Ain’t NOTHIN that hurts worse than a broken heart. Grieving the losses of failed relationships, friendships, career choices or life decisions, NEVER gets any easier, but there may be ways to make it hurt a little less. Learning how to: (1) identify your role in a heartbreak, (2) give yourself grace during the grieving process and (3) move forward with hopefulness and openness has to be one of the most difficult lessons to navigate as an adult. But it’s okay, friend! We will work through it together.

This episode of the Sugar Free Podcast, Navigating Real Heartbreak Pt. 1: Breaking Cycles of Toxicity explores the patterns and behaviors commonly exhibited in toxic situations and how those cycles often lead to heartbreak. Join Syd as she sits down with Life Coach and Attorney, Daphne McGee, for a conversation on how to identify and break toxic cycles to engage in healthier, happier relationships with yourself and others to lessen the occurrence and pain of heartbreak.

Daphne is a legal aid attorney and owner of Golden Daph Life Coaching. Daphne helps people leaving harmful situations move forward with clarity and confidence. Daphne also blogs about her experiences with marriage, divorce, and faith deconstruction.

Want to work with Daphne? Daphne is offering all Sugar Free Podcast listeners an EXTRA coaching session for FREE if they mention “SUGAR FREE” when booking their session. This means Sugar Free listeners will get 7 coaching sessions instead of the standard six sessions that come in Daphne’s standard package. Shoot Daphne a message on IG @goldendaph for more details.

 If you want to learn more about Daphne or read her blog, you can find her at

Show Notes

How do you define heartbreak?

The point where your reality fails to meet your expectations.

The Reality

To begin our discussion, Daphne shared the realities of her marriage and her relationship with the church and how both realities failed to meet her expectations. She explained how the realities of both relationships included unhappiness, uneasiness, cycles of toxicity and her own failure to trust her intuition about the toxicity that surrounded her.

The Expectation

Daphne then described how her religious teachings guided her to believe that marriage was the pinnacle achievement of spirituality in terms of bringing her closest to God. Syd then explained how societal pressures are also placed on women to marry to gain access to status, acceptance and financial stability without placing the same value on seeking partnership for happiness, companionship, pleasure or compatibility.

Daphne then described religion as re-packaged patriarchy designed to uphold traditional systems of oppression for women that have been dismantled in recent years through political and economic revolutions. She also described how said re-packaged patriarchy aka religion kept her in a relationship that she knew wasn’t good for her.

Red Flags

She told us how her religion had conditioned her not to rely on her own thoughts and intuitions but to rely instead upon her religion to guide her through life and it was that conditioning that caused her to ignore certain red flags exhibited by her ex-husband. Red flags that many women ignore regardless of religious beliefs to increase chances of marriage. Daphne then described that the biggest red flag that she had experienced in her relationship was her distrust of her own intuition and her own behavior which had become uncharacteristic of her normally rational nature. She had started to behave in ways that she didn’t recognize.

Cycles of Toxicity

Toxicity in the context of relationships generally happens in cycles where a partner displays a toxic behavior and instead of fixing or addressing the behavior, the behavior is ignored, or forgiven and the relationship continues until the behavior is exhibited again and the cycle repeated.

The episode ended with the beginnings of an explanation on how to navigate breaking the cycle of toxicity and the steps Daphne took to end her toxic relationships with both her ex-husband and the church.

Hosts & Guests

Sydnee Mack (Host)

Daphne McGee (Guest)


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