Divorce Can Lead To A Second Act with exExperts T.H. Irwin and Jessica Klingbaum | Ep #51

January 17, 2023

Jessica and T.H.’s lives ran in parallel for many years. They got married together, had children together….and got divorced together. After discovering their husbands were cheating on them, and starting the divorce process at the same time, they realized that there really wasn’t a great non-partisan resource out there to dig into the nitty-gritty of […]

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exExperts – T.H. Irwin and Jessica Klingbaum


Jessica and T.H.’s lives ran in parallel for many years. They got married together, had children together….and got divorced together. After discovering their husbands were cheating on them, and starting the divorce process at the same time, they realized that there really wasn’t a great non-partisan resource out there to dig into the nitty-gritty of divorce. Jessica and T.H. left behind their careers in marketing and television and launched the exExperts –  a resource center, community, support group and gathering space for people to help each other through one of the most arduous experiences in their lives. Plus, the Divorce Etc Podcast too. They share their story, struggles, and the joys of creating a business that builds you back up again with your best friend. The best part is they turned pain into passion in the form of exExperts that helps others on the journey of tackling divorce head on. Listen in on Shannon’s conversation with T.H. and Jessica as they spill their secrets on all things divorce on this episode of the Second Act Success Podcast




CONNECT with Jessica and T.H. of the exExperts:

Website – www.exexperts.com

Newsletter – www.exexperts.com

Facebook – exEXPERTS | Facebook

Tiktok – Exexperts (@exexperts) | TikTok

Instagram – exEXPERTS (@exexperts) • Instagram photos and videos

YouTube – exEXPERTS – YouTube

Podcast – Divorce Etc Podcast

Circles Online Group Support – https://apps.apple.com/US/app/id1540905564?mt=8



0:00 – Introduction

04:43 – How they met

05:40 – Careers

08:36 – Getting divorced

14:09 – Launching exExperts 

17:21 – Working together in the business

19:12 – How exExperts and the Divorce Etc Podcast help others

24:17 – Their mission in helping others

32:20 – 5 Fast Qs of the Week

32:41 – Advice

36:38 – Connect with them


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Connect with our host Shannon Russell and the Second Act Success Team:

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Second Act Success Podcast
Season 1 - ​​Divorce Can Lead To A Second Act with exExperts T.H. Irwin and Jessica Klingbaum | Ep #51
Guests: Jessica Klingbaum and T.H. Irwin
Host: Shannon Russell
Transcription (*created by Descript and may not be perfectly accurate)

[00:00:56] Shannon: Hey, it's Shannon. If you are [00:01:00] enjoying this podcast, then you will love my weekly newsletter. It's full of career advice, productivity tips, and of course inspiring stories of women who have launched a new career that they. Just go to second act success.co to sign up. Plus you'll get the My Success Vision Board to help you with your 2023 planning as well. Now it's back to the episode.

[00:01:22] Jess Klingbaum: when someone is able to accept the fact that they're getting divorced and is able to say to themselves, look, this is a huge change in my life and it is actually a new door that's opening. As scary as it all is, it seems a natural segue and a natural progression to allow you to pursue things that you may have been holding back on or that you may have been too afraid to have done before. It is a fresh start. It really is. I would go out on a limb and say that, you know, probably more than half of the people that end up going through divorce find themselves, with a new start [00:02:00] in some way because it's inevitable.

[00:02:03] Shannon Russell: Are you at a crossroads in your career? Ready for a change, but you're not sure how to get there. Don't worry. We are about to produce your best life together. Welcome to the Second Act Success Podcast. I am your host. Shannon Russell. I am a former Television Producer turned boy mom. I left my dream job to find family balance and in doing so, I produced my dream life. Now I am a Business Owner, Podcaster, and Career Coach. My mission is to help other women, like you, find what they are truly meant to be doing. If you are ready to start over in your career or pivot to a new purpose, then get ready to be inspired by stories of women who have done just that. We will share advice and actionable tips to motivate you as you move along on your path. It is time to shine. So let's start producing your balanced life of abundance today. This is Second Act Success.[00:03:00]

Welcome back to the show. I am Shannon Russell, your host of the Second Act Success Podcast. This episode is a little different than our others. Usually we talk about second act careers. This episode is about a second act. In your life. We're talking about divorce and It really is a second act of a different kind, because as we'll discuss in this podcast, it divorce can really spearhead you to change your career. So move to start over, to open a business, it really kind of frees you up in a way to start a different act. Today. I am joined by T H Irwin and Jessica Klingbaum of the Ex Experts. They are also the host of the Divorce Etc Podcast. these women have an incredible story of marrying to best friends finding out that the two best friends and now husbands. We're cheating on them. They found out about this cheating within days of each other. Both went through divorces they decided to [00:04:00] turn their pain into a passion, a passion that has led to a mission. In helping others. T H and Jessica have decided to take their pain and turn it into passion. Their passion has led to a mission to help others go through a divorce, being armed with all of the information that they need they have created a community and a website with all the information Go ahead into the world of divorce, armed with the knowledge and to not feel so lonely. So let's get to it. I'm excited to introduce you to Jessica Klingbaum and TH Irwin of the Ex Experts.

=welcome=== to the show. I have the Ex Experts with me, TH and Jessica. Hi ladies.

[00:04:41] Jess Klingbaum: Hi there.

[00:04:42] TH Irwin: Hi Shannon.

[00:04:43] Shannon Russell: So happy to have you here because you guys have a different kind of Second Act Success story. but take me back to when you guys met.

[00:04:52] Jess Klingbaum: This is one of my favorite stories. The really the take you back to the How we met is that th and my first [00:05:00] ex-husband went to high school together. So th had come up to visit our campus for a Halloween party my freshman year. They were two years older, and I had heard all about her through him. So she comes into this party and I see her and I go running over, and I'm like, oh my God, you're th clearly he had not said anything to her about me. So she was like, Darren and I go up to him afterwards and I'm like, that's your best friend. She's a bitch. That was originally the first time we met, but fast forward two years later.

[00:05:34] TH Irwin: I don't even remember meeting her. I was clueless. I was partying. That's my excuse.

[00:05:40] Jess Klingbaum: But two years later when I, after I graduated, We all were living in New York City and we reconnected and then we started, like, our lives just kind of started moving along the same trajectory. We got engaged within a month of each other, married within a month of each other. And we were like, couple best friends. t h and I were best friends and our husbands were best friends and we would [00:06:00] travel together and do things together. And our sons were born a week apart, my first child, her third child. It was like fast friends once we met in a, in an environment where she wasn't a bitch. What can I say,

[00:06:14] Shannon Russell: in an adult environment when you were

[00:06:17] TH Irwin: are three sides

to every story.


[00:06:20] Shannon Russell: Okay. So then you guys are friends. Tell me about working in the city. Where was your, first act out of college?

[00:06:27] TH Irwin: I started working for a market research firm. I was working for the big companies that make all the toothpaste you guys use and the gum you chew M&M Mars was probably my favorite client cause I was actually at the plant right when the m and ms come off That's when they melt in your mouth not in your hands By

the way I got to travel a lot It was cool I was learning a lot so I've always been like, scrappy and started other businesses. And then fast forward, I have three kids and my husband at the time was [00:07:00] traveling a lot. He was in private equity in New York City, so I lived in the city for a while and then I moved just outside of the city to Northern New Jersey where I grew up

[00:07:11] Shannon Russell: amazing. How about you, Jessica?

[00:07:13] Jess Klingbaum: So when I graduated college, I moved into New York City and I was in grad school for a couple years and working in tv and that was the career path that I chose and that I followed for the next 22 years, just sort of working my way, through a few different networks and kind of up the, the ladder, running shows and. I, I loved it. I mean, I had my kids while I was working in tv and it was a great career. Very gratifying, very satisfying. The hours are brutal, as you know, and, there's zero flexibility at all. I was the mom who was never around, never took my kids to school, never picked 'em up, never took 'em to their after school activities. I just, I didn't have that kind of flexibility and I was, getting remarried to a guy who loves to travel [00:08:00] and decided like, that was a time in my life that. Wanted to leave TV and, and be able to have the type of work life balance that people talk about that I had never had before. So, I too am scrappy and nimble and, you know, was looking around for different options and I, I have a few other things that I've done over the years, until TH and I ended up launching Ex Experts.

[00:08:25] Shannon Russell: So now you are best friends, life is going on, you've got kids. Maybe if you wanna just talk about your divorce story because it came around the same time. Is that right?

[00:08:36] Jess Klingbaum: We were both married for 13 years. Um, I had been with my husband for five years prior to getting married, so we were together in total almost 20 years, 13 years down the line. Within a week of each other. We found out that both of our husbands were having affairs and that they were covering for each other.

And so trips that they had been going on, or they were [00:09:00] telling us that they were going on guys trips, turns out they were going away as couples with their girlfriends to other places. And so we literally found that. in totally different ways, but within a week of each other.

And that was where everything started. we were both like, we're getting divorced, but it was very different for both of us. How you get divorced and what that looks like and what that experience is, is a hundred percent based on the personalities of the people getting divorced.

Despite the affair and despite the fact that obviously the last couple of years weren't great because that was going on, even though I didn't a hundred percent know exactly what was going on. We had a really great run for a long time, and I really genuinely liked him and like him. However, it was devastating to me because there were a lot of things about our marriage and our relationship that were really great for TH she'll tell you herself, like her story was totally different.

Her husband was a totally different guy, totally different [00:10:00] personality than mine, and they ended up having a very vindictive, acrimonious divorce. And so even though we started it at the same time for the same reasons, the journeys through our divorces could not have been more different. I had a very amicable divorce.

We worked out the settlement terms ourselves over a period of time. We only met once with each of our lawyers all together in the same room. And we're really good friends today. And that was for me, the best way to go about it. If I had to get divorced, this is the picture that I would've always wanted.

And I'm very fortunate that way. But like we were there for each other every single day from the first day of the divorce, and that's where the seed was planted for years later for Ex Experts, because you as a mom with, with two young kids, you know that like when you have a new baby, Everyone's like, how's the baby?

How's the baby? But really, they mostly just wanna hear like, the baby's great. But if you [00:11:00] have a good friend who also has a new baby, they're like, how many dirty diapers did you change today? How many hours did they sleep? How many ounces did they eat? Like they're in the nitty gritty, in the weeds of every aspect of what you're going through on a daily basis.

That's the analogy that I use for what TH and I had for our divorces. We were the first, amongst our friends that were getting divorced, we were young, 36 and 38. We both had really young kids. No one was really getting divorced yet. But for th and. What did you talk to your lawyer about today? This is the conversation I had with Darren. This is how much he wants to give me every month. We were literally in the weeds on everything and we had this incredible support for each other that like people don't usually have going through divorce. And the whole purpose of how Ex Experts ended up coming about was to be able to pay it forward to everybody going through it. Cuz we know

[00:11:55] Shannon Russell: just having you guys together to be able to lean on each other. You're right. A [00:12:00] lot of people don't have that, so what a blessing in itself.

[00:12:03] TH Irwin: So we separated at the same time. We did not get divorced at the same time. my end divorce took four years. I mean, we couldn't have been on more extreme ends of the spectrum here.

I had three judges, I had two mediators. I had every expert you could have. I was married to a narcissist. It doesn't matter if I wanted out, if he's gonna drag or she's gonna drag you through the process, then you have to go. So as Jessica and I were supporting each other on stuff with our lawyers and negotiating our parent plans and all this other stuff, really educating one another because the only other place at the time to be educated was with your lawyer my, marriage had been over for many, many years and I couldn't find my way out until I got a phone call and his girlfriend basically set me free with what she told me, and I told her she saved my life that day. As happy as I was, I [00:13:00] wasn't lonely, I wasn't sad, I was free, I was thrilled, except that I had three kids under eight. So as much as I wanted to run for the border, I got, I got three kids here who just want their dad at home and like, wait, we're moving and he's moving out and we're going to a new house. And can I be in my school? And what does this mean? Like, do you love us? Do you not love us? Are you gonna leave us? Like a million things That kept pulling me back.

So I think overall what we share is a feeling of unrest, of uncertainty, but also a feeling of, you know what, I should have trusted my gut. I was gonna be okay. But Jessica and I also supported each other by being together on the weekends, making sure we had each other for our first New Year's Eve, making sure she was at my house, mother's Day, whatever holiday it was, whoever was doing it, we were together. So we wouldn't be stuck in a situation [00:14:00] like, oh my God, I am alone on this holiday.

So you're divorced and you're supporting each other. Was this the inspiration for

[00:14:09] TH Irwin: at this point, we were comfortable launching Ex Experts because we have come into ourselves. We have come into our own. We are very clear of the lessons that we learned and how we take responsibility for our failed marriages. So Ex Experts was created so that we can be your TH and Jessica. We've got your back. We've lived it. So we get it. And if we don't know it, we'll figure it out for you. We interview a tremendous amount of vetted, very reputable divorce professionals as well as professionals that you just might need in your life, like a dating expert or a stylist, or a nutritionist

[00:14:53] Shannon Russell: right.

[00:14:54] TH Irwin: You know, let's go, but I need a team. So we help you by [00:15:00] providing this platform to take the first step to helping you figure out where you wanna be, what's best for you.

[00:15:07] Shannon Russell: Now you both have other professional careers. So did you leave those careers and start this I know what it's like to start a business. There's a lot of stuff in the background. I.

[00:15:18] TH Irwin: I actually stepped into a great new career I started creating events for a media company here, which then launched into a national opportunity for me to, expand my events because USA Today bought our company. So I loved it. I was working from home. I could be with my kids, but then I would travel and go to new places. And then they, came under another new set of ownership, which I just felt like I was super underutilized for.

And that's when I called Jessica and I started looking around online again. I'm Jess, there was nothing out there when we got separated, but now there's so much noise out there. We have to help clear the clutter. [00:16:00] Now's the time for Ex Experts and our Divorce Etc Podcast. Let's go.

[00:16:05] Jess Klingbaum: We talked about it back then when we were getting divorced, but it was a lot to take on in the midst of our divorces. TH came to me, and was like, look, we need to kind of revisit this idea, like we have something to offer that nobody else is doing. And it just so happened, fortuitously, as the world works, I was about to. Start my second divorce process. And the timing was really right for me cuz I was now in a position where I'd been through divorce before and I knew the things that I know. I mean, part of our whole thing is like you don't know what you don't know when you're getting divorced. Particularly for the first time having been through it, both of us and then me about to go through it again. It was like, we know what you don't know. We know the questions to ask. So it it just, the timing really did come together at that point. And so it was kind of like, just as Covid was starting like peak COVID [00:17:00] time that we actually launched, which again was sort of fortuitous because Covid really did drive up divorce rates.

[00:17:08] Shannon Russell: Yeah, so it was out and available to people when they needed it the most.

What was that process like? Kind of working together as a team, single moms doing your thing and now you're coming together and forming like a new partnership

[00:17:21] Jess Klingbaum: From my perspective, like it's been. So amazing. You know, convention of wisdom would say don't go into business with a friend because of all of these things. But we have very different yet complimentary backgrounds and skills, and there are things that TH knows to do business wise that wouldn't even occur to me.

And there are other aspects of the content and production of things that I'm happy to do because that's kind of where I come from. So I feel like we merge together in a very easy way. We don't necessarily always have the same opinions, but that's part of the beauty [00:18:00] of Ex Experts. I hate to say we're passionate about divorce. I wanna emphasize that we don't encourage people to get divorced, but we know the reality of the situation and we're passionate about helping people get through it. If that's the course that they decided that they have to. I would say

[00:18:16] TH Irwin: The same thing. I mean, we really compliment one another. we're not insulted, so we're, I think neither one of us are afraid to tell the other one, like, this needs to change or that needs to change. And also we're both eager to learn. We are just so rewarded and validated with everything we're doing from DMs we get from people, from questions, from the response on TikTok and Instagram and the number of downloads on our podcasts. they care what we think.

it's very rewarding. So just to know that we're helping one person would've been great, but it's thousands and thousands of people.

And so you know

[00:18:56] Shannon Russell: You're truly taking your pain and turning it into a purpose. You know, and that's [00:19:00] everyone's goal, right? To just kind of give back and educate others on what you went through.

[00:19:05] Jess Klingbaum: right.

[00:19:06] Shannon Russell: Tell me about the community then. What is Ex Experts in your elevator pitch Explan?

[00:19:12] TH Irwin: Ex Experts and the Divorce Etc podcast is the one place you can go to feel empowered, to be educated and to be supported, , in your decisions, in your journey, in your thoughts, in your questions. we do have all of these amazing experts there, but we also get questions like, how do I handle this situation with my ex, with my kid? How do I date again? But I have kids at home, like, how do I manage that? I feel kind of guilty. Going out on a date and moving on with my life. How do I figure out whatever it is so this is a place to come for those key three values and whatever else you're looking for. We [00:20:00] have inner circle sessions where it's just me and Jessica and we can really answer your questions. Like, I didn't even know what kind of divorce to get. I don't even know where to begin. I'm afraid to talk to people in my community. I'm afraid they're gonna judge me. We talk about all it, we respect your privacy. But we know that this type of life shift is a huge opportunity because look at us now. I mean, we're so much better for it and because of it. we have learned so much about ourselves, about our friendship, about our potential in this world.

[00:20:39] Jess Klingbaum: Ex Experts really is kind of that one stop platform for all of the things that someone would need, go onto our website, it has the podcast, it has all, the blog articles, our social media accounts. It has a signup for our newsletter. It's one place that people can go and hear different [00:21:00] opinions, different perspectives. It's a value add for anywhere you are in your process, you don't have to search around a thousand different places and fall into the Google vortex to find answers to things. We have. Divided into five different categories. My divorce, my family, my wallet, my stuff, and myself. It's just that like premier platform destination where you can find everything that you need in one place.

[00:21:28] Shannon Russell: You really have thought of everything. I loved also that you have the other professionals, like you mentioned earlier, you know, the stylist, things you wouldn't necessarily think about until you were at that stage of your second act, everyone thinks of the lawyer and sitting in that room and going through that, but there's so much after it that you guys are discussing. And I feel like it really is a community for people to come to and find the advice and the camaraderie that they.

[00:21:54] Jess Klingbaum: That's right.

[00:21:55] TH Irwin: There's a lot that goes with it. You might be moving, you might need to find a house. How do you [00:22:00] get a mortgage? What if I've been a stay at home mom, how do I get a job?

[00:22:04] Shannon Russell: As business owners now and partners, there's a lot of different aspects to the business,

[00:22:09] TH Irwin: We do actually work with, another woman who we basically consider like our third arm, who really keeps us in check. I think that using some kind of project management, Software if you don't have that person keeping you in check is really important.

[00:22:25] Shannon Russell: What about working with a partner? What have you learned that you can maybe share with our listeners about what it's like to start a business with someone else?

[00:22:35] TH Irwin: Are we sure this is the right thing? And just kind of taking that leap of faith, I think it's really great that Jessica and I have each other and that I don't have to make those decisions on my own. So I'm like, oh, well she agreed with

me. So,

[00:22:47] Shannon Russell: It must be right

[00:22:49] TH Irwin: you know, taking all the, the burden for, for losses, even more so. But then sharing the successes, like all the downloads for the podcast and the engagement and, and [00:23:00] people wanna talk to us and people value what we have to say. I've done a tremendous amount of research. I've connected with a lot of people who are already in the industry, and, and you'll find that people are willing to elevate you and support you. There are others who won't. But within the field and category that we're working in, we've had a lot of amazing women who are like, we're riding along with you. This is gonna go and let us help you get there. And so that kind of stuff is, is really great. I would say educate yourself. Put yourself out there. Ask a lot of questions. And also if you make a mistake, like why'd you do it? Like, what were you thinking about?

Don't, don't just discard it. You have to take it as a lesson learned. Cause again, we're putting our money where our mouth is and our time. This is my career right now. And so I have the ability now to harness all of my skills and leverage all of Jessica's skills that together we can keep [00:24:00] our eye on the prize and be honest with one another.

[00:24:03] Shannon Russell: Everything that you've gone through in your first act, your career, all the struggles that you've gone through, you're taking those lessons and bringing them into your second act, and you just both seem like you are on a mission, like nothing

[00:24:17] Jess Klingbaum: are on a mission. We are literally on a mission. I mean, we are on a mission to like destigmatize divorce. Overall, the fact that there are still so many people who don't necessarily wanna talk about it. They're ashamed. They're embarrassed. it's humiliating to find out that your spouse cheated on. the more we talk about all of the uncomfortable things in life, the less stigma will surround it all. And so we are on a mission to do that and to help people get through it in a way where they're feeling proud of themselves and the decisions that they made and that they're able to accept the fact that not everything works out.

And it doesn't mean that they've done anything wrong per se. and if we can help people see that and kind of like put aside. [00:25:00] To the best of their ability, the emotional distress of divorce, and sort of focus on like, okay, well what do you see now moving forward and here are all the things that you need to know and here are the tools and resources to be able to do that.

That is our mission

[00:25:14] Shannon Russell: for any of our listeners that are listening that might be going through a divorce right now, and then

[00:25:19] Jess Klingbaum: or thinking about it.

[00:25:20] Shannon Russell: or

[00:25:21] TH Irwin: Yeah,

[00:25:21] Shannon Russell: it yet, a lot of people are thinking about it and don't talk about it. But they're sitting there and they're wondering, okay, if I were to do this, how would I be able to afford being a single mom with my kids?

There's all these questions. So what would your advice be first on that idea that somebody's listening right now and they're not sure.

[00:25:41] Jess Klingbaum: Look, uh, without being too self promotional, I would say go to exexperts.com. And by the way, it's spelled out. It's E X E X P E R T s.com. And the truth is we have experts talking about that exact topic. Any questions you have that you'd be thinking of, we have interviewed vetted industry [00:26:00] professionals who we talk about.

The transcripts are available on our website. You can go to any podcast platform and find the Divorce Etc Podcast. So I would say for someone who's thinking about it or is in the process of divorce, you can get the answers from people who've already been there, and other professionals who've been kind enough to give us their time. The more information you have, the better you're gonna be.

So to use a resource like Ex Experts where we are thinking about everything and we're talking to people about the ebbs and flows of your life over the course of your divorce and through your family growing up and things like that, circumstances change and there's a lot to think about. We talk all the time about what I wish I knew, what I wish I knew then now that you just couldn't anticipate. We're here to like give you that glimpse into the future so you can decide if those are things that are worth bringing up to your lawyer or to your soon to be X [00:27:00] or working into your divorce agreement. It's just about hearing as much as possible to know what's gonna be the best outcome for you.

[00:27:08] Shannon Russell: Right. And how to make that decision, when the time comes or just how to move through it properly. What, what do you think this whole process, everything that you've learned up until now has taught you about yourself and about each other?

[00:27:23] Jess Klingbaum: As a former television producer, where everything was scheduled down to the second and everything had to be planned out, and you literally have to micromanage everything. Divorce really taught me.

My life experiences through this process really taught me, and even the business working with TH like, I can't micromanage everything. You have to learn to kind of pick your battles and decide what's important to dig your heels in on and what's important to let go. I can't control exactly what my ex does parenting wise when my kids are with him. It's his time. We run two different households. Our [00:28:00] bedtimes weren't necessarily the same. Our schedules weren't necessarily the same. I can't control that. So I feel like the main thing for me that it's taught me is like patience and understanding that I can't control everything and learning to be able to let go.

[00:28:17] Shannon Russell: That's a hard pill to swallow

sometimes So , how about you TH?

[00:28:22] TH Irwin: I feel like I'm in therapy half the time that we interview some of these experts, and I'm like, I forgot this. I forgot that. Jessica now knows stuff that I was never prepared to talk about before, but now it's gone. It's off my plate, it's outta my head. It's not stored in my gut anymore. I've learned a lot about myself and forgiveness and, rewarding your success. Being proud of yourself is not something that you should be embarrassed about. You should freaking scream from the rooftop. Like, what Jessica and I have built

[00:28:57] Jess Klingbaum: Yeah.

[00:28:57] TH Irwin: is a fantastic, [00:29:00] and we shouldn't be afraid to say that out loud, you don't wanna brag, you don't wanna seem whatever. Screw that put ton of time. Forget about the amount of money, and heart and soul and knowledge into building this. So I've learned that our success is worth shouting about. The list of things I've learned goes on and on and on, but I've learned that I should really just be proud of myself. Especially when we talk in these podcasts of how horrible my marriage was and, and all the stuff that I went through and everything, like those were big deals.

They were bigger than I was willing to ever admit. And the only other thing I would say, my biggest lesson learned in all of this, in all struggles that I've been through is me being present is the most important thing. I am not willing to miss a minute of my life, good, bad, or ugly.

And I've had some [00:30:00] ugly, and I've had some bad, and I've had a lot of great that outweigh all of that. what's ironic is that in my marriage, the bad outweighed everything. So I don't remember any of the. Now because I'm able to be present and enjoy and take it in. I deal with the feelings for the bad things and I enjoy the feelings for the great things.

[00:30:22] Shannon Russell: Such good advice. I know some listeners are gonna wanna know , do women find their second act after a divorce? Do you feel like women kind of hold on to that dream that they have because they're in an unhappy marriage and maybe after they go through the divorce they free themselves to go after what they.

[00:30:41] Jess Klingbaum: I definitely think that when someone is able to accept the fact that they're getting divorced and is able to say to themselves, look, this is a huge change in my life and it is actually a new door that's opening. As scary as it all is, it seems a natural segue and a natural [00:31:00] progression to allow you to pursue things that you may have been holding back on or that you may have been too afraid to have done before. It is a fresh start. It really is. I would go out on a limb and say that, you know, probably more than half of the people that end up going through divorce find themselves, with a new start in some way because it's inevitable.

[00:31:24] Shannon Russell: You're just starting over. You're finding yourself again and

[00:31:26] Jess Klingbaum: You are.

[00:31:27] Shannon Russell: And it's freeing, I'm sure

[00:31:29] Jess Klingbaum: It is freeing enough where once you've gone through divorce, which is so hard, you know, I don't remember what the list is, but it's like the three hardest challenges in any person's lives are the death of someone moving and divorce.

And frankly, if you get divorced, you're kind of dealing with all three because it's the death of either your marriage, the relationship, the family that you thought you had, your definition of what all of that is. And you're probably moving , someone's moving. to go through divorce, which is such an enormous [00:32:00] life change and get through it, I think gives people a new sense of confidence of like, if I could get through that, yeah, maybe I do wanna change careers. Maybe I do have the courage to do things and the inner strength that I didn't know I had that now I know that I have to pursue other things.

[00:32:20] Shannon: Alright. It's time for our Five Fast Qs of the Week. Here we go!

[00:32:26] Shannon Russell: Name one thing that these different chapters in your life have taught you.

[00:32:29] Jess Klingbaum: I would say patience.

[00:32:31] TH Irwin: I would say I'm gonna be ok

[00:32:33] Shannon Russell: would you recommend taking a big leap into a big change or divorce if needed to your best?

[00:32:41] Jess Klingbaum: if I think that they felt that they'd thought through all of the options and that really was the only option for them that made sense. I would have to say to anybody, you have to pursue all of your options, barring. An abusive situation that I, I don't think that there's any alternative, but I think that when you're not [00:33:00] sure and you, you know, it's hard to come to the actual realization that separating and getting divorced is the right decision. If someone feels that that's where they are, then I would absolutely encourage them to take the leap. But I would not encourage them if they had not finished doing the work in terms of that being their choice.

[00:33:18] Shannon Russell: Good advice.

[00:33:20] TH Irwin: I would say the same thing and I would just be there to validate they think. Ultimately they have to make the decision. It can't be somebody else. chirping in their ear. They have to like feel it in their gut. If they're looking for me for validation of their feelings, then I will be supportive either.

[00:33:42] Shannon Russell: That's great. what is one piece of advice that you would give to someone trying to start their second act

[00:33:48] TH Irwin: I would say educate yourself. there's No shortage of information out there. Get into networking groups with people with like-minded interests so that you can meet new people and kind of [00:34:00] bounce your ideas and thoughts off of them. It really helps me anyway. I don't like it when Jessica and I can't talk for a week cause I'm like, I have nobody to to talk to about my ideas and I get them to the next level cause I'm like stuck in my own head. Talking to other people as a sounding board, good and bad, coming back to you, just really educate yourself.

[00:34:21] Jess Klingbaum: I agree with everything that th just said, those are like the practical matters of doing something. But I would say have faith in yourself. You do have the strength and the courage. You know, there's that saying like, we can do hard things. We can do hard things. And some of the things that we're afraid of, like you just have to bite the bullet and go for it. And so I would say like, dig deep and, and commit.

[00:34:45] Shannon Russell: What does the next chapter look like for you? Both and Ex Experts?

[00:34:49] Jess Klingbaum: I think that what the next chapter looks like for Ex Experts is to continue to grow the community and continue to grow the podcast, our ideal would be that anytime [00:35:00] anybody's even thinking about divorce or hears about divorce or is talking to someone who's considering it, that the first thing that they would say or think would be, you gotta go check out Ex Experts. We wanna be that sort of preeminent one stop digital platform for everything divorce. That's what the next chapter, chapter looks like. Business wise, I think personally for me, um, it. You know, getting my kids off to college, weep, weep, and using everything that I've learned about myself and my past relationships to find the right life partner for myself. I would like to be in a committed, long-term relationship, and I have an idea of what that looks like for me and what I need from that, and I'm excited about what the future holds in that.

[00:35:39] TH Irwin: I see Ex Experts also synonymous with the word divorce.

our mission right now is just to get the word out. Everybody needs to know. So any opportunity we have to share and talk you know, let's just talk about hard things, like Jessica said earlier. So this continuing to grow and, and be a topic of [00:36:00] discussion, for me personally, I probably am in the best place for me in my own life.

If you're not good with you, you don't have room for anybody else. And I think that the biggest thing that I'm coming into now is that I deserve to enjoy my life. I'm, I'm allowing myself that joy is something that I deserve. I deserve all of these things. And now I put myself in a place where I can take it in. That's what all of your future has to hold, even if you're not getting a divorce.

[00:36:38] Shannon Russell: So where can our audience connect with you both?

[00:36:42] TH Irwin: Our website is Ex Experts www.exexperts.com Everything lives there, so the tentacles take you out to our podcast, which is titled Divorce Etc. It's on all podcast [00:37:00] platforms. You can enjoy all of our dancing moves with, uh, important messages behind them. On TikTok, we are on Instagram and Facebook also, and also on our website. We are launching our events, those are called ex experts open houses. And then we also have our inner circle, which are just the two of us, small group of women only, sorry guys. Where you can share, you can talk, you can vent, for about 45 minutes. That's every other week.

[00:37:30] Jess Klingbaum: The newsletter is gonna be an easy way to actually engage with us and we answer all the comments and replies and so, our community is growing that way. You'll find out a lot more information on the newsletter.

[00:37:42] Shannon Russell: Fantastic. I'm so happy to have heard your stories both. Personally and professionally and I, wish you the best of luck with Ex Experts and growing your community. And I'll be following along.

[00:37:53] Jess Klingbaum: Thank you so much for the opportunity, Shannon, and we really appreciate it.

[00:37:56] TH Irwin: And I just wanna say one more thing, like if you have a friend [00:38:00] or a family member or anybody struggling in any way touched by divorce, Please bring them to Ex Experts because we would've been so happy to have this when we were going through our divorce. Most of our Ex Experts are divorced themselves and have said the same thing, so this is a great gift to give to anybody who's, who's struggling, and you don't know what to say and you don't know what to do. We've got you covered.

[00:38:26] Shannon Russell: I can think of people that I wanna pass this along to right now and I'm sure our listeners can too, we can all use a little guidance during the tough times and you, you both are providing that. So thank you so much and we will talk soon. Thank you guys.

[00:38:39] TH Irwin: Thank

[00:38:39] Jess Klingbaum: Thank you.

[00:38:40] Shannon Russell: All right. How is that for a different kind of second act? It divorce is definitely a huge life-changing situation, a huge event. I find it interesting that Jessica and th both had different experiences through their divorces. Yet they come together to create [00:39:00] this brand, to create this business, this community. Of experts to help educate others who are going through a similar event and they really can share their advice. It's not just learning about divorce through a lawyer who has. Overseeing these kinds of situations. These two ladies have gone through it and they're here to help. And I just think what they're doing to. Really reinvent their lives. Their second act. It's helping them both personally and professionally. I'm really proud of both of them. I'm excited to know them. I'm looking forward to following along on their journey as they grow this business. And I just really, truly admire all that they're doing for other men and women out there that are going through similar situations and just need that person to talk to that best friend that can go along for the ride. And. Give you the advice that you need to hear and be that ear to vent to. it's really an [00:40:00] incredible thing. So if you, or if you know someone who's going through a divorce or pondering the situation, Head over to exexperts.com and make sure that you listen to the Divorce Etc Podcast with Jessica and T H just really a different kind of second act that we've had here on the show before. But so interesting and so important. I hope that you never have to go through a divorce, but that you were able to take some resilience and inspiration from this conversation. I thank you so much for spending part of your day with me today. Head over to my speakpipe at speakpipe.com/secondactsuccess. . And leave me a message. Let me know what you'd like to hear on upcoming episodes. Let me know if this episode resonated with you. I'd love to know your aha moment with your second act or just something that you're thinking about that you want to share. I'm going to be adding some of these comments and messages within the show as well. So if you have a question, be sure to head over, to [00:41:00] speakpipe.com/secondactsuccess and leave a question and I'll be happy to answer it in an upcoming episode for now.

I'm signing off saying thank you and wishing you a wonderful day. I will talk to you on the next episode of the Second Act Success Podcast.

[00:41:17] Shannon: Thank you for joining us. I hope you found some gems of inspiration and some takeaways to help you on your path to Second Act Success. To view show notes from this episode, visit secondactsuccess.co. Before you go, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast. So you don't miss a single episode. Reviews only take a few moments and they really do mean so much. Thank you again for listening. I am Shannon Russell, and this is Second Act Success.


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