There is a word I hear a lot from men and women getting divorced. Actually, they refer to themselves as this word, and I have to say, it really really really bugs me. The word? LOSER. Time and time again, I hear newly separated people saying things like, "I'm such a loser," or "I feel like a complete loser." It is very sad, and absolutely not true!
I understand that it is normal during divorce to feel like you failed, to have low self-esteem, to feel scared, to feel insecure, unwanted if you were the one left. Those are the feelings that make someone feel like a loser.
But, in my opinion, the only people I call losers are people who resort to unethical or bad behavior, such as trying to hurt others, stealing, cheating, abusing others, etc. So, what that means is, losers can be divorced, married or single.
A reader sent me this question:
Jackie, I need some divorce advice. I'm recently divorced however still living with my ex, not by choice. My question is, do I need to divulge that info on a first date? How do I handle that situation without feeling like a loser?
Here is my answer: It is extremely common for a divorced couple to live together much longer than they want, purely because of factors that include finances, kids and even convenience. Does that make someone a loser? Hell no.
In my opinion, there is no reason to bring that up on a first date. If it does come up, however, just explain the situation very openly and honestly. If the date seems off put by it, than he or she isn't worth your time, and I wouldn't feel like a loser, I'd feel lucky that you found out your date's true colors.
I think you might find that most people understand this type of situation. So, if you say something, you might be relieved to have it out of the closet and see that your date is fine with it.
In closing, if you are divorced and feeling like a loser, for any reason (not just if you are still living with your ex) you should do this: look at yourself in the mirror and repeat 10 times, "I am not a loser. I am a divorced person on my way to a better situation and happier times. Because of the way I am handling things, I will face my journey with courage, hard work and perseverance. For that reason, I am actually a winner."
Remember that no one starts out in life as a loser. "Shit happens," to quote my 76 year old mom. How a person handles what happens determines whether or not he or she becomes a loser. In other words, isn't being a loser (or a winner) all in our control?
Jackie Pilossoph is the author of her blog, Divorced Girl Smiling, and the comedic divorce novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase. She also writes feature stories, along with the weekly dating and relationships column, Love Essentially" for Chicago Tribune Media Group local publications. Pilossoph lives in Chicago. Oh, and she's divorced.