Why Do People Cheat?




Everyday we hear of marriage is breaking up from infidelity and we know exactly how that goes.

Since both of our husbands cheated on us and covered for each other’s affairs, we chose to leave and move on.

But a lot of people make the choice to work through it.

Could you forgive your spouse?

Do you think cheating automatically means the end of a marriage?


Because that’s exactly what we’re talking about in today’s episode of the Divorce Etcetera podcast.

We’re the ex experts, Jessica and TH.

We help you navigate your divorce and successfully move on with your life.

Let’s bring in today’s guest.

Hey everybody, it’s TH with the X Experts.


I am excited to have Erica Bennett here.

She is the podcast host and a divorce coach, but the podcast host of the Crazy Ex Wives Club.

So I found her on Instagram, as you randomly hear me say sometimes because that is how we make some really great connections with people and I just like fell in love with her.


So we have a long distance love affair here between the Ex Experts and the Crazy Ex Wives Club.

And welcome to our show.

Thank you.

It is so wonderful to be here with you guys.

I’m excited to have our chat tonight.


Yeah, so are we.


I mean, look, we, when Erica and I were talking about, OK, great, you’ll be an ex expert, what are we going to talk about?

There was like a laundry list of things.

But then we really kept going back to the cheating and all three of us have experienced infidelity in our marriages and we all responded differently.


Even though Jessica and I chose to move on with divorce, we still dealt with it differently.

We felt differently when we found out.

So the the main premise of today’s podcast is why do they cheat?


Why is there cheating?

And then what do you do about it?

So let’s dig into that.

Yeah, that was such a huge topic for me because I needed to understand why he did what he did so that I could figure out how to fix it.

Well, give us a little bit of context.


I mean, TH and I often talk about how, like, you know, both of our husbands had been having affairs and stuff like that.

Like how long were you married and how did you find out?


The math you believe when you were in a marriage, you know how what year?

The answer is every time.


I think we were eight years.

OK No.


So if we start from when we were dating 2004, right.

Found out in 2015 that’s eleven years together.

We got married a couple years into it.

So yeah.

So about 11 years together.


Found out in March of 15.

Very clear.

So for a long time, and we’re talking like years, I had felt something was wrong.

You know, I was worried we were drifting apart.

Things weren’t quite fitting.


We kind of wanted different things.

And he was going out.

He worked a retail job.

So his hours were very different to my corporate job.

At that point.

We had a new baby.

So I was like, Lord, I’m exhausted.

I want to go to bed.

I do not want to be out drinking till 2:00 in the morning.

And somebody’s got to wake up with this kid at 6:00 in the morning.



So things were were were missing each other and I just felt like something was wrong.

But I was trying my hardest and then I looked on the computer and I had never found anything.

So we shared a Google Chromebook.


This is like the one tip though that you almost don’t want the the the half of the partner that’s cheating.

You don’t want them to hear this part.

So we shared this Google Chromebook.

Everything was logged in through his username.

I’d found nothing in, you know, and I wasn’t seeking it.

I just felt like something was wrong.


And this day I was called to check the deleted folders.

And in the deleted folders I found all the screenshots of the messages that they had been snapping back and forth and the pictures that she had been sending.

And the I love yous and I’m never want to go to bed without saying I love you and all the shit.



That’s a gut punch.

And and don’t you feel when you see stuff and you know the stuff you’re like, OK, I’m good.

I And that’s enough.

I don’t need to read anymore.

Oh my God, I would.

Read everything.

I would look at everything.

I kept reading, yeah.


And it that was really hard.

And that was another thing that I had to learn how to get over because it created a shock to my system.

And so when I’d close my eyes, I would still see her face and I would still see the snaps she’d send them snaps of should I wear this dress or this dress tonight?

Like he, he, he, I got my color done.


What color do you want?


Like this Very childish banter, flirty banter.

We all know it.

There’s no judgement behind it.

But when it’s somebody’s doing it with your husband, you’re not real happy with that person.

OK, You got a lot of choice words going on.

But every time I’d close my eyes, I would continue to see that because it it was such a shock and it was such a trauma.


And so found all those that led me to be like, wow, what’s in the deleted emails?

Check the deleted emails.

Got to read correspondence back and forth between them.

Learned that she had broken up with her boyfriend, and it started because he was trying to help her move on from their relationship.

And all of a sudden now here they are, spiraled into this mess.


I started looking at the snaps and the dates, Like, how did he just post that we had spent Easter together?

And then he’s snapping her and she’s like, how can you be talking to me if your mother-in-law and your wife are there?

Oh, I, you know, they all went to bed, ’cause they worked all day.


And I just, I just avoided it.

So now I’m hanging out by myself, right?

Like seeing this alter ego of a person versus who they were during the day, where you’re making all these excuses.

You know, I’d made you know, he works really hard and he’s not really happy in his job and he’s really depressed and things aren’t going well.


It’s the.

Least I can do but.

Not just that I can take on more.

We also talk about how so many women are like, I had no idea, because it’s like when you actually find out it is a shock to the system.

But we, you know, ’cause you already said things fell off.


It’s like, you know, and then you got the confirmation.

When did you confront him about it?

Hold on, hold on.

Did you know her?

No, she was a Co worker of his.

So they worked together and he was coming home from work and so I had found these during the day.


I don’t remember why I was home and I’m working from home or whatever.

He worked in early shift and that was part of the problem.

He started work at like four, 4:30 in the morning.

And so he was home by two by three in the afternoon, he had a lot of free time off time with the other people at work.

So he was coming home.


He came home.

I was still in shock.

I asked him about it and I was like, hey, are you having an affair?

Are you in love with somebody else?

And he denies it.

Denies it.

Denies it, right.

Like, I can still see the the flash in my mind.

He’s in the kitchen with, like, the cutting board pulled out.


He’s making a sandwich after lunch and he’s standing there.

It’s telling me no he’s not and I keep going after it and finally he goes, I did but it was years ago and it’s over and I’m like what?

And he’s like it was right after.


So other back story is I had a miscarriage then we got pregnant again the next year.

Then my dad got diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

So I had a six month old baby and burying my father and a lot of shit in the mix.

And so he proceeds to tell me that when my dad passed away and he was traveling for work, he picked up an affair with somebody he had to travel with at work and spent two years in an in a long distance affair conversing with her while we’re having our own problems.


And I’m like, OK, so who the hell is this woman whose snap I’m looking at?

And so all of it spiraled really fast.

Turns out that his mom had known because I had called her.

And I’m like, Oh my God, I don’t know what to do.


I found these messages and she’s like, I knew I had told him he needed to tell you.

I told him that it was unacceptable.

He never did.

His other Co workers knew.

So I ended up after confronting him, getting in the car.

And I honestly like, I’ve even got goosebumps right now.


I couldn’t think and I drove around the block for 30 minutes and I would drive in and then I’m parked at a gas station and I’m like, I I don’t know.

I know I can’t go home.

I don’t know who I can call and I don’t know where I can go.

And I just sat there and eventually, you know, one of his Co workers actually answered and she’s like drive to my house.


It’s 30 minutes.

And I drove all the way down there and it just was word vomit of processing.

Like how could he do this and what is he doing?

And all the things And then the like icing was while we’re sitting there, I’m like, well, he supposedly is going to a movie tomorrow with this other Co worker, male Co worker.


And she goes call the Co worker.

So we call this male Co worker and he’s like, I don’t have plans with him.

So in the middle of this, I’m still finding out that he’s like actively taking this other woman on dates.

It explodes all over.


The Co workers are pissed.

Don’t ever use me for a front unless you tell me I’m going to be a front.

Like now I just got called out.

But you know the other woman was now called out.

The whole circle was blown up and no.

Go ahead.

I was going to say and he said it was too painful and he didn’t want to fix anything.


And so with all the shit and all the whatever, he just was like, I can’t.

But I was going to say, but I thought you had decided to forgive him and try to work through it.

So how did that come about?


Did, yeah.

So what ended up happening was.






Wait wait.

Wait, you just said like?

I told you we’d never get to 20 minutes.

Yeah, no, it’s not.

But we all have to absorb what you just said because we have all who have experienced infidelity, been in that spot where you don’t know where to go, you don’t know what to do, who can you trust?


How are you going to handle all of this?

And you can never Unsee it like.

We’re going.

To find out how you moved on.

But you’re never going to Unsee what you saw.

That’s why.

Like when I was being shown pictures and stuff like that, I was like, you know what?


Like I’m good.

I’m comfortable with my decision.

I really don’t think that knowing more is going to change anything for me.

It’s just going to be worse for me personally.

But I just want to stop a minute for anybody who’s in this space to know, we hear you, we are you and you just you just have to breathe, right?


That’s like literally all you’re capable of doing in that moment.

So I just really wanted to stop before we moved on to like, how you forgave his ass and whatever came next.


Yeah, and there is.


It’s really bad.

It’s bad.

There’s a lot of truth in that.

Like you have to understand when you figure out and find out that the person you love is cheating, there is a conversation you need to have with yourself on.

Do I want to know who this person is?

You know?


For me it was do I want to know who this woman is?

And I had seen the messages, right, But I and I hadn’t really.

I I hadn’t Googled her yet.

And it took a while before I made the choice that, hey, it’s time.

I’m ready to look at it.

I don’t know that that was the right choice.

So I will tell you if you’re listening out there and you’re sitting in the Should I look at more or should I not?


You can’t ever Unsee it.

It forever haunts you as something that’s in there.

Now you learn how to see it as a thing that was in the past and not a thing that still owns you.

I will tell you that my experience caused massive trauma, years of trauma, of PTSD level trauma of every time someone’s phone vibrated, it sent a, like, heat wave and a shock and a cold sweat through my body.


I mean, it could be my mom’s phone.

It could be her like like two.

We were at my sister’s bridal shower.

And the people who are hosting it, the people we’ve known forever, husband and wife sitting there and his phone beeped and he went in the other room because we were all sitting there.

And I was like, it’s it’s happening right now.


And that took literally six years to unwind from my body because I had sat in it for so long.

I honest, I get that and and it creeps up on you when you least expect it.

And I I definitely have post traumatic stress just from being married to him.


Like certain things come up and I’m like, is this going to be like the way it was back then?

And then I have to go through the motions and I’m like, oh, I’m good.

Oh, yeah, I’m good.

And this isn’t the same person anyway.

But for whatever reason, it might pop up again.

But you know better as soon as you start seeing, which I think Eric and I also talked about, and Jessica and I do too.


Once you put it out into the universe and you call it out and you, you see it, then things change.

Now you you really do have choices.

So before we get into the choice that you did that Jessica gave away, let let’s just pause here for a quick minute.


When we were getting divorced from our exes, we hope someone would take us by the hand and make sure we didn’t make any mistakes with our kids.

Dealing with our ex, recovering from a cheating spouse, dating, you name it, you’re in luck.

Just like building ex experts for you, we also created a divorce rule book.


We share what we wish we knew back then so you don’t make the same mistakes we did.

If you want a copy, all you have to do is visit and it’s right there for you.

You don’t know what you don’t know, but the X experts do.

All right, spoiler alert is over.


You took him back.

How did that go down?

Well, so I I would say, I don’t know if I can say I took him back, but I did.

But let’s explain how.

So all this stuff comes out.

And now I’m like, hey, I’ve been trying to get us to therapy.


In fact, we had gone to therapy once, but the therapist was actually incredibly terrible, like terrible for us trying to work through it.

And so he had quit.

You know, I had brought up books.

I had brought up different things.

I had been trying all the ways that I grow and I heal.

And so we had actually had an appointment.


We had found a new couples therapist that he had liked.

And we’re in the middle of this.

And so you better believe like we were on visit #2.

And at that point he had said, it just hurts too much to dig through it.


I can’t do it.

I would rather just lock it up and move on.

And so couples therapy moved into discovery therapy individually to see if there was enough that we wanted to work on.

Of course, after I, like, burnt the place down with my anger, the night that I had found out and I just was yelling and screaming.


And because the other piece about the affair was that it had not become physical yet, it had been stuck in the realm of an emotional affair.

So I mentioned that I started really researching all the deals about why people have cheat and all of the things.


And what I learned is that there’s lots of different types of affairs, and that some of the more damaging ones are the ones that don’t include actually having sex with another person, that men typically outsource their emotions.

We live in a society and a culture where men are outsourcing their emotions to the female half of the relationship.


It’s her job to carry the social calendar and to carry the social relationships and to carry the planning and to carry the emotions.

And when emotions get too big and you can’t turn to your partner because she’s the one you’re having emotions about, you find somebody else.

And so they had moved into this emotional fair.


They both were in a loveless relationship.

They both could bond over those pieces and so it hadn’t moved into a physical one.

So I was yelling and screaming.

You might as well just go, you know what?

And get it over with and get it out of your system.

Because there is something about the grass is always greener on the other side when if you were to make the leap and go there, guess what?


The same junk follows you over there.

The same problems come back up.

You repeat the same patterns.

So I was a little bit like, just go do it.

Get it out of your system.

Because and this is where, why I wanted to work on it.

It used to be really good.


We lost each other.

We both got off track.

I’ve not been happy.

I’ve been crabby and angry and mean.

I’ve been overwhelmed.

I’ve got a new baby.

I don’t love the job that I’m doing.

You can write the list of I was overwhelmed and out of my happy place and not fun to be around.


And So what did he go do?

He’s like, I don’t want to be around somebody who’s not fun to be around.

He’s got his own holes in his own inner self of needing somebody to help him feel better and to feel happy.

And he’s not doing it on his own and he’s not getting it from the relationship anymore.


So it starts with drinks at the bar, then it starts with socializing with people after work, and eventually it moves on to another woman.

And that’s exactly what had happened.

So I’d sat there and I said, I think we have enough to want to work on this.

We have a kid in the mix.


We were trying for a second baby.

Like all the things we were, we were trying to be there.

I think that we should try.

And so we moved deep into, I moved deep into understanding why does somebody cheat and giving him the space to allow some room for him to see that hey, there’s enough there that we should try and work on it.


And so we stayed in that space for two years.

For two years, he continued to repeat.

I just, I don’t, I don’t want to work on it yet.

I don’t want to deal with it yet.

But he also, mm hmm.

So I’d be like, can we finally try and fix what went wrong?


Can we can we pick this up?

So in the separation of two years, no.

But I didn’t know that till the end of the two years when I filed.

So the whole time he had been telling me that there was no more contact.


You know, yes, I have to work with her, but I don’t speak to her.

I don’t go out of my way.

I don’t start the contact.

The phone would ring and she would call and I’d be like WTF what the hell is happening?

I can’t control if she’s calling me.

I’ve told her that this needs to stop.


I don’t want to lose my job over this.

Like all the things he had found, his own place, he had moved out.

We had created separation.

We were still Co parenting.

We were for like 8 months pretending like he still slept there and we’d wait till our son went to bed before he left to go to his other place to try and reduce the impact it had on our son.


But he just continued to say he wasn’t ready to even try, wasn’t ready to even try and I didn’t know why.

And so, yeah.

And so I had to choose to work on me.

And so I was given a gift of two years of the worst two years of my life.


Like I went from 150 to 117 lbs in 30 days.

I didn’t.

I didn’t sleep through the night for years.

I had constant panic attacks and anxiety attacks.

And I was couldn’t even watch TV.

Couldn’t read a book for sure, but I couldn’t watch TV because my mind couldn’t make it more than a couple sentences.


Without seeing the flashes of the pictures that I had seen, without wondering what was going on and where he was at and so like severe emotional distress for an extended period of time.



So again, I want to stop and acknowledge this, you know, being under stress like that or any stress that you make bigger than others might think it needs to be, will make you sick.


We’ve spoken with other experts like Kimberly Weeks, who’s a narcissist recovery coach and she literally developed a sickness because she internalized everything and and you can make your body sick.



Then you think you’re really crazy, right?

Then you think you’re really crazy because now look at what I’m doing.

Now I’m really off my rocker.

So you’re almost like feeding into this whole negative spiraling mess.


The other side of it is.


And I spoke to one of the women who I, who I work with, and she finds herself in this trap of just doing it, sucking it up, making herself sicker again because she has to do it for her kids.


I mean, I got to do what I got to do, right?

I have a job.

I’m a mom.

I’m going to have to go on this spring break and pretend for five days with him or you don’t.



Well, that’s the ultimate decision.


That’s the ultimate decision.

But as soon as, like you, Erica said, it’s enough.

Or this woman, I don’t know what she’s going to do about the spring break, but whenever any of us say it’s enough, it’s a moment in time that, for your kids is literally a speck of time.


And we put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect and pretend everything’s great.

Your kids see that nothing’s great.


They know that mom is like a little off her rocker right now.

And that’s because you’re making yourself off your rocker.


And so don’t think that showing up and putting on a whole act is actually convincing anybody.

And it’s not helping anybody either, especially yourself.

So if you take that choice and that decision, I’m not going on the spring break, you start healing in that second and your kids are still going to be OK.


But you you have to take that minute.

And the other quick thing I want to say is that how many times was I slapped upside my head in my 4 years of visibly, clearly suffocating in my marriage?

How many times did I put myself out there to be sacrificed and and by choice, right.


Just kind of like what you did for two years, making yourself sick and everything.

But I I obviously needed four years of constantly being hit upside my head to be able to make the decision I made on that day and saying I’m out.


I got no guilt.

Because you’re not ready to make the choice that’s right until you’re ready.

And so I stayed in the two years, right.

And in those two years, it was the first year was thousands spent on researching how to fix him.


How can I make him change?

How can I get him to see that there’s value in this?

How can I control him?

I mean, even as far as, you know, fell back into like the secret, if you watch the secret, the movie, the books, the manifesting world, right?

And I got back into that.


And I I love those practices.

And those practices work very well for me.

But I started them again because I was trying to manifest him back into the marriage.

And so I was doing anything and everything and every single place I went.

What they said was you cannot control them, you can control you.


So what can we do to invest in you?

What makes you happy?

What fills your cup?

What can you do to recharge and take care of you?

Because maybe he comes back, maybe he doesn’t.

But either way what we need to do is take care of you right now.


So even though I wasn’t ready to make that decision, for me that decision the the decision to divorce felt too scary.

I was literally scared for my life.

I didn’t understand how to start over.

It didn’t mean I had a six figure corporate career I had worked there for at that .12 years I was running a global department.


I I was somebody.

And yet this thing was so all-encompassing that I didn’t understand how to move forward.

And so in that first year of aggressively trying to figure out, you know, no, no, I can’t.

One, I can’t tell anybody because who can you tell that they cheated and have them still accept that person when I desperately want this marriage to still work?


And two, I can’t seem to get him to change his mind.

Now, Year 2 rolls around, and now I’m starting to get my feet underneath me.

And I’m like, you know what?

The first year I was like, gosh, what did I do?

What did I do to cause him to go cheat with somebody else?

Was it not pretty enough?



Was I not fun enough?

Was I not pretty enough?

Was I too angry?

Like, look, I’m changed all those.

I’m fun again.

I’m fun again.

Like, come back.


And it had nothing to do with those pieces.

And so year two, it started to be like, I was like, hey, you know what?

I want somebody who wants to hang out with me, ’cause guess what?


I’m cool.

You know, like, my child cringes every time I make that joke.

But I was like, I’m a good human, I’m a good, loving human, and I deserve somebody who wants to be around me.

So if you don’t, that’s OK.

But I’m getting ready to move forward.


And so I took those.

Same for me, the manifesting practices which work really well and and it was visualizing and it was dreaming up.

What does it feel like to be in a partnership where two people truly love and respect each other.

What does your life look like at your son’s next birthday To know that you’re not carrying this weight anymore.


And so you know the the the irony is, is that at the Christmas 2 years, you know, the second Christmas he had, I’d gone on a flight to Japan.

Thank God I got sent all over the world internationally for work because it gave me a different time zone and a break and I had to work on me and I had to just be in the present moment.


And so on this particular trip, I boarded my little flight, I got to my seat and I sent the message and I said this is a 12 hour flight and I want an answer by time.

My phone turns back on because I’m done and I hit send and I unplugged for 12 hours and I watched movies and I slept and I ate my food and I did whatever you do in a beautiful business class flight to Japan.


And when I got there and I turned my phone on and it dinged through and it said I’m ready to work on it.

And I was crushed and I was really scared.

Realized it wasn’t really what you wanted.

You’d been prepared.


No, but it was something.

And but I had fought for it for so long because I had told myself that this was the thing that I was going to do.

I was going to have a 50 year wedding anniversary and I was going to be the people that overcame the cheating.

And so when he said OK, let’s start and I wasn’t happy and I wasn’t elated and I got to the hotel and I bawled and I knew that something was wrong.


And so it took a couple more months.

You know, we rolled around to our anniversary in February, and I spent the day interviewing divorce attorneys.

And he spent the day making a joke about how he didn’t prioritize setting up an anniversary date for us.

And I was like, dude, this is the problem.


This is not going to work.

And and then we had a beautiful conversation and we both cried.

Both people were hurt in this.

Even if he was cheating, even if he was still dating the other woman, neither of us wanted to make it to this point.

And so, you know, we had spent the day, we both took the day off work.


We both cried the whole day and had really amazing conversations about what had happened in that chapter.

You know, the wishes we had had.

He’s like, how come you didn’t come back sooner?

By time you finally realized that I had already checked out.

It was too late.

I couldn’t.

I couldn’t do the work to find my way back.


And that’s valid, too.

And I think The thing is, is that if you’re out there and you’re feeling like you’re stuck in this, there’s like 2 messages I really want you to hear.

It’s OK to change your mind.

So if you’ve decided you want it to stay, or you’ve decided you want it to go and you realize X number of months in that you’re like, maybe I don’t want this anymore.


That’s OK.

And it’s OK to be that.

I totally forgot the second thing.

That’s great.

You know, ’cause we’re not editing this, well, he’ll come back to me in a second.

I was like, God, there’s this thing that I need you.



So on.

No, no.

It’s, it’s.

So good though.

And it’s it, you know, My ex had had said to me long after the fact, something about the fact that I, when I found out he had been disappointed, that I hadn’t, like, been more upset, so to speak, that I hadn’t fought for it.


And I had said to him, I mean, you know, I cried all weekend.

I don’t know where, you know, but I didn’t feel like I had to show that to you.

You were already fucking someone else.

And I don’t think it’s too much to ask for me to be in a relationship in a marriage where my husband only wants to have sex with me.


You were already there.

And I I understand what you’re saying, like trying to figure out our sense of responsibility with it.

But I always also to some extent come back to in any marriage where there is an affair happening, clearly both people are not happy.


It may be different levels of unhappy, but it’s not good.

Someone’s fucking someone else.

However, only he crossed that line in my marriage.

I did not stray.

So I still maintain like you’re the one that took that step to the point of no return.


You took it past anything I.

Can do with.

It so the fact that you that you are upset that I didn’t fight for it, you’d already you were already gone.

I’m not going that far.

Yeah, yeah, that’s.


And that’s OK too, right.

And that’s why so many people don’t tell when somebody else has cheated or left the marriage.

And that’s why it it’s when I look at it.

And so the the thing you know, where we started is you’re like, how the heck did you ever forgive this man?

It was because when I really looked at why he chose to cheat, it was stemming from a a piece of him that was so broken.


And I want you to think about a time when you have felt just really, unbelievably unhappy, where it is so incredibly painful.

You would do anything to make the pain stop.

And what we need to do to make the pain stop is to care for ourselves and to love ourselves, and to find ways that we replenish our own lack that we’ve overextended ourselves to and stop relying on somebody else to help us feel better.


But the people who go and reach out and cheat are the ones who continue to rely on somebody else to fill that hole.

Because either they can’t or they won’t fill it on their own.

Because it hurts too much to look at it, because it’s easier to keep running because something new and flashy always feels better.


And so for me, that was really sad, like to to sit and look at somebody and be like, Oh my God, there’s a piece so broken inside of you that you can’t do the work on your own and you’re doing this thing instead.

And so I could hold enough space and and grieve and have grace for him to understand that.


I get it.

Because when I’m hurting God do I just want somebody else to come in and fix it.

But to your point, I have a line that is not a line I would ever cross.

There is no reason to ever justify it.

Doesn’t matter how crappy I was.

It doesn’t justify the fact that you chose to leave the marriage.


Now that took a really long time for me to own.

I had a friend be like, when are you actually ever going to be mad at him?

He’s like, I’ve heard you say why it’s justified.

I’ve heard you say why you.

You know, he’s just not strong enough to work through it.

I’ve heard you say, oh, he’s hurting and I get it and he’s like, when are you going to be like F you?


How dare you?

Do this.

I’m curious.

Though if your relationship today is amicable, because it does sound like you gave him a lot of space and a lot of grace, and I would have, I would think that you guys have a good relationship today.

He was lucky that you reacted the way that you did as opposed like, I I mean, people, some who hear about my relationship with Darren, they’re like, I don’t know how you do that.


And also, I just want to put in here, there’s in my mind, and we’ve done podcasts about this, Acceptance versus forgiveness.

Forgiveness is not.

I forgive you for being, you know, for stepping outside of our marriage like I’m giving you a pass.


I don’t.

I do not forgive my ex for all of the lying, the disrespect, the cheating.

I mean all of the things.

But I accept it.

I accept it and I do understand it.

I understand his past that led him to where he is, and I literally called him out on it to his face.


And I I said you’ve become exactly what you didn’t like.

And and then and then I never said another word and that was probably the only time I, like, literally vomited my words on him.

Only happened once.

But it was good.

I I every word was there.

Like everything that had been stored and buried deep inside it all came out and I don’t even know if you heard any of it but it sure felt good to get it out.



But you can still have an amicable relationship.

Like I I think that I speak for you, Jessica.

Like you accepted Darren cheated.

I do.

But you don’t forgive him.

No, but you don’t forgive him.

It’s not like, oh, that’s OK.

And not only that.


I feel like he’ll always be family.

He’s the father of my kids and like, you know, God forbid, whatever.

Like he’ll always be family.

But I also feel like when it comes to stuff like that, I’m like, it’s not my fucking problem anymore.

That’s exactly the other thing I was going to say, he.


May be broken.

It’s not my fucking problem.


That’s what I was going to say.

Because, Erica, you’re saying, oh, you’re, you know, this and that about your ex.

And I’m kind of like, listen, I got my own shit to deal with.

That’s right.

And yours is not on my plate anymore.


I’m not fixing you.

I’m not changing you.

I’m not making you better.

And I’m sure, shit, not turning myself into what you think is the right version of a woman for you to be with.

Because I’ll never be that woman, right.


And that’s another thing people really need to hear this.


Somebody else who I was speaking to, she’s like, you know, I just feel like I need to prove to him well.

That’s what we all want, but that’s what we all want.

Because when someone does something like that, it’s like all we want in some deep, dark way is for them to come back and want it.


So then we can say no thanks.

Yes, but like, my legs were never going to be that skinny and I was never going to like, do exactly what you say.

And I’m not going to ask.

Act like I’m the babysitter when I’m your wife, you know, and the mother.


And so you may never get to the point that you’re going to be the person that your ex wants you to be because that person is not somebody who’s positive.

Like that whole version.

I I look at it now and I’m like, holy shit, thank God I’m not that person anymore.


And so I just also want you to see that here, forgiveness and acceptance and also trying so hard.

You’re never going to win.

Like you’re literally never going to be that person.

I think the important piece to bring up ’cause I definitely would say I’m probably on the other side like I will.


I have accepted it and I have forgiven it, but it doesn’t mean that I tolerate it and it doesn’t mean that I overextend myself.

It made me learn how to create better boundaries and to understand what is my shit to carry.

It’s not my job to heal any partner, but it’s also not my job to say that they have to be different for me to allow them to go on their way, right.


And so that’s where it’s like, hey, you can you can be you and do you.

You made a mistake.

It hurt me a lot.

I will own my own healing because to what you’re saying of, you know, we want people to change so that it stops bothering us.


But if you heal your own places that are triggered by what they’re doing, that is upset or hurt by how they treated you, you no longer need their external acceptance or change in behavior for you to feel OK with who you are.

And that’s the deep level.


So if you’re sitting in a place where you know either one, you’re feeling insecure, like you need to change for your partner to want to be with you, that is a self worthy issue, that you are the only one who can fix that.

Or if you’re in a place of if I had only been different, OK, that is the same thing.


You are exactly who you are supposed to be.

You are becoming who you are supposed to be.

And this thing is either here to help you become who you are supposed to be or to teach you how you can change, right?

But there is nothing about this was a penance and this was a punishment against you.


It sucked and it hurt and it was wrong and it shouldn’t have happened.

And it does not need to define you for the rest of your life if you do the work to heal, which is the which that is the that is the corner of the divorce world that I love owning.


Because that’s the piece, right?

We’re never going to change their behaviors.

We can be angry about it.

But guess what?

When I came to terms with who I was and how I just really flip and liked who I became and I didn’t care whether or not he liked it, then I could be at peace with the decision.


Then I was ready and I was like we had a good run.

We made an amazing child out of this.

I loved what I learned from this experience and we don’t want the same things anymore.

What we want in a partner, what we want in a marriage, what we want in a lifestyle.


Even though all of a sudden all the things he had tried to get me to do for years right going to breweries, going snowboarding, going camping, I had found all of these things after my divorce.

And turns out I really.

Liked them and that’s when.

And that’s when he was like.


Dude, why did you?

Figure it out earlier and I was like, it’s funny because the universe sent you here.

It knew that I wanted to like these things.

I wanted to like camping and hiking and snowboarding and going to different breweries.

I did.

But I was too afraid to move past my own limiting beliefs about myself, right?


Can I show up and just look grungy and dirty and stupid or silly or whatever?

That’s my problem.

To own Universe sent me my first assignment.

I didn’t get it in my marriage.

I got it around after my marriage, and that’s OK too.


You know?

It was meant to be there.

It was meant to show up.

But it’s literally meant to teach you how to love you, beyond all other reason that you don’t need somebody else externally to be complete.

I feel like that’s like the perfect no.


And it’s like the perfect place.

It’s been.

It’s been what?

No, go ahead.

Just this conversation.

I feel I could go on for five hours.

Like it’s been a lot of information.

But honestly, like, Erica, your clarity and the way you articulate where you’re coming from it, it’s amazing.


And I hope that everyone listening like will even go back and listen again because there are 1,000,000 golden Nuggets in there that are going to help people get through this situation.

And I I love your whole philosophy and and the way that you explain it and the journey that you’ve been on.


I mean, listen, fucking sucks.

So I’m sorry.

That’s the journey you’ve been on.

But I feel like you have such a healthy outlook about it now and and I’m sure able to help so many people through it with all of your programs and stuff.

Because to me, what you’re saying and where you’re coming from is exactly the direction I would want to be going if right now I just found out.


But that was the situation I was in, so thank you for that.

You’re welcome.


And that’s where you know the In my world of divorce, we focus so heavily just on your healing.



What were your expectations?

Did you clarify those expectations?

What were your boundaries?

What do you need to be your best self like?

Let’s redefine what boundaries mean.

Boundaries do not mean a hard no.

Boundaries mean AI.

Need a cup of coffee by myself in the morning so that I’m ready to talk to people?

It’s looking at how you can heal from your own wounds and triggers so that they don’t hurt somebody else, because that’s when you’re truly free.


I don’t care how anybody else shows up around me.

Now you might show up and it might irritate me or piss me off, but I don’t have to let that upset the rest of my day or the rest of my life, and that has been such a gift to be able to have that learning.

And I wouldn’t have gotten there.


I wouldn’t have gotten there behind.

But without it.

I had watched The Secret before, you know, like hey, this wasn’t my first rodeo of trying to figure out how to clear my mindset and my emotions behind what I want, but it wasn’t ready to stick.

I needed a bigger lesson.

And so I got there and the Cliff notes of Are We Peacefully?


Co parenting the other woman stayed for six years, decided to try and rewrite the divorce decree landed us in mediation twice walk.

I mean like all the chaos continued and it taught me to let go of the expectations I had for Co parenting.


It taught me what I could control and what I could not control.

And now that she’s moved on, he’s kind of showing up and wants to have more of a chatty relationship.

And I can stand there and be like I’m good.

We have a business relationship with a child in the middle, and I will never cut you out or be mean because family is family.


And to my son, family is so important and so extended.

Family is important.

You are always welcome here.

I will never slam the door in your face, but I will not ever let you disrespect me again.

I will not ever overextend myself for you again.

We can both live peacefully knowing that I know I tried everything I needed to try so that I can feel good about it.


There’s no ghosts haunting me anymore about that period of my life.

Listen, you guys, you will get here.

And if you’re just at the beginning of this conversation or in the middle of it, you will get to where Erica is, which is where I am, and which is where Jessica is.


And it is not an overnight fix.

There will be tears, there will be ice cream, there will be screaming in between all of it.

But we are all here for you, between Erica as a divorce coach and me and Jessica as your girlfriends through it all.


I mean, you’re listening to this show right now is a first step.

And then all you have to do is connect with us and we will hold your hand through it, because we didn’t have people holding our hands.

That’s why we’re doing what we’re all doing here and we know better so you can get to your place.


It’s just not an overnight fix, but you will get there.

Go get there, you guys will.

It’s one day, one choice, one step at a time, A. 100% Oh my God, Erica, the wisdom.

We’re going to do a Part 2.

About what?

We’re going to have to we’re going to have to.


So for everybody out there, I mean, we can’t say it enough.

Like hopefully that you you learned and have so many takeaways from this episode.

We hope you enjoyed it and if you did, please help a few girls out.

Because if you take a moment to subscribe, rate and review that actually she helps us to help other people going through divorce.


Find us and the resources that they need like Erica.

For more about her and the services she offers and the Crazy Ex Wives Club podcast, check out the show notes.

And of course, share this with anyone you know who can benefit from listening.

Have a great day.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.