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May 17, 2024 Podcast

How to Know When to Leave Your Marriage, with Kate Anthony

Gailor Hunt
Gailor Hunt
How to Know When to Leave Your Marriage, with Kate Anthony

In this episode, Jaime’s talking with Kate Anthony, author of “The D Word: Making the Ultimate Decision About Your Marriage.” Together, they explore the often terrifying topic of deciding whether to stay or go when facing challenges in a marriage. Kate, a certified high-conflict divorce coach with over 12 years of experience, sheds light on common dilemmas individuals face while making this life-altering decision.

Discover why women often agonize over this question and the importance of prioritizing personal happiness. Kate discusses what makes a healthy relationship and how deciding whether to divorce begins with self-work. Don’t miss this episode that combines expert advice, personal experiences, and a roadmap for making one of life’s most difficult decisions.

Need help from Kate? Contact her by visiting

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Note: Our Podcast, “How to Know When to Leave Your Marriage, with Kate Anthony”, was created to be heard, but we provide text transcripts to make this information accessible to everyone. All transcripts on our website are created using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers and could contain errors.

Jaime: Welcome to A Year And A Day. I’m Jaime Davis, board-certified family law attorney at Gailor Hunt. On this show, I talk with lawyers, psychologists, and other experts with the goal of helping you navigate divorce without destruction. In this episode, I’ll be talking with Kate Anthony, author of The D Word: Making the Ultimate Decision about Your Marriage. Together, we’ll explore the crucial topic of whether to stay or go when facing the challenges of marriage. Thanks for joining me, Kate.

Kate: Thank you so much for having me, Jamie.

Jaime: So, Kate, could you share a little bit about yourself and your background and what led you to write the D word?

Kate: Yeah. Well, I’m divorced, first and foremost. I’ve been divorced for 15 years. And I am a divorce coach. I am a certified high conflict divorce coach. I am certified as a life coach, as a relationship coach, as a domestic violence victims advocate. And so in my decade plus, I’m sort of considered one of the pioneers of the divorce coaching industry. I’ve been divorce coaching for over 12 years. When I first started, it really wasn’t a thing. People didn’t really know what it was. When I went to talk to attorneys about it, they were like, oh, that’s a really good idea. I was like, right?

Jaime: Absolutely.

Kate: Right. So over the last decade plus, I have worked with thousands of women and heard thousands and thousands of stories. I have a Facebook group that has over 17,000 women in it to date, and it grows by hundreds every week. And, you know, I hear these stories. I hear the same stories over and over and over and over again about, you know, women agonizing over this decision. And I, you know, was really able to break things down and categorize them into, you know, the categories of questions that women ask, why they’re asking these questions, why they’re struggling so much. Why is it that women in particular are struggling with this question? And, you know. Overall, people struggle to answer, especially women, struggle to answer this question for an average of like four years.

Jaime: Wow.

Kate: They can be really stuck for many years in trying to figure out. Whether they should stay or go. And I wanted to create a system for them, really, a really clear roadmap for them. In how to make this really, really terrifyingly difficult decision. In a way that centers their children, but also centers themselves, because women tend to center everyone above themselves. So I really wanted to help women to know that they actually deserve to be happy. So this is sort of a combination self-help empowerment book and also like, here are the facts. Because And here’s everything you need to know.

Jaime: So is that why you think women struggle with that question for so long? Do you think it’s because they’re putting everyone else’s needs above their own? I mean, is that why it’s taking so long to make the decision about staying or going.

Kate: I think it’s a really big part of it. I don’t think it’s the entirety of it, but it is a really big part of it. I also think women, we’ve been culturally indoctrinated to have certain beliefs about what marriage should look like or, you know. For better or worse, I, you know, I made this bed, I guess I’ll, I have to stay, you know, I have to lie in it. Um, we also, there has been a cultural narrative that, uh, it’s better for children to stay, uh, for you to stay in your marriage, no matter what. Um, this is, we now know that this is faulty research and that the research that was done in the book that was written about this was actually, um, the research was not peer reviewed. It was only from a very, very tiny segment of the population in one County, in one state. Um, it was not research at all. And yet this book sort of became the seminal, um, you know, work on, you see, we have to stay, you have to stay for your kids. It’s, it’s, you know, the, and it’s, and it’s, it’s not true.

Jaime: Right.

Kate: It’s faulty.

Jaime: And as a divorce lawyer, I hear that a lot. I have so many women clients who come in and like you mentioned, they’re struggling with this decision. And they say, oh, I’m just going to stick it out till my kids graduate high school. And that’s where I remind them, well, you’re modeling marriage for your children, number one. And number two, research has actually shown that when kids go away to college can be one of the worst times to pursue a separation because they never have that home to come back to. It’s like they leave, go to college, and then the family is separated.

Kate: Right. And, you know, I hear so often women will say, you know, I guess the last, you know, the last five years were a lie or my whole, I just found out that my whole marriage was a lie. And essentially, if you’re staying for your children and then as soon as they leave the house, you get divorced, the kids are like, oh, my whole childhood was a lie.

Jaime: Right.

Kate: Right. We don’t want to do that. We don’t want to gaslight them in that way. You know, and also more than anything, what does damage to children is being raised in any form of toxicity, whether that’s in divorce or in the marriage. And deep unhappiness is toxicity. Right. So we’re not doing them any favors by keeping them. As you said, this is now their relationship model. This is what they’re going to choose. And, you know, one of the most clarifying questions I often ask my clients when they’re struggling with this is, so is this the relationship that you want for your children? And they overwhelmingly are like, oh my God, no. And I’m like, well, this is the roadmap and the blueprint that you’re handing them. So let’s take a look at that. And that’s often very like, oh, wait, what? So yeah, important.

Jaime: So Kate, in your book, you address the difficult decision of whether to pursue divorce. What are some common dilemmas individuals face during this decision-making process?

Kate: Well, I mean, as we were talking about, right, whether or not to stay for the kids, that’s sort of I think that’s a primary one. And then it’s, you know, does what I’m experienced rise to the level where I am, quote, allowed to leave? Which is huge, right? And for women in particular, this idea that like they deserve to be happy. It is so foreign to women that they actually get to be happy that we get to. You know, pursue our own happiness, our own life, our own work, our own whatever it is. Can be a radical notion for women.

Jaime: Right. Nobody’s handing out an award at the end of the day that you’ve stuck in there and you’ve, you know, been in this miserable marriage till death do you part.

Kate: God, no. And, you know, so many women I know, you know, there are a lot of people that I know, adults now that I know that are like, I wish my parents had gotten divorced. I wish. I wish. You know, kids see it. They see it. They feel it. They experience it. So this idea that you’re like, you know, oh, well, we don’t fight in front of the kids. Trust me, they hear you. First of all, kids hear everything. Their ears are bionic. Right. So if you think you’re hiding it from them, it is absolutely not happening. So, I mean, there are a number of things, right? People want to know like, well, what does a healthy relationship even look like? They’ve been in their own level of toxicity for so long that they actually don’t know what a healthy relationship even looks or feels like. And. That. Can be really sort of staggering for them to, you know, it’s, you know, it’s the frog in water syndrome, right? You know, that, that allegory, right? Where if you dump a frog in a pot of boiling water, it’ll jump out to save itself. But if you put it in cold water and put it on a very low simmer, it will cook itself to death. So, or it won’t jump out or it will be cooked to death, I should say, right? So this is, you know, we women tend to be this, the frog in the water and we’re on this low boil and we don’t really know what’s happening to us. I work with, as I said, I’m a certified domestic violence victims advocate. And. The amount of domestic violence that I work with, the amount of emotional abuse that I work with, sexual abuse, financial abuse, spiritual abuse, all these other forms of abuse that are not necessarily physical, right? He’s not beating me. But even down to like he’s punching the walls, which is physical abuse. Where he’s throwing things. I work with so much of that that it’s really important for me to help women identify what’s actually happening in their marriages. So often they think, oh, he’s a really good guy. I just, I don’t, I’m just, I’m. I’m scared or I don’t feel like I can be myself or all these things. And then we go through it and like, well, what is a good guy? Like, tell me about him. And this is not a good guy. And very often they’re confused because of the gaslighting. They’re confused because of what they’re portraying to the outside world, right? Like everyone thinks he’s a good guy. So I’m going to be vilified for being the one to leave. Is that really more important than your own? Safety, and happiness? What other people think. And for women who are conditioned to believe that that is true, like, right, yeah, that is true.

Jaime: Yeah, and I think, too, they get so desensitized to it. At least I see that with the clients that I work with. You know, they’re living it day in and day out, and I feel like they get to a point where they believe. It’s normal, right? That other people must live this way too. And so it’s not so bad.

Kate: That’s right. That’s exactly right. And so, you know, this, oh, this is just what marriage is. Well, if this is what marriage, by the way, if this is what marriage is, like I would rather opt out.

Jaime: Right. Why are we getting married?

Kate: Right. That’s a whole other episode, right? Why are we getting married? You know, listen, 69% of divorces are initiated by women. This is not an institution that works for us. And yet it’s also the institution that is. You know, sort of upheld as the fantasy and the fairy tale since, you know, we’re children. Right. We’re groomed into this. We’re groomed into wanting this, into feeling like it’s our, you know, the panacea and what we should be wanting for ourselves. And then we get into it and we’re like, this doesn’t feel right. Oh, well, I guess it’s just me. You know? So, and that’s another thing that’s really important to discern at the beginning, right? Is it, is it, is it, is it them? Is it marriage? Is it this marriage or is it me? Right? And so starting with that self-work to discern and to pull apart the pieces of what’s mine, what’s theirs, and is there anything that can be done about it?

Jaime: So in the book, one of the questions you pose is, why am I so unhappy? How do you think individuals… Can navigate and understand the sources of their unhappiness in a marriage.

Kate: I think we have to look first at ourselves, right? I hear a lot of women whose husbands will say to them, like, is I’ll say I’m really unhappy and they’ll say, well, that sounds like a you problem. You’re just a miserable person. Right. First of all, if that’s the response of your spouse, right. If then like we need to talk because if marriage, if the relationship doesn’t work for one person, the relationship doesn’t work. Period. And the response should be, oh no. Oh no, I’m so sorry, you’re not happy. What do we need to do to turn this around so that this relationship works for both of us? And if that’s not the response, then we have a problem. So, you know, happiness is this weird, elusive thing that, you know, we’re sort of sold a bill of goods about. I mean, essentially, look, I mean, I break this down a lot in the book. I mean, we live in a society that. Makes us, especially right now, makes us really unhappy. We don’t have enough money. We have record numbers of homelessness. We are constantly living on the edge. We have a healthcare system that should be. Burnt to the ground as far as I’m concerned, right? We have so many social structures. You know, the happiest countries on earth are the countries that have social structures that support healthcare, education, all of those things, right? They pay higher taxes and they’re happy to do it because they actually support the welfare of their citizens. That is not the US. We do not in any way, shape or form. Support the welfare of our citizens. And there are certain people who are more impacted by this. People of color. In particular, and women. Right. I mean, it wasn’t until, like what? The last 20 years that birth control was even covered by health insurance. I mean, I remember paying out of pocket for my birth control when I was in my 20s. You know, women’s rights on the chopping block, left, right, and center, overturning row. I mean, we have so many things that are working against us that make us unhappy. So is it our marriage, right? Or is it the air that we’re breathing, right? And sometimes that can feel really difficult. Sometimes you’re really unhappy because you’re stressed and you like can’t like figure out your way out. And the easiest target is going to be your spouse and your partner. In those cases, like I think a really good couples therapist would be useful to figure out like. But if you’re also in this and you’re feeling stressed and the infrastructure around you is crumbling and you don’t have the supports in place and you can’t afford therapy because. US Health Care. But if your partner is not willing to hear you and to say, hey, honey, listen, let’s figure out how we can take some of these stresses. How can we better cope with these stresses, right? You’ve got to feel like person you’re in a partnership with is actually your partner. Right, that they’re actually interested in partnering with you side by side as a team to figure out how you can weather the storm together.

Jaime: Right. I mean, marriage is a give and take. And so if it’s always take, take, take on your partner’s part, then, you know, it’s no wonder why the person would not want to be in the marriage. If you can’t even help them support, you know, these very basic emotional needs, like, hey, I’m feeling unhappy about X, Y, and Z. And the response is, it’s your problem. I mean, you know, what do they expect is going to happen?

Kate: Right. If you say, hey, listen, I’m like craving connection with you. And they get mad and they’re like, what the hell do you want from me? Nothing I do is ever good enough. And then they go down to the basement and play video games. That’s a problem.

Jaime: Right.

Kate: That’s not a partnership. You know, I have clients who have said to their partners. Know, cause they’ve grown and they’ve developed and they’ve, you know, done therapy work. They’ve done personal development work. They’ve done, they’ve, you know, hired me as a coach, whatever it is. And they go to their partner and they say, listen, you know, like I’ve grown and I’ve changed and I want you along for the ride. And they’re like. You knew who I was when you married me. I haven’t changed in 20 years. What do you want? And it’s like, well. First of all, that’s no way to be in partnership with another human being. And also like. Really? Like that’s, I mean, and that’s a difference of values, right? And that’s a really important thing to look at when you’re looking at sort of happiness in a marriage and compatibility is. Values? Do you have the same values? Once that one person has a value around personal growth, and the other person has a value around staying the same and not growing? Then that’s… That’s just a mismatch. Right. All judgment aside. But that’s a mismatch. And you’re never going to come back to togetherness. On that, like that those are diverging roads.

Jaime: I mean, it doesn’t get any more basic than that. Like these core values that you have as a human being, if you and your partner are not on the same page, I mean, there is not enough affection in the world that is going to change that.

Kate: Exactly. Exactly.

Jaime: Well, so let’s talk about the healthy relationship. You know, as a family law attorney, I see the strained relationship. I see the downside of this. But in your view, what defines a healthy and fulfilling relationship? And how can couples work toward achieving that?

Kate: Yeah, well… I think what a healthy relationship looks like is actually the question we should be asking is how does it feel, right? So you should feel emotionally safe. In your relationship. You should feel able to freely express yourself, right? All of your opinions are heard, they’re honored. You should feel physically safe in your relationship. I mean, that’s a basic, that’s a basic, right? And that means sexually as well as physically, like your body should always feel safe and honored. You should feel completely free to be yourself around your partner. That was the thing that was a huge missing for me in my marriage, where I… You know, I never felt free to be myself. And I started like, shrinking myself and moderating my voice and trying to twist myself into pretzels to be the thing that I thought that he wanted. I mean, it was awful, right? I did not feel free to be myself around my partner at all. I was always being criticized and always being told what I was doing wrong. And it’s a horrible way to feel. You should feel safe to have and express any of your feelings, right? Your concerns about the relationship. When you’re in conflict, it should lead to compromise and negotiation and growth. On the other side, right? You should feel free to go out with your friends. At any time, without repercussions, without reams of texts coming in and crises arising the second you leave the house, right? Or I miss you. I’m lonely. Or why would you ever need anybody else? I should be your one and only. You know, that’s an isolation tactic of an abuser. You should feel like your relationships with other people, with your friends and your family, they’re supported. They’re encouraged, right? When you say you want to go off for a girl’s weekend. Great. Go, I got this. You shouldn’t have to prepare all the meals and like, you know, put casseroles in the freezer and all of, no, just go. You’ve got this. Right. I mean, there’s so many things like this, right? That you each have sources of emotional nourishment outside the relationship. I have a checklist. I have a healthy relationship checklist in the book. And I do. And I have a separate PDF of one that I can send you. It’s, you know, there are so many things, right? That you are each fully actualized beings apart from one another, right? So you have this interdependence, right? There’s not independence where you’re completely siloed and living separate lives. And it’s not codependence where, you know, neither one of you is okay if the other one is away, you know, right? That your identity and your sense of self and safety is derived of the other person. But it’s really that you guys are fully actualized human beings and you choose to walk this life together. I mean, there’s so many more, but that’s, those are sort of pieces of the health of, of what a healthy relationship should look and feel like.

Jaime: Well, I can’t wait to take a look at that checklist.

Kate: Yeah, it’s really, I think it’s enlightening, you know, unfortunately.

Jaime: Well, I think it’s about, you know, spouses need to. Compliment each other. And I don’t mean like, you know, you look pretty today, but you should be complimentary, not necessarily replacing one another, right? Like. You should be able to work together as a couple. Not as one unit, if that makes sense.

Kate: Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, and that’s that interdependence, right? Is that we are fully formed humans of our own right. Got our own interests and hobbies, right? We don’t have to share all of them. We don’t have to do them all together, but at least I’m curious about yours. I have a friend who’s a marriage and family therapist and his wife is a knitter. He doesn’t give two hoots about knitting. He couldn’t, like, you know, he doesn’t understand it. But he shows curiosity and interest because it is, because it’s important to her. And because he loves her. And he wants to know what lights her up. And if it’s knitting, then he’ll sit there and be like, so explain that to me. Oh, wow, that’s interesting. Okay, so you stitch that. Oh, okay. And he doesn’t have to sit there and knit with her, but he shows curiosity and interest in something that interests her. And then he’ll go to his office and read a book or whatever, but they’re not siloed. They’re not these separate things, right? And so this is what the interdependence is. We are fully formed and we’re choosing to live life together. So we come together in unity and partnership in certain areas, and then we’re free to go do our own things because I know I’m connected to you, whether I’m apart from you or together.

Jaime: Yeah, that one really resonates with me. My husband is really into cycling and he’s like, you need to get a bike. You need to ride bikes with me. And I’m like. I’m going to get hit by a car. You do that. You tell me all about it. I’ll be happy to go to your races, but I’m going to sit at home.

Kate: Yeah, right. Exactly. Exactly. And I hope that that’s something that he respects and honors that he’s like, absolutely. Right. And sure. Like he, you know, maybe he wants to share that with you and wants to like have that experience with you of writing. Cause he it’s so exhilarating to him and he wants to share that with you, but you know, and maybe sometime you will go on a bike ride, but you’re not going to like turn into a, uh, you know, a road racer or anything. Right.

Jaime: You definitely are. And that’s how you do that.

Kate: Exactly.

Jaime: Well, so the D word also suggests digging deep for honest answers. Can you share some strategies from your book for individuals to navigate this introspective process and move forward? Whether it involves staying in the marriage or deciding to separate.

Kate: Well, you know, the whole first part of the book is about you. Is about getting women who read this book to be grounded in themselves, to be hearing their inner voice. To really understand who they are and what they need and what they want. And to distinguish the voice, like their inner guide voice from their inner critic voice. Which is really difficult. So I have a bunch of exercises in the book to be able to do that. I have exercises on, you know, how to, how to mine for your own personal values that aren’t like, oh, I’m going to like, like a popularity test. Like, well, everybody wants to be, have integrity and everybody wants to believe it. Like, no, no, no. These are your own values, right? So one of the ways you mine for values are things that like drive you crazy. Right? If there’s something that app in the world that drives you crazy, it’s usually the flip side of a value that you hold. Like it’s a value that you hold that’s being. Stepdaughter squashed. So my ex-husband has a very strong value. Around justice. And like equality, right? And like fairness. To the point where a neighbor of ours. Know, 20 years ago. Called him Justice Man. And he was like, oh, Justice Man came out. And I had a cape made for him with a J on it because like, that’s how strong this is. Right. And so this is like, someone cuts him off in traffic. He is going to like, go back and like, and speed up and cut them off too, because that’s fair. Right. But also, it also worked in our divorce where he was not out to… Screw me. He was like, okay, well, let’s look at what’s fair. Okay, this is fair. And sometimes it was stuff that didn’t necessarily work in his favor, but it was what was fair. And so, you know, the things that drive him crazy are people cutting him off in traffic or things that just don’t seem fair. And he will like kind of go to another plane with it. That’s a value for him. You know, I had a client who’s who loved going roller skating in these like blue sparkly leggings. And she was like, go like disco roller skating kind of thing. And she loved it. And she had so much fun doing it. And it was something that her husband just could never understand or, you know, or was remotely interested in. And we called that her blue sparkly legging value because it was right. Right. It was her love of fun and excitement and sort of letting her hair down in a in a in a particular way. Right. So you’re not going to find that on a list. Right? You’re not going to find blue sparkly leggings on a list. There’s a lot of self-work to be done and there’s a lot of ways to do it. There’s also in the book, I talk a lot about, I have a whole chapter on codependency, which is, you know, I think people misunderstand what it is. People think it’s a, it’s a negative thing. We’re all codependent. We all have some traits of codependence as women. We’re, we’re all codependent. We’re raised to be codependent, but true codependence. Comes from childhood trauma. And it’s really important for us to look at our trauma to be able to heal the parts of us that are scared of upsetting other people. For fear of what the repercussions are or whatever. And so there are just, there’s myriad ways in the book that I help people sort of really do the work. It is an action-oriented book. There are exercises at the end of every chapter so that you can actually not just read about the thing, but then actually put it to use in your own life.

Jaime: That’s wonderful. I love a game plan and having concrete steps that you can take towards something, I think, is… Really wonderful when you’re trying to make such a big decision. I mean, like you said earlier, folks really struggle with whether to stay or go. You know, are they doing the right thing? And so I think that’s great.

Kate: Yeah.

Jaime: So what steps do you think individuals can take to create a better and brighter future, whether they stay in the marriage or they pursue a divorce?

Kate: The most important thing that we can all do is our own personal development work. Right? Find out who we are. And Whether that leads us to greater intimacy or leads us out of the marriage, it’s leading us. Home to ourselves. And that’s the most important thing. No one wants to end up on their deathbed feeling that they’ve lived their entire life for other people. And didn’t know who they were. That’s just a terrible, terrible and sad way to live. Um, and so doing that work, right? Like I want you to know exactly who you are. So you bring that to your relationship. You bring that to your marriage, right? And then your partner goes, oh, that’s cool. That’s who you are. Neat, right? I don’t understand, but I’m interested. And I think it’s a real litmus test for relationships. If I know who I am and I bring that… Confidently to my relationship and my partner is like, ew, don’t do that. Or does subtle things to undermine it and keep you out of your own power. That’s a real, that’s a red flag. But if, you know, if your partner’s willing and open and curious and interested, but also you can’t quite figure out ways to line those things up in your relationship or they feel threatened, but they’re… Open and honest about feeling threatened. And they’re like, Oh, gosh, you know what I feel? I don’t know how to… Process that. Then great, you find a really good couples therapist. And you can work through those things. And when I say a really good couples therapist, I mean someone with advanced training in internal family systems, in Gottman, the work of John Gottman, those kinds of things. You want to know what kind of advanced training they have. There are more. Terrible therapists out there than you would ever, ever want to know. And it’s, listen, it’s really hard to find a therapist right now. The world, our country is in crisis. The world is in crisis, still coming out of the pandemic, and therapists are overwhelmed. And they are. Unable to keep up with the demand. And so it’s really hard to, the good therapists are really overwhelmed. So it’s a tall order to find a really good therapist in your state. You know, they don’t have to be in your immediate area. They do have to be in your state. But, you know, with the pandemic, virtual therapy really just sort of became pretty standard. Which is great because it allows you to, you know, maybe be with someone a few counties over that you might not have been able to work with, you know, in person. But it’s still really hard and it’s really important. To find a good therapist.

Jaime: So absolutely. Yeah. I mean. I’ve heard horror stories from women and men who have come into my office. And I’m, you know, I always ask, have you tried couples counseling? Have you tried marriage therapy? And just some of the stories they’ve told about just really bad therapy experiences. But then likewise. The ones who have seen a great therapist, I mean, you know, they really feel like they tried everything that they could try before they made the decision to separate. And I think that brings peace for people.

Kate: Absolutely. Absolutely. And especially if you have two people that are like, we did everything we could. And, you know, I will say that Despite the some of the issues in my marriage, we were able to do that. We had done so much work to try to save our marriage and, you know, it didn’t work. Turns out it didn’t work because he was also cheating on me the whole time, but you know. That’ll do it. So he wasn’t actually doing the work, but it looked like he was. And so, but at the end of the day, we were able to take all of those tools that didn’t work to save our marriage to creating a phenomenal divorce. By the time we came to mediation, we knew how to communicate in ways that our mediators were like. What just happened? How did you guys do? Are you guys sure you want to get divorced? And we’re like, no, no, no, we are. No, no, no, we are. They’re like, we’ve never seen divorcing people communicate so well. And my ex said, listen, we worked so hard to save this marriage. By God, we’re going to save this divorce. You know, and so I think those are the greatest divorcing couples.

Jaime: Yeah, and if nothing else, I mean, it’s going to help with co-parenting moving forward if the couple shares children. If they have learned the tools for how to communicate with one another about difficult topics, they’re going to have a much easier time raising their children, you know. Together but apart.

Kate: Yep, 100%. 100%.

Jaime: Well, if you could only offer one piece of advice to somebody contemplating divorce, what would it be?

Kate: Read my book.

Jaime: Great advice.

Kate: Really? I know. Great advice. Read my book. I mean, I say that sort of tongue in cheek, but also knowing that. Truly all the questions that you’re asking, I have answered in this book. I really have. But I think the most important thing that I want everyone to know. But women in particular, but everyone really, is that you deserve to be happy. You do. You deserve to be happy. Your happiness matters. Talking about like, well, my happiness matters. I’m going, I’m, you know, leaving the house and going to Vegas this weekend. Cause it like, I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about like soul satisfaction. I’m not talking about, you know, putting your own needs and wants and desires ahead of everybody else in your life, right? It’s not about that. We’re not in some sort of objectivist Ayn Rand. Like that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about your happiness. We’re talking about being a. And for me, my happiness also includes like raising an amazing son who’s also happy in his life. My happiness includes. Living in alignment with my values to the point where I support my ex-husband as he’s going through his second divorce. And being there for his other child, right? Because that’s living in alignment with my values. So. You deserve to be happy. And if you’re in a relationship in which you’re not happy, trust me, nobody’s happy in that relationship.

Jaime: Right. I mean, at a very basic level, this is going to sound so silly, but your marriage should not suck the life out of you. Like it should bring you joy in some way.

Kate: That’s right. I mean, really, at the very basic level, your marriage should not suck the life out of you. Right. And for many people, just hearing that is going to be. Kind of a, like a, whoa. You know, and that’s… But it’s the truth. It’s the truth.

Jaime: Well, Kate, this has been wonderful. Thank you so much for joining me.

Kate: Yeah, thank you so much for having me.

Jaime: Thank you for listening. If you like this episode, be sure to follow the show wherever you get your podcasts so you don’t miss the next one. While the information presented is intended to provide you with general information to navigate Divorce Without Destruction, This podcast is not legal advice. This information is specific to the law in North Carolina. If you have any questions, before taking action, consult an attorney who is licensed in your state. If you are in need of assistance in North Carolina, you can contact us at Gailor Hunt by visiting I’m Jamie Davis, and I’ll talk with you next time on A Year and a Day.

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A Year and a Day: Divorce Without Destruction' is a law podcast produced by Gailor Hunt Davis Taylor & Gibbs, PLLC partner Jaime Davis. You can learn more about Jaime's experience and expertise on her bio page. If you have a question about the podcast, you can email Jaime at Please note, the purpose of this podcast is not to give legal advice. This podcast is for general, informational purposes only and should not be used as legal advice. The information discussed in this podcast is specific to the laws in North Carolina. Before you take any legal action you should consult with a lawyer who is licensed in your state.
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I'm Kate Anthony host of the New York Times recommended podcast, The Divorce Survival Guide Podcast, and a divorce coach who helps women (with children, especially) decide if they should stay in or leave their marriages – and then either helps them heal their relationships, or exit with grace. For the last decade I’ve worked with hundreds of women all over the world, helping them make the most difficult decision of their lives and transition out of toxic marriages.

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