Ever felt trapped in a toxic marriage and wondered how to escape and rebuild your life?
This episode features an empowering conversation with dating coach Sade Curry, who bravely shares her story of breaking free from a harmful marriage and rising above the challenges of dating after divorce. Be prepared to challenge your beliefs about marriage, divorce, and the responsibility of fixing men in relationships.
We dive deep into Sade’s journey of getting married at a young age due to societal and religious pressure, and the verbal abuse and psychological manipulation she faced during her marriage. Her inspiring story showcases the courage needed to protect herself and her children while navigating the social stigma of divorce and her family’s disapproval. Sade also touches on the fear of making a wrong choice again in a new relationship and how she learned valuable lessons from her past mistakes.
Tune in to explore the concept of over-functioning in relationships, the importance of autonomy, and the impact of cultural and religious narratives on our beliefs about marriage and divorce. Sade’s insights are invaluable for anyone struggling with the aftermath of a toxic relationship or navigating the world of dating after divorce.
Sade Curry shares her story of a toxic marriage, dating after divorce, fixing men, over-functioning relationships, and the importance of autonomy.
Relationships and dating require awareness of needs, and jumping to conclusions can be dangerous.
Sade unpacks her trauma bond with her husband, using Lerner’s The Dance of Anger to understand unhealthy relationships and protect her children.
Sade’s codependent marriage, internal/external pressures, trauma bond, and steps to protect herself and her children are discussed.
Sade’s cultural and religious upbringing, societal messages, fear of failure, and codependency hindered her from leaving her marriage.
The shame associated with failed relationships, labels used to describe divorcees, skipping “married” to “single” on social media, and cultural and religious narratives around marriage and divorce.
Sade navigated social stigmas, used therapy and 12-step programs, and set goals to heal from narcissistic abuse.
Sade’s divorce is discussed, exploring legal implications, cultural messages, and grief and loss.
Sade discusses self-trust, lessons from past mistakes, and the reality vs. fantasy of marriage.
Sade provides support and guidance to help clients heal after divorce through her one-on-one program and lifetime access group program.
Sade Curry is a Life Coach and host of the Dating after Divorce podcast. She coaches and teaches women real strategies for recovering from divorce, rebuilding their lives, and finding love again. Her coaching philosophy is to help women succeed by practicing personal leadership and autonomy in their life, work, and relationships.
Sade: Our brains always want to leapfrog. And relationships and dating is one of the places where I notice leapfrogging a whole lot of it. When it’s like, okay, well this guy seems great. I’m just going to leapfrog. I’m fill in the blanks. I’m fill in the story. When he says one thing, I fill in 10 things so that I can get to the outcome that I want.
And I think I did a lot of that with choosing my first spouse. I just filled in the story. We went to the same church, so of course he’s a Christian. And of course, his version of being a Christian and being a person who is spiritual was equal to mine. It was not.
You are listening to the done with dieting podcast. The podcast for women who are experiencing perimenopause and menopause symptoms and want to feel better – like they did before their body started changing.
I am your host, Elizabeth Sherman, Master Certified health, and life coach for women in menopause and peri menopause. I’ve helped thousands of women manage their symptoms, get off the diet roller coaster, and change their relationship with food, exercise, and stop fighting with their bodies. And I do it through a feminist lens – which means exploring how we are socialized as young women has a huge impact on our current relationship with food & exercise, our bodies, health, and ourselves.
What’s different about this podcast is that we’re exploring your health from all sides, not just food and exercise. We also address the mindset shifts that will make you happier and lead to better health.
My goal in this podcast is to illustrate that the reason diets don’t work long term is because your health doesn’t exist in a silo. Your health and your weight are a symptom of the OTHER parts of your life and how you show up. I want to help you to feel good and live the life you desire from a 360 degree approach: body, mind, and soul.
Welcome. Let’s get started.
Hey everyone. Welcome to episode number 129. Now, you know that feeling when you’ve gone through a heart wrenching divorce or a breakup, and you’re left wondering how on earth you’re ever going to make sense of your life again? Or perhaps you’re in a toxic marriage right now and you’re desperate for hope that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
Now, if that’s you, I’ve got an episode that will leave you feeling inspired and empowered to take control of your life and your relationships. In our episode today, I have the immense pleasure of chatting with the incredible Sade Curry, a dating coach who specializes in helping divorced women navigate the often treacherous waters of dating after divorce.
But what makes Sade’s story even more remarkable is that she herself has been through a tumultuous marriage and emerge stronger and wiser on the other side. Sade shares her journey of marrying young due to societal and religious pressure and the challenges she faced during her marriage, including verbal abuse and psychological manipulation.
We explore the harmful belief that women can fix men, and the concept of over functioning in relationships, as well as the importance of acknowledging autonomy in relationships. In this powerful conversation, we’re diving into the social stigmas of divorce, the family disapproval, and the cultural and religious narratives that shaped Sade’s beliefs about marriage and divorce.
Sade’s insights are invaluable for anyone who has gone through a divorce or who is currently in a toxic relationship. If you’re wondering about making wrong choices in future relationships, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Sade shares her personal experiences of dating after divorce and the lessons she has learned from her past mistakes.
Her divorce is a testament to the resilience and strength needed to move forward and build a better life after divorce. So, if you’re ready to hear an inspiring and eye-opening story that will leave you feeling ready to take on the world and your relationships, stick around because you do not want to miss this conversation with the amazing Sade Curry.
Elizabeth: Okay, everyone, welcome Sade Curry to the podcast. Sade, I am so excited that you are here because we haven’t had anyone on the show yet to talk about divorce. And we’ve had someone talk about dating a little bit, but I think that you have such a unique story and perspective that is going to be amazing for our listeners.
So, let’s start with who you are and who you help and all the things you do.
Sade: Thank you, Elizabeth. Thanks for having me on. I’m super excited. My name is Sade Curry. I am a dating coach for divorced women. And I work with women 40 plus, give or take midlife, who are divorced and want to meet a new partner.
And just tackling that journey after several of my clients have been in 10, 20 year relationships that ended. And this is most of us got married before dating apps were invented. And so, it’s like a whole new landscape. It’s a whole new world and so many thoughts. And beliefs that we come into this stage of life with that need to be resolved to be successful at dating again.
Elizabeth: Yeah. Okay. So, how did you get into that?
Sade: Ugh, oh my gosh. My story. You said my story was unique and in some ways, I feel like it’s like a cliche story, and it’s the cliche story. In my mind, I’m like, literally, all the cliches that happened, happen to me.
So, I’ll start with getting married at 21, which the cliche, the girl who went to college and was like, okay, got to have my boyfriend before I graduate because when you graduate, who knows if you’re going to find a man.
And interestingly, that thought was sort of planted by watching my mom, and watching my sister, and an aunt who took me aside and said, hey, make sure that you are, I think she said, engaged by 19 so that you can be, something weird like that. She gave me like this timeline so that I could be married by the time I graduated college.
Sade: And yeah, and my older sister at the time was not married. And I think all of the women, the hens in the tribe were all like, oh my God, she’s not married. My sister is eventually got married later, but she’s I guess eight years older than I am. So, at that time, she was late twenties, not married, not with anyone. So, it was like, okay, let’s go to her. Let’s make sure her younger sister doesn’t experience the same fate. I mean, looking back, it’s just seriously, what was happening?
Elizabeth: Yeah, I want to dig into that. I don’t want to sidetrack your story, but Yeah. Like, why were they so concerned about your sister not getting married? What did that mean about her or them. Let’s continue.
Sade: Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, for sure. And we can dig into that. I can answer it now if you’d like.
Elizabeth: Okay. Yeah, go ahead.
Sade: Yeah, let’s do that. So, I grew up in Nigeria. When looking at the different cultures, it’s not really that different. In Nigeria, it’s a lot more overt. I think over here in the States, in the western world, it’s a little more covert. But the thinking is the same, and the fears are the same, that a woman’s value is in fulfilling these relationships.
They were worried that my sister and I wouldn’t have children in time. We wouldn’t be able to have children. We would be too old to be chosen. No one would want us if we turned 30 and we weren’t married. We would be seen as damaged goods; our eggs would be old.
All of that thinking came in. And what was interesting was that my mother’s generation, they were like maybe the second generation to be college educated in most of their families. And their marriages weren’t great, right? But the necessity of marriage.
So, they would say things like, well, you definitely have to get married, but make sure you have your own money. So, they saw that they had started seeing that there were some problems with this whole marriage thing, but they still felt like it was necessary.
But you do it, but you do it with all these things. Or if a man was unfaithful, it was just expected, but you still got married knowing that your husband was going to be unfaithful and you just kind of accommodated it. So, they didn’t like the things that went wrong with relationships, but they still felt that they were necessary.
In that society and here in the US too, I think it’s a lot better here because there are laws that have been put in place to protect women now. There were just some things you couldn’t do safely or successfully if you weren’t married or if your father wasn’t holding you by the hand to go into the office or going to the government office to open a bank account or things like that.
So, there was truly a necessity of it to move. Moving through society was just a lot easier. If you had a man’s name after yours.
Elizabeth: Yeah. Wow.
Sade: And it’s interesting, I have noticed that even now, when I think about the years that I was single after my divorce and now that I’m married, it is easier. I get more invitations to events. Now, that I am remarried, I am included more that I am remarried. And so, I think that socialization, that conditioning is better, but it’s still present in society. So, that was my mom and my sisters and my aunt.
Sade: And so, of course, I was like, yeah. Sure. Sounds great. Right? And I was also pretty religious person. It was also taught as part of my religion that this was the thing, this is what women did. And so, I was like, yeah, let’s go. I was always actively looking who was the guy. I ended up getting married at 21 to sort of like an old friend or friend of friend, someone who was in my community on campus turned out to be the wrong choice for many reasons.
And we were married for 17 years. And it was just really toxic from the beginning. He had some mental health issues that were untreated, and he refused to treat them. So, even when he did get a diagnosis and it was like, oh yeah, this is the problem, very treatable, and you can still have a really functional life.
And he was just like, no, I’m just not going to go on medication. And he would go to therapy for three weeks and then stop therapy. And it was really toxic. It wasn’t physically abusive, you could say the classic sense of the word, but now we know that like physical abuse is so many different things. A person may not punch you, but if they pick up an object and throw it against the wall. That is a threat to your physical safety.
Sade: Right. And those were things that like during the marriage, ask people like, hey, what’s going? As long as the person wasn’t hitting you, there was just like, well, yeah. So, what is the problem? There’s no problem. There were always solutions that the woman was supposed to put in place. No one ever told me directly you should be more submissive. I know women who have been told that. I was never quite told that, but I think there was just this air of he’s a good provider.
Elizabeth: Yeah. You should be happy with what you have.
Sade: Yes. So, there was a lot of that. Even the times that I did say, I want to look around and see is this happening to other people. I never got the validation of the mirroring. And I wasn’t someone who sought help much. So, that’s a whole other story. But when I did, I never got validation that what seemed to be a problem was actually a problem.
Elizabeth: Okay. Yeah. Quick question. Did you see any of these signs before you got married and just not pay attention to them or did, they slowly come out once you were married?
Sade: I don’t think the signs were there in a way that I could have recognized them based on who I was and what I knew.
Sade: I remember one time he was talking about how he got into a fight with someone. Like a bus conductor. It sounded strange to me, but it also in my mind it’s like, well, you know, maybe the other person did something. He didn’t have great relationships with his family.
But I didn’t have a great relationship with some people in my family. It didn’t sound like something that I needed to dig into. And I call that problem now, when I’m working with my clients, I call it a “frame of reference problem.”
So, when he said he didn’t have a great relationship with his dad and his mom, and I thought about my dad. I didn’t have a great relationship with my dad, who was also abusive to his wives. And so, because of that, you have fractured relationships when you have that in the family. I thought we were talking about the same thing.
Sade: He was talking about how he was a terrible son, extremely selfish, self-absorbed, exploitative. I was talking about how people in my life were somewhat emotionally our brains always want to leapfrog. And relationships and dating is one of the places where I notice leapfrogging a whole lot of it. When it’s like, okay, well this guy seems great. I’m just going to leapfrog. I’m fill in the blanks. I’m fill in the story. When he says one thing, I fill in 10 things so that I can get to the outcome that I want.
And I think I did a lot of that with choosing my first spouse. I just filled in the story. We went to the same church, so of course he’s a Christian. And of course, his version of being a Christian and being a person who is spiritual was equal to mine. It was not. unsafe, and so I set boundaries with them.
Sade: And it’s one of I teach women now is like, hey, when someone says something, understand that they may not have the same frame of reference as you. So, when a person says, my ex cheated on me. What they mean might be completely different from what you mean when your ex cheated on you.
Elizabeth: Yeah. Getting curious and asking the question, well what do you mean like that, what happened? Yeah.
Sade: What happened there, don’t assume. And of course, our brains want to leapfrog. Whatever outcome we want, our brains always want to leapfrog. And relationships and dating is one of the places where I notice leapfrogging a whole lot of it. When it’s like, okay, well this guy seems great. I’m just going to leapfrog. I’m fill in the blanks. I’m fill in the story. When he says one thing, I fill in 10 things so that I can get to the outcome that I want.
And I think I did a lot of that with choosing my first spouse. I just filled in the story. We went to the same church, so of course he’s a Christian. And of course, his version of being a Christian and being a person who is spiritual was equal to mine. It was not. It was very fun.
Elizabeth: Oh, that is so good. Yes. Like how often do we do that where we just assume that because the other person says, I work out or I eat healthy, that we think we know what that means.
Sade: Yes, yes.
Elizabeth: You don’t.
Sade: Yeah. So, a lot of that is built into my dating process now. I’m like, listen, let’s get it right the second, or third time, whatever. No, let’s get it right. Let’s take our time. Let’s do self-discovery. Know what you really need, what you mean by things, and who the person is that would really match that.
Actually, I have a client who never goes to the gym. She’s healthy and fit. She’s a physician, but she never goes to the gym. And then, I have another client who goes to CrossFit, six days a week. And so, active, or healthy or fit for both of those clients completely different things.
Sade: And bringing that out so they can choose a partner who is the right partner for them is where we do that work.
Elizabeth: Yeah. So good.
Sade: The marriage. Gosh, I could tell so many stories about that. I’ll talk about who I was in it. Just more so than who he was. I was a fixer. I was a fixer. I really wanted to succeed at everything that I did. So, it was important to me to succeed at the marriage because it had just been presented to me as this thing that was so important. It was the most important thing.
And so, it didn’t matter what he was destroying or tearing down or how he was behaving. I took it upon myself to keep the marriage going. To make sure that the marriage worked, to make sure that the children were fine, to make sure that the money was fine. So, I was just in this over-functioning mindset. When looking back I was like, oh my goodness.
If I had taken the energy that I put into resolving some of those issues, I was like, I would probably have three PhDs, a billion dollar company.
Elizabeth: Well, and it’s the lie that we all tell ourselves, right? That oh, it’ll get better, when? Or if I just change this thing in terms of how I’m reacting, then he will respond like I want him to. I think it goes back to, I think about my dating life pre first marriage and second marriage.
But like we’re fed this, or I don’t know if it’s something that young women have that, oh, I can fix him, or I can like dating the bad boy and like being the one, the abuse who like inspires his change. Like, all I have to do is love him harder, which is such fucked up way of thinking about it.
Sade: That shows up so frequently in the media.
Sade: Beauty and the Beast. And every version, every romcom version of Beauty and the Beast. And I love Bridgerton and I love all of the characters. I love it for its diversity and inclusivity and just amazing. But when I watched Queen Charlotte, I was like, there was just that little undertone of her fixing, of her holding it together, of her being there for him.
Sade: It was just there. It was subtle. And I know that of course, historically. She didn’t have a choice. But the way it was presented was that it was good. That was good. I watch for those subtle things in shows now. Yeah. And who loves women being given the role of fixing men more than the patriarchy.
Elizabeth: Absolutely. Yeah.
Sade: Come on. You get a built in housekeeper sex object made bearer of your children, carer for your children. And if you have any mental, emotional, physical issues, she’s your doctor, nurse, therapist. I mean, all for free, by the way.
Elizabeth: Yeah. Exactly. Oh, so good. Okay. So, you’re in this marriage, you’re doing all the things. You’re like fixing all of the things, and over-functioning, which I love that term. I recently got turned onto the “Dance of Anger.” Have you read that book?
Sade: Oh, I read that a long time ago.
Sade: Harriet Breaker, I believe.
Elizabeth: Yeah. Harriet Lerner.
Sade: Lerner. Lerner. Yes.
Elizabeth: Yeah. And so, how she talks about in every relationship there’s someone who’s over-functioning, which allows the other one to under function and not pull their weight. And yeah, I love that dynamic. Or I don’t love the dynamic, but I love just calling that out. That’s perfect. Thank you.
Sade: Yeah. You know, what’s interesting, I read that book during my marriage, and I didn’t understand it.
Elizabeth: Oh. Fascinating.
Sade: I think the noise from my religion, from my upbringing, from my own thinking, my own mindset really blocked me to the lessons from that book. Cuz I remember reading that book, I remember reading boundaries. And sometimes you are just not ready or equipped to take it in.
And so, looking back when people talk about like, your marriage, do you wish you’d done anything different? I was like, I couldn’t have. I look back and I was like, there was just no way. I couldn’t have done anything different at that time.
Elizabeth: Yeah. So, what was the turning point for you?
Sade: So, I had a couple of turning points that I guess you led to the big turning point. In some ways, my turning points, they weren’t necessarily mine. They were external circumstances that happened that I couldn’t ignore. I think if I could have ignored the things that happened, I would’ve. That was just me, and I just own it. So, the first one, I think because the first three years of the marriage, all the toxicity that was there as just sort of made up my mind that I was going to hang in there. I was going to do this.
And I think part of that was also the fact that I moved to the United States from Nigeria right about the time I got married. And he was the only person that I had, right? So, all of my family and friends were behind. It was sort of like that trauma bonding to that person. And so, it was like, we kept going.
The first turning point that I think I had was about maybe 2004. So, this would’ve been about six or 68 years into the marriage. And he was just very verbally abusive during this time, just very psychologically manipulative. And I just found myself in my head just really unhappy. I was doing everything, but there was just always this mind game going on and these put downs that were happening.
And I remember there was a day that I just felt, and I had my older two at the time, and I just felt so sad, so broken. And this thought just ran across my brain. This life isn’t worth living. And I was like, whoa, what was that? Right.
Sade: Right. And I remember I was lying in bed and my kids were asleep across the hall and I was like, you can’t have that thought again.
Sade: Like you are not allowed to have that thought because you have two children. And so, the thought was it gave me a message that something was really wrong. But I decided I couldn’t go there because of what could happen. I couldn’t open that box of what was happening, so I just locked it a lot. I was like, you can’t have that thought.
And I think that kicked me into even more over functioning because then I had to not explore why I felt that way about my life.
Elizabeth: So, instead of seeking therapy, you were like, oh, we’re just going to lock that away in a closet and come back to it. Well, hopefully it’ll just go away on its own.
Sade: Right. But I was afraid of doing something to myself. I was afraid that like if I felt like my life wasn’t living and that was suicidal ideation, but I wasn’t suicidal. I’m sure I was very depressed, for sure. But I wasn’t making a plan and I certainly didn’t want to.
So, I think the fear of going down the path of even considering that that was true of me, caused me to lock it away. I didn’t even want to consider that I was a person who could be experiencing that.
Sade: But looking back, I’m like, oh yeah, it must have been really awful. At this point, it’s hard for me to remember the details, I’m sure I dissociated. So, you’re talking 20 something years ago now at this point, but yeah, I do remember that moment. And so, I kicked him into just more of a function. I really just poured myself into my kids.
It was all about my kids and they were everything, and I was just going to make sure they were okay. Definitely not thinking about myself. So, of course that kicked me into more codependency, I’m sure. And so, that probably took me into another, you could say another four or five years of the marriage of five, six years.
And then, his issues, the raging, the temper, all of that kicked in at a certain point where there was a day that I think he shoved me. You know, one of those like, yeah, people are like, oh, there was a shove little things. That like, weren’t like.
Elizabeth: You don’t have a bruise.
Sade: You don’t have a bruise. But that had never happened. So, that broke me out of like my autopilot. That day actually, I called the police, and I was like, because laying a finger on now in between all of this, that was the raging, the throwing of things, all of that. But laying a finger on my skin was like, it was a line I couldn’t ignore.
And I left for a few days with the kids and then talked to my pastor, talked to all the people, came back. But I insisted that he see a psychiatrist and go to therapy and all of that stuff. So, he got a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and that was when he refused to treat it. But guess what I did?
Elizabeth: Over functioning?
Sade: I bought every book on bipolar disorder. I bought every book on borderline personality disorder. Read them. He did not read a single book. Looking back, I’m like, he did not read a single book.
Elizabeth: Well, that’s because he had you doing all the work.
Sade: Right. He did not go to therapy. He would not take his medication. It was insane. The level of crazy.
Sade: But I was half of that equation.
Elizabeth: Well, and women are taught that we are the ones that are wrong.
Elizabeth: Like it’s your fault, not necessarily that he has bipolar but first of all, that divorce is bad. And oh God, once he’s diagnosed with bipolar, and you leave him. What kind of a b*tch does that?
Sade: Does that. Yeah. Yeah. And if you’re religious, have you been praying for him? Are you a praying wife?
Sade: I’m trying to remember all the phrases, a woman who builds her home instead of the one who tears it down.
Elizabeth: Yeah. Oh.
Sade: All of those have been so ingrained in my mind. So, that was the second turning point. Again, I just kicked into over functioning and kept moving. And I think it was two years after that, like roughly three years after that. Yeah, two and a half years after that. At this point, my kids were like on the cusp of teenage hood. Well, I don’t know if you’ve met any teenagers. They’re fun.
Elizabeth: Oh, yeah. I was a wonderful teenager. I recall.
Sade: Yeah. They’re a lot of fun. They decide that they’re own humans, which they are. But they’re like, I’m going to let you know about it. And so, even though I had created this peace and this calm and no troubled waters, and I had in my mind shielded the kids from all of his issues.
They were like, yeah, but we’re here. So, they started to have their own opinions and have their opinions toward him and not want to do everything he wanted to do. Because unlike me, they were not keeping the peace. He began to sort of attack them. Not physically, but in the same way.
So, the same verbal abuse and the same emotional abuse started with my children. And I could not ignore that.
Sade: What was interesting the day I finally left, there were times in the past where maybe I wanted to go out, I wanted to go to church, and he didn’t want to go to church. He had severe social anxiety. And he wouldn’t want to go out or whatever. And I would want to go, and he wouldn’t want me to go.
And so, I would say, okay, well, you know, I’m going, I’ll pick up my purse. And he would take my purse, or take my keys, or take my wallet. And towards the end, I really started setting some boundaries around that where I’d move money out of our joint account into a personal and I said, Hey, if you ever take my purse, this money is to help me get a cab so I can go where I’m going, because that’s not okay.
So, I started setting some boundaries the last year and a half before the final break. But in my mind, I was like working on setting boundaries and creating a more healthy home. Leaving was still not a consideration. I had still not considered seriously leaving until the day, the kids were going to be in a movie, in a local movie, the next day.
And I needed to take them to the mall to get them some outfits, whatever. Whatever they were supposed to wear to be on set. And he would not let us leave the home. He was like, no, they can’t go. He was mad about something. And prior to that, those situations had always been directed at me.
And this was one of the few times that it was directed at the kids. And so, it became this sort of like scuffle where I was like, okay, no, you can’t stop. They have this amazing thing happening tomorrow, can’t stop them from leaving. So, I was like, kids, let’s go. So, we were all leaving, and he was physically preventing us from leaving the home, right?
And so, we eventually left. But what was interesting and in terms of leaving, what I did was I pushed him away from the door so the kids could get out of the door, and then I left with them. He called the police. And this is interesting. This is where you start getting into the possibilities of narcissistic personality disorder or people who are highly toxic, highly manipulative.
My guess, my theory is that I had called the police on him two years prior. And that was a grudge he had been keeping the whole time.
Sade: And so, I left thinking, okay, we got out of the house, we are going to go to the mall, we’re going to do these errands. And then, we’re going to come back. To me, I was just like, whatever. And that just shows you how normalized. How normal his behavior had become to me. Like that behavior had just become so normal like, don’t mind him, he’s an idiot. He locks the door and pushes people and doesn’t let them leave. Which is insane to think that I thought that was a normal day in the life.
And if he hadn’t called the police that day, I would still be there. Because what happened was, he called the police and said, my wife assaulted me. Yeah. He said, my wife assaulted me, beat me up, and left with the children.
Elizabeth: Oh, wow.
Sade: I know. When I got that call, I was like, this is insane. And the policeman was like, you know, something’s not ringing true, but I just need you to come in with the kids so I can just see that everyone’s kind of like, okay, or normal. He does want to press charges against you.
And I was like, what is happening? And I was like, and I think something just clicked that day. Probably because of the work I had been doing on boundaries. I’d read the Boundaries book and I was like, when things weren’t okay, I was just trying to think something clicked that this is not okay, like he will put you in jail.
And I think that’s probably the phrase that came to me. I was like, he will put you in jail and not even have a second thought. We should probably not go back there. And that was the day I left.
Sade: Yeah. But I wish I could tell you that. I was like, yeah, this is it for me. No, it wasn’t.
Sade: I was like, okay, we got to do some serious work on this marriage. So, I hired these therapist team where it was, he got a therapist and I got a therapist. And then, the two therapists talked to each other and all of that. And so, for six weeks, I stayed with a friend, and I was attending this thing. And he kept saying, well, I’ll come next week, and I’ll come next week.
But because it was separate, I was like, well, he’ll do his sessions and then we’ll come together. Well, he took those six weeks and used it to file for a divorce.
Elizabeth: Oh, interesting. Okay.
Sade: Yeah. And so, he filed for a divorce, and I think that was just really what freed me. So, I wish I could say I freed myself, but it was really more that he took it too far. And too far for me was, well, you filed for a divorce, and I’ve been working this hard. And if you don’t value what I’ve been doing, then I’m done also.
So, that was the moment where I was like, oh, you know what? That’s fine. And that was how the marriage ended.
Elizabeth: So, clearly you had feelings about the marriage, which prevented you from leaving. What were some of the fears that you had, did you even consider divorce up until the point where he defiled?
Elizabeth: Why not?
Sade: I think a lot of that was my cultural and religious upbringing. I think it was just so ingrained in my identity that that was my purpose. When you and I took the feminist certification together and Kara talks about how it’s like, it’s subtle and it’s condition and in socialization.
Well, for some of us it wasn’t that subtle.
Sade: It was actually overt. We were overtly taught that our value, and our purpose, and our reason for being was to get married, and have children and raise good children, and all of those things is actually very overt. And so, I think when it’s overt, so it’s coming at you, but it’s also covert where it’s built, woven into the fabric of society.
I think even when information came at me that said something different, it just kind of like bounced off. Because the stage was just set for it’s like being in a cult. Except the cult is the whole world.
Elizabeth: Yeah. What were some of the beliefs that you had about divorce? And I assume that through your Christian culture, divorce is bad.
Elizabeth: That when you get married, you marry for life.
Elizabeth: Even though you walked into that marriage not expecting to marry someone with borderline personality disorder. Right? And so like, the rules changed.
Sade: Yeah. In some Christian circles, the rules do not change. Overall, I think if you encounter most Christian cultures that believe that like the Bible is like a fact, the rules don’t change. And I think that’s what keeps the thinking in place because there’s no room for critical thinking. You can’t.
I love how I think it was Gregory Peck, a psychiatrist. He wrote this book called I don’t remember it right now, but maybe we’ll put it in the show notes if I remember it later. But he had a little chapter in there called, “if the map doesn’t fit the ground, the map is wrong.”
Sade: Right? Like if you’re looking at a map that says there should be a road here and the road isn’t there, then the map is wrong. Well, in these religious circles, if the map doesn’t fit the ground, the map is still right.
Elizabeth: Or you’re in the wrong place. Like it’s your fault.
Sade: It’s your fault. Well, it’s your fault. You read the map wrong, or you did the map wrong, or whatever. It’s just, yeah.
Sade: You still don’t get to say the map is wrong.
Elizabeth: Yeah. Yeah.
Sade: And so, I guess if I were to put words to some of my beliefs which I think some of them and they weren’t all the divorces wrong because I honestly, I had friends who were divorced, and I personally was supportive of them.
Sade: When they got a divorce, it was just a lot of compassion. I never felt like, oh, they should go back. I think a lot of my thinking was identity based, was more I can’t fail.
Elizabeth: And having a divorce means a failure.
Sade: Yes. So, divorce is failure.
Elizabeth: Got it.
Sade: So, not so much that divorce is bad or that I would go to hell or any of those things if I got a divorce, but that I would fail. And for me, failure, which a lot of people have codependent thinking or over functioning thinking, have a hard time with failure or the concept of failure.
Elizabeth: Yeah. Especially, if you’re this fixer person. You’re like, I can fix it.
Elizabeth: I just didn’t try hard enough.
Sade: And exactly, I just need to try hard enough. And there’s a lot of shame. So, there’s a lot of shame-based thinking there where if you can’t fix it, then you failed. It means you didn’t try hard enough, which means there’s something wrong with you.
If your kid isn’t doing well in school or isn’t doing the right thing, then there’s something wrong with you as a parent. There was a lot of if you didn’t have the external trappings of success, then you had failed, and then there was something wrong with you. And that shame is like the worst.
Sade: The worst emotion to process. And I know for sure I was not a person who could tolerate any of that. And growing up, there had been a lot of shame based incidents and that just created a real fear of shame. A real fear of tolerating shame. A real fear of being in a situation where you could be humiliated whatever that means.
Elizabeth: Yeah. It’s so interesting that you bring that up because in one of my group coaching sessions, we were talking about the labels that we wear and one of the women said, Divorcee. And it was like, oh yeah. That’s such a shame based word.
Sade: Yeah. Yeah. I’ll tell you something fun about that. After I started working on coaching and healing and things. And I think men are the same way, when people get divorced, this is like a Facebook thing. What you see is you see their marital status disappears.
Sade: Because the marital status divorced is actually available on social media. You could put divorced in there. But nobody ever does. So, I went from married to this person to having no marital status. And what most people then do is then they skip to single. Like after the divorce is over and they’re ready to date again, you’re talking two, three years down the line. They skip to single, or they skip to in a relationship when they do find someone.
I remember the day I released the shame around being divorced, because I was doing that work and I went on Facebook, and I chose the status divorced and made it public.
Sade: And so, it’s still one of my proudest moments. And I had divorced on there for a couple of years.
Elizabeth: That’s so interesting. And so, what does that even mean? Right?
Sade: It means you failed. It means you’re a failure.
Sade: It means the one thing you’re supposed to do as a woman, you couldn’t hack it. You couldn’t do it. There’s something wrong.
Elizabeth: What’s interesting about that and this is just thinking myself, that if I were to see divorced on a Facebook profile, that would mean that they were divorced clearly. But if I saw single, that would mean to me that they are open for relationships.
Sade: Yes. Yes.
Elizabeth: But divorced is not. For some reason, that’s so curious.
Sade: I think divorced is like a state. It’s like kind of divorce say, it’s like we have a cultural narrative of it that is like a state of being versus just a piece of paper at a courthouse. It’s a state of being. It’s like this person is divorced. Okay, what does this mean? It means they failed at relationship. It means that they have been cast aside. It means that it didn’t work. Then, there’s all of the hint of drama around it. Like, oh my goodness, the assumption that this person is not good at relationships.
Elizabeth: Yeah. Or they didn’t choose well.
Sade: They didn’t choose well. Hmm, no, that usually doesn’t come with it. I don’t think.
Elizabeth: Interesting. Okay.
Sade: I mean, with internally, we know we didn’t choose well, but it’s not just that we didn’t choose well. It’s that we didn’t choose well because we don’t know how to choose. We didn’t choose well because we are bad at choosing.
Sade: Or yeah or maybe. Yeah. There’s always a little hint of like, you did it wrong.
Elizabeth: Yeah. Oh, absolutely, 100%. Yeah. But when I think about a 21 year old.
Sade: Yes. My daughter is 21 right now.
Elizabeth: Okay. So, the likelihood. There’s so much change that happened from 21 to 30.
Elizabeth: And then 30 to 50. The likelihood that you are going to grow with that person that you choose at 21. I mean, that’s a crapshoot.
Sade: Yeah. And I think this is why sometimes I appreciate some of the cultures where your family helps you choose. And I know there’s a lot of like stuff around that way. It’s like sometimes helping you choose is like forcing someone on you. But we were all like, just let loose to go choose at 21 without any guidelines or without any help.
And in my case, my parents were divorced. And in my mother’s family, I think five out of seven marriages in her line ended in divorce. And I’m like, hey, like this is all these divorces everywhere. I didn’t even get to see a good model to use to choose. So, some people are able to choose just instinctively because they’ve observed really good relationships. So, they know instinctively how to choose. But if you don’t have that and then you don’t have guidance, and then you don’t take the time to get an education on how to choose, oh my God.
Every time I look back, I’m like, yeah. I could see where I could have made a different choice, but I don’t think it was going to happen.
Elizabeth: Yeah. Okay. So, what were some of the things that you experienced being single again or being divorced? Like that status?
Sade: Yeah. Oh, gosh. That was interesting. I lost a lot of friends. There was just this like receding into the background of my life that happened almost immediately with my friends. Cause here’s the thing, when you’re married, you tend to then move with a group of people who are also married, who have kids the same age as you. So, that was 90% of my friends.
And immediately, there was just this, ooh, slide away. It was like, I felt like I became untouchable.
Elizabeth: Do you think that you were challenging their relationships or what was it about the divorce that made them go away?
Sade: It’s combination of things. You know, how people sometimes have a hard time relating to someone who’s just lost someone because it’s just such, it brings you up close with like mortality. And so, we all have these internal responses that maybe make us not appropriately with someone who’s grieving. It’s similar to that divorce feels, the grief from divorce that I felt, and I think a lot of people have said it was similar. Felt similar to losing a family member, having someone die in the family.
And so, there is that visceral response that people had. So, for some people, yes, it was just like, oh my God, I can’t handle this. I don’t know what to say to her. And there was just that backing away. For some people, it was, I don’t want this to happen in my life. Because there’s the cliche or there’s the narrative that like people who get divorced influence their other friends to get divorced as well.
If you Google it, it’s out there, people say that all the time. And they say, well, people who are divorced tend to hang around with other people who are divorced. Well, what actually happens is people who are divorced lose their married friends. And so, then their new batch of friends are people who are divorcing, which is exactly what happened to me.
And sometimes people who get divorced show other people who want a divorce that it’s not the end of the world. And those people get the divorce, they were always wanting. Yeah. It happened with some of my friends too.
Elizabeth: Yeah. There’s so much grief that goes along with the divorce because not only are you grieving the relationship, but then also depending on your relationship with that person’s family, that’s then suddenly severed.
Sade: You’re grieving your identity. There are tons of secondary losses. You’re grieving your identity for those who have to move, which I did. Grieving your home, grieving the loss of your routine, grieving your children’s experiences, grieving financial loss, grieving your identity, especially for someone who has created an identity as a wife and a mother and a pillar of the community.
In that way, your head of the PTA, your supermom, you lose that identity.
And then, that’s not counting your in-laws or even your own family members who disapprove of the divorce. So, my mother, did not approve of my divorce even though she had been divorced, which is funny. And sometimes you have to distance yourself from those people if they are in a sense sabotaging where you need to go. And it’s just loss all around. It was pretty bad.
Elizabeth: Yeah. Okay. But it wasn’t bad forever.
Sade: It wasn’t bad forever. Yay. So, what happened was a month after I left, I was like, okay, well that was a sh*t show. And obviously, I have no idea what I’m doing. That was my epiphany. So, of course the divorce itself took another two plus years to finalize.
But during that period, I came to the awareness that I always just felt like I was this confident, go-getter. I was very successful in my life and in my work and I was earning six figures in our joint business and when I was working. So, I was a very successful person.
My kids were brilliant. I homeschooled them part of the time. I did all the things, and I was like, how did we do all the things and get here? Obviously, something’s wrong. This is really bad. So, I was like, okay, I need some help. So, I went into therapy. I started attending a 12 step program for codependency.
And I think that those were my first four. And then, I went on YouTube. So, this was 2016.
Elizabeth: University of YouTube.
Sade: I went to the University of YouTube to learn everything about narcissistic personality disorder, divorce, codependency. I binge listened to a ton of stuff and that was really my, introduction to coaching. So, I hired my first coach off of YouTube. It was a man who wore these wife beaters and talked about narcissism and healing from narcissistic abuse.
And then, I started following some podcasts, and that’s how I learned about the life coach school. So, it was just really a snowball of learning and understanding, oh, this is why this happened. This is how I was thinking, this is why I did what I did. This is the situation that I was in, and really starting to correct those as quickly as I could.
And so, one of the first things I did was I just set a bunch of goals. Like I just said, okay, let’s just set some goals. Let’s create a direction for where we want to go. I set some goals for travel. I set some goals for my children and their education, which a lot of that had to change. I set some goals for myself and my career. I knew immediately I wanted to be a coach for divorced women. Because I was like, well, I’ve had to piece this together from all of these cause there was no one source that addressed everything I needed.
Some YouTube, different YouTube channels, coaches, books. I was like, I want to be able to be a resource for divorced women where you can come to me and I can tell you from here to here. This is everything you need is here, and you can skip steps.
And so, I set a goal to become a coach. I set a goal to get a job. I went back to work. And I just started snowballing. And what’s amazing is that when you are out of that sort of like that toxic bubble, so easy to achieve things.
Sade: It’s so easy to get things done. Things that I had wanted to do for a decade came so easily because I didn’t have this other person messing with my head, dragging my energy down. Which I know technically he wasn’t dragging my energy down. I was it. But it made such a difference. My kids and I created a more healthy dynamic in our home. It was still hard, but it was the kind of hard where you’re putting in the effort, you get the results.
When you start taking action, you get the results versus when you’re with someone like my ex where you put in the effort and then there’s like some mind games get played and then there’s some sabotage along the way, and then you don’t get the results that you’re looking for. Other people are not pulling their weight. With their part of the collaboration.
Yeah. And so, that’s really what happened. I set goals. I knew I wanted to be remarried. I knew I wanted another partner. And that was one of my goals because I could see where things could be different.
One of the things I did which for anyone listening who has been divorced. One thing that I would highly encourage you to do is to go back through the chronology of the first marriage and look for all the things you did right. Look for all of your strengths. Look for all the things you accomplished. Look for all of the gifts you brought to the table. Everything you did well, I think we don’t do that enough. And it makes it harder to move forward because you think you’re just this failure and you’re starting from zero, but you really aren’t.
And so, that’s one of the exercises that I did that helped me see that, oh, I can create something incredible with someone else because look at all the amazing things that I did. I can create something incredible with my kids because look at what a great mom I was even in that situation.
Elizabeth: Oh, I love that.
Sade: And so, once I was able to acknowledge that, it was just like, oh yeah, I’m off to the races.
Elizabeth: Okay. I imagine that there are people listening right now who are contemplating divorce, who are talking to their partners about their relationship. And negotiating that women who are divorced as well as women who want to start dating again.
And all of the emotions that go along with that. So, yeah. Let’s dig into like how you help each of those different women.
Sade: Yeah. There are some significant stages in divorce. For some people, they overlap, it just depends on what your marriage was like. And so, some people grieve. I hadn’t grieved my marriage during the marriage. I hadn’t done any work at all, so I had some significant work to do. There are many women who are already coaching or in therapy during their marriage. So, when they come out of it, they don’t have the same kind of work.
It’s not a formula. You really just have to look at where you are and everything you want, wherever you are is valid. I just want to say that. Right? There is no formula for like, okay, you do this first and then you do that first, and then you do that next because everyone is different. Your situation is different.
I was told you couldn’t date. So, I had joined the coaching program and it was a religious coaching program, so of course. Don’t date. Stay single for one year, for every three years you were married. And so, for me that was like almost 20 years.
Elizabeth: You’re like, I’m going to be 80.
Sade: I know, right? Be single for six years. And I was like, that doesn’t sound right. So, I ignored all of that and left that group immediately. I was like, this sounds like some of the same cr*p I was listening to before.
I’m going to make these stages kind of loose, but really it’s a lot of things.
Elizabeth: Well and let me interrupt for just a second. One thing that you said that I want to go back to is grieving the marriage when you’re in the marriage. Because I think that so many of us who’ve been brought up in this culture, have this idea that first of all like, we’re prepared for the wedding, but we’re never prepared for the marriage.
And we have this fantasy of what marriage is going to be like. And so, really grieving the difference between reality and the fantasy that we’ve been told. And then, understanding, I wouldn’t say good enough. Every woman needs to decide for themselves what they deserve, which is always more than what you think you deserve. Right?
Sade: Yeah. I love that you brought that up. It actually reminds me of something that I do want to say, which is that it’s okay to leave a relationship for any reason. For any reason at all. And I think there is a narrative. They’re like, well, people are just promoting divorce. And I’m like, you know what? Yes. Well, yes, I am. It’s like a surgeon. A surgeon is going to promote surgery when you need it. And sometimes people need surgery for many different reasons.
Sade: So, there is a reason that divorce exists in our laws. If it was an anomaly or something that was inherently wrong, there would not be passage for it. There would not be it being laid out as to how to do it. The same way, there are laws for dissolving a business partnership. There are laws for giving your landlord notice when you want to leave the apartment and paying the early ending fee, whatever. There are laws for that because it makes sense that this is going to happen.
And it’s interesting that like for decades, the divorce rate in America was 50% and people still acted like divorce was like an anomaly. Okay, so you know, it’s been happening to 50% of relationships, right? Why is this still so shocking to everyone? So, yes, I believe you can divorce for any reason.
The reason I say that is because there is this feeling and narrative around marriage of ownership. The way marriage is presented because that was what it was, right? Historically, the man owned the woman.
Sade: And so, that narrative, that sense, it’s like no words ever get said, but there’s this like, ownership thing going on in marriages and in relationships in general. There’s a sense of owning my husband, my wife. And if you don’t look at that intentionally or consciously, you start to think that you are owned by the other person, and that you own the other person. These days it’s almost like my husband and she took my husband.
So, if your husband cheats on you, that woman took my husband. Well, he was never yours. No other human being belongs to another. And I think it’s really important that we break that. Every human in a relationship, at least as far as our laws say is allowed, is there by choice? Everyone can make any choice at any moment, and we need to make room for them. We need to acknowledge that.
And I think it’s a healthier way of looking at relationships because it helps us reapply, and rediscover, and reacknowledge our partners and even appreciate that a partner is choosing to be with us when they are. And to help us realize that we are choosing to stay with our partner. Taking responsibility for choosing that relationship every single day. We don’t own each other.
So, I think that goes back to like, it’s okay to divorce if you are not getting the intellectual growth that you want in a relationship, and someone is sabotaging your growth. And even if they’re not sabotaging it, like you want other things for your life, it’s okay. I mean, I know religiously, I grew up in a Christian tradition, so that’s not the case at all. This is like heresy and blasphemy. But I just think it’s a universal truth that no human owns any human, and the institution of marriage does not own the people in it either. Like they’re sovereign and they’re autonomous.
Elizabeth: Yeah. I love that. Okay. Sorry I interrupted you.
Sade: No, no, no, you’re good. That was an amazing interruption. Love it. I think maybe it’s different processes. There’s the process of deciding to leave, grieving the marriage. And there is coaching available for even that consideration. Like I have clients that are leaving their marriages. You won’t see much of this in my marketing because I can only say one thing in my marketing for the most part. So, I talk about dating after a divorce, but I currently have a client who is leaving someone who is abusive and narcissistic and she’s trying to leave safely.
It’s been like a six month process to get everything in place for her to be able to do that. So, there’s that part of it. Giving yourself permission to leave, grieving it. If you choose to do that before you leave, you can also just leave and do the work after like, either way.
So, there’s that. That work is different from the work of going through the court system. If you end up having a long custody battle, I don’t do the court work cause that was terrible. Oh, my God, I made all the mistakes with being in court. I just was not good at that part of it. I lost a lot in there.
But I do have a couple of coach colleagues who are amazing at high conflict divorces in the court system. So, I do make referrals for if you need help navigating an attorney, the court, what to say to the judge, all of that. So, there’s that stage. And that’s a really tough stage. It’s another place where I guess you could say you can get re-traumatized.
Sade: When your attorney doesn’t believe you, the other attorney is bringing it, your attorney is trying to play nice. The judge doesn’t want to hear anything about it. Orders get written that don’t harm the children. The court process can be hard, I don’t think that should be entered into lightly. Not because I don’t think people should divorce, but because a lot can happen in the court system.
So, I would definitely encourage getting help, getting some counsel, not just from your attorney, but from a coach or someone who has been through it. You can say, hey, these are the things, these are the pitfalls to look out for.
And then, when you are really setting up your co-parenting is another part of that, depending on who you’re co-parenting with. There can be a lot of thoughts, a lot of situations to navigate with co-parenting. And then, there’s the rebuilding. This is another part that I do work with women is rebuilding their lives. So, rebuilding their money, finances, setting new goals, creating a new career if they want to, or even just healing cause there’s just so much trauma that can happen.
There’s a lot of things that happen in relationships that we don’t even realizes trauma. That people are being traumatized and retraumatized in relationships by things that are just normalized. And so, I help clients with the work of healing. I have a certification in trauma recovery. So, healing, recovering, retrieving their strengths, regaining their confidence just in life in general. And then, my specialty when they’re ready to date.
So, typically, when you’re in the middle of a divorce, and when you first divorce, the first thing which I thought this too was, ew, I can’t even imagine being with another man like that just sounds awful.
I think that’s kind of like common because you’ve just left this person, and everything was just so awful. Can’t even imagine trying with someone else. But after a while, once you heal and you’re kind of out of the fog, you will want someone else. Unless you are someone who knew you shouldn’t have gotten married in the first place. Like you knew marriage was never for you, but you did it anyway. Right?
There’s going to be some people who are just like, that’s just never for me again. But for the rest of us like me, I ended up wanting someone again. I was like, so I think about a year, cause I did a lot of like coaching work. I really accelerated my coaching work. So, about a year after I left, I started feeling like, oh, okay. I think I want to be going out with a guy kind of sounds nice, you know?
And that’s when I started the work of starting to date again or think about dating and preparing to date again. And then, dating is like, its own thing. You have some other thoughts. You bring a lot of women bring fears from what happened in the first marriage into this situation where it’s like, what if that happens again? What if I choose wrong again?
And it’s really, I think my philosophy on that is like, what was missing the first time? Were you missing a certain mindset? Were you missing a certain education? Were you missing some knowledge or some understanding? Like, yeah, you got it wrong the first time, wrong in quotes. But there’s a reason why it didn’t work out. Why don’t we sit with those reasons? Let’s look at what you didn’t know. Kind of like how I’ve laid out all the things that I didn’t know, did wrong.
Well, those were the things I had to resolve in order to do it right the second time. And that knowledge and that coaching and that mindset, it’s available. Right? So, if your house burns down, the material to build a new one whether you build on the same spot, or you sell it, and you move somewhere else, or you decide to rent an apartment, or however you decide to do it, there is material and education and processes available for you to have a new home.
Elizabeth: Yeah. Well, and if you’re looking at your past relationship as like a failure instead of a learning opportunity. Of course, you’re not going to want to look at it. And you are going to have this fear of making the same mistake again, because you’re totally blocking any learning and curiosity that you could glean from that first relationship.
Sade: A hundred percent.
Elizabeth: Oh, good.
Sade: Yeah. I have a podcast episode on my podcast the day after I divorced podcast called, “Why I Married My Ex?” Because I sat with, why did I choose this guy? So, when I went to college, I met him in college. I studied engineering. My freshman class was 300 students, and like 10 women.
And then, of course, I’d met other students in other areas. Like I had a whole campus full of young men to choose from. And I knew that like it wasn’t just that he was who he was, there was a reason I chose him in particular when I could have chosen anyone else. And I wanted to know that.
And so, I did the work to sit with myself and explore what I was thinking, what I was feeling, what my insecurities were that made me choose him and not any of the other people. And that work will give you the self-trust to do it differently. Because you’ll be like, oh, of course, I chose that person because of these.
And it’s not some of the work I do with my clients is to like, help them resolve all those things so that they can have what they want now.
Elizabeth: Yeah. Yeah. So, I was on your podcast and like thinking about that right now. Like, why did I choose my first husband? Oh, young Elizabeth. Yeah. Like honestly, I think it was because he was the one who would have me. Like I felt so unworthy of anything that yeah, he was the one that would have me. So, to know that if something were to happen where I would be single again, that’s never going to happen again. Because of all of the work that I’ve done. Yeah.
Sade: Yes. Yes.
Elizabeth: Ugh, so good. Okay. So, what else do we need to talk about?
Sade: Oh, my gosh.
Elizabeth: We talked about a lot.
Sade: Yeah, I know. We can talk about dating. That’s my favorite subject.
Sade: Dating after divorce. Oh, my gosh. I’m really working on telling more of my own dating stories. Like I’ve been in coach mode for so long, like helping people and being in their stories.
And recently, I’ve been like, I really want to go back to all of the mistakes that I made and just talk about the mistakes that I made when I was dating and how I fix them and how I bring all that into my process now. Cause my process is very solid. If you go through my process, like dating will just feel good and you’ll like coast to your next relationship, however long that takes.
But initially, when I first started, I remember when I first got on an app, I was so naive, I was still naive. It’s interesting to look back at everything that had happened, and I was still like, oh yes, I’m going to go on an app. And then, I’m going to meet all of these guys and they’re going to be amazing. And then, I’m going to get a boyfriend.
And that is not what happened at all. I was an OkCupid. That was the first app I was on, and it’s been a while now. So, this is you’re talking seven, eight years ago. This month will be my fourth anniversary of being remarried. So, this has been a minute OkCupid is not quite the app it was then. And they had a lot of data.
So, they got a lot of data from their users. They would match you a certain percentage with people that you were looking at on the apps. And I think within the first six weeks, it matched me with my ex.
Elizabeth: Oh, my God!
Sade: You match 99%.
Elizabeth: Can you imagine? Yeah. Nope.
Sade: Yeah, exactly. Like I said, at that point in time, I was deep in coaching and learning and relearning, so I didn’t take it personally. I was like, oh yeah, I have got a lot more work to do. And that’s just what I took from it. I was like, obviously I haven’t changed enough. I haven’t learned enough.
I took it as yeah; you have a lot more work to do. So, that happened on the app. The first guy I did, I had a lot of conversations. What was interesting is I live in the Midwest. I am a minority. I’m a woman of color, a minority. And there was a lot of, I never got treated badly. I don’t think anyone, no one came at me with any racial hostility.
But there was just always, there was a lot more rejection. There were just fewer swipe backs on me from the people that I was swiping on because of that. And I mentioned that to let people know that like, you are having something or being a certain way, whether you’re a plus size woman, or a woman of color, or things that are culturally not the standard. And even seeing the effects of that, doesn’t have to actually stop you from eventually meeting your partner.
It might be harder. It might be harder, but it’s not impossible. And I don’t even think it’s that much harder. Once you factor it, it in, you actually start to date in a way that accommodates for how people think in the world. Knowing that there is someone for you. So, the way I responded to that was I was like, oh, okay. That my person might just not be where I am. Right?
My person might not be in this geographical area because of these attitudes. Great. Here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to practice on these guys who obviously are not going to commit to me. And then, I’m going to move, and then I’m going to meet somewhere where I go. And by at that point I’ll be a master at online dating, and it’ll be so easy.
But what that did for me was that it kept me dating until my husband came on the apps. And I was like, oh, okay, well, there you go. And he was right there leaving 30 minutes away from me.
Elizabeth: Nice. Well, and the idea of that we’re fed like this soulmate. That there’s one soulmate in the world for us. And the likelihood that they are going to speak the same language. And again, be in the same geographical area of us.
Sade: On the same dating app.
Elizabeth: Exactly. That is a bunch of bunk.
Sade: Yeah. There’s a ton of people that you could be very happy with. A ton of them. So many. So many, and I know this now from experience, just from watching women go through the apps and being like, okay, who do I choose? They’re both great. Oh, my God!
Elizabeth: Oh, that’s so amazing.
Sade: Yeah. Yeah. Something else that I think was in a couple of other guys that I dated. That was one, and he was so cute. He was from England. He had a British accent, just so sexy. And we went on this date, it was an amazing day. He took me to a really nice restaurant who was perfect gentleman. We had a couple of phone calls after that. And then, he ghosted me.
And I’d love to say that I take the advice that I give my clients now on what to do when they’re ghosted. No, I didn’t know that. I didn’t have me to help me. So, at that time, I proceeded to call him. A lot of times. And then, text him.
Elizabeth: Oh, Cocita,
Sade: I know. I wasn’t ready. I didn’t have the dating education that I needed to date like a grown woman.
Sade: Yeah. So, all of these things happened to me too very early on. My entire dating journey was 18 months.
Elizabeth: Oh, okay.
Sade: So, all of these things happened probably in the first six months of it. Like all of the drama that everyone faces happen in the first six months. And then, I was like, okay, pause. This isn’t working. And of course, at that time I was getting a lot of coaching and I now realized that I needed to take coaching to this process. And that’s when I paused, slowed down, started to understand the mindset, did some digging, reading, put it all together, went back on the apps, and it was just like easy breezy. Easy breezy the second time around.
Elizabeth: Perfect. Alright. So, let’s wrap up. Where can people find you if they want to work with you cause your story, I have just been enthralled this entire time. And I can’t imagine that anyone who isn’t going through a divorce, or has already gone through a divorce, or wants to start dating, wouldn’t want to hire you. So, how do they get in touch with you? Where do they find you?
Sade: Yeah. You can find me on pretty much all of the social media apps. My favorite place to hang out is my podcast. It is called, “The Dating After Divorce Podcast with Sade Curry.” So, you can listen to not just my story and my teachings and tips on dating after divorce, but you can listen to Elizabeth’s story and about 50 other stories of women who have successfully re-partnered or otherwise after divorce. Find me there.
Also, my website is sadecurry.com. It’s sadecurry.com. And you can read my articles on there or book a schedule a call. I am on Instagram, @sadecurry, sadecurry, and I’m on Facebook Sade Curry Life Coach.
Elizabeth: Awesome. And you work with folks one-on-one. Do you have grouped? Tell me the structure of your offers.
Sade: Yeah. So, I have two offers. I have a one-on-one program. It’s six months for dating after divorce. Or we can craft a custom, like one-on-one program if it’s not dating if it’s like wanting to leave or wanting to heal. And we can just kind of talk about it on the call and see what you need to accomplish and put that together.
And then, I also have my group program. It’s a lifetime access program and we have three calls a week plus a Facebook group, worksheets, videos, and a just a community where women are working through all of the things that have to do with healing, and growing, and dating after divorce.
Elizabeth: Awesome. Awesome. Thank you for being here and sharing your information and story and all of the great things.
Sade: Absolutely. Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.
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