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May 29th | SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO?
Marriage can elevate you to new heights or drag you down into the dumps. Is there a way to change and rebuild or call it quits? Rick offers soul-searching questions to ask yourself to help you determine whether or not a relationship can be saved. Do I feel a unique sexual attraction to my partner? If no, how do I get that spark back or should I think about what might be next? Does my partner exhibit any behavior that makes the relationship too difficult for me to stay in? Is my partner is either unwilling or incapable of changing? Can I forgive my partner’s transgressions and can they forgive mine? One caller receives an epiphany after running into an old friend, another caller finds the roadblocks to his kids insurmountable from a continent apart.
Rick: Happy Sunday everyone and thank you for tuning in to Divorce Talk Radio with me this morning. I’m grateful you selected our show to wake up to this morning. And whether you’re heading to church, grabbing breakfast, to the gym or just hanging out at home, I’m glad you’re here with us. I’m Rick Goldberg and I’ll be your host for the next hour as we talk about all things divorce.
This is a call-in show so if you’ve gone through a divorce, you’re going through one now or if you’re thinking about divorce, call our number here at the station, 713-212-5950.
And of course, I want to introduce my partner in crime here, KPRC’s own Michael Garfield. Hey Michael, how are you doing this morning?
Michael: Crime easy. What are you talking about there? The crime of the heart, we could talk about crimes of the heart here because it’s talking divorce right now. Great to be here. I’m just helping you along and tell you what, for someone who never knew about radio, two months down, baby, you got this going on. So I’m just kind of here to hold some hands and pick up the phone calls. And let me throw out the number if that’s OK with you, 713-212-5950 on a Sunday morning.
We have a great guest list that’s lined up and a lot of good stuff coming in. Hi, Rick.
Rick: Kind of an exciting day for both of us. We got your son in the studio.
Rick: Just graduated from college. And my daughter is assisting Ramon as we produce this show. So we have a little family affair going on.
Michael: It is kind of a family affair. By the way, my son, just a pretty shoutout, a radio/TV graduate. As much as I try to not convince him not to do this industry, looking for a job, so feel free, 713-212-5950.
Rick: Or email, Michael Garfield.
Michael: Michael@hightechtexan.com. Justin Garfield, very talented, young individual who is seeking employment. So anyway, now back to the real show.
Rick: So we have the show because the fact is that marriages and relationships, they are complex and they’re tough, particularly long term marriages. Louis C.K. who is one of my favorite comedians said that marriage is really just the larva stage for divorce. Divorce is where you find true happiness. He’s hilarious.
But as you go through your marriage and as you experience life with your partner, you realize that your partner can either elevate you to new heights or can drag you down into the dumps. And what we’re going to talk about today is how do you know when it’s time to go? How hard do you work at staying in your marriage and when do you know that hey, it’s just time to head on?
Michael: And I have to imagine also Rick, every single person, male and female, both sides, they’re different for everything. I mean one little thing could tick him off like a time bomb. In some way, you want to hang in there for years and years. And so obviously, that’s where your counseling and discussion certainly could come in and behoove everybody.
Rick: Yeah. And what I want to do is I want to go through some questions that I put together that you can ask yourself as a listener out there, you can ask yourself this question or listen to it as I give it to you. And if your answer is yes then maybe you lean towards staying in. If your answer is no to some of these questions, maybe it’s time to reevaluate your relationship.
So here we go. We’ll do a couple of these right now. And then I see we’re already lit up.
Michael: We’ve already got a caller over here. Go through one or two and then we’ll take a call.
Rick: Are you able to get your needs met in the relationship without too much difficulty? In other words, if it takes too much effort for you to get your needs met then your relationship is probably doing you more harm than is doing you more good. So maybe in a situation like that, if your answer to that is no, maybe it’s time to evaluate leaving the relationship.
Let’s go with one more. This is kind of easy to assess. Do you genuinely like your partner and does your partner seem to genuinely like you?
Michael: I know that’s not a trick question but that’s some soul-searching right there because you would like to think if you are married, you certainly love each other but then there’s like and then if you really have to ask yourself, I mean these are – I see exactly what you’re doing. This is soul-searching questions, Rick.
Rick: Yeah. If you don’t mutually like each other then you’re probably just don’t belong together.
Michael: Yeah, it’s a good point. I tell you what, speaking of belonging together, this is what we do. All you callers out there who do have some questions or just some topics you want to discuss with Rick, you know where we are. We are going to start off this Sunday morning by saying hi to Bay. Bay, good morning. How are you?
Bay: I’m good. How are you?
Rick: Good. How are you doing, Bay?
Bay: I’m doing good. I just wanted to call in and comment I guess. I don’t really much have a question but I’ve been through a divorce.
Rick: Yeah. And was it hard for you to assess whether or not it was time for you to leave your marriage or not?
Bay: Is this Rick that I’m talking to?
Rick: This is Rick, yeah.
Bay: Oh, OK.
Rick: Sorry about that.
Bay: No, it’s OK. I would say that in a lot of ways, divorce was my hero’s journey. But I wasn’t necessarily the hero. But it was – it continues to be a very transformative journey. And when I look back Rick, I would say that I was rescued. That I was really kind of – I’ve been married for a long time like over two decades. And so, when you’re dealing with things, I would say that there was a longing in me for something that even preceded my marriage.
Rick: Bay, tell our listeners what you mean when you said it was my hero’s journey. I think I understand what you mean by that. But I think our listeners might not really have heard that before. So explain what you mean by that.
Bay: Well, it’s just – well, there are preferences to it. People can Google it. But it’s a journey that has been repeated over and over through different cultures and it’s a transformative journey. But in my case, I would say that I found faith. And I know this might – I hope this doesn’t make people cringe.
But on a Sunday morning to my surprise, the hero of my story is Jesus. And believe me, when I was going through my divorce, I wasn’t looking in that direction. I had kind of written Jesus off because I had a lot of wounding in my childhood around religion and Jesus specifically. But there this invisible presence in my life and I was trying to live the perfect life. It was exhausting. I was trying to be happy. I wanted my family to look happy and try to hold out those pieces together.
Rick: So you rediscovered your faith by choosing to go through your divorce. Is that what you’re saying?
Bay: You know, I don’t know if it was even a choice. I was so overwhelmed and I actually went to a funeral of a friend and bumped into someone who I hadn’t seen in several years. And this time, I was just – and the last time I saw this person, we were actually in some workshop and it was – had been like seven years earlier and it was the first time where I had really admitted to myself in that workshop that I wasn’t OK in my marriage.
And so, to bump into this person after all that time and to realize that I had no – I’ve been no different. That I was still stuck in the same place.
Rick: So you bumped into this person and he remembered you from seven years ago and said, “Hey, is there anything different going on with you and your life?” And it sounds like to me what you – the epiphany you got is that, “Gosh! No. There has been no change really for the last seven years.”
Rick: We got about one minute, Bay, before the end of the segment. So that is a fascinating story. What can you share – what was the hardest part about going through the process and then what was the brightest part, short of maybe rediscovering your faith, what can you share with our listeners before we hit the break?
Bay: I think the hardest part is really – is to know that I impacted my kids. I changed the trajectory of our lives. And while there has been great healing there, I live with the ramifications of that decision that I’m not going to be able to take care of my grandchildren with the father of my children. That probably is the biggest.
But the other thing is just – I don’t know if there’s anything outside of my faith. I’m free to just …
Rick: Well, faith is important, Bay. And I really appreciate you keeping the faith through the process and for calling this morning and I know everyone got a lot out of it. Thank you so much.
Michael: Yeah, exactly Bay. We appreciate that. We got our first break of the show, talking divorce with Rick Goldberg. That’s Rick Goldberg. I’m Michael Garfield. 713-212-5950. If you’ve been through one, if you’re thinking about it, this is the time to contemplate, listen and call.
Rick: Welcome back to Divorce Talk Radio with Rick Goldberg. Should I stay or should I go? That is actually our topic today. And if you are just listening to our show, you can call us at 713-212-5950 here at KPRC 950. With me is Michael Garfield.
Michael: You have to start singing. Should I stay or should I go now? There’s really nothing like listen to a song like that early Sunday morning.
Rick: Don’t quit your day job. Don’t quit your day job.
Michael: I don’t have a day job. I have a weekend job at the High Tech Texan and now as you sub co-host here on talking divorce with Rick Goldberg. And here’s Rick Goldberg right here.
Rick: That was a good call that we had earlier from Bay. It’s funny. I had always heard an expression that in order for anything to grow, something has to die. New leaves on the tree, gold leaves, they have to die in order for anything new to grow. It’s kind of amazing that this woman went to a funeral where somebody actually died and that’s where she bumped into her friend who had that discussion with her about, “Maybe really Bay, it’s time for you to decide whether you need to stay or go because according to you, nothing has changed in the last seven years.”
So there’s a lot of pain and there’s a lot of hurt out there from people who have gone through divorce. Some are good. Some work out and others are challenging. And there’s a lot of struggles with it along the way.
And why don’t we, Michael, we got another caller on what? Line 4 there?
Michael: We do. 713-212-5950 Talking Divorce with Rick Goldberg, if you got questions, if you’re thinking about that divorce. Should I stay or should you go? I tell you what, now is the time to talk. And let’s see what Brian wants. Brian, good morning to you. We welcome you to Talking Divorce.
Brian: Hey, guys. How are you doing today?
Rick: Good. Brian, how are you doing my man?
Brian: Good. Good. Hey, I like your show. It has lot of information, a lot of different thoughts and ideas and some of it has helped me out. And I just want to talk to some people about what I was going through so maybe they can learn something. I lived in Europe. I married in Europe, in Germany. And I dealt with that for a while. The culture is a different thing so that was pretty interesting. So no one else has like the kind of situation like me. I want to share that if possible.
Rick: For sure. So you were married to a European. And are you divorced now?
Brian: Yeah. I’ve been divorced since about 2000.
Brian: And I was married and lived in Europe since ’91 I guess it was. I got married in ’95. I lived there since ’91.
Rick: And what happened in your relationship? Why – whose decision was it to end the marriage?
Brian: Well, it was my wife’s decision to end the marriage because in Germany to a certain degree, the women have too much power. I think a lot of times, they think they have a better life without the man and be with a man.
Rick: The women have a lot – how do the women have so much power?
Brian: Well, they have a really independent system over there. So if a woman is a single mother, she gets a lot of different things for being a single mother in a social system that we don’t offer here. So she’ll be taken care of. She’ll get vacations paid for by the government, insurance for the children on the state when she is a single mother.
Rick: I see.
Brian: She gets a 20-hour week but she gets paid for 40. Someone comes in once a week and takes care of the kids for her or clean the house or whatever.
Rick: I see.
Brian: And a lot of times, they don’t have to make decisions or talk to a man to be at home with the kid.
Rick: And how old were kids, Brian, when you got divorced?
Brian: They were 5 and 7.
Rick: Five and seven. And so, how long did you stay in Europe with the kids before I guess you moved back here to the States?
Brian: Well, I got divorced in 2000 and I lived in Europe up to 2003 but it was difficult going from where I was to trying to start all over again on my own. I didn’t have much of a social structure or not so much of business network. My network wasn’t as large as I wanted. And I stayed there until about 2003 and then I travelled back and forth to Europe a lot until 2006. Yeah.
Rick: And so, how’s – has it been good co-parenting between you and your ex-wife, between – as far as seeing the children and talking to the kids on a fairly regular basis?
Brian: It’s very complex. My ex-wife and I have different cultures so different cultures create problem. And like I said in Europe, Germany for example, women have a lot of power.
Rick: You mentioned that.
Brian: My wife kind of alienated my children. She didn’t really let them know much about America. She didn’t really want them to be much about into – I don’t know. She, I guess like a lot of German women, they want to make it all about Germany. And I think there’s a lot of fear there on her part. She was scared the kids might like America more than Germany and spend more time with me. I don’t know. So I don’t see my children much.
Rick: So you didn’t get to see your children very much over the last eight to nine years?
Brian: Well, I saw them a lot the first couple of years but that was just – that was pretty daunting after a while, just apart from price and just the cost for flying a lot. And I flew my children over here and then after they got a little bit older, they started making choices to not come and I couldn’t force them to come. So yeah, and I go to Germany. But it was not the same. Whenever I went to Germany, I’m just like a vacation dad. I stayed in hotels, rent cars, we’re on the roads so it’s like a vacation.
Rick: I see.
Brian: I wasn’t really being with my children.
Rick: A lot of our listeners probably don’t have a sense of how painful and what it must feel like for dad to not be able to have a close relationship with their children whether there’s a geographical restriction or whether there’s a restriction from their moms. So, could you kind of peel some of the armor back this morning, Brian, and just kind of share how painful that must be to go through that and not have the kind of relationship with the kids that you would really probably love to have?
Brian: Well, I know we look at life and we have expectations and a lot of our expectations turn to disappointments. So it took me a while not to have expectations. My children are very gifted and I want to put them in certain things like my daughter was 6 foot 5 at 15 and I played professional athlete and her genes and her DNA was all there. And 6 foot 5 at 15, she could have gone anywhere in the world to play basketball. And her mother kind of turned her down on that because it was more in my direction so she frowned upon it.
Brian: That really hurt because my daughter had that opportunity but she never had a chance to take advantage of it. Literally, she had so many opportunities but my ex-wife talked her out of it. Her being German, not wanting to do so much with America, so that was difficult. I had gotten over my anger and things like that.
Rick: I can imagine there’s a lot of sadness too just going for long periods of time without seeing your kids and without really helping them become all that they could be too, right?
Brian: Yeah, that’s what happened. A lot of it is I had anger and I tried to talk to my ex-wife. She just really was an ex-communicado. I mean literally we couldn’t communicate about anything. So my attempt to communicate with her was met with just a stone wall about anything so it was pretty much all her way. So a lot of it was anger.
And after a while, I guess my anger became the main issue but we never talked about anything. So the anger had to go away and then after a while, I just let it go. And the more I let it go, the easier it got. So it never really just goes away.
Rick: Sure. So how do you do it? How do you deal with like that anger that doesn’t ever really just want to go away?
Brian: Well, it’s not so much – the anger is actually gone. I don’t really have any anger anymore. Now, I just have a conditional love. My children are 20 and 18 now so they’re teenagers and they’ve got their own thought process and they’re going to be who they’re going to be regardless of what I do. They’re pretty much grown up and they’ve grown them all in Germany. They don’t really know much about America. They know very little about American culture.
So they’re who they are and they’re going to have a very fortunate life or a life but I try to love them unconditionally and forgave their mother. I haven’t talked to her for right, nine years and I have no contact with my children pretty much except when they text me every now and then. And that’s really strange. There’s a lot of anger there on their part also. I’m not sure where it comes from but it’s directed at me. I think it’s kind of like they drink the Kool-Aid. There’s nothing I can do about it.
Rick: So you’re really not able to reach out to them and connect with them at any time and it sounds like you just get sporadic text messages from them. Is that right?
Brian: Yeah, pretty much so. The generation of kids nowadays, they’re not going to go on the phone. There’s no response. I try to give my kids a little accountability and responsibility and I think that probably had set them on the wrong way because I could talk to them about it but there’s no follow through. They didn’t have to follow through. And after a while, the rebellion is probably the [0:22:44] [Indiscernible] to follow it up or do anything with me. Teenagers, that’s exactly what they do.
Rick: That’s true.
Brian: So I just deal with it. I love them and I love them unconditionally. They’re going to be their own people. They’re going to do their own thing. A lot of times I love them very much but sometimes I don’t like the way they are which is because they’re my little children.
Rick: Brian, that music is our cue that this segment needs to come to an end. But I tell you what, I really appreciate you calling in this morning and sharing from your heart. That cannot be easy. I can imagine not being able to see my kids on a regular basis. So I really appreciate you sharing. And I’m sure as you were sharing your story, you’re telling other people’s stories too.
Michael: Thank you very much, Brian. I’ll tell you what, we are halfway to happy hour of Talking Divorce with Rick Goldberg, 713-212-5950. We’re going to be right back.
Rick: Hello everybody. This is Rick Goldberg. Welcome back to Divorce Talk Radio with Rick Goldberg. I’ll be taking us down the home stretch. We’re halfway through our show. With me today of course is Michael Garfield.
Michael: You can’t hurry love. You can’t do it. I mean we’ve been halfway through the show right now. We’re not hurried. We just want people to call in and we got some really strong callers out there. People are very passionate and they’re hurt. The divorce, the process of it, it’s not easy my man.
Rick: It’s not easy.
Michael: That’s what you have been doing for many, many years.
Rick: It affects not only the people going through the divorce. It impacts the children of divorce. It impacts the friends of the people going the divorce.
Michael: It does. Oh my goodness, it’s drama.
Rick: Earlier, I was putting a couple of questions out there that you can ask yourself as to whether or not the time is now for you.
Michael: Kind of a should I stay or should I go thing. You started the show off with one or two. Do you have a few more you can list?
Rick: I do. Let me go through a few more. So if you answer no to these questions, maybe you need to be thinking about what’s on the other side of this relationship for you. Do you feel a unique sexual attraction to your partner? If there’s no spark, you either need to get that spark back or think about what might be next. Does your partner exhibit any behavior that makes the relationship too difficult for you to stay in? And do you find your partner is either unwilling or incapable of changing? That’s a tough one.
Michael: It is.
Rick: I mean how many people do you bump into that’s like, “My partner, they just would not change. They would not change.” I like to say to them, “Yeah, but how about you?”
Michael: That’s a good point.
Rick: Are you willing to make some changes?
Michael: There are two sides to every story. Do you find that people actually can’t change? Let’s only pick an age category, 50 years old or so. A lot of people are getting married, are getting divorced on their late 40s or 50s right now. I mean that’s half of their lives, if not over half lives are gone. Some people are stubborn, Rick. I mean you find that, “OK, I’m really going to change.” Only to find, “Or you know what? I’m 50 years old and I’m not changing.” I mean everybody is different. But what do you generally find?
Rick: That’s a really good question. Here’s what – here’s my take on this. I think the illusion out there is that I can’t change. I think that’s the illusion. But I think what people begin to understand is that if they’re willing to do some personal growth work in any number of different ways, if they’re willing to do some personal growth work then they can change.
And I kind of liken it to a 1957 house. All these neighborhoods, they have houses built in the mid-‘50s. And that house when it was originally built, I’m sure the first owner never thought that anything ever should change with that house. But here we are how many years later, houses are being remodeled. They’re putting new additions on, new floors, new kitchens. The original structure can change and it can actually be better.
So I think if you look at yourself like your house, you could become better as you get older because you’re more open to change and you’re more open to those kind of possibilities.
Michael: Rick Goldberg, you can call him Mr. Metaphor right now, which I actually like that. The phone number is 713 …
Rick: Always got to have a metaphor.
Michael: You have to do it. How about this? People are tearing down houses and starting from scratch, which some people if they’re really committed, you got to start from scratch. But if you’re committed, you could do that. Look at this. It’s get you thinking. 713-212-5950. You can get into Rick Goldberg with Talking Divorce which we’re going to do right now because we want to say good morning and welcome to the show to Brooke. Brooke, how are you?
Rick: Hey, Brooke. This is Rick. How are you this morning?
Brooke: I am great, Rick. Thank you so much. I love your show.
Rick: Well, thanks. I’m glad you’re listening to it and I hope there’s some value for it. What’s on your mind this morning, Brooke?
Brooke: Well, I’ve been divorced twice and specifically with my second divorce, my ex-husband, we decided to divorce. And within a few months, he had a full-time girlfriend and very shortly thereafter, he was introducing her to the children. And I found that really painful and i got very hurt and upset and I don’t understand how he could do that after our marriage broke up.
Rick: Yeah. I really can appreciate where you’re coming from on that, Brooke. Was there some kind of timeframe that you had in your mind from whatever that you thought maybe he should avoided x amount of time before anything like that happens? Certainly maybe until after he got divorced, right?
Brooke: Well, I thought we’re separated. We’re living apart so he can do whatever he wants to do. But I thought he would keep it quiet and not go so public. And it felt like – I felt like – I took it personally. I thought he was trying to hurt me or flaunt it in front of me and I thought it would just be a fling but it turns out they’re married now. But at the time, I just thought, OK, so he has already met someone. It’s something kind of hard to believe. But at least keep it quiet and definitely don’t have it in front of the children and in front of me when our divorce isn’t even final yet.
Rick: Yeah. What did your kids think about it in those first few months?
Brooke: Well, my older daughter was not fond of this woman and probably caused some problems there. My younger little girl, she was six and she was fine because the girlfriend of my ex – seemed to be ex, she had a daughter that was close to an age to my daughter. So my younger daughter was fine with it and my older daughter was not.
Rick: So I guess the bigger question is, how are you with it today? And do you have any reactions today from maybe things that you might have done back then?
Brooke: Yes, I do. I have a lot of regrets. Looking back, I think that I said some things. I did some things. And I even could have done through writing an email and texted some things that were just done in anger. And I was basically already in a raw emotional fate just from the divorce. The family had completely broken up going through all of that, the legal things, everything was stressful enough. And then to put that on top of it, it was just too much for me to handle.
And so, I made some serious mistakes in the way I handled things which just escalated things and caused a lot of problems. And I regret it. And now, they’re still very acrimonious between all of us. And I did play a part in that.
Rick: Give our listeners, Brooke, if you could just a feel, summarize maybe not exactly what you said but what was sort of the overall message that you were sending to your husband through some of those email and text exchanges.
Brooke: I was just like coming down. I was like – I couldn’t believe that he was with this woman and I thought, “Wow! She’s nothing compared to me.” So I was hurt that he was with someone who I thought was lowly and just below him. And I didn’t want this woman. I really – I had a lot of possessiveness around my children as a mother and I didn’t want this random stranger and kind of like stinky woman basically, which is what I thought at the time. I don’t think that anymore but at the time, that was what I was saying and thinking, I don’t want her around my children. And I didn’t have any control. I had to let go of that control and it was hard. It was painful. But I did.
I think definitely and actually now, I come to a point where I’m grateful this woman is in my children’s lives. She seems to care about my child. So it has all worked out in the end. But at the time, I was not in a very stable emotional state.
Rick: Well, that’s – I mean you’re demonstrating really amazing growth, Brooke, in your ability to sort of take ownership for what you did and where you are today. When things come up now, I have just one final little thing I want to check in with you on when things come up now, how do you handle when you find yourself sort of getting out of balance and getting into that area that where maybe you have some venom and you have some anger and you want to unleash it, do you have like a support system or do you have people in your life that you can talk to before you send the toxic emails and such?
Brooke: I do. I sit in an empowerment circle with some women and I’m also in a co-gender group which is men and women. And that specifically has helped me so much because I just don’t understand being a woman, a male point of view a lot of times and it’s really helpful for me to be able to bat things off of these people before. So I take a breath and I wait and I sleep on it and I also consult with the friends that I have in my support group and they help me come up with something that truly represents how I want to respond.
Rick: That’s fantastic. So you’re sitting in circles. You’re holding each other accountable. You’re supporting one another. Is that the gist of what you’re doing in these circles?
Brooke: Yes. And also, what I love about it is that it’s connection in real life. It’s not over a computer. It’s not over the phone. It’s actually face to face. We can see each other. It’s fabulous.
Rick: God knows we need that. Well, Brooke, I really appreciate you calling this morning. It has been fascinating. I really appreciate you sharing some of what we might call the bad and the ugly parts of our divorce and really how you’ve owned it and you’re moving on from it. So good for you.
Michael: Yeah. Thank you very much, Brooke. We got one more segment over here of Talking Divorce with Rick Goldberg. My name is Michael Garfield here helping him out. The phone number is 713-212-5950.
I’m going to come back with my own question, Rick. And like what she said, within two months, her ex-husband is introducing the kids to this new person. I’m going to ask you and I’ll just tease it right over here, is there an actual – is there a general timeline that you should think about it or wait or is it different for everybody? So anyway, standby. You think about that because I’m interested myself. It is Talking Divorce with Goldberg.
Rick: Hello everybody and welcome back to our final segment of Divorce Talk Radio with Rick Goldberg. I am Rick Goldberg and I’m overjoyed this Sunday morning to host the show with you and Michael Garfield is here with me as usual. Garf, you asked me a question before we cut for break. What was that?
Michael: It was based on the call that we just had when Brooke called and she talked about her – or second divorce – let me get this straight. She just got divorced for the second time and then her ex-husband, within two months later was already in a relationship and introducing their kids to this new girlfriend. And she was hurt. She thought that was too early in the time period.
My question is, and obviously Rick, this is query, you’ve counseled and talked and consulted with so many people, is there a timeframe that maybe the people follow a general rule in terms of, OK, now after divorce, it’s time to introduce our kids to? Is it a personal option or is it based maybe on how old are the kids, are they stable enough to meet? I mean it’s kind of an open-ended question but it brought it mind when Brooke asked me that question.
Rick: Well, if I was prepping you for your deposition testimony right now Michael, I’d say, “Could you ask me this one question at a time?”
Michael: OK. What’s the timeframe that …
Rick: But I do get the gist of where you’re going. Here’s what I would say. Some people and obviously Brooke’s husband was ready to date after two months. And he ended up marrying the woman. So some people are ready to date after a couple of months. Other people, it may take a couple of years. So I wouldn’t let the calendar dictate when it’s right for you. I would let your feelings dictate when it’s going to be right for you.
There’s grieving that has to take place. But you have to understand, generally, one person is pulling the trigger on the divorce. That person may have checked out of the marriage literally 12 to 18 to 24 months earlier. So they have basically been grieving this marriage as they’ve been trying to figure out how to gracefully and sometimes not gracefully how to end it.
For the other person unfortunately, it’s a newer experience. So for the person that wants to leave the marriage, their clock may have started ticking much, much earlier. So that’s what I would say.
And one thing that I do see a lot of too is what I call the x factor. If you’re wanting to make the decisions based on your ex and if you still have feelings for your ex and maybe, “I should move into a new relationship because that’s going to irritate my ex or upset them,” that’s definitely not the right reason to move on and to move into new relationships. You should just trust your gut.
Here’s the reality. When you meet the right person, your body kind of tells you. I met somebody. I’m ready to have some kind of an agreement or a relationship with this person. I have no idea how long it’s going to last. But I’m ready for something and I’m open-minded.
Michael: And when it comes to the kids though, obviously you talked about that and I appreciate that point. I see where you’re coming from. When it comes to the kids, a lot of those relationships once you’re divorced, those two people cannot stand each other, they don’t talk to each other, some are actually very amicable.
But your kids or both of yours, is this a discussion that you suggest both parties having of when they should be able to meet the kids if there’s a new girlfriend or boyfriend or spouse?
Rick: Well, a lot of times in the divorce decree, language – depending on the age of the children, there’s language written into the divorce decree typically that you’ll wait six months. You’ll be in a relationship with somebody for six months before you can introduce the children to the new relationship.
But again, it’s different for everybody. I know someone who is dating someone new and he’d like to get married and he wanted to expose his – what became his fiancée to the children early? Because part of what he wanted to see was how she relates and connects with the kids and do they like here, does she like them?
So, to wait six months for a year and then only to find out that there’s really no connection between your new spouse to be and the kids, “Well, that might be a long time to find out that verdict as well.
Michael: Yeah, yeah. It’s better to find out now than later. By the way, we got about 5 more minutes left in the show, it’s Talking Divorce with Rick Goldberg. If you want to see, if you can get in the phone calls 713-212-5950.
Rick, the theme today which I like enough because Ramon has done a great job of producing and playing the song, Should I Stay or Should I Go, you started off the show with a few questions that you asked the audience about if you weren’t in a relationship, there are some of the things you need to ask yourself should you stay or should you go.
Do you have a few more to kind of end the show with? Just so some people can kind of squeeze themselves.
Rick: I do. And as I ask these questions, just think about with your relationship that you’re in right now, whether it’s a relationship or whether it’s a marriage, short term or long term, are you leaning yes or you’re leaning no or somewhere in the middle on this? We can talk about these.
Do you and your partner each respect each other as individuals? Do you respect each other as individuals?
Michael: I’d like to think the answer is yes. But again, this is – if no is your answer, I think you should go.
Rick: No mutual respect, time to leave.
Michael: Cancel. Over as we say.
Rick: I have – I think we talked about this before. But when you take the L out of lover …
Michael: It’s over.
Rick: … it’s over. Does your relationship have the demonstrated capacity for forgiveness? So, can you forgive and can your partner forgive? If you can’t forgive each other’s transgressions then resentment will gradually replace love. And if that’s the case, does it really make sense to stay in?
Two more that I brought with me, do you and your partner have fun together? Do you just literally have fun together? A relationship that’s no fun is dead. I mean I hate to be the bearer of bad news for some of you driving this morning, if you’re not having fun with your partner, you have to assess, why am I in this deal?
And then lastly, do you and your partner have mutual goals and dreams for your future together? Or does one of you already kind of scheming for your own future? Planning to spend time in a different direction?
So, these are things that you could talk about and things that you can discuss with one another. Communication really is the key to any relationship, friendship, marriages. So I suggest that some of these hit a nerve or spark something within you. Bring it up. Start talking about it with your other partner. Silence is not going to do you any favors.
Michael: Communication is key. I have a communication degree. I have a mass communication degree. And I’ll admit, even I need to work on. By the way, and Rick, we’re about two months into this show and congrats. You’re just doing a phenomenal job. People ask me, “Hey Michael, I listen to your show with you and Rick. Is Rick a lawyer?”
And I just want to remind people that Rick, you’ve been doing this for over 20 years and you’re board certified psychologist, a parenting coordinator, a mental health professional, and a case strategist. And you have worked on highly contested divorces and child custodies and modification or relocation cases. And a lot of people would say, “Rick, you handle these questions very well.” It’s not like you’re giving legal advice because you do bring in lawyers but you do see it from that mediation, from that point where you actually can talk things through. So that’s just one little just kind of up to everybody, but what do you do?
Rick: I do. And you’re right. I don’t give legal advice. Starting next June, we’re going to have two law firms that are going to be sponsoring our shows down the road, the law firm of Robert Hoffman who is a great individual and has great attorneys working for him. And another incredibly fine firm, one that really focuses on a lot of international complex issues, Laura Dale & Associates.
So they’re going to be sponsors, which means that we’re going to have an attorney from their office in our studio with us answering legal questions at the top of every show. So we’re excited about that too.
Michael: Yeah, that’s right. And I tell you, Rick, you gave some good tips today. I like these tips that you gave and I know you have …
Rick, if – you gave some good tips today. I like these steps that you gave and I know you have …
Rick: Are they good?
Michael: Yeah, they’re really good.
Rick: I don’t know if they’re any good now.
Michael: I’m going to request that for you. I ‘m looking at the sheet you have right now. You have a seat.
Michael: I will make a copy of that before I walk out of here.
Rick: The question sheet.
Michael: No! Just doing some good things to everybody. Look, he just gave me …
Rick: I gave it to you.
Michael: Can you autograph this for me?
Rick: Sure. Let me sign is and make it a limited edition.
Michael: Exactly. But if people do want more information, what’s your website? How can people get a – they may just want to work with you, talk to you even more.
Rick: It’s RickMGoldberg.com is the website.
Michael: RickM as in Michael which I don’t know what it is but it’s RickMGoldberg.com.
Rick: OK. It’s actually – the M stands for Martin. And when I was a young boy, of course, they called me Ricky.
Michael: I see.
Rick: So I was the original Ricky Martin.
Michael: Ricky Martin. And you also just got a brand new haircut which you kind of look …
Rick: Do you like that?
Michael: I know. Oh my goodness, that is good. I tell you what, we thank everybody for tuning in. Again, it’s RickMGoldberg.com. And for everybody who wanted this, we apologize. I mean the neat thing is with the Talk Radio show, and Rick, I’ve been fortunate to do for a dozen plus years here at the High Tech Texan. We try to get as many callers as we can. And so to everybody who does have trouble getting through, here’s the tip, there’s always next week. There is always next week.
Rick: There is always next week. So if you can’t get through, come on in next week. I want to thank you again, Michael. I want to thank your son for being in the booth and listening.
Michael: Look at him, helping produce.
Rick: My daughter who is back in the booth and Ramon as always, we really appreciate everything you bring to the table. We couldn’t do this without you. Everyone, have a fantastic Sunday. Love your spouse. Let them know how you feel. And if you could stay out of these divorce waters, stay out of them. But if you got to go in, go in big.
Michael: And then tune in right here. But right now, this show is over!
[End of transcript]