How I got through disclosing an affair and a painful divorce with Thomas Olsen | POP 743

A photo of Thomas Olsen is captured. Thomas Olsen is a single father who recently went through a painful divorce. Thomas Olsen is featured on Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

What happens when a painful event changes the way you see yourself? How would you rebuild your life after an unexpected transition? What can sustain you through an extremely low point in life?

In the eighth episode of the How I Got Through It series, Joe Sanok speaks about disclosing an affair and working through a painful divorce with Thomas Olsen.

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Meet Thomas Olsen

A photo of Thomas Olsen is captured. He is a single father who recently went through a painful divorce. Thomas is featured on the Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.Thomas Olsen is a single father who recently went through a painful divorce. He made mistakes that he is not proud of and has been on a journey of healing and self-discovery that has been both agonizing and also freeing and joyful. Thomas is passionate about living true to who he is, accepting his imperfections, and working to be best the version of himself.

Thomas is also a host on the podcast The Superhero Moviecast and of the podcast series, Superhero Stories, where he and his co-host get vulnerable as they share their love for superheroes as well as their own personal stories of how specific superhero stories helped inspire them during difficult times.

Find out more about Superhero Stories and connect with Thomas on Instagram. Email him at: superheromoviecast@gmail.com

In this Podcast:

  • “I felt like an impostor”
  • Experiencing an extremely low point
  • Finding your strengths
  • What helped Thomas get through it?
  • Thomas’ advice to his younger self

“I felt like an impostor”

Once Thomas disclosed the affair to his partner, the admission of the truth took some weight from his shoulders, but his world came apart.

I felt like an impostor with what I was doing as to my career, you know, helping people through difficult life transitions … I just couldn’t continue it anymore … it was a total shell-shock moment, of, “How did I even get in this situation?” (Thomas Olsen)

Difficult and emotionally complex situations can take an enormous toll on those whom it affects.

Thomas had to deal with this situation and felt like he was living a life that was not at all what he wanted.

Experiencing an extremely low point

During the summer of 2020, Thomas hit the lowest point that he could remember in his life.

The thought of continuing [to] live was so painful. I was just like, “I don’t know how to do this”. I’d look in the mirror and I couldn’t even believe what I had done and how I’d hurt my spouse and hurt my children. (Thomas Olsen)

Thomas felt that he had let down a community of people within his life, from family to friends, and struggled desperately with how to view himself, and to find a better place.

Finding your strengths

Out of all this, throughout this process … there were a lot of things I questioned about myself but I was able to maintain that I am a good father. I love my children, and I’m very involved and take a lot of pride in being there in their lives. (Thomas Olsen)

Throughout the difficult divorce, Thomas and his spouse maintained their co-parenting and put their children first.

They were able to divorce without needing attorneys and focused on keeping the process as pain-free as possible, wherever possible, for one another.

What helped Thomas get through it?

  • Going to therapy, and investing in himself.

Therapy gave him a space to grieve the past experiences, process the grieving process of loss, and coming to acceptance.

  • He spent more time in nature and the outdoors. Being outside helped him to feel better, to breathe – physically and emotionally.

Being able to get outside and [into] nature … even just getting outside and going for a walk. (Thomas Olsen)

  • Thomas also kept a close circle of dear friends who supported him through everything. They listened to him and gave him a safe space to grieve and process his divorce in the company of friendship.
  • Journaling and watching movies that resonated with his emotions were a big part of his healing, and coming to a better place in himself and his life.

Thomas’ advice to his younger self

Show compassion to yourself.

Useful Links mentioned in this episode:

Check out these additional resources:

Meet Joe Sanok

A photo of Joe Sanok is displayed. Joe, private practice consultant, offers helpful advice for group practice owners to grow their private practice. His therapist podcast, Practice of the Practice, offers this advice.

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

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