Inside the Mind of a Recently Separated 40 Something WomanBy Jackie Pilossoph


It’s a well known fact that every single woman drops at least 10 pounds the minute she becomes recently separated. Think about it. She gets upset and is unable to…..

It’s a well known fact that every single woman drops at least 10 pounds the minute she becomes recently separated. Think about it. She gets upset and is unable to eat frequently, she’s stressed about the unknown, the attorney fees, and how her kids are doing. She’s busy, or she might have just started working again. She’s sad at times and sleeps a lot. And lastly, the recently separated woman is dating again. Who has time for food?!

So, how do you feel when you drop 10 pounds? Most people would say they feel confident, sexy, that they love the feeling of their clothes practically falling off of them. Most would say they see themselves as being more attractive, right?  You would think.

But, let me take you into the mind of the recently separated 40 something woman. Being someone who lost about 10 pounds right off the bat, I felt anything but pretty and sexy and confident. The weight loss didn’t mean anything.

When I got separated, I temporarily became a person who doesn’t define who I really am. I was beyond insecure. I had thoughts like, ‘I’m 41. Who is going to want me?’ I looked in the mirror one day and I felt really, really old and tired. I felt defeated. I didn’t feel like I was attractive on the inside or outside. Here are the reasons why:


  1. I was a stay at home mom: I hadn’t had a job in 6 years. I had zero self esteem when it came to my professional ability, and figured the only skills I had now were diaper changing, bottle feeding and house cleaning. I was very stressed because I now had to think about what I was going to do for work, with no current computer skills and no belief in myself.

2. I was coming out of a toxic situation: I think when two people are in an unhappy, unhealthy marriage, (which could be for years) both are losing self-worth every minute they stay together. Why? Because you are around this person constantly who you think hates you, or who is belittling you, or who you know doesn’t want to be with you anymore, or who is condescending, or mean. Or, maybe you are the one who wants out of the marriage. Maybe you hate yourself a little bit because of that. Being in such a volatile and unhealthy relationship had really taken a toll on how I felt about myself.

3. Hello 40’s: This might apply to any woman, married or divorced, but it’s hard to ignore the number 40. It didn’t matter how skinny I was, I was the big 4-1. I was officially “middle aged” and in need of Botox and eye glass “readers.” Why would someone want me when they could have one of the million 30 year olds living in the city?

4. I felt like a failure: I managed to screw up the most serious relationship I ever had. That made me feel like a loser. I couldn’t even manage to save my marriage for the sake of my two very young children. I also felt selfish. There’s a lot of guilt and self-hatred that goes with getting divorced.


When i was recently separated, I was sitting around one night and I got a call from a friend of mine, asking me to meet her, her husband and “some of his work buddies” at a local bar. My kids were on vacation with my ex, so I had no child care issues. Something made me accept.

Upstairs I went, searching for a cute outfit. I walked out the door in a pair of jeans that I probably couldn’t get one leg into today, and a sleeveless top that showed off my slim (at the time) arms.

When I walked into the bar, my friend came rushing over to me. I realized that we were the only two girls at the place. One of her husband’s co-workers came up and started talking to me. He was not attractive, and I felt like he approached me because he was curious to talk to “the divorced girl.”

A few minutes later, another man approached me. My heart stopped when I saw him because he was seriously drop dead gorgeous. He was at least 10 years younger than me. He introduced himself with a huge grin that almost gave me a heart attack.

The two of us would end up talking for the next two hours! What was funny about the whole night was, it never occurred to me that he was interested in me. My low self-esteem had caused me to give up any possible notion that he or anyone else would find me attractive. I seriously just thought he thought I was interesting and nice. He was having a good time talking to the “divorced lady.”

He walked me to my car and then asked if he could get in.

“Uh…sure…” I said, seriously still not getting the fact that he liked me.

Then, he leaned over and kissed me. We kissed for a long time and then he asked me for my phone number.

I think my drive home that night was the turning point in my newly separated life. In a few short hours, I’d gone from thinking my romantic opportunities were over to realizing that a new part of my life was just beginning.

I didn’t care if the guy even called. Although, let’s be honest, I looked at my cell phone every three seconds the next day. He did call and we ended up dating for a few months. But, had he decided never to call me again, the mold had already been broken. I was a newly separated divorced girl who had gone from hopeless, insecure and timid, to confident, poised and ready to face the world as an older version of my best self.

I always tell people, it’s such a shame that you lose weight when you are unhappy. What a waste! You can’t even enjoy that you’re skinny!

By the way, I’m pretty happy in life right now, and I’ve gained back the 10 pounds.



Jackie Pilossoph

Divorced Girl Smiling offers advice, inspiration and hugs. If you want a Cinderella story, be your own fairy godmother. You're the only one who can pick out that perfect glass slipper!

31 Replies

Emi April 28, 2013Reply

I wish I was a person who lost weight under stress! I gained 10 pounds right away and they still haven't come off. (I also felt less pressure to be "perfect" to keep my husband's "attention" which was negligible.) You so nailed all those feelings of toxicity, self doubt, insecurity, hopelessness. Divorce is a massive karmic kick. Even though I'm in a wonderful and healthy relationship now I still continue to question myself. Part of the continued heartbreak, but a small price to pay for the rewards of a refreshing new love that suits me so much better. There's no end to the joy of being with a partner who meets those needs that were unmet for so long. He accepts me and wants me muffin top and all. :)

    Jackie Pilossoph April 29, 2013Reply

    Emi, you're adorable! I'm so glad you are happy

Graham Jackson May 09, 2013Reply

Hi. Just found your blog, and I must admit that it's both amusing and interesting. Being divorced myself, and currently single having had a year long relationship with a girlfriend ended. I find your blog refreshing. Believe me as a red blooded male. Forty something women are the sexiest, most confident, and fun women I have ever met. And if I'm honest, more 'fanciable' than any twenty something year old girl. Just a shame I can't find another one to love! Keep smiling.

mikey May 09, 2013Reply

Great blog! I agree with Graham, women in their 40s are more attractive in some ways then women in their 30s. Why? 1) Well, you aren't on the 'Oh my God I'm xx years old and need to get married and have kids!' quest. Nothing is as unattractive as desparation. 2) They know what they want. 3) They aren't afraid to ask for it. 4) They value men who are financially and emotionally stable instead of those with rock-hard abs and a lot of glitter. 5) They are absolutely giddy at the prospect of a night out without the kids and someone who makes it all about them...

    Christy August 26, 2014Reply

    Mikey you are fabulous!

Margaret May 11, 2013Reply

I turned 40 about three weeks after my divorce was final, which was about five months ago. I can certainly appreciate the thoughts and comments because they have all popped up in my head over the last year. As lonely as it can be, I do enjoy the quiet "me" time (my dog keeps me company)....I guess I will know when it's time to get back on the saddle again, lol! Truth be told, I always think, "who wants to date a 40 year-old woman who is divorced"....but I know there is someone out there for me, yet! :-)

Patty Wolf May 17, 2013Reply

Your article is so timely! I just cleaned out my closet and came across a pair of jeans I bought about six months into my divorce. I tried them on and could barely zip them. I remember during the first year of my divorce (oh yes, it took three years!) the pounds melting off and not having any idea how it was happening. Now that I'm happily remarried I'm back to my normal size and would never want to go back to my unhealthy divorce state of health. But I must admit it was fun being "skinny" during that time but all the stess that went along with it was not worth one lost pound! I so enjoy reading your blog. Keep the articles coming!!

    Jackie Pilossoph May 18, 2013Reply

    You crack me up!! You look awesome.

Nicole October 12, 2013Reply

I WISH I dropped pounds after getting divorced!!! I'm one of the lucky ones that gains weight in stressful situations. Yay me! :) I turn 40 this year, and thankfully I see it as an amazing chance for a brand new beginning. Maybe I'll actually... start living the life of my dreams? I'm thinking for my 40th birthday I should do a sexy lingerie shoot. I better get cracking on my eating healthier goal! Thank you for sharing your story. It's been five years since I've been divorced, and I still haven't dated. It might be time to make the jump. I just need to be reminded (by reading stories about women like you) that 40 is still very much a sexy and desirable age. :)

Lisa December 30, 2013Reply

I absolutely love these blogs. I am newly separated - 3 months - and this gives me hope throughout my loneliness. I'm in my mid-thirties and moved back to my hometown which is quite small. I'm finding it difficult to get myself out there and 'social' because of the toxic self image I've been toting around. Reading this blog helps me to take the healthy steps to breakout! I too lost about 10 pounds during the first two weeks....the Christmas holidays have assisted in putting about 8 pounds back into place though. I know I have a long way to go to get to the shining light at the end of the tunnel but this blog gives me hope and makes me feel warm. Thanks & please keep writing & sharing!

    Jackie Pilossoph December 30, 2013Reply

    Thank you for this lovely comment. Nothing is more motivating to me than when i know I'm helping someone. You're going to be great! Just keep making good decisions and have patience. Best wishes for a joyous New Year!!

Simone March 05, 2014Reply

Hello all.... I kept meaning to start a blog like this...but never did! its perfect so hits on all the feelings you get and dont necessarily know are going to hit you! Its one thing needing to break away and be free but time and disappointment and yes most definitely guilg towards children for it not working out for them do hit home....yay im not alone in all this...thats another set of feelings...feeling alone....someone out there for all of us and i hope me....!

TheForgottenOne March 07, 2014Reply

Here is a perspective from the opposite side: Inside the mind of a recently separated 40 something man. 1) I was the sole provider for my family and while my stbx has plenty of education and plenty of employable skills she was practically unemployable for most of our marriage. As a result I had the higher salary and thus must pay ridiculous alimony to my over-educated, over-skilled but utterly unemployable stbx -- to the tune of 35% of my salary FOR THE NEXT 10 YEARS!!!! Am I bitter about this? Yeah, wouldn't you be? 2) I was dumped by my stbx wife because she wasn't haaaaapppy and told me to my face that I repulsed her, and that sex with me was a 'chore' for her for at least a year. Of course she never bothered to communicate any of this to me beyond vague and confusing 'signals'. Needless to say my self esteem, self worth and self confidence was (and to a certain extent still is) about zero. 3) I felt like a failure, a loser and less of a man for my failed marriage and questioned everything I ever thought was true about my life and my marriage. I began to wonder how long my stbx felt this way about me and wondered if any of it was real at all. Or had she despised me for years before her confession and just faked it. To this day I don't know. I probably will never know and these doubts will haunt me for many years to come. 4) Despite what women say about the difficulties of dating during separation, after divorce or after 40 it is NOTHING compared to how difficult it is for a separated, 40 something man. Women will avoid separated or recently divorced men like the plague. It's like I'm walking around a scarlet letter on my forehead warning women to 'AVOID AT ALL COSTS!'. And unlike the writer the chances of a cute woman coming up and hitting on me at a party are about as good as me winning the lottery. It ain't going to happen. I feel like I'm invisible to women now, and that I'm destined to be a celibate monk for the next year or so until the scarlet letter on my forehead begins to wear off. I'm waiting for my 'spiritual awakening' that changes everything for me and makes me feel better about myself and my life. Because right now it just SUCKS!

    fallen angel January 08, 2015Reply

    Dear forgotton one, I found your article very emotional and sincere , to me being a female hearing this from a male seemed so surreal.YOU see i feel that i have a sticker on my forehead to say watch out she is single and she wants your husband My x turned THE BIG 40 and for no reason inpacitular HE said he carnt even stand being around me so my self worth is zip zero just tryin to i dont know......

Scotia March 13, 2014Reply

Read the book ' models ' Stop feeling sorry for yourself, it's not attractive

Happened to me May 31, 2014Reply

I have been separated for about 9 months and have lost over 30 lbs. I wasn't fat by any means, but now I am a smoking later 30's woman and have had the chance to build my self confidence back up :) I have recently started noticing men checking me out and have had couple of "friendships" and am enjoying bring single once again. My ex moved straight into another relationship and I can tell he is unhappy but his ego won't let him leave her. He is upset that I am happy and tries to make me feel as miserable as him. Honestly, I can say it took quite some time but I know now that I have been happier now than I was for the last 10 years of our 16 year relationship. Girls, get out there and strut your stuff even if it doesn't feel right at the time, there will be many men (younger men) that will find you irresistible!!!!

john June 27, 2014Reply

The fact behind the stories are these divorced women are just attractive enough for some cougar sex. Meanwhile the guy is thinking she is old and unwanted, suffers from low self esteem and is an easy sex target, so they swoop in for the conquest, and stay as long as they are interested. Usually not long. Meanwhile you are so surprised you think this hot young guy actually likes you and you wind up pregnant at 40!! If you think you are some hot comodity think again, your so called self esteem is really just an unrealistic view that leads to a superior attitude which leads to you being used by attractive jokers who love to feed your new found ego. In the end you just get older and alone. In the original storyThe guy who was right was the first guy who was probably more your counterpart, but you saw him as unattractive and old cause he was more your age. If you waited and kept your head for a year or so, that so called unattractive guy would have looked good and he would have treated you well and with respect. It is unfortunate that delusion is spread to all the forty something women who think because they lose ten pounds somehow they are transformed into Cinderella. My advice If guy anywhere near your own age shows interest, jump! Show major interest and treat him like gold before he wakes up. You may just land a good man. Most older guys are not interested and are laughing at your inflated ego(self esteem) because once they see it is not warranred by your looks and situation, they look for a girl in her 30s, after all they are still sporting an attitude for a reason and guys like women who can back up there attitude with tangible assetts.

Ruins of Rome August 25, 2014Reply

To me, divorced women with children equal 'used goods' and failures. Why bother with them? Just go after a younger woman without the past and baggage....you can kid yourself all you want that being divorced is 'great' but you know it isn't. You messed up.

Peggy September 26, 2014Reply

Hey Jackie, I've avoided reading about this topic until recently. After many years of unhappiness on both sides, my husband and I have decided to call it a day. It isn't amicable. In a perfect world, I'd wave a magic wand and force him into some sort of therapy and/or alcohol counselling. But I can't, and this is just going to get ugly. He's not going to have custody of his child as much as he thinks he's going to, and the reason behind that is going to be lost on him. I'll just be the evil bitch ex-wife who's forcibly removing his daughter from his life for no reason whatsoever. Bitterly, I hope he mentally awakens one day. I hope he can understand how being emotionally vacant towards his child has mostly prevented him and his daughter from having a close, loving bond. I hope he realises he had a family who loved him, and he chose to keep us at arm's length and only interacted with us when he chose to. I hope he can understand how he pissed a good chunk of his life and his young family away. I'll be 38 in November, and this is a new journey for all of us. And at the moment I'm not interested in dating anyone else, but when the dust settles and life becomes more clear, I'll know exactly what I do want in a partner. Thank you for your article. It's good to read something that's not all doom and gloom. And I'm sure I'll be smiling soon enough.

Penny Candy October 23, 2014Reply

Loved this :)

Lost November 08, 2014Reply

It was a pleasure to read the blog and the comments. I can’t help admire all of you who have managed to cope and get back up on your feet. I on the other hand is still reeling (well, it has been final only for a month), put on weight, totally paralyzed by loneliness, angry at myself for feeling that I cannot live without him (and yes he has started dating), putting on weight with every single day, and basically a total wreck. May be someday, I will feel like you But then I am 44 now. So by the time I do start feeling soemwhat human again, I will probably be in an old age home! Guess, I can always find a cute man at an old age home or at least some friends. It is hard to be 44 and alone. Everyone else seems to have a life but me. But, this website makes me feel like I should perhaps hang on. Just in case...

Jon November 10, 2014Reply

That type of hook-up sex is nothing to be proud of. Sure, it's fun, but lots of guys zero in on women they perceive to have low self-esteem so they can get some sex. I used to do it all the time when I was younger. It's your ability to find a man that's actually going to stay around that should make you proud. I got divorced at 39 and my ex-wife was 40. She was not bad looking, but having a child and living with her mom (really, mom living with her) puts a serious crimp in her ability attract men. Consequently, she is a single-mom. Me, despite having 50 percent custody, I was able to find and marry a pretty, younger, professional woman, with a child of her own, who has fun with me. If I were a 40 something woman who wasn't drop dead gorgeous, I'd be pretty depressed.

    Jen January 16, 2015Reply

    I am a 40 something divorced female. I am not drop dead gorgeous. I get asked out often. I am not sure what there is to be depressed about.

      Jackie Pilossoph January 16, 2015Reply

      I love this comment. It made me smile.

Mimi March 16, 2015Reply

Oh jeez I'm feeling all that toxicity and loss of self-esteem. Jeez you hit that on the nail! I've been 'coming out" of a marriage for 6 years! I have only decided I've had enough with playing happy families for the public and asked him to move out. Living with this has been the hardest thing ever! I'm 48 but look 38 or less which means that basically I'm attractive to younger men but I won't even go out and it's so NOT on my agenda. After 14 years of being a travelling wife, a full time house wife and mom I have to say getting out there in the work force and date force are terrifying to say the least! The only thing keeping me together is that I have faith that all things will right themselves and I will finally get "me" back, sooner rather than later I hope, and I will finally have a smile again that isn't just on the outside but inside too! Fun Blog with some serious reality, thanks!

Sexy lady August 31, 2015Reply

Wow liking and disliking the blog ! Ye life sucks for me to I'm in my forties it's not about looks I think being to nice sucks being to soft and caring that's my prob next time round I'm gonna be a bitch why not 24 years down the pan but I'm gonna try dam hard to get bck on track I agree men younger might find a separated women attractive if it gives us r ego bck then great we need it we deserve it !! One cheated on lady

Devestated November 10, 2015Reply

My husband left me 8 weeks ago for someone else. I've lost 2.5 stone in this time (35lbs) I'm absolutely Devestated. I'm now a single Mum of 4 children nobody will ever want me with that kind of baggage ?

thomas December 29, 2015Reply

Funny my 40 year old ex wife is loving the fact that she is single. It seems to me that when women get to be around 40 they question their marriage. Take in case my ex, she was always looking for the greener grass and with all these guys asking her out she threw in the towel. We have two great kids together but their mom would rather be out partying and sleeping with all the guys in the town. It hurts like you wouldn't believe because I loved this woman like no other.

Michael April 26, 2016Reply

Devastated, I do understand. I am separated from my wife and heading to divorce as she has been cheating. I have four children whom I love dearly and spend a significant amount of time with. I share your concern...there isn't a strong market for divorced 43 year old men with 4 children. But at the end of the day, my kids trump all else.

Rich May 13, 2016Reply

Well IDK what the real fuss is. Im a 40 year old single guy who has a GREAT job, makes GREAT money and not ugly. Cant find a woman! Everyone just may need to get over it and step outside the box a bit. It's tough!!!! But you know what? Who cares! Everyone here seems very nice and worthy of a GREAT relationship!!! But Like you guys why is it SOOOOO hard to find a good woman?

Rich May 13, 2016Reply

I hope you have calmed down on your view lol.... It is NOT worth it being miserable. I am sure you are a good person and it will happen if it has not. Keep a positive attitude and enjoy being single for a bit!! Good luck with what you pursue!

' Reply