Interview: It’s Never Just About The Ex
Read our Interview with Renew Guest, Marisol Rodriguez
We interview Marisol about how she healed from one of the most painful relationships in her life at Renew Breakup Bootcamp Wellness Retreat and learned how to replace old habits with healthier ones.
1. Tell us about the heartbreak or issue you were facing that inspired you to go to Renew Breakup Bootcamp?
I had been with my ex for 18 years. We had a low passion, low maintenance marriage, but our relationship functioned like clockwork. She was emotionally unavailable, but I had always been okay with it because in a way, we worked. We each had our strengths, and we did what we needed to do in order to take care of our two kids. We never prioritized our marriage or ourselves, and I always found myself making decisions on my own as we went through life. For example, after we had our first child, I wanted to have our second but she did not due to personal reasons. However, when I moved forward with the decision, everything started to fall apart. She ignored me during the pregnancy, and it was the moment she told me she was not connected to me once the baby was born that I knew things were never going to be okay.
As time went on, she started getting close to a coworker. Staying up till 2am to speak to her, being her emotional support versus being mine. It started making me question “do I really want to be in this marriage?”. I used to think my ex didn’t have the ability to be emotionally connected to anyone, but I came to realize she clearly could if she wanted to. One Friday morning, I finally decided I wanted a divorce and was going to end the marriage in the most empathetic way I could. I wanted to approach this process with love and kindness and do it right after 18 years of being together. However, the same day I came to that decision, I found sexts between her and her coworker on social media. I confronted her saying what she did was cowardly, and since that day, I started carrying around feelings of pain, anger and resentment. I needed to learn how to even begin the divorce process after that and found a podcast on the topic with Amy Chan as the guest speaker. I’m more of a scientific versus emotional person so when Amy spoke about rewiring your brain and dealing with trauma, it resonated with me. I immediately got her book, found her website and did a webinar with her on healthy communication. After our session together, I decided to sign up for the next Bootcamp and made the decision to invest in myself for the first time.
2. What did you learn from that heartbreak?
I learned that I am more than enough. I can provide for my family by myself. I learned to do everything on my own after this breakup. I can acknowledge my feelings, and I have a network of women that I can go to for support. My feelings aren’t that scary anymore. I’m not afraid to ask my emotions “what are you trying to tell me?” and have truly learned that it is a beautiful thing to have feelings.
3. What was your experience of Renew? How did you go into it and how did you leave differently?
I was really surprised when the weekend kicked off. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to identify with other people’s stories or vice versa, but it was such a beautiful community of individuals that showed up to Renew and showed up for each other. People were genuine, people were honest, people were vulnerable with absolutely no judgement. Everyone was just trying to learn!
The biggest piece I took away from the weekend was asking “why?”. Renew makes you think about why you were with certain people in your life and what needs they were or were not filling. What trauma you need to learn to heal. Having parents that were not emotionally available for me is the reason why I choose to be with my ex who was the exact same way. Having knowledge of this shifted my power. I kept trying to get my ex to show up for me and was okay getting breadcrumbs because I thought it was normal. That it was enough. That it was comfortable.
I’m turning 40 this year, and for the first time, I realize that none of this was enough. During Renew, I learned how to center myself and figure out what I want, need and deserve. Not only that, I use the coping skills that one of our coaches taught us on a daily basis. I do visualizations, set daily intentions and write what I’m grateful for every night in my journal.
4. What do you do to practice self-compassion and love?
I am much more aware of taking time for myself. Letting myself process things, checking in with myself and how I feel, giving myself a moment to just sit outside and reflect. I allow myself to feel much more than I ever did. I also talk to loved ones more and have become much more vulnerable with expressing my emotions. I center myself in being grateful, and it’s powerful to be able to express that emotion and move through it.
5. Knowing what you know now, what would you tell another person who’s going through the same thing?
Lean into your feelings. It’s not always going to feel like this. I know it’s hard and the cuts are deep, as is the trauma and history we need to process, but better late than never! Don’t beat yourself up. Discovering more about yourself and learning who you are is powerful and does start to feel good. It’s going to be a rollercoaster of up and downs, but go for the ride because it’s worth it.
6. If you’ve read Breakup Bootcamp, can you share a quote that resonated with you and why? If not, is there any quote or lesson that resonated with you from Renew/Amy that still impacts you today?
My two most memorable lessons from Renew are:
1. The lifespan of an emotion is 90 seconds. As I mentioned earlier, I was never good about dealing with emotions before. However, when I learned about the science behind the physiological life span of an emotion in the body and brain, I realized I got this! I can deal with anything for 90 seconds. It took the scariness away from dealing with my feelings.
2. The principle of homeostasis – the fact that our body does not like change because its job is to maintain a state of equilibrium. We are wired to stay in balance with what is familiar because what is familiar is comfortable. My homeostasis was one of chaos, and Renew taught me how to evolve past my limitations.
Whether you are someone who has recently had a breakup or you’ve experienced past heartache that has not fully healed, Renew can help you rewire the heart so you can move forward in a healthy way, making space for new beginnings and new love.
You owe it to yourself to get more information on Renew, the retreat experience that will leave you empowered and renewed.