July 29, 2020

Episode 20: Should You Stay or Should You Go? with Kate Anthony

In this episode of We Chat Divorce we welcome Kate Anthony!

Kate is the host of the critically acclaimed and New York Times recommended podcast The Divorce Survival Guide Podcast and the creator of the groundbreaking online coaching program, “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”, which helps women make the most difficult decision of their lives using coaching tools, relationship education, geeky neuroscience, community support, and deep self-work. 

Let’s chat about…

  • Kate’s Online Coaching Program: Should you stay or should you go?
  • Unpacking the cultural influence on marriage
  • Fairytale expectations and Emotional Needs
  • Making EMOTIONAL and FINANCIAL decisions not just for ourselves, but for our children
  • Healing your resentment

We hope you enjoy listening to this month’s episode of We Chat Divorce.

If you have questions for us or a topic you’d like us to cover, contact us at hello@mydivorcesolution.com or visit MyDivorceSolution.com

 

Resources:

https://www.kateanthony.com/stay-or-go-group

 

Karen Chellew:

Welcome to Wechat Divorce. Hello I'm Karen Chellew legal liaison here with Catherine Shanahan CDFA. We're the co-founders of My Divorce Solution, a company who's mission is to provide a rock solid financial premise for anyone thinking about or going through a divorce. With the development and delivery of the MDS financial portrait, individuals and couples can now make financially smart decisions and have clarity as to the short and long term impact of those decisions during the divorce experience. Each podcast we sit down with professionals who provide insight and frank discussion about real people, real situations and real divorce. Today we welcome Kate Anthony. Kate is the host of the critically acclaimed and New York Times recommended podcast The Divorce Survival Guide Podcast and the creator of the groundbreaking online coaching program, Should I Stay or Should I Go? Which helps women make the most difficult decision of their lives using coaching tools, relationship education, geeky neuroscience, community support and deep self work. Kate empowers women to find their strength, passion and confidence, even in the most disempowering of circumstances and helps them move forward with concrete plans set on a solid foundation. Putting their children at the center, not in the middle, of all of their decisions.

Karen Chellew:

In addition to her online programs, Kate works privately with clients all over the world. Kate lives in Los Angeles with her teenage son who she lovingly co-parents with her ex-husband, their two dogs and a handful of fish. Kate, thank you for being here today to talk about your mission, to answer the hard questions of divorce. Welcome.

Kate Anthony:

Thanks so much for having me. I'm so happy to be here.

Catherine Shanahan:

Hi Kate.

Kate Anthony:

Hi.

Catherine Shanahan:

I like the handful of fish.

Kate Anthony:

Yes they're the most important really. I said to my ex yesterday, we were redoing my son's room for his birthday next week and I turned to my ex and I was like, "Fish are so much more high maintenance than you ever want to think that they are."

Karen Chellew:

They really are, freshwater or saltwater right?

Kate Anthony:

Well saltwater forget. I just have freshwater. Saltwater are, that's an insane commitment.

Karen Chellew:

Yeah.

Kate Anthony:

But we even googled, we have one fish we call him sucky. He's a sucker fish that goes around the bottom and cleans the algae and we googled how long is this guy going to live? It turns out a really long time.

Karen Chellew:

Oh, my gosh. Well I hope he does his job sucking all the algae.

Kate Anthony:

No he really does. But I was like are you taking him to college?

Catherine Shanahan:

That's funny.

Kate Anthony:

Turns out I'm going to have this fish for the next 25 years.

Karen Chellew:

Oh my goodness, that's hilarious.

Kate Anthony:

Totally-

Catherine Shanahan:

I guess gone are the days when the goldfish dies and you run to the fish store just to replace the goldfish.

Kate Anthony:

Totally, well that's how we started and then we get into this whole thing.

Karen Chellew:

And then you're going to have the conversation, should you stay or should you go?

Kate Anthony:

Right.

Catherine Shanahan:

So it's interesting. Should You Stay or Should You Go? I know I battled that question myself when I got divorced eight years ago after being married 20 years and raising five children with a blended family. The right to be happy is the question that many women, especially in the gray divorce era that the husband isn't necessarily such a bad guy. But you just want to be happy and you have to sit there and tinker with should I just be happy or do I just stay and live my life out because it's not so bad from the outside from many people. How do you help women decide that?

Kate Anthony:

Well, that's a great question and I appreciate that you framed it that way too because there are so many people that are struggling with this just from a he's fine. He's not a bad guy right? I mean I deal with a lot of emotional abuse and all of that stuff and that's a little bit, I'm not going to say easier cut and dry, because it's actually very difficult for women to execrate themselves from those situations. But, even just I think for women in particular the notion that we actually deserve to be happy is so difficult for us. Culturally speaking, and this is part of the work that I do with women in my program right? Is really unpack all the cultural influences on marriage, as well as what's' going on internally for yourself. But culturally speaking, women we are the nurturers. We put everyone's needs before our own. We make sure that everybody else in our lives are happy and we are always last. That's something we have to stop doing.

Kate Anthony:

So from a cultural perspective we have to stop doing that. We have to stop doing that to ourselves. We have to stop doing that to other women. That's a whole thing to unpack, right? But when we're standing in this moment of wait a minute, we have to stop doing it to ourselves and we have to recognize that we really truly do deserve to be happy. That as Mary Oliver so beautifully put it, this is our one wild and precious life and how we live it, this is it. This is it.

Catherine Shanahan:

Right.

Kate Anthony:

And is this really how you want to do it? The other thing that we really unpack in my programs and that I talk to my private clients about is what are we mirroring to our children? I often have people flip the script, right? What would you say if your daughter came to you and was telling you this? That he's great and all these things, but you just feel like something is missing, right? The first thing I have people do because we don't want to get out of that marriage and then make the same mistakes again and realize, "Oh, wait I was the problem." So if you have a depth and a level of lack of fulfillment in your heart, the first thing we have to do is look at that from an objective perspective and really do the work to make sure that this isn't going to just follow you. That your lack of fulfillment is actually because of the marriage, not just because for yourself, not just your own lack of fulfillment. You don't want to get out and realize you're still feeling exactly the same way because that would suck.

Catherine Shanahan:

Right.

Karen Chellew:

Right.

Kate Anthony:

So the first thing we do is the self work. The confidence building, the self esteem, the self knowledge, the self understanding. All of that emotional intelligence work. Then we can start talking about the cultural aspect and how that impacts and then communication styles and stuff. But the first thing you have to do is actually work on yourself, right and so often when we're questioning, we're so focused on the other person. He does this or he does that or ugh, ugh, ugh right? But you got to take that off the table and self focus first, otherwise the divorce rate for second and third marriages is really, really bad. Really, really high.

Catherine Shanahan:

It is.

Karen Chellew:

Right.

Kate Anthony:

It's higher. It keeps going up the more times and it's because we're just like, "Oh he was the problem let me get a new one."

Catherine Shanahan:

Right.

Karen Chellew:

Right.

Kate Anthony:

So, yeah.

Karen Chellew:

So when someone comes to you, how long does it take to transition through that and do that work when they're considering divorce, which is almost like an intensive care situation? So sometimes they can be in harm's way, but also if they need to do this work as well. How do you help them with that?

Kate Anthony:

Well, so I mean it really depends where people are on their trajectory, right? Often I work with women who so if you work with me privately one on one, we have a three month coaching agreement. People want to hire a coach for one session or can I just do it for a month? Then it's like no, you wouldn't hire a therapist for one session, right?

Catherine Shanahan:

Right.

Karen Chellew:

Right.

Kate Anthony:

And while coaching is different from therapy, it is still an ongoing and in depth process that you need to commit to for yourself, right?

Karen Chellew:

Right.

Kate Anthony:

We're not just going to get that answer in one session or even in a month.

Catherine Shanahan:

It's like me with a diet. I want to lose all my weight in a week.

Kate Anthony:

Right, exactly. Exactly. So, for one on one work it's three months and it's pretty intense and ongoing. Some people make the decision and a lot of women that come to me they just need permission. They need someone to tell their story to and have someone say, "It's okay. You don't have to stay." But then we got to do the deeper work. So it depends. For some people they hire me and within the second week we're like okay, we're making plans and for some people it takes three months before they're ready to have that conversation.

Karen Chellew:

Right, right.

Kate Anthony:

Then I have my online program, Should You Stay or Should You Go? That's self paced, right? So you go through all the work on your own and I don't know how long it takes people. It really depends. It's so individual. But I would say three months is about the amount of time that you need to go through the process. That doesn't necessarily mean that it'll take you three months before you get clarity and take action, right?

Karen Chellew:

Right.

Kate Anthony:

There's an ongoing process beyond the clarity and the action. There's so much more to unpack once you've made the decision too.

Catherine Shanahan:

Right. So we're in the unique situation where we just deal with their finances, right?

Kate Anthony:

Yeah.

Catherine Shanahan:

So, having financial knowledge is a very empowering position to be in.

Kate Anthony:

Yeah.

Catherine Shanahan:

Because I have a financial background and upbringing, I devalue the power that actually has. So I just think it's the norm for people just because that's my background. So I always find it really enlightening when I see that somebody can look at a bank statement or a financial statement and feel some piece of mind or when Karen works with somebody with their budget and I talk to them afterwards and I see that they have some enlightenment in their face or they feel a little better about themselves because they understand that, "Oh, I can have some extra money." Or, "Oh, there is a reason that I need to get a job or a reason that I need to do something a little bit better." Or as Karen puts it, "They have a little power over their spending to make their lives easier." It makes them feel better that they can have some control over this and that if they can control the financial part of have an understanding of that, now they can make a decision about the emotional side or they can work on that piece of their life. So to be able to decide on this part of their life, they can now put that into perspective to make the decision that they can decide if they should stay or go based on something else, not based on the financial piece.

Kate Anthony:

Yes.

Catherine Shanahan:

Whether it be tough or hard. Your happiness should not be dependent on your financial life. It should be dependent on your emotional life really for your health and well being right?

Karen Chellew:

Yeah.

Kate Anthony:

Yes.

Catherine Shanahan:

So I guess it would be nice for you, for us we never want somebody to get divorced without any financial clarity.

Kate Anthony:

No, I mean that's absolutely. I don't do that, right? But I always recommend you're going to want to figure that out. You're going to want to go to people like you guys to really figure this out because it should not be part of the decision making process and it has to be part of the process, right?

Karen Chellew:

Right.

Kate Anthony:

So you need to know that people do need to know and they need to have that clarity. Sometimes that clarity is part of the decision making process because it's at least a part of the timeline or part of the timeline or just gathering the facts. Getting as much information as possible. It's like okay you know that you want to do this. Before you have the conversation you should figure out the finances because it may not be safe for you to just cut and run and walk out? And a lot of women I will say I find it, I don't know if you guys find this, but a lot of women are really disempowered around their finances and they don't actually know what the situation is. I also deal with a lot of financial abuse, just even as simple as they just don't have access to their records. They don't have the passwords, right? Which they-

Karen Chellew:

And some banks won't give them access if they had not had a relationship even though it's a joint account. There's so many that will not even engage a conversation with them that we're able to step in and assist that. But to your point, they're in bondage not only to their inability to access information, but in their relationship with their spouse and with the financial institution. Even if they wanted to, they don't have the ability to gain the knowledge that they need to gain without help.

Kate Anthony:

For sure.

Catherine Shanahan:

Yeah.

Kate Anthony:

Yeah and it can be so disempowering and it can make women feel like they don't have choices, right? That's even part I think of the manipulation right? Is to make them feel like they don't have choices or that they don't have the option. For women sometimes to actually recognize that as being a source of power and control can be very eye opening, right?

Catherine Shanahan:

Yes, yes. So when they come to us when they are thinking divorce, we would do their financial portrait with them, gather their financials and let them know what life looks like now, while they're married and what it could look like if they got divorced. Then at least they can go to you afterwards and then work through what your private sessions are or your online sessions are because once you don't have to worry about what it would look like financially, whether it's good or bad, then you can work through what it looks like emotionally to be on your own.

Kate Anthony:

Yes.

Catherine Shanahan:

Because it is a lot. There's a lot. If divorce was easy, believe me a lot more people would be doing it. Divorce is not easy.

Kate Anthony:

Right, it's not.

Catherine Shanahan:

But divorce sometimes is a better solution for a lot of people because it just is. It's just a matter of how you want to live your life for the rest of your life and now during COVID people are realizing after being stuck at home, what do you want the rest of your life to look like?

Kate Anthony:

Yeah.

Karen Chellew:

Yeah.

Catherine Shanahan:

People are-

Karen Chellew:

And even conversely some people the first thing out of their mouth and I know I did this many years in my marriage before I actually made the move. My first reaction was, "I want out" before I ever knew the facts of anything because that's just a fight or flight response I guess. So, when you have that financial clarity and then you have that thought in your mind, you're able to deal with it on a different level if you already know the financial piece of it.

Kate Anthony:

Yeah.

Karen Chellew:

Because for some people once they see, have the financial clarity, all of a sudden they want to work on their marriage or they want to do things to make their marriage better because they are not willing to sign up for what that financial clarity is bringing to them. So it can go one way or the other. It can go, "Oh, I can do this. I can live my new independent life." Or it can also be, "Oh, maybe my quick response should be something a little different." To your point of Should You Stay or Should You Go?

Kate Anthony:

Yeah and I think that one of the things that I often think about or talk about, we look at values, right? One of the things that I really do in my work is values work and sometimes financial stability is a more, or financial wealth or a lifestyle is a more important value than deep emotional connection or something like that, or the business of your marriage or the family that you've created can have more emotional weight than some of the things that you think are missing, right? And so that's fine. There's no judgment there. But that's the work that you want to do to uncover. So it's like, all right you want to look at your financial picture and here's the lifestyle hit you may take. Some people when they see that are like, "No, I'm good."

Catherine Shanahan:

Right.

Kate Anthony:

And to your point they're more willing to do the work to, "Okay maybe I really do need to go to that therapy appointment and actually talk out these things that are hard to talk about or maybe I need to just adjust my expectations."

Catherine Shanahan:

Exactly.

Kate Anthony:

Yeah and I think it would behoove a lot of people to adjust expectations in marriage, right? We're handed this insane I don't know, fairytale from the fairytales, from Nicholas Sparks from all of that. So often it's really like we're not meant to get all that we want or need from one individual.

Karen Chellew:

Right, absolutely.

Kate Anthony:

I think that women get a lot of their emotional needs met from other women and that's wonderful if you can adjust that like, "Yeah probably he may not be capable or may not even be the one." Are you okay if you get your emotional fulfillment from other women? Do you need to really refresh your friendships and really commit more to the friends that you have?

Catherine Shanahan:

Or how about finding that happiness within yourself? I like to talk to the younger girls today and even my own daughter getting married and making sure that you're content with your own life or making sure that you have your own expectations. She's getting married now and it's about communicating and setting out what are your expectations financially and emotionally with each other because things will change when you're getting married. So because we're in the financial field of course, it is the expectations and the boundaries within each other. So, even within marriages now during COVID we're getting all these calls and the emergencies that people feel that they're in whether it be an emergency divorce or an emergency this. Nothing is an emergency. Step back and pause and find it within yourself. So if you need to have these tough conversations, even if it is whether we stay or whether we go, what are your expectations within yourself or within your partner and what are the financials? We think everyone should have a financial portrait whether you're staying or you're going. You need to find out what your financial household looks like.

Kate Anthony:

Right.

Catherine Shanahan:

Whether you're staying together, whether you're divorce and you need to figure out whether you're staying or you're going, what your value system is like you're saying.

Kate Anthony:

Yep.

Catherine Shanahan:

Basically.

Karen Chellew:

That's very important.

Kate Anthony:

Yeah.

Catherine Shanahan:

It's a good exercise.

Kate Anthony:

And it's a really important exercise when I do it because a lot of times I do the values work and I really help and it's deep, it's not just like here's a list what are your values? That's not what I do, right? It's really deep and then you can see, "Oh, these are really important core values that I have that completely misaligned with the person I'm married to. I may not have realized that when I got married when I was 25, but now that I'm 45 that actually really matters to me." Sometimes the misalignments are so stark that it's really clear that this is not a good match. It helps take the heat off of it. It's not his fault or her fault that there's a misalignment here. It's just a misalignment.

Catherine Shanahan:

Right.

Karen Chellew:

Absolutely.

Kate Anthony:

And you can take the blame off of that. You can release all the criticism or whatever and just be like, "Oh wow look at that. Those socks don't match."

Karen Chellew:

Right.

Catherine Shanahan:

Right, right.

Kate Anthony:

One is big and fluffy and made for the winter and the other one is for tennis. There's nothing wrong with either sock, you just don't want to wear them together.

Karen Chellew:

Right.

Catherine Shanahan:

Exactly and what's wrong with having that discussion with your partner? Maybe he feels the same way or she feels the same way.

Kate Anthony:

Exactly, exactly. Yes.

Catherine Shanahan:

Yeah that's an interesting conversation. I mean it's a tough conversation, but-

Kate Anthony:

Yeah and your partner may be like, "It doesn't bother me."

Catherine Shanahan:

Exactly.

Kate Anthony:

But that doesn't mean that it doesn't have to bother you, right?

Karen Chellew:

That's so true.

Catherine Shanahan:

And you can act upon it, right.

Karen Chellew:

Yeah.

Kate Anthony:

You still get to have your feelings about it.

Karen Chellew:

Yeah. You said something interesting about we do everything for our kids and for our external surroundings. I know when I left my marriage my financial picture was fairly dismal. I was young. We were living paycheck to paycheck, but that didn't mean that I didn't need to make those steps forward and I clearly remember thinking, "I not only have to make this decision for myself, I have to make this decision because I have two kids that are following in my footsteps and they're not going to do what I tell them to do. They're going to do what I do. They're going. So I need to empower myself so that they will empower themselves." That's something that really helped me make that decision because it was really hard to do for myself. But because I knew I had to do it for them as well, it gave me that extra little bit of strength that really helped me make good decisions.

Kate Anthony:

Yeah.

Karen Chellew:

I don't know if I would have had the strength to otherwise make that.

Kate Anthony:

Yeah and I don't know if you are having the same experience I'm having, but my son is about to turn 15 and he just had his first girlfriend. He's starting to have these conversations where I'm realizing it's not even specific or linear. But I'm realizing, "Oh, my God it worked." I left my marriage specifically for my son. I looked at what we were modeling and I looked at the toxicity and I looked at the volatility and I was like, "I have to leave this for my son because my son will 100% grow up to repeat what we have." He will choose women that he can dominate and abuse and he will choose all of the things that he was witnessing in our marriage.

Kate Anthony:

It felt like really clear, of course I had to do that. But at the same time there was a little bit of a gamble. Part of it too was, I knew that my ex and I brought out the worst in each other and I had an inkling that he was a better person than he was to me and I knew that I had the possibility to be a better person than I was with him. That together we could actually go on to create something better. Maybe he could marry somebody else that he had a better relationship with and model something better, maybe I would too. The fact of the matter is I'm still single, but it doesn't matter. What he sees is someone, he sees a strong independent woman who doesn't take crap from anybody, who doesn't allow herself ... Every time I've been in a relationship and it's ended we've had conversations about why the relationship ended.

Kate Anthony:

Sometimes it's a mismatch and sometimes he didn't treat me well. So we get to have these conversations and his dad is remarried. I think they have a better relationship than we have, but who knows I'm not in it. But I am noticing now in the conversations that we have about relationships, about dating, about all of the stuff that the messages got through and they really did sink in and the decisions that he's making for himself. He just ended this thing with this girl that he was really into, it was his first relationship, first girlfriend. He ended it because she was being inconsistent. She told him in the beginning that she was inconsistent in relationships. They got into the relationship, she was inconsistent and he was like, "Oh, yeah I don't want that."

Catherine Shanahan:

Good for him.

Kate Anthony:

I was like, "Yes. Yes, I did it."

Catherine Shanahan:

That's good. Yeah.

Kate Anthony:

Yeah, so I mean just to your point Karen that we are. We're making these decisions not just for ourselves, but we are setting the foundation for if you look at your marriage and your relationship and ask yourself, do I want my child to have this relationship and the answer is absolutely not, then you should probably think about getting out of that relationship.

Catherine Shanahan:

Yeah.

Karen Chellew:

Yeah, so good.

Catherine Shanahan:

It's so hard for the women in it though to really believe that. They're in it and they're feeling it and they just can't see it.

Kate Anthony:

Well exactly and that's why they have to do the work. That's why I say you can listen to all the podcasts in the world. You can listen to my podcast. You can listen to your podcast. You can read the books. But if you're not doing the work, you're not actually changing anything for yourself.

Catherine Shanahan:

Right. I totally agree with that. They look at you and they look at me and they look at Karen and they say, "Gosh I just wish I can get there" and what they forget is that the three of us were where they were.

Kate Anthony:

Absolutely.

Catherine Shanahan:

We cried our tears like they have and we've lived those days, they just want to be where we are now. They just forget that we were where they are now.

Kate Anthony:

Exactly.

Catherine Shanahan:

We try to remind them that we were there, it's just [inaudible 00:28:46]. I'm eight years later and you guys are however many years you are.

Kate Anthony:

I'm 11 years later and here's the deal, the only difference is that I did the work. It's the only difference.

Catherine Shanahan:

Right, exactly.

Kate Anthony:

It's not and I always say this and people talk about my ... People who are just getting divorced are like, "How do I create something like you and your ex have?" I'm like, "Girl it took 11 years to get that and it's still ongoing." He texted me this morning or last night and he was like, "Hey, could we have a conversation about our boundaries? I feel like we have to" you know? And I was like, "God great here we go again." I'm exhausted but this is the deal. This is what it's like.

Catherine Shanahan:

Yeah.

Kate Anthony:

You can't compare the beginning of your divorce process to mine 11 years down the line, yours eight years down the line whatever it is, right?

Catherine Shanahan:

Yeah exactly.

Kate Anthony:

Mine was a total cluster 11 years ago.

Karen Chellew:

And I think a lot of them area. I was talking to my son who's older and he's in a relationship and was in a relationship and I think in the beginning of the breakups or whatever it is, there's a ton of emotion. As you do the work, as we're talking about, it pivots to finding a solution or it needs to pivot to what's the solution here versus my anger and resentment and bitterness. So at some point we all have to learn to go to that other place of how do we get to some resolution here? Otherwise nobody benefits. So, if nothing else, I reminded him I said, "Please remember that your dad thinks I'm his best friend now." On that level there was a lot of work to get there because it wasn't that easy all the time.

Kate Anthony:

No.

Karen Chellew:

Yeah and it all goes back to the value system that you were talking about. A lot of us, or a lot of clients that we have come in and they're in a very controlling relationship and they just in order to leave that relationship they need someone else to "fix it" whether it's us or whether it's a therapist and they don't realize that there is a lot of work to do. I've seen with a client and an attorney we were handing over her financial file, she had to go to litigation. She made the comment, "Oh, thank God I can just give it to him and he'll take care of it." I said, "Oh, no. Now more than ever you have to be engaged and a part of the process because this is the rest of your life. You don't just hand it over to somebody."

Kate Anthony:

Absolutely.

Karen Chellew:

So that's part of the work that everybody has to face when going through a divorce. They have to acquire the financial clarity and they have to, to your point, acquire what are my values and how do I do the hard work? How do I empower myself to get to that other side?

Kate Anthony:

Yeah, yeah. And doing the work, sometimes the roadblock to that because doing the work will heal your resentments, right? When I work with clients we do a rigorous inventory and that inventory helps heal those resentments because you start to see, "Oh, look at the red flag I missed there. I missed that one too. Oh, that happened on our second date." You start to look at and "Oh, look that's my parenting. That's actually my generational trauma that has me choose." You really start to dig through this stuff and so in doing so you heal the resentments so that you can go into your divorce thinking of this as, "Oh, look we're mismatch socks. There's nothing wrong with him." Some people don't want to do that. some people are very, very committed to their resentments. Those are the people in my experience and I'm sure probably yours too, those are the people that end up in litigation, right? The people who are 100% committed to their resentments and blaming the other person, right?

Karen Chellew:

Yeah.

Catherine Shanahan:

Yeah.

Kate Anthony:

That's the feeding ground for litigation.

Karen Chellew:

Right.

Catherine Shanahan:

I love that term Kate and I think I'm going to have to borrow that from you.

Kate Anthony:

Which one?

Catherine Shanahan:

Heal your resentment. So I find that interesting because I say it a different way. But I really love that because I always say financial people and attorneys never put the emotional value to a financial document or a financial settlement. They only use it as a straight line item as a financial distribution, right? So they just put what's here and there. They use the word fair and equitable but they don't really know what the term means because couples just look at it as, "The pension's mine because I worked there 30 years. So I put the emotional value to that." The guy or the girl is really saying, "It's there because I had my blood, sweat and tears working at that company all those years where you really stayed home and did nothing."

Catherine Shanahan:

Where when you say that to a mom who's a stay at home mom is saying, "Seriously jackass? I stayed home blood, sweat and tears and took care of the house, the kids, the dog, the fish and everything else. Your dinner, the food, the laundry and everything else while you just went to work and I did it 24/7 and the emotional value to that is so much higher." So as a financial person to me, I'm looking at the emotional piece to all of that. So, letting go to the resentment of me letting you just go to work and you staying home, that's such a good piece for me. I just use it a different way.

Kate Anthony:

Yeah.

Catherine Shanahan:

When I sit with a couple and I review their financial portrait I have these meetings with them and I get all of that out because what I just said to you is I provide that space that they get to say that to each other. They get to say all that, and especially now during COVID. The men and the women are home together. So the man, I don't want to do a gender thing, because listen there's a lot of dads who are stay at home dads and the moms are out being the breadwinner, so excuse me if you're listening to this I don't mean to do that because there's a lot of role reversal now. So I'm going to just put that there as a disclaimer if you're listening I know it goes both ways. But I am still a little old school here. So, but now that both parties are at home, the stay at home mom or dad is seeing that other role and they want to get back to work right now because they can't stand the homeschooling and having to see the kids at home all day, 24/7. They're seeing how hard it is and I bet you these parents are willing to give up their pension because they'd rather be at work right now. They see how hard it is to be a stay at home mom right now.

Kate Anthony:

Right.

Catherine Shanahan:

They're calling now, nobody is saying I'm not going to split my pension because I'd rather be at work right now because it's hard to do the laundry, do the kids, do everything. Being a stay at home mom, I bet you today is being really valued now that COVID's here. So our conversations now people calling is very different. But, letting go of that resentment like you said is really good because there's a big emotional piece to the financials just like you're saying with the resentment work that you do. What was that line again? I want to write it down because I'm going to miss it.

Kate Anthony:

Oh, I guess you were saying healing your resentments.

Catherine Shanahan:

Healing your resentments. I need to write that down.

Kate Anthony:

Yeah.

Catherine Shanahan:

It plays true for the financial piece. It's really good.

Kate Anthony:

When you take the heat off of things and you stop blaming and shaming and all of that stuff, you're left with ... We're not doing that anymore. When you stop doing that you're not doing that and then you've got something else that you create together.

Catherine Shanahan:

Right.

Kate Anthony:

That's based in mutual respect.

Catherine Shanahan:

Right.

Kate Anthony:

And, yeah.

Catherine Shanahan:

So what are your top three tips for people when they say should I stay or should I go?

Kate Anthony:

The first is to this great old 12 step program slogan which is put down the magnifying glass and pick up the mirror. So, let's really look at yourself, and that's the hardest part. It is the hardest thing to do. We don't want to do it. We want it to be his fault, or her fault.

Karen Chellew:

Anybody's but ours.

Kate Anthony:

Anybody but me, right? That's the harder work. So, be willing to do that harder work and look at yourself. Then look at are your expectations unreasonable? Is this just marriage in the 21st century right? With all of our cultural conditioning and the mental load and all that stuff that's very real and then we look at ... Also in doing the work, in doing the personal work, really getting clear on your own worth, right? Knowing that first of all if you're being emotionally abused in any way, shape or form there is help and you should seek it. Because you are worth more. No one is worth being treated like that. They're just simply not. If you're not and you're just unhappy, you deserve to be happy. But you got to figure out why you're not happy and it's entirely possible that your marriage is making you unhappy and that otherwise you're fulfilled in all of those things. It's okay. It's okay to leave a marriage that is otherwise "great" if you are legitimately not happy.

Karen Chellew:

True, yeah.

Kate Anthony:

I say it all the time and it's trite, but it's also really deep which is that you deserve to be happy, you do.

Catherine Shanahan:

I totally agree.

Karen Chellew:

Yeah.

Catherine Shanahan:

Yep.

Karen Chellew:

That's very good.

Catherine Shanahan:

It's really good.

Kate Anthony:

I don't know if that was-

Karen Chellew:

Thank you for that. I think that was. So for your program, should I stay or should I go, how does that play out? Is it different steps you go through? I think I heard you say you do it at your own pace. So talk a little bit about that.

Kate Anthony:

So it's an online program. So, it's go at your own pace. I just to run it live a couple times a year, but at the end of the day when someone's in crisis they don't want to be told, "In six months I'll be starting another cohort." No. So it is self paced. You buy it online. There's tons of videos and audios and worksheets and I guide you through the whole process. I prefer people do it in order as it's presented because they are building blocks. Then, with that I have bimonthly community calls. So twice a week, I mean every two weeks we get on the phone and it's a whole community and a private Facebook group and stuff like that. It was designed to take three months because when I used to take people through it as a cohort it was a three month program. But now it is self paced. So you can whip through it or you can take a good three to six months to go through it. It's really whatever works for you.

Karen Chellew:

Okay.

Kate Anthony:

I'm actually redesigning it. I'm in the process of redesigning it. So I'm going to be breaking things up a little bit.

Karen Chellew:

Okay. Excellent.

Kate Anthony:

Yeah, yeah.

Karen Chellew:

Well thank you for being on the podcast with us today.

Kate Anthony:

Thank you so much for having me, I so appreciate it.

Catherine Shanahan:

Thank you. This is great.

Karen Chellew:

You're welcome. Your work is really important because it really calls for and creates awareness of that pause before you make any step that will forever change the rest of your life.

Kate Anthony:

Absolutely. And it is a pause. It is and I have clients who want to rush, rush, rush and get ... If I make this decision and move and I got to get out. It's like uh-uh (negative). Pause, get things together, do your due diligence, get your finances in order. This is all data collection, right? There's emotional data, there's financial data, there's all of it.

Catherine Shanahan:

Exactly.

Karen Chellew:

Yeah, right absolutely. So for more information about Kate Anthony you can find her on KateAnthony.com, wonderful website and we look forward to being with all of you on our next podcast. Take care.

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