruit, it’s productive yeah, yes, absolutely so.
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Don’t let Satan tell you that lie, that your relationship is different and that the good one over here doesn’t take work. And that’s how it’s supposed to be. There is no easy marriage, it just does not exist.
0:09:37 – Speaker 4
That’s the thing too. And in the world of social media, you can so easily think that your marriage is not perfect, because you’re looking through and you’re like, oh, they got a diamond ring, they got a new car for Christmas, they get roses every month, whatever. Don’t get me started, yeah.
0:09:54 – Speaker 1
I mean we cannot believe that lie because marriage is hard. It is hard.
0:09:59 – Speaker 4
It is hard, but sometimes there are people who will just walk away and I guess that’s my next question, Like I know, ideally two parents would sit down with the kids together and say this is our joint decision and they’re both responsible and they both work through their own stuff to figure out.
0:10:14 – Speaker 2
But it doesn’t always happen that way.
0:10:16 – Speaker 4
So what happens if, say, one of the parents walk away and they are like I’m done and they want nothing to do with the family? And I love what Kim said you don’t want to bash the parents, but you also have to be honest. So what does that conversation look like?
0:10:35 – Speaker 2
Because that’s hard, that’s a harder one to come to because, yeah, if that’s not an ideal scenario for anyone the kids, the other parent that’s left but yeah, if they’ve really pretty much left and walked out, then you are left with having a difficult conversation and trying very hard not to bash that other parent because we don’t know the future of what’s gonna happen. We don’t know if there’s gonna be a softening of the other parent’s heart or to. You know we have no idea and that’s very challenging for the spouse that’s left.
0:11:12 – Speaker 4
Well, you heard you, oh my goodness, you’re in the middle of everything it’s so painful and you feel rejected?
0:11:15 – Speaker 1
I mean your rejection Well, and not just shores, but your children, yes, also.
0:11:19 – Speaker 2
Very mama bear, you know or papa bear. Papa bear.
0:11:22 – Speaker 3
yeah, Depending on the scenario.
0:11:25 – Speaker 2
So it is a huge challenge, but it’s something that you may have to do and we have individuals ask us questions on those scenarios all the time, so we help walk that parent through it and give them some guidance and maybe a foundation or a platform to have that conversation.
0:11:45 – Speaker 4
Well, and I know that it’s gonna look differently for everybody- because every situation is so different. I would think generally it would look something like well, we’re all still learning. And mommy or daddy. Whichever one walked out has some things they’re working through.
0:12:01 – Speaker 2
And you know it hurts.
0:12:03 – Speaker 4
And I mean I talk to my kids a lot about people’s decisions affect other people. So, like when in a mass shooting, I’ll say, okay, that person’s decision has affected all these lives. Now Same thing here. That’s right. This person whether it be mom or dad who walked out, we still love them, they’re still learning, but they’re working through some stuff and their decision to walk away affects us and we need to talk about this in a healthy way. That’s right, yeah.
0:12:32 – Speaker 1
I think, too, we really have to invite our kids to feel like they can say what they need to say.
0:12:36 – Speaker 3
Yes, that’s good.
0:12:38 – Speaker 1
Because they’re gonna go through all these emotions that are unfamiliar and they need to know that they have a safe place with the parent that they’re with to voice those and that they’re not gonna get in trouble for that A lot of reflective listening, if you can.
0:12:50 – Speaker 2
Yes, we should have our own place as the adult to be able to vent ourselves.
0:12:54 – Speaker 4
Yes. Because it’s very painful and we’re dealing with a lot and that should not be our kids. It should not be our kids. It should be a trusted friend yes. Another family member that may be A therapist yes.
0:13:04 – Speaker 2
And to be able to listen to your kids and reflectively listen, yeah, and have that open for them.
0:13:13 – Speaker 4
Well, and I guess just be really honest, because I could see a teenager saying I hate him, I’m mad at him or I’m mad at her. I can’t believe she walked out on us and you could say I feel all those things too. Yeah, it doesn’t mean that they’re bad or that they’re always gonna be in this place, but they’re struggling with something that they need to work through on their own, and that’s such a high road to take. It’s really hard to take the high road when you’ve been rejected. Yeah.
0:13:42 – Speaker 2
Oh, that’s a whole other show. Yeah, that could be a show on its own.
0:13:44 – Speaker 1
Yes, Well, that was like.
0:13:46 – Speaker 2
I said Lots of prayer, lots of prayer.
0:13:48 – Speaker 1
Yes, my mom. That was her greatest gift because that was her experience. My dad was one who left in the middle of the night, that kind of situation, and so she dealt with all of that, and still does, and I remember two of the things that she did that were just I don’t even know that she knew what a beautiful gift it was at the time. We’ve since talked about it. But one was anytime she talked I was doing something good or we, you know she saw something in me that reminded me of my dad. She would talk about the man she married.
0:14:18 – Speaker 3
Wow, and she would say you know, that is huge yeah it was really beautiful.
0:14:22 – Speaker 1
She would say I couldn’t do that. I’m just saying I just don’t know if I could do that, I know. And she would dig deep and she’d say, oh, your dad did that and that was one of the things that I loved so much about him and I love seeing that in you. And she’d leave it at that. You know, and I remember her saying that a lot as I was growing up. That’s phenomenal, because she did fall in love with him and he was a good person and he is, and he has good traits, but he made a mistake and made bad choices. And then the other thing when I would be mad, or it would be one of those bad situations as I get older and I was angry, she would say, like what you said, yes, that hurts and I get it, and I felt that same way too. But what are we gonna do with that and how are we gonna move forward? What are we gonna do? Because that’s all we can be responsible for.
0:15:03 – Speaker 4
That’s all we can control we can’t control dad.
0:15:06 – Speaker 1
And she always also said he loves you in his own way. He loves you and he just doesn’t know how to show it, and so those things really helped me as I got older too. And those are the discussions I have with my kids, because now they’re recognizing divorce and they don’t know what it is, and so we have to talk about that. And why would somebody’s dad leave, why would somebody’s mom leave? And so I’m getting to use some of those in those conversations with them.
0:15:32 – Speaker 4
If you’re just now tuning in, this is nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim every Saturday at 10 am on AM 630,. The word nextTalk Radio is listeners supported. Everything we do at our nonprofit to keep kids safe online and create open communication in families is accomplished through your donations To support our organization.
0:15:52 – Speaker 1
Go to nextTalk.org and click on GIF Today we are here with Annie Byers from the Vine Wellness Group. We are tackling the tough subject of divorce Hard to walk through with your own family and then also how to talk about it with your kids when they’re seeing it in school and with their friends. Maybe you can offer some tips about that, because my kids my oldest, is eight and they’re now starting to say well, what do you mean? Their dad’s not there, or why wasn’t their mom at that birthday party? And that’s tough.
0:16:22 – Speaker 2
My eight-year-old just asked probably within the last few weeks about that too, and I said you know, every family looks different, everybody has their own struggles and everyone handles it differently, and so just because one family doesn’t have a mom or a dad with them at the moment doesn’t mean they’re not a family.
0:16:40 – Speaker 1
Yeah, that’s good.
0:16:42 – Speaker 2
So yeah, and lots of different languages. You know we have step parents and we have half siblings and we have you know lots of people refer to each other with different terminology so and the kids are like what’s a half?
0:16:54 – Speaker 4
sibling. Be honest, those are good questions that you can work through, and you know one thing we’ve talked about before here is a lot of times your kids.
0:17:03 – Speaker 1
They will help you lead that conversation by their questions. So when we had that conversation, my son said well, could that happen to you? You know, and that made me realize I need to address that we are stable and we are healthy and you are safe in it. Mommy and daddy do everything we can to make our marriage a healthy and safe marriage and no, we’re not getting a divorce. They need to hear that.
I think they do know that everything is OK at home, even if we have an argument or even if we’re having a tough day, and it’s OK to say that to your kids. They need that reassurance.
0:17:39 – Speaker 2
Part of the stability part, and the reality is you have two completely different individuals coming together to form this marriage.
0:17:47 – Speaker 1
Yes, you’re going to disagree and you’re going to argue.
0:17:50 – Speaker 2
Yeah, and so that’s something that I tell my kids all the time that my husband and I may disagree on something or go you know be frustrated. But that doesn’t mean we’re divorcing, because I think we’ve also had I’ve had that question from my kids. Yeah, if you argued, does that mean that you guys aren’t going to be together, are you going to separate? No, no, that just means we have some work to do. Yeah exactly. We’ve got to make some decisions and get some, find some strategies.
0:18:18 – Speaker 1
So absolutely, I just had this light bulb moment the other day about it, because I am very much like my oldest son and my husband is our middle son, like that is who we are, and so and they clash those two you know, the two brothers clash all the time.
0:18:35 – Speaker 3
They seem so different. Yes, and so I was telling them why my husband and I. That’s great, yes, but I was telling my older son, I’m like.
0:18:43 – Speaker 1
you know how y’all fight and drive each other crazy, but at the end of the day, you love each other and you’ll always be brothers. That’s right. That’s me and dad Like I. He is my best friend and I love him. I love being with him more than anybody else, but he also makes me crazy.
0:18:56 – Speaker 3
And he was like oh, I get it yeah.
0:18:58 – Speaker 1
So that was kind of a light bulb moment for me. You know I never thought about divorce and then siblings and that really helped him understand in his little eight year old brain Like we’re stuck together and you have differences.
0:19:10 – Speaker 2
You have your differences, but you figure out how to work it.
0:19:12 – Speaker 1
0:19:14 – Speaker 4
So any tell us so so you’ve got a family going through a divorce and we’ve kind of talked about how to have that conversation with them. I think it would be probably be really important to get a support team in place.
0:19:25 – Speaker 2
Absolutely, because you may be a single parent situation.
0:19:30 – Speaker 4
So maybe talk about the support system, and then also, I know the ideal situation is co-parenting.
0:19:35 – Speaker 2
0:19:35 – Speaker 4
You know, in a healthy way. So let’s walk us through some of those conversations and tips that you have for us.
0:19:40 – Speaker 2
Everyone. We all need a healthy and supportive support system. Right, that’s, those are the two main things, and so you want to be able to talk through things and you need to be able to vent. And you’re going to tell your story over and over and over and over again, and you need to and you need to. That’s just part of processing, it’s part of moving forward and the healthy part of it. So choose wisely, yeah you know you need to make sure.
Sometimes family is great a parent or a sibling but sometimes they’re not the greatest of choices. Sometimes it’s friends or people at work or divorce care groups. Yeah, yes. Or a counselor, whoever it may be. You know you choosing them in a healthy way so that you can continue that healing process and be mindful that whatever you do share through your venting, yeah could always potentially go back to your kids.
So, that’s why it’s saying you know, choose wisely. Not always our bestest of friends or part of a friend group or part of our family, trusted sources that will keep things between you.
0:20:47 – Speaker 4
Well, and you know the co-parenting situation, I know that’s ideal. Yeah, it’s ideal.
0:20:51 – Speaker 2
That’s the ideal situation.
0:20:53 – Speaker 4
You know I get asked at a lot of speaking events. I’ll have somebody come up to me and you know they’re frustrated because in their house they have social media rules. You know like no phones in bedrooms no phones in bathrooms, but then they go over to the other parent’s house. That’s right. And it’s all holds bar and you know they can do whatever they want with their cell phone at whatever time of the day.
And there’s conflict there. So that whole co-parenting situation is really important because the kids get confused. They need guidelines that are across the board.
0:21:24 – Speaker 2
Yes, that’s ideal, as we recommend that, with both parents having the same type of rules, but that’s not always the case. We have high conflict divorces that they’re not working together. They’re not gonna put the same rules and guidelines at each household and it’s very, very frustrating for not only the adults involved but the kids.
0:21:45 – Speaker 4
They don’t understand they’re confused. Well, and sometimes it becomes a. I’m gonna give my kids free reign, so they’ll like hanging out with me more.
0:21:54 – Speaker 2
There’s lots of motivations behind it. All kinds of stuff, Lots of motivations that yeah.
0:21:59 – Speaker 4
So I guess we would say to parents walking through a divorce make sure you’re thinking about your kids first, Not trying to like win them. You know, like wonder we have to put.
0:22:07 – Speaker 2
Sometimes we have to put our pain aside to make these decisions. And that’s easier said than done, I know, but at least at times when you’re trying to make the right decisions for the kids is putting some of that aside to really look through. You know clear glasses, you know it’s tough.
0:22:27 – Speaker 1
I think what you said earlier about choosing people wisely that you are sharing with there’s a big difference between being empathetic and bashing.
0:22:37 – Speaker 4
0:22:38 – Speaker 1
And I think when you’re choosing the people to help you walk through divorce that’s part of it Is someone who will also help you walk through a healthy way to help your children and to co-parent, and who will walk you through letting you vent but not saying yeah, he’s awful, helping you get past that and encouraging you and good behavior and good thoughts. And that’s tough and so it’s a process. It’s not an overnight decision. You know, finding those people to share this journey with is difficult. That’s right.
0:23:06 – Speaker 4
I think that’s where a lot of prayer comes in Well, and I guess you know we keep going back to be honest with the kids too. If you’ve got a situation where the roles are in different places, and you’re not you cannot come to a place of agreement. Just be honest. We’re two different people. We have different roles and guidelines. I would say to the parent putting the guidelines in place, more the stricter one. Explain the why behind your roles so your kids understand.
Okay, this is why she’s she or he is being so overprotective, because sometimes the kid only sees oh I get to do all of this over here and yeah, it’s over here.
0:23:39 – Speaker 2
They see the short-term gains. Oh yeah, wouldn’t we all, wouldn’t we all Like?
0:23:44 – Speaker 1
it’s like eating a cinnamon roll. Yeah, that’s delicious.
0:23:46 – Speaker 2
You don’t see your hips later it is important Look ahead that’s something we talk with our parents about is that, if you can set those guidelines and rules and try and be that healthy household, that the long-term you’re looking at the long-term benefits of it and the kids do. They see the difference. But long-term you won’t really see the results and the kids finding their own. You were saying it earlier, kim. You said coming up with their own opinion.
Yes, you need to express how they’re feeling about this and about the other parents might be very permissive and it seems pretty great being a kid in a permissive household. Yes, but yeah, long-term not so good.
0:24:33 – Speaker 4
Well, it all goes back to creating that safe place. Whether you’re married or divorced, your kids need a safe place to talk and if they’re struggling, we did a show on cutting. Sometimes cutting is the result of stress at home, because of doing more.
0:24:48 – Speaker 1
It’s a coping mechanism. Yeah, a coping mechanism, absolutely.
0:24:51 – Speaker 4
And so, instead of turning to cutting, we want our kids to come to us and be like I’m struggling with this, like I’m really mad at you and mom for walking out or getting a divorce or whatever’s going on, whoever left. But being able to be that safe place for them to really tell you how they’re processing the divorce, that’s right.
0:25:10 – Speaker 1
It’s been a tough subject today talking about divorce but, like we always say, we’ve got to have these conversations with our kids or the world will, and we want to be the one to plant truth in them and create a safe place for them and walk them through these difficult subjects. Annie Byers has been with us here today on our show. Thank you so much.
0:25:27 – Speaker 2
You are always a wealth of truth and knowledge Very welcome, thank you.
0:25:32 – Speaker 3
Thanks for joining us on nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim every Saturday at 10 AM on AM 6.30, the Word. You are not alone trying to figure out how to parent in this digital world. We are here with practical solutions to help you. Follow us on Facebook, instagram and Twitter. Find our free video series and podcast at nextTalk.org. Are you ready for the nextTalk?
Transcribed by https://podium.page