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Ugly Divorce? Feeling Pretty Is Important

Written by Jackie Pilossoph. Posted in girlfriends, newly separated, Over 40

ugly divorce

I’m not sure I’ve ever met a person going through a divorce who didn’t describe it as “ugly.” Isn’t an ugly divorce sort of expected? I mean, we can all say we know this one couple getting divorced who are really amicable, who are still “best friends” and who have made the transition easy for both themselves and their kids. But, we all know that sadly, that’s the exception.

 I certainly had an ugly divorce at times, and I remember, specifically, at the beginning, I felt really ugly myself. Divorce makes people dislike themselves, which in turn makes them look in the mirror and feel ugly. Why?

  1. They  feel like a failure (which they shouldn’t.)
  2. They might feel guilty about the kids having to go through this (even if the divorce wasn’t their decision.)
  3. They  feel old.
  4. Their soon-to-be ex has been making them feel badly about themselves for months, even years.
  5. They say and do things they normally wouldn’t that are unattractive, and that make them feel either stupid or ashamed.
  6. All  conversations with friends and family are negative.
  7. They regret a lot of things from the past.
  8. They’re scared of what’s ahead and they feel insecure.
  9. They’re angry (which never looks pretty, even if warranted.)
  10. They’re  filled with hate *same as #9.

This is a guest post by expert makeup artist, Elise Brill, who for 20 years has been helping clients on special occasions, as well as for their every day makeup needs. (She has also done makeup for dozens of guest on Oprah!)

  The post is obviously not about how to feel pretty again on the inside. (Trust me, if you peruse this website, you will find dozens of posts on how to obtain self-love and heal yourself from your divorce) Rather, this particular post is about how to feel pretty on the outside, which I firmly believe has tremendous benefits.

 If you feel like you look pretty on the outside, you will feel better about yourself and exude more self-confidence. And when you look in the mirror, your problems will still be there, but you might feel a little bit stronger. In other words, I’m not saying makeup is the answer to your divorce problems, I’m saying it’s a really inexpensive way to pick you up when you might be up against some pretty bad negative feelings.


Feeling Pretty Is Priceless by Elise Brill


As a makeup consultant for over two decades, I know one thing for sure: feeling pretty is priceless. I am not divorced, but many of my friends and clients are and I have learned from them that after a divorce it is essential to feel good about the way you look.


To give yourself a fresh start on this new post-divorce life, start out by evaluating your look. Nothing says refreshed like glowing skin. I love to tell my clients to open your makeup bag, empty it out and throw out any mascara that is more than 3-months old, and all cosmetics that are more than 2-years old. From there, you just need a few basic makeup products to get a new look. Here are 5 Steps to an instant natural glow!




Foundation is your friend. Don’t be afraid of foundation. Even if you’ve never worn foundation it will work magic on your skin. And surprisingly the secret to foundation is all in the application. A great makeup finish can make even the most tired skin look alive and refreshed. Apply your foundation with a blending sponge and apply LIGHTLY. You can also add a drop of water to your sponge to thin out the foundation before you apply it to your face. Make sure to apply the foundation evenly all over your face. As we age our skin becomes uneven in certain areas on our skin so be sure to choose a foundation that will provide your skin with a light dewy finish and sun-protection/SPF all in one. I recommend Leesi B’s Liquid Mineral Foundation.  .


2. Bronzer


Need an instant pick me up? Bronzer gives your skin an instant glow and a pretty skin-kissed look even if you’ve been inside all month. A little dab on your skin goes a long way to giving you the perfect natural glow.  Leesi B ‘s Rio De Janiero Mineral Bronzer 




The greatest innovation in eye-liner is the Jet Ink Liner because it’s as simple as a pen! is one of the easApply the liner lightly to your upper eye lid as close to your lash line as possible. This will give your eye an instant lift and brighten your whole face. Leesi B Ink Eyeliner 




Fresh mascara will brighten and refresh your entire face. To give your eyelashes an instant pop, apply 2-3 coats of black mascara, such as Leesi B Cil Prodige Mascara




Lipstick is one of the easiest ways to brighten your face and draw people to a beautiful smile. If you don’t love a heavy lip color, try a lip treatment with a tint.

With SPF15, it will protect your lips and has a slight pink sheen that looks great on every skin tone.  Leesi B Vibran C Pink Grapefruit lip treatment


Thanks, Elise! By the way, this isn’t a sponsored post (in other words, Elise didn’t pay me to write this in order to sell makeup.) I asked her to write the post because I truly believe the right makeup can help make a woman in an ugly divorce feel pretty. That said, I allowed Elise to put links to some of the products she manufactures, many of which I use myself.


Elise Brill brings over 20 years experience as a makeup artist. The owner of Leesi B Cosmetics, Brill has worked on thousands of clients for both special occasions and to perfect every day looks. She has also been on dozens of special makeup segments for the Oprah show and other television news stations. If you would like a private makeup consultation with Elise Brill or to order Leesi B Cosmetics products, contact Elise by, phone:  847-912-2665, or by visiting the Leesi B Cosmetics website:


Your Ex-Husband’s New Girlfriend: Love Her, Hate Her or Indifferent?

Written by Jackie Pilossoph. Posted in divorce advice, relationship with ex, relationships after divorce


ex-husband's new girlfriend

I’ll never forget the first time I ever met my ex-husband’s new girlfriend. She was beautiful, blonde, much younger than me, and the worst one: NICE!

I felt sick. I felt old. I felt ugly. I felt depressed. I really wanted to hate her guts. The problem was, I just couldn’t. She was (is) so darn nice!

I haven’t seen that new movie, The Other Woman, with Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann, but just from watching the trailer and knowing the plot (a cheating guy’s wife and his girlfriend hit it off and become good friends) I have to believe that it’s common that women (as much as they try, and as much as it’s almost expected) just can’t despise their ex-husband’s new girlfriend.

If you think about it, it makes sense that the two of you would get along. It’s all about the same initial attractions/commonalities. So, if your ex liked certain things about you, it would make sense that he’d be attracted to those same qualities. And if you and the girl have similar qualities, it makes sense that you’d get along, right?

That’s why when I did a poll on my Divorced Girl Smiling Facebook page last week, asking women to describe their ex-husband’s new girlfriend in one word, I was SHOCKED at the responses I got.


4 positives:


Amazing, caring, sweet, thoughtful


18 negatives:


Pig, vapid, ruthless, disrespectful, butter face (which means nice body, ugly face—I had to look that one up), clueless, ignorant, 22, vicious, sloth, harmful, controlling, mouse wife, low-rent, android, yuck, whore, trash.


I wondered, ‘Why do all these women hate their ex-husband’s new girlfriend so much?’ 10 reasons dawned on me. Not saying any of these are the case with all the women who responded, just saying they are possibilities. So, here are 10 reasons you might despise your ex’s new girlfriend:


  1. You still have feelings for your ex./You’re not over him.
  2. Society makes us feel like it isn’t ok to like your ex’s new girlfriend.
  3. The girl really is horrible.
  4. Your ex husband puts distance between the two of you because HE doesn’t feel comfortable if you are friends or even nice to each other. In other words, if HE doesn’t like you, SHE can’t either.
  5. You think the girl hates you.
  6. The girl is the reason for the end of your marriage. In other words, he was cheating on you with her.
  7. The biggest reason: You’re just not over the divorce yet, and the feelings of resentment are just too raw.
  8. You are envious/jealous of the girl.
  9. The girl is trying to be your kids’ mom.
  10. You don’t feel like the girl respects you.


Here are the benefits of having a good relationship with your ex-husband’s new girlfriend:


  1. First and most important: Your kids will be happier. The children of divorce who are the most well-adjusted are the ones who bear the least conflict in their lives. Kids love it when they feel everyone is getting along and that their parents and parents’ spouses like each other. It relaxes them and takes so much pressure off of them.


  1. It makes life so much easier. It’s funny, when I see my ex’s new girlfriend, she acts kind of nervous around me. Granted, she’s probably thinking that whatever she says is going to end up in a blog post. So, I can understand that, I guess. But, I think she knows how much I really like her, and that makes things so much easier for both of us. She actually babysat for me once when I had to go to an event and my ex was out of town. My kids had a great time, and I never forgot that gesture. I have offered to pick up her child on numerous occasions. I think a mutually respectful relationship like that is such a win win for everyone.


Here’s the thing. Whether or not you like her, the woman is here to stay. If your ex moves in with her or marries her, she’s now in your family, spending a significant amount of time around your children. Isn’t it just easier and better for everyone if the two of you get along?

You don’t have to be best pals. And, don’t be naïve and say anything behind your ex’s back to her, because undoubtedly, her loyalty is with him, and you will get burned. But, to buy her a Christmas gift, or to offer to help her out is really, really good for your kids, and it’s good karma.

By the way, I did post something on my Facebook page the same day that read:

Describe your ex-wife’s new boyfriend or husband in one word.

 I got no responses. I wonder what that means. Divorced Girl Smiling has about a 70/30 ratio of female to male readers, so clearly there were men who read it. Maybe when it comes to an ex, men are a little less willing to share their thoughts publicly?

The bottom line is, whether you are a man or a woman whose ex is getting remarried, it is in your best interest to have a good relationship with the person whether they are a butter face or pretty face, low-rent or classy, or 22 or 52.

You can’t control how the new girlfriend will act towards you, but I find that it’s the first wife who takes the lead on this. If you treat her as the enemy, she will do the same. If you are kind, she will be too. In some instances, the girlfriend will be a nightmare, which is probably her insecurity when it comes to you. That’s HER problem. And, I would STILL be kind!



“I’m Annoyed With My Spouse!” Of Course You Are

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

annoyed with my spouse

annoyed with my spouse

Chances are, one of the reasons you got divorced is because you and your soon-to-be ex or your now ex fought a lot. Those moments of silence that grew into hours and then days and then weeks of not speaking to each other eventually resulted in a separation and then a divorce. All that said, let’s say that now you are in a very happy relationship. I have to believe that there are still times when you are extremely annoyed with the person you are with (no matter how happy you are). It’s normal! Actually, “I’m annoyed with my spouse,” gets huge numbers in a Google Search! That’s what I talk about in my “Love Essentially” column, published yesterday in Sun-Times Media local.

Ever Get Annoyed With Your Spouse? Sure you Do! by Jackie Pilossoph for Sun-Times Media Local

Jackie, Why, when people are in a serious relationship, do they sometimes annoy one another to the point where they don’t even want to talk? Is getting annoyed with your significant other common? Is it normal? If you really love someone, is such behavior acceptable?

I actually smiled when I received this e-mail because it’s cute, and sounds like it came from a younger reader who could possibly be referring to the first serious relationship she’s ever been in.

YES! YES! YES! YES, are my answers to these questions. Becoming annoyed with your significant other to the point of not wanting to speak to him or her is completely common and normal. Even the happiest of couples bug each other, at times.

I can remember being in my twenties, having an argument with my then boyfriend that ended in a period of silence, and feeling like it was the end of the world. The tears would stream down my face and my heart felt like it hurt.

Now, in my 40s, if I have an argument with my guy, or during the times when we become so annoyed with one another that we actually prefer to be in separate rooms, I just kind of do my own thing until things get back to normal. I know that in time — whether it’s 15 minutes or two hours — that the two of us will get over whatever is annoying us, move on, and enjoy being with each other again.

I don’t think it would be normal NOT to have times where each person needs space. Even my own children, who I love more than anyone on this planet bug me at times, and vice versa.

A couple only has a problem if the times of annoyance and not speaking become frequent. If the bad times start to outweigh the good times, then Houston, we have a problem.

As my older sister, a well-educated physician puts it so eloquently, “If it ain’t fun, I’m done!”

But if at certain times, two people who love each other need some silence between them, I don’t see any serious issues. If the couple has a happy, healthy relationship, they will come back to one another after a little while, and it will be like nothing happened.

I’m not saying that if something is bothering you, just be silent, let time pass, and then it will be ok. Being open, honest and communicative is key for a good, healthy relationship. So, by all means, if you have an issue with your spouse, speak up. But sometimes, couples just bug each other. It’s as simple as that.

Here are five tips to cope with silence that stems from annoyance:

1. Give you spouse some freedom. Ask your spouse if there’s anything you can say or do to make things better. If the person says, “no,” and prefers not to talk, respect that. In other words, don’t push and continue to ask if he or she wants to talk. Once is enough. Click here to read the rest of the article in Sun-Times Media Local! 

Recently Separated Woman Just Wants the Truth

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

recently separated woman

Divorced Girl Smiling received this e-mail from a recently separated woman, and honestly, it hurt my heart.


My husband of twelve years and I have been separated for a little more than two months and divorce is only around the corner. I’m working hard to stay positive and healthy both for myself and for my children. Just when I think I’m over it, my heart goes right to his emotional infidelity with an office co-worker and I struggle to let it go. He will not admit any wrongdoing, but I know differently. I am unsure of the extent of it, but incessant texting/calling after work hours, a passcode on his phone, and then the deletion of his/hers text strands. This was all going on prior to our separation; we were having problems but I feel that his involvement with her has accelerated our divorce and left him unwilling to work on our marriage. I know that he is spending time with her but he refuses to be honest about it. How do I move on gracefully and let this go, especially when my husband refuses to take responsibility? He claims that he needs his space, but I fear that what he needs is to be with her and not me.

First of all, I’d give you a hug if I could. I’m so sorry you are going through this.

I have a few things to say to you that I think might help. The first is, it’s only been two months. Do you know how short of a time that is? Besides the fact that I highly doubt “divorce is around the corner” (most cases I know take at least a year), I think you need to give yourself a break. “Staying positive and healthy” is wonderful, but when you say, “Just when I think I’m over it,” I’m thinking, ‘In two months, you’re not over it.’ How could you be over a 12 year marriage in two months? No one could be.

I’m not telling you to sit by and play the victim and wallow in your divorce, yet I want you to be kind to yourself. It’s healthy to grieve it and to admit that you are deeply hurt. Cry all you want. Please don’t hold it in (except in front of your kids.)

Here’s the part that is frustrating. You don’t have real proof, but you know in your heart that your soon-to-be ex is leaving for someone else. Sure, maybe you two had your problems, but he didn’t make a move to divorce until he met someone he likes. Right? I’m not saying that SHE is the reason he’s leaving, but she gave him the push he needed to walk out the door.

“He won’t admit any wrongdoing but I know differently,” you write. That must be driving you NUTS! It would anyone. In your heart, you know he had an affair (or even an emotional affair) but he won’t ever admit it. EVER. Do you realize that? In 20 years from now, if you ask him, I doubt he will fess up. So, just accept it. In your heart, you know the truth. Isn’t that all that matters? His dishonesty is HIS problem, not yours.

I love how you ask, “how do I move on gracefully?” That shows maturity, class, and insight. That means you want to take the high road and move on, and not become one of those angry, bitter people who plays the victim forever. Which also means, you will eventually have a great life again, probably one you never expected with someone you truly adore and who adores you. I know that sounds like I’m jumping too far ahead, but I just feel it. I really do.

Lastly, if he “needs to be with her” right now, just let it happen. You have no control over what HE does.

I remember when I was first separated, my ex began a serious relationship with someone and it drove me INSANE. I obsessed about it all the time, and always let myself think, ‘He must be blissfully happy.’ Looking back, I wasted so much time going to those negative thoughts, when I should have been focusing on myself and my kids more. Nothing good can come from fantasizing about your ex and his new, perfect relationship. Trust me, it’s not perfect and it’s EARLY. Really early. Just wait.  My ex and his girlfriend ended up breaking up six months later, by the way.

Here’s my closing advice. Take one day at a time. Really take time to enjoy your kids, enjoy little things in life. Also, focus on your financial future and making sure you and your children are provided for, both by your ex and your professional career. And lastly, let yourself grieve until you are tired of it. Get support from your family and closest girlfriends. And what will happen is, the days of crying will become less and less. You go from crying every day to every other day and then every other week and then once a month and then less.

Best wishes to you for a really really happy future.


NBC Show About Co-parenting Gives Ex’s Chance to Win Big Bucks

Written by Jackie Pilossoph. Posted in co-parenting advice, relationship with ex





 Any divorced person will tell you that co-parenting with an ex is no picnic. From the couple who cannot even speak or be in the same room with each other, to two ex’s who can take trips together with their children and everything in between, co-parenting is always a challenge.

So, when I received this e-mail from one of the producers of a new NBC reality show, I thought, ‘Wow! This is a great idea!’

Hope you’re well. I know this is a random email but I’m working on a new show called ‘The Extra Mile’ for NBC. The show brings divorced couples together to compete in various physical and mental challenges.

Set in a tropical location, the couples must learn to co-habit and put their
deeply rooted issues aside, working together to take on extreme challenges
for the one thing they still agree on – the love of their kids. The prize for the
winning couple is a $500,000 trust fund for their children, which can be
enjoyed when they turn 18.

Why do I love this idea? Because what parents, regardless of how much they dislike each other, resent one another, or have hostile feelings toward each other wouldn’t want to try to improve their co-parenting skills? PLUS, they’d be doing it on a desert island. PLUS they could win a half a million dollars!

The funny thing is, I didn’t even ask my ex if he was interested, because I honestly don’t think he’d even consider it. But, I did sell myself HARD, asking the producer if she would consider bringing the Divorced Girl Smiling along on the trip to lend advice, help support the couples, and to add some much needed lighthearted humor to the show.

So, two things. If you and your ex think you might want to be considered for the show, please send me an e-mail at and I will pass it along to the producer. Make sure to write your story in there—nothing too long—just enough so that producers get a glimpse of you

I want to end this post with a list of 5 benefits of good co-parenting:

  1. Happier, healthier children. This is number one and very obvious. So many divorced men and women are so wrapped up in their own anger and hostility and sadness and depression and bitterness, that they fail to realize that if they are willing to put their own feelings aside, their kids won’t suffer half as much. I know it’s not easy, but it’s vital to do this for your kids!
  1. An easier life for both of the parents. Good co-parenting makes life so much smoother for divorced people. Fighting and anger and disagreements and bad mouthing the other parent are all unproductive and a complete waste of time, and only cause frustration and aggravation.
  1. Better financial control. Good, productive co-parenting means no post-litigation, no more attorneys, and thus no more legal fees. 
  1. A sense of peace. If a couple begins to co-parent well, and they see their kids thriving, I have to believe they will find a sense of peace to their divorce, because they will be so pleased and happy in that regard.
  1. Better long term effects. This is a true story. I know two brothers who both got divorced 40 years ago and I know both of the guy’s now grown children. In one case, the parents co-parented beautifully, never spoke ill of each other in front of the kids and were always on the same page. Their children ended up happy, stable, in great jobs and still very close to both of the parents. The other couple was a disaster, constantly going to court, each parent always trying to alienate the other, and guess what? The kids ended up really messed up as adults, all three divorced. They never really had a chance, in my opinion. The parents are still bitter and angry at each other after 40 years!

You don’t want to be those people! I know it isn’t easy. Trust me. But all five of these benefits can be obtained by one thing: SELFLESSNESS. Put your own feelings aside when it comes to your kids. I can’t say it enough.

If you think the NBC show might help YOUR co-parenting skills, and you’d be interested in working on them on a tropical island with the chance to win big bucks for your kids, e-mail me!–and of course, make sure to mention that Divorced Girl Smiling would be the perfect addition to the show! J





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