Ben Affleck on the pain of divorce – Divorce Recovery Takeaways
Ben Affleck opens up about the pain of divorce. I’m going to talk about that and much more right after this.
Hey everyone, I’m Yoel Farkas, I’m so grateful to have you on my YouTube channel. I am the author of “Recover from your divorce in four steps the no fluff method for divorce men by a divorce man”, that’s me [pointing to book]. I also recently published on Amazon my second book for men called “How to be a winning man in your marriage.” Both of these books deal with personal development as well as therapy and how to really become that man that you were meant to be. I’m a mentor and coach for divorce man, I have a coaching program. And if you want to learn more, you can contact me there’s a link below in the description.
Ben Affleck’s interview with Diane Sawyer About Divorce
Now, regarding the topic of today’s video, I wanted to talk about something that I watched recently, although as of the date of this recording the video’s a year old. I recently watched an interview on YouTube that Ben Affleck had with Diane Sawyer of ABC News. And during the interview, the theme of the interview was not about divorce, but it came up in the conversation. And Ben Affleck quite candidly talks about his feelings about just how painful divorce is, have a look right here…
[Sawyer:] what was the hardest thing for you to be honest with yourself about.
[Affleck:] That I was going to get divorced, that that I never thought I was going to get divorced, I didn’t want to get divorced, I didn’t want to be a divorced person, I really didn’t want to be a split family with my children. And it upset me, because it meant I wasn’t who I thought I was. And that was so painful. And so disappointing. …It’s very painful. Divorce is a very painful and alcoholism are very painful, they just are, you know…
Men tend to run away from their pain
So that’s Ben Affleck. And as you can see, it’s really impressive how candid he is about talking about the pain. He really owns it, he doesn’t run away from it. And you know, something I noticed with a lot of men in my coaching program, and I talk about it in the book is that a lot of men kind of try and go the other way from their pain, they try to run away from it, they try to be all macho, and you know, show her who’s boss. And they really, rather than looking inwardly, they try to look outwardly at external circumstances.
The key to impactful recovery is to feel the pain and share it with the right people
But the key to recovery, having an impactful recovery, as I talk about in the book is to really own those feelings, to understand them, to be aware of them to feel that pain. The best way to do that, of course, is with the right therapist, as I talk about in the book. And also to share with the appropriate people, you don’t want to let everybody into your garden. Ben Affleck obviously is a big celebrity, and therefore he feels comfortable doing it on national television in an interview. But that doesn’t mean you should do it. In fact, I would discourage you from sharing publicly, unless you really feel comfortable in that sort of setting. It really depends on the person. I’m doing it here at this point in YouTube. So I’m doing this for the world. But it’s taken me quite a while to get to this place. And I’m, at this point pretty visible online, whether it’s social media or whatnot. So I’m comfortable doing it. But you don’t have to do that. In fact, I would discourage it. But it’s definitely important to share it with the right people, be it a therapist, be it really trusted friends.
Affleck, despite celebrity status and vulnerability, is candid about the pain of divorce
So what’s really amazing for me to see as somebody of Affleck’s stature, and you can say, “Okay, oh, he’s a celebrity big deal”. But you know what, as a celebrity, he can sort of run away from that and pretend like everything’s wonderful, he can have a fear of making himself vulnerable to the world because he has a certain image to keep up. But he doesn’t do that he’s very open about the fact that he has pain about divorce. And so I think you could learn from Affleck, just how important it is to be aware of it, not run away from it, and to experience it.
What does the pain of divorce mean?
Now, not only is that an important lesson in and of itself, but I wanted to talk about what it means, what is the pain of divorce, okay, so for those of you watching, who haven’t been divorced, or you may be contemplating divorce, or you have gone through divorce, or you’re in the process, or you’ve gone through it in the past, I think you’ll really relate to what I’m saying. And I really hope that you can get a sense from my experiences, just what it means to have pain of divorce. And if you’re in recovery, or if you are divorced man, and you’re looking to get that recovery, I hope you’ll be able to really get some sense of what it means to experience that sort of pain, not because we want to punish ourselves or feel bad, it’s not about feeling bad. But like I said, it’s about having that impactful recovery. And once you’re aware of that pain, and you can feel it you can also work towards alleviating that pain by growing, by taking the necessary steps to understand yourself. And again, the best way to do that is through therapy, and then being able to have that impactful recovery.
Three distinct pains in connection with divorce – Sadness the first
So I’ve written down three little cue cards here, if you will, in terms of what I experienced when I talk about pain. And obviously there’s a whole host of other emotions. You know, human beings are so complex. It’s really hard to funnel it down into 3. But the three that stand out, in my mind, start with number one, which is sadness, okay. So obviously, when you come to that realization, I remember when, you know, obviously, my marriage was in decline for quite some time before the actual point of divorce. And I did everything to fight it, and, you know, fight it in the sense that I didn’t want it to happen. And, you know, there’s a part of you that thinks that you can control the outcome that, you know, it’s everything’s just going be better if I do such and such and such and such. But at the end of the day, it’s not within your control. If one spouse wants it, it’s really beyond your control. And I just remember all the many, many times even now, I obviously I do have sadness, I do have that painful sadness, from time to time. Fortunately, it’s not as intense as it was when it was happening. And that, again, is because I’m able to feel the pain and share it and whatnot. And that’s where it really becomes an impactful recovery. But when it was going down just the intense sadness of realizing that everything I had worked for, in terms of building a family, I have five children, I was married for a while when the divorce was happening. 17 years, the day of the divorce is my 18th anniversary, as I mentioned in a few videos, so as the divorce was happening, I was married for 17 years with five children. And just to see that all slipping away. And when I say all slipping away, I mean, from my point of view that I had in time, obviously, I do think that everything happens for a reason. And those reasons continue to reveal themselves to me, over time, a lot of amazing things have happened to me, obviously wish the divorce never happened. But a lot of amazing things have happened in my life, including what I’m doing now, being able to become a coach and mentor for other men to help with divorce recovery, or even for other married men.
I related to Affleck’s insistence that he didn’t want to be a divorced man
But the fact of the matter is, at the time, I just saw my family slipping away, I saw a division. And actually, when you saw in the clip before, when Ben Affleck says I didn’t want to be a divorced man. That’s exactly how I felt, I still feel that way. Okay, it is what it is at this point I am divorced. But I didn’t want that, I so badly didn’t want it. So I just had like an intense sadness, knowing that everything that I had worked for had gone away. And by the way, this isn’t to make myself a victim or anything like that, as well. I’m just trying to express what the pain is of divorce, and how that sort of sadness manifests. So that’s one sense.
The sadness in divorce over the children
Another part of the sadness was for my children, you know, just knowing that they would grow up in a divided household where it’s not, you know, mommy and daddy, it’s mom, and then there’s dad, there’s two different families going on. So where there was once unity, now it’s a separation, and just knowing that my children have to experience that for the rest of their lives, was really painful, and really made me sad. And again, that’s not to turn them into victims, either. These are, I’ve learned also, through therapy, that these are challenges, we all have challenges that we have to, you know, surmount as, as our lives go on. And these are challenges that they’ve been handed, but at the end of the day, it’s something that makes me sad to think about, it made me sad, extremely sad at the time. Okay, so that’s the pain of sadness.
Pain # 3 of Divorce – Anger
Now, the next part of pain that I jotted down over here is the pain of anger, okay. And a lot of times these emotions, like I said before, can be mixed together, or one could lead into the other, one could proceed the other, one can follow the other. The point is, is that anger is obviously a big part of the pain. And what do I mean when I say anger? Well, you know, if my viewpoint is that my family is being destroyed, then it follows naturally that I’m going to look to blame somebody for that. And I’m not talking about whether or not that’s right or wrong, or whether somebody should be blamed. That is definitely not the right focus point. And that’s the subject of a different video that I’ll discuss. Okay, so it’s not about blame or right or wrong. But again, I’m talking about as things are happening, there’s that pain. And if you’re going to look at why my family is being destroyed, well, the natural conclusion for one of the spouses who doesn’t want to get divorced is to look to the spouse who does want to get divorced and say, well, you’re causing all this. How dare you! How could you? So, there’s a certain anger that manifests itself when it comes to divorce.
What does pain of anger involve?
And of course, there’s all sorts of other components to anger. There’s the anger of how the divorce is happening. Okay, so I don’t want to get into all the nitty gritty, especially in a public forum. But there’s different ways to divorce, you know, there is a concept of amicable divorce. And when that sort of amicable divorce doesn’t happen, and certain actions are taken, you really get angry, like, why are you doing this, you really want to like, talk to your spouse, and really understand and see, like, why are you taking this approach, there’s a certain anger because you don’t have that control over them. And they’re going to do what they’re going to do because of their conditioning and their experience. And that’s not to justify everything they do. But as always talking about I’m focusing on my side of the street, not worrying about why she does what she does. The fact is at the time, there’s that anger because I don’t have control over what she’s doing. And it’s driving me crazy. Why are you doing it? Why are you doing it like this? Why have you chosen to leave me? Okay? There’s the anger at the betrayal, there’s the betrayal, that’s felt, okay. And again, that whole concept of betrayal is something else to discuss. Is there betrayal? How does betrayal work? Okay, but I definitely know from the men that I work with, and just generally speaking to other men, and from my experiences, there’s definitely that feeling of betrayal, not only from the ex-wife, or the leaving spouse, but also from the family. You know, you can be part of a family for many, many years and then one day you find yourself out, just like that. Okay, so there’s feelings of betrayal. This all sort of ties into anger. Okay, so those are some of the examples of the anger that one can feel in the divorce. Obviously, there’s a myriad of examples any of you watching who have gone through divorce who have experienced the anger could probably shout at the screen now and tell me what about this, this or this, you know what you can leave a comment below if you want, but it should be respectful. And the point is not to sit and bash a spouse. The point is to focus on yourself. So I’m always happy to get feedback and to put comments below, but just make sure it’s not with a purpose of bashing the purpose is to really understand your own anger.
Pain # 3 of divorce – Fear
Now, the third emotion that I jotted down here is fear. Okay, which is definitely related to the previous two. But when the divorce is happening, then you start to wonder, well, how in the world am I going to continue on my own? I know for myself, being a father of five children, while making a living independently, I’m a self-employed person. How am I going to do all this? And the fact is, it is challenging, by the way, but as the divorce is happening, you start thinking about these things, how in the world am I going to do it, you have this fear, I’m not going to be able to do it. And by the way, I’m grateful to see I’ve been doing just great. So far. And I’m very optimistic and confident, I’ll continue to do great, okay, but you do have these fears. You also have financial fears. Again, I can’t speak for everyone, but for almost every man that I’ve worked with and spoken to, there’s that fear of how am I going to make this? I’ve got to pay for lawyers first of all, to deal with this divorce. There’s child support, if you have children, there’s two households, alimony. There’s also I’ve got to move to a new apartment, a new house or apartment, depending on where you live, you know, I’m losing my car, I’m losing all my assets to her, I’ve got to rebuild from scratch, how am I going afford this? There’s that fear. There’s the fear of children, how are my children going to handle this? How are they going to adapt to not having a mommy and daddy who are together anymore. So there’s all sorts of fears that start, you know, tumbling down. And really you have, what you have here is really a blend of all three emotions.
Ben Affleck likely experienced these pains in divorce
So I talked about the pain of sadness, the pain of anger, and the pain of fear. And again, these could come and go separately and apart, or they can come all at once it can be blended, they can be distinct. But the point is, is that these are some examples of some of the pain, and I can’t speak for Ben Affleck but I’m sure he experienced these emotions as well as his divorce was happening. So when he talks about pain, I’m sure that these are some of the painful emotions that he had to deal with.
Don’t keep you pain in check in order to have impactful recovery!
And again, not to revere celebrities, or put them on pedestals, they’re human beings just like you and I, you know, and, and they would be the first to say that, you know, they don’t want to be treated any differently, or the average celebrity doesn’t want to be treated any differently than anybody else from a human perspective. As you can see, Ben Affleck, gets very, you know, very down to earth about expressing his pain. But I think that, you know, just seeing somebody of his stature, speak about the pain really could give us men encouragement, to know that we’re not alone in these experiences. You can be Ben Affleck, or you can be you know, John Smith, unknown, it doesn’t matter who you and everybody in between, it doesn’t matter who you are, where you stand in your community. The point is that everybody feels that pain in the divorce and what the difference is going to be for those men who are able to get on that road to recovery and have that impactful recovery from those men who don’t is the difference is that the men who are willing to dive deep inside themselves to really uncover what it is they’re feeling so that they can share it with the right people. Those are the men that are going to have the most impactful recovery. And again, not to toot my own horn, but to speak from experience had I disregarded my emotions and said, I you know, I don’t have any pain. In fact, I was discouraged from doing videos like this, don’t talk about your pain, keep your emotions in check, and all sorts of things like that. But I know that’s not being true to myself and the truth is what’s most important. And the way to get at that truth is to really understand what’s actually going on not to run away from it, just like Ben Affleck does.
Don’t numb out the pain
So you may be struggling with that I’m not suggesting it’s easy, and that’s why they are coaches, such as myself that can help with that, that can give accountability that can help you, you know, make the right decisions that will get you towards that road to recovery. But the point is to be able to experience it, to relate to people like Ben Affleck in a positive way to see that there’s others that are going through it just like you and that when you do experience that pain, sure it is painful to feel it, it’s easier to numb that pain out. But you don’t want to do that, you want to feel that pain so that you can work it through and have that impactful recovery. So I really hope you found this video insightful and helpful. And again, please leave a comment below don’t forget to subscribe, and I will see you at the next video.
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