The Bad Behaviors of Some Divorced Women

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

I know a lot of divorced women. A lot. I know them personally, I meet lots through business and social events, and I receive dozens of emails from divorced women as they comment on blog posts of Divorced Girl Smiling.

Every divorced woman deals with her new life in a different way. Some become big partiers, some delve into their work, and some focus on their children entirely and ban dating from their lives.  I see good, healthy behavior, bad, destructive behavior and behavior that is somewhat of a mix.

Here are 5 types of divorced girls who exhibit bad behavior, and yes, I’m stereotyping. What kind of divorced girl are YOU?

1. The partier: This is the divorced woman who decides to drink and party her worries away. She is constantly getting babysitters and going out drinking with her girlfriends, flirting with guys, and temporarily forgetting all her problems nightly, only to wake up the next day, and realize they are still there. Her solution: go out again tonight to numb the pain for a few hours.

 2. The husband #2 searcher: I know this woman who got on and JDate the second she got separated, with full intentions of getting remarried quickly. I’m serious. Her #1 priority was to find another husband. Stat.  I can’t count the number of divorced women who are engaged before their divorce is finalized.

3. The workaholic:  This is the girl who was hurt so deeply that she uses work to forget her pain. Work also gives her self-worth, and the validation that she is needed and appreciated. So, she decides to date her job, because her job will never hurt her like a man can.

4. The supermom:  “I’m going to focus on my kids right now.” That is an amazing statement, and one that every divorced woman should be saying. But, how much is too much? Some divorced women feel they have to over-compensate by spending every second focused on their children. The supermom feels like she doesn’t deserve to have a life of her own because her children are victims of divorce, and she feels guilty about that. So, she gives everything she has to them and does nothing for herself.

5. Ms. Bitterness:  This divorced woman lives her life acting like a victim. She was wronged. She didn’t deserve what happened to her. Her mind is constantly occupied by thoughts of her ex and his new girlfriend, his life what HE is doing. She can’t move past the fact that he ended the marriage, that HE wanted the divorce or that he has someone new. Ms. Bitterness is also losing friends by the minute because she cannot stop talking about her ex. She is 100% focused on HIM and doesn’t remotely want to move on.

I think every divorced woman becomes a little bit of each of these five divorced girls, which is very normal and understandable. But, the difference between a healthy divorced woman and one of these five is that for the healthy divorced woman, these behaviors are temporary.

When I was getting divorced, I exhibited behavior of all 5 of these, but only for a little while. I remember going out and drinking a lot, at the beginning.  I remember a guy I desperately wanted to marry, who I barely knew. I remember delving into work. I remember thinking all I needed was my children and guys repulsed me. And I had some bitterness, anger and resentment for my ex at points. But, I moved on.

A healthy, happy divorced girl exhibits this behavior:

She drinks responsibly and minimally.

  1. She dates, but just for fun at first, and then takes her time to really get to know someone before committing to something permanent.
  2. She works because she enjoys it (same as before she was divorced).
  3. She continues to be the same great mother she has always been. Marital status should never make a difference in that.
  4. She accepts the past, takes her share of the blame for the divorce, and focuses on HER future, with little regard to her ex’s personal life.


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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.

9 Responses to “The Bad Behaviors of Some Divorced Women”

  1. Ms.D

    I think my husbands ex was a little of all, but she was REALLY in full Ms Bitterness mode the entire time from the time they separated until a little past the time he died, which is from 1989 until 2006, and again in 2009…

  2. Zuko

    What I experienced on dating a divorced girl is that she was bulling me , want to do things in her own way she gets cross with me over a small things .And only have freinds that always sees as a write person and never did anything wrong in our relationship

  3. TP

    Dating a divorced woman is like dating history. They keep blaming the new guy for the mistakes of the ex’s. You made the choice. Sorry it didn’t work out but don’t punish me for the sins of someone else. Don’t trust ……your problem not mine.

  4. José

    Ex-husband in need of help from a bittered ex-wife… She’s constantly asking me to confirm if I am not going to pickup the kids on my assigned weekend knowing that I have moved out of state and have tried working out a new schedule with her but she refuses. What’s she up to? Helppppp

  5. HawkGirl21

    I’m in the unfortunate position of being married to a man whose ex wife is definitely Ms Bitterness despite the fact that she was the one who ended the marriage and moved in with another guy. My husband has totally moved on and doesn’t care what she does, but she can’t resist trying to disrupt our lives and painting herself as the victim with all of my husband’s family members. Her life is so hard according to her, because she has to be the full-time parent. However, when my husband has offered to take on more custody time or work toward 50/50 custody she throws a big fit and refuses to even discuss it. She’s now pulled the children in, telling them “secrets” about their dad and how terrible he is. I wish she would just move on. They’ve been divorced for almost five years and she’s been remarried for over three years.

  6. Robert

    How does a single man whose wife recently passed away, mine did, meet a divorced woman?

  7. Matthew

    I am 39, single, never married, no kids, licensed professional, college educated, successful, have a lot of self-awareness work and spirituality. I dated a divorced woman (in her 40’s) and I am now going to be extremely cautious when dating another divorced woman, if I ever do. We only dated five months and I had already met her parents, learned so many intimate aspects (inappropriate if you ask me) of her life, she brought over almost a mini apartment to my place (dishes, etc.), showered me with gifts. She stayed at my place every weekend, texted me every day and we talked every night on the phone. I have friends, hobbies and my own life. I tried to find balance. It was all nice, but too much too quick. Plus, I am big into emotional intimacy and expressing feelings. If I do something that “irks” you, please let me know. She never did and quietly built up resentment in her. She ended it saying I did not make her a priority in my life.

    • Jack

      @Matthew, can we have a chat privately, i have a similar situation to that of yours which is still very new to me, and I would like to understand more of the things that you might have experienced, because right now i am confused.


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