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Divorce Advice for Woman Who Was Compared to a Food Item

Written by Jackie Pilossoph. Posted in coping with divorce, divorce advice, divorce anger



divorce advice


Jackie, I’ve been divorced for 4 years and need some divorce advice. My husband fell in love with another woman. He even said that if he had a plate of food I was only 1 of the items while she was the whole plate and everything that went with it! Slap in the face! I should haves lapped him for saying it. I’m in Christian counseling working through my anger. I’m angry that he left and married 10 months later. Why does he have the marriage I so long for? Did u ever feel that way?


The first thing I’d like to say is that to compare someone to a food item on a plate is just downright cruel, insensitive and in all honesty, stupid. I’m so sorry not only that your ex-husband left you for another woman, but that he made a comment that obviously hurt you to the point you are still bringing it up four years later.

I have a few comments and pieces of advice that I think might help you.


Divorced for 4 years and working my way through anger


To say these two things in the same paragraph is sad to me. Why has four years gone by and you are still “working your way through anger?” Aren’t you tired of being angry? It has been 4 years. That is 1460 days! Look, I am sure that your ex hurt you deeply, I don’t know the circumstances—not even how long you were together or if you had kids. So, let’s assume that you were together for 25 years and you have 3 children. I’m sure it killed you when you found out he was leaving you to marry another woman. You’re right! Not  only was it probably gut-wrenchingly sad, scary, infuriating and frustrating, but it probably did feel like a slap in the face.You probably think it ruined your life (which it did not!) But because you feel that way, I am truly sorry. That is horrible.

All that said, to be angry still is absolutely wrong. You have to let the anger go. If you ask me how to do that, I can’t give you the answer. You have to figure it out yourself. But please, please, please figure it out. If you have anger, you can never really move on. Forgive your ex. You don’t have to be best friends, but forgive him for the reason that it will set you free. Free from the hate and bitterness and all the ugly things that go hand in hand with anger. Only then will you find peace. And finding peace will help give you a life you really want.


He left and married 10 months later


Good luck to him and his wife, because guess what? They get to live with the fact that their love affair began with lies and cheating and deceit. However they want to spin it is fine—maybe he’d say he was so unhappy, that his new wife wasn’t really the reason he left–whatever he wants to believe, doesn’t matter to you. The fact is, he and his new wife will always have to live with the fact that their relationship was built on cheating and hurting someone else. Karma, honey. It always makes its way around. It sometimes takes a lot longer than we want, and sometimes we don’t even know about it, but it will surely come around.


Why does he have the marriage I so long for?


How do you know what his marriage is like? Because he TOLD you it was great? Because your kids told you it was great? Because in your mind, you have built his marriage up to be the best marriage on the planet, with never any problems, issues, fighting, anything bad. Think it’s blissful every minute of every day? WRONG! You have no idea what is happening over at his house. NONE.

Many years ago, when I was first separated, my ex began dating one of my friends (former friends.) I was going absolutely insane. I could barely function or think about anything else. I kept imagining how happy they both were. Six months later, the relationship ended and he told me what a total nightmare the whole relationship was. It was a huge lesson that what you see, isn’t always what is real.

My point is, don’t envy something you know nothing about. Instead, go out and get the marriage YOU long for! What the heck are you waiting for?? Don’t hate me but I can’t resist saying this. Go get YOUR full plate! I don’t care how old you are, if you are still alive you are young enough to find true love, and someone who will appreciate you for you—someone whose plate you fill.

Best wishes to you, and remember, holding on to anger is a total waste of time. You’re not a victim. Remember that. He is your past. YOU are your future.



Meet My Attorneys, Schiller DuCanto and Fleck

Written by Jackie Pilossoph. Posted in divorce process


Schiller DuCanto & Fleck

Donald Schiller

 You might have noticed something new on Divorced Girl Smiling recently: the name Schiller DuCanto and Fleck in a few different places on the site.

 Schiller DuCanto and Fleck is the largest family law firm in Chicago, and I am proud to announce that they recently became the sponsor of Divorced Girl Smiling and Divorced Guy Grinning.

 There’s a story behind SDF that starts with its co-founder, Donald Schiller. I chatted with Don, and wanted to share what I learned so that you, my readers could have a glimpse of the firm that is not only a wonderful organization, but a true leader in the field of divorce.


 Talking with Donald Schiller by Jackie Pilossoph


What does it take to become the largest family law firm, not only in Chicago, but in the entire USA, and maybe even in the entire world? That’s the question I asked Donald Schiller, co-founder of Schiller DuCanto and Fleck.

“Patience and compassion,” he said. “The best way to help a client is to listen to them, to work through their emotions and identify the real legal problem so you can begin to solve it for them.”

It is Schiller’s philosophy, along with his ability to win cases and/or settle cases to a client’s satisfaction that has grown the firm he co-founded in 1981 to 46 attorneys, and to one of the most well-known, respected law firms, as well as a leader in the field of divorce.

How Schiller ended up in the field of family law began while he was in law school at DePaul University in the mid 1960’s. He was invited to write a piece for the DePaul Law Review. The topic: mental cruelty for grounds of divorce.

“At the time, mental cruelty was not grounds for divorce in Illinois,” said Schiller. “Back then, people got divorced for things like adultery or physical cruelty. There had to be some fault and mental cruelty wasn’t included.”

Schiller said writing the paper peaked his interest in divorce law, and a year or two later, after he’d graduated and began working, the law was passed in Illinois to make mental cruelty grounds for divorce, and he began getting calls for divorce cases.

“My paper was one of the few published scholarly papers on the subject so it was highly viewed,” he said. “It was printed along with the language of the statute.”

Schiller’s first divorce case was in 1969, and involved a young woman with a child whose husband didn’t physically harm her, but who was mentally cruel.

“It was a very sad story,” Schiller said. “He would taunt her and he made her life miserable.”

The outcome of the case was a success, and Schiller began focusing on divorce. Since then, he estimates he has personally handled 2000 divorce cases.

“Winning isn’t always about winning a trial,” he said. “It’s about accomplishing an excellent result for a client, and a result that they are happy about. People come here during the worst time in their life and by the time they leave, they’re happy again, and looking forward to life ahead.”

Schiller said the 46 attorneys who work at his firm not only share his way of thinking, but that they have knowledge that goes far beyond the law.

“We look for lawyers who are more than just good attorneys,” he said. “In addition to the law, they have to understand some degree of psychology, accounting, banking, business and taxes. We hire lawyers who bring all of that to the table, because it makes a difference in the outcome of the cases.”

Schiller also explained that cases at Schiller DuCanto and Fleck are handled vertically, meaning multiple lawyers often work on one case.

When asked why Schiller DuCanto and Fleck decided to become the sponsor of Divorced Girl Smiling and Divorced Guy Grinning, he had this to say.

“This is a way for us to give something extra to our clients, as well as anyone going through a most difficult time of their life.”

Schiller DuCanto and Fleck does have its own blog on the firm’s website,, but the content is geared more toward legal problem solving.

“The difference between the two is that Divorced Girl Smiling gives men and women comfort and support for all the other issues that arise in divorce that aren’t in the scope of the legal arena,” he said.


Very soon after meeting Don and a few of the firm’s attorneys, I felt extremely comfortable and confident that partnering with them would prove to be mutually beneficial.

 As they highly endorse Divorced Girl Smiling and Divorced Guy Grinning, I highly endorse Schiller DuCanto and Fleck.

 Every attorney I have met at the firm so far is not only warm and welcoming, but is poised, professional and top-notch. I truly look forward to working with Schiller DuCanto and Fleck, and getting to know all 46 attorneys. I hope that my readers feel free to contact the firm should you need legal assistance in the area of family law.


Words a Newly Separated Person REALLY Doesn’t Want To Hear

Written by Jackie Pilossoph. Posted in breakup advice, newly separated

newly separated    newly separated

In this week’s “Love Essentially,” published today in Sun-Times Media local, I write about 10 things people really don’t want to hear after a bad breakup. This applies not only to people dating, but to newly separated men and women, as well!

Words No One Wants To Hear After a Bad Breakup by Jackie Pilossoph

I’ll never forget how brokenhearted I was when a guy I was madly in love with broke up with me.

“It’s been three months and I feel like I should be in love with you, and I’m just not,” he said in a sad tone that sounded really rehearsed.

I was devastated. It was hard to get up every morning and go to work, I had no interest in doing anything but crying and eating ice cream every night, and when I looked in the mirror, all I could think of was, “Why didn’t he love me? I guess because I’m not good enough.”

I sought the comfort of my girlfriends, who would sit at Starbucks with me and try to say something to soothe my pain and put a smile on my face. Some of what I heard was helpful, but a few things my friends told me made me cringe. Here are 10 phrases that no brokenhearted person wants to hear fresh out of a relationship:

1. You’re going to be fine. Of course I’m going to be fine. That’s not the point. The point is that I’m not fine right now!

2. You can do so much better. Freshly dumped doesn’t want to hear about the next guy or girl. Let me mourn my new ex for a little while, please.

3. You’ll bounce back fast. Like I said before, I need some time to process that the person I loved isn’t mine anymore. I don’t want to think about bouncing back. I want to be stay right where I am: in hell.

4. That guy was a total jerk. I happened to have loved him or her, and yes, everyone has flaws. But right now, I don’t want to hear your opinion of him or her. This information is best saved for six months down the road when we are out at a bar having a few drinks and I can laugh about it.

5. Everything happens for a reason. My life isn’t an idiom. Please talk to me like a person, not with words that belong on a coffee mug.

6. God has a plan. If I want faith, I will attend church or synagogue this weekend. Please leave the man upstairs out of my love life. I will speak to Him when I feel like it.

Click here to read the rest of the article in Sun-Times Media local. Numbers 9 and 10 are my favorites!

Divorced Woman Asks for Group Hug

Written by Jackie Pilossoph. Posted in coping with divorce, divorce advice, inspiration, newly separated



divorced men and women

 I don’t know any divorced men or women who don’t have days or weeks or months when things seem to be imploding in their worlds. In my own situation, I describe those periods of time as feeling like I’m in a dodge ball game, and the balls just keep trying to hit me, and I’m constantly trying to dodge them. And when I do dodge one, here comes another one! So, when I got this e-mail from a divorced woman asking for a group hug, I had to post it. I can’t actually give her a hug,  but I want to try to help her.

This week my ex is forcing us to go to a parenting consultant because he wants to force our kid into a school I hate. One of my dearest friends just got news of the big B.C. and is taking it really hard (who wouldn’t???!!). My dad had his third knee replacement surgery on the same knee in three weeks and is fighting an infection. I’m STILL not working after a year of “self-employment” and despite 12 years of solid professional experience, so I’m applying for part time sales associate jobs at the outlet mall so that I can feed my kid and pay my rent. Divorce ripped me apart, but the rest of life goes on and a lot of it is hard too.

 The world seems to have lost its soul this week, and I can’t take the positivity dogma. We can be sad and hurting and crushed and honor that experience with solemnity and still choose to go on and keep trying to hope for a brighter day.

 If one more person says “everything’s going to be just fine” or “all is as it should be” or the WORST “God has a plan for you” I’m going to blow my top. So thank you for the real.

 Maybe we can all just collectively say “OW!!!!!” have some massive group hug, share some cool water and then heave our loads up on our backs once more and take another step forward and love each other. Peace.


Here’s how I think I can help. Since we can’t do a massive group hug physically, can we do an e-group hug? Here’s my attempt to write some words down that might feel semi-equivalent to a massive group hug.

I too can’t stand when people say “everything’s going to be just fine,” or the other two, but realize that people don’t really know what else to say and they are just trying to make you feel better.

Here’s what I want to acknowledge. Everyone has shit. Everyone. I have it, really wealthy people have it, sick people have it, happily married people even have it. My dad always says having crap in your life makes you appreciate all the good stuff. And if you think about it, there is soooooooooo much good stuff in our lives! But, we tend to focus on the problems. But if you think about it, you woke up today and all your body parts are working. But you didn’t think about that. You made coffee and you probably really enjoyed it. But you didn’t think about how great it tastes or even that your coffee maker worked. Then your kids woke up. Simply looking at their beautiful faces is a miracle in and of itself. There really is nothing better.

Here’s what I want to tell this reader (who I absolutely adore.) Every day is your gift and you can make choices every single minute. You can’t control your friend’s cancer or your dad’s pain or your controlling ex. (all for which I’m so sorry-please don’t think I’m taking those lightly.) But, you can make choices to make your day great, just by enjoying simple, little things. Your child’s little hand, his or her chubby cheeks, a yoga class, a jog, a prayer to God, a call to your best childhood friend, a kind gesture, a new pair of sandals, eating as many chocolate covered caramels as you want, looking in the mirror and liking what you see (self-love), flirting with someone you are attracted to, watching a great movie, -suggestion: Silver Linings Playbook!!!, and lastly, a HUG!

Your crap (and everyone else’s) is going to eventually go away and more of it will come, going back to the dodge ball analogy. Nothing you can do. So, control what you can: YOUR happiness.

Lastly, I can’t resist quoting Alanis Morissette’s Isn’t it Ironic: Life has a funny way of sneaking upon you when you think everything’s ok and everything’s going right. And life has a funny way of helping you out when you think everything’s gone wrong and everything blows up in your face.

 Right?! That will happen for you too! Advice: Keep the ship headed North. Don’t make any turns. (I stole that one from my dad, too) meaning, have a goal and keep working towards it.

I’m now releasing myself from the group hug, in hopes I was of some help. Now, hug yourselves! To my reader who wrote this: you’re doing great! I hope this is a better week!




Boyfriend Great With Kids, But No Passion

Written by Jackie Pilossoph. Posted in dating, dating after divorce, relationship advice

no passion    no passion

What would you do if you found a great guy (or girl), who you adored, and who your kids LOVED, but when it was just the two of you, you had zero interest in taking your clothes off?  In other words, there was no passion. That’s what I address in this week’s “Love Essentially” column, published in Sun-Times Media local yesterday.

Boyfriend Great With Kids, But Passion Isn’t There, by Jackie Pilossoph

Dear Jackie,

I’m dating a man with a 4-year-old. I have a 4- and 5-year-old. We have been out alone and with our children. I always have a great time when all the kids are there. But when it’s just he and I, I feel a bit awkward. I don’t feel comfortable doing more than kissing him. I like him. I find him attractive. We have fun together. I’ve never had this issue dating after divorce except for with this man. Should I keep this moving forward?

My gut reaction to this is that this guy sounds great. He seems like he’s a good dad who likes kids, he’s handsome and fun, and if you enjoy being with him, he must be affable. All that said, you are asking if you should “keep moving forward” with this man, when clearly, you can’t. Thus, your decision is already made, isn’t it?

Moving forward means getting closer, both physically and emotionally, and it doesn’t sound like you want to do that with him. In other words, when the kids are in bed, do you want him in your bed? Didn’t think so.

However, does that mean you have to stop seeing him? Not at all! This man sounds like he could become a close friend, and someone who could add value to your life, as well as to your kids’ lives. Every friendship is a gift, so I’d say grab it if you can.

But, you owe it to this man to be open and honest with him, and tell him how you feel. If you were him, wouldn’t you want to know? It’s the fair thing to do. Then it’s up to him to decide whether or not he wants to accept what you are capable of in the relationship.

He might be hurt and angry… Click here to read the rest of the article in Sun-Times Media local!



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