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How to Master Being Suddenly Single

How to Master Being Suddenly Single

How could you cope if, due to divorce or the death of your partner, you became suddenly single?

That question is the theme of a new book, CEO of Everything, Flying Solo and Soaring, co-authored by Gail Vaz-Oxlade and my guest today, Victoria Ryce.  As they say in their book, the biggest adjustment when you become suddenly single is that:

Everything in the house is now your job: when the smoke alarm starts beeping, when the water stops flowing, when the microwave blows ups, you must act.  Grass will grow and you will cut it.  Snow will fall and you will shovel it.  The cat will puke on the carpet and you will clean it up.

As a suddenly single person you worry about what people will think, whether or not you will lose your friends, and whether or not you will always be alone.  Sudden changes are emotionally draining.

What’s their advice to stay sane and regain control?

You’re Suddenly Single

  • Find ways to make yourself happy. Paint your bedroom, decorate to your personality, live wherever you want.
  • Listen to your core, and don’t get locked into negative thoughts or emotions.
  • Accept and feel joy, appreciation and gratitude.
  • Keep a list of to-dos for when loved ones ask if they can help, it’s a great way to take some important items off of your plate.

You’ve got life, not life imprisonment

A Loved One Is Suddenly Single

Perhaps you are trying to help a loved one who has become suddenly single.  Victoria has the following suggestions:

  • Limit the amount of decisions they have to make. They have a lot going on with their partner’s belongings, their wishes, and their own personal emotions. Just be there.
  • Don’t ask open ended questions. Don’t provide the opportunity to have them stay lonely. Ask questions like “I made soup, should I drop it off today, or tomorrow?”
  • Questions like “What’s happening?” are great because your loved one is able to answer that however they please; it’s not specific to their feelings.

Today’s show deals with the emotional aspects of becoming suddenly single.  In two weeks we will broadcast part two of this interview where we discuss the financial aspects of becoming suddenly single.

Resources mentioned in this show:

FULL TRANSCRIPT show #131 with Victoria Ryce


Doug Hoyes: Today’s show will deal with an uncomfortable topic but I predict this show will be one of our most shared shows because we’re dealing with a very important subject. How can you cope when you become suddenly single? What happens if your spouse dies suddenly, what happens if you separate from your spouse? We don’t like to think about sudden changes but it’s a very important topic to think about.

As a Licensed Insolvency Trustee I’ve helped hundreds of people over the years who found themselves suddenly single and resorted to debt to survive and of course debt creates a whole new set of problems. But it’s not just money that becomes a problem when you’re suddenly single, your entire life gets shaken up, your job, your kids, your friends are impacted. When you’re in a relationship you divide the work, when you become single you can’t share tasks with your spouse.

You become the CEO of everything and that’s the title of a new book by Victoria Ryce and Gail Vaz-Oxlade. How can you prepare for being single? What do you need to look out for? How can you help friends of family members who become suddenly single? Those questions today and many more with my special guest Victoria Ryce. Victoria, welcome to the show, how are you doing today?

Victoria Ryce: I’m great Doug, thanks for having me.

Doug Hoyes: Thanks for being here. So, I’ve read your book, CEO of Everything, which I think came out back in December of 2016, CEO of Everything, Flying Solo and Soaring. And it’s available on Amazon, in Kindle, you can get it at bookstores, Chapters, whatever. And I found it was a book that really makes you think because these are often topics that haven’t occurred to you unless you’ve been through it. I’m assuming you’ve been through it, that’s what gave you the impetus to write the book. So, perhaps we could start with you giving a bit of a history of what got you to the point where you ended up writing this book?

Victoria Ryce: Gail and I have had many conversations; we’ve been friends for many years. And Gail has been divorced three times and I’m widowed. And we’ve talked about that singleness that we are both experiencing. One of the things we thought about a lot Doug was when you find yourself suddenly single and suddenly has quite a number of variations of meaning because in my case my husband died after 13 months, he had terminal cancer.

Now is that suddenly or not? Well, when you start with the fact that I was also his caregiver, then what occurs is you see oh my goodness, yes he died, we knew he was going to die but when it actually occurs you cannot prepare for that, it is a shock to your system.

Doug Hoyes: And like you said suddenly can mean pretty much anything. We all know we’re all going to die.

Victoria Ryce: Correct.

Doug Hoyes: But we don’t know the exact date and time, there’s no expiry date on our birth certificate so we don’t know exactly. So, even in the situation you were in it was sudden, even though it was expected and obviously there can be more sudden death I guess if you’re in an accident. And a separation or divorce I guess is really in the same category because when you get married you’re not expecting to get separated. At some point it happens I guess it’s suddenly when it happens then.

Victoria Ryce: Hey, someone had a life plan and it didn’t include you. Or you had a life plan and it didn’t include the other person and so now one of you is going to be probably somewhat surprised.

Doug Hoyes: And that’s what gave the impetus for the book. So, I mean let me read a quote from the introduction of the book because I think this kind of summarizes it very succinctly, CEO of Everything. Everything in the house is now your job, when the smoke alarm starts beeping, when the water stops flowing, when the microwave blows up, you must act. Grass with grow and you will cut it, snow will fall and you will shovel it, the cat will puke on the carpet and you will clean it up.

So, those are not financial things you’re talking about, those are non-financial aspects, so can you tell me a bit about some of the non-financial issues that people end up having to deal with when they become suddenly single? So, I mean you list a whole bunch of them in the book. So, will my friends stay my friends? Is that a common worry, how do people handle that?

Victoria Ryce: If you think of what’s happened in your life as something like a baby mobile, so your baby mobile, you know if you touch one of them all the little dangly pieces, one of them moves and then the whole thing moves. You’re now in a position where you are single, in my case, my husband died, I’m now on my own.

So, what happens? You’re kind of the emergency of the moment. So, all sorts of people rush around you if your partner dies and they’re there and they want to be helpful and there’s a lot of activity. And then what happens is they move back to their normal lives and what you are left with is your new normal but it’s not looking exactly like your old normal and what are you going to do? Some of your friends are going to be people who they have difficulty with you being single.

I don’t know why it is, it’s so strange to me Doug, everyone’s happy with twos and fours, foursomes and so on. But three, five these are numbers that are less, for someone reason, less appealing. So, God bless all those people who invited me to things where I would be number three or number five or number seven. Because I’ve got to try and build a life now where I’m watching other people still in partnership and dealing with my own loss about it.

And I was the first person in my age group, in my friends, who lost their partner. And so there wasn’t someone there to tell me oh, this is going to happen or there’s going to be some people who want to come out and really protect you and there’s other people who are going to come out and they’re going to be predators.

So, Gail and I wanted to look at it from both of these angles of becoming single to say here’s what you can think about. And as you were saying earlier Doug, one of the issues is often that you know somebody who becomes single but you can’t relate to their world. You don’t know what it’s like to lose your spouse or you don’t know what it’s like perhaps to get divorced. So, what they’re going through is very different for you.

And it’s a fascinating bit of psychology because you’re going to be asking yourself questions, should I stay in the place I’m living, shouldn’t I? Can I still keep working and if you’ve experienced death especially, you just don’t pick up your life where you left off and oh yeah Tuesday is coffee and Thursday I go to yoga and Friday I’m playing baseball and whatever it might be. But you just have now uh oh what’s the meaning of everything? I know for myself I can tell you that I never locked my doors in my house where I was living. Because people would say oh lock your doors, things could be in danger etc. I said what else can you take from me that is more valuable?

Doug Hoyes: Yeah. And you weren’t living in downtown Toronto at the time anyways.

So, how do you deal with all that kind of thing? So, you know, will my friends stay my friends? So, you’ve talked about yeah we all like to pair up, well now I’m not paired up so what’s the answer you just got to push forward or is there some other strategy that you employed in that situation?

Victoria Ryce: I somewhat think of it is endings and beginnings. So, your old life as you knew it has ended it, that chapter has finished. How are you going to build the new life? And some people are completely still my friends, in fact even better friends than before. And then other ones said to me no, I don’t want to, our paths have diverged and I don’t want to be your friend anymore. I was friends with a couple and the man said to me my wife gave me a cease and desist order to talk to you. There’s a lot of people who worry about what they call spousal poaching.

Doug Hoyes: I see, yeah, because I’m trying to figure that out. So, your spouse died so we’re never going to talk again. That seems kind of bizarre but okay I guess if you’re afraid that you’re going to now steal my spouse, okay I can see that. But is that what it is in most cases or is it more just I don’t know how to relate to the odd number?

Victoria Ryce: It depends, it could be either or other ones as well. It’s a very interesting moment as people can grapple with okay, that was the ending, now what do I do? because now we’re in the unknown, we’re in the discovery phase. Okay, what am I going to discover, where am I going to live, what am I going to do? And how am I going to be with the people? Do I still have kids that I need to know be the parent to if I’m widowed?

That’s another one that’s very interesting is okay, there’s a bunch of loss that’s happened here and as you go through your own grief and your own decisions and questioning the value of so much in life, does it matter what I do? What is the meaning in life? It’s a very interesting kind of existential moment where you think about what is important to you.

Doug Hoyes: And I realize everybody’s different, but how long does that process take? You’ve obviously talked to lots of people in this situation including yourself and again everybody’s totally different but it’s never 15 minutes I’m guessing.

Victoria Ryce: You’re right and where it came very interestingly back to me was my husband had been dead 10 years by the time I had written a blog on Gail’s website called CEO of Everything and it developed into the book. And it was where people I knew found themselves widowed and I would say I’m going to have a talk with you now, you are now CEO of everything and it was kind of the way I worked through it. And that’s how the book really came into being was from that bit of beginning.

However as I started to write it and Gail and I talked about how are we going to shape it and what would be helpful, that’s what we want to be. I started to write some pieces about it and I sent them to Gail and she said to me are you sure you’re okay about writing this stuff? And I said oh yeah, I’m good, 10 years, it’s good. I think I’ve figured out a lot of stuff and I started to write.

She phones me up and says you are still so angry it’s not even funny. I said what? I thought I was being so measured and I had it all together. And instead she said oh no, you are angry, you are sad and it’s all coming out here. And so the information is here but we need to reshape it because boy oh boy you perhaps didn’t even know you had it in you. And I didn’t. I didn’t Doug and that was interesting.

Doug Hoyes: Well and the one thing about Gail is she’s not going to sugar coat it. She’s obviously been a guest on this podcast two or three times and you always know where she stands, you never have to say hey, Gail can you speak up, I think I can’t read between the lines in what you’re saying. So, I can see her being very, very blunt with you as she is with everybody else. And so, in your case 10 years later even though you thought you had it figured out there was still some stuff there that somebody else had to point out to you.

Victoria Ryce: Yes, absolutely.

Doug Hoyes: And had she not done that then you may still not have clued into it. There were many blogs that then transitioned into creating this book then.

Victoria Ryce: So we used that one as an impetus and we started to say well what are all the elements that Gail experienced and what are all the elements that I experienced and we started to do stories and then other stories that other people told us. And that’s been a fascinating part of talking to about this book to people is that they said yeah, I read the piece here and that’s exactly what happened to me and I thought I was the only one. So, we just wanted to bring this to light so that people had a chance.

Doug Hoyes: Well and I think it’s good in the book because you’re both dealing with the suddenly single but you’re coming at it from different perspectives. As you said your husband passed away. In Gail’s case, well she’s been divorced three times so no one’s died but it was still the singleness. So, I got a few other questions for you but I want to veer into the practical advice portion here because that’s why people listen to this.

So, I’m sitting there thinking okay let’s assume we wind the clock back 10, 15 years and you’re a friend of mine and your husband he’s either sick or he’s just died. And so of course being the helpful sort I am I want to help you. So, you know, I would think okay so what I’m going to do I’m going to phone you up and say okay what can I do to help, would you like me to bring you a meal, would you like me to bring you chicken, would you like me to bring you beef, you want me to make a lasagna, what about your yard? Do you want me to snow blow your yard, do you want me to cut the grass, how does your snow blower work, does it take gas, is it one of those gas oil mixes? Can you show me how to get it started; is it one of those electrical starts? What do I need to do, what do I need to do? Is that the correct approach? Am I on the right path here or is that just going to freak you out?

Victoria Ryce: First of all I want to say that you would then be called a dear friend. Because you are wanting to be helpful and you are trying to make some offers. One of the things you may not realize is that when someone becomes CEO of everything, they are then responsible for everything, which means they are making decisions from the second they wake up.

And a number of them are going on if the person has just died, there’s a number of financial decisions that need to be made, there’s just things like the person’s clothes are in the house and what about their car and people are, any number of people are coming by and talking etc. And so there’s an overwhelming piece.

And that’s why sometimes I think about everybody when they’re CEO begins as an amateur. That’s part of what you recognize is this is a job, you didn’t want it but here you are now and so okay, what am I going to do? So you being as an amateur and what you’ve got at the beginning are thousands and thousands of decisions that need to be made. You eventually just hit your capacity because you’re also perhaps dealing with grief.

So, now you have limited capacity of what’s going, able to deal with things, you have a lot of grief, you have a lot of people asking you things, you have people demanding things, bills are still coming in, there’s lots still going on but you don’t have capacity, you don’t have the capacity to deal with that many things. So, if you wanted to be helpful to someone, thinking about the fact that sort of two angles, one is the social and one is the practical.

So, the social is for example my brother is eight years younger than I am and one of his contemporaries just died and he was not sure what to do. And I said every week put it in your calendar to call his wife, every week. Because once the initial activity stops they become alone and so they want to know people are in contact. So, just phoning and saying hey what’s happening just to give them a chance to know that they are still in the world and you are still thinking about them.

The second piece with regard to the food etc. Asking me to decide okay what do I want to eat, when do I want you to bring it over, I haven’t got that capacity Doug, I just don’t. It is so much more helpful if you can give me a yes, no for a decision. So, I’ve made carrot soup, would you like me to bring it over today or would tomorrow be better?

Doug Hoyes: That wasn’t yes, no that was A/B, you’re confusing us here. But what you’re saying here is simple decisions.

Victoria Ryce: Absolutely.

Doug Hoyes: Very simple. And I kind of like you’re A/B one, do I come today or tomorrow? I’m bringing it over. And you don’t have to eat it, it’s carrot soup you can throw it out I guess if you don’t want it. I’m bringing it over, do you want it today, do you want it tomorrow? Well, okay I can make that decision. Okay, I haven’t had a shower yet today so why don’t you bring it over tomorrow?

Victoria Ryce: Perfect.

Doug Hoyes: And that’s nice and simple. And so, having you spend an hour explain how the lawnmower works, probably not a good idea at this point.

Victoria Ryce: I just haven’t got the capacity.

Doug Hoyes: It’s just not going to happen.

Victoria Ryce: If you look at that person and almost think like they’ve had an accident. They haven’t got the capacity. What you saw them as before and this is especially true for someone who has been a caregiver because they have been holding it together for that other person. They’ve probably been the medical advocate, they’ve been taking care of the finance, they’ve been taking care of the practical, all of that stuff.

And so, for them they don’t have capacity because number one, they’ve got a whole bunch of decisions to be made, they’ve just lost their partner, but now also if they were caregiver, they’ve lost their job. Those are one, two punch for someone to be dealing with. So, they haven’t got the decision, I don’t even know if I should be eating or not. So, I can’t make that decision.

Doug Hoyes: And did you or is it common as soon as the care giving ends, your spouse dies, do you end up getting sick, do you finally get a cold that you hadn’t gotten forever?

Victoria Ryce: Absolutely correct, yes. Because you let, there’s been a release, something has changed. So, there’s been a release and yes, people get sick, people suddenly find themselves exhausted, they may sleep for 24 hours; they may not sleep at all. There’s just quite a variety of things that can happen but your system is in shock. And so when we were writing about this in the book we wanted to say look, everyone when they’re this beginning newly minted CEO they are a person who is starting on overwhelming avenue, that is where they’re living at this moment. And so we put this together because we wanted to help people get along on the road to recovery. There’s a lot to do, there’s a lot to do. You don’t realize when you’re partnered, how much your partner does.

Doug Hoyes: Yep. And so the practical advice then is simple solutions, don’t throw a whole lot of decision fatigue at us because it’s going to make it worse. Now in the book you’ve got a section on freezing. And I’ll read a quote here, if you wake up feeling insignificant, downtrodden or broken, know that emotion is in your mind. While it feels real it isn’t, it’s a belief. Now that sounds like a pretty radical statement to me, I happen to agree with it but it’s a pretty radical statement. What are you talking about there then, I mean how can you say the emotion is in your mind, it’s not real? I mean I just lost my spouse, that seems pretty real to me. What are you guys talking about there?

Victoria Ryce: I wish I could give credit to whoever did this little diagram that I saw many years ago but it’s basically three circles. On the outside are all the things that you say and do, all your actions and all your words. Now how do you know what to say and do? Because of the inner circle and that inner circle is the one where it’s your feelings, you feel something about something so you act in accordance with those feelings. How do you know how to have that feeling? From the core, that’s your belief system, that’s what you value.

And so what occurs is as people think about this, is they are continuing to go back to their values and beliefs and those values and beliefs drive how they feel about something and drive how they act. So, the analysis and I’m sorry if it does sound like we’re saying it in a way that it’s clinical, it’s not meant to be because everyone is such an amazing kind of grouping of all sorts of emotions that can happen.

One of the things we wanted to be aware of and to highlight in some ways was that if you stay in one of those emotions and you get locked into it, what’s going to happen? because there’s other people who are counting on you and you still have a life. You know, you’re not the ones who died, you’ve got life, not life imprisonment.

So, what is the self-talk you are giving yourself? I completely know that there are days when I felt so sad I couldn’t answer the phone and that happens. Do I want to stay in that state? That’s where the completely debilitating aspect of it comes. And what we didn’t want is for people to think that was the end of their life, it’s not the end of their life. What it is is it’s now the beginning of something else but it’s something that’s unknown and there’s such a fear of the unknown. That certainty that they knew is not there anymore, so, is anything certain.

It’s a very interesting way of looking at it but what we wanted to say to people is you have a range of emotions, which ones you’re looking at today, which ones are you feeling? And feel them when you feel them. What you want to do is you want to make sure that what you are also doing is living your life and saying yes, but I have also the emotion of joy or the emotion of appreciation, gratitude or the emotion of love.

Doug Hoyes: You are a believer in positive affirmations then.

Victoria Ryce: They can be very helpful.

Doug Hoyes: And I guess if what you’re describing here again, you know, the emotion is in your mind and you’ve explained it well with the kind of concentric circle venn diagram kind of thing. What you have to do then is change the movie that’s playing in your mind. And as Scott Adam’s would describe it in his work and one way to do that is with positive affirmations. How does that actually work then? So, what would I do? Would I have a mantra that I say to myself when I get up in the morning, is it something I write down, is it I clear my head by going for a walk, how do I change that movie in my mind?

Victoria Ryce: It could be any of those things. It’s one of the reasons we put a whole section in the book thinking about what is it you want your life to look like. If you are now the CEO of everything, what does the everything look like? What is it you want to have in your relationships, what is it you’d like to do as you’re contribution to the world, your work, your children? What is it that you would find that made you really happy?

Like one of the things that Gail did she completely revamped her bedroom. Like she has three feather bed things on her bed because she just loves being a princess and having this lovely bed and it makes her very happy. And that’s one of the things if you’ve been counting on other people to be part of it now you, that’s another one of your CEO jobs is to be happy.

Doug Hoyes: So you can paint your bedroom whatever colour you want.

Victoria Ryce: Correct.

Doug Hoyes: But more than that you can live wherever you want, you can have a house in the country, you can live in the city, you can have a car, you can take public – there’s a whole bunch of things that perhaps you couldn’t do or weren’t practical to do in the first past and that’s why you’ve actually got to think about it.

Victoria Ryce: It is the reason you have to think about it and one of the other pieces I believe about that too is that that’s all possible if you have options. And oftentimes you have options if you have resources. And what are the resources that you have?

Doug Hoyes: And I want to get into that whole financial aspect of it so we’ll look at that in a bit. How do you deal then with other people? So, we’ve already talked about me or nice but crazy friend who wants an hour long explanation about how the lawnmower works. And the answer is hey, don’t throw too much at me.

Victoria Ryce: Cut the lawn for me, I would be exceedingly happy but don’t ask me to know, tell you how to do it.

Doug Hoyes: Yeah, figure it out. That’s not my thing. But what about the people who are either well meaning or they’re not well meaning, they’re not nice people. But let’s assume they’re well meaning and they’re asking you a whole bunch of questions. You know, I mean what about this, are you going to get married again, where are you going to live, what’s going to happen, what can you say to those people?

Victoria Ryce: I don’t know.

Doug Hoyes: And it’s as simple as that.

Victoria Ryce: I’m afraid it is because at that moment you probably don’t know. And even the items like helpful friends wanting to do something, it’s one of the reasons we said put a list up on the refrigerator and when something comes to mind like the car needs an oil change, put it on. Taxes need doing, put it on. Need to follow up on school for the children, put it on. So, put things on there so when someone says what can I do you can point to the list and say anything on there would be really helpful.

Doug Hoyes: And I’m thinking more of the nosy neighbour I guess who’s not asking what can I do to help but is more prying into your life. So, when are you going to start dating again? You know, is it as simple as look, I don’t know or is it screw off, don’t bug me, like what’s the appropriate response or does it really depend on –

Victoria Ryce: How polite you want to be?

Doug Hoyes: Yeah exactly.

Victoria Ryce: I don’t know is a good answer because there is a lot you don’t know at the beginning. Remember you’re a little baby CEO of everything, you’re newly minted, you’re an amateur, you’re feeling your way around this new world that you’re in. So, the answer is I don’t know or another good one is it depends.

Doug Hoyes: And it’s as simple as that. And I think you make the point in the book you don’t have to tell anybody anything.

Victoria Ryce: That’s right.

Doug Hoyes: And we, I think as humans when we’re asked a question we’re trained to give an answer. That’s how it is when you’re a little kid and perhaps we have to learn from the politicians who answer the questions they want to answer in the way that they want to answer and that’s that. And I guess with your analogy of the CEO, that’s how a CEO does it too.

Victoria Ryce: Well, Henry Kissinger was fabulous. He had this great line where he’d go into a press conference and he said does anyone have any questions for my answers.

Doug Hoyes: Because he had already decided what he was going to say.

Victoria Ryce: That’s correct.

Doug Hoyes: And so, I guess that’s another piece of practical advice then, you can pretty much guess what kind of questions you’re going to get from people.

Victoria Ryce: It’s why Gail and I put some lines in there of practice these when someone asks you something you’re not caught like a deer in headlights about what’s going on, you have some of these go to lines. I don’t know is one of them, it depends is another one, I’ll let you know when I know. These are all things that you can reply to people and they answer a whole batch of questions.

Doug Hoyes: And you’ve also got in the book that you can then can kind of pivot the conversation back to them, you know, so how’s it going with you?

Victoria Ryce: Exactly. You want to take the spotlight off you because you don’t want to feel like you’re being grilled. because this may happen in a very public place and that is not where you want to suddenly break down crying or sobbing or telling this person the difficulties that you’re running into right now or how you’re confused or you’re really wondering about life. That’s not the time for it so you need some of these go to lines and that’s why we included them.

Doug Hoyes: Yeah if we’re at the grocery store, it’s different than if you’re at my house and we’re having a coffee.

Victoria Ryce: That’s right. And also are you in my inner circle?

Doug Hoyes: Yeah, a close friend is going to be reacted to differently than, you know, someone you meet on the street. And obviously everybody you meet on the street, oh how’s it going? Oh fine.

Victoria Ryce: Yeah, what a liar, you can’t be fine.

Doug Hoyes: But we all know it’s a lie.

Victoria Ryce: Uh huh.

Doug Hoyes: I mean if I really want to know how you’re doing I’m not going to ask you on the elevator ride from the first floor to the eighth floor. We’ve got to sit down and talk in more detail.

So, again flipping it over then, what questions are appropriate for me to be asking you when I – let’s say I’m not bumping into you at the grocery store but maybe I do and I say hey, why don’t we get together for coffee. And so, we’re sitting down with coffee, we’ve got a bit of time to chat; we’re not in a public venue necessarily. How do I know if I should be prying and asking a whole bunch of questions and so how are you feeling and what about this and what about that? Or should I just be backing off and let you do the talking? Like how do I judge that?

Victoria Ryce: Think of it as a balancing act, so your second line there of what’s happening, that’s one of the things we put in the book because that is a very good question. I can say Doug, what’s happening? You can tell me what you had for breakfast, you can tell me what you’re going to do next, you can tell me something deep that you’ve been thinking about. But it’s a very good question that doesn’t put me in a state where I have to lie and say I’m fine. Instead it gives me an opportunity to talk about whatever I want.

And then when you’ve had a bit of a chance to talk about that, one of the things who people do find themselves single need is there’s another deep part of you that needs to know that the world is a good place, that other people are going on with their lives. So, often if you’re just saying well, I took the kids to a ballgame or we’re thinking about going to a cottage whatever it may be but give me a little bit of your life that doesn’t mean I’m in the focus. That I need to know that life is still going on and life is still good and that you are part of my world. I think that’s a great way of doing it, balancing it back and forth. So, you don’t want to just be answering questions, it’s not an interrogation.

Doug Hoyes: Yeah because that’s what a conversation is. You say something then I say something then you say something. And obviously okay if you’ve just come back from a trip I’m going to have a lot of questions because I want to find out what happened. So, I guess it is an interrogation but it’s because you’ve got information I want to hear. But I need to be sharing, it’s a two-way street is really what you’re saying.

Victoria Ryce: It’s true. And I recall a long conversation with a girlfriend, phoning and she was telling me about something about, I don’t know, make up or something going on that she saw flowers. And she said I’m telling you this and I feel stupid telling you this because it seems so insignificant relative to what your life is. And I remember saying to her no, I need to hear this, I need to hear that life is going on for people.

Doug Hoyes: Yeah. And I wouldn’t be having a discussion with you about makeup. But I can see with my buddies we’re talking about sports, which is totally insignificant. But that’s what normal life is all about. Well, I think that’s some very good practical advice. We’re bumping up the clock here on our Debt Free in 30 here, which is going to be more than 30 minutes. So, what I’d like to do is take a break and have you come back and talk about the financial aspects in a second segment. So, let’s break it off there and then let’s talk about money.

Victoria Ryce: Thanks Doug.

Doug Hoyes: That was the first half of my conversation with Victoria Ryce, co-author with Gail Vaz-Oxlade of the book CEO of Everything, Flying Solo and Soaring. Victoria had some great advice on how to deal with the emotional aspects of becoming suddenly single. I like her suggestion for talking to someone who has just lost their partner, keep it simple, ask them what’s happening, don’t ask them to make a lot of complex decisions, give them some time.

But what about the financial aspects of becoming suddenly single? Victoria has some great advice on that subject so we’re going to do a second full show on how to deal with money when you become suddenly single.

To become notified on that show as posted, please subscribe to Debt Free in 30 on iTunes or Stitcher or whatever other podcasting app you use. We release a new show at 8am every Saturday morning.

That’s our show for today. Full show notes including links to Victoria’s book can be found at that’s h-o-y-e-s-dot-com. Thanks for listening. Until next week, I’m Doug Hoyes. That was Debt Free in 30.


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