Dealing With the Pain of Divorce: Sometimes You Just Need to be Crazy

By Jackie Pilossoph, Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling, Love Essentially columnist and author

dealing with the pain of divorce

Miranda Lambert in her “Mama’s Broken Heart” video

A reader sent me the following e-mail that I can’t resist sharing because it sparks a discussion about dealing with the pain of divorce, and how that pain, which can be gut-wrenching at times, can cause us to act crazy.

The reader refers to the Miranda Lambert Song, “Mama’s Broken Heart,” where Lambert is going “crazy” over her breakup and her mama doesn’t approve.

Here is the email:


 I am soon to be divorced after a 2 ½ year separation from a 24 year marriage (29 years of together!).  It has been CRAZY.  I, like many, use humor to get through the bad times but honestly it hasn’t worked on every challenge or issue in this divorce.

Now that I am “more” stable and can laugh more, I’ve returned to being able to listen to county music and have loved songs like Redneck Crazy.  But today paying attention to Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart”, I am
chuckling at the lyrics “hide your crazy and act like a lady”.

So what do you think? Should we hide our crazy?  And by the way, I am a lady!


The first thing I did after reading this was google the lyrics and video to “Mama’s Broken Heart” and watch it three times while reading the lyrics. Before this, I had never listened to country music and had never heard a Miranda Lambert song. The only reason I know who she is, is because I watch The Voice, and know her adorable husband, Blake Shelton from that.

“Mama’s Broken Heart” is the story of a wealthy well-to-do woman who is going through a break up, cutting her hair, drinking and doing crazy things that are getting back to her mother from people in the community. Her mother is telling her “It don’t matter how you feel, only how you look,” and “Go fix your makeup it’s just a breakup, act like a lady and hide your crazy.”

So, here’s the thing. I have a huge problem with Miranda’s “Mama.” Having been through a breakup so painful that there were days, weeks sometimes, where I wasn’t sure I could go on, I think men and women going through a divorce need to act a little crazy at times.

I actually think it’s healthy to be crazy. Crazy helps us recognize and acknowledge our pain, and then get rid of it. Hold in that pain and you are in deep trouble. It will fester inside of you forever. You also might start blaming others, playing the victim and displaying other kinds of negative, unproductive thoughts and behavior to shift your pain to something else in order to avoid confronting it.

Scream at the top of your lungs, “I am so pissed off that this happened to me!” “I hurt so much, I just want to hit someone!” “I am angry that this happened to me” “It’s not fair!” Or just scream. It’s a little crazy, but it’s okay.

Now, I won’t condone screaming these things in the middle of your backyard or at your local shopping mall. But I think its ok to be crazy to your dear friends and family. Showing them your vulnerability is what you’re supposed to do.

One more thing. Be careful. Don’t put yourself or anyone else in danger. In other words, don’t grab a kitchen knife (as Lambert does in the video) and start acting crazy. And if you must get drunk and act crazy, please don’t drive.

I will say one thing about acting like a lady. I find that when a divorce in the community happens, everyone talks about it and then sort of forgets about it in a few days and moves onto something else going on. What people never forget is how people acted during their divorce if it’s really bad behavior. They never forget the person badmouthing their soon-to-be ex in front of their children or they never forget the person drunk at the local bar, spewing out explicatives about their ex and their divorce. So, keep your crazy confined to friends and family.

The thing about excruciating pain caused by a divorce is that you think it’s never going to get better and then one day, you feel ok. And the next day you feel even better. Then you might feel bad again one day, but then the next day, you feel even better than two days ago.

It takes awhile, but eventually, you start having more good days than bad, and hope begins to seep into your core, and your life only gets better and better from that point on.

I think God made all of us with the capability to have healing power. I truly believe that. We all heal. But, if you have to be a little crazy before that happens, not only do I think it’s ok, I think it’s healthy, and I think it’s a step in the healing process.

So, to Miranda’s mama in the song: Miranda’s right. This isn’t YOUR broken heart, so butt out. When her pain gets better, she will fix her makeup and act like a lady again. For now, she needs to be crazy.


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Jackie Pilossoph

Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

Divorce is a journey. Live it with grace, courage and gratitude. Peace and joy are on the way! Jackie Pilossoph is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of Divorced Girl Smiling. The author of the novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationships advice column, “Love Essentially”, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press and the Chicago Tribune online. Additionally, she is a Huffington Post contributor. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University.

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