In this episode I discuss the need to change how you see your ex. This allows you to change your expectations and to aid you in moving on. I also touch on anger, being stuck, and playing the victim.
Hey what's up, gentlemen, this is Rising Phoenix podcast podcast about how to rise up after divorce. I'm your host, divorce coach, Michael Rhodes. Let's get into it. Hello, and welcome to the show. This is episode 129. This is going to be a solo episode and I'm going to cover a few different things. The first of those is happy new year, we made it through another holiday season. And that is not always an easy thing to do. When you've gone through divorce, you are frequently reminded of what you don't have, whether it be from memories, or absences or pictures from social media or Google that pop up to remind you of the time before your separation and or divorce. So it can be tough, but here we are, we made it we made it through. And that's something to celebrate. Because it's not easy. It's It's fucking sucks. It's my fifth year, as I said a couple episodes ago. And you know, it still had moments of shittiness of missing. But it's different. It's not like it used to be. And it's not time, although I think that does aid some but it's the work that I've done. And I'm going to talk about some of that some of the work that I've done and continue to do in order to get through difficult moments like this. And in one of the more difficult things, there's there's a lot to it. And this stuff is not easy, clearly, or I wouldn't have. I'm not I wouldn't be 129 episodes deep into this thing. So one of the more important things is to change how you see your x or soon to be x. And this is very difficult, because physically, they look the same, they sound the same, they walk the same, they dress the same, probably, although I'm sure there are stories out there about how some of those changes occur. But essentially, you're looking at the same person. And one of the things you have to do is to change how you view them. This is easier said than done that this is the work. If you have to view them differently, they are they are not your wife, they're not the person you married, there are different ways to get to this. You could say that you outgrew them, that may be the case, you could say they changed in some kind of way, you could say that they are a stranger, you can look at them as just I don't know who that is. That's just that's the same as you know, my kids teacher or the lady three houses over that you don't ever speak to but you see, they're strangers. Now, you could also look at it. And this one is one that never really resonated with me. But it is one that people say all the time, you could also look at them as a business partner. And that one never really resonated with me for a few reasons. One is I'm in business, I'm in sales, and I don't look at sales or work as impersonal. You know, I'm, I tried to be friendly with and to my customers that people that I deal with in business, so and co workers. So that one didn't really resonate. But I think it was much renewal was Monday when Chris but someone said to me, don't look at it as business partners in a generic way, look at it as the business of raising your children. And she's your partner in that. And again, it's it. It doesn't exactly hit the mark for me. But it did change things a little bit. I look at it as she's just another woman. She's not the one I'm married. And I've been actually thinking a little bit lately about how maybe I outgrew her in some ways. Maybe I evolved, or if that's the right word, but maybe I grew in some ways. And she did I don't know. And I don't think about that a lot, because honestly, it's not really relevant. It's over. But in the beginning, or if you're still stuck, and I'll get to that. It can be hard to see them differently, and thus hard to move on. But it is absolutely essential. And so if you can do this, if you can start to see them differently, then your expectations of them should also change. So in other words, the woman you married you expect to behave in a certain way you expect her to, you know, raise the children in a certain way or treat you in a certain way. And there's all kinds of nuance there in terms of maybe they weren't really treating you that very well or whatever. But I'm just saying the expectation of a wife is she's going to treat you well. Not Always, and like I said, there's nuance to that. But you have to change that expectation. And hopefully, like I said, if you change the way you see them, your expectations will change. But you have to stop expecting, even if you can't get to, you know, it does take time. Even if you can't get to changing how you see them, your expectations have to change. You can't expect someone that is, is no longer your wife to behave like a wife, you can't expect to be intertwined into their life, you can't expect them to do what you want them to do. And I'll get to a little bit more on that topic in terms of a little bit more detail and what I'm sort of talking about. But one of the ways that you can sort of change your view of them and change thus change the expectation or change the expectation, in general, is use your anger, this can be very dangerous and tricky. And not necessarily necessary, but necessarily necessary. So I can say that. It's, it's, it can't help. But but but it is there is a danger in it. And I'll get to that. But it may be necessary for you to find your anger in order to motivate you to change your view and thus your expectations. But it can be that's a very dangerous path to take. You know, I talked about this, I talked about this before, you know, anger is a good fuel. But you can't run it all the time. It's I'd liken it to nitrous oxide, right. If you want to card go really fast. You dump a little nitrous oxide in it to, you know, be hit the boost or whatever. I've never done it myself besides on video games, and I don't think that counts. But But I do know that you can't run nitrous oxide all the time, you'll blow up the fucking engine, it's a boost such a shot. And, and the danger is of anger as you can, you can run it all the time you can construct you can get stuck in anger and you can mess you get stuck period. But But I'll talk a little bit more about sort of what what can happen if you get stuck in this, this anger mode. But But first, let's talk a little bit about control. And this is sort of, it's heading that way. So bear with as I've said multiple times. And as others have said, you can only control yourself and your actions and your thoughts. Anytime that you get upset, triggered, angry, hurt, etc, etc. by someone else's actions, you're you're you're letting them control you, you're no longer in control. And that's not something I'm very interested in personally. Because not only is this person done things to my life and hurt me in certain ways, but they're also continuing to do so. But I'm allowing it, I'm playing the victim. And I've said this many times before, if you were lied to cheated on falsely accused, you know, any of the nightmares that are that I hear on occasion and that I experienced, then you were a victim. But if you if you don't do any work in order to heal, and then sort of rise up, right, you heal your wounds, and then you can move up and move on. Onward, upward, Onward, forward, wherever, whatever sort of nomenclature you want to use, then then it's by choice that you're staying of victim, you're staying stuck. Someone who is perpetually angry is controlled by other folks, and is stuck, they're never going to move forward. And I see this quite often in our support group, I see guys complaining about the actions of, of the ex, you know, hurt her behavior, you know. And again, if you can't change the way you see them, certainly you have to work on changing your expectations. And if they behave in a certain way, and it triggers you and makes you angry, then they're winning, they're in control, you're not in control, you're a puppet you're on, you're on the strings in then so you're going to stay stuck. And then all of this shit that you're going through is for naught you're going to stay miserable and you're going to stay stuck. Nobody that is perpetually angry is happy is going to be happy. If you are perpetually angry, angry and you're pointing your finger at everyone else if everyone else is the problem in the world if it's all women, if it's someone other than than yourself, that is involved in scenario if you have Nothing to do with it and you're perfect, then you're never going to grow, you're going to stay stuck, you're going to stay miserable,
you're going to stay unhappy, I have zero interest in that. I'd much rather sort of reflect on what I can control. And be very mindful of, of, you know, as it was in the last episode, you know, being mindful, I think is the key to life. It's, it's not about not having feelings. It's about being mindful of them. It's not about having negative thoughts. It's about being mindful of them. And then you can choose what to do. So and this is something I teach, catch your negative thoughts, catch your thoughts, period, and then you can determine, is this helpful? Does this does this help me or does this hurt me? And then you can make a decision what to do with that thought? It's not about Ian Jones, he talks about this. And so too, it's not about controlling emotions. It's about managing, it's about making decisions about what do I want to focus on? Yes, I'm angry and hurt. Is that going to help me? Or is that going to help her? Does that forward, me and my growth? Or does that keep me stuck? You know, I see guys that post in the group talk about they've been stuck for for four or five years. And they're also big red pill, guys, who are essentially told there's not your fault. All women are doing this. It's hypergamy, which is all bullshit and worship, but nobody, nobody, I shouldn't say nobody. A lot of folks don't want to hear that. Because that would mean that they would have to take a look at themselves. And that's where you get your control when you're when you're able to look at yourself and find out okay, what did I do wrong? Not Not that you did everything wrong, but you sure as fuck did something wrong. And you're not because you're not perfect. Nobody is. And so your power is taken from you. And you're controlled by other folks, when you get so angry that you point fingers everywhere, but and don't find a fucking mirror to look into. So I want to go back and talk about sort of my process when I'm having any sort of longing or missing or slipping back into seeing her as my wife. Because again, it is easy to do. The reality is she looks the same. The reality is she sounds the same. The reality is, that's physically, the woman I married. But she's not seen. And so I have to remind myself of that. And here's what I do. anytime she does anything, either either. I'm reminded of what was or she does upset me or does anything that keeps me off track. Step number one is, is be mindful, right? Notice your thoughts. Okay, let's let's go with anger. Because I see this one more. She does something that makes you upset. And you go, I can't believe that she did this. How could she do this? Why would she do this? Doesn't she know, this hurts the kids, all these types of things. She's manipulating or whatever? It is, this is what I did. I stopped myself, you know, okay. Am I seeing her as she was? Or is? Yeah, probably as she she was not as she is. Okay. Can I control that? Can I change that? Is there anything I can do to make her like she was No, I can. And this is the key for me. What can I do? Well, I could go take a walk. I could I could call somebody. I could read an article, I could I could go I could research that book, then I want to read that book about blah, blah, blah, or isn't there? Wasn't there a hobby, I was thinking of checking out or I wonder? For football stats, fantasy football, there's a million things. What I do is I focus on what what what can I do? What can I do physically? Like, what can I go do? That is within my sphere of control. That's all that I can do. And this does, it allows me to go down a rabbit hole of things that I can control. And then suddenly I kind of forget what I was thinking about and dealing with her, I let it go because I'm focused on other things. If I sit there and I ruminate about her, and I can't believe she did, how would you do this activity? Then I go nowhere, and I get nothing accomplished. Except for remaining under her control. And one of the things that I want to really emphasize about this is, especially when it comes to kids, if there are complaints about what is going on in her place. Again, your expectations to change. That's not your wife that's not your business what occurs in her place unless of course it's something illegal, something hurtful, something damaging to the children, otherwise, it's not your fucking business. But let's say it is hurtful but not illegal or let's just say it's just wrong. She's telling the kids to lie. Let's say that you can't do anything about what she does. You literally He cannot do anything about what she does or is doing. Yeah, but she doesn't fucking matter. Again, she's a stranger, for houses over. You don't know her, you can't do anything about what she's doing. You can't control her period. But here's the key, what can you do? Well, you can make sure that your household is different, that you raise them in the way that they should be raised, you give them the example. But if you're wasting fucking time complaining about what she's doing, you're losing the opportunity to create a space within your home. That is different, that is the way that is going to show them how to be because make no mistake about it, regardless of if it's her, or anyone else, someone in the world is going to do bad shit. There are bad things that happen in this world, outside of your control, in school, social media, friends, in extracurricular activities, banned sports, there is shit that your children are going to experience or you're going to have nothing to do with that you're not going to be able to do anything about of course, again, I'm saying the illegal things, but even those things. You can't do anything about them, in general. But what you can do is create an environment for them. That is counter to and kids pick it all up, right. And if you lead by example, and it's not going to be, it's like anything, it's not going to be probably till years later until they realize or until they really appreciate or until they start living the way you live, that you're going to see these things. There is no instant gratification here. That's That's true for most valuable things in life. If you want to be in really good shape, it doesn't happen after one workout. If you want to learn a new skill, it doesn't happen after one, class one, practice one, session, whatever. It takes time. And so if you're looking for immediate and instant gratification, you're not going to get it. And you got to ask yourself, why are you looking for that? Why do you need that? Why do you need that validation? Well, perhaps that's another episode. But I just I get really frustrated. And I understand that I really do. When we focus when you focus on what she's up to, and what she's doing, you give her all the power and all the control, and you miss the opportunity to improve your own life and your children's lives. And that's unfortunate, I think, too often. Many of us focus on things that are outside of our control, because it's safer. If we have to face ourselves and our fuck ups and our issues, then that's scarier than complaining about someone else. playing the victim is a very safe place to be. But it gets you no fucking. So hopefully, this one is helpful to you. I try not to get on too much of a soapbox, honestly, about this topic. And I probably talked about it a lot, but I see it so often. I feel like us as men really. Sometimes I feel like we we give up control in ways that we just don't see that we we give up our power. We give up our masculinity. And I'm not talking about being a pussy or not crying or crying or complaining or whining. I'm talking about focusing on things that get us nowhere. I'm talking about staying stuck in this victim mentality. I just I don't understand why that's attracted to anybody. But I guess like I said, I guess it's safe, it's safe. It's it's a lot more threatening to ourselves, and who we think we are. Take a look at ourselves and ask ourselves if we're doing everything we can to be the best we can. And that the truth is, is no we're not because we're human, we're fallible, but too often we focus on everything other than ourselves. And we miss out on opportunity to grow the opportunity to be better met. Even Tony Robbins says this, you know, in the universe, you're either growing or you're dying. Many people have said I think Lou Holtz initiated the quote if I'm not mistaken old coach of Notre Dame football and, and why that sounds sort of weird or woowoo Whoo. Which is one of my favorite words. Is that a word? Or phrase is woo one word. Woo woo was to click on it. It doesn't matter but I think it's it is true.
I think we're all obviously dying, right? We're all one step closer to our last breath. But if we sat around and did nothing, we would slowly, not slowly we would accelerate our that last breath, right? We would you ever see those, like 1000 pounds? People? Like, that's what would happen. Now accelerate your death, I would accelerate you to, to the end, right? There's no question. But if you're challenging yourself, and that does not, doesn't just include physical definitely includes mental. But if you're challenging yourself, that means that you're growing, right? You can't grow without stress, you can't grow without challenge. It's not possible, right? When you think about again, you know, physically, when you go to the gym, what are you doing, you're literally breaking down tearing muscle and then built back up, right. That's how it works. And, and so then I think that means that that phrase, or that point of view holds true, if you're not growing, you're dying. And I'd rather be fucking growing, and I sure shit not rather be dying, and a B, because I let someone else put me in that state. Fuck all that. So hopefully this was helpful. I really, it's a response in some posts I've seen lately, and I just wanted to kind of address it. Um, I this is actually I think the fourth time I've recorded this one, maybe third. I tried to record it earlier in the day. And then my phone rang. And then I recorded it. Yes, this is the third one. And then I did record it. And then I realized my microphone was was not I didn't choose the right microphone. So it was actually the camera microphone. And it didn't sound too bad. But it didn't. It's this, this microphones a nice microphone. So it's, it's gonna sound better than than the original. And I think like, anybody, emotions influence me, and and I was reading some stuff that today in that group, and it kind of pissed me off, because I feel like it's just such bullshit. It's, it's people that post that they're stuck. Four or five years out, are the same people posting that. I can't believe she told the kids to do this. And how do you not see that those two are tied together? You're focusing on someone else's actions. Of course, you're stuck. You know what you do in this situation? I kind of explained it, but fuck it. I'll do it again. And I may I may edit the show this one or I might not? I don't know. Here's what you do. And again, I think I did explain it, but I'm gonna go over it again. Okay. She I can't believe she she said, told the kids to do X, Y and Z. My wife? My wife wouldn't do that. She's not she's not your wife. No, she's not my wife anymore. Okay, so if she's not my wife, then who is she? To me? She's just someone who's helping raise the kids. Okay. So she's not beholden to you in any way? No, she's not. Okay, so can I do anything about what she's doing? No cannot? What can I do things about? Well? I mean, I really need to finish reading that book. Well, I don't know, maybe I may, maybe I haven't finished because not that good. Maybe I should read another one. Maybe I should just skip. Maybe I should just check the last few chapters and see if there's anything that's worth reading. It's kind of it's getting kind of boring as it switches it up, or and I need to set up my 401k so that I'm making sure that it's going to the right funds. I really need to check that and make sure that it's on track. Or maybe I need to add a percentage or two that's taken out or maybe I need to reduce it. You know what I had to do around the house. There's got to be something I got do around the house. You understand? I'm saying you take your focus off shit you can't control and put it on. And when you go through that process, five minutes in, you're probably less than that. You're going to forget what the fuck you were complaining about. Because suddenly you're able to do something about something and your brain is gonna go like Oh, right, Buck. Yeah, let's do something. The other thing keeps you stuck in this loop. Of I'm a victim. I'm a victim. I'm a victim. And again, that gets you nowhere. So yeah, I'm probably going to edit the shit out of this one. Because I think I made some points better later than I did earlier. But, but we'll see. Maybe I'll leave it all on fuck I don't know. So that's all for this. One 130 will be out next week. Oh, let me let me finish up with this. So my initial goal for 2023 was to get the podcast download numbers to 100,000 downloads by the end of 2023. Obviously, I stepped back and took some time off, so to speak. And I got to I think, the end of summer and I quickly realized, like, I am not going to hit that number. It there's just no way to the math was it was clear. Yeah. And I knew it was a bit of a stretch anyway. But then taking some time off, it was not gonna fucking happen. And so I said, All right, well, what can I do? And I looked at it, and I said, Well, here's another it's a little bit of a stretch. So I'm going to do 90,000 in by the end of 2023. Not that's not 90,000 In the year, it was a grand total. So over the three years, and I got close, sadly, I did not. I got close, but sadly, I did not hit the number. I was about 200 and some odd downloads short, I was at at 9800, something like that. I'll post it. Somewhere, you'll see it. I will hit 90,000. Probably today, if I can get this one out. It's seven o'clock on January the second, so 70 5pm on the east coast. So I'm not sure I think if I get this out this evening, I think I'll hit my 90,000 today, two days late. But I'll take it. And I don't know what my goal for next year is, except for just growth. And I will say that despite my step back, I still grew in total numbers. I think last year, I did a brief look at this. Last year, there were 34,000 downloads in this year there were 37,000. So despite my little break there, or taking my foot off the gas, I still grew. So you're not growing, you're dying. So until next time, take care of yourselves and take care of each other. Thank you so much for watching and or listening. Since my separation in July of 2019. I have done an incredible amount of work on myself. I've had many different therapists life coaches and went through different programs. I've taken all that I've learned and put it into my own program called forged by fire. If you are interested in having me help navigate your divorce, please hit my website Rising Phoenix divorce coach.com. I look forward to working with you
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