Terry Gaspard: The Rules for a Successful Remarriage and the Sleeper Effect of Divorce

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Episode Description

Statistics show that second marriages fail even more often than first marriages do. Yet some second marriages thrive, in spite of the odds.

If you're already divorced, and you want to remarry, how can you make your second marriage work?

World-renowned therapist and coach Terry Gaspard knows divorce inside and out. A child of divorced parents, Terry herself is divorced (... and now happily remarried!). She has spent her career working with individuals and couples to create stronger, more lasting relationships, and to ease the pain divorce has on children when a marriage ends.

In this episode, Terry talks about a variety of topics, including the "sleeper effect" of divorce on children and what makes a second marriage different from a first marriage. She spotlights the indispensable role of communication, trust, and understanding in fusing blended families. She also gets into the pivotal role finance plays in marriages and reveals her 10 rules for a successful re-marriage.

Whether you're going through a divorce and trying to protect your children or you're already divorced and are considering remarriage this is the episode for you.

Show Notes

About Terry 

Terry Gaspard, MSW, LICSW, is a licensed therapist with over thirty years of clinical experience specializing in individuals, couples, and families, divorce, remarriage, as well as an author, nonfiction writer, and college instructor. She is a contributor to Huffington Post, The Good Men Project, The Gottman Institute Blog, and Marriage.com.  Two of her research studies on adult children of divorce have been published in the Journal of Divorce and Remarriage.

In her latest book THE REMARRIAGE MANUEL; HOW TO MAKE EVERYTHING WORK BETTER THE SECOND TIME AROUND (Sounds Ture, February, 2020), Terry shares the expert advice, practical tools, hope, and inspiration that remarrying couples (and already remarried) couples need to make sure their 2nd or (or 3rd) marriages will finally be their happily ever after.

Where to Connect with Terry 

You can find Terry on LinkedIn at Terry Gaspard, Facebook at Moving Past Divorce, Twitter at Moving Past Divorce and on her website at Moving Past Divorce.

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Rules for a Successful Remarriage and the Sleeper Effect of Divorce

Terry Gaspard


divorce, terry, sleeper effect, second marriage


Karen Covy, Terry Gaspard

Karen Covy Host00:10

Hello and welcome to Off the Fence, a podcast where we deconstruct difficult decision making so we can discover what keeps us stuck and, more importantly, how we can get unstuck and start making even tough decisions with confidence. I'm your host, Karen Covey, a former divorce lawyer, mediator and arbitrator, turned coach, author and entrepreneur. And now, without further ado, let's get on with the show. With me today is Terry Gaspard, and Terry is a licensed therapist with over 30 years of clinical experience, specializing in individuals, couples and families, divorce and remarriage. She's the author of two books the Remarriage Manual, how to Make Everything Work Better the Second Time Around, and Daughters of Divorce Overcome the Legacy of your Parents' Breakup and Enjoy a Happy, long-lasting Relationship. Terry's also contributor to Huffington Post, the Goodman Project and the Gottman Institute blog and Marriagecom. Terry's a popular speaker who frequently offers her commentary on marriage, divorce, remarriage and relationship issues, and she's in private practice in Bristol, Rhode Island, where she meets with dozens of married and remarried couples for counseling. Terry, welcome to the show.

Terry Gaspard Guest01:32

Thank you, Karen.

Karen Covy Host01:33

I appreciate you asking me beyond you know you and I have both been working in this divorce space for a very, very long time. I'm not going to say how long right. I don't want to date either one of us. We've both been working in this area for years.

Terry Gaspard Guest01:51

So true.

Karen Covy Host01:53

And I know that anyone who's been working in this area because working in divorce is not easy right, divorce, remarriage. It's full of conflict, full of lots of different issues, interpersonal issues that come up. Anyone who has been working in this area as long as you have to have a compelling reason for it. Hey, you have to be passionate about what you're doing. Can you tell me why do you do this work?

Terry Gaspard Guest02:18

Well, Karen, I was raised in a divorced family in California and it was a complicated family situation. It ended up, you know, being somewhat adversarial, and my parents, who were good people they're now deceased thought everything was going pretty smoothly, but they didn't have open discussions with us and they didn't really know how to handle a lot of situations that came up. So I had three older sisters and so I saw the effects that my parents divorced, or our parents divorced, had on all of us, and a lot many of them didn't emerge until we got older, and that's something called the sleeper effect that I've documented in my book, the Daughters of Divorce, which I did a lot of research on in graduate school. So it's not all bad.


I learned a lot about relationships. I learned about, you know, making good decisions and not jumping headlong into a marriage without thinking about it. But in spite of all that, I had a lot of questions. So I, you know, studied psychology. I became a licensed therapist and then, while I was in graduate school, getting my graduate degree, I ended up going through a divorce myself and I'd already started the research on, you know, divorce, remarriage, and I thought now  I'm plunging into it now because I was blindsided. I thought my marriage was going fairly well, but after having two kids, we definitely decided to part ways and, even though it wasn't adversarial, I really wanted to help my children and help myself recover in a good way, and that brought me towards having my website and entering the whole field with a lot of passion. Wow.

Karen Covy Host04:08

Yeah, I know I can see your passion coming through in all of the things that you do and write and speak about, and I may have been closet stocking you for years. But I really appreciate the work that you do. But I'd like to pause for a second because something you said was intriguing. I've never heard of the sleeper effect. Can you explain a little bit more about in the context of divorce? What does that mean?

Terry Gaspard Guest04:32

Well for girls and young women we have, just because of our upbringing and social expectations. We have a tendency and I know I was like this and my sisters were too to act like oh, I can handle this, it's everything's okay. We become what I refer to as kind of ultra self-reliant. And we might be good students, which I was or we might have a big friend group, which my couple of my sisters were but we don't openly acknowledge in many cases the emotions that we're experiencing while our parents are getting a divorce and right after we, we push them back and we become like the good girl, the people pleasers and we can handle it.


And then, as we get into relationships during our teenage years and young adult years, some of the worry, anxiety about is this relationship going to work out, am I going to follow in my parents' footsteps? Those kinds of questions and issues arise, and so that's why it was actually the phrase was coined by the famous researcher Judith Wallerstein, who wrote the 25 year legacy of divorce. She's now deceased, but I actually I had a great conversation with her as I was writing Daughters of Divorce, because I said that concept really fit my family to a T and she said it's not commonly discussed, but boys it's not like boys aren't affected by divorce, but she believed they were affected differently and that's what started me with me. I did two very large studies at Rhode Island College and with scientific data you know it went through their data analysis lab and everything I actually did find some differences interesting and what I mean.

Karen Covy Host06:30

There's so many things I want to cover with you, but this is fascinating. What are the differences, male and female, in terms of? You know, if your parents’ divorce, how does that show up differently for men and women later in life?

Terry Gaspard Guest06:42

Well, of course it does depend on the individual. You can't generalize about everyone and it depends on the family. But certainly, when I was growing up, you know, in the 1960s and 70s and I think this is still true to a certain extent girls tend to spend more time with their moms, so they identify with the mother and often don't have as much contact with their father. So some of the difficulty that girls might have in certain cases is if the mother's having trouble coping and or feeling resentful, angry at her. In fact, some of that gets translated to concepts like you can't trust men, all marriages are going to end badly. And if the daughter doesn't hear the other side of the story, which I didn't, because I was forbidden to see my dad for a while Wow yeah, my mom just felt very much like you know you're, you're coming with me, and because my dad got remarried after a year or two, I don't want you with your stepmother. And I had no idea what really happened during the divorce and only later, when I talked to my dad about it, did I think he tried in his own way to get to have time with me. So I don't think all moms are that way and I think things have changed dramatically. But if you grow up with mistrustful attitudes towards men, that can make you more cautious, more and more hesitant to make commitment and also have difficulty handling conflict if you saw your parents having difficulty.


So some of it is identification with the mother boys. If you go by the research by Carol Gilligan, who used to be at Harvard and is now at New York University, and some other off authors, the premises that boys tend to look for their identity more outside of the family, and so they might identify with their friend groups sports, you know whatever it is and they might identify somewhat more with the dad and be on his side or hopefully see things as being more neutral. And so we have a female brain which we've studied and we know that not myself, I'm not a neuroscientist but we do know that the female brain processes emotion somewhat differently and we tend to hold on to both negative and positive emotions a lot longer than boys do. So there's all that which I talk about in my book.

Karen Covy Host09:15

Yeah, and I just I was looking into the book and did I? I'm not sure if I got the statistic right, but I think what you said in there was that 40, or how did it go women have? Women whose parents were divorced have a 40% greater chance of getting divorced themselves than the general public. Yes, it's very high.

Terry Gaspard Guest09:37

That's crazy, yeah. So that's one of the reasons why I'm so passionate and I have quite a few articles and my book, of course, to educate moms, dads and women, and I'm very proud to say I have a pretty large following of single or divorce dads who do coaching with me to try to improve their relationship with their daughters.

Karen Covy Host10:03

Yeah, and I really, I really hope that the audience hears what you're saying because, look, I've never met a parent on the planet who purposely wanted to mess up their kids. Right now wants to inflict pain on their children, but the challenges that so many of them are inadvertently, without ever intending to do that, inflicting pain. I mean what you just said about your mother. If you knew that by doing what your mother did which I'm sure she believed she was doing the best she could for you but by keeping you away from your, your father, only giving you one side of the story if she knew that meant you were going to have a 40% greater chance of going through the same thing, you know, she might have thought differently about the way she was behaving Exactly so, a lot of its education.

Terry Gaspard Guest10:52

And I have to say, I had many conversations with my mother at the end of her life and she was so proud of me and you know, she I don't know if guilt's the right word but she realized it, realized that she contributed to some of my lack of connection with my dad and she's just saying he was a good man at the end of her life. We just weren't good as a couple. She really came around, which was nice to see, but you know, in the heat of the divorce, sometimes negative things are said and they can stick with you. So, as you know, it's really important for parents to work on their own self care and their own emotional health so they can, you know, not, and have good boundaries so that they're not talking. There are ways that are disparaging about their ex and that goes from men and moms and dads.

Karen Covy Host11:44

Yeah, I agree 100%. And it also goes for people who are divorcing later in life. Just because you have always told my clients, just because your children are adults, yeah, mean that your divorce is not going to have any effect on them at all. I mean, so true, it'll be a different effect, for sure, but it's still going to affect them.

Terry Gaspard Guest12:05

A lot of adult children of divorce feel very overly responsible for the well being and they come to me for therapy or coaching because they say things like I never realized that it would affect me this much.


My parents were unhappy for so many years. I thought I would feel relieved when they got a divorce, but now my mom's crying, my dad's, you know, having difficulty managing his life. I don't want my parents to get back together, necessarily, but I don't want to be in the middle between them and I don't want to hear negative things about the other parent. And those are two key issues which I feel very strongly about keeping kids, or young or adults, out of the middle, no matter what age the child of divorce or adult of divorce family is. Keep them out of the middle. You know, be cautious about loyalty conflicts, because they're going to, they're always going to be somewhat relevant. I know they were with me and my sisters and the thousands of people I've counseled and coached. And then you know, just um, you know, take care of yourself and try to leave a positive legacy.

Karen Covy Host13:17

Yeah, great. Well, speaking of positive, your story has a positive conclusion as well, as you got remarried and you have written a second book on remarriage. So can you tell me a little bit more about that? How did how did you decide after having been in a marriage that fell apart? How did you get the courage, or the whatever it took, to say, all right, I'll give marriage another go?

Terry Gaspard Guest13:47

Well, I would say that I always believed in marriage, in spite of my background, and keep in mind, my grandparents were also divorced. So unfortunately, there were a lot there have been a lot of divorces in my family. I believed in marriage and I started studying, as I mentioned, and doing research and I became more aware about the importance of having a friendship and getting to know someone and making sure I had more in common. And if I started dating someone where I felt they wouldn't be a good match for me and my kids over the long run, I wasn't afraid to break off that relationship.


And when I met my husband, who I've been married to now for 26 years, he had been married and divorced when he was young, he didn't have children, children and we met through a mutual friend and he said let's do this right, let's take it slow. So we did. I didn't introduce him to my children right away and we just we did fun things together. We both liked the outdoors, we did hiking, kayaking and over a period of about six months to a year, we decided, you know, if we were going to get married, this was a time to do it, because we were in our early 40s and he had expressed a desire to try to have a child because he didn't have kids. So I put a one year window on it, and after we got married we were fortunate enough to concede I conceived a child who's now 24 years old.

Karen Covy Host15:20

So it worked out well, that's wonderful, yeah, so in the remarriage rules which is your latest book, right? You talk about 10 keys for a successful remarriage and I want to talk about those. But before we dive into this and it sounds like a simplistic question, but I mean it sincerely is like what are the differences between a marriage and a remarriage? I mean, do different rules apply the second time around?

Terry Gaspard Guest15:51

Well, the book, the remarriage manual, and I actually the rules was my first title. It's funny you should say that the 10 rules for happy remarriage. But they liked the manual better, so the publishers anyway. Some of them apply, but there are certainly some unique characteristics of remarriage and step families and one of the things that I found in my research and my own experiences just because you love someone and you have a good attraction and hopefully your communication is going pretty well, that doesn't mean things are going to go smoothly after you get married, especially when you have kids involved. So things in a remarriage don't run on automatic. You can assume that your feelings of euphoria I know I've met my soulmate all those positive feelings are going to last when you get into the complications of blending your two different worlds. Because, keep in mind, you're older. Now most first time marriages happen. Average age late 20s, early 30s, and the average age for a remarriage is at least a decade later. So therein you have baggage. You have not only prior marriages and relationships in most cases we have many of them but you have baggage that's built up. You have ways of communicating or not that could be problematic. And so when you're inheriting other people's children too, and even if you mean well and you want to raise them, help raise them in a good way, you don't want to step into the marriage in the second or third time around as the authoritarian parent. You want to be an adult mentor who's a positive influence. So how you go about forming relationships with children in a remarriage is really important.


I have a chapter on that handling money. It gets very complicated. We're talking about child support. We're talking about who pays for what, joint checking and savings versus separate. I have a lot of information in the book about that and, just generally speaking, in addition to the baggage, I would admit and most people that have been divorced would also say you have some trust issues and you've been let down. Even if your marriage didn't end because of infidelity, there are other types of betrayal where you felt like your spouse wasn't there for you didn't really have your best interests at heart.


So the promise of the book is we're in this together. If we're going on this remarriage journey, we want to keep our eyes wide open, be aware of some of the obstacles, some of the tough spots, not bail out easily, but try to work through them, and I give a lot of suggestions about how you can do that and how you can build trust, build a connection and have some what I call rituals of connection that are really very important. That you spend certain times together and make your remarriage a priority. I didn't understand that when I was first remarried and when we went through some tough spots I sort of would distance myself and say, well, I can handle this on my own. And when my husband and I tried to find marriage counseling, I found that there wasn't much information or many therapists out there that understood some of the complexities that we were dealing with. So that also was what prompted me to write the book.

Karen Covy Host19:40

Yeah, I think you're really onto something that trust is. I mean, it's a major component of any relationship and yet, once you've been through a divorce, I often tell my clients that trust is the first casualty of divorce. Right the minute the relationship breaks down, all of a sudden you don't know if you can trust your spouse with anything. Right, how do? And the other thing is that I've heard from a lot of clients that it's not just the trust in the next relationship that they have problems with. They have problems trusting themselves because they thought they chose properly the first time around and clearly they didn't if the marriage broke up. So what would you say to someone who's wrestling with trust issues after a first marriage and wants love, wants a remarriage, wants that connection relationship, but has a problem trusting someone?

Terry Gaspard Guest20:37

Well, I would say, first of all, that issue you brought up is very, very key trusting yourself and so I think it's good to spend some time alone after you have a divorce and not rush into dating, and certainly not have someone move in with you or move in with them right away and get to know a new partner gradually. I always recommend clients make a list of the top 10 qualities of a potential partner that are really important and highlight three or four of them, like someone that's dependable, someone that's reliable with showing up on time, someone that has okay communication skills. They don't tend to stonewall or shut down when they're upset about something, so education might be one that's important. It's interesting that when I work with clients on these issues, they never bring up looks or those kinds of things, and very rarely do they bring up money. They want someone they can count on, someone that's gonna be there for them, and the only way you can really find this out is through spending time with someone and getting to know them. But if you rush right into it, especially if you want or both of you have kids you're not gonna really get to know the person and I would say in terms of the trust. Karen, when you're aware of your own trust issues, you can, after a while, decipher how many of them are from your own baggage, your past, and how much of it is your partner. And the old adage of action speak louder than words is so true. So you have to extend trust to someone.


For instance, my husband used to run late from work and at first I remember being concerned because he was 30, 40 minutes late and in those days we didn't have text. He didn't call me. And then he explained to me well, he didn't wanna call me because he was driving. He got stuck in traffic. So we came up with something that helped me build trust. A simple strategy was that if he anticipated he'd left his bed, he would be late because he left his office a little late, he would call me and let me know. And it was pretty simple and it helped a lot.


And likewise, he likes to dance more than I do, so we went out dancing. Sometimes he would dance with other people, but he explained to me it wasn't because he didn't wanna dance with me, he just likes to dance with a lot of different people. We do like it's called folk dancing, contra dancing. So anyway, there are some things. If you're willing to be vulnerable and put your trust issues out there which you have to be aware that you have them to begin with, and not blame your partner and say, well, it's because you're always running late that I have these issues. No, it's not that it's I feel a bit worried or jealous or whatever the feeling is Can we come up with a system that can help me feel more secure?

Karen Covy Host23:51

Yeah, that's beautiful. And what you're also talking about, sort of the undercurrent here, is you got to do your own work.


Like are you dive into a new relationship, whether that work is with, through coaching, through therapy, through any other self-help method that you want and these days there are tons of them but do the work so that you can be ready yourself to start that new relationship right Exactly, and if you rush into it and you're on the rebound which so many of my clients will tell me after the fact they realized they got involved with their partner too quickly.

Terry Gaspard Guest24:32

They didn't really know them that well.


They overlooked you know they had the rose-colored glasses on, so they overlooked some warning signs and they didn't go back to their list maybe of what are the most important qualities which you know we might go for the luxe, we might go for someone that has, you know, the sparkling appearance and the great job and realize, you know, yeah, but they're always gone and I need someone who's more of a home body, you know, or they don't want to be around my kids.


A big issue for remarriage also is seeing how well your partner does with being around step kids, potential step kids, because they can be someone that likes children but not be really up for all the ups and downs of children complaining, maybe having an off day. It's so happened that my husband did really want to be a stepdad and he told me that from the get-go and he proved himself to be worthy. He has a good relationship with my two older kids, but you don't always know that right away. You know someone might say oh yeah, I love kids, but day after day, you know, it's very different than you know seeing them for an ice cream cone or for you know, an hour at the park.

Karen Covy Host25:49

So yeah, and it doesn't help that Disney portrays every stepmother on the planet. We're all evil, we're all the witch, the you know, and I can say that because I too have a stepmom right, and it's a role that I absolutely adore. But it's not, it's not easy. It's not like you walk in and say, oh yeah, I like kids, and then you can send them home. Right, they are home, and you've got to deal with all of this stuff. And not only that, but for those people who have blended families where both spouses have kids from another marriage I know that's gotten often in the way of relationships because the kids walk along Definitely.

Terry Gaspard Guest26:31

And one thing that I identified in my book through research was the insider versus the outsider dynamic and that was written about by Patricia Papernov. She's a famous researcher on step families and that's basically who's in the inner circle and who's feeling on the outside. And even my husband in spite of all the great things I'm saying my second husband he identified that he felt on the outside, you know, up until our daughter was a little bit older, he felt like I had this tight relationship with my kids and he couldn't, you know, break through. And there were certain things that I would do with them. You know, I would go on little road trips and I just assumed he didn't want to go with us or whether they got older, I would talk to them about college planning and that kind of thing, and he said how do you know, I don't want to help.


We had actually separate accounts and that's one of the reasons why I'm interested in, you know, writing and talking more about money and I used to write checks, you know, independently of him. We used to, you know, exchange money back and forth and I realized after a while I was keeping secrets and not sharing a lot of stuff with him, and that was that wasn't really necessary. So now I'm more in favor of one joint checking account. You can have, in my opinion, separate savings accounts If you want. I'm I think that's fine, I'm not. I think people often want to have their own little pot of money, but if you have one joint checking account it encourages couples to talk about money.

Karen Covy Host28:11

Yeah, and that actually is one of your keys to a successful remarriage is don't keep secrets about money. So, how you know, other than having the one joint checking account, what other tips would you give to people like, because what you have just described? I don't think a lot of people would necessarily think of that as keeping a secret about money. It's just, I have my account and you have yours right.


Right. So what else, you know, should people be aware of, because the awareness is the first step towards actually changing something. What should they be aware of when it comes to money and in a remarriage situation?

Terry Gaspard Guest28:56

Well, having regular discussions about finances is really one of the keys to success. So one thing you can do is, once a month, have a date night where you talk about finances and plan for your future. This can be a night where you talk about vacations, things that maybe you need to, you know, take care of with your household budget. Often many of us including myself, prior to realizing how important it was to have this separate time to talk about it have these discussions late at night, early in the morning or when people aren't really in the mood to talk about money, you know, after a long day in the office and they don't always go well. And if you have avoidance issues which I admit with the book that I did because you know my mom complained a lot about money and we never had enough money, so I have some of my own insecurities about money then I tense up. So if you're in a relaxed environment over dinner, go out for a pizza without the kids and talk about it. Write everything down, definitely your spending plan, your savings plan, your budget, and I have all the tips, for the details of this are in the book. I'm going to write more about this in my next book.


But, generally speaking, people don't keep track of things. You know they make comments and I used to do this a lot off the cuff, like I don't think we have enough money to pay the mortgage next week, but in fact you do, but you just didn't realize it because you don't want to sit down and discuss it. And you know the whole thing about just open or full disclosure and looking at your spouse, as a team member as opposed to an outsider oh, he'll never. He'll never understand this. You know, especially when it comes to like college tuition stuff like that, life gets very complicated.


We think life's complicated when our kids are younger. It gets more so when they get older. They, you know they want you to pitch in for a car. You know you're, hopefully they're going to want money for college or advanced training in some area. So that's why it's important to have these discussions and not assume the worst. Don't assume the worst to your partner that they won't be caring, that they won't be interested, as long as you knew from the get go that they wanted to be a step parent. Most step parents are wonderful, as you said. They don't deserve the stigma and the stereotypes, and that goes for women or men. They do the work. They're worthy, but often don't acknowledge that.

Karen Covy Host31:43

Yeah, that is great advice. Also, to follow up on what you said, there's a whole lot of emotion around money, but it comes with. It sounds like what you're saying is that you've got to be willing to talk about it with your new spouse and not make assumptions about how they feel, what they will or won't do, what they want to pay for, because as kids get older, they do not get less expensive.

Terry Gaspard Guest32:15

Exactly, college tuition is over the top. Now you could be creative and look for scholarships and hopefully your child or children have some unique talents. But it gets very stressful being vulnerable, being willing to talk about things and come up with some compromises. We didn't take these sensitive vacations when my kids were in college. We would get in the car and we would drive to Maine, which is a four-hour drive from our house, and stay in a cabin. That was nice, didn't cost that much, right on the lake so we could go swimming when it got hot. But we didn't fly to Europe or didn't do those things. We're better able to do that now that the kids aren't in the picture. They're done with college. But when you have all these complexities in your life, you have to discuss them and hopefully you'll be able to come to an agreement on what are the main priorities.

Karen Covy Host33:10

Yeah, how do you do that? Because another one of the things that you talk about in your book is managing conflict, because, and especially in a second marriage, there's so many more issues that can arise, so many sources of potential conflict. How can a couple manage that conflict constructively?

Terry Gaspard Guest33:32

Well, I would say and I go by Dr John Gottman's advice on this, because he did his 40-year love lab experiments and I've studied extensively with him, which is why I have a page on his website and I write articles for him what he found, I have found to be true, that is, you're never going to be able to get rid of conflict. It is part of all relationships, especially a marriage, and truly a remarriage has more potential for conflict. You know that. But you're not going to assume that you should always be right. You can't be right all the time. Don't dig your heels in. Work on some good listening skills.


I give a lot of tips on that how to turn towards your partner. Pay attention to what they're saying. Let them know, validate their perspective, even if you don't agree. If you feel that things are getting heated up and you're not feeling like your conversation is going in a positive direction, karen, take a 20 or 30-minute break and get back to it. A lot of people just keep it up and they end up saying regrettable comments that they don't really mean giving ultimatums. Don't try to solve all your problems quickly and realize some you're just going to have to say we're agreeing to disagree, but with the main things that are important, like how you spend your time, how you spend your money, how you're going to discipline your kids, those kinds of things you're both going to add in. On that you want to listen and basically always give your partner the opportunity to tell you their perspective and tell them yours.


We have must-haves, all of us. We have things that are important to us and those are key things, like for me, when I go on vacation, I don't like to go to a place where I'm going to be on the go constantly. I like to be relaxing and have a book or go swimming or do a little hiking. Anyway, if my husband wanted to go to a large city, I might be willing to do that once in a while, but not all the time. If you have a collaborative, problem-solving approach, it will work out over time. But you need those rituals of connection which are spending 20 or 30 minutes together, hopefully every day or several times a week, where you're really talking, spending time together once a month. Talk about finances. If things get too heated up, try to have short conversations on a weekend or when you're not too busy. Be willing to say I don't think we can repair this right now, but let's get back to it. Let's talk about it tomorrow.

Karen Covy Host36:30

Yeah, then to actually talk about it tomorrow.

Terry Gaspard Guest36:33

Exactly. Both people need to take responsibility too. So often we get into the blame model which, as you know, is you do this, you do that, as opposed to. I feel worried, I feel upset, and this is why I need for you to add in on certain things, or give me more feedback, or plan something with me. Whatever it is that you need. How can we work on this together? Yes, so, that's more of a non-blameful communication style that's referred to as a soft startup.

Karen Covy Host37:08

Yeah, much more constructive. But, Terry, I could talk to you for hours. For sure, you are a wealth of information, and what I really appreciate about your tips in this conversation is that it's all research-based, like you're not pulling stuff out of thin air because you made it up right. Everything you say is based on some sort of research or study or decades of your own experience. So I really appreciate your sharing these words of wisdom with our audience, with me. I really appreciate it. Can you tell the audience where they can find you?

Terry Gaspard Guest37:44

I'm at movingpastivorescom. Movingpastivorescom is my website and when you go there you'll find free blogs. By weekly, there's always a new blog and you can go back in the archives and get blogs on different topics. Both of my books are available on the home page there and I also have a tab for coaching. If you want coaching. It tells you what to do, how to go about it. So I am on social media. I'm on Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn, but the best way to find me and get information is by going to movingpastivorescom.

Karen Covy Host38:22

Terry, thank you so much again, and for everybody out there watching or listening, if you liked what you heard. If you want to hear more interviews just like this, give this a thumbs up, like, subscribe to the podcast and I look forward to seeing you again in the next episode. Thank you.

Head shot of Karen Covy in an Orange jacket smiling at the camera with her hand on her chin.

Karen Covy is a Divorce Coach, Lawyer, Mediator, Author, and Speaker. She coaches high net worth professionals and successful business owners to make hard decisions about their marriage with confidence, and to navigate divorce with dignity.  She speaks and writes about decision-making, divorce, and living life on your terms. To connect with Karen and discover how she can help you, CLICK HERE.


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