Surviving Divorce with Kids, with Monica Brizendine – Ep. 12

Divorce at Altitude Podcast

For better or for worse, in sickness and in health, till death do us part. When you said those vows, you meant every word of it and never prepared yourself for the end. Maybe you saw it coming, maybe you didn’t. Either way, going through a divorce affects every single area of your life and it’s natural to wonder how you’ll make it through and rebuild your life.  

Former client Monica Brizendine joins Amy Goscha on Episode 12 at Divorce at Altitude to discuss her experience from the initial discovery and selecting a lawyer, to what her life looks like now after her divorce.  

In This Episode:

–       What it was like coming to the realization that the marriage was going to end

–       Selecting a lawyer at the beginning of the divorce process

–       How to get your children to communicate with you as they are adjusting to the divorce

–       Setting goals during your divorce

–       What life looks like after your divorce is finalized
 

Make sure to follow us to continue the conversation on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter. 

What is Divorce at Altitude? 

Ryan Kalamaya and Amy Goscha provide tips and recommendations on issues related to divorce, separation, and co-parenting in Colorado. Ryan and Amy are the founding partners of an innovative and ambitious law firm, Kalamaya | Goscha, that pushes the boundaries to discover new frontiers in family law, personal injuries, and criminal defense in Colorado. 

To subscribe to Divorce at Altitude, click here and select your favorite podcast player. To subscribe to Kalamaya | Goscha’s YouTube channel where many of the episodes will be posted as videos, click here

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DISCLAIMER: THE COMMENTARY AND OPINIONS ON THIS PODCAST IS FOR ENTERTAINMENT AND INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES AND NOT FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROVIDING LEGAL ADVICE. CONTACT AN ATTORNEY IN YOUR STATE OR AREA TO OBTAIN LEGAL ADVICE ON ANY OF THESE ISSUES.

Episode 12

Ryan Kalamaya:
Hey everyone. I’m Ryan Kalamaya.

Amy Goscha:
And I’m Amy Goscha.

Ryan Kalamaya:
Welcome to the Divorce at Altitude, a podcast on Colorado family law.

Amy Goscha:
Divorce is not easy. It really sucks. Trust me, I know. Besides being an experienced divorce attorney, I’m also a divorced client.

Ryan Kalamaya:
Whether you are someone considering divorce or a fellow family law attorney, listen in for weekly tips and insight into topics related to divorce, co-parenting and separation in Colorado.

Amy Goscha:
Good morning everyone. Welcome to Divorce at Altitude. I’m Amy Goscha and I’m privileged to have with me today, my friend, Monica Brizendine. She’s recently went through a divorce just like I did, and we thought it would be really great to talk about what it’s like when you’re thinking about getting a divorce, when you’re going through the process and then what life looks like after divorce.

Amy Goscha:
Welcome, Monica. How are you doing?

Monica Brizendine:
Hi. Thanks so much for having me. I’m excited to be here and chat with you.

Amy Goscha:
Yeah. I just thought it would be great for our listeners to understand. We both went through this journey recently. Why don’t you tell me just a little bit about yourself? How long you were married, how many kids do you have, their ages? Give me an update as to your background.

Monica Brizendine:
Colorado is home. I love it here. I was born in Boise, Idaho, but have lived in Colorado mostly all my life. I love it here. It’s home. I met my previous husband here while I was working in pharmaceutical sales and he was a physician. We were together for about two and a half years before we got married, and then we were married for 11 years. We have two boys, an eight year old and a four year old. Love my boys. Yeah, that’s 11 years of marriage.

Amy Goscha:
Yeah. After you had your first son, did you stay home with your kids?

Monica Brizendine:
I did. When my first son was born, like I said, he’s a little over eight now, and when he was born we jointly made the decision that based on my ex-husband’s work schedule and how crazy that was, and then that my job had required quite a bit of travel, that we were fortunately in the position that I could stay home. I really wanted to. I really embraced that role of stay-at-home mom and I enjoyed it. I think it was a really good fit for our family at the time. And then again, flash forward few years. Had my second child and I just remained home that entire time.

Amy Goscha:
Yeah, that’s really nice. From my perspective, as you know I worked, but my son is still two and a half. It’s just crazy how they grow.

Monica Brizendine:
I give you props for that because being a parent is beyond a full-time job. There’s no break, as any parent can attest. And to try to still manage a very busy work schedule in there, that is a challenge, and I commend you for that.

Amy Goscha:
I think I know you and I have talked about this before. I think as moms, sometimes we have such a high expectation for ourselves. For me, candidly, sometimes I feel like I’m not the 100% parent that I can be, but we all do the best that we can.

Monica Brizendine:
Well sure, we all do. I bet you your son would feel differently. I’m sure he thinks the world of you. I don’t know, as parents we are always the hardest on ourselves, especially as mothers. I think we create that stress and pressure to live up to all these standards and expectations on ourselves. I think as mothers, that’s probably a life lesson we could all consider in the way we live, that our children love us no matter what and we love them no matter what, and to not put that external pressure on ourselves.

Amy Goscha:
Yeah. You were together with your ex for 11 years. My marriage is a little shorter; four years. My perspective is I was getting married to be married for life. I’m sure that that was your expectation as well.

Monica Brizendine:
For better or for worse until death do us part, and I meant it, every word of it. We were together for 13 and a half years and I truly believed in my heart of hearts for better or for worse in sickness and in health to death do us part. And I would have done anything to keep my family intact, but unfortunately that was not in the cards for me.

Amy Goscha:
Yeah. Let’s talk about when did you know you were going down the divorce path?

Monica Brizendine:
In my case, to be honest, I really didn’t have a choice. My ex-husband came home one night and told me that he had been having an affair for the last six months and was in love with this other woman and had no interest in trying to work out our marriage, our family unit, any of that. He was done. I knew in that moment, the finality in his voice, that he had checked out of our relationship and was done.

Monica Brizendine:
I was in such shock. I truly didn’t see it coming. I didn’t think our relationship was perfect, but I thought in general it was a good, healthy relationship. We enjoyed doing things together. We still would always spend a lot of time together, be it just us or as a family with our kids, We still did a lot of stuff together. I truly didn’t see any of the maybe little bumps in the road as issues that were big enough to warrant him to seek that outside love and attention and affection and all of that. That’s a choice he made that I have now since come to understand that I can’t control other people’s choices.

Monica Brizendine:
But going back to your question, basically, I didn’t really have a choice. It was just, I’m going down this route of divorce now because he’s had an affair and that’s that, and he wants out. I knew in that moment, I did not want to be married to someone who didn’t want to be married to me. I wasn’t going to sit there and kill myself trying to work something out when I knew that he wasn’t going to equally try.

Amy Goscha:
Right. Putting all that just hard, hard emotion aside, what did you think about related to your children? I just could imagine, you just felt like you had to pick up the pieces and figure out how to move forward.

Monica Brizendine:
Yeah. That was for sure the hardest component in all of this, the hardest piece. Not knowing how to navigate what the message would be to them very simply, like why is dad moving out? How to explain at their level that is age appropriate of this is what’s happening and mom and dad still love you boys very much, but mom and dad aren’t going to live together anymore. A four year old doesn’t understand the word divorce. That was definitely what caused the most stress and anxiety for me is that I was scared to death of what the future was going to look like for them. How much time was I going to lose with them, all of those things. That was a very, very stressful period for me.

Amy Goscha:
So when you’re going through that, Monica, obviously everyone needs support, did you reach out to family and friends? How did you start navigating knowing that you were about to go down this path?

Monica Brizendine:
I did … honestly, very lucky and very thankful for the true love and support I have seen from my friends and family. My mom and stepdad, my sister, some of my amazing friends that I’ve had going back to childhood friends and even more recently friends in the last few years that I have developed really close relationships with in my neighborhood that have been absolutely phenomenal to me. I truly think that that was the make or break for me of surviving this process.

Monica Brizendine:
I don’t know how someone would do it without the support of friends and family. I think it’s so critical to your mental health and your ability to process all of this. People who have known you from before, during and now after, and that can see you for who you are and pull you out of that dark hole in those dark moments and be your support system, like I said, I truly don’t know how I would’ve navigated this without those people in my life and I’m very fortunate for that.

Amy Goscha:
Yeah. From my experience, it’s like I had to channel a lot of inner strength. Do you feel the same way?

Monica Brizendine:
Absolutely.

Amy Goscha:
Do you feel like you’re a stronger person going through this?

Monica Brizendine:
I do. I think that I have had plenty of tests in the past with things that have happened in my life, but this was definitely the ultimate test. Like I said, the biggest piece at stake in all of this was my children’s mental health and wellbeing and not wanting them to feel like they’re coming from this broken home. I wanted so badly that family unit intact for them. Like I said, that was just such a dark period and having to pull myself out of that, how can you not come out stronger? It’s by force. You don’t have a choice. You can make the choice to, I don’t know, cave, I guess, for lack of a better word or you make the choice that I have to get through this for my children.

Monica Brizendine:
I think even people facing divorce that even don’t have children, for yourself, you have to find that place deep down inside that, no, I deserve better. I deserve to be happy and I have to pull myself out of this. I have to. There’s just no other choice.

Amy Goscha:
Yeah. Let’s talk about after you got over that initial shock … I’m sure getting conversations with family and friends. How did you navigate starting the divorce process? How did you find a lawyer?

Monica Brizendine:
For me, fortunately I have a very dear friend who was going through some child custody issues and had found herself a wonderful lawyer; you. And she referred me. That truly was a godsend because I do believe that process is really about finding someone that you connect with and fit well with and that you feel like really understands you. In our case, your office offered to set up an initial Zoom consultation. I felt like when we got on that Zoom and I met you for the first time I’m like, “Oh, here’s another mom with young children. She really gets what my stressors are and how important keeping all the time with my kids that I can.” All these things that I felt like we really connected on that level.

Monica Brizendine:
I guess I would just say my best piece of advice for people who are unfortunately going down this road is again, tap into the resources of the people you know, and look for referrals from people who’ve been through it and they can speak to their personal experience and can help guide you. Lean on the people who have been through it because there are people, and there’s nothing speaking with someone who has been through it themselves and they really understand. They can be a good referral source.

Monica Brizendine:
I think you also have to do your homework. Make sure the person you’re hiring is looking out for your best interests. Do your Zoom consultation and ask those questions. In my case, I felt very fortunate to have found you from that referral because I felt like that initial Zoom I just knew that you were the perfect fit for me and had the legal strength and knowledge, but also the combination of understanding and compassion. I really was looking for that combination, and so I am very thankful to my friend who referred me to you.

Monica Brizendine:
I think for other people who are just listening to this and looking for that perfect person, like I said, reach out to your network, do your research and make sure that gut instinct that you get of whether that person is a good fit for you or not, you listen to that instinct because it’s there for a reason.

Amy Goscha:
Yeah. That’s great. I mean, even me, as a family lawyer, I hired my own lawyer. I did the same thing; I leaned on my network. In my case, one of my mentors is a judge, so I talked to her about, who should I hire? I just really leaned on the people that I trust and that’s how I found my lawyer. Also I hired a mom who was pregnant.

Monica Brizendine:
She could relate.

Amy Goscha:
Yeah. She knew exactly what I was going through, had a young child. I think having the legal knowledge and then the compassion for your situation.

Amy Goscha:
I remember, Monica, when we did our initial Zoom console. I think the thing that really resonated with me with you that I really connected on was at the time Hunter, my son, was going through some testing. You had some experience with that. I think we really connected on that level to be like, “Wow, these are real things that we both have gone through.”

Monica Brizendine:
These are real stressors in life and making sure that my four year old was going to get all of the help and support that he was going to need in the future … Having a child on the spectrum is definitely challenging. That was quite honestly my number one priority of making sure that he was going to get all of the help that he would need, and that that piece of all of this divorce was secure.

Monica Brizendine:
Like you said, I definitely remember that moment. When I speak to feeling like you have to connect with the person that you’re going to hire … Again, as someone who had never been through this and not really knowing what the process looked like, you’re disclosing your whole life to this person; your finances, inside and out, top to bottom, your lifestyle, the way you parent, everything. It’s a very intimate process, and you have to feel like the person you are working with, like I said, has the knowledge, but also has the understanding and compassion. That’s where I say, when you meet them, Zoom nowadays, whatever it’s going to be, you have to really listen to that gut instinct of is this person a good fit for me?

Amy Goscha:
Yeah. I do tell perspective clients you’re giving me your life and the fate of the outcome, you have to 100% trust that person.

Monica Brizendine:
Yeah. I feel like it’s honestly, one of the most important decisions you’ll probably ever make because you made this decision to commit to this spouse and for a myriad of reasons, it didn’t work for different people and then now you’re in this position where … Especially for someone like myself, where I was a stay-at-home mom, I had given up my career, all of that, I was instantly in this position of how am I going to make sure I am protected and secure and financially supported so that I can do that for my children. Yeah. The financial disclosure process, all of that, it’s so extensive and you have to really trust the person you’re allowing to make all these decisions for you.

Amy Goscha:
Okay. Why don’t we talk about day-to-day life? Once you made this decision, hired a lawyer to go down the divorce path, how did you navigate life for yourself and for your children?

Monica Brizendine:
I mean, it’s definitely had its challenges. There’s good days and bad I guess like any situation in life. In the beginning I tried to really truly just focus on this one day at a time thing. It can be so overwhelming. And I tried to really just, “Okay. Today I need to get this set of documents to my lawyer, then I need to take my son to speech therapy,” whatever it is, plan out my day, try my best to stick to my plan, that helped me compartmentalize getting done the stuff that I needed to do to get through the process, but also keep it within boundaries of, I can’t stay up until 3:00 in the morning to do this. That’s not good for me.

Monica Brizendine:
So trying to find a balance of maintaining some sort of normalcy and stability for my kids, their day-to- day routine, I tried my very best not to have that disrupted at all. And to be fair, I think my ex-husband did as well. We did try to really keep communication as good as we could centered around the kids and keep their lives as normal as it could be given all the changes. Their schedule of school and extracurricular activities and all that was unchanged, and we tried to really stick to that.

Monica Brizendine:
For me, that was the time, especially in the beginning where I really leaned on my support system a lot. I’m so thankful that those people were there for me the way that they were. I tried to also really focus on my own mental health in this, because there is no denying that divorce takes a drastic toll on your mental health, It was emotionally, physically, mentally exhausting. Again, it was very hard, but I tried to develop some habits for myself of going for walks around the lake and my neighborhood, getting on my Peloton, whatever it might be to have that mental break for myself.

Monica Brizendine:
A really important piece to this I would say for those listening is figure out what will help you get into a better mental state. Even if it’s just for that 30 minutes that you’re out walking or 20 minutes that you’re doing yoga or whatever, whatever allows you a little bit of a release, figure that out and take it because you can’t get through this process if you don’t find some form of release in my opinion, because it is very stressful.

Amy Goscha:
Agreed.

Monica Brizendine:
Absolutely.

Amy Goscha:
Yeah. Anxiety provoking and it’s hard to sleep. And then the other piece you hit on was mental health. I always recommend to my clients going through this, and I took my own advice going through this, is sometimes it helps to get a therapist. We’re at least in a time where therapy it’s looked at as a positive thing. I think therapy is good. I took advantage of that, and I do think that it definitely helped me, but also like you said, getting some exercise or just something that you can focus on that gets you away.

Monica Brizendine:
Yeah. Whatever hobby, whatever love, whatever just gives you that 30 minutes, whatever release that you can fit into your day, I think it’s really important to find the time. Make it happen. Find the time and take care of your mental health. And if for no other reason, for me, especially, I felt like I need that so that I can be a better mom and not be a mess in front of my kids. I need to be able to do something for myself when they’re gone at school or whatever so that then when they’re home, I can focus on them and be in a better mental state for their sake.

Amy Goscha:
Yeah. Did you think about that a lot, like how to hold it together, so you could be strong for them?

Monica Brizendine:
Every day.

Amy Goscha:
What really helped you?

Monica Brizendine:
It’s hard. There’s moments where you think you’re doing okay … Especially my eight year old, he’s obviously old enough to really be observant. He’s an observant kid. He said something to me one day about, “Mom, I don’t like seeing how you cry every day.” That was my wake up aha moment where I was like, “Okay, I need to talk to a counselor. I need to talk to my doctor and get some help because I don’t want my memory of my eight year old to be that mom walked around crying all the time. That’s not good for anyone. It’s not good for me.” Like I said, that was my aha moment where I thought to myself, “I need to make some changes because this isn’t good for any of us.”

Amy Goscha:
Yeah. I definitely did the same thing. How have your children done through this process? It sounds like you really tried to keep things normal for them. You’ve kept them in their house. How did they do through the process?

Monica Brizendine:
I tried my best, of course. I think like any human being, they have their good days and their bad. My older son, I think again being eight, just being more aware, he’s had a harder time with the physical transition of having to go stay at dad’s apartment sometimes now. This house is his home base. His best friend is right across the street. It’s home. He I think initially had the hardest time with the why to all of this. Wanting to know, why did dad go get an apartment? Why do I need to go stay there? Why, why, why? Wanting deeper answers than what I could give and what I could disclose to him that would be age appropriate.

Monica Brizendine:
A totally different situation I feel like with my four year old. Again, being on the spectrum and maybe just the way he processes things, the way he communicates, the disruption to his normal daily routine was very hard on him. I think the fact that he couldn’t communicate that and really verbalize that, has definitely been a challenge. I am working with his therapy team, his school team, everyone to really try to get him back to that sense of stability and normalcy.

Monica Brizendine:
But how can you feel stable when you’re going back and forth between two different houses? It’s a lot for kids. I feel like they don’t have the communication skills or the processing skills to really understand why they feel the way they feel. They can’t properly verbalize it, and it’s very stressful for them.

Monica Brizendine:
A lot of the time I spent talking to my counselor was about tools to use to help my children through this process because, especially my eight year old completely refused to speak to a counselor himself, but I knew that he needed help, I see it very, help processing. I would spend a lot of time talking to her about, “Okay, give me tools that I can use to help my son.” I think that to your point of everyone has their own feelings about therapy and counseling and all of that, I personally agree with you, it doesn’t have to have the negative stigma that it used to, and I think it can absolutely be a positive thing. I hope that as my kids get older, that they will be more willing to talk to people. I’m definitely working on it.

Amy Goscha:
Yeah. You mentioned tools. Can you give an example of a tool that has been really helpful when you’re dealing with your oldest?

Monica Brizendine:
Yeah. When he comes home from school and it’s, “How was your day?” “Fine.” “Did you learn anything new today?” “No.” These very one worded answers … he wasn’t opening up to me. He wasn’t communicating with me. She gave me a lot of kind of ways of reversing those questions to get the dialogue going. Honestly, if you even Google it, there’s some pretty simple lists of questions to ask your kids after school to get them talking. Some of them are really kind of interesting … Okay, if today was science lab day, “What did you do in science lab that was new or different?” That’s just one example. Because they can’t give a one word answer. “What was new or different specifically in that specialty today?” It forces the dialogue.

Monica Brizendine:
That’s been one thing I’ve been really working on with him is trying to really create the environment for a good, healthy dialogue, because my hope is that at some point if he can talk to me more freely about science lab or whatever, maybe someday he’ll be able to talk to me more freely about his feelings about his dad moving out or whatever the case may be, and just creating that environment and that relationship between him and I, where he knows he can talk to me about anything and everything. That’s been a huge goal of mine right now is to just make sure he knows he can talk to me.

Amy Goscha:
Yeah, that’s great, Monica. I have obviously a younger child than you. One of my considerations with divorces … I talked to a child psychologist who talked about how really their long-term memory isn’t 100% until they’re three and better. They just won’t know any different. One thing I’m noticing is that Hunter has kind of some separation anxiety symptoms because they’re still going through that attachment … going to be a secure attachment or insecure attachment. That’s one thing I’m working on is just changing I guess, the frequency of the exchanges for Hunter so he’s not away from each parent for a long period of time. Because they can’t really verbalize. They’re just getting their language going.

Amy Goscha:
I know as moms, we’re always trying to figure out like, “Okay, where are they? What can we do to help?” The tools change, like the tools that you’re using for your eight year old are different than for your four year old. Right?

Monica Brizendine:
Absolutely. I’m trying to figure out what is developmentally appropriate for different children’s ages and different children’s personalities is tough. Talk to your pediatrician, to a counselor. I found a counselor that just did general family counseling. She, like I said, was able to speak to the aspect of children at different developmental stages. One of the things she talked extensively about was that from a range of five to 10, they go through this phase in their development where they want to fix things.

Monica Brizendine:
That really made a lot of sense to me when I saw the way Camden would ask questions and cry and get very emotional about certain aspects to this, he was trying to fix us and he had no idea the reason why we couldn’t be fixed. But when my counselor explained all of that from a developmental perspective, under five they’re much more kind of personal needs driven, I’m hungry, I’m thirsty, I’m tired, I’m whatever, and their sole purpose is to get their needs met. But then around five or six, they start to develop this psyche that leans towards wanting to help others fix things.

Monica Brizendine:
I really saw that in my eight year old. It was interesting to watch, interestingly in a sad way, of course. But when I spoke to that counselor, it made sense when she explained that to me. That’s where I think a good counselor can really be very helpful in the process.

Amy Goscha:
Yeah. What resonated with me, what you just said is, going through the divorce process there’s so much you’re navigating. It’s uncertain. For me too, a lot of times I would just get some certainty from my counselor about, “Okay, this is how I should handle this situation.” Or just even understanding what they’re going through gives you probably more of a sense of like, “Okay, here’s what I need to do.” Yeah, that really helps.

Amy Goscha:
One thing I ask my clients in an initial consultation is, if you were to wave a magic wand, what do you want out of the divorce process? I think I probably asked you that when we initially talked. Do you remember what your answer was? What was your answer coming out of the divorce?

Monica Brizendine:
I remember, and I’m thankful to report that you achieved all of those goals for me. I had two primary goals and then a couple of ancillary goals. My two primary goals were securing all of the therapy that my younger son may need basically until he’s an adult, be it ABA therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, any additional therapy that may or may not be necessary as he develops. I wanted to make sure that his dad had to cover all of that because I felt so unsure about my future, but I knew that his dad would always be able to work and make a good living, and that as long as all of that therapy was secured on the medical side for my younger son specifically, that was my top goal.

Monica Brizendine:
Second was to keep our primary residence and not have to move my children. As their primary caretaker and knowing that they would spend 75% of the nights of the month with me, I did not want them to have to move, leave their neighborhood where they have really developed these roots. We all have, and we’ve only been here for not quite six years, but we’ve really established these routes here of our friends and our support system and my kids’ friends. I did not want to uproot them from that. Amongst all the other changes going on, I just could not stomach the thought of having them have to move. So kudos to you, I was able to stay in this house and secure the medical care for my children moving forward. Those were my top priorities.

Amy Goscha:
Yeah, so just creating that stability for you and the children. Actually one question I do have for you. Your divorce, you were able to get through it really quickly, correct?

Monica Brizendine:
I will admit, I made it my mission that you don’t get to have an affair and drag your feet and still be married to me a year from now. You made your decisions. It’s very clear and I want out immediately. I know there’s this 92 day wait period or whatever in Colorado, but like I said, I really made it a priority to anytime your office asked me for documentation, any of the paperwork of anything, I was like, I will get this to her within 24 hours. I just felt like there’s no reason to drag this on. It doesn’t serve anyone.

Monica Brizendine:
I didn’t mean it in a way of rushing. It just was that I can’t imagine living in this limbo state of unknown until it’s final, not really knowing like, “Okay, will this house really be mine for me and my kids,” all of these different components. I’m just not the type of person to be able to survive in that unknown state for very long. I knew that of myself. I knew I needed the finality to ever regain any sense of security in my life and to know what my situation was going to look moving forward and get this done so that I can know what my future will be.

Amy Goscha:
Yeah. You’re the ideal client. You’re every client that every divorce lawyer wants; really super nice to work with, gets everything to us. When I think of an ideal client, you’re the stellar.

Monica Brizendine:
Well, I just felt like it doesn’t serve anyone to have this drag on for a year or whatever. You hear those stories of these divorces dragging on for two years. I just think I can’t live my life in this state of conflict and fighting and upheaval and the unknown. Going back to the mental health component, that would not have been good for me. I realized that very early. I just thought, I just need to get this done.

Amy Goscha:
So now that you’re divorced, I’m divorced, let’s talk a little bit about what life is like now. What do you do on a day-to-day basis to keep your life going in the direction that you want?

Monica Brizendine:
Yeah. Well again, good days and bad. I feel in general, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel in the sense that at least there are more good days than bad now. There are still those bad days. I’m not going to deny that. I still really struggle with the why behind all of this and the how. How could he do this to our family first and foremost, our family unit, our kids? I try to really focus on understanding that I can’t change the past, and now all I can do, as cliche as it may sound, is focus on the future for me on my kids and try to maintain that normalcy in their life and try to keep them on a consistent schedule as much as I can, keep them in their activities that they enjoy.

Monica Brizendine:
For me, it’s really been a lot of leaning on my support system still of going out for girl’s night dinner or pedicures with friends, whatever it may be to not isolate myself, because I think that would be very easy to do and to make myself get out there for me and just do things I enjoy. I had to really take a step back and look at “Well, what are things I enjoy for me? Not things I enjoyed doing because I was doing them with my now ex-husband, but what are the things I enjoy? I had to really step back and think about that.

Monica Brizendine:
I think you and I talked about one time, at one point you really enjoyed running. Okay. What about a run club? Just things where you have to really step outside of your comfort zone and make yourself do things that maybe you wouldn’t have done when you were married. It’s okay to try new things and to want to do different things for yourself, and that’s okay.

Amy Goscha:
Because it’s so easy being in married and mom mode to just think about everyone else’s needs-

Monica Brizendine:
We are always last.

Amy Goscha:
Yeah.

Monica Brizendine:
And now on the days I don’t have them, it would be really hard to just sit at home in this house without my kids here. The house we built to raise them as a family, it would be really hard on me psychologically. So I thought I need to do stuff for me and keep myself busy.

Amy Goscha:
Yeah. That’s great. I think overall, Monica, you’re doing great. You have a great attitude.

Monica Brizendine:
Thank you.

Amy Goscha:
You really are doing a good job. Here’s to come to the future, both of us are just on the other side of it, but I think we both have bright futures. We’ll both be happy. Life does move forward and it doesn’t have to be all bad even though it’s a hard situation.

Monica Brizendine:
I think when you’re in it, it’s so hard to see that light at the end of the tunnel, and you think that you’re never going to get there and that is totally relatable and totally understandable. Again, it sounds cliche to say, but you will, and there is light at the end of the tunnel and you’ll be okay.

Amy Goscha:
A lot of my clients talk to me about, “Well, am I going to have to live like I’m a college student?” And it’s like, “No. You’re not going to have to do that.” So sometimes just the patience and just relying on people.

Monica Brizendine:
The storm can’t last forever, and after the storm comes a beautiful rainbow.

Amy Goscha:
I love that. Here’s hoping. Well, great. We’ll have to do a follow-up episode months down the road to check in. Thank you, Monica. It’s been a pleasure talking with you today. I appreciate it.

Amy Goscha:
If you want to learn more about the podcast, you can email me at amy@kalamaya.law, or you can call me at 970-306-6178.

Amy Goscha:
Thanks Monica.

Monica Brizendine:
Thanks Amy.

Ryan Kalamaya:
Hey everyone, this is Ryan again. Thank you for joining us on Divorce at Altitude.

Ryan Kalamaya:
If you found our tips, insight or discussion helpful, please tell a friend about this podcast. For show notes, additional resources or links mentioned on today’s episode visit divorceataltitude.com. Follow us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to it. Many of our episodes are also posted on YouTube. You can also find Amy and me at kalamaya.law or 970-315-2365. That’s K-A-L-A-M-A-Y-A.law.

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