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The Reason Why Women Cheat on Their Husbands

Written by Jackie Pilossoph. Posted in cheating and divorce, Marriage advice, My Wife/Husband left me

 

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This is an article I wrote that was published in Huffington Post yesterday. It addresses the reason “Why women cheat on their husbands.”

 

The Real Reasons Women Cheat  by Jackie Pilossoph

I’ll never forget the day I had lunch with a friend of mine, who brought along three of her divorced girlfriends, none whom I’d ever met. As we sipped our white wines and chomped on our salads, I listened to the stories of the divorced women.

Two of them were happily involved with the men they cheated and left their husbands for. The other woman’s story was entirely different. Her husband had been cheating on her, and then left her for a younger woman.

Since the demise of my marriage had nothing to do with either me being a cheater or me being the victim of a cheater, I couldn’t relate to being on either side. What I can say is that it made me wonder, ‘Who cheats more? Women or men?’

I got a pretty strong answer just a couple of days ago. It begins with Cyber Dust. Heard of it? Cyber Dust, which is partially owned by Mark Cuban is a new social media app for business networking, friendships, sports news, flirting, and just having fun. You can send and receive text messages and photos that disappear shortly after you send them. I am having so much fun on there, and have met many, many, interesting, wonderful people.

There is a popular account on Cyber Dust called “Cyber Confessions” where users can anonymously confess without anyone knowing their secrets. The beauty of it is that the confession then disappears in 30 seconds.

Cyber Confessions also conducts surveys. One in particular asked users to anonymously answer yes or no to the question, “Have you cheated on your significant other in the past year? Kissing counts.” The results from the 178 women and 649 men who participated: 24 percent of the men answered “yes,” while 42 percent of women answered “yes.”

So, is that proof that women are bigger cheaters? In my opinion, there are a few factors to consider. The first is the possibility that men aren’t willing to admit to cheating – even anonymously, as much as women do. That said, it is interesting to note that 649 men chose to participate in the survey versus 178 women. Are women just generally busier? Or, did some women who cheat choose not to participate because they were too afraid or ashamed to answer yes? The latter would suggest that the results could be authentic.

That brings us to the question, why do women cheat? From the hundreds (maybe thousands) of e-mails I have received on my website from women who confess that they’ve cheated, their reasons are all very similar. It’s never, “He cheated, so I wanted to even the score,” or “I need more sex,” or even “I’m bored with my husband.”

I believe that most women cheat because their relationship is lacking the emotional strength they need and or want. Women often tell me they tried and tried and tried to talk to their spouse for years, and he never wanted to listen or acknowledge that their was a problem in the relationship, simply saying, “Everything is fine.” Even the women at the lunch said they had exhausted every option to try to save their marriages before cheating.

Here’s the thing. I’m not saying that I condone cheating, nor am I judging anyone for it. I’m simply trying to help men understand a common reason I think it happens, which is women needing more than their spouse can or is willing to give in the emotional department. So, what I would say to men is… click here to read the rest of the article, published yesterday in Huffington Post.

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Breakup Advice: The Raw Feelings of a Fresh Breakup

Written by Jackie Pilossoph. Posted in breakup advice

 

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Breakup Advice: The Raw Feelings of A Fresh Breakup

A few years ago, my young son fell and cut his knee, and we ended up at the emergency room where he got a few stitches. His wound was raw at first, and needed to be kept clean and dry. It was red and puffy and swollen, and as he described it, “thumping.”

For some reason, this is the comparison that comes to mind when I think about how I’m feeling in the first days following my recent long term relationship breakup. It’s fresh. It just happened. It’s raw. It’s trauma. It’s sensitive. Bleeding. Hurting. The “thumping,” a constant reminder that it’s there. And, it’s not even close to being healed.

Here are some of those raw emotions that most people feel at the beginning of a breakup.

  1. Shock: In any long term relationship or marriage, I don’t believe a breakup happens suddenly. (Unless one of the people met someone else and is leaving for that reason.) But even then, it is only sudden for one of the people. Usually, the couple has known for a while that the break up could be coming, but even so, there is a certain feeling of shock, of waking up every morning realizing that this isn’t a dream. Walking around feeling like you’re forgetting something, like you left the house without something you need. Something feels like it’s missing. It doesn’t feel normal. For me, the missing piece is his heart. I don’t have it anymore. That is gut-wrenching.

2. Sadness: You run into people and they ask, “What’s new?” and tears spring to your eyes. It is very hard to get through a conversation, hearing your own voice say the words, “We broke up.” Crying on a daily basis becomes the norm.

  1. Urgency/desperation: There are moments it feels hard to breathe, and the only thing you want to do is call him or her, beg them to come over and hug you, and never let you go. It feels frighteningly desperate, almost panicky.
  1. Confusion: In my situation, if someone asked me, “Why did you guys break up?” I honestly don’t know what I would say right now. A number of reasons? Yes, but there is no clarity yet. Right now I feel unsure of what really went wrong. It seems foggy. But, I am sure that as time goes by, clarity will come.
  1. Anger: I truly believe that in every relationship, people look back and recognize certain things that happened that cause resentment. If there is any communication between the two people, one or both of the them try to let the other person know how wonderful they are doing, and how they are changing so much for the better. My question is, “Why couldn’t you change that for me?” It’s a bit infuriating for me to think that the next girl will reap the benefits of things he learned from our relationship. Then again, my next guy might benefit from the same.
  1. Honesty: It’s so hard to do, because there is still so much love here, but being apart forces people (or I should say allows them) to take an honest look into the relationship and acknowledge the things that weren’t working as they were. It is impossible to do that while you are still together.
  1. Hope: For me, there is a very small piece of hope and even excitement about the future.At this moment, it is tiny, but it is there. It’s a glimpse into the promise of a future with someone whose love is strong enough to last forever.

The bottom line is, the raw feelings of a breakup are extremely complicated. The mind and the heart are all over the place. Remembering the heart stopping moments, the smiles, the passion, even the smell of his skin is heartbreakingly sad. And comforting at the same time. It’s funny how the mind tends to temporarily forget all the disappointments, arguments, and impasses that led to the breakup.

My breakup advice: let yourself feel all of these feelings. Live day to day, trying to grab every ounce of enjoyment out of every day that you can. For me, that means anything having to do with my children and my family, and of course, enjoying the passion I have for my work. This is the way I’ve been living my life since my divorce, and it works.

Breakups are part of life. They are out of our control. And, no breakups are good. But, how we choose to handle them is entirely in our power.

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11 Great Movies for The Newly Separated

Written by Jackie Pilossoph. Posted in Entertainment, newly separated, Nora Ephron

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In my Love Essentially column, published yesterday in Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press, I talk about 11 of my favorite on-screen love stories. I wanted to post this on Divorced Girl Smiling, because it occurred to me that all of these movies are great movies for newly separated people to watch. Why? Because really great love stories give us hope and inspiration, and make us remember that life and love goes on, even after loss.

 

11 On-Screen Love Stories You Will Love by Jackie Pilossoph

While watching the Oscars this year, something occurred to me. Maybe it’s because I’m a love and relationships columnist and therefore sensitive to what movie producers think the public wants to see on the big screen, but I found it interesting that not one movie nominated was close to being a love story.

It leads me to wonder, ‘Is Hollywood losing interest in romantic comedies, dramadies or classic love stories that leaves people with warm hearts and puffy, red eyes (in a good way?)

Here are 11 of my favorite on-screen love stories. Some have won Oscars and other awards, and some might be films you’ve never even heard of. What I can say is that every one of these are unforgettable, beautifully written and a great choice if you want to feel happy, hopeful and inspired.

1. When Harry Met Sally (1989) Written by Nora Ephron (my idol) and nominated for an Oscar for best screenplay, this sweet, endearing movie asks the question, ‘Can best friends turn into lovers and stay happy?’ It is adorably funny and heartwarming, and will put you in a good mood for a week.

2. Silver Linings Playbook (2012) Nominated for several Oscars and the winner of one, I can’t say enough about what a great movie this was. The memorable story about personal growth and finding love when you least expect it is laugh out loud funny, sweet and unforgettable.

3. Love Story (1970) This one has made me cry all 50 times I’ve seen it. A young couple in love faces heartbreaking tragedy. Love Story did win one Oscar, and was nominated for several.

4. Rocky (1976) This movie won the Oscar for best picture, but while many describe Rocky as an inspirational boxing movie, I call it as I see it, and I say it’s one of the best love stories of all time.
5. Along Came Polly (2004) No Oscars for this one, but what makes it one of my faves? Actors, Ben Stiller, Jennifer Aniston and Philip Seymour Hoffman, plus adorable and hilarious writing. The plot: Dumped on his honeymoon, a type A guy starts dating an old classmate who is his exact opposite.

Click here to read the rest of the article-the other six movies!
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A Critical Look at Marriage and Divorce, and Why It’s OK to Be Alone

Written by Jackie Pilossoph. Posted in Entertainment

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This is a guest post by documentary co-producer, Karla Plimmer, on “The Institution Documentary,” which was made to give viewers a glimpse at marriage and divorce, why marriages fail, and why it’s OK to be alone and not defined by marital status. Wait till you see the trailer! Let us know what you think! 

 

by Karla Plimmer, co-producer, The Institution Documentary (2015)

My name is Karla Plimmer and I am the eldest of seven siblings. My parents are still together after 48 years of marriage but it’s a different story for their children. Six of us got married and five of us are now divorced. I was married at the young age of 21 and had no idea what the heck I was doing . I got married only to get divorced many years later.

I was already so confused about the whole institution of marriage and one day I met a very special woman that has become a huge impact in my life. This woman was 52 years old when I first met her 4 years ago. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer and when she was going through her chemotherapy and radiation treatments she found emails that proved her husband was having an affair. I then found out that a lot of her close friends (all baby boomers) were also going through a divorce that same year.

This was the final flame of inspiration to push me on my journey to get some answers about this institution of marriage

For the past few years I’ve been working with filmmaker Peter Hatch. Together we created, directed and produced a feature documentary film that offers a critical look at the institution of marriage. It examines why the divorce rate is so high and how it affects people. We are planning to release the documentary sometime this year.

Although this documentary provides a critical analysis, it is light-hearted and comedic in tone. It’s more about ridicule than hostility. Even the subjects who speak to their painful divorce come to the conclusion they are better off – and that there are larger priorities in life than being married.

This documentary is more than just another film. It represents a monumental evolution we’re currently witnessing in modern relationships.

Marriage is no longer a necessity in our society, and it’s time to recognize and come to terms with that.

Anyone getting married , going through a relationship breakup or divorce should watch this documentary. We are confident that this documentary will captivate audiences of all ages.

Check out the trailer and feel free to comment and share!

 

Divorce Advice: Choosing Selflessness Over Bitterness

Written by Jackie Pilossoph. Posted in divorce advice, Single mom

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Wait till you read the comment below that Divorced Girl Smiling received from a divorced woman. I want to use her story to offer what I think is valuable divorce advice.

 

I’m reading all your stories and some of have very valid points but some do not. I can only speak from my own experience being a 39yr old single mother of 4 beautiful children isn’t easy. My ex husband moved across the country and is living with another woman and does not pay child support.

So not only do I not receive financial support, our children do not spend time with their dad. For those of you that do think woman are sitting around and just want to collect money isn’t true. I am a R.N. caring for 4 kids working 40-50+ hours a week just to live pay check to pay check. When he moved away all I asked him for was $120/wk which basically really only covered daycare, not to mention they need to eat and be clothed, plus our daughter’s college tuition which I help her pay, sports fees, extra curricular activities, so on and so forth.

I have yet to receive a single payment that we agreed upon so therefore I have had no option but to file in court a child support order. So for those of you that are receiving some type of support, lucky you and for those who think we woman are being vindictive by taking them to court simply just isn’t true (in most cases).

I divorced after 17 years for many reasons, putting his hands on me, emotional abusive and cheating are just to name a few, but what it ultimately comes down to is that I did not create these children by myself therefore he needs to be forced to assist me in raising them in some type of way.

 

Talk about real. Here is a woman who is working 40-50 hours per week and singlehandedly supporting and raising FOUR children. So, is there one thing in here that indicates she’s feeling sorry for herself? Playing the victim? Feeling angry? Bitter? Hateful? NOT ONE. This woman is an angel. She is a survivor. She has love in her heart and based on what I read, I have the utmost respect and admiration for her.

Her post sparked me to realize that this woman made a choice. And like her, all divorced men and women, we have choices. Here are some examples. We can choose:

 

  1. Bitterness or selflessness. This woman has chosen to act and make the best of things rather than sit in self-pity and play the victim. You don’t think she has some bitterness? Of course she does. Who wouldn’t? But she’s chosen to put her focus and energy into her children, her work and hopefully the rest of her life.

 

  1. Fear or excitement. Getting divorced is scary. The thought of the unknown, of being alone and solely “in charge” of your kids can really cause fear. It’s normal to be fearful at first, but why not look at the unknown as exciting? It’s going to be great! (or as great as you make it.) Why wouldn’t it?

 

  1. Frustration or acceptance. You will never change your ex. You will never change what he or she did while you were married, and you will never change him or her now. So, you can scream and yell and it can drive you crazy, or you can accept it and control the things you can control.

 

  1. Anger or letting go. Anger is toxic and will only hurt you. I know you hate him (or her) at times. I know you want to shake him or her and say, “I hate your guts! But not only is it a waste, it will prevent you from your potentially great life ahead of you. It will ultimately consume you and cloud your judgment and roadblock openings for success and happiness. Find a way to let it go. You have to NOT CARE anymore.

 

  1. Sadness or hopefulness. Sadness is completely understandable in the beginning, and you might have a slice of it forever. But try to eventually replace it (or most of it) with hopefulness. You will be happy again. If you want to be. (And I know you do.) The world is infinitely large, with new people and places and things you’ve never seen or done. Go get what you want!

        6. Regret or moving forward. “I should have been a better wife.” “Had I not cheated, we’d still be together.” “I nagged him too much.” Every divorced person has feelings of regret. That’s normal. But sooner or later, it’s time to look forward instead of looking back.

Most people feel bitterness, fear, frustration, anger, sadness and regret during a divorce. I think that is to be expected. But at some point, making the better choice equates to success and happiness.

I want to hug the woman who wrote this comment. She deserves a medal for her choice. What are YOUR choices?

 

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