Divorce Advice: Why it’s Unrealistic to Expect Forever

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

Everyone thinks because I’m “the divorced girl smiling” that I am perpetually happy, optimistic every minute, nauseatingly romantic and always disgustingly cheerful. When you hear this divorce advice, you might change your mind about me.


Yes, I am a romance novelist who loves a happy ending as much as a kid loves Halloween. I cry happy tears at every movie scene that involves the couple ending up together. I strive to see the good in everything and everyONE as much as I can, and I am always hopeful for happy endings in real life, too. I’m a complete mess at weddings.


But what I’m starting to realize as I get older is, I’m somewhat of a realist when it comes to relationships. Not just romantic relationships, but platonic friendships and girl friendships,too.


You might tell someone “I will love you forever” and then there is a chance that you might change your mind, like 50% of the population does (or 72% of the second marriage population) and realize you fell out of love, or you never loved him or her, or he fell out of love with YOU and now you don’t know how you feel, but you know in your heart you can’t love someone anymore who doesn’t love you.


Here’s the message in this extremely negative blog post. I think it’s okay if “forever” doesn’t turn out to be forever. I think that it’s important to live and love each moment with the person you love. Because, you never know when it’s going to end. AND, you shouldn’t really care. Love for today. For tonight. Not for next year. or for the next 50 years.


I have a friend who thought she had an amazing marriage. It lasted for 27 years. I used to run into them kissing in a store in our neighborhood. They seemed really, really happy. He left her and married the woman he left her for. Understandably, my friend was devastated. “I can’t believe I wasted all these years living a marriage that was a lie,” she would say.


I don’t see her situation that way at all. I think that she had a great life with a man she loved dearly for decades. I think he loved her, too, and I think he left because of his own problems and issues. I would say to her, “Can’t you look back and appreciate all of the great times you had for 27 years?”


I know it’s easy for me to say that because I’m not her. But truly, I think people should try to think this way. NOTHING is ever a waste. Every relationship teaches us. It brings something to our table. It educates us, or shows us qualities we’d like to have for ourselves that we then obtain. And we learn things about ourselves that we like and don’t like so much. And, we get memories. Glorious memories that are sometimes heart stopping and make us feel giddy and happy when we look back.


Nothing lasts forever applies to friendships, too. Think of the phrase,“Best friends forever.” Again, it’s a sweet thing to say but totally unrealistic. Things change. People change. Circumstances change. Of course, I am still best friends with my high school friends, but that’s an exception.


Once I had a close girlfriend who stopped calling me, stopped making plans with me, and stopped returning my calls. I have absolutely no clue what I did. I called and left her a message asking her that and got no call back. I was upset about it, I cried, and I was angry. She took her friendship away without asking me. It felt sort of like getting dumped by a boyfriend you thought really cared about you.


If someone asked me , “Do you wish you’d never have met her?” I would say “no way.” I learned from her. I had fun with her. I respected her immensely. I laughed with her. She came to every book signing I ever had. I supported her through a really rough time. Why would I want to erase that?


In closing, I will say this about expecting forever. Saying, “I will love you forever” is okay. It’s wonderful, actually. It feels safe and permanent. It’s lovely to hear and it means commitment. So, even if a relationship or a friendship falls short of forever, just appreciate the fact that someone said it to you. And remember how you felt during your time knowing that person. Treasure each memory like a jewel.


One of my dad’s favorite sayings is, “That’s life.” He really is right about that.


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    Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

    Divorced Girl Smiling is here to empower, connect and inspire you. Jackie Pilossoph is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of Divorced Girl Smiling, the site, the podcast and the app. A former television journalist and newspaper features reporter, Pilossoph is also the author of four novels and the writer of her weekly relationship column, Love Essentially. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism and lives in Chicago with her two teenagers. 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.

    3 Responses to “Divorce Advice: Why it’s Unrealistic to Expect Forever”

    1. Singles Warehouse

      I don’t think I’m ready yet to give up on Forever – and I hope its a dream others hang on to…

    2. Tiffany

      Great post! I thought we would have been together forever, that’s what we had always said. But then when he told me he wasn’t happy and that he was done I was devastated. I think every now and then that he wasted 8 years of my life, but you are right. It’s not a waste. I met some great people, most I don’t talk to or hear from anymore, and learned a lot from my ex husband. And yes… That’s life.


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