Do you know your own worth? People will treat you as well as you teach them to treat you. When we feel worthy, it is easy to stand up for ourselves and demand what we are actually worth. But what about if we don’t know our worth? What about if we find ourselves settling?
Sometimes, somebody else’s awfulness can lead you to become the best version of yourself. After discovering her husband’s infidelity, not for the first time in their marriage, Beth Grant finally decided that she was tired of settling and knew that she was worth more. She divorced her husband and joins me today to share her experience of knowing her worth, taking the leap to end her marriage, and her experience of creating a completely new life for herself.
Life can look a little different from what we anticipated, but different isn’t always bad. In this episode, hear how Beth learned to stop settling and start standing up for her worth, how she handles the uncertainty of no longer having her future locked in as planned, and her advice to anybody struggling with a lack of self-worth.
You’re listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast. I’m Dr. Jen Riday and my guest, Beth and I today are talking about not settling and standing up for your true worth. Stay tuned.
Hi, I'm Jen Riday. This podcast is for women who want to feel more vibrant, happy, aligned, and alive. You'll gain the emotional, physical, and spiritual tools you need to get your sparkle back and ensure that depression, anxiety, and struggle don't rule your life. Welcome to the Vibrant Happy Women Podcast.
Hey, hey there my friends. I’m calling you my friends. You may have noticed I call the guests my friends, but this guest today is really my friend, as are a lot of the guests on this show, Beth Grant. Beth is a woman who has been to every single Vibrant Happy Women Retreat. I met her at the Retreat, the first Retreat, I don’t know how many years ago it was. But I love her, she’s amazing. The six women who attended that first Retreat we call the Vibrant Happy Seven. There are seven of us. We became fast friends. We connect often and I love it. So, she’s a friend.
Well, Beth recently in the past year went through a divorce. And she’s going to share her story of her partner, her ex, being unfaithful and how it took Beth a minute, but she decided she is worth more. And how she talked to herself, how she thought about things to take that leap to ending a marriage that was very tricky to end because that marriage came with four fantastic stepdaughters. It’s a really good story about not settling, about choosing what we’re worth and demanding that.
And we can do this not just in marriage of course but in all our relationships, in our working spaces, demanding the salary that we’re worth. When we feel worthy it’s easy to stand up for ourselves and demand what we’re actually worth. So that’s what this episode is all about.
Jen: Hey, everyone, I am here with one of my very good friends, Beth Grant. And I met her at the very first Vibrant Happy Women Retreat. And I’m going to let Beth introduce that whole story of how we met and what that was like. I think I was nervous. It was my first Retreat, Beth was nervous for different reasons and then everything clicked. So, Beth, tell that story of how we met and how you came into the Vibrant Happy Women world.
Beth: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for inviting me to talk today, Jen but yeah, it was pretty funny when I first met Jen. I was listening to the podcast for quite a while and life was crazy. And I was getting so many great ideas, and so much fulfillment from the podcast that I ran into the Retreat and was so excited to be there. And it was the first time I had ever done anything like that on my own, never been on vacation on my own, never done anything like that on my own.
We had been texting because that was the size of our first Retreat but the first thing we were going to do is Jen was inviting us all for dinner and I was terrified. I was texting like, “You guys, I have a lot of anxiety. I’m not sure I can go. Jen, you are like a celebrity, and I don’t know if I can even just sit next to you at dinner.” It was really funny because now we’re really close friends and you’ve been such a great part of my life.
But I remember that first night, I was like, “I don’t even know if I can do this. Now here I am at the Retreat, and I don’t know if I can do this. Because it’s this wonderful woman and a celebrity. And I don’t know these other ladies.” And now they’re all best friends so it’s been great.
Jen: Yeah, we’re called the Vibrant Happy Seven now, the original group we have a messenger thread, a text thread and a Voxer thread. We’re trying to decide which one to keep, and a Marco Polo thread. We’re dedicated.
Beth: We’re super dedicated.
Jen: We are, and all from that first Retreat. So, I was nervous, I’m like, “Oh, what if they don’t think I dress cool? What if I…”, you know, we all do that. But then after we started eating together what did you start to think of, of all the women that were there?
Beth: Just, well, first of all, all the similarities that we had. I mean so many differences too. We were from across the country. But there were just so many just bright spots about each person that we could weave together. And I just feel we so quickly melded together, laughed so much. I mean I remember that first dinner just sitting there laughing and telling each other stories. And it just became a natural friendship so quickly.
Jen: Now, I remember at that time you, I believe I remember a conversation where you were saying how your Vibrant Happy Women friends were different than your in-person friends at that time. Maybe things are different now, but can you recall that conversation? I found it interesting.
Beth: Yeah. I mean I think part of it was there was just this commonality amongst the Vibrant Happy Women, that small group and even now I’m still a part of Vibrant Happy Women and a part of some other groups. One of the things that I’ve realized is that when you’re with a group of women who all really want to better themselves and really think about who they are as people and how they want to show up in the world, it’s just a different kind of group of people than maybe a group of people when you’re in a mom’s group or when you’re at your kids’ softball game.
And sometimes that’s about how do you look or the competition of who’s the most Pinterest mom or whatever it might be. And so unfortunately I think that’s kind of the culture that we live in. And that’s probably where some of my anxiety came that first night was this fear that judgment, what are these people going to think of me? And I think that’s what quickly fell and why I think we really became great friends because we realized it wasn’t about judgment. It was about lifting each other up.
It was really about finding things that we have in common, helping each other through things that maybe one of us have gone through that another one is about to go through or whatever it might be. It’s just a different feeling when it’s people who really want to be their best selves and help other people around them be their best selves too.
Jen: Yeah. I agree. I felt like that first dinner, you know, I have in-person friends and there’s the whole range, the sports mom, the soccer mom, the pretty mom, the diva mom, some people that aren’t even moms of course. But there’s something about the growth mindset. When we all talked we were like, “Oh, you love Brené Brown too? Oh, cool.” And I felt like, these are people I would actually be friends with. And so, we actually did become friends and so I am so grateful.
So, one of the things I do on Marco Polo, I’m known as the person that will – Marco Polo is a video kind of streaming messaging app. So, I always Marco Polo these people from bed, not even dressed. I pull the covers up to my neck and I just talk. So, Beth, I’m thinking about maybe I should just do this as a social media thing, and do I call it pillow talk with Jen? Because that probably doesn’t sound right.
Beth: And you do have to get into a seductive voice if you do that. I don’t know. I don’t know.
Jen: I don’t know. I need a name for it, but I mean that’s not my trademark with you guys. So that’s how authentic it can feel to have people like, I guess, the Vibrant Happy Seven, so I’m grateful you’re in my circle, Beth.
Beth: Yeah, I am as well. I am as well.
Jen: So today we are talking, I love talking to real life authentic people who aren’t necessarily authors, although I love the authors too. So, Beth, you have had an interesting time throughout the pandemic with a divorce. And you were a stepmom and so it’s a complicated divorce.
I think a lot of people could benefit from your story, a story from my perspective of learning to decide you're worth more, learning to stand up for your worth and your value, and to demand the respect you deserve, whether we decide to stay married or we never want to be married. So, tell us your story, whatever parts you feel comfortable sharing.
Beth: Well, I’m 45 right now and I got married a little later in life. So, I got married when I was 40. He was really the first person that I truly loved and let love me probably. In my 20s and 30s I spent a lot of time growing in my career. And I really invested in a lot of the other families around me, my brother’s family was really important to me. So, I felt I kind of got that family piece from them a little bit. But then I kind of woke up and felt it’s time, it’s time for me to really move into this next phase of my life.
And so, when I did and I met my then husband, my life had completely changed. And he had four daughters, he has four daughters. It was a welcome thing for me. I think some people if they were dating somebody and they had four kids they’d be like, “Oh my gosh.” But I really love children and they just brought this amazing spirit and peace to my life. We were together for a couple of years and then we got married. And we were married for about five years. And to be honest it was a challenging five years.
I, again, had come from being single for my whole life and really loving my job and focusing on that. He was previously married and focused on the girls a lot and family a lot, which was part of why I was attracted to him. I remember saying, “If you didn’t love your girls so much I wouldn’t want to be here. So, I’m good that these kids are part of our life.” But it was a challenge. I think right from early in the marriage he was dishonest. And some of our conversations were tough.
And later to find out that he was unfaithful, I had found texts and said, “Hey, what’s this all about?” And I took a time out from our marriage and stepped away for a little while. And I decided to go back at that point and give it another shot because I was excited. I was in love. This was a family. This was what I wanted. And we just needed to give it another shot. And so, I went back and over the course of the next few years we had had our issues. We had gone to marriage class, we’d gone to counseling.
But quite frankly I’m not sure he knew how to love me the way that I deserved to be loved. Was kind of at the core and what I realized. And I think I held on to a lot of hope, hey, maybe, maybe I can change him. Or maybe I can love him more. Or maybe there is this good person in him. And maybe that piece can – maybe he can see and make these changes himself. But that just didn’t happen. I think throughout those five years, little pieces of myself were dying and I was numbing parts of myself.
And I think when I finally made the decision it was about a year ago now today. I actually found out a year ago, at Christmas I found a picture of him and another woman. On her Facebook profile picture was my husband.
Jen: So, you knew this woman?
Beth: No, I did not know this woman. But she had liked a post of his business page.
Jen: Oh, my goodness.
Beth: And I managed his business page.
Jen: Rookie mistake, I mean, come on, that’s awful.
Beth: Yeah. So, I clicked on it, and I was sitting next to him on the couch at the time and said, “Hey, what’s this?” And he said, “Oh, that was a long time ago.” And I said, “Well, you’re wearing the sweatshirt that I just bought you.”
Jen: Oh no.
Beth: But the weird part was that at that point, I just walked upstairs to our bedroom, and I didn’t shed a tear. I don’t even think I was mad or emotional because I was already done. We had already had enough challenges in our marriage and there was some unfaithful pieces through our marriage before that. And then I said to myself that if I really wanted to live a fulfilled life, that if this ever happened again I needed to move on.
Jen: Wow. So, you were ready. You had already kind of pre-grieved what he had done and who he was. So that one last chance and you were out. So, what were the challenges though? There are still challenges to leaving a relationship even when it’s so blatantly not going well. What were the thoughts running through your head when you were leaving?
Beth: Yeah. It was really hard because I think it, again, first real love, there’s just something about having someone to share your life with. Because I was alone for so long before, I didn’t want that again. And so, there was a part of me that just was like, is this just what I’m supposed to have? Is this enough? So, I think that’s why I held on so long and that’s why the decision was hard. But then in addition to that I love these four girls. I am a bonus mom. And I love them, and I want them in my life.
And I developed a life around this family too. So, I’m the softball mom that brings all the snack. And all these other kids call me mom at the softball field. And I had this new identity that I loved. So, deciding that this wasn’t right for me, I knew it was deciding that whole big part of my life was going to change.
Jen: That’s humongous. So, your whole identity was going to die with this marriage kind of a little, or had to be transformed. Yeah.
Beth: Yeah. Yeah, it really was. And the girls are still in my life today. And I love them dearly and they love me dearly. It’s obviously different and it’s hard still. But that was one of the decisions that I made. I said back when we had our wedding, I did a ceremony that said that, “I wanted those kids to be a part of my life for the rest of my life.”
Jen: Separate ceremony with the girls. That’s neat.
Beth: Yeah. They sang our wedding song for us and then I gave them bracelets that basically said that, “I’m here for the rest of your life.” And so, I said that to them, that’s still true. What happened between their dad and I is not what’s between us. But life still makes that a little bit more difficult. But they’re all grown now from a sophomore in high school to a 21 year old. We have the ability to connect and see each other.
But yeah, that was a hard piece of it, is making the decision that I wasn’t just walking away from a husband, but it was my four kids is the way that I talked about them and the life that I knew. And so, it was a hard decision. And I’ve had challenges and part of why I probably came to the Vibrant Happy Women the first time was about my self-worth and what I deserve and so it was hard.
Jen: Yeah, let’s talk about that. Those words that go through your head today versus maybe the words that went through your head about your value and worth in the past. Because I think a lot of people will relate and hear themselves in your head because we all have similar things going on in there I think.
Beth: Really just knowing, is this just what’s meant to be? This is fine, this is good enough, this is okay, we have good days.
Beth: Subtly, that’s a great way to say it, it was subtly. And it was the lies that were the hardest for me because I’m just a person of extreme integrity. And so, for me every time that there was a lie, whether it was about where he was, or who he was with, or whatever it might have been, it was really truly killing a little piece of me. And so that’s the part for me that I said, I was just, I mean my personality was changing. I had had to take some time off of work because I just couldn’t focus. I couldn’t be the person that I was anymore.
And I realized, I do deserve more, that I have to – and I have to be the one to take the step that says that. That was the hard part for me. So that happened at Christmas and then just last January I decided to find an apartment home and move into an apartment by myself. So, I went from the crazy life of six kids and all their friends at home all the time to now back to just kind of that quiet single life. And I remember the day I signed the paperwork and she showed me the house and it’s beautiful. And I’m blessed that I’m able to have this.
But I just cried. I just cried because this is not what I expected, or what I thought, or what I thought I wanted. But it was the right next step for me, and I knew that, I knew that I needed it.
Jen: I’m worth more, is that kind of the phrase that stuck in your mind?
Beth: Yeah, that’s it.
Jen: I deserve more, yeah.
Beth: I deserve more, I’m worth more. I am a person of faith and so for me I just kept saying, “I think God’s got a different plan for me.” I think I was supposed to learn something from this. And I think part of what I was supposed to learn is that I am worth more. As a child of God, as a whatever, as a part of this universe, I deserve to be loved in a certain way. And that just wasn’t what I was getting and that he wasn’t making me my best version of myself. And I knew that I had to show up in a different way.
I think God wanted me to show up in a different way in this world. And it was my job to take the next hard step.
Jen: That is such a huge kind of measuring stick. Do they help me show up as the best version of myself? I’ll be honest, there were times in my relationship, that was a hard no. Now, I think I’m pretty certain most of the time I do show up better. In fact, sometimes I think – I’m just sharing for everyone, we’re having a conversation. Sometimes I think because my husband was lousy, emotionally not very skilled for so many years of the marriage, that it forced me to show up as my best self because of that.
And now because I have up-leveled emotionally he’s up-leveling with me. So you could look any way. Sometimes their awfulness can make you become the best version of yourself, which is kind of what you’re saying with the unfaithfulness.
Beth: Yeah, I just knew that there was more. There was more, that I could bring more, that I was – in the past I was more. I wasn’t even showing up for the girls in the right way. I mean I remember towards the end, it was COVID, we were all having our hard times. And I just, I couldn’t even show up to hear the kids and what they were going through. In the same way that I was before, and those raw pieces that just showed me this isn’t it. This isn't what’s right for me right now.
Jen: Yeah. And that’s so interesting, your mood and kind of your energy were telling you the truth probably when your logical mind sometimes wanted to talk you into staying. Is that true?
Beth: Yeah. I mean it would have been easier to stay I mean because there were so many parts of it that were, you know, I mean we would go on vacations. We would do all these things. And to make that decision, I was making the decision that all that was going to change. And so yeah, it was easier probably to stay but I could really feel it like you said, in my emotions, in my mood that I was changing into somebody that I couldn’t be. I wasn’t alive.
Jen: Yes. I love that word. You were dying inside. And now you left, totally painful, yet on the other side of the pain you feel alive now?
Beth: I’d be lying to you if I said that there weren’t still days that I cry, or that I’m sad, or that I wonder what I should be doing, or what I’m supposed to be doing. But I feel like I have tried really hard over these last 12 months to tune into the things that will help me get back to this place of being alive, and place of being who God wants me to be in this world. And some of that is like, I’ve reconnected in the Vibrant Happy Women group. I joined a divorce care group at a church near me. I’ve surrounded myself with the right people, the people who I think can lift me up.
And I think all of that, it’s still hard. Even with all of that, it’s still hard. Some people I think feel like, okay, well, it’s been a year, now turn the page and jump into life with this just new energy. And if I look back one year I certainly am a different person than I was a year ago. But I’m not quite to where I want to be. But I think that’s just a bit of a lifelong journey too.
Jen: Yeah, we have to stretch somewhere. So, you are the proud owner of two new kids, your M&M, tell us about them.
Beth: Yeah. So yeah, I mean as part of the hardship of last year though I had a 12 year old pug who was my best friend. So, she was my buddy and went everywhere with me. She kind of suddenly passed away, obviously she was older, but she suddenly passed away. So, when she passed away I had a few days where I was totally by myself and then I started looking for other companions. So, I started searching for some puppies. I only thought I was getting one but there were only two left in this litter and I didn’t want to break up these two sisters.
It was maybe the craziest decision I’ve ever made in my life, Jen, because anybody who knows puppies knows that they’re a handful. But then I was just one, I was outnumbered. One person, two puppies, it’s a little crazy but we still have some house training issues. We’re about six months in now, they crack me up, they make me laugh. They’re a bright spot in my day for sure.
Jen: That’s cool. And M&M stands for?
Beth: Morgan and Macy. So those are their names, Morgan, and Macy.
Jen: And you named them, or they already had those names?
Beth: I did name them. I did name them.
Jen: Cute, I like that. Yeah, you’re one of those fun moms, pet moms, fir moms who put bows on them on their collars, right, or at least the first picture I saw?
Beth: Yeah, I mean I made them little outfits. So, we went to the vet once with just M&M written, it was near Halloween and so they had their little M&M costumes. And yeah, I mean sometimes I think that they hate me for all of that. But yeah, they look really cute all the time.
Jen: And only the vet would fully appreciate that. Well, maybe I’m wrong but it seems like that’s the place where you would do that.
Beth: Yeah, yeah. They get a lot of attention for sure.
Jen: That’s great. So, Beth, thank you for sharing and being so vulnerable. It’s tricky but I hope all our listeners can take that phrase, I deserve more, or I’m worth it, God has more for me. Just these phrases, let them become true for you as well and see what you start to desire. Did I hit all the important phrases, Beth?
Beth: Yeah, I think so. I mean I really truly think it is just also listening to your body, listening to the voice, your emotions, listening to how you’re feeling because I was numb for a little while. And when I really started to tune in and listen and started to ask myself those questions. And it really came to light that this was what I needed to do even if it was going to be tough.
Jen: Yeah. And after the pain, you did use the word, ‘I feel more alive’, so maybe that’s another question. What makes me feel most alive? Is this helping me be my best self? Five good mantras. We’ll put them on our podcast show notes page because I really like those. Beth, what is the future looking like for you? You’ve suddenly entered this phase of uncertainty, you can’t foresee your retirement with grandbabies necessarily. How do you handle the uncertainty of now you don’t have your future locked in?
Beth: Yeah. Yeah, it’s tough. I do not like uncertainty to be very honest. But I think part of what I have really kind of put my arms around is the certainty is that I am blessed to have people who love me around me, that might not be exactly what I thought it was going to look like originally. And it may or may not be another husband in the future but I’m very fortunate to have some really great girl friends, some really great, yeah, you included. And some family that has really stood by my side and lifted me up, some of my co-workers and colleagues.
I just am surrounded by some really great people and so that’s a sense of certainty for me. My niece just this last week, we were having a conversation, we were talking about grandbabies. And she said, “You don’t think you’ll have any, Aunt Beth?” And I said, “Oh, baby, I’m 45 now, I don’t think I’m going to have any babies so I’m not going to have any grandbabies.” And it was just a realization for her. And that was a hard realization for me when I first thought about it. So, she said, “Well, you can be grandma two for my babies.”
Jen: Oh, yes.
Beth: So, it really truly is just embracing that life can look a little different than maybe what we wrote, but different isn’t always bad. And I mean I have my bonus kids and whatever their life is to bring, I hope stays in tune with my life. But also, it just truly, my work right now is on myself. And just trying to figure out and ensure that the next time that I get into a relationship it’s with somebody who can love me the way that I deserve to be loved.
Jen: And if it helps, you’re in my future so we’re going to be traveling buddies. So, you can add that to your list of certainty.
Beth: Yes, yes. So I am but I mean my next trip is coming up soon here, the Vibrant Happy Women Retreat, number four for me. I think I might be your only person who has attended all four once I get to this, besides you.
Jen: I think you’re right. Wow.
Beth: And maybe I get a gold star or something.
Jen: You get something, okay. Yes.
Beth: How about just let’s sit at the pool together, enjoy a bit of time together.
Jen: That’s why you have to be my traveling buddy. Do you know how few women actually want to go and just be by the beach or the pool? You are my girl, that’s how I like to travel. I can see architecture on the websites.
Beth: Yes, I’m so with you. Find me a nice little lounge chair, an ocean, or a pool, an umbrella, I don’t want to be too hot, a book and a good friend that wants to hang out, I’m all in. So yeah, I’ll be your travel buddy for life.
Jen: Totally, totally. Beth, I love you, this was fantastic, I appreciate it. And I’ll see you at the Retreat.
Beth: Alright, love you too, Jen.
Jen: Take care.
Beth: Thank you.
That was such a fun conversation and I hope it led you to ask the question, where am I settling? Where could I have a healthier boundary? Where should I demand more from my life? And I’ll leave you to ponder that and answer those questions for yourself. I do know this, you are worthy because you were born. And people will treat you as well as you teach them to treat you. If you tolerate things, those behaviors will continue. If you take a stance and create a boundary, those behaviors will fall away.
You will attract people who treat you as well as you expect to be treated. I firmly believe this. I’ve seen it in my own life, miraculously, in so many ways. You are worthy because you were born. My friends, I love you, I will see you again soon. Until then make it a vibrant, happy and worthiness filled week. Take care.
If you enjoy this podcast, you have to check out the Vibrant Happy Women Club. It’s my monthly group coaching program where we take all this material to the next level and to get you the results that will blow your mind. Join me in the Vibrant Happy Women Club at jenriday.com/join.