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Coping with The Anxiety of Divorce with Gennifer Morley | Ep 12

How do you deal with anxiety after divorce? How can you change your mindset to engage better with yourself and your reactions to your emotions? Why is good self-talk important? In this podcast episode, I speak about coping with the anxiety of divorce with Gennifer Morley.
Coping with The Anxiety of Divorce with Gennifer Morley | Ep 12


Gen is a Licensed Practicing Counselor in Boulder Colorado as well as an anxiety guru. She specializes in resolving the disruption that anxiety causes in our lives which prevents us from enjoying the good stuff.

Gen is the owner of North Boulder Counseling, a group practice that focuses on anxiety treatment and integration for diverse populations. She is also an athlete, a mom, and a business coach.

Visit Gen’s website and connect on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.





  • Self-talk
  • This too shall pass
  • Dating again
  • The importance of experiencing ourselves in a relationship


After Gennifer got divorced and back into dating again, she was still fairly young and in her early thirties. At times it was fun and frivolous, but sometimes after a mediocre date, the anxiety about wanting to be in a relationship would return.

She would speak with herself through these periods of loneliness and try to have self-compassion for this period of unknowing.

Having this sense of self in the background, this voice you know would sometimes be louder or softer would say to me: ‘its best to be a little bit hurting right now, and a little bit lonely right now than stuck inside something that will never let you get bigger.”

Having this self-talk is important to ground yourself, to be kind and patient with yourself. We all have different voices in our heads that tell us different things – sometimes it knows what is best for us in a certain situation and it stands at the forefront, or it can become so small and fragile that we barely hear it.


It is important to train your brain to be able to hear this voice, however faint it may be during difficult times. Remember that this too will pass. Supportive self-talk can remind us that our current experience is temporary, and we will reach the other side.

Supportive self-talk can also help you better interact with and be curious about your emotions.

“Some part of me can see that this is happening to me, appreciate that this is painful and that it’s not what I chose and it’s not what I like, but it also knows that there’s so much more.”

When someone is overcome with anxiety and sadness, it can be difficult to remember that the intense emotions won’t encompass you forever. 


“And not only that, also my expectations are harsh and I would rather be alone than not have what I want and what I deserve because I know that being with someone who is not what I want and deserve is miserable.”

Gennifer started with intentional yet causal dating in the beginning, without holding any big expectations from it. She built up a mental attitude of abundance and knew that she was not going to settle for anything less than she wanted and knew she deserved.

Making a list or writing out certain principles and aspects that you envision in your future partner can help to solidify your intention to not settle. 


Just like how a person would prepare for having a child by reading books on parenting, it’s the same for marriage. You learn how to show up in a marriage and be conscious of what you bring to the table. Knowing yourself and your values and spending time in therapy can greatly assist you in developing your marriage into something that is sustainable and long-term.

If therapy is not a financially viable option for you, there are a plethora of educational resources available- from podcasts and books to free e-courses.

To experience yourself is to also investigate the more difficult aspects also includes the more difficult and negative aspects, such as shame and anxiety about yourself within the marriage or relationship. When you are truly honest with yourself about what you are struggling with or wanting to change for the better, you have a proper shot at working towards and achieving what you need, whereas when you struggle with shame, that possibility is blocked.

When we experience ourselves with sincerity, we can be open to full communication with our partners and can stand firmly on the ground when we receive criticism or feedback on our behavior or actions. We can fully be present in ourselves and aware of our emotions that we can respond calmly to and with an open mind.

Because, when we release that shame, when our partner gives us difficult feedback we can work through it because we know deeply that they care about you and your wellbeing. However, when we are within that shame, we retaliate at our partners because we are not experiencing ourselves with sincerity.

“One of the most precious pieces of a partnership is that you have someone who sees you very intimately and you trust them with that.”

There is no longer a need for defensiveness when there is no shame, there is a trust and ease instead when you know and accept that you are both lovable and fallible.

Click here for Free Therapy Moments with Gennifer Morley.



About your host:

Susan Orenstein, Ph.D.

Dr. Susan Orenstein is a licensed psychologist and relationship expert  with over twenty years of experience. In 2005, she founded Orenstein Solutions, a private counseling practice in North Carolina that serves children, teens, adults and couples. 

She created the After the First Marriage Podcast to support individuals through the significant life transition of divorce. She whole-heartedly believes that “happily ever after” is an option for everyone, and is dedicated to helping divorcées regain the confidence to pursue a fulfilling future after the first marriage. 

Whether you listen to the podcast, join the Facebook community, or follow along on Twitter,  you’re in the right place!

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