The entire process of divorce sucks, but that doesn’t have to be your journey forever. In this week’s episode, I am sitting down with two very special guests to talk about their experience of getting divorced at the same time and how that led them to create an online community helping others through all stages of divorce.
T.H. Irwin and Jessica Klingbaum tell us all about life after divorce, the negative stigma around it, and what jumping back into dating looked like for them. We even have a juicy conversation about their first sexual experience after coming out of their long-term marriages. If you’re curious about how to navigate life after divorce positively, make sure to tune into this episode!
In this week’s episode, we discuss:
[01:44] About T.H. Irwin and Jessica Klingbaum
[03:00] How getting divorced at the same time led them to help other women
[07:46] The stigma around divorce
[09:09] The importance of positive community & resources
[13:04] Dating after divorce
[19:57] Why life is too short to settle
[25:14] Attracting people who are a match for where you are at in life
[30:22] The most difficult part of jumping back into dating
[36:06] Their first sexual experience after divorce
[39:38] T.H. Irwin and Jessica Klingbaum’s favorite dates
About T.H. Irwin and Jessica Klingbaum
T.H. Irwin and Jessica Klingbaum are two best friends who got divorced at the exact same time. Rising from the lack of resources, support, and information during their separate journeys, along with the desire to help others maneuver through the process, they created exEXPERTS, an online community and divorce podcast. This community is an honest and positive space for anyone in any stage of divorce.
How getting divorced at the same time led them to help other women
They had known each other for many years, got married around the same time, had children around the same time, and then 13 years later they found out that both of their husbands were cheating on them so both couples got divorced. They were so thankful that they had each other and they wanted to pay it forward to anyone going through this.
Being there for each other through it all helped them not get caught up in anger, resentment, and fear. They wanted to figure out how they could help other people navigate through divorce and still be able to enjoy their lives and see the light at the end of the tunnel. They have both continued to go out and live life and know that having each other emotionally really helped them.
The stigma around divorce
Both T.H. and Jessica share with us that there is still a lot of stigma around divorce. They feel like part of their messaging is to remind people that sometimes it doesn’t work out and that doesn’t make you a bad person. It is not always easy to find people who can empathize with you and not be judgmental or gossip about it. Divorce sucks but it is an opportunity to move forward and live your best life.
The importance of positive community & resources
Celeste shares that she would have loved a sense of community when she was going through a divorce and this is hard to find. There is a lot of toxicity in divorce groups and when you do find someone it may be difficult to trust them. This is why they created this community of experts you can trust. Having a community will help you feel not as alone and will give you the tools and a new perspective after divorce.
Dating after divorce
Jessica shares that if you are coming out of a divorce where your partner cheated on you, your self-esteem takes a hit no matter how confident you are. This is why when you start dating you should dip your toes in to build back up your confidence. Make sure to find out your needs as well because the bar might be set really low which leads to settling.
Why life is too short to settle
It’s important to recognize your self-worth and rebuild your confidence after going through a tough breakup. This is difficult after divorce but it is possible with the right support and/or therapy. The problem is that we often settle for less than we deserve when we’re in a vulnerable state. Take the time to understand what you want (and don’t want) in your next relationship because you deserve all of the things that you are looking for.
Jessica reminds us that holding onto someone who isn’t right for you can prevent you from finding the right person. If you don’t feel a connection with someone or if your gut is telling you it’s wrong, then stop dating them and put in the effort elsewhere. Life is too short to settle and it’s important to value yourself.
Attracting people who are a match for where you are at in life
So many people stay in relationships because they feel like they are never going to find someone. You have to be comfortable with being alone and with who you are. T.H. reminds us that people will meet us where we are. If you are growing then you will attract the people who match that. If you are settling for the bare minimum that person will meet you there. Don’t get stuck unless you have maxed out your personal growth. Remember that nothing is a failure, we learn lessons from every person that we date.
The most difficult part of jumping back into dating
One of the most difficult parts of jumping back into dating is when you believe the best in people. Sometimes you are naive to how they truly are. The most important thing is listening to your gut and not the words that someone else is saying. Make sure to listen to your intuition and know what is best for you.
Their first sexual experience after divorce
In Jessica’s first marriage, they never stopped having sex but that first experience after divorce was still exciting. In her second divorce, they stopped having sex for a long time so she realized what she had been missing and couldn’t wait to get back out there.
T.H. said that it was like fireworks and amazing. Again, she met him where she was at so he was also starving for that intimacy and passion. A lot of people have very low self-esteem coming out of a marriage and you feel like you are going to be judged but the only person that is judging you is you. She also reminds us that it’s more than okay to have a fling, have fun, and sleep around.
T.H. Irwin and Jessica Klingbaum’s favorite dates
Jessica separated from her husband during COVID and everything closed early in New York. The best date she had was when someone came over to her apartment and dressed up in a suit and she wore a dress and heels. They were slow dancing in her living room and it was really romantic.
T.H. loves all of her date nights with her partner where they go out, order drinks, and flirt. She even loves simple things like going for walks together and watching TV.
Connect with T.H. Irwin and Jessica Klingbaum: