Kate Anthony returns to the show this week! She joins me in a conversation on how women can best maneuver relationships in today’s world. We also discuss making the difficult decision to stay in or leave your marriage. Kate’s passion is to empower women to find their strength and confidence even in the most disempowering of circumstances, and our conversation is a perfect example of her mission in action.

Kate Anthony 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? 

We talk about:

  • How the patriarchy has affected women’s ability to find happiness and fulfillment in their long term relationships (9:39)
  • Narcissistic abuse vs. narcissism and relationships (15:30)
  • Why you shouldn’t stay in a relationship for your kids’ sake (21:09)
  • You can’t do the healing work or heal from trauma while you are still experiencing it (32:02)
  • Kate answers, “Should you be best friends with your ex?”  (38:54)
  • How to co-parent within a high conflict divorce (43:30)


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Kate Anthony 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, putting their children at the center (not in the middle) of all decisions.

Kate lives in Los Angeles with her son (whom she lovingly co-parents with her ex), two pups, and a handful of fish.

Right-click to download the .mp3



Kate 00:00
We are choosing from unconscious parts of ourselves and if we don't do the work to heal our trauma and our wounds, we're still going to be using those same unconscious wounded parts of ourselves to pick someone who may look entirely different on the outside, but often the outcome is the same because we're the common denominator.

Andrea 00:23
You're listening to Make Some Noise Podcast episode number 458 with guest Kate Anthony.

Welcome to Make Some Noise Podcast, your guide for strategies, tools and insight to empower yourself. I'm your host, Andrea Owen, global speaker, entrepreneur, life coach since 2007, and author of three books that have been translated into 18 languages and are available in 22 countries. Each week, I'll bring you a guest or a lesson that will help you maximize unshakable confidence, master resilience and make some noise in your life. You ready? Let's go.

Hello, everyone, my dear listeners, my lovely, lovely humans. Welcome to another episode of the podcast. I am so glad that you are here. Hey, a couple of quick announcements. If you have a suggestion for the show. Like if you know that the spirituality and creativity theme is coming up and the self-care theme is coming up and you were like you know who needs to be on the show. This person sent me a DM on Instagram, I love to hear suggestions from you. I am constantly perusing the interwebs mostly social media in in an attempt to find really smart, interesting people who can educate and inspire and motivate us to be better humans. So I'm really excited for the spirituality theme that's coming up after the relationships, one. All different kinds of guests, all different kinds of spirituality themes. And I I'm really enjoying this the way that we're doing this podcast this year, because I'm learning so much. And I hope that you are too. So yeah, shoot me a message on Instagram, I would love to hear from you. Or just say hi. I'm still the one who answers the DMS over there. So Instagram has been weird about sending them to my spam filter. So if you don't hear from me for a minute, that's why but I'm coming. Coming in hot.

Alright, the other thing is, if you're on the fence about joining us this September for my Daring Way retreat, I am hosting 12 phenomenal women and we're going to be in Asheville, North Carolina. The Daring Way is the modality based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown that I am trained and certified to facilitate. And you can hop on the phone with me for a quick chat to get your questions answered. Make sure that this is the right retreat for you to attend. So you can go to the retreat page, it's at AndreaOwen.com/retreat, scroll down to the FAQs and there's a link to book super easy peasy. Or you can reply to any of the emails that that you get. Don't DM me for that because I'm just going to tell you to do those two things because I can be trusted with scheduling. That is all on Emily and Rebecca. So yes, FAQs on AndreaOwen.com/retreat or just reply to any of the emails that you get from me. And we can hop on the phone together and have a little chat.

So today we're talking to my dear friend Kate Anthony, who has been on the show so many times. I don't know how many times she's been on. Many times. And she is… Well let me just read you her bio because she has such an amazing niche, the people that she serves in her business. Let me tell you about her. Kate Anthony 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 help them move forward with concrete plans putting their children at the center, not the middle of all decisions. Kate lives in Los Angeles with her son whom she lovingly co parents with her ex, her two pups and a handful of fish.

And before we jump in, keep in mind this is not for people who have either been divorced, not necessarily I should say for people who have been divorced or are contemplating divorce or going through one. We do talk about that a little bit because it is her niche but we talk mostly about relationships. And so without further ado, here is my conversation with Kate.

Kate Anthony's back on the show.

Kate 05:05
Hi! Were you talking over me just then? Sorry, I wouldn't be surprised. Of course.

Andrea 05:07
It's gonna happen. It's gonna happen. I think this is probably at least your fifth or sixth time on the show and we're doing something a little different than we've done before. I don't know if I've had you on specifically to talk about this to talk about what you know, chat about all day long on your podcast. And for people who are single, please stick around. There's going to be questions and commentary for everyone. But you specialize in people who are getting divorced, more specifically women who are getting divorced, correct?

Kate 05:36
Correct. And even more specifically, mom's. Yeah. Yeah.

Andrea 05:44
Do you help women though, that even our child free?

Kate 05:45
I do.

Andrea 05:46
Just tend to be moms?

Kate 05:50
Yeah, it just tends to be moms. And I also help people decide whether to stay or go, like, that's the other sort of half of my…

Andrea 06:01
And some people stay.

Kate 06:04
They do. Yeah.

Andrea 06:01
Okay. All right. Well, let's jump in then because I have heard this, and I heard this before I married my second husband, and it freaked me out a little bit. I've heard that the divorce rate for second and third marriages is higher than for first marriages. And why do you think that is? Or Is there research that tells us exactly why?

Kate 06:18
Um, I don't know that there is specific research that tells us exactly why because I think that would be somewhat difficult to do. But I will say that all of us, all of us professionals in the divorce industry, are pretty much in alignment on why that is. And it's pretty logical, right? Most of the time, it's because you're not doing the work, people are not doing the work to figure out what went wrong the first time, and they're like, he was an asshole, she was a bitch and it was their fault and so I'm just gonna choose someone different.

And as we know, and I'm sure you talk about all the time, we can consider that we can we can think that we're choosing someone different nut then oh, my God, it's like it's the same, right? Like, how did that happen? Right. And it's because we are choosing from unconscious parts of ourselves and if we don't do the work to heal our trauma and our wounds, we're still going to be using those same unconscious wounded parts of ourselves to pick someone who may look entirely different on the outside but often the outcome is the same, because we're the common denominator. You've experienced this right? Not with your current, right, necessarily.

Andrea 07:30
Like, like, I learned exactly what you said. But that happened and I was like, I woke up one morning, and I was like, I'm the common denominator. And it's easy to put a lot of the blame on ourselves. But at the end of the day, you just have to go and do your work. Because you're absolutely right, like, that's what I was doing. I was trying to heal my childhood wounds through my partners, and also reacting from these unconscious abandonment wounds and then I decided, and I was already married to Jason, when I really saw it took my second marriage to really see all of my wounds and go, okay, this isn't this isn't a him problem, it's a me problem. And not to say, you know, he did have his own stuff that he needed to work on but mine became very obvious,

Kate 08:14
I think, right. And I think I had a similar thing when I married my ex-husband, where I was, like, I remember one time, like being like in the fetal position. This is like when we were dating, and like, rocking back and forth, because he was triggering such like incredible amounts of deep stuff, right? That I was literally in the corner in the fetal position rocking and crying. And I was like, okay, this is not him. This is me. This is my stuff. Now, it was also him and if I had, if I had really gone deeper into the work, I probably wouldn't have married him. But that's a whole other story. But and I think in your case with Jason, it was like, okay, here I am with this guy who's really great. He's doing all the right things. I'm getting triggered in all these ways that this is now, now this is me, right? Like, now this is my shit.

Andrea 09:10
Yeah, and that's what I had to go and, and work on. And so I'm going to ask you some questions like some general questions and then like the second half, I want to ask you specific questions around divorce and kids and things like that. So people who are in that situation, stay tuned, we're gonna get to that.

But I know you talk a lot about smashing the patriarchy. How do you think the patriarchy has affected women's ability to find happiness and fulfillment in their marriages or their long-term relationships?

Kate 09:39
How has it not.

Andrea 09:41
I know, it was a rhetorical question.

Kate 09:43
How long do we have? Yeah, I'm pretty sure you just wrote a book about this. There's a number of things. I think toxic masculinity is a huge part of it. And when I talk about toxic masculinity, I really want to be clear. I'm not saying that men are toxic. I think the entire thing needs a rebrand. But the fact that the patriarchy has men and women in these very specific sort of gender specific columns right of what we expect from them, what we require of them, or each other, and us. And so with the fact that over all I'm speaking generally here, I don't want to get like a not all men conversation going, but overall, generally speaking, men have not been taught that their emotions are okay, that their emotions are worth looking at that they're, you know, anything, right. And so, we've got a lot of a lot of men who have been so disserviced by the system that also sort of upholds them as more gives them more power and more, you know, access and all of the things right, but it also does such a huge, emotional, psychological disservice.

And so then when women are getting into relationships with these men, and we and also the patriarchy tells us women, that we have to do the work right? That we're so we're the ones, overwhelming… Yes, we're the nurturers, but we're also the ones who are overwhelmingly consuming personal development, we are overwhelmingly going to therapy and, you know, men are told to like man up and like, you know, all that stuff. And so, really, so we've got these two people, these two types of people trying to get into a relationship with one another, and women are overwhelmingly doing so much of the emotional labor in relationships, and we're tired. And I think we're at a point in history, where we are able to name it, we're talking about it, and we're able to say actually, no, actually, no. No, actually, no, that's the title of the episode, actually, no. And that and that we're able to opt out and it's okay. Like, we're no longer… Well, we are but we are moving away from this idea that women are overwhelmingly like not okay if we're single, yeah, right, that we have to be in a relationship that we have, in order to be a whole human, we have to be partnered. Righ? And as a culture, we are moving away from that. And so more and more women are opting out of relationships that aren't serving them, and not really opting back in.This, the rate of second marriages for women is far lower than for men. Men have to get married, they get remarried so quickly because suddenly they have to, they have to replace all the labor that we're doing. Right? And then women are like, exhausted and like, yeah, no, actually, I'm not signed up for that again.

Andrea 13:08
Yeah, it's fascinating where it's going. And I even think about, you know, I think that pop culture and the media we consume growing up is so important. And if you think about you and I when we grew up, and how controversial The Mary Tyler Moore Show was that she was single and, and she worked, you know, like she put her career first and she was child free. And the show wasn't based around… And it was actually a little bit like, I didn't watch it. I just remember people talking about it. It was a little bit before my time, it was a little earlier than this. Yeah, the show wasn't based around her looking for a husband. Like that wasn't the premise. It was about like her and her friend and her job, like and her job. Oh my gosh, like, women have other interests and constantly looking for a husband. And then I think about Sex and the City and how three of the four main characters, like the show revolved around them looking for a partner. Samantha was the only one who was really only interested in in her sexual gratification, which was also a big deal. So it's so fascinating to me to think about all these shows that have shaped us over time and how that is changing, which makes me so happy.

And also I want to touch on something else that you were that I know you talk about. And just in general with patriarchy and and so as you know, I spend a lot of time on TikTock and it's so like the whole mental health tic tock is super interesting and relationships and in the amount of women who are claiming that they are either in a relationship with a narcissist or having an ex who's a narcissist. So I really kind of, I wonder the guy that faked cancer to cover up his drug addiction. I wonder if he was like, actually a sociopath like…

Kate 15:30
100%. 100%.

Andrea 15:32
And even my ex-husband like all the lies, some stuff that he told, I don't I don't know, I think that what's interesting about that is that it's not statistically possible for the amount of narcissists to exist that people say there are. And I saw this one woman talking about this, and she said, they're probably not a narcissist, they're just a man who was raised in a patriarchy. To think that he is so self-important and so entitled, like, there's a lot of similarities between narcissism and entitled men. It's fascinating to think about that.

And then the last thing I want to say before I forget is, I think I probably saw on TikTok as well. Someone was talking about really think about, like, let's just think about like your exes. What did they bring to the table? Like, what did they bring to the relationship? And I was again, when I heard that question, I was like, oh, oh, my God. My ex has brought literally nothing.

Kate 15:54
That's right. That's right, except for pain and drama and confusion and gaslighting and lying.

Andrea 16:03
We had some good times, of course we did. We had a friendship, but it was not worth the everything that happened. And like I… the amount of labor that I put into that relationship is shocking to me.

Kate 16:16
Shocking. It is shocking. And also completely normal. Completely normal. This story is not uncommon.. So I want to go back to the first the first part about narcissism here. I have thoughts. I have thoughts. So first of all, narcissism itself is a spectrum, right? So when we talk about narcissism, and we say that is statistically impossible for all of these people to be narcissists, what we're really talking about is narcissistic personality disorder, and it is statistically impossible for all of these people that we're taught that we're claiming, are narcissists to have narcissistic personality disorder. That being said, it's a huge spectrum, and it goes from completely healthy, ego, or like, a little bit overinflated, like completely healthy, you wouldn't be a narcissist. But there's overinflated, ego and sense of self and self-importance. Which can, and too, like, I mean, I always talk about my mom being a narcissist, and how, you know, my mom is someone who, she's a narcissist, because her emotional growth was stunted at the age of about seven. And it's actually perfectly appropriate for a seven-year-old to be narcissistic in this sense, because, you know, we wouldn't call a seven year old a narcissist, but their brain development, their prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for empathy, and all those sorts of that sort of functioning, and thinking about others hasn't developed yet. So children are by nature, self centered.

This is why when we get divorced, it's really important to tell to really enforce reinforce for our kids, that it's not their fault, because they think it's their fault, not because they're dumb, but because that is their brain development. That is their natural developmental state. So my mom is somebody who is an example of this where she's not malignant, she really, but she absolutely cannot physiologically, neural biologically can't think beyond herself. And so, even so, you know, my struggles with her over my lifetime, have been working to separate myself out from someone who doesn't believe that there is any separation between us. And I mean, that like in a very sort of clinical sense, like she doesn't she, there's no, there's no place where, you know, I say, I'm cold, and she says, It's not cold. And she's, she's legitimately confused.

You know, and so there's that level of narcissism. And then we've got the more sort of malignant kinds, where, you know, their acts are hurt other people, like they're so self-centered that their actions hurt other people and it doesn't matter how much they're told, and how much they were, they're told by therapists or partners or whatever, that their actions hurt someone, they can't think beyond their own ego and so they'll continue to do it. And then further along the spectrum, we have narcissistic personality disorder and sociopathy where like they're really dangerous people.

Andrea 19:33
Yeah, no remorse, no empathy. They learn how to mimic feeling.

Kate 19:39
Right, exactly and so I would say, I would go out on a limb, totally a non-clinical limb because I'm, you know, this is not I'm not a therapist, I'm not a diagnostician. But given the spectrum of narcissism as it can occur in you know, in humans, I would I go out on a limb and say actually, yes, I think men raised in patriarchy are by definition narcissists.

Andrea 20:08
You know, maybe if it walks like a duck, you know…

Kate 20:12
Exactly. I mean, right? And so then, you know, that begs the question, right like, is he a narcissist or is he just an asshole and does it matter. Does it matter. And so I talk about this a lot on my podcast, like, it doesn't, it really doesn't. It matters if it helps you gives you a clear lens. Yeah, it matters if it has you go, oh, that's what that is. And then you can google narcissism. Right?

Andrea 20:40
And if he's willing to go get like clinical support for it?

Kate 20:45
Well, yes, and no, but even like, I mean, he might, but like, I don't know, they tend, not to by definition…

Andrea 20:51
Dude, I don't think many. Yeah, right.

Kate 20:54
Um, but mostly, it's useful for some for someone to go, oh, oh, that's what that is, and then be able to google it and have a better understanding of it and go, oh, great, okay, I get it. I get it. That's not something I want for my life.

Andrea 21:09
Yeah. Yeah. Should someone stay in a relationship or marriage if they have kids with that person and like, stay just for the kids? I knew that was going to be your answer. Nope. Next question?

Kate 21:27
Yeah, no, we're done. I can explain that a little bit. If it is a toxic environment, if it's a nontoxic environment, and you make that choice, and you want to, like if it's just like, you're unhappy, blah, blah, blah. Okay. But still, I would say this is your one wild and precious life and why would you do something like that. But if you if it is at all toxic, then what you're doing is, when you say that you're staying for your children is you're kind of first of all, you're keeping them in toxicity. And a lot of people will say, but I want to stay because I can mitigate it, I can be there to sort of run interference. And what I say to that is that you're keeping your children in that environment 100% of the time, and by doing that, you're actually condoning it, you're defending it, and you're supporting it. And beyond that, you're guaranteeing that the generational cycles are going to repeat for another generation, because we repeat our relationship models in our future relationships. And if you're, if the model that your kids see in your house, is super toxic, then they will go on to choose toxic relationships.

This is the reason I left my marriage. It was the moment when I went oh my god, I have to leave for my son. My son is going to grow up to be an emotional abuser and he's going to choose codependent women to prey upon. And I knew it clearly 100%. And so if you don't want the relationship that you have for your children, then staying for them does them no favors. Additionally, if it is toxic, and you are able now if we're talking about physical violence, then you need to call your local domestic violence shelter and get an exit plan and make sure your children are safe. But if it's emotional abuse and other forms of toxicity, if you provide them a safe place that is free of this toxicity that it is nurturing, that it is a safe place for them to land, even if it is only 50% of the time, you give them the gift of perspective. And what I mean by that is that you give them the opportunity to feel one thing and then even if when they're with their dad, they feel something different, they actually start to learn the difference between the two feelings and they're able to choose, right? So at 16, my son is now able to name the way that he feels around his dad. And he's able to say I don't feel that way here. I feel safe and loved and cared for here. And it's a different experience. But if I had stayed, he would feel scared all the time.

Andrea 24:34
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Do you help people who are in same sex relationships or marriages?

Kate 29:45
I do and I don't right? So I think it's actually a very valid question. There are a lot of women in my Facebook group. A lot of women have gone through my programs who are in same sex relationships and look, these cultural dynamics that create these power dynamics show up in all kinds of relationships. So I see the same levels of toxicity in same sex marriages, because it's like it's internalized, it becomes internalized. So I have not yet actually worked privately one on one as a coach with a lesbian, which is what it would be. But they've gone through my programs and found them very helpful. Yeah, so yes and no.

Andrea 30:33
I just wonder, you know, I've had some friends who are in same sex relationships that have divorced and I just am curious if the level of toxicity is the same that it would be in heterosexual marriages.

Kate 30:49
I would say mostly not, for these reasons. But then you have these, you know, the internalized stuff, and listen, women are just as capable of being toxic and narcissistic and abusive, right. Actually, that's not true. They're not just as capable. Yeah, the split is about 80/20. So about 80% of emotional abusers are men.

Andrea 31:18
Well, and then there's the conversation of reactive abuse. I mean, which is a whole nother conversation.

Kate 31:23
There's the conversation about reactive abuse, and like, look, you know, we know, you know, this very well, I have in my family, a super, super toxic, psychotic abuser who's a woman. So you know, they exist.

Andrea 31:38
Okay, let's talk about your divorce for a minute. And are you happier now than when you were married? I know the answer to that. Talk about that.

Kate 31:50
Yes, I am so much happier. I think it's such a great, a great, i's such a great question. I think it's important. I mean, and you are too, right?

Andrea 32:00
God, yeah.

Kate 32:02
When I was married, I was like, I was like the stepford-ey… I was an empty shell. I was an empty, empty shell of myself. I didn't. God, I had no substance. I was so beaten down and I had and I had tried, I had built myself into so many pretzels to try to be enough for this man, for whom there is no enough ever. And I was just, I would, god, I was so empty, Andrea, I was so empty. And it took me a couple of years to like, start to feel like myself again. And when we're being abused, like, first of all, I think it's really important for women to hear that, like you actually can't do the healing work while being abused. Right? You can't. You can't heal from trauma, while you're still experiencing the trauma. You can't like, you know, let's take like a like a wound or like a physical wound, right? Your arm can't heal if someone keeps breaking it. And that's really the same thing. And so I was just in a state of, I think I was in a trauma response. I was in a frozen trauma response for so long. People would say how are you? And I'd be like, I like I don't know, like I actually didn't know how I was, and how I felt because I was frozen.

And so getting out of that, first of all, and allowing myself to heal was one part of why I feel so much why I'm so much happier. And I live my life on my own terms. I am not trying to please somebody else. I'm not doing a codependent dance 24/7. And, you know, look, even if your marriage is not toxic, and abusive, and all of those things. If you're unhappy, we deserve to be happy as humans. We deserve to make choices for ourselves that that make us happy and that show our children what happiness is and looks like and what strength looks like. Look, I am not repartnered. I don't have another relationship. But my, my son my Mother's Day card, this year, my son 16, wrote to me, thank you for showing me how to be something like how to be a good and healthy man. Like and it makes me cry. It makes me so sad that he's doesn't get that from his dad. But it makes me really proud that I still get to raise a really good man in this world. And the only reason I could do it is by being out. And so that gives me fulfillment. My work gives me so much fulfillment. I live my life on my own terms. And there's just my God, there's no there's nothing better.

Andrea 34:57
Yeah. Well, I want to circle back to something you said is where you are saying like, you know, you can't heal if you stay in the relationship with your manipulator abuser. And I've thought about that before, like, I think to myself, you know, especially like when I'm in deep therapy, talking about my former marriage, and I thought, what would I have done, if he would have come back, and like, truly, truly, like, stripped everything down and said, I've got to go to like intense therapy, and like, deal with this shit, and I want to, you know, like… Because it, I don't think it's super common, but it does happen. So it's one of my colleagues, it's a woman and she was actually on the podcast I'm gonna link to in the show notes. Her name is Andrea J. Lee, she started a substack, where she talks about her own abuse. Like she was abusing her… She was verbally abusing her husband for years and didn't even really know it because it was what she knew, because she was verbally abused by her mother. And so I forget exactly what how she kind of like came to see the light. I don't know if I can't remember her husband, like threaten to leave or what was going on. But she threw herself into therapy and like, is a changed person and her marriage is so much better for it. So it does happen. And he will change people heal people take responsibility for their terrible behavior. But I just I think it's I think it takes a lot of work on both… And to build that trust back. That's the part I think, I don't know if I ever could have come back from that.

Kate 36:26
That's right. That's right. And that's I see this a lot actually. I do you see men who because I've worked with women, and I'm just using that as an example. But I see men who are like who have quote, seen the light, and they start to do the work. And I have… There are a lot of women who are like He's genuinely changing but my feelings aren't there anymore.

Andrea 36:47
Yeah. They've been emotionally divorced for a lot longer.

Kate 36:51
That's right. And I and my answer to that is your that's great. Like, you're okay, you're allowed, you're still allowed to go, you're allowed to go. And what you're doing is actually putting… I had a client this morning, actually just say that, you know, her husband did all the work, and he is like, genuinely changed. And she couldn't stay. There was too much water under the bridge, there was too much trauma, there was too much fear and she couldn't do it. And now he's dating somebody else. And she's like, what the fuck. Now she gets someone else gets the good guy that I like I put in all of this energy, it's like, I sacrificed myself on the like, you know, on the pyre of whatever for this for this man's change. And now, like someone else gets it, you know, and…

Andrea 37:43
There's grief in that for sure.

Kate 37:45
There's so much grief in that there's so much grief in that. And what I said was, number one, there's grief in that and you have to allow and acknowledge the grief, and know that your kids now get the best version of their dad. And if this new relationship goes the distance, they get to be raised in that healthy environment that you created. You allowed for that to happen by leaving, and you may not get to reap the rewards of this changed man, but your kids do and that right there is stopping the cycle, right there. And, you know, it's still a hard pill to swallow. It still sucks.

Andrea 38:24
For sure. And it probably comes back, you know, especially if they have to continue to communicate with their ex. And it's that whole, like, I wrote about this and Make Some Noise, like towards the end like you are not his therapist. And sometimes that ends up happening in in relationships, and you know, without even us knowing that it's happening. So…

Kate 38:52
I see it all the time.

Andrea 38:54
Yeah, I want to ask something really specific for people who might be thinking about walking into divorce or who are in it. Couple of questions. Like should, like let's talk about, you know, a marriage between a man and a woman. Should she be best friends with her ex?

Kate 39:04
No, no, maybe. Maybe someday. So I've actually come.. I've gone on a about a 13-year journey with this question. Because as you know, Andrea, I started out best friends with my ex. And everyone was like, oh my god, you guys had the most toxic, horrific marriage, how did you guys end up being such good friends? And like, you know, we were like, oh, we couldn't make the marriage work, we're gonna make the divorce work and like, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And you know what? The reason we were best friends was because I in my now 13 years later, I can look back and say it was because I was burying my trauma, I was still in my trauma, this is when my drinking started escalating by the way. I was burying the trauma. I was like, I was like, well, I'm out of the relationship, I don't have to deal with that anymore so now we're just going to be friends. Everything's gonna be great. Until it really actually wasn't. And for while he started, he continued to abuse me. It was the, it was, you know, less, it was less frequent, but it would have these like devastating spikes. I finally had to put some, like seriously strong boundaries in place and do my own healing.

And I think it's the same thing. Like if you're if you go from like toxicity to best friends, and you don't deal with the trauma, you don’t give yourself space to just heal. I mean, look, if there wasn't toxicity, and like, you know, I know there's a there's a Instagram account called husband in law and they're Mormon, and they were married, but her husband was gay. She's remarried and the three of them are best friends. Yeah, totally fine. Right. Like it works. Yeah. Nobody's upset, like, totally get it. Like, I think that's fine. For most people, I think that we should go, we should go through divorce and start off with a more of a parallel track and do your own work. Do your own healing. And then look, if later on as you have developed your yourself as an individual, if you both come together, and you can forge that friendship, fantastic. That's best for your kids. That is like best case scenario. But give yourself some time, give yourself some time to heal so that you're choosing your friendship not from the same place that you chose the marriage.

Andrea 41:42
Yeah, it sounds like boundaries are the absolute top priority when it comes to the relationship that you have with your ex because I remember also you starting to get, this was years ago, like starting to get involved and he kind of the mediator between the problems with your ex and his wife that he's been remarried to for a while. And I was like, okay. Because you know him so well and you're friends with his wife, and no, that's just it was. That was codependent behavior.

Kate 42:10
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And, you know, this is stuff I'm still dealing with and I hesitate to talk about it too much, because it's not really my story to tell. But I struggled with the balance still, because I do know him. And what she struggles with is so familiar and I want her to know that she's not alone and that she's not crazy.

Andrea 42:30
And maybe there's like an unconscious part of you that like wants to heal yourself through that marriage too.

Kate 42:36
Let me tell you, I have transference dreams about her all the time, and where I'm like, rushing to protect her and I'm taking care of her. And I'm like, oh, my God, this is about me. I'm trying to protect my younger self that I could like, it's so frightening. It's insane. Right? Because she's eight years younger. So it was me eight years ago. That's the whole thing, right?

Andrea 42:58
Oh my gosh.

Kate 42:58
I mean, it's, it's right there. And so I'm conscious that I'm aware of it. And also, like, I'm like, girl, I'm here. I don't step into it ever. I don't step into it. I'll say how are you? And she will be like, okay, or she'll unload on me and if she unloads, like we unpack it, and then I step away from it, because she, you know, I have experienced a. This is what I do for a living. Yeah, right. But the reason I do it for a living is because I am. So it's complicated.

Andrea 43:30
So complicated. Yeah, those are like my favorite two words. Okay, I have one more question. And it's gonna be super specific for people who have children who are dealing with this. So how would someone deal with having to communicate with their ex about the kids during a possible high conflict or medium conflict divorce?

Kate 43:51
Yes, such a good question. There are great co-parenting apps on the market. And if it's high conflict, there's an app for everything. There's an app for everything. And if it is a high conflict situation, there are a couple of apps I recommend. There's one called Fayr, F-A-Y-R. And then there's another one called the Peaceful Parent app or Peaceful Coparent app. I can't remember.

Andrea 44:15
We’ll but put that in the show notes.

Kate 44:17
Yeah, put it we'll put it in the show notes. And I also have a discount code for Fayr so we can put that in as well. Perfect. But the Peaceful Parenting app is amazing because you can set it you can you can you can basically like tell them they can only answer yes or no. So you can set it to canned responses where they can only respond with like, a multiple choice.

Andrea 44:41
It’s like a mediator.

Kate 44:42
Yes, in an app. And you can set it so that they can only message you like three times a day.

Andrea 44:48
Does it flag abusive language?

Kate 44:51
It might well there's another bark app for like your kids. Right? There's Our Family Wizard has a tone monitor and that's different, but it's a much more clunky app, but they do have a tone monitor, so that it'll flag it and be like, maybe there's another way for you to say this. Yeah.

Andrea 45:12
That’s so amazing.

Kate 45:13
But the more important thing, even if you don't use an app, one of the more important things is, there's a great book out there called BIFFf for Coparent Communication. And it's written by a man named Bill Eddy. And Bill is the founder of the High Conflict Institute. So this man knows from high conflict, and the the BIFF method of communication, it's B-I-F-F. And the BIFF method of communication is Brief, Informative, Friendly, and Firm. And I highly recommend the Coparent Book because like a third of the book is instructional and then two thirds of the book are examples for everything. It's so helpful, because you know, you want to get into it, you want to like shame them back. You want to be like, why would you?

Andrea 46:03
Stick it to him.

Kate 46:05
Right and stick it to him. But the best way for peaceful communication with a high conflict person is to keep it brief, informative, right? Just give them the information, just the facts, please right? Friendly, right. Like, hi, I hope this email finds you well. The children have soccer at 530 today, I trust you will be there on time. You know, yeah, thanks. Thanks, not, because you're always late and it has such an impact I had mind you, and I can't believe I have to remind you of this. And you know, it really impacts them when they're late, because then they don't get the baba baba baba, like, ah, right? And it's friendly and firm. Right?

So you're not asking permission and I think that this is something that women do overwhelmingly. And I talk about this in my program as well with in terms of how to tell your husband, you want a divorce, is that this… You're not asking permission. And this is something that we do all the time as women. You know, I have people say to me all the time, like Well, I tried to tell him I wanted to get a divorce. And he won't let me and I'm like, this is this is a this is a unilateral decision. This is a one-way communication. You are telling you are not asking. So it's the same thing in all high conflict communication, right? You are you are telling you're not asking you're not looking for their agreement, their understanding their approval or anything. You're simply stating what is so. And then you're getting on with your life.

Andrea 47:37
Oh, so helpful. Okay, awesome. Thank you so much. Before we close up, where can everyone find out more about you?

Kate 47:45
Thank you, my love. Everything's on my website, KateAnthony.com. I'm on Instagram and Tiktok @The DivorceSurvivalGuide. And my podcast, The Divorce Survival Guide Podcast is available in all the places.

Andrea 48:02
Love it. And that will all be in the shownotes everyone. Thank you so much for being here Kate.

Kate 48:07
My god, I adore you. Thank you so much for having me, Andrea.

Andrea 48:11
And thanks everyone for listening and staying with us this whole time. I know how valuable your time is. And I'm grateful that you spend it with me and my guests. And remember, it's our life's journey to make ourselves better humans and our life's responsibility to make the world a better place by everyone.

Hi there, swinging back by to say one more thing. You know, I'm always giving advice over here on the show and on social media and a couple of those things is that I'm always telling you to ask for what you want, be clear about it, and also ask for help. So I am taking a dose of my own medicine and I'm going to do that right now. It would be the absolute best and mean the world to me if you reviewed and subscribed to this show, Make Some Noise Podcast on whatever podcast platform of your choice. And even more importantly, it would matter so much if you shared this show. Sharing the show is one of the few ways the podcast can grow and that also gives more women an opportunity to make some noise in their lives. You can do that by taking a screenshot when you're listening on your phone and sharing it in your Instagram or Facebook stories. If you're on Instagram you can tag me @HeyAndreaOwen and I try my best to always reshare those and give you a quick thank you DM and also you can tell your friends and family about it. Tell them what you learned. Tell them a really awesome guest that you found on the show that you started following whatever it is I appreciate so much you sharing about this show.