Divorced Woman Asks for Group Hug

divorced woman

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

I don’t know one divorced woman or man (or anyone on earth-divorced or not) who doesn’t have days or even longer times 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 email 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 “God has a plan for you” I’m going to blow my top. 

  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.


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.



First of all, I too can’t stand when people say “everything’s going to be just fine,” or  “God has a plan,” but realize that people are most often good-intentioned, don’t really know what else to say, and 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 used to say that 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!

Think about it. You woke up today and all your body parts were 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 tasted 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 and feel for.) 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.)


Katz and Stefani Family Law Attorneys


But, you can make choices to make your day great, just by enjoying simple, little things–things that you CAN control. 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 chocolate, drinking red wine, playing with a dog, looking in the mirror and liking what you see, 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 you’ll be so happy when that happens. But guess what? More crap is going to come. There’s nothing you can do. But also, more good stuff is going to come–and you can control a lot of that by making fun plans, surrounding yourself with people you love, doing things you love, and enjoying little things that we so often take for granted.




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. Handle the problems as best as you can and realize what you can and can’t control.

Lastly, everyone reading this, please hug yourselves!  To my reader who wrote this: you’re doing great! I hope this is a better week!

Like this article? Check out, “Dating After Divorce: Advice, Tips and Why This is an Exciting Time”


Buy novels by Jackie Pilossoph


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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.

8 Responses to “Divorced Woman Asks for Group Hug”

  1. itsy

    ((((Hugs)))) everyone.

    Playin’ dodge ball like we do isn’t always easy, and we all get hit sometimes. It’s good to have a place like this where at least I know I’m not alone in the game the way we play it.

    Jackie, thanks for the site and your gift of words.

    Everyone else, let’s get up and play this game! :high five:

  2. Natalia

    I agree with everything Jackie says. I have employed every single one of those suggestions, and they work. The number one method I have kept myself going even when I felt I couldn’t get out of bed, was enjoying even the tiniest gifts in my life.

    I also joined a therapy group. Knowing that other people are going through some of the same things I am going through was incredibly healing for me.

    I try to work out a few times a week, even if that is only taking my dog for a walk. Exercising keeps me feeling strong, like I can handle whatever life, or my X, throws at me. It’s also a great way to release any aggression your feeling.

    I read a book of meditations when I wake up in the morning to try and set the tone for my day. It also helps me get out of my funk. I have realized that I wake-up feeling a little sad. The meditations help me work through that emotion before my day really begins.

    Lastly, let yourself feel bad sometimes. It’s okay to feel bad as long as you can work through it and resolve the “badness.” I hate it when people say “things could always be worse.” Everything is relative, and if something makes you feel bad you have a right to feel that way.

    I wish you peace. Keep on keepin’ on!

  3. Kay

    I can so relate. We found out my ex-husband had cancer one week before our court date for our divorce. I could go on and on about the craziness that has happened around my family and friends just in the past year, so the dodgeball analogy fits so well.

    There are days when I’m not even sure what I have left to give. It seems the flow is always out and hardly anything is flowing in to me and God knows I could use it. Yet, I am still here, still putting one foot in front of the other, so obviously, I’m getting what I need (thank you, friends!!! thank you, therapy!!!) to keep going, even though I may not be getting what I want…yet. 🙂

    Doing Yoga. Breathing In and Out. Learning to meditate so I am present in the moment. Not be in the past. Not be in the future. I can only be here right now. I can only control so much (or so little, as the case may be). It cannot be my responsibility to make other people happy, especially when it’s at a cost to myself, in spite of how empathetic I may feel. The list goes on and on.

    It’s easy to say but so hard to do, and I stink at it. But I’m not giving up!! I have moments when I want to, but I’m still not giving up.

    And if one more person says “God has a plan” or “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle”, which is THE WORST of all!!, well, I won’t be held accountable for what I may do. 😉

    I truly wish every one of you readers the best as you go through your own struggles. And yes, we all have crap to deal with.

    As the saying goes, “May your lives be as good as it appears on Facebook”.

    Love and light!


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