Seasonal Setbacks and Resetting Your Life After Divorce


Welcome to another episode of the exEXPERTS’ Divorce etc… podcast, where we give you all kinds of information and tips on everything divorce. Why? We’ve lived it, so we get it. We’re Jessica and T.H. And keep in mind you can get exEXPERTS in your inbox by signing up for our newsletter. Get the latest news and find out all about our events before anyone else, plus, access to special discounts and prices. Head to to subscribe.

T.H.: Welcome, everybody. I’m T.H., and I am fortunate to be here, of course, with Jessica, but also with the host of Divorced and Happy podcast, Sadie Marie, our spicy guest. She’s spicy and she tries to be spicy in everything she does, and it’s very entertaining and very educational. Welcome to Divorce etc

Sadie: Thank you so much. It’s good to see my East Coast spicy girlfriends again, after a long summer, with your smiling faces.

T.H.: Woohoo! Yes.

Sadie: I hope your summers were good to you.

T.H.: It’s been great. I can’t complain. I’ve learned to not complain unless it’s big. And then I can complain.

Sadie: That’s good. That’s good.

T.H.: Why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about yourself? How’d you even start a Divorced and Happy podcast? And how did you become the spicy lady?

Sadie: Sure. Actually, it’s called Sadie’s Divorced and Happy podcast.

T.H.: Sadie’s Divorced–sorry.

Sadie: No, it’s just fine. I’ve been divorced almost four years now. Right after my divorce, I think literally the day that the legal papers came in the mail, my honeymoon stage began. What I’m meaning when I say my honeymoon stage is, it’s like the Wizard of Oz, the movie where Dorothy–Kansas is black and white, and she’s just depressed and miserable. Then she has this terrible storm, and it’s just really intense, and then she goes crashing into this magical world of Oz. My summer of my divorce was just misery. Then in the fall, I landed in Oz, and everything was glorious and colorful and magical and new. I don’t know if you remember that stage after your divorces? My honeymoon stage lasted a long time. I mean, even COVID obviously was very difficult, but I still was in that bliss with dating and creating new things to experience and having a lot of spicy fun in the bedroom, as I like to say. This last summer, what happened for me–so anyway, so my honeymoon stage is what triggered the podcast, so before I dive into my summer. But I wanted people to know that after divorce, there was actually a lot of happiness and possibility and positivity and new opportunities. Going through divorce is just so negative, it just sucks the life out of you, and I was at my worst during my divorce. When I got out of my divorce and I was going through my honeymoon stage, I’m like, oh, my gosh, everybody needs to know about this. Everybody who’s going through a divorce needs to have this experience. That was the catalyst for the podcast, Sadie’s Divorced and Happy.

Jessica: We really talk about that a lot, the idea that divorce is an opportunity. I mean, I think that sometimes people misunderstand our intention and think that we’re advocating for divorce. Really, what we’re saying is we’re advocating for you to not be stuck in a shitty marriage. We’re advocating for you to recognize that you have one life and you need to do what’s going to make you happy, not be stuck in a relationship that doesn’t bring you any joy or happiness at all, and that if you find yourself going down the path of getting divorced, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and that yes, it sucks.

Sadie: Absolutely.

Jessica: It sucks. Divorce sucks. But you move on. And over time, it gets a little bit easier and a little bit easier. Then, like you, you can really see that the grass is greener because now you have this newfound freedom and these opportunities.

Sadie: So much. Right, right, right. And so that was the catalyst for the podcast. Also, if you know anything about me, ladies, which I think you know a little bit about me now after our relationship for the last few months, is I like out-of-the-box topics. My podcast is about kind of that “besides the normal” dating, like what about dating someone 15 years younger? What about having an open relationship after a divorce? What about going to a swinger event? I mean, I’ve really tried some things. I’ve really gotten out of the box. So my podcast is a little bit playful.

T.H.: Spicy.

Sadie: Spicy, yeah.

Jessica: Isn’t it mostly focused around dating and getting back out there into new relationships, sex, things like that?

Sadie: Right, I talk a lot about dating after divorce. I talk a lot about my sexual renaissance. I have talked obviously about the topic of happiness, self-care, but yeah, I do enjoy a little out-of-the-box fun. That’s just since my divorce. I’m like, I lean into that. I really lean into that.

T.H.: Well, you have to, because that brings you joy. It could be even the smallest thing. It doesn’t even have to be a whole big episode or a whole big deal.

Sadie: No, right, right, right.

T.H.: It’s the small things that bring the most amount of joy. What would you say is your biggest lesson learned? What surprised you that you uncovered during your podcast, for your own self?

Sadie: I think what surprised me was just how bold I could be. I mean, I was raised to be such a good girl.

Jessica: In the bedroom?

Sadie: Well, that too, Jessica. But I mean, just having a podcast where I’m talking about these different topics, that when I was in my 20s, I’m like, what’s kink? Like, like you got a kink in your neck? I don’t understand. I didn’t really even know what kink was until after divorce. I mean, that wasn’t something I explored with my ex ever. So to have these kinds of delicious conversations with people that I find very intriguing has been so much fun for me. And to introduce other people to this type of experience has been very satisfying too. I did start a platform called the “Red Room”, which is like a book club, but more delicious, where we women, if you identify as a woman, you are invited to the “Red Room” where we talk about sensuality and being sexual beings. Because I think before divorce, I never really gave myself permission to be a sexual being, to have topics about sex and pleasure and any of that. Through my podcast, with interviewing different sexperts, I’m sure you’ve done the same, it’s been so eye-opening and so fun. And so to invite women to come into a space that’s safe, there is no judgment, you get to say what you want, what you’re desiring, what you’re looking to explore, and you get to be affirmed and supported and not judged. I think a lot of women that have been part of that experience have found it very refreshing. So my podcast has really connected me to so many fantastic people and new ways of expressing myself and connecting people within my own self-expression.

Jessica: I think that a lot of people after they get divorced find, to some degree, their own sexual renaissance. I love that expression, by the way.

Sadie: I sure hope so.

Jessica: I think that it’s very common. I mean, listen, part of it would depend on how old someone was when they got married, how long they were married. But I know a lot of friends who, like me, got married at 23. It’s like, what did you even know about 23? I feel like I didn’t really learn what sex was until after I got divorced. But what do you think, because yours is, as you said, a little more out of the box? What do you think led you to learn this about yourself and to be so open and embrace it? Because I also think a lot of women come out and then have a lot of preconceived notions about things that they haven’t had experience with. So what do you think allowed you to do that?

Sadie: Divorce. I mean, I really, when I got divorced–

Jessica: No, but I guess the question is, were there things that were you interested in while you were married, that you knew you were holding back and not experimenting on? Or what made you be willing to be so open-minded about things that maybe before you would have been very apprehensive about?

Sadie: I think, because actually after divorce, I allowed myself to enjoy sex in a way that I had never allowed myself to before. I allowed myself to date differently. I mean, I don’t see monogamy the way that I used to. I don’t date the way that I did when I was in my 20s. We’re talking about freedom because I have given myself so much more freedom around dating, also that led to freedom around my own sexual experiences. I mean, divorce was like, here’s this fresh start to how you connect with men. I’ve learned a lot about myself. I mean, I’m not in the same place I was three, four years ago, meaning I’m not quite as busy as I used to be, because I’m suddenly into other things.

T.H.: Yeah, but it’s all growing and learning.

Sadie: Exactly. It’s all part of the process.

T.H.: It’s a whole journey that’s not linear.

Sadie: No, it sure is not.

T.H.: And you’re going to step in shit some days, and other times you’re going to step in gold. All you’re going to do is learn from the bad and ride the good, literally maybe.

Sadie: Literally! Badum-bum. That’s a good one, T.H.

T.H.: But you have given yourself permission to uncover things within yourself–

Sadie: Absolutely.

T.H.: –that were not necessary in your previous relationship, perhaps, that you never needed. It was not a part of your dynamics, so it never needed to be tapped into.

Sadie: Well, it wasn’t even really in my consciousness.

T.H.: But this was the pattern you had with your ex.

Sadie: That’s right.

T.H.: Now you have the permission to create whatever freaking pattern and path that you want. What’s really important here is not even all of the fun sex stuff, but the fact of giving yourself permission. There are a lot of people out there who are stuck in their situation and cannot take that first baby step forward because their head is telling them all of these things. And see, Sadie gave herself permission to try. Just try. If it doesn’t work out it don’t work out, but just to try. I think that’s the overarching message here is that your life is an opportunity after divorce. As long as you’re exploring things that are part of your new discovery, your renaissance, your Wizard of Oz and Dorothy moments, whatever that I – allow it. You’re okay. You’re gonna be okay. I hate saying the word “gonna”. I feel like I say it all the time. You’re going to be okay.

Sadie: Yeah, you are okay. Right, exactly, exactly.

T.H.: So you had a hell of a summer, right?

Sadie: I did!

T.H.: So you’ve been on your zigzag path here and discovering yourself in many different ways. Because in order to explore all these different sexual experiences, you had to increase your confidence, you had to trust your gut, and you had to believe in yourself. That’s the only way you can do that. If any of those things are missing, you probably can’t. So tell us what happened in the summer to you, as an example for people.

Jessica: Before that, I just want to–you’ve been divorced for how long?

Sadie: About four years.

Jessica: Okay. I just think it’s important for people to recognize that, because if you’re going to about to talk about your setback and the grief that comes later, because sometimes people think, all right, they’ve made it through everything, and T.H. and I talk all the time about how you have ups and downs for years. I mean, we’re 14 years out, and there are still times where I’m like, damn it.

T.H.: Yeah.

Jessica: So four years out, and then you had this experience the last few months?

Sadie: Right, so my summer of 2022, I’m referring to it as my setback summer. I thought I was going to have a hot girl summer. I thought I was going to do all these fun things and be extra playful and enjoy a lot of time exploring my own city. And that did not happen. So back story to all of that, I’m a relationship person. I love people. I’m an extrovert. Being by myself, my whole life, for the most part, has been an area where I’ve been more challenged. This spring, two of my best friends moved out of state far away. I’m a photographer for my career, and my photography mentor of 15 years, retired and moved away out of state. I was in a situationship that was allowing me to really learn about my anxious attachment style. I don’t know if you’re familiar with attachment styles? And so I finally got out of that, because that was just not a happy place to be. But it was still a loss regardless. I just had so much loss this summer. That loss just triggered a ton of grief, just so much grief. What I typically do to avoid grief is I stay really busy.

T.H.: Yeah, I hear you.

Sadie: I just stay so busy, and I keep doing, and I keep moving, and I keep planning. I was so overwhelmed by my grief that I didn’t have the ability to do that, which really threw me off my game, ladies. Because for me not to be able to be just constantly going, going, going, that is–

T.H.: We get you. You and I are the same way.

Sadie: Right, and so for me, I had to lean into what I had been resisting for so long, which was different feelings around my divorce, different feelings around my childhood, different feelings around patterns of behavior. I mean, I’m like, oh, I’ve got this, you know, three years out of my divorce. I was like, I’ve got dating. I’m great at this. And then I get into this situationship and I’m like, oh, my God, I’ve learned nothing. Like, how can that be? I had to do a lot of forgiving of myself. I had to give myself a lot of grace.

Jessica: Do you think that there’s a reason why this came? I mean, I hear you, that you had the loss of the situationship and your mentor, but the fact that–

Sadie: Yeah, but also my best friends. I mean, my community, I just was alone more.

T.H.: Your people.

Sadie: My people. I mean, yeah, people that really I could always rely on and count on. And yes, of course, I can text people and FaceTime people, but it’s not the same.

Jessica: No, no, no, but the idea that these were things that you didn’t face?

Sadie: Well, what I’m saying is I had so many distractions. Then when this grief hit me, I just didn’t have the energy to keep distracting myself. I mean, after a divorce, I had energy for days. I was just like, oh my God, there are so many new things to try and do. How many hometown visits can I stack in a week? I mean, I’m not even kidding. I was just like, ooh, ooh, ooh. Then this happened to me this summer, and I’m like, I don’t want to do anything. I don’t want to talk to people. I mean, I canceled plans with friends. I mean, I was having a major setback. And so for me, it’s like okay, yes, I have a therapist and I work with a therapist, but also it was about exercising this new way of getting comfortable with myself because I have been resisting that for a long time. It’s like, sitting with yourself, how do you really feel? Then when you have thoughts that you aren’t really fond of, what do you do with that? Because you can talk to a therapist one hour a week, that’s great, but you live with yourself every day, every minute of the day. And so for me, it was really learning new ways to help myself during that season where I just was really feeling defeated. And so some things that I did that were helpful to me is that I allowed myself space to do nothing, and be like, okay, how does this really feel? I would journal about it – what’s scary about this? What don’t I like about this? How can I–

Jessica: You were really in touch with it all while you were doing it.

Sadie: Say it again?

Jessica: You were really in touch with it all. It’s such an important–

Sadie: I was really leaning in, Jessica, because it’s like, I need to work through this. That was something that ironically, one of my friends, Tracy’s her name, who did move away, she’s like, I think this is the season for you to really get more comfortable with yourself because until you really do that, a lot of things just aren’t ultimately going to work out in maybe the way you’re hoping them to. When you’re depending too much on exterior things to give you something, you’re kind of setting yourself up for disappointment. And so for me–

T.H.: One of the biggest lessons in divorce that experts–we talk about it all the time, therapists, experts all the time, that when you’re coming out of divorce, it is such an important part of the process to become comfortable with yourself and be responsible for your own happiness.

Sadie: Absolutely.

Jessica: It’s exactly what you’re saying, and it’s really hard to do.

T.H.: Well, it’s really big,

Sadie: Right, it’s so big, and it’s also one thing about doing it without being busy. Like, I can be happy by doing all these things. Doing a podcast makes me happy. Being a photographer makes me happy. But what about just doing nothing and being with myself? Does that make me happy? That’s what I had to focus on this summer. Because all that other stuff, I’ve got down. I know a million ways to do things to make me feel happy. But can I just do nothing and feel happy with myself?

Jessica: How do you feel like you did it? How did you get through it?

Sadie: Well, I mean, the getting through is just the allowing the discomfort. I mean, I had a lot of discomfort. It was sitting in the discomfort for the summer. Now I have turned a corner, and I’m I feel super grateful for that. But, I mean, it’s the allowing of it, right? I wasn’t resisting it. I wasn’t resisting being just by myself. I was receiving it and allowing it and letting it–

T.H.: And when you say the discomfort, I know for me, even this past weekend, dropping my son off at school, I was ready. He’s not lived at home for many, many years. I’ve been an empty nester for a long time. But I woke up the morning we were leaving, and I literally was having a panic attack. Because your body, when you’re feeling that kind of distress, your body will show up. I can work out for 10 hours a day. I can find a million websites to pretend I’m shopping on. I can go and buy shit off Amazon for hours, whatever. My body was like, you are not facing this. I was like, I don’t even know what to do with this. I’m crying, and my throat is closing up, like, what do you do? What do you do? What do you do? Honestly, what I did was I called one of my friends who has been through something similar, and I was walking–I didn’t even walk the dog. I left her home. I walked for about an hour and a half by myself with her. She got me breathing and super simple, little things. Because I was like, my body’s like acting against me. We’ve got to get on a plane in an hour, I’m going to school, and I was going with my ex, and there were no buffers. My son has been through a lot. I don’t still really understand what the problem was, but there was clearly a problem. Now looking back, because I’m sure you do, I obviously got through it. I still haven’t figured out what it was, but didn’t you feel like your body wasn’t letting you? You have to listen to your body sometimes because if you don’t, it’s going to be what happened to me. It’s just going to shut down.

Sadie: Right. Yeah, my body was saying, I’m burned out. You’ve tapped me out. One thing that I actually learned years ago in therapy, that I really practiced this summer, do you talk to your body? Like, do you talk to her like it’s a friend?

Jessica: I don’t.

T.H.: I do a certain part of my body. Not the part you’re thinking about. But I’ve had breast cancer, so I’ve been up and down with my chest, literally, in terms of size and stuff.

Sadie: Sure.

T.H.: And my friend who’s a therapist says, be nice to your boobs.

Sadie: Oh, I love that.

T.H.: So, I’m nice to my boobs! It sounds so funny that you just said that, because I’m like if I’m nice to you, will you be nice to me?

Sadie: It should be on a t-shirt. No, one thing I learned years ago, and I did a lot this summer is, I will talk to my body. I’ll be like, oh, I love you so much, sweetie. You’re working so hard for me. You take such good care of me. Tonight we’re going to do this together. It’s treating your body like–it’s actually referring your body as a she, like a person, like, oh, you are just so strong. I appreciate you. So for me, it’s like connecting, because I can really live in my head. I can really just live in my head.

T.H.: Which is dangerous.

Sadie: Correct. And so connecting my body was just so healing. To be really just in my body more was also really helpful for me and my setback.

T.H.: So you shared with us the one thing that you wish you knew. Do you remember what you wrote?

Sadie: The one thing I wish I knew? Repeat it to me, I don’t remember in this moment. Midlife, you know? Memory and midlife.

T.H.: Well, you wrote, “What I wish I knew prior to divorce is searching for happiness through another person for happiness is a never satisfying journey. It comes from within.” And that is a process, everybody. That is not a light switch. That is still why–

Sadie: A lot of trial and error.

T.H.: –Jessica and I, 14 years are discovering who we are, and how to handle things differently, and how to move forward. I think that that’s a really great message for you to send everybody.

Jessica: Yeah.

Sadie: Thank you.

Jessica: The last few months were obviously different, because our lives are different, but I too feel years after my divorce, primarily within the last yearish, that I learned so much more about myself, and finally feel I am in a good place with myself. The same kind of thing, I had been on a dating tear, and I’m finally in my new home that I’ve been waiting for, for so long. It’s finally done. It’s all of these things; they put you in a good place. I want to say what T.H. just said, which is that people listening, you have to know that if you don’t face it right away, which is okay, because we all have to process things in our own time, there will come a day where it rears its head, and you’re going to have to face it at a time that you’re ready, and a time that you can embrace it the way that you did. I love the fact that you really said you took it all in, you leaned into it and listened and made that progress for yourself, which is tremendous and really hard to do.

Sadie: Hard to do. There’s a great quote by Liz Gilbert I want to share with your listeners and with you, and I heard it on a podcast this summer. She said, “Grief is a bill that you have to pay. You don’t have to pay it today, you don’t have to pay it in two years, but you’re going to have to pay it. It’s not going anywhere.” That really struck me this summer because I’m like, yeah, I’m paying it four years later. It’s all good.

T.H.: Right. But like Jessica said, you are in a position to do that.

Sadie: Right, exactly.

T.H.: And so it hits you at different times. As long as you know that you go to your support, you go to your resources, you’re listening to a podcast, you’re educating yourself, okay, this is what’s happening, what do I do with this, and reach out to friends, because they may not know you’re going through this at this time.

Sadie: Oh, absolutely.

T.H.: But I reached out to my people, who immediately responded. But they wouldn’t know. They can’t read my mind that I need help unless I say I need support.

Jessica: Right, which is hard to do.

T.H.: And so make sure you reach out to get that support. But Sadie, congratulations, you’re on season three of your podcast.

Sadie: Oh, my God, yes, “The Comeback”.

T.H.: We love following your journey because you’re like us. We are all going to be success stories. And we are, but we’re forever evolving.

Sadie: Ongoing. That’s so true.

T.H.: Thank you so much.

Jessica: Thank you so much for your time.

Sadie: Thank you so much, ladies.

For everyone out there listening, if you know anyone at all who would benefit from what we’ve talked about today, please share this episode and everything exEXPERTS. Be sure and click to subscribe, rate, and review our Divorce etc… podcast wherever you listen to your podcasts. And please follow us on social media at exEXPERTS on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube. You can also find so much more, including articles and even the podcast transcripts on our website at And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter now. When you get exEXPERTS in your inbox, you’re the first to hear about all of our happenings and events, plus, access to special discounts and prices. Thanks for listening.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.