Finding Happiness After Divorce isn’t a Possibility, it’s a PROBABILITY

happiness after divorce

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

 Ask any newly separated man or woman if he or she thinks finding happiness after divorce is possible, and the answer you get will involve a grim outlook.

“Who knows?” they will might say with their head down, their eyes possibly filling with tears. “I haven’t thought that far ahead. I’m just thinking about how to survive RIGHT NOW.”

I think finding happiness after divorce is not a possibility, but rather a PROBABILITY, and I can say that because of the dozens of divorced men and women I have seen go from sad, weary, scared, frustrated, angry and depressed to happy, self-confident, strong and so often, madly in love!


I want to give an example, which happens to be my inspiration for this article. About a year ago, a ran into a friend of mine at the gym, and she told me she and her husband of 10 years were separating. They have two young kids. From what she said, my impression was that it was her husband’s decision. She teared up, and I felt sick about it because I just love this girl.


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So, time goes on, and I continue to see her at the gym, always sad, always looking weary and defeated. It was a look that would make me want to cry. Yet, she kept going to the gym. In other words, she kept living her life.

We would talk every now and again, and she would tell me the usual divorce nightmare stories…

she was worried about finances, she was scared she was going to be alone forever, she was worried about how her kids were going to handle this, she knew her husband was dating other women and seemed happy, etc. etc.



So, a few days ago, I ran into her. I hadn’t seen her in awhile, and I noticed she looked absolutely beautiful.  I told her so, and she smiled. “Thank you so much. “I’ve lost 18 pounds.” BTW, it wasn’t the weight loss that made her look beautiful to me. It was more of her attitude, a glow, an inner-peace I was sensing.

I asked how things were and she told me her kids were doing well, and that she changed jobs and loved her new position.

I then said to her, “You met someone, didn’t you?”

“Oh my God! Yes! I did!!” she exclaimed.

She met a man on a dating website who has two children and they are very happy right now. She said she’s not sure what’s going to happen and doesn’t really think about it so much. She’s just enjoying feeling loved and happy.


Katz and Stefani Family Law Attorneys


I hugged her and when I walked away, I felt hopeful and inspired. But, I didn’t really feel surprised. Why? Because this story is so typical, in my opinion. I see it a lot.

I almost feel like happiness after divorce is the norm, for people who work on themselves.

What I mean by “work on themselves” is, it isn’t luck when it comes to finding happiness after divorce. The men and women I meet with a story like my friend’s are those who make good, selfless choices. Those who focus on their children, their career, and who do positive things to heal from their divorce.

Instead of drinking excessively, they work out. Instead of playing the victim, they focus on fixing the problems they can control. Instead of wallowing in in sorrow and self-pity, they grieve for a little while and then accept what happened and focus on today. They get strong. They go out and make things happen to grab the life they want.

From all of those choices comes self-confidence, self-love and yes, eventually LOVE.

This girl reminds me of Cinderella, but the difference is, she was her own fairy Godmother.  Happiness after divorce is PROBABLE for you, too!

Like this article? Check out, “20 Things I wish I could have told my newly separated self”

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Jackie Pilossoph

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.

16 Responses to “Finding Happiness After Divorce isn’t a Possibility, it’s a PROBABILITY”

  1. Steven

    True happiness comes from within , “and that means you have to change your perception of self, circumstances, characteristics, views, “don’t be afraid of change, Change happens regardless of wants.needs and desires, “cherish them. There must be in most cases, “where this is something, “that you wanted to happen in the deepest recesses of your mind. And laws of attraction, Played it;s natural course. Use this to your advantage and apply those above. You can use this to attract, “the mate you really needed, “and wanted in your life. Note be careful, “how you view, “yourself, “you attract the same type of person, “because most people will close themselves off, “and that’s who “they themselves deal with inside their box Themselves! If you have a negative outlook or a self esteem problem/, complex, “then you attract a complex problem, “and will often end up in a worse relationship, “then when you started. Go slow and take time for yourself.

  2. princess

    I find it very hard to date or find a man for myself after divorce because i have to be with my daughter all the time. My X wants my daughter to stay at the weekend with him but my daughter doesn’t want to. I feel very frustrated as i have to work from 7.30 until 8.30 to have enough money for the rent, food and morgage for the new flat. I don’t know how people can manage to do it! Saturday and Sunday are my terrible days because i have to go to the supermarket, cooking, tidying up the house and taking my daughter out to visit her friends. I can admit that i have fun and happy time with my daughter but i have no time for myself. Any help and suggestion?

    • Natalie

      Princess, I just came across this thread and felt the need to reach out to you to see how you are doing now. I’d love to know how you are doing!

      • DivorcedDad_Bill

        Princess, and others in similar situations, you need to communicate openly with your daughter and your ex-husband to resolve that issue. Ceasing to exist as individual human beings and just becoming “Mom and Dad” is likely a leading cause of divorce in the first place. Do you want your daughter to grow up and think that life ends once she has children? Children need to know they are loved, that they are your number one priority…but not your ONLY priority. She needs to allow you to live even if most of the time that is doing chores and resting. If you’re dating again, just reassure your children that you will not be with anyone that won’t respect your relationship with your children. Remember, as parents our jobs aren’t just to protect our children….it is to teach them to live happy lives….That means respecting themselves and as parents we teach them that by respecting *ourselves*.

  3. JannaG

    Are there other single mothers around who might feel the same way you do? Perhaps you could watch someone else’s kids while watching your own and then someone else could watch your kids while watching her own? This would give both of you some time to yourself. Another thought is something I saw in a Divorce Care video on budgeting. Two divorced women became friends and they live together. This gives them both some financial relief and someone else they trust to help watch their kids.

  4. Divorced father

    Interesting article, but insulting the divorced father (pointing out he doesn’t have a six pack and didn’t bother to ask about the author’s kids so he must be a self-absorbed man) comes across as a bit juvenile. The positive message of the post could be retained, indeed amplified, if the author exemplified the positive attitude that makes one receptive to love again. Just my 2 cents worth 🙂

    • Jackie Pilossoph

      actually, looking back you are kind of right about the kids part! lol.

  5. Sensible guy

    Pathetic. Even when the author wanted to show that men could be happy after a divorce, she couldn’t help but throw a jab at them. The example of the man she gave was too selfish and deluded to care about anyone. Meanwhile, his ex is a warm and considerate person.

  6. Yessy

    Wow u men are such babies boo hoo she wrote the truth! There are a bunch of self involved men and woman after a break up. Humble urselves men u r not gods gift to earth we were God’s gift to u!

    • Tom

      Get over yourself. The facts are the author is a female and took a biased unnecessary jab at the ex husband. If she’s hear to help both men and women choose a story that is fair to both or don’t tell it at all. Maybe she should use be as an example. I loved my wife of almost 25 years, but because my skin was not dark enough and apparently the wrong color, she is divorcing me to be with another man she fell in love with. Nice huh?

      • Jackie Pilossoph

        You might be right that I took a jab at the ex husband, and for that I apologize. But, if you read all my blogs, I do offer support to both men and women, and try not to favor anyone based on gender. Believe me, there are just as many women who are at fault out there as men. Regarding your own situation, I’m happy to give you my perspective but I need a little more than “my skin was not dark enough.” There has to be more. or maybe there isn’t… At any rate, I am here to help.

  7. AnotherBrokenDad

    Seems to me like she’s going down the same path again. Her happiness seems to come from the fact that she’s dating the ‘new’ guy. What happens when all of the newness and honeymoon feelings wear off? $100 say that she’ll go back to that whole discontent general feeling of unhappiness again probably wanting a divorce to ‘find herself’ or whatever until she can get that dopamine shot of ‘new love’ again. I feel bad for their kids.
    Putting your happiness on someone else (no matter who does it) is a recipe for a failed marriage, broken homes, and emotionally scarred children.
    It’s sad that our children have to suffer because we are always searching for the next best thing. We justify that our kids would be happier if we were happy. No they would actually be happier if we would stop allowing our selfishness and lust dictate what happiness looks like.
    The prevailing attitude today has become ‘our’ happiness over everything….Including our word, responsibility, and duty. The worst thing is that we often aren’t willing to work for it and would prefer it to just be given to us. As the old saying goes “A man is about as miserable as he chooses to be”. Instead of sacrificing a bit and finding happiness within our responsibility, we’d rather destroy our homes in search of something ‘better’. Because we think something might be better or easier, we choose discontent and misery as justification to hurt so many people. In the process we turn a blind eye to the ‘good’ parts of what we do have. In essence throwing out the ” baby with the bathwater.”
    We have perverted the idea of the pursuit of happiness and are headed down the path of unabashed hedonism. We should all just stop with the romantic fantasy b.s. notion of love and loyalty and get down to what this really is…great sex with a variety of people with no responsibility to anything or anyone except our own happiness.

  8. BrokenMan

    I’m the one that pulled the trigger of the divorce. One of my children no longer speaks to me. My ex and I get along okay. I am a better father to my other two children. I’ve tried dating, but to no avail. I met two women that were extremely dishonest in their feelings and hurt me pretty good. It is a nightmare, but I have no regrets on the divorce. Life is hard, life is miserable and not all of us catch lightning in the bottle of meeting someone that’s mutually attracted to us. At 50, I would argue that the probable shifts to the possible. Again, not all of us catch lightning in the bottle.

    • Jackie Pilossoph

      In response to “not all of us catch lighting in the bottle,” I have to say, I think it depends on how you look at it. If you can find ways to be happy on a daily basis (by doing things for yourself and doing things for others that make you feel good, etc.) then you might feel like you caught lightning in a bottle in other ways. And I have always beleived that being happy in your daily life sets you up for meeting lightning in a bottle relationship wise. I guess what I’m saying is, just enjoy your life and be happy and spend time with those you love and let the lightning in a bottle come to you.


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