Dating After Divorce with Sade Curry | Ep #64

Although many of my clients choose to stay with their spouses after infidelity, many decide to leave their marriages. Over time, some of them decide they want to start dating again. There is much fear, trepidation, and often self-doubt that can surface.

In this episode, I am interviewed by fellow coach and dating after divorce expert, Sade Curry. I share my personal story of dating my current husband and some of the challenges I dealt with.

To be sure, dating can be an opportunity to see what areas need looking at for growth, and to understand yourself more fully.

Even if you have chosen to stay married, I share how I had to navigate trust issues even though I was dating someone who did not break my trust. Wherever you are in your infidelity journey, listen to understand some of the issues that I dealt with and how I overcame them. You may find we have a lot in common!

Episode Transcript

Andrea:

Hi, I’m Andrea Giles and you’re listening to the Heal from Infidelity
Podcast episode number 64, Dating After Divorce with Sade a Curry. Hello
and welcome to the Heal from Infidelity Podcast where courageous women
learn not only to heal from their spouses betrayal, but to become the
boldest, truest, most decisive and confident versions of themselves ever.
If you know there’s more for you than the life you’re currently living, but
don’t quite know how to get there, you are in the right place. Stick around
to learn how to create a life that will knock your own socks off. Is it
possible? It is and I’m here to show you how. I’m your host, Andrea Giles.
Are you ready? Let’s dive in. Hi, everybody, I have a little bit of a
different episode for you today. So a few weeks back, I was invited to be
interviewed on a podcast with my friend Sade Curry, who is a fellow coach
and she works with women who are trying to move forward from divorce, date
again and ultimately find the person that they want to be with for the rest
of their life.

Andrea:

She has created that result for herself. And she reached out to me and she
asked me if I would be willing to share my story of dating after divorce
and all the ups and downs and all around and the things that were tricky,
the things that were awesome. And I thought that I would share it with you
here because I think that you might find it useful. Now, I know that some
of you are not going to get divorced. Some of you don’t want to get
divorced, some of you will end up staying married. But I still think that
you might just find it useful because there’s things that I share in there
about my experience of learning to trust, learning to allow my emotions,
allowing myself to deal with some of the challenges that we dealt with that
you might just find helpful to you. Okay? So although in this episode, Sade
is the host, and I am the guest, I hope that you enjoy and learn from it.

Andrea:

And that you go check out Sade. You can find her podcast, it’s called
Dating After Divorce with Sade Curry. And she is very wise and wonderful
and doing really important work. So, I’m going to go ahead and play that
episode that we recorded, and I hope that you enjoy it.

Sade:

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the Dating after Divorce Podcast. And
today I have Andrea Giles here with me on Zoom. And she is part of the
Remarriage Club series. She’s going to tell us her dating after divorce
story. It’s got a lot of twists and turns. I can’t wait to share this with
you. Andrea, welcome. Please introduce yourself, tell us who you are, what
you do, and just a little bit about your family.

Andrea:

All right. Thank you so much Sade. It’s an honor to be here. Yes, I’m
Andrea Giles. I love the work that you’re doing here and I’m happy to be
here to talk about this important subject. So, I’m a coach, I coach women
around infidelity within their marriages, I help them get clear about if
they’re staying or going and help them move forward with her life. So,
that’s what I do career wise. Family wise, I have a huge family, very big
family. I have six biological children, five bonus children and we’ve had a
big surprise number 12 in the oven. It’s a surprise. So-

Sade:

And-

Andrea:

Yeah, go ahead.

Sade:

… number 12 is coming how many years after you remarried?

Andrea:

12 years. Not after I remarried. Sorry, 12 years after the last kid, five
years after remarriage. But the next kid up, they’re twins and they’re 12.

Sade:

Oh my God.

Andrea:

But yeah, we’ve been married for five years and had decided that we were
not going to have children and did things to ensure that and what do we
know, here we are. So, we are having a baby in December.

Sade:

It was just meant to be.

Andrea:

I guess so. Yes, I guess so.

Sade:

That’s wonderful.

Andrea:

Thank you.

Sade:

So really you have every I guess, stage or every area of remarriage to talk
about. So you have the blended family, probably every scenario in a blended
family to talk about.

Andrea:

Yes.

Sade:

The infidelity, divorce, dating after divorce, all of it.

Andrea:

Yep. Lots of things to talk about for sure.

Sade:

All right. So my first question to you is, you experienced infidelity in
your first marriage?

Andrea:

Yes, I did.

Sade:

How did that impact how you thought about dating after the divorce?

Andrea:

Yeah. So as you can imagine, with infidelity, it was a big breach of trust,
right? And you think that things are one way and then you find out one day
that they’re not, and that the person that you’re married to, is not what
you thought that they have different things going on than what you thought.
And so the biggest breach of trust there is that it made me wonder about
myself. And can I trust myself? How did I not know? Because we were married
for 16 years, and there were things going on throughout the entire marriage
that I did not know about. Just didn’t even know. And every once in a
while, I would catch a clue or something and go talk to him about it. And
he was really good at lying, frankly, and I just believed him because I’m a
kind of a general, just a pretty trusting person by nature. So when that
all happened, it really shook my belief in myself honestly. Sade, it really
shook what I thought about the world and how I thought things were.

Andrea:

I kind of thought that you grow up, you check the boxes, you do these
things, you show up as a wife in this way you, you… I tried to be a
loving, supportive wife, and it just was not what I thought it would be.
And so for me, it really… It shook my trust for sure, going forward. It
shook my trust and my own ability to discern and to really see things,
right. Like, it was just very confusing to me. And it also shook my faith
in future relationships honestly. It made me wonder, if I didn’t know this
was going on right under my nose, how can I be sure it’s not going to
happen again?

Sade:

Right. So how did you resolve that? I just like, “What!” Because that
denial… I think sometimes when a woman divorces or when you… A lot of
us have the story of the red flags that we didn’t see.

Andrea:

Yeah.

Sade:

But sometimes that’s unfair. In my case, there were red flags, but then
when I look back at it, it’s like, “Well, I didn’t have the information to
know that those were red flags. So I can’t really beat myself up for not
seeing the red flags.” And then for some people there were no red flags.

Andrea:

Right. Yes. For me, there were things that for sure felt off to me that I
was like it… And you know what? There were things too like you said, that
I didn’t know were red flags. I didn’t know. I had never been married
before. Right? I got married young. That was my only experience. And so I
was pretty good at just looking forward and giving the benefit of the
doubt. And he must be having an off day, if he was having exhibiting
behaviors or whatever, I just kind of swept it away like, it’s fine. And
then there were some bigger things that presented themselves. And again, I
always have been about trying to get to the root of things, like what’s
going on? Why are these things happening? And just to give the brief little
cap of what happened, is I ended up filing for divorce, because in the end,
he was not interested in being honest with me. He wasn’t interested in
really, fully engaging in our marriage. And it was very much affecting
myself and my children.

Andrea:

And so I ultimately decided to end the marriage. And then seven months
after the divorce finalized, he got into a car accident, and he passed
away. He was 39 years old. My kids were 15 and under. And back to your
question with the red flags, right? So in hindsight, I think you are
correct, completely correct. There are some things that we don’t even know
are red flags, right?

Sade:

Yeah.

Andrea:

How are we supposed to know? Right?

Sade:

Yeah.

Andrea:

So it can get a little bit confusing. So, you asked how did I resolve it?
You want me to dive into that a little bit?

Sade:

Well, yeah. Then we’ll circle back to the grief.

Andrea:

Yeah.

Sade:

Because obviously you were probably still grieving your divorce when the
car accident happened.

Andrea:

Oh, it was really rough. It was rough. Yeah, it was… I’ll just touch on
that real quick. I still felt like I was getting my feet back under me of
just kind of trying to put my life back together because my identity was so
wrapped up in being a married woman, being a wife, being a mother, all
those things and it just took a while for my brain to catch up that I was
no longer married, I was single, kind of trying to re acclimate to this new
life, or acclimate to it. And so when he died, it was very sudden, he was
just gone. He died instantly. And just like that, once again, everything
that I thought was just like… Just changed in that instance. And this
time it was a different kind of grief. The first time around I felt like…
I really cared about him and to this day I still do. I still consider him
my friend and I care about him and I felt like I was losing him twice.
That’s what it felt like.

Andrea:

The first time around I felt a lot of loss because I cared about him and he
just was not willing, he wasn’t willing to set down the behaviors that he
was involved in and get the help he needed, he just wasn’t willing. And so
I felt like I was losing him in a sense then and then for him to die It was
just a whole different loss. And then helping my children navigate the loss
of their father. And so for sure, it took me back, it took me honestly…
It took me into a place of the questions that you ask of could I have done
more? Could I have… Because his death was… He was being destructive. He
was not being responsible. And so kind of questioning myself and what is,
do I have a part to play here? Is there any responsibility here that was
mine? So those are things that I needed to clean up for myself. Right?

Sade:

Yeah, yeah. Did you go to therapy?

Andrea:

Yeah.

Sade:

I can imagine you must have.

Andrea:

I did. Yeah.

Sade:

To actually come out on the other side.

Andrea:

Yep, I did. I went to lots of therapy, lots of therapy. So, I went to
therapy at the time I didn’t know anything about coaching. I went to
therapy and worked through, I did some grief work, I did just really
understanding kind of some of the behaviors that he was in, it was so
helpful to see from a textbook, to be able to kind of read from a textbook
experience what some of the choices he made, and that it was actually way
more common than what I thought and then how it affects the people closest
to that person. It kind of normalized it for me, I’m not a crazy person.
And there’s nothing wrong with me, my responses are totally normal. And
then ultimately getting to a place where I could trust by just trusting
that I could let go, that I could wish him well, let it go, and move
forward with my life.

Andrea:

And I recognized that for me to fully step into where I was going, that was
necessary, right? That I needed to do that untangling of letting… Setting
down the things that were not mine to carry, which can be tricky, right? It
can be tricky.

Sade:

Yeah. What did life feel like? I guess, we could say that year of the
divorce and then his death and then when you came out or you felt like you
came out on the other side emotionally. What was the differences in those
two periods?

Andrea:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). I think the first time with the divorce I felt it was
really, really hard, but I felt very, I don’t know if determined is the
word. I knew that it was important. And I knew that… So part of my
situation is that there were some mental illness pieces that were untreated
and that he was not getting the help he needed for. And so it put myself
and my children in some situations that were not safe. And so for me, I was
kind of like kicking in the mama bear. Like, I have to do this, I have to
move forward. And so, I found a lot of strength in myself to carry on, to
get things done, to get things in place to where I felt my children were
safe, I was safe, things like that. And so I felt a lot of… There was
grief there, there was a lot of sorrow. There was all the disbelief, kind
of like how is this my life?

Sade:

Wow!

Andrea:

That came up a lot. How is this my life? How is this real? Right?

Sade:

Yeah.

Andrea:

But I also had a lot of deep determination. I have to get through this. I
have to get to the other side of this. When he died, that was different. It
was different. It was just straight up grief. It was just a lot of loss, a
lot of grief. Just sadness that this person that I cared about who had just
crazy potential. He was really, really smart, really ambitious, he was a
lawyer working for a big name. He was doing good things career wise,
professionally and it just was really sad that he had made some of the
choices that he made that led to this current circumstance. And so in that,
it was just a lot of grief and Sade, I’ll say to you for some of your
listeners that because I imagine probably everyone listening has
experienced this to one extent or another, all the opinions of other people
and then chiming in and that was sometimes really hard because I had people
telling me that I should be happy and that I should be… Look, you don’t
have to deal with this anymore and you should.

Sade:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Andrea:

Telling me how I should feel and it made it worse. It was hard. I want to
be sad. This is the person I was married to for 16 years, the father of my
children, I want to be sad that he’s gone. And so learning to let other
people have their thoughts and opinions and then owning what was mine.
Right?

Sade:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Andrea:

So moving-

Sade:

Wow!

Andrea:

Yeah, so moving forward from that was really coming to a place of
acceptance that it was okay for me to feel what I was feeling and that it
was okay for me to move forward and really build a new life.

Sade:

Right. And so how long after he passed away or the divorce did you decide
to date again?

Andrea:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). So… Oh my goodness! Okay. So I had been on my own,
single mom for a year and my children were like, “Mom, you have to try to
date, you have to just try.” I’m like, “Oh.” And so I thought, “Okay, I’ll
put a profile up on a dating site, it was a Christian dating site thing
thinking it was kind of a funny show. And it felt very safe. I could just
hide behind my computer.

Sade:

And that’s interesting because some people feel the dating sites are
totally unsafe.

Andrea:

Oh, okay. Interesting.

Sade:

And then you have other people who feel like no, it’s meeting up with
people in person, that’s unsafe.

Andrea:

Totally.

Sade:

And I tell everyone, it’s totally how you think about it.

Andrea:

Yes.

Sade:

It’s literally the thoughts that you choose about either one that matter.

Andrea:

Yeah. It’s true. For me I had the thoughts of this is fine, I can just you
know meet people and hide out behind my computer. I don’t have to actually
go meet anybody. Anyway, but it was… I thought it would be kind of fun,
right?

Sade:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Andrea:

This could be fun. So that was a year after we had separated and our
divorce had finalized four or five months before. Okay? Been on my own for
a year. And funny, funny how these things go, I put that profile up and
within 24 hours the man I’m now married to had written to me.

Sade:

Yeah. Did you ever worry that, “Oh, I have six kids, no one is going to
want me.”

Andrea:

Oh, yes. Yes. Oh, yeah. That’s how-

Sade:

So at that point, how did you resolve that? Or were you still like, “Well,
no one’s going to want me with six kids.”

Andrea:

No, I hadn’t resolved it if I’m honest. I still… That’s partly why it was
kind of a game in my head, I’m like, “Once they know…” And at that
time… So, the timing was that I put a profile up, I remember it was in
April of 2014. April, okay? I put a profile up and just started talking to
lots of different people but like I said, my first husband had written to
me. And so in my mind, he hadn’t passed away yet and I was divorced and I
was still dealing with all of the custody stuff and all of those things and
I’m like, Oh, nobody is going to want to take this all on, six kids is a
lot.” And of course, I was totally in it. At that time, I had full custody,
I had full custody. So I was with them all the time. And they were 15 and
under. It was crazy, right?

Sade:

How old was the youngest at the time?

Andrea:

The youngest were my twins and they turned five in April that year, so-

Sade:

That was so little.

Andrea:

… pretty little. Yeah, so I had a lot going on in my household. I’m like,
“I don’t know, I don’t know if anybody would be crazy enough to take this
all on.” Right?

Sade:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Andrea:

But I thought, that’s kind of why it felt safe to me honestly, is because
I’m like, “Oh, nobody will want to be serious.” Right? So I can just chat
with people and have fun. Well, I met… I started chatting with this guy,
and he had five of his own children. His wife was a widower, oh he was a
widower, his wife had passed away from cancer. And we just became friends
pretty quickly and just had stuff to talk about. We just became friends.
And Sade, part of what was kind of healing for me actually, is that a lot
of people were interested. A lot of people I told them I had… I told him
straight up, I’m not going to hide my kids, right?

Sade:

Yeah.

Andrea:

I got six kids, this is how old they are. And I had… There are a lot of
really good men out there. That’s what I learned.

Sade:

Yeah.

Andrea:

There’s a lot of really good men. A lot of people who are seeking solid
relationships and are wanting to give their best. And I met some really
neat people through that process. And so, that helps me. It helped me just
to challenge my own thoughts. “Maybe you are wrong, maybe there are people
who would welcome it, who would welcome my kids and love them and be good
to them.” And then of course, it was just a couple months later that he
died. He died in July. So it’s just three, four months later, and then my
story changed, right? He was no longer in the picture. And even though for
me, at that time was really, really hard, it did change the scene for me as
far as what I was able to do moving forward, being able to move out of
state, being able to [inaudible 00:21:38].

Sade:

It made it easier to date?

Andrea:

Yes.

Sade:

Okay. Was your now husband out of state?

Andrea:

Yeah. Yeah, he was in Montana. He was in Montana. And I was in the Bay
Area, California.

Sade:

Oh!

Andrea:

So yes, he was out of state. Yes.

Sade:

So tell us how… So how did you… You said it was very healing for you to
meet a lot of different people who were willing to be in relationship with
you even though you had six kids.

Andrea:

Yeah.

Sade:

How did you resolve that, “Oh, not everyone is going to cheat on me the way
my ex did?”

Andrea:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Right. So first of all, I guess what I learned is
that people didn’t run when I told them that I had six kids. They were
still interested, still wanting to know me. So asking questions. Were
interested in my children, things like that. And so for me, for the piece
of learning to trust, it’s been a process, it’s been a process. And I’ll
say this, I would be lying if I said that it was just all resolved before I
got remarried, I would be lying. I think that one of the beautiful parts
about trusting ourselves to step into new relationships is that we’re
trusting that it will potentially bring things to the surface that needs to
be worked through.

Sade:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Andrea:

And for me, it would have been easier in many ways to stay alone because I
didn’t have to deal with some of those things. Didn’t have to face them
head on. But it was through the dating process and through remarriage that
those things had to be reckoned with or I’d make myself crazy trying.
Right?

Sade:

Right. There’s so much growth.

Andrea:

There is. Yes.

Sade:

And this is where there’s productive work in relationships and then just
the hard work that goes nowhere and you’re just kind of killing yourself.
But the good hard work is you come up against this other person and they
show you a part of yourself you didn’t know existed, and then you have to
decide, is this who I want to be?

Andrea:

Yes.

Sade:

Or do I want to work through this part of my programming or this part of my
thoughts to become the person that I really want to be?

Andrea:

Yep, absolutely. So it definitely showed me. Definitely showed me. And what
was interesting about it is that I was dating a widower, right? It was not
a divorce situation, she had passed away and it brought up so much stuff.
It brought up so much stuff to where I felt some of the same feelings of
jealousy and to be clear, without giving too much detail. My first husband,
it was not infidelity where there was one person, it was a lot of
different, a lot of things. Okay? A lot of things. It was not an emotional
attachment, it was not one person, it was a lot of different things anyway.
And yeah, I’ll leave it there, but it had the same kind of effect of
totally messing with my thoughts about myself, my thoughts about trusting
somebody, right?

Andrea:

And so with my new… When I was dating my now husband, I just felt in my
brain that felt like there was this other woman that was always going to be
there. And because she passed away because we, as a society tend to really
prop up, people who have passed away and say the best flowery things about
them. Yeah, it was really hard. And it really showed me so clearly the
thoughts about myself that were less than flattering.

Sade:

Right.

Andrea:

And so… Yeah, go ahead.

Sade:

Did it seem like… It sounds like you were insecure-

Andrea:

Yeah, I was.

Sade:

… comparing yourself to her memory.

Andrea:

Yeah, totally. Totally. And his kids would tell me things, different
people. Once we started dating more, and I got to know some of the people
that he knew, things like that. But tell me things about her. And it was
just this tough like, can I do this? Can I do this? Can I do this? And then
the other piece that I’m just going to be honest about, is that our dating
was not smooth sailing. It was not like the meet the person, fall in love.
Just be so over the moon about each other, need to get married. It was kind
of rocky, because I think for him, she had been sick for almost seven
years. So quite a while, almost half of their marriage. And I think in his
mind, he thought that he was more prepared than he was.

Andrea:

He thought that he was more ready. And just like we were talking about
before, there’s nothing like dating, to show us the areas we need to grow.
Right? To go, “Oh, that needs to be… That needs to be looked at.” Right?

Sade:

Yeah.

Andrea:

And so he had a lot of work to do. We both did. We both had a lot of things
that came to the surface that I don’t think we would have even known had we
stayed back and just kind of stayed in our own little bubble, right? And so
for me, it was tough because as I was in this space of learning to really
stand on my own feet, learning how to validate myself, I was still in a
place of looking for his validation, right? Looking for his assurance and
things like that. And he emotionally was working through a lot of grief
that he didn’t even know was there. And so he wasn’t always in a position
to just give me what I thought that I needed. Right?

Sade:

Yeah, that attention, that full attention.

Andrea:

Yes. Yes.

Sade:

Yeah. And you were long distance doing all of this.

Andrea:

Yes.

Sade:

So either, you would feel different.

Andrea:

Yes. It was all long distance. And we saw each other as often as we could.
We talked all the time, but only… We had lots going on on our home
friends, right? So we couldn’t just go see each other all the time. But
over time, our trust in each other grew, our trust that these things
would… That we can handle it, right? We had lots of messy conversations,
lots of them. A lot of messy conversations where I tried to articulate my
feelings, my fears, things like that, and where he expressed his and we
both came from such different situations, right? We came from different
kinds of emotional pain, right? And so we had different things to work
through. And so we did have some hard conversations of, is this something
we can do? Right? Can we do this? Can we build a life? And I’ll say too,
early on with him, there was this level of comfort of this feeling of
meeting this friend that…

Andrea:

I remember when I first started talking to him, and when I first started
talking to his kids, he was like, “Oh, there you are.” That’s what it felt
like. Like, “Oh, there they are.”

Sade:

Yeah, it was very familiar. Yeah.

Andrea:

It was. There they are. It did, it felt very familiar. But over time, the
things that we needed to work on became more and more evidence, right?

Sade:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Andrea:

And so-

Sade:

How did you-

Andrea:

Yeah, go ahead.

Sade:

… handle those conversations? Because I think a lot of my listeners have
trouble staying in those conversations. I wouldn’t even say stay, even
initiating or the thought. I was talking to a client recently, and the
thought of bringing up STDs in a dating situation completely freaked her
out, and almost became a barrier to her even starting to date. Because she
knew at some point she was going to have that conversation. And I was like,
“At some point in adulthood, we have to be comfortable articulating what
we’re thinking, holding space for that discomfort, knowing that the best
thing for you is to bring up whatever is on your mind and stay in the
conversation and observe the other person and their ability to stay in that
conversation.” Because if you ask a guy about STDs, and potentially getting
tested, and his response in that moment tells you a lot.

Andrea:

Absolutely. Yep. Absolutely. I think, yes, for sure. So, I think a couple
of things here, first of all, I would say to your listeners, it’s okay to
be messy, it’s okay to stumble. It’s okay to go into it thinking this is
how I’m going to say it, this is how I’m going to do it, this is how I’m
going to hold on to myself, and my emotions keep grounded in myself. And
it’s okay to sometimes get it wrong, right? It’s okay to be messy. And I
still think that just showing up in that conversation is so powerful, just
being willing to have the conversation, you’re going to be better for it,
even if it’s messy, even if it doesn’t just roll off the tongue as easily
as you rehearsed, right? Because we’re still allowed to be human, and we’re
still allowed to have emotions, and we can plan it all out and still have
things not quite go the way we hoped.

Andrea:

But what I will say is that, how to step into those conversations is an end
for me how I did looking back is that I had things that I wanted, I had
these things that I wanted out of a relationship and knew that I needed to
see those things for me to feel comfortable moving forward. And it’s funny,
you mentioned STDs, because that’s a question he asked me, right? He needed
to know. Of course, he knew my background with the marriage I was in and
things like that. And I needed to… That was something he wanted to know.
And I have plenty of questions for him, right? And so I think that if you
can scan out a little bit to what it is you actually are wanting and seeing
it almost like you’re collecting data. Like, these are our data points,
you’re just collecting new data points here. This is where I’m going, this
is what I want, this is the thing that I want. And I’m just getting data
points along the way to see if this is… Does it add up? Right?

Sade:

100%.

Andrea:

Does it add up? But I will say the part that we avoid is that to receive
these data points that we’re looking for, we have to give them. We have to
be willing to show our cards, we have to be willing to speak, and to share
how we feel and to allow people to respond to it. And it will tell you so
much about the other person, right?

Sade:

Yes. Yeah, that’s so good. Those conversations are… I think they’re
everything.

Andrea:

They are.

Sade:

They’re everything, that discomfort being willing to just… I’m just going
to be here and if it works out, that’s fine, if it doesn’t. But approaching
it like I’m an adult now. This is to put your big girl panties on-

Andrea:

Yeah, exactly.

Sade:

… kind of scenario.

Andrea:

Yeah.

Sade:

How did you know… You said he had asked you some questions too, that were
hard. How did you know he was showing up in a way that he was going to be
willing to do the work? He was willing to be honest? What was it about him?
And because I think a lot of my listeners are not familiar with that kind
of guy who shows up, who does the work, who’s open and… Transparent was
one of the… My current husband’s transparency was one of the things that
really drew me to him. And his life was an open book. And I was just like,
“That is so different in a guy.”

Andrea:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yep. So for me, out the gates. I remember pretty
early on, pretty early on in our dating he told me things. He told me
things about his life. He told me mistakes he had made, things he
regretted, issues that they had had or areas where he felt like he could
have done better and just some of those pain points that he was carrying
around or things that he wished that he had done better. He never came into
it with this like, I knocked it out of the park. It was just so great. The
things he told me, they were hard things to tell me, right? There were
things that I could have formed judgments about and he knew that, but his
thing was, “I’m going to be completely transparent with you about where I
come from and some of the struggles that I’ve had.” And to me, I’m like, “I
think he’s safe. I think he’s safe.” He’s not trying to hide, he’s not
trying to… He’s putting these things out there. And he’s letting me
decide what I want to think about it. Right?

Sade:

I love that.

Andrea:

Instead of trying to control or manipulate how I think about something.
He’s like, “Here’s this piece of information, do with it what you will, but
I want you to know this thing.” Right?

Sade:

Yeah. Wow, I love that. That’s so good. Safe, open, honest, transparent.
More so than like you said, you didn’t have the fireworks at the beginning
that hot and heavy because you were long distance. But you had the meat and
potatoes of a real relationship.

Andrea:

Right. Yes. Yeah.

Sade:

So how did you… At what point did you turn from, “Hey, we’re just friends
talking long distance, because we have families that are similar to, hey,
let’s do this thing.”

Andrea:

Right. So, early on, we both knew that there’s attraction there, we both
knew that there was potential. We both could see that. I would say it
wasn’t until… I mean, we dated for a couple years before we decided to
get married. And we talked a lot about the possibility in the future. We
talked about it. But again, I’m going to be fully transparent here with
your audience. Okay? So I got to the point, I’m just going to lay this out
there where I felt like, “Dude, you got to decide what you’re doing.”
Because it was long distance and I had all of these kids and I felt like
for him, he was just… His kind of one of his kind of trauma responses, if
you will, it was really scary for him to think of recommitting and then
having something happen just like it was scary for me, right? Coming from
different places. But similar fears. And so he would… We would get closer
and then we’ll pull back a little bit closer, pull back.

Andrea:

And I got to the point where I had done so much work on myself, where I had
worked a lot on really understanding my own value and understanding that
some of those responses from him were not about me at all, but they were
him still needing to just sort through some things, work through some
things. And so I took a step back. And I just said, “You know what? I need
some space from this, I need to step back and just kind of live my life.”
And we cared very much about each other. I remember that conversation. We
were both really sad, but I knew for me that that’s what I needed.

Andrea:

And so I stepped back and I went on some dates with some different guys and
met some different people and had some fun and then he showed up on my
door, literally showed up on my door. He really did. I opened the door and
there he was. He had flown in and had realized he did a lot of work on him
to go, “What do I want? And am I willing to set my fears down to be able to
be fully present in this relationship?” And so from there we… Yeah, go
ahead.

Sade:

I love that you were willing to walk away-

Andrea:

I was.

Sade:

… from the relationship that you wanted, had everything you wanted, it
was the guy that you wanted. But when the relationship wasn’t reflecting
your value, you were willing to walk away. That is so hard for so many
people.

Andrea:

Yeah. It was hard for me. It was.

Sade:

I sometimes talk to women who are on with… Sometimes they’ll data guy and
he’s a nice guy. He’s a good guy, but it’s not a fit. Especially if they’d
been with someone who was a jerk or who treated them badly before. It’s
like saying no to a good guy who isn’t showing up the way you need him to
show up can be so hard. That is huge. I just really wanted to highlight
that. I have a similar story where my now husband and I broke up a while
back. A while up. I guess a year or nine months after we met. And we were
just having conflict that I was like, We don’t… I said we don’t have the
tools for this. We don’t know how to resolve conflict well. And same thing,
I was like, I don’t think I can do this. And we were broken up for 10 days.

Andrea:

I love it.

Sade:

It wasn’t very long. And I took that time to… I asked myself, can I find
the tools? Because I missed him and I loved him and I wanted to be with
him, but not in that way. And I just kind of went on this research rampage,
and I found a book where actually those are the marriage Harville Hendrix
and Helen Hunt. We use their programs now for our marriage and to grow. And
I found their book, I’d never used their book before. And I found their
audio book, listened to it. And I was like, this might help us. And so I
was the one who reached out.

Andrea:

Awesome.

Sade:

After being the one… “I thought you’d be the one to break up.” I was
like, “I think I found something that can help.” And then he had to forgive
me for-

Andrea:

I love it.

Sade:

… doing that. But it’s so important, because even if the person is
amazing, we can’t hurt ourselves again just because of a guy. You can’t…
I don’t know why I’m struggling for the word for if you had just stayed in
there, because of who he was, even though the relationship wasn’t
progressing in a healthy way.

Andrea:

Yes, absolutely. I think for me, what ended up… Where I got to, where I
came to, because I was working on myself, I saw very clearly what my…
Just like you talked about how we don’t know how to deal with this
conflict. I could see I don’t know how to deal with this and this and this,
and I don’t… And I got to work on myself. And I finally got to the point.
I remember a particular moment, where I felt completely free. I just felt
free. I felt like I could get married if I wanted to, I could stay single
if I wanted to. I can… And I just felt free. It doesn’t matter. I got me,
I’m good. I was feeling so peaceful. And it was very shortly thereafter
that he showed up on my door.

Sade:

Isn’t that amazing how that works?

Andrea:

Do you want to know how soon thereafter? I remember the moment. I was… I
remember the moment, it the was a very… Oh, I apologize for that. It was
the very next day.

Sade:

Wow!

Andrea:

It was the next day. And I said nothing to him, right? I said nothing to
him. I’m like, “I’m good, I am good.” And it was the next day that he
showed at my door.

Sade:

I love that miraculous aspect of the work that we do.

Andrea:

Yes, it’s like magic.

Sade:

It’s like, you keep doing the work, keep growing, keep getting coached, to
go into therapy, keep getting in alignment with where you want to go and
who you want to be. And it is just that moment where the miracle happens.

Andrea:

Yeah, the things fall into place. You don’t go chasing after it, right? It
comes to you when you line up and remember your worth and it doesn’t… I
love that you said it was 10 days for you. Right? It doesn’t have to…
There’s no timeline, right? There’s no magical timeline. It’s more about
alignment. Right?

Sade:

It is.

Andrea:

It’s less about time and more about alignment. And I think, just getting…
I had to get there. I had to get to a place where I really knew that I did
not need him to validate me, to… I didn’t need him. But when he did come
and when he… I watched and I was like, “Is he really ready? Is he… Or
is he just afraid of losing me? Is he just afraid?” And that was really,
really important to me to see the difference. Is he just afraid of being
alone or not having me around? And I remember feeling this really clear
inner peace. It’s okay. It’s okay now.

Sade:

Yeah.

Andrea:

It gets okay. And we’ve been married for five years, we’ve worked through a
lot. And it’s still work, right? There’re still things you have to work
through. But we both were in a place where we were ready to commit fully to
it. Right?

Sade:

Yeah.

Andrea:

Saying, “Hey, I’m all in. I’m all in.” We got married shortly thereafter,
we were like, “Okay, we’ve been dating this long, let’s pull the trigger,
let’s get married. And honestly, when I think about how far we’ve come, it
blows my mind. It blows my mind how far we’ve come in five years. It’s
amazing to me to see how much growth.

Sade:

Yes. I love that because when you’re in that healthy relationship, because
I think that was one of the themes that I saw in my first marriage was like
there’s such a lack of growth. It was almost like anytime any little bit of
growth was coming up in anyone’s life, it was just like squashed by how
toxic the environment was. When I look at my current relationship on how
much growth we have, and how much goes I have in this environment. So,
that’s a sign I think of a healthy relationship that was growth and forward
motion.

Andrea:

Yeah, for sure. Can I add one thing to that real quick?

Sade:

Oh, yeah.

Andrea:

I’ll add that, I think that one of the areas that can be pitfalls for us is
where we look at the people that we… Potential people to date or people
that we are dating, and kind of Judge, are they growing? Are they working
on themselves? Are they this, are they that? And kind of holding it to our
own standard of what we think it should look like. And something I’ve
learned in my marriage is that it’s less about… The way we grow, my
husband and I, it’s very different. I’m a coach, right? So I’m all into
growth, I love growing, it’s fun, it’s fun to grow, right?

Sade:

Yeah.

Andrea:

I love it. And I love to read books, and I love to study and I love to…
He does not, that’s not his thing. But here’s where I have observed. I
have, as I grow and watch him, I extend the invitation to growth, right?
And say, “Hey, this is where I’m going, are you coming?”

Sade:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Andrea:

And open and invite. That’s where those conversations come in, where we
have the conversations that open up our relationship to growth, and honesty
and more transparency. And I have watched him grow. And I’ve watched him
grow in ways that have been really helpful to invite me to step into.
Right? Ways that he grows, that are like, “This is what matters to me, are
you willing to come here with me?” Right? And so I’m just saying that, I
think that we can be very prescriptive about what it needs to look like.
And we can get ourselves in trouble.

Sade:

Yes. Yes, that’s true. I think as long as it’s healthy and safe, it’s more
about the quality, versus, oh, did we check the box?

Andrea:

100%.

Sade:

We all check the box the first time.

Andrea:

Right. Look where that got us.

Sade:

Right. Right. It’s not about checking the boxes, it’s about that real
quality of relationship.

Andrea:

Yes. Exactly.

Sade:

What is the most fun thing you and your husband do together?

Andrea:

Oh, gosh, the most fun… Okay, the most fun thing, we both love music, and
particularly 80s music. And so we’ve been to some really fun concerts,
we’ve been to like Def Leppard and Poison and [inaudible 00:47:53] and
we’re going to REO Speedwagon in two weeks.

Sade:

Oh my God!

Andrea:

It’s so fun. [inaudible 00:47:59] these old school bands, but we love to
just jam out. There’s nothing better than cruising down the road, cranking
the music and we both just will sing our hearts out and look like idiots,
I’m sure probably sound like it too. But it’s just fun. We just have fun.

Sade:

That’s beautiful. Yes.

Andrea:

Simple fun, right?

Sade:

It sounds simple, but it really is very telling about your level of
connection. It’s the little inside jokes, it’s the little thing… The
things that are uniquely the two of you that make all the difference.

Andrea:

Yep, that’s right. I agree. Yeah.

Sade:

Andrea, thank you so much for sharing your story. Congratulations on the
baby coming in a few months.

Andrea:

Thank you.

Sade:

Would you please tell the listeners again, where they can find you, maybe
spell out your website or your social media handles?

Andrea:

Sure. Yeah. So I’m at Andreagiles.com, it’s G-I-L-E-S. I have a podcast of
my own, it’s called Heal from Infidelity. You can find that anywhere where
are you find podcast. Instagram, Andrea Giles Coaching. And yeah, that’s
about it.

Sade:

Awesome. It has been such a pleasure to talk to you. And I did mention to
the listeners that you and I are colleagues, we’re in the same business
mastermind.

Andrea:

Yeah.

Sade:

So, both of us, I think this has just been really fun. We haven’t really
had a chance to have this conversation even though we’ve been in the same
group for a year now.

Andrea:

Yeah.

Sade:

Or six months. Something like that.

Andrea:

Six months, we’re going on our next six months.

Sade:

Yes. So, I really have enjoyed this. I’m glad to have gotten this
opportunity to connect with you. I know this has been so useful for
divorced women who are dating. I know many of them are going to be checking
out your podcast, those who have experienced infidelity. Thank you again,
and-

Andrea:

Thank you.

Sade:

Everyone, please check out Andrea’s Social media handles and her website,
everything will be linked up in the show notes. Thank you for your time and
attention today and I will see you next time.

Andrea:

Thank you so much. Thank you for listening to the Heal from Infidelity
Podcast. If you would like to be kept in the know about upcoming free
classes, new podcast episodes and other ways of working with me. Go
subscribe to my weekly email. You can subscribe at
Andreagiles.com/lies-about-infidelity/. Again, It’s
Andreagiles.com/lies-about-infidelity/. I will see you next time.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Hi. I’m Andrea Giles and I am so glad you are here.

Not many years back I found myself in a life I didn’t recognize, feeling confused, sad, and so small. My “forever” marriage was in shambles, and I didn’t know if I could ever trust my own judgment again.  Through my faith and some great tools, I was able to completely change my life and find myself again. Now it is my mission to help others who are right where I was. Click the button below to read more about my story.

Why was I not enough?

Does this question torment you? It did me too until I learned that the actions of my spouse had nothing to do with me, my worth, or my lovability. Click on the link below for a free guide that will teach you the 3 biggest lies about infidelity and why they are keeping you stuck.

Hi. I’m Andrea Giles and I am so glad you are here.

Not many years back I found myself in a life I didn’t recognize, feeling confused, sad, and so small. My “forever” marriage was in shambles, and I didn’t know if I could ever trust my own judgment again.  Through my faith and some great tools, I was able to completely change my life and find myself again. Now it is my mission to help others who are right where I was. Click the button below to read more about my story.

Uncover the Truth

Enter your name and email below to learn the 3 biggest lies about infidelity.