This article is not a review of the Demi Moore book, “Inside out,” but rather about two takeaways I truly appreciated and thought were applicable to women getting divorced and their lives after divorce.
Two Divorce Takeaways from the Demi Moore Book, “Inside Out”
Let me tell you the three words that got me to move to Chicago 35 years ago: About Last Night. About Last Night is a 1986 romantic comedy, mega hit movie starring Rob Lowe and Demi Moore. Set in Chicago, it’s a cute, funny and heartwarming story about a one-night stand that turns into love.
I’ve seen the movie at least 50 times, to the point where my friend, Julie and I still call each other and recite lines from it, including:
“If he forgets to call one day, no big deal. Two days it’s an oversight. Honey, he hasn’t called you in three days. He’s sleeping with someone else.”
“Two nights a week you’re on top, two nights a week he’s on top, what is it that you do on sandwich night?”
“You’re not leaving, are you?” No, we’re walking in backwards.”
“I thought we had something special. No, it was kind of sleazy and now it’s kind of over.”
About Last Night not only made me fall in love with and want to live in Chicago, but the movie also made me a huge Demi Moore fan. In the 80s and 90s, I can’t remember seeing one movie with her in it that I didn’t enjoy—St. Elmo’s Fire, Ghost, Indecent Proposal, A Few Good Men, and Disclosure, to name a few.
I also adored her and Bruce Willis together. I followed their romance, engagement, marriage, kids and unfortunately, divorce. Single at the time they got divorced, I was really really sad for them. But then, her romance and marriage to Ashton Kutcher inspired me.
Not only was Moore the highest paid female actor in Hollywood, but she had the courage and self-confidence to embrace a relationship with a much younger man, paving the way for countless other women to follow suit, and not let age dictate who they fell in love with.
So, needless to say, while browsing the bookstore at O’hare last week before my flight to Florida, I caught a glimpse of “Inside Out,” and grabbed it. A memoir written by Moore and published in 2019, this was a no brainer for me. I think like many people, I felt like Moore had sort of vanished the past several years, and I was curious to learn about her life, and find out how it turned out. I began reading on the flight, and finished the book before the trip ended. It was that good.
Why did I love the Demi Moore book so much? Because I am someone who respects people who have the courage to be vulnerable, to put themselves out there. Heck, I’ve built a career doing that. Moore’s book starts out with her childhood, which to me seemed horrifically difficult. She then takes the reader through a timeline of her adult life, which includes her movie roles, relationships, marriages, motherhood, divorces, addictions, and triumphs.
“Inside Out” is entertaining—hearing Hollywood stories firsthand from an A-list actor is cool. But even more so, Moore’s book truly touched me because I could actually feel her telling her stories in a very honest way, raw way.
Throughout Moore’s book, there were so many takeaways, so many messages meant to teach and help readers, but two in particular resonated with me, as they pertain to both being a woman and getting divorced:
1. The damage that having a bad body image can cause.
2. The importance of learning how to be alone, and to be happy and at peace during those times.
When it comes to your body…
I was a skinny kid. My war with my body started freshman year in college, and it is a never-ending war that is still going on. There have been times in my life when my body was my ideal weight and shape—when I was a TV reporter at age 32, when I was getting divorced at 41, and when I found myself single again at 49.
But still, even though I was toned and/or at a really good weight for my physique, I never thought I looked good enough. Why is that? I really don’t know, other than to say that the effects of being overweight at a younger age really stuck.
Last year, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and let me tell you, being a little overweight suddenly began to feel like a tiny little stupid problem. I mean, aren’t staying alive and having a good quality of life a bigger deal than trying to be a size 6?!
I wish I could say that having cancer made me less obsessed with my weight, but I can’t lie. I’m older and can’t shed the 15 pounds I’ve gained since I turned 50. But that said, I did change my perspective in that instead of worrying about weight these days, I focus on nourishing my body with anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting foods. And, from time to time, if I want my dessert and my wine, I have it. Because life truly is too short to deny yourself what you want after a certain age. I also try to work out every day, not for weight loss, but again, to maintain good health.
The thing about body image as it pertains to divorce and finding love, is that people, especially newly divorced people who haven’t dated since before marriage, look in the mirror and notice all of their flaws, such as: vericose veins, a muffin top, cellulite, and they are insecure in thinking no one will want to be with them, that being naked with someone is really scary.
What they fail to see in that same mirror is all of their beautiful qualities, both outside and inside—their beautiful smile, nice skin, thoughtful, giving nature, smart and interesting personality, even nice feet can be overlooked! Remember that no one is looking as closely as you are, and the best way to find someone to love you and your body, and to maintain a happy, healthy romantic relationship is to be confident and secure about yourself and your body.
On being alone…
I think that one of the scariest things for people, both men and women, is the thought of being alone. That’s one of the reasons so many people choose to stay in bad marriages—because they would rather be unhappy than be alone. That’s how much people fear it.
In my divorce, that wasn’t the case. Why? Because I didn’t get married until I was 35, so I had lived alone for almost 15 years and I knew how to be alone. I wasn’t thrilled by it, but it wasn’t scary for me.
On the contrary, I have a friend who went from living in her parent’s house to college to getting married. So, when her husband of 27 years told her he was leaving her for another woman, she truly was facing being alone for the first time in her life. She was devastated and there were times I was truly worried about her. But, not only did she end up learning how to be alone and enjoy it, she thrived and became empowered and at peace and very very happy. She travels everywhere and has a boyfriend, who she chose not to live with or marry.
Being alone takes time to get used to. It takes three things, in my opinion: courage, self-confidence, and self-love. First, you have to believe in yourself. Take a deep breath and say, “I can do this.” It’s only scary if you think it’s scary. If you look at being alone as peaceful and meaningful and reflective, you might actually end up enjoying it.
Next, if you don’t like yourself, you won’t enjoy spending time with yourself and you won’t like being alone. If you have FOMO (fear of missing out) you will feel frustrated and possibly become bitter. You are never missing out if you take time to make plans, stay social, and spend time with friends and family you enjoy. Then, when you go home and you are alone, you will find that you are actually happy about that!
It’s also important to remember that being alone is temporary. In other words, if you want to eventually find love again, and you make an effort to meet people and stay social, you might not be alone for long. Nothing is guaranteed, of course, but I’ve seen countless people who never dreamed they’d find love again fall madly in love. It’s a beautiful thing.
Also, remember that being alone and being lonely are two totally different things. You can be married and feel very lonely, and you can live alone and never feel lonely. It all depends on the life you are living and your happiness.
In the last chapter of the Demi Moore book, she talks about the New Year’s Eve before the book was published, and how she spent the night alone in her home—no date, no party, no plans. She was completely at peace with it, feeling like she was where she belonged. I think it’s pretty powerful to realize you are totally fine and comfortable being alone. I have been in that situation, and it’s so empowering. It’s a very peaceful feeling.
The last line of the Demi Moore book reads, “The truth is, the only way out is in.” I took that to mean that working on yourself is the only way to make peace with the past. By working on yourself I mean, get the help you need to accept the past and the people you love or loved, possibly forgive others, and truly look within to know and understand yourself, so you can figure out what you want and need to be happy. Getting divorced isn’t easy, but one of the gifts it gives is that it forces you to do this work.
Like this article? Check out, “8 Great Things Divorce Does to a Woman”
Being alone and being lonely are 2 different things
I was married, alone and lonely
He was working a lot and came home late
When he was around , he was working or not present with me
There was no love and very little affection
Being alone after divorce for me was not much different than my marriage
I have good friends and family
I’m not lonely
Hopefully I will find someone to spend time with and be present.