Episode 110 – Real Men Real Stories – Jonathan – He Filed – Has Children

In this episode I speak with Johnathan about his Divorce story.  We talk about the struggles, the victories, the lessons, and how custody played out for him.

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Michael 5:02
Joining me today is with Jonathan burrows. Jonathan, let's just jump right into it wants to tell us a little bit about yourself.

Jonathan 5:22
Yeah, absolutely. I'm, uh, yeah. Thank you very much, Michael. And, yeah, I'm Jonathan bros. I live in a small little town in northern California. Probably about like an hour ish. Northeast of Sacramento, California. So yeah, kind of up in the hills a little bit but still, small town. A little bit rural a little bit. The, you know, within the city. And yeah, I've been divorced, which is kind of funny, like seven or eight years and before that, the divorce process was probably four to five years. And I kind of laugh about that because maybe kind of learning lesson number one is I remember all the pain of going through it and things like that. But enough time has passed by where I was like, you know, I'm gonna have to go into my file cabinet, which is literally a file cabinet of my divorce and pull out the dates and I was like, I just don't feel like that. Like, I use that for, you know, my kid needs a passport. I can getting a driver's license, all that kind of stuff. It's like, I need to improve my chain of custody, but other than that, it's like, I don't even look at it, you know? So, I was like, the timelines are already blurry when I remember being in such a like, painful spot at the time. So So hopefully, that'll you know, some people that are going through it right now. You know, you reach your level.

Michael 6:39
Yeah, I mean, I'm four, four years out from separation divorces this year. So I definitely people say all the time, give it time and that's true. I think that that can be a bit I worry. I mean, obviously time time, can help with a lot of things. I do worry that some guys expect they'll go well, it's been six months What the hell like or even a year or two or three. You know, sometimes it takes a while but you know, I think certainly the further you get away from from the initial destruction or bomb it certainly can. It can lessen in pain. So but let's talk about your the beginning of your of the end of your marriage. So what was what was who? Maybe I should ask it this way? What when did it start going downhill? And when did you know that potentially you were headed towards divorce?

Jonathan 7:35
Yeah, and maybe I'll even like go a couple years before that. Just kind of give some context to the to everyone about my relationship is that, you know, first of all, I really did marry my best friend. Yeah. First and foremost, we met in college and then happened to also serve at the same restaurant while paying for college. You know, we were a deep bond. You know, this wasn't just someone that I met that we had this crazy fiery quick storm and had to get together and stuff like that. We had our our wedding planned. We I proposed her we had our wedding planned out. Ironically, we pushed it back about six months because our child was born on the day that we had scheduled our wedding. And yeah, and she didn't want to, you know, walk down the aisle pregnant. So we've kind of bumped that back. But so I mean, like, you know, a lot of Yeah, our relationship was great, when it was going well, and she was an amazing person and it was a very exciting time in life. So, you know, a little bit backstory about me at the time. was, of course, finishing up my degree in the corporate world. I was in two touring bands as a drummer. And yeah, and so life was kind of party finishing college making money situation, you know, on both sides. Were both partying and having a good time. And fact that she was the very healthy one. She was a marathon runner as well. And, and so sometimes I kind of felt like I was when I was maybe partying a little bit too hard back in the day. And then unfortunately, she blew her knee out and started taking painkillers and some other things and then kind of getting the a little bit more into that world and you know, as time and people change, she unfortunately really fell into the the drug addicts lifestyle. Family being in a band, um, done touring. It's exhausting. Like all that kind of stuff. So. So yeah, so, you know, really for so for two years, I put her through three different rehab programs. Wow. Yeah, two of them are out of pocket one was covered by my insurance and then really long stretched out that I decided that I wanted to separate because she was a danger to our child that that was first and foremost the so that was just not gonna happen and there were some really bad incidents that happened and, and things like that. It's like um, I didn't really recognize the person anymore. So I instigated the divorce and separation and likewise are and then also I let it drag out for several years because I let her off my all my insurance to go through different rehab programs for the following year, because I really did care about her, you know, I want her to to do well and be successful even through all the the painful stuff. So

Michael 10:46
yeah, let's, let's back up a little bit. So what How old were you? When you when it got when a relationship sort of became romantic and serious? What at what point then did you How old were you at that point? Yeah. 22 Okay, so and then so, so fast forward about two years, then that's when marriage was, was proposed or whatever.

Jonathan 11:08
Yeah, so then 24 by 24. Yeah. Had my kid when I was 25. And then. Yeah, and then I'd say by 2627 is when really separation talks. were happening. And when I when I decided that like, Okay, it's time to pull it.

Michael 11:28
So and I'm there was there any indication and I know this is all hindsight and that's a beautiful thing but it was there any indication any family history that she she was going to have any of these issues? I'm I'm just curious.

Jonathan 11:41
Yeah, she did have issues from her past. And I'll keep those private to her.

Michael 11:45
Yeah, sure. Sure. But I'm just curious, like completely out of the blue or was like, Oh, I kind of get it once it was, you know, once it was happening, not that you were looking for it or whatever, but Right.

Jonathan 11:55
Yeah, it was it was stuff that and in fact, a lot of it. I learned really through the process of it. That I was like, Okay, this makes sense. You don't just let some people fall into addiction for many different reasons. But a lot of it made complete sense. And that's, you know, that's your story to tell. And yeah, sure, sure. Yeah.

Michael 12:17
Yeah, I just want to I'm just I'm just curious because I, I think, you know, with with the with the gift that we have of hindsight, I just tried to maybe sort of give some some, potentially some, I don't want to say warnings but or just information like you know, you should always consider everything about a person and I'm not saying you made a mistake or anything. That's not what I'm saying. I'm just saying, you know, for going forward, it's always kind of knowledge, you know, for Warren for r&d and knowledge is power looking at good shit. So, so Okay, so around 2627 And then you said you filed a right around then or

Jonathan 12:52
Yeah, so yeah, so I think it was about 26 is when I Yeah, I'd say 26 was most accurate when I filed and yeah, luckily I had. Oh, good.

Michael 13:03
How did she How did she take that? What What was her mindset? Yeah,

Jonathan 13:07
very angry. With all the whiplash in the world. I mean, you know, that was destroying her life taking her kid away. horrible person. You know, spreading all kinds of crazy rumors about me. Just yeah, the whole Cannon Fodder my way situation. So

Michael 13:26
Did Did you file for full full custody part like Did you forget what was what was the custody situation when you file for divorce? Like I don't you're in California so I don't know how I know Pennsylvania everything separate. So if you file for divorce, that's that's one thing but then you have to file for custody and also for child support. If if you know whoever files or whatever. So

Jonathan 13:49
it's kind of a blend. And that's kind of those things where it's like, get a good attorney if you can and listen to him, because I hear it's, you know, for us, it's it. It started as custody, like this is an emergency situation. I need custody, and then the divorce and the separation we could do all that. But like for now, it's custody. And so that started that but the same judge overheard our case, and when it came to divorce in California gets filed into the same court orders, numbers, etc. So whether you're going to court to talk about how one person wants to divide up a 401k, or you want to talk about custody, it's all with the same judge and, you know, just on separate matters,

Michael 14:32
interesting. Okay, so I do want to dive a little bit into the custody and again, what you know, I probably didn't say this enough, or at all maybe in the pre interview and before we jumped on It's whatever you are comfortable telling you tell whatever you're not don't there's no pressure for me to I'm not trying to paint her or, or or the system or I'm just I like facts as best we can find them and obviously this is your case and your experience but so but at any at any point if there's anything and even you know if if in hindsight, you know, like I said to you earlier, I can edit out anything but so did you so you file for emergency custody was there what? Okay, a couple of couple questions there. Did did. Did she have a lawyer? If so, just again, these are just curiosities of mine. What gender was her lawyer and what gender is your lawyer? And this is just knowledge. And then same question for the judge. What was the gender of the judge? Because guys are always sort of these things around like, oh, it's best to have a female lawyer. Let's have Miller I don't know. I but so just in your experience. How did it work?

Jonathan 15:35
Yeah, I mean, in fact, this is this is a great story to tell because, as I called it, I didn't call it go into court. I called to go into the circus. And like, and I really mean that, because so yeah, in fact, I kind of love telling this because it is such a good thing for people to hopefully get some kind of perspective and take a step back and get a deep breath. Is that so my attorney is male. He's senior in the sense that like he's not taking on any new cases, because he wants to see his cases go through until all the kids are 18, things like that. But he's amazing. And he came through a very close friend and and honestly, the first time I met him, and I can give a lot of advice on dealing with or working with your lawyer, but first I thought he was such an asshole. Like, oh, he would just cut me short things. Like that. And then it was maybe our second session, and he's like, Look, if you need a therapist, they're a fuckload cheaper than I am. Okay, like, I came in here. You came in for a 30 minute interview and I'm billing you for every minute, like so if you want to keep talking to me, that's fine. But go find a freaking therapist man. Like, which I did. You know, so you know, and he kept me so under control through all of it. It was really great. Now on the other side, so my ex wife found her attorney through AAA and na who was is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict themselves. And that's why I called it the circus is that she was also very much a very anti male. Take him to the cleaners will get you whatever you want. You know, and then Little did I know at the time for how much you know, how, see how sharp the fangs looked on that side? How amateur hour really was. That's what we would call circus. Because, yeah, we'd go in there and it was just like, on our side, my my attorney, he was he knew even the little things that would get me anxious for set up. And I swear we had this signalling system where they would say something that he think would trigger me he'd literally pinch me on the knee, and it was his way of being like, Dude, shut the fuck up. I got this. This is amateur hour. Just chill, and be nice and just let them play this out. And then yeah, so you know while as they went through my ex wife and her attorney would go through the drama show the circus, right the big performance. So that

Michael 18:14
So are you saying that just accusations and wild nonsense didn't work out for your ex because she had no evidence and no

Jonathan 18:22
proof? Yeah, absolutely. I mean, no, no evidence or no proof but categorically lying. I mean, you know, things that I could prove to be incorrect. So you know, it was it made them it was one of those things where I really learned like, Okay, this is the time to be quiet, speak the truth. Just be honest about everything. And if they want to put on this whole pony show, and create all these things, it's going to surface. Yeah, and our judge was female. So, and I feel very impartial, like that. did not feel that there was really a I mean, maybe sometimes when things would get really dramatic, I would see the judge look down at me and see me being calm and kind of almost made us look like a thank you for just like being chilled through this. I see through the bullshit, but that took time, you know, two or three Modi language?

Michael 19:20
Yeah. So when you filed for emergency custody, did you fire full full at that point? Yes. Okay, and what was the outcome?

Jonathan 19:30
Yeah, I received it. I received it, but that came with its own struggles. So in fact, you know, we'd like me to kind of share what absolutely okay, yeah. So, younger in the day I used to travel a lot more for work and I went on a quick business trip to Ohio, in the middle of winter, which that's not fun, really, no offense to Ohioans out there, but I don't understand how you guys you know, I did enjoy, like sliding down hills of ice. That was cool. But like, ya

Michael 20:01
know, I live in Pennsylvania winters are bullshit just just categorically say that winter suck. I guess there's some weird fucking people like it, but not this guy.

Jonathan 20:09
So I hear ya anyway. Yeah. Anyways, yeah. So I got a call from my mother, and she's extremely concerned. She lives about probably 4550 minutes from where I am. Both my parents do and she's like, you know, your wife is acting extremely strange. I just call it as a check in I kind of had this bad vibe feeling. You know, what do you think? And so, like, I texted my ex wife. I was like, Hey, how are things going or things doing and, and her response back it I can't remember what it was, but it was something that was off and weird too. And so I told my mom, like, Hey, if you could do a welfare check, that'd be great. If you can't, then you know, I'll call our local PD, smaller town and, and have them just kind of check on things. And I was like, no, let me get on there and do that. And my mom came in welcome herself in the door and there's my you know, barely two year old. Get on the ground underneath the table underneath the kitchen table with a butcher knife and a bag of hot dogs. Literally cutting them up herself to eat while my wife is in the back room, just frantically out of her mind. Not understanding what's going on. So my mom called

Michael 21:32
Yeah, yes, sorry. Did she have right uh for what is it? right of first refusal. So in other words, you were out of town. It was she allowed to see her at that point. Like, what was the scenario? I know you had full but what was the

Jonathan 21:45
oh, well, well, okay, so this is before I got this is what led to getting full custody. Oh, my gosh, this is the story that led to focus. Uh, yeah, sorry. I should have clarified that. Yeah. No. Yeah. Yeah. So. So when we found that it was like, Okay, well, she needs medical help. So they actually, my mom called 911 Like concern they sent an ambulance and daughter and Sure. I mean, she was so wound up that she was in a skit like as time went on, apparently in a state of like, insanity. And so they 5150 eater. Mom took my kid home. I took the first flat I could out of Ohio got home. And really the the two things that were the first courses of action were first an ex parte hearing, which is an emergency hearing in California. You know, here's the emergency judge, we need a temporary hearing or injunction. And then the hard part was at the CPS was involved now at this point, you know, and that's, everyone hears that and goes, oh my gosh, that's really bad. thing, but actually turned out to be a really good thing for me. I had nothing to hide. You know. In fact, I got drilled on some interviews, I'd say as far as that, but I kind of had to take this approach. Like I'm doing this for my kids. So yeah, come into my home, search it like look at our living conditions. Here's my job. Here's what I do. Here's who I am. After some conversation, the caseworker for CPS actually became really helpful for me, like putting me into some really good resources and other things because we didn't have all these online forums and things like that support groups. like this back then, you know, and so she pointed me in some really good directions. And we ended up kind of chatting for a long time after kind of through cases as she check in. But, yeah, I think I'm making us a trophy I should have is getting along. With CPS and then actually being helpful. So yeah,

Michael 23:46
did you did you did you go into it? Like Well, I mean, you kind of said you went into it just like hey, I got nothing to hide But was there any sort of you know, that your your butthole Titan like oh shit, like, this is good or bad. I'm a man like they're gonna squat course.

Jonathan 24:03
Oh, fucking I mean, I had you know, gosh diaper the start of intrusive thoughts. I think that maybe that was the clincher for him, right? You know, it's like, are you gonna take my kid away? You're gonna deem it you know, like my parents. are really great people. So I'm like, even thinking to myself, like, well, what's the worst case is that they don't like a single father taking care of, you know, a child like so can mean that, you know, live with my blog, all these things are going through my head. So absolutely, like, big pucker time.

Michael 24:53
Yeah. Okay, cool. So so at that, at that point, you got full full custody of your two year old at that time, right. Is that correct? That's correct. And, and so let's sort of put a you know, a marker in place. At that point. And going forward now. 13 years and changed later. Did she being your ex take you back? Was there more court battles for just custody specifically, was there any more of that? Was there any more attempts at her to sort of paint you in this negative light and

Jonathan 25:30
yeah, plenty. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. In fact, because her only way of getting back in because after Yeah 5150 And then a rehab and then you know, falling off the wagon again. And then another rehab. It was like this is getting ridiculous. So at that point, she was under super, she had to pay for supervised visitation, like at a facility, and she had to get drug tested. And I mean, at first and she had to pay for that as well. And at first it was just even just urine drug test and they end up switching that to a cheek swab because she had like three in a row tests turned up. undetectable, but with anomalies, something like that. Essentially it was that show they're using some kind of fake pee or some kind of product to help clean your pee up. And the judge is like this is bullshit. This is not what a normal human does, like you're hiding something. So so they switch over to these like cheek swab ones that are apparently a lot more accurate and can find other things and, and it was just constant. It was like we go through these periods of you know, she would have once you know once a week on a Saturday two hour visitation at a facility. It was great facility and my my kid was enjoyed it wasn't finding it. So I'm like, Okay, if we can just cruise along on this. That's great. And then it's like, you know, the classic thing is that she would screw up and something would pop up on her drug test. And she'd have to go face the consequences. And then figure out so many people have way of blaming it on me and all the pressures put on her and all that kind of stuff and, you know, diverting around the whole problem of like, why are there drugs in your system when you know that you like the end and that's even out of my control? Like I'm not if drug pop in your system? I have no control over whether you can see good or not. That's, yeah, that's the court order and the rules of the place. So yeah. But lots of times getting dragged back

Michael 27:32
yeah sorry did you know met so many so many different avenues here so okay. The really matter if you want to talk about this, and if you don't, that's totally fine. But I'm just curious about Well, a couple things. One, I think is this one you probably can for sure. What was your What was your mental state like what not only you know, like you said it was your best friend and you love there and you try to get through rehab and all these things, right. But and you made this decision, like what was your what was Where were you? Where was your head at like during that? Especially the first you know, six months a year or whatever?

Jonathan 28:06
Yeah, I think heavily at first survival mode. Like I looked at days as chunks of time you're taking care of a kid and yeah, I and I'm working a full time job like I need to get her there, get them to to daycare and then to preschool and then to kindergarten all those things right and back I mean, all those kinds of things. And fed and us doing fun things and living a fun life and making things normalized feeling for them, right? That that's a lot of effort. So at first it was survival, just like if I can ever you know, one day at a time, like anything else that we struggled through with our lives. And we're doing that and then I'd say within that also severe severe waves of anxiety. With that waking up the mole and night chest pounding. I remember that horribly. You know, thinking about how can I stay three or four steps ahead of situations when sometimes you can't just step out of your control. And then, you know, sometimes really bad feelings of anger, you know, how can this person do this to me? Why are they a different person, like literally a different person than you know? The best friend and then loneliness, sadness. I mean, and that's and I'm talking us like six months to a year, you know, all those things. You know, it's like great, it's really like grieving a death.

Michael 29:35
So what did you do? What did you do to sort of help with that? What was your what were some of your strategies just because it's usually not just one thing?

Jonathan 29:42
No, it was a lot of things. That's the thing, right? It's a lot of things and you have to try a lot of things. I mean, you know, I was I fall back on music, but then sometimes I'm just like, God, yeah, hit the wrong song. And I'm fucking crying, right? Get the right song. And I'm like, No, I feel fucking like I'm gonna go lift weights and be the fucking like alpha like awesome, you know, goes go party. Motherfuckers like, you know, that song just hit me. Right? So like, I had to be careful about music. So like that art and, you know, close friends, good neighbors, making, making sure that I had good human connections, whatever form that was, you know, reaching out to other people that had I knew had been through this similarly in the past, even if I hadn't talked to him in a long time. Which is something I see I see this pop up a lot is people say well, you know, and I'm example this my my best friend. He's live right down the street. from me. And me, were talking best friend since like, fifth grade, and him and his wife. They've been together for 20 years and married for two years. They're an awesome story in themselves, but like, they decided to move to Texas and that was just it. So you know, I That's correct. Yeah. And so I see a lot of people like yeah, my friends moved away and things like that. And it's like, well, just because they move away, keep in contact, but others, you know, reach out. I and I get this a lot in my life where I haven't talked to somebody in four years, five years, six, I don't care. Like if they reach out and they're like, hey, I need your help. And it's Yeah, and sort of honesty, then. Yeah, like I will be there for you rather like you know, and just brothers, but yeah, women as well. Anyone that that needs that kind of support. So you know, to anyone out there don't feel like you're being a bother. You know, a lot of times yeah, a lot of us are sitting around just kind of chillin and being like, Oh, you're in a crisis. Man. That sucks. Like, let me help. So,

Michael 31:42
yeah, yeah. And that's one of the things you know, not to, you know, direct this towards me or what I do but that's one of the things that I you know, I coach guys and that's one of the parts of my program is, is a week where it's, that's your that's your assignment. You got to reach out to some folks that you haven't talked to in a while and reach out to some folks that did help you through it, acknowledge it, be vulnerable and say thank you open up because as much as I believe that it's a mistake to dive right into another relationship. It is absolutely a must do to reach out to other folks not for romantic connections. But to just lean on people to that's why I do what I do. You need people to get through this. You can't do it alone. So kudos to you, man. Did you? Did you have guidance? Or was that just an innate sort of instinct to like, you know what I just need to because that's kind of where I was. It was like I need to talk and I would just find people to just talk to like, and people are receptive.

Jonathan 32:42
Yeah. I mean, that's really what it came out of. And it was that and then and also, the other side of it was that, you know, I've got this child, right, and the single dad and kind of the, and being in a smaller town. There's kind of a label that was put on you back then, right? I mean, I'm not going to deny that that's just that's the shit that it is. Yeah, so yeah, it sucks to like, take your kid to, you know, on the soccer team. Yeah, yeah, five or six years long soccer team, and you hear mom's fucking saying shit about you. Like they think that you're far enough away. To not hear stuff like you know, what's really as deal like, you know, shit like that. And then you hear about like, oh, there's this big sleepover and your kids not invited, right? Or, you know, and it's like, so part of that was also just like, gosh, I need my kiddos to experience a normal life. Like, you know, people understand that that that aren't judgmental, things like that. So not just for myself. But for my kid as well. And so, yeah, and like I said, in the end, we didn't have, you know, online forums and communities like we do now to meet people, dads, groups, things like that. That we do. So. Yeah, that was totally like organic. Just reach out for help. And then a lot of different ways. So

Michael 33:56
yeah, well, yeah, kudos, man. Because, unfortunately, as men, I think, you know, I think we I don't think I know we isolated oftentimes, you know, we will. You know, you mentioned earlier like, you know, don't don't think you're bothering people but a lot of us men do because we're supposed to work we're told or taught or, or whatever it is. It's innate. I don't know that we're supposed to be tough and we're supposed to white knuckle through life and we're not supposed to have feelings and we're sure shit and if we do we're not supposed to talk about I'm gonna stuff them down. So kudos human. I think that speaks volumes about your character because like I said, it's not something that unfortunately that everyone does. What are other things that you kind of lessons that you learned through this process? Like what, what are some of the things that you would impart to whether it be a sort of a not not necessarily exactly legal, but maybe in that realm, but other things that you learned? What are some things that you would definitely say You know, if I was you I would do this, this or this?

Jonathan 34:53
Yeah, I mean, on the legal part, it's yeah, man, pack your patience. And and I say this a lot in life. I mean, whether it's your frustrating commute or a divorce is like, I will literally say to myself in a lot of situations in life, like okay, I've got my keys, got my wall, I got my phone, got my, you know, my everyday carry stuff, right? And then it's like, okay, did I also pack my patients because I know that this is going to be something frustrating for me. And with the with the court systems and things like that. That is so hard. It's so easy in hindsight to look back and be like, oh, yeah, I can be patient through something like that. When, you know, you're in between court dates have something very important happening. I mean, pack your patience. You're like, Are you kidding me? I'm trying to just not vomit. Like, you know, that's so I mean, that's one thing that I learned you know, another thing is, you know, for those of you that can't afford a good attorney, or that can just find a good attorney is really listen to them. That's why you hired them. I'm not saying that all attorneys are good or that you should listen to all of them. But when you choose one, make sure you really listen to them, because I think that it painted me in the best. As long as inexpensive as the process was. It it was actually the shortest way given some of the things I held up and through the divorce meaning like, you know, health care and things like that, where I was slower like things but that cut through the tape, I would say the fastest. So that's really it on the on the legal side. I mean, it's every state so different effect it's gotten a little bit hard time is that like you know, and I know kind of a lot of different attorneys and different worlds and states are just so different. You know, it's hard to blanket statement that but

Michael 36:48
yeah, for sure. Yeah, I always get kind of iffy when we start talking legal stuff but but you know, your experience obviously has some value, because you were successful. Were you told by your attorney to document because that's one of the things that we I stress if anyone asked me document everything, keep a journal, and a notebook and document document document. It sounds like you were so yeah, I mean,

Jonathan 37:13
document everything. And that's why I say like I have a divorce file cabinet. Not a divorce packet. All right, like it's a chronological order of things that happen that is probably, you know, was straight over there. Yes, about three feet deep. And that's I mean, and that's the thing, right? Is that Yes, it's all the text messages, the communications, documents, situations, uncomfortable events, anything and everything. And then just feed it to your person. And then they'll decide what they like to do with it or not, you know,

Michael 37:48
so on the on the mental sort of aspect of this. You mentioned reaching out Did you did you did you did you do therapy or did you hit up medication at all like I did personally, antidepressants for a little while. Was there any any other thing around mental health? That you did that was was also beneficial?

Jonathan 38:07
Yeah, I mean, therapy was huge. And I would say effect, you know, so therapy is very, very good. And it takes a lot of time, and it can be expensive, depending on your situation. So I mean, that's the crappy part, but you know, if you go into it with really the honest honesty to yourself that you want to make yourself feel better in your own skin and improve your situation. It helps a lot more. So and it helps a lot faster. I didn't do the medication path because I actually done that when I was younger. And I tried a few times because I battled depression and other things when I was a kid and it's still to this day, you know, I'm happy and things like that, but that's about so there's no harm against anyone that wants to be medication. But for me like SSRIs and things like that. There as hormones change your brain changes as you get older stuff like that. They didn't work for me then they don't work for me now but but they can help out a lot of people so so that I mean really good exercise is another one trying to eat well I mean, and this is all stuff that everyone says right and that sucks when you're when you're fucking depressed. Like that's the worst shit to hear. And I hope that people get that like, oh, well if you eat well and you exercise you go out in the sunshine and like for me rose colored glasses is all your problem. It's like, when you're depressed, you're just like, Fuck off, right? Like I was in my room. Pull the covers over my head and eat a fucking pound of ice cream like this off. Yeah,

Michael 39:41
I mean, sometimes that self help stuff and that positivity or just Yeah, exactly want to be like the fuck off. I don't I'm not feeling it today. I don't want to hear your shit. But you know, there's truth to it, right? It's just sometimes though I do think we have to embrace the suck as my army brother and say sometimes you have to It's okay to not be okay. It's okay to have another quote that I love is you know if it never rains, how would you appreciate the sunny days like some days it's gonna fuck and rain and that's okay. It is as long as you don't sort of get get down about being down. If that makes any sense. Like it's like, just know that you know, the sun's gonna come out. You're gonna be okay. There's gonna be another day all those kind of stupid fucking cliches again, but man, they just they bring true.

Jonathan 40:25
Yeah, and pay attention to the minute moments. When you get that motivation when you're in depression. Because like, you know, you could literally feel good for like two minutes and be like, you know, like, Okay, I'm gonna get up and do the thing and that turns into eight hours. 10 hours, right? So, you know, just when you feel those like good, uplifting moments. Do them when you're really in that spot. And trying to develop that into a longer period of time, even if you stretch that to 30 minutes is better than, you know. Eight hours of depression and two minutes of feel good than eight hours or depression and 30 minutes of feeling good, right? I mean, that's, you know, yeah. So, yeah, stuff like that.

Michael 41:07
You mentioned one of the boundaries, and I'm sure that must have been difficult, especially pre interview you mentioned this, and I'm sure that must have been difficult because you know, your heartstrings were probably being pulled on in certain ways, right? That was your best friend. It was someone that was going through some stuff, but you also you know, had a child and had to protect and and yourself, right? How was that process for you and developing boundaries? What was if you want to talk about that which moments or which types of things were difficult to set boundaries against? Can you talk a little bit about like that? Sort of that whole process for you?

Jonathan 41:44
Yeah, I mean, and boundaries, I think are built upon. enough pain. Yeah, that's kind of like embracing the suck, is that you know, if you sit down just write out boundaries on a book and you haven't had to establish them with people that really want to destroy every boundary you create, you tried to create, you know, it's gonna be tough. So you get that out of just experience. And a lot of that especially has to do with communication, is that and that could be from the tactile things of, you're not supposed to be reaching out, like, you know, part of the court order is you don't reach out directly to our child. And then you would do things like when I was old enough to get a cell phone and would text directly. And it's like, that's not okay. Like, I gotta call you on your bullshit on that. I know this is gonna lead to a big fight behind closed doors and probably be brought up in court, but in Canada can't see that and I'm gonna make sure that they feel safe. And I make sure that I stamp that down as like, that's just completely unacceptable. So tactile things like that. Other boundaries and things that don't even stop to this day. Money, you know, like, it's like, the perpetual money machine. When does that end? It's like, I'm divorced. I have no legal obligation whatsoever, but like, you know, it really it's like this is a true and very funny story of about a month and a half ago, is that you think like your divorce and things are done. And even in the great situation that I'm in. I feel like you know, unfortunately, she's still a ghost that wanders around my life. And whether that's maybe once a year every other year, I get some random text from or something like that. Or I get someone on Venmo literally, a random woman on Venmo messages me with a request for $25 and all calves says, are you bugging her name? broses husband, question mark, question mark, question mark. That bitch stole from me and I swear to God, I'm going to the cops. And like all right, like luckily like the whole I have establish boundaries and stuff that I looked at that and I was like, I this is just kind of funny. Like I literally like laughed at it. And I was like, but I did reply back and I was like, No, I'm ex husband from a long time ago. And if that's the case, then you need to call the cops. Well, clearly, I was dealing with somebody that was not someone who was going to call the cops, right. So services like bargaining thing and you know, like, I just kind of had to flip the switch and this is where I'm like, you know, I don't care and I'm older and I feel secure enough. Now as I just said, you know, you want $25 I know like five people that are looking for and I'm curious myself to see if she's dead or alive. So I'll pay $25 If you can video record, where the where she's at and send it to me. And I swear to God, it was like, the table's turned in this girl is just like, What Why do you want this information? Right, you know, and I'm just like, you think you're the only person looking for a drug addict? That's as that stealing money or something like and I swear I got ghosted it was it was like the greatest thing ever, but like those are the kind of like boundaries like that's, you know, before I would say I'd be afraid to, you know, I'd be like, I'm in trouble for something, you know, or, Oh, they broke a rule or they broke a series or something and like, now I have to deal with this to eventually grow just through enough of these little pain points, you know, far from the first debt collector that's came after my ex wife, you know, they've had to do some really hard shit to this was an easy one. Right, like, so. Yeah, I mean, like I said, it's kind of like through the pain of process. You kind of like, you know, it's like the funny thing is, is that it kind of taking a step back and not to make this too obscure, but like, it sucks because as men like we are taught like, oh, you need to wear this like body of armor and like, be there to like, protect and you can't ask for help. You can't be vulnerable. You shouldn't cry. Also, they're bullshit. When in reality, it's like no, like you like that's built up over time. You know, that's like, like tough skin. You know, like, that just happens over time and experience. So like, you'll get your suit of armor. It's just that like, it's gonna take some time for you to build it up. And don't feel bad about that in the least. You know. And maybe surround yourself with some people that do have the experience to talk you off that stuff.

Michael 46:17
Yeah. So you brought up sort of, in a way and again, you know, whatever you want to talk about, but I'm I'm curious what the relationship is, I mean, for sure. It sounds like she's not around at all, is that the case like you don't hear from her and she doesn't contact your child and there's no relationship there. And again, what whatever you are comfortable discussing is obviously it's up to you.

Jonathan 46:47
Yeah, so my kid is done with our with her with the mother, right? I mean, so that's just that was nothing to do with her and, and that's and I fully support that. For me. She's still like, like I said, like, I grieved her like a death and still walks by me like a ghost. And, and even like right now in the current spot. What's so funny about that Venmo situation is that usually it's every six to nine months because holidays, Mother's Day, things like that will be where out of the woodwork, she'll come call or text or do something to show up into my life and I kind of have to just score it back out the door and it'd been like about a year. So actually, in the back of my mind, I was thinking to myself, like, is she legitimately dead and her family just hasn't told me? Like, you know, and then I saw a pop up and I'm like, oh, no, that goes lives on, you know, so, you know, so that, that sucks, but like, but I have control over it. You know? I could decide to apply to somebody or not, you know?

Michael 47:58
Yeah, yeah. Well, I mean, that's, that's the one thing that you know, throughout all of this, that's the one thing that's I think, oftentimes most important to sort of wrap your head around is, you can control you and that's it. But but that's not a bad thing. That's the best thing. Because a lot of times I think we are susceptible to what others do and say and I'm not saying it's it's easy or I perfected it but you know, when you're when you're able to sort of put that and wrap your head around it like it's, it's my actions are what matters. My actions are what I can control it kind of I think it brings you a sense of peace, like when you stop worrying about what someone's doing, or and I get it, it's hard and, you know, she's coming back around, and probably some challenges, you know, in terms of even just reaching out or whatever, you know, but at the end of the day, you're able to decide how to handle that situation, right. You don't have to let it bother you or, you know, you can take certain actions and it's up to you to decide how you want to handle it. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, it's definitely one of the better, you know, lessons to learn. Which I would imagine, was there any point where you had any kind of guilt in terms of maybe I could have done better with helping her or, or maybe, I don't know, is there any kind of that sort of like hindsight, not hindsight, but that that regret or that, that that, you know, I wish I would have typed shit. Did you experience any of that?

Jonathan 49:26
Sure. And I think that that also kind of takes part of like, nobody is innocent when it comes to a divorce right? I mean, nobody you could pay me in the best light and everything else but no, like, I have done my own shit not and for me that was yeah, like I did not when you know she's often rehabs that are expensive and taking care of her life. And figuring her life out. And then, I mean, hell, I've even helped finish pay for a bachelor's degree ironically, in criminal justice. Like, while she's doing this, right, like, I mean, so you could just decide to work or not work. You get to decide to be in these rehab places and then you get to go to finish your degree and then oh, relapse because that like, I mean, there were times where I was just a mean son of a bitch. I mean, just, you know, like, I would do the things that would get to the next step, but I would be cold, you know, and that was just me holding on to this like, internal hatred. Like you know, this I don't know if I call it hatred, but like anger just, you know, I'm I'm working my ass off at a long job. I put my kid to bed, and then I do freelance work at night, get five or six hours of sleep, you know, paying for the bills and for all this other stuff coming up, and then do it all over again. And that was, you know, six days a week at that point. So I mean, yeah, there was a lot of resentment, I guess, is the best way to put it and I was cold, I was distant. I wasn't supportive when it came to, you know, like, I would go visit her things like that and I'd walk in and I would just be in a bad mood and, and that wasn't helpful for her recovery. That was just being a dick. You know, when you're you know, it's like all your actions are Oh, yeah, you're visible actions that you're taking care of your life we're seeing the ex wife but really not just tons of asshole moves on my part. Born from that, so

Michael 51:15
yeah, I think I know for me in the beginning I try not to anymore but certainly beginning I was yeah I was angry I was a dick I was any any way I could be difficult. I was you know it just because you're you're so hurt and you know, as men are hurt turns to anger. And so what do we do? We would be giant fucking dicks because that's just that's easier than then then being honest and saying, hey, you know what, this this is really, really hard and hurtful. I can't believe you put me in a spot and said we just barely talked to him or whatever. Right, which is, you know, you know, again, upon reflection and hindsight and all that it's a very childish behavior. And and I'm not saying like that's, you know, it's not in the sand that you call on you that I'm talking. I'm speaking for myself. Its inability to handle emotions, turning them to anger and just being like, kid like throwing a fit like a small child, you know that someone took his toy and he stomped his feet. It's just it's yeah, it's, it's, it's sad in a lot of ways that we we weren't given the opportunity to, you know, I interviewed a psychologist once he talked about this sort of how men are like, you know, sort of, we live in this sort of middle ground where it's, we don't get too happy. We don't get too sad. You know, we try to you know, just be sort of feel nothing in it robs us of the richness of life. And I think, I think, you know, in a lot of ways that's, that's that's men's journey, I think, you know, I think it's changing certainly, I mean, I know that changing for me personally, and I think, you know, when I when I can find someone like yourself, and it's funny how the universe works, and I don't know if we want to touch on that, but we can we could probably briefly touch on it. Just a shout out to Dan hooked us up, but, you know, I think I think it is changing but I think I wonder I don't know how different our lives would be as men if we had been given some of these fucking skills before we were, you know, in our late 30s and 40s and shit, like, I just

Jonathan 53:15
Yeah, I mean, you know, it's, and, and I think there's also a context to that is, you know, I think this is a struggle for a lot of marriages, but also for ourselves as people is a kind of, say, the 10 year rule, like about every 10 years, you kind of change into a different person, whether it be dramatic or small. It happens. I mean, I'm 41 very, very different from 21. Right, I mean, gotcha. And then you think yourself like, Okay, well by my math, that's two different people. And I'm like, No, I'm in like, four since then, you know, not all my fundamentals are there, my morals are there, you know, everything's here, but like, you know, a lot of different beliefs, whether they're political or whether they're professional whether, you know, so you kind of Yeah, I mean, that's that's stuff changes a lot. So I mean, God, if I could go and whisper in the 20. If I go through my 21 year old ear, he actually probably told me go fuck myself, as you know, everything just like if the 21 year old talk to my 16 year old self ego telling myself to right. That's our disposition.

Michael 54:14
Amen. I mean, I often think about if I could go back, obviously, we can't write there's no flux capacitor. There's there's no DeLorean that travels in time. But if I could go back, what would I do? And I know there's two options that I sort of consider and I don't do this often, but sometimes just out of my own, I don't know. weirdness. I go, what I tell. Let's say I go back to the wedding day, would I tell that dude to fucking run? Or would I tell that dude to grow the fuck up and not be such a dick? Like, I wonder which one because they're both applicable. They're both applicable because as you said earlier, there's no way that I wasn't complicit in the downfall of the marriage. I had my part in it. There's no fucking way you can't. Did she make the ultimate decision that you're doing a lot of negative and bad shit as fuck and lately, but I had my guilt and my part in it. And I don't know if I would tell that to to grow the fuck up or if I would tell that to the fucking run. I'm not sure, but I don't know. What they asked me.

Jonathan 55:11
I mean, God, that's a that's an interesting line to draw there. That's a good one. I mean, right now, in this time period, I told myself like, you know, to grow the fuck up. I mean, like, as much pain and money and you know, everything else that has been through the wringer. It's like I I wouldn't be who I am today without all of that, you know, just like all the great things in life that I've experienced, you know, everything puts you together and makes you a balanced person. And, you know, it's like, if I wasn't able to go through that. I feel like there's a lot of ways in business and in life that I wouldn't be able to set those same boundaries with other people, you know, because I do tend to be a very positive person. I try to be a pleaser, things like that. And I feel like, man like in the modern world, it's a jungle out there. Things are crazy. People are weird. And being able to establish boundaries with them and be able to, you know, keep the madness out and keep the good people in is so important. And I don't think that I would necessarily know that if it weren't the case. So I'd say, you know,

Michael 56:18
well, my friend, thank you so much for doing this. I really appreciate it. I do know that. The last question that I asked everybody is what words of wisdom would you impart to a man who's just beginning his divorce journey?

Jonathan 56:30
Yeah. Can I make a cheap order? Or Yeah,

Michael 56:33
absolutely. All right. Make it okay. 10. We can do we can do this part. Part Two later.

Jonathan 56:38
All right. Yeah. All right. So so my two my two pieces of advice is that you know, figure out how to feel comfortable in your own skin. However, that is, that means something different for everybody. But I mean, that's the one thing that we can't take off, right. So, you know, figure out how you can feel comfortable in your own skin, and that'll take time but that's something that I feel like we're all privileged to have, and try to work on that. The second thing I'll say, which you kind of played on earlier, is that with female relationships, so when you're getting through this is that I do discourage trying to date immediately after I don't involve myself with recently divorced or recently, extra people myself because they're going through some things, but what I would what I would say and this sounds like a unicorn, but it's kind of not try to make friends that are girls and be honest about that being that's all they are our friends that are women. Period, take sex off the table, everything else and you will gain so much insight into what you're experiencing keeping your head in check. You know, two of my very closest friends are female. And in fact, one of them's a therapist, that actually a trauma therapist, but so it's kind of like a I mean, we laugh and compare things like that, like she's give me cheat codes, you know, on like, how to how to get through life and stuff like that, but, you know, but if you can do that, honestly, without any romantic involvement at all, do that and let it come naturally. You can't force it then like that. It's like trying to make friends in general. They gotta come naturally, but But yeah, that could be a whole two parter in another episode.

Michael 58:21
Yeah, well, I was just thinking you're gonna have to ask that friend of yours that she'd be interested in coming on because trauma therapist that like sends off all kinds of alarm bells and I want to talk to that person.

Jonathan 58:36
Oh, she'll, she'll want to talk I just want to make gotta make sure that I get setting boundaries, right, like Yeah, Ali, I'm sure you're gonna listen to this, but for the love of God, if you come on this podcast remember the creamy like fucking patient confidentiality All right, like that stuff. That's the thing, right? It's like when you meet people like that you can be so honest about everything about being a man and not have like that. That's what taking sex also stuff takes off the table is like you said the most fucked up shit. And it's like, yeah, like that was fucked up. And here's how I wouldn't receive that, or here's how I would perceive that. And then likewise, you have any other reciprocated, right? They're gonna do the same thing back to you, and you have to listen. And you have to really understand and care, you know, and then when you do that, man, it's it's its own deep, really, really great relationships. So yeah, she would definitely come on. I just gotta make sure I keep her in check to not share too much shit about me. Over 10 years of friendship, right?

Michael 59:31
Well, again, the power of editing my friend we can always remove yeah, thanks again, man for doing this. I really appreciate it. You know, I will stay in touch and I'll let you know as soon as it comes out. And again, thanks for doing man. Appreciate it.

Jonathan 59:46
Yeah, of course, man. Have a good night. I appreciate it.

Michael 59:48
Yeah, all right. Okay. All right. All right, man. For you go. I just want to say thanks. Like, not in a you know, recorded way. recording stopped seriously, man. Thank you. Dude. That was awesome. Awesome. I'll edit it. I'll probably edit it. I don't know when I'll get around to edit it. I want to get it done soon. Because I want to get it out. Honestly. It's a bit timely with some of the topics I was arguing with someone last night a couple guys last night in the group that are basically you know, men are always fucked in court and this and that and and I just I just don't believe that nonsense. I'm not saying it never happens but it certainly it did happen. But I just think times are changing and, and I don't think telling man and whining about something that isn't helpful. I don't know it's just it drives me nuts when I see that shit because I've interviewed so many guys that have not been thought that I've gotten like you have gotten you're not the you're not the person interview that was full custody. My my buddy Chris went from a slim ish majority to almost all the time he went from like 60 to 80% or whatever. And this was 12 years ago or whatever it was. So I just I just don't think it's helpful because I think it it could I think it could and maybe I'm being maybe I'm wrong here but I think it could God cause men to be like, Yeah, fuck it, then I'm gonna lose anyway. And that's just

Jonathan 1:01:11
I think that should take well you know, if you find an editing, because I know that we kind of cut through some things quicker. If you feel like there was something that we had to build on as a point. You want to set up like a 15 or 20 minute to dive into something deeper. He feels important. Just pick me. up I'm glad to to add to this because I agree. You know, it sucks. I mean, you know, I've joined the Facebook group I like I like the group a lot. I see a lot of those. I know exactly. You're talking about with complaints, and the people and then I see some really good ones and you know some words of wisdom. It's like, at this point in my life and it's like you get through all that shit and it's like I approach all this is a place of servitude. Like, you know, it makes me feel good to help these people that at the time when I felt like so resource lacking and like shit, you know that I can give something back that can make other men feel better to sleep at night or something like anything. So

Michael 1:02:05
I hear you, I hear you, brother, thank you so much. I'll let you know as soon as it's out. And yeah, but if I hit anything and we want to touch base, I'll definitely reach out. All right, awesome. Appreciate it. Yep. Take care. So you later Bye

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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