Ferne Kotlyar

Have you ever been wrong about a loved one? Have you ever thought they were someone that they were not?  

Rob has. Rob lives a very rich and luxurious life. He travels and explores and experiences all the delicacies of life with his fun and adventurous wife. His life was perfect. Until one day, he discovered that all the money his wife was making, she was really stealing. She was embezzling money from the bank she worked at and stealing from her clients.

When Rob confronted her, she blew him off. She dismissed his concerns and anxiety. Rob could no longer sleep; he had nightmares about the police knocking at his door. He loved his wife and his rich life, but he could no longer live like this. He doesn’t know if he should stay with his wife any longer.  

A coach cannot tell Rob whether or not to stay with his wife; they can, however, help get Rob to a better place mentally and help him make a clear decision about what he can and cannot live with. If Rob only found out now that his wife was stealing, what else does he not know? Is she really the person he thought she was?

Do you have an interesting case you’d like to share? Let’s talk! If you want to share your thoughts on this episode or the show, or if you’d like to share your experiences with us, please reach out!



Episode Transcript

[00:00:05] Kim Ades:
Hello, hello. My name is Kim Ades, I'm the President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching™ and you have just joined The Frame of Mind Coaching™ Podcast. And today is Fridays with Ferne, where my daughter Ferne comes onto the show and gives me a case for discussion.  

Ferne, welcome!  

[00:00:22] Ferne Kotlyar:
Hello, thank you so much for having me! How are you today?  

[00:00:26] Kim Ades:
I'm good! Excited to talk to you.  

[00:00:29] Ferne Kotlyar:
Me too. Are you ready for your case today?  

[00:00:32] Kim Ades:
I'm ready.  

[00:00:34] Ferne Kotlyar:
All right. So here it goes. Today the case is about a man named Rob. Now, Rob has a really great relationship with his wife. They travel, they explore, they do amazing, cool, new things all the time.  

The issue is one day, Rob figures out that his wife is embezzling money from the bank. Rob freaks out a bit. Rightly so. And you know, he confronts his wife and she basically just blows him off a bit. Like, "it's fine. They haven't figured it out yet. They won't figure it out. It'll be fine. We'll be okay. I've done this before. Yada yada, yada".  

Rob is still freaking out. He has stomach cramps, he can't sleep at night, he has these nightmares where the police come and take them in because now that he knows what she's doing, he's technically convicted as well. Not convicted, sorry, but he could be convicted potentially because he knows. 

[00:01:26] Kim Ades:

[00:01:28] Ferne Kotlyar:
Yes, that's the word. Thank you. So he's chronically worried. You know, he has all these physical issues now and with the lack of sleep and cramps and whatnot, and he doesn't know what to do. You know, he loves his wife. They've been having such an amazing time together, but he's scared and he doesn't know what to do and he feels stuck. So what advice do you have for Rob today?  

[00:01:51] Kim Ades:
So it's funny, right? People often think that coaching is about helping people make ethical decisions or coaches have a clear sense of right and wrong, and that's not the role of a coach. A coach is to help a person decide what's right and wrong for them, and to help them live with a sense of alignment, clarity, and integrity within themselves. Right?  

So it's not for the coach to judge what exactly Rob should do. The coach's job is to help Rob make a clear decision that he can live with from here on in, so that he doesn't have sleepless nights and he doesn't have cramps. And so if I were to work with Rob, I would really explore some key issues. 

And some of the key issues are, did you know your wife? Right? Like, this comes as a surprise to you, what else might come as a surprise to you? How did she keep it hidden for so long? And how come you weren't paying attention? How come this is news?  

And so I would explore Rob's attentiveness in his relationship and I would explore how well he knows his wife, and then I would explore what kind of relationship he wants. If he wants one that's completely honest, clearly that is a question that we have to address. It's something that wasn't really there in his relationship.  

And so, you know, these are the kinds of issues that I would discuss with Rob for starters. And then I would dig into, now what? Is this a relationship he wants to be in for the longterm? And if so, how? So, first of all, is her continued embezzlement okay with him? If not, this is where he must draw the line and he must say "you know, you can't do this anymore. Like, it's done. I'm not staying. This is not something I can be a part of, so you need to stop".  

[00:03:48] Ferne Kotlyar:
But let's say she stops, and then what? She still committed the crime, there's no going back. Why does that make it different?  

[00:03:56] Kim Ades:
Then they have to together, if he decides to be with her, they have to together decide how to move forward from this. And whether or not that means she needs to admit to what she's done or if they can live together and just move along and be better human beings. That's a decision that they need to make together.  

So, you know, from my perspective, you know, where ethics come into play are when is he harming another person. He, the client, in this case it's Rob, is he committing any harm? He is not. Is he harming himself or another person? No. Is he now really part of a crime? That's questionable, but I would definitely encourage him to live in a way where he has the highest level of alignment and self integrity. 

Very often, in order for a person to live in that state with integrity and really I'm driving a person to live with a sense of peacefulness, what ends up happening is they make decisions that are ultimately ethical for themselves. And what I find is that when someone can't live with something, they end up telling the truth. They end up being honest. They end up doing what you and I might consider the right thing to do.  

But it's not my job to tell Rob what is the right thing to do. My job is to help Rob be able to look in the mirror and say "I lived the good life. I did the right thing. I'm okay with my choices and my decisions". But truly in this case, he needs to look in the mirror and say "where have I been in this marriage? How come I accepted a marriage where there was so much going on that I was unaware of? And those are some of the questions he needs to really examine and ponder.  

[00:05:55] Ferne Kotlyar:
And if she did it to protect him?  

[00:05:58] Kim Ades:
She embezzled to protect him?  

[00:06:00] Ferne Kotlyar:
Well, she didn't tell him, so that's where the lack of trust came from.  

[00:06:03] Kim Ades:
Well, she didn't tell him to protect him, but she still involved herself in a crime. And so the question becomes like, who are you married to? Why would she do such a thing? How did she hide it so well from you? What was the driver of this action? And maybe those drivers aren't aligned with his values.  

And you know, those are some of the questions I would ask him because maybe this isn't ultimately a person that he's aligned with, but he's totally in sync with. Maybe this isn't a person who behaves in ways that are consistent with his view of the world or his values. And so I would push him to really think through what are his values and can they exist in this marriage.  

Now, some people do things that are not good, but does it mean that they're horrible, terrible, awful people? Not necessarily. And so he has to evaluate that. At the end of the day, he knows his wife... Sort of.  

[00:07:06] Ferne Kotlyar:
Or does he? [Laughs]  

[00:07:07] Kim Ades:
Or does he, right? But he has more access to her then perhaps I do. So he has to decide what the right move is for himself. My purpose or my intention would be to really ask the hard questions for him to look at himself in the mirror and decide what he wants moving forward, and decide whether or not his wife is the partner who can help him live the life that he wants moving forward.  

[00:07:36] Ferne Kotlyar:
And just out of curiosity, I don't know if this is the right time to ask this kind of question, but if let's say Rob were to make a decision that you didn't necessarily ethically agree with, how would you proceed?  

[00:07:51] Kim Ades:
Again, I would push Rob to decide whether or not his decision or really examine whether his decision is something that he's at ease with, at peace with, if it's something he could live with, if it's something that truly represents who he is and who he wants to be in the world.  

So I would always support him, but continue to ask the hard questions because it's not easy to let go of let's say a marriage and relationship you've had for many years. It's not easy to, you know, do something that might hurt your partner, even by turning her in. So it might take him some time to arrive at a decision that he feels completely, completely good about.  

And for a period of time, he might be in a state of pretending he's okay with things. So my job is just to continue to ask very, very tough questions that force him to look at himself and decide whether he's good with his own actions.  

[00:08:34] Ferne Kotlyar:
But from what I hear you say is that ultimately it's about him and his peace with the situation. It has nothing to do with you and your opinion.  

[00:08:47] Kim Ades:
That's right. Its has nothing to do with me and my opinion. Many times we work with clients who are making decisions that aren't necessarily the kinds of decisions that I would make. I'll give you an example.  

You know, I'm working with a client right now who doesn't like hurting people's feelings, so he delays making decisions and pulling the trigger on business decisions that are really in his best interest because he doesn't want to hurt people. And while I understand he's sensitive, he's not making the best decisions for his company.  

So does that mean that I need to get upset with him or angry with him? No, I need to be by his side until he gets to a place of clarity, understanding what he wants and that the path to what he wants doesn't include delay, And doesn't mean he's necessarily hurting people's feelings.

So in all cases, what I'm doing is I'm working with the individual who's having a struggle, a problem, a dilemma, an ethical issue, and helping that person decide for themselves what's good for them, what's right for them, so that they live feeling good about themselves. So, the same thing applies to Rob.  

[00:10:23] Ferne Kotlyar:
Yeah, I guess ultimately that's the most important thing that your client feels happy and satisfied with themselves.  

[00:10:29] Kim Ades:

[00:10:34] Ferne Kotlyar:
So if you were to give Rob one last piece of advice, what would it be?  

[00:10:40] Kim Ades:
I would really ask Rob to sit down and ask himself number one, what kind of relationship he truly wants, but also I would ask him to dig down deep and say, is it true that you didn't know or were you closing your eyes to this? And where have you been in this relationship? And really kind of push Rob to take responsibility for how he shows up in a relationship and making decisions about what he wants moving forward.  

[00:11:15] Ferne Kotlyar:
Makes sense. Thank you.  

[00:11:18] Kim Ades:
Once again, another tough, difficult case. Thank you so much for sharing with me. I didn't know where you were going with this, so it was really quite challenging. 

[00:11:27] Ferne Kotlyar:
Always a pleasure. 

[00:11:30] Kim Ades:
For those of you who are listening, if you have a challenge that you are experiencing or know someone who is experiencing, please reach out to us. Ferne, how do they reach you?  

[00:11:45] Ferne Kotlyar:
Reach me at my email. So that's fernekotlyar@live.com. No spaces underscores, anything like that. fernekotlyar@live.com. 

[00:12:01] Kim Ades:
And if you want to reach me, it's kim@frameofmindcoaching.com.  

And if you have a challenge that you want to share on the podcast, as you know, on Tuesdays, we feature you, so please reach out. We are looking for guests who are willing to be open and vulnerable and share their challenges.  

In the meantime, keep listening, like, share, tell your friends and we look forward to seeing you again next week. I have a great week!

linkedin icon