Jackie Pillosoph was the mother of two young children when she went through a divorce seven years ago. It was tough, but she came through the process with a smile on her face, and she now offers up advice on the emotional side of divorce, including dating and parenting. She describes herself as a best friend next door who will talk to you about divorce and getting your life back together.
I’ve written and posted so many blogs about the emotional aspects of selling your wedding rings. But if you come to a point where you know it’s time to sell, then what do you do?
That actually happened to me 7 or 8 years after I got divorced. I was ready. But then what?
I ended up selling my ring to MJ Gabel, and I could not have had a better experience, both with the service, the price and how they made me feel.
Here is a blog post written by the owners of the company, who say that the most important word when it comes to selling your diamond ring is TRUST.
Four Things To Keep In Mind When You Are Ready To Sell Your Rings
by Matt and Anne Gabel
Many people find it difficult to part with their diamond jewelry not only because of the emotional attachment that may accompany the jewelry, but also because they are unsure of who to trust.
There are many large companies out there who will offer to buy your old engagement ring, but how do you know who is giving you the best advice?
As a partner of a family owned company, I can speak for the way we approach working with clients, in hopes that I can help shed some light on why we give the advice we do.
1) Work with a company who is interested in you as a client and not just your diamond jewelry.
We always ask our clients about their jewelry, and how it came to be theirs. This is not for any nefarious reason, or to try and swindle them, but to have an understanding of who and what we are working with. We have found that the better we understand a person and what they are trying to sell, the better we are able to provide a client with multiple selling options. We look at our clients as relationships, not as transactions.
2) Work with a company that does not require your diamond to be un-mounted in order to give you a quote.
We hear of this all too often – that a potential buyer needs to remove a diamond in order to properly grade it and give a value. While it is true that in order to get a 100% accurate grade and carat weight on a diamond you must weigh it loose, in 95% of cases this is not a requirement for a buyer to make an offer. GIA Graduate Gemologists are not only familiar, but also should be comfortable, grading a diamond while it is mounted. Removing a diamond from a setting puts the diamond and setting at an unnecessary risk of potential damage.
3) Work with a company that not only has a Better Business Bureau rating, but also reviews directly on the Better Business Bureau website.
The reality is that while the BBB is a fine organization, it is not that difficult for a company to become accredited. It is also fairly easy for a company to have multiple listings with the BBB. Check that a company not only has an A+ rating, but that there are reviews of the company on the BBB listing itself. The BBB independently verifies every review that is submitted on a company (similar to their process for complaints), ensuring that the reviews are from actual customers. Sadly it is all too easy for a company to pay for positive reviews on other rating sites.
4) Work with a company that is approachable and personal.
We pride ourselves in having our name on the door, and making ourselves accountable and accessible to our clients (both my husband and I still take clients and answer the phones). Look for a company who actually designates a specific representative to work with you – and make sure that representative is GIA trained, and not just a sales person. Avoid companies that use generic terms when signing emails or other correspondence rather than an individual’s name.
This will ensure you know exactly who you are working with from start to finish.
XYZ Company Staff Member
Selling diamond jewelry or a diamond engagement ring can seem like an uphill battle – but it doesn’t have to be. Trust your judgment and instinct – if it doesn’t feel right, move on! Partner with a company that will work to get you the best price, and provide you with an option to do so that fits your needs. So often in business, people use the phrase, “It’s not personal.” But to us, it IS personal!
Anne and Matt Gabel are the owners of their upstate New York based jewelry and diamond buying company, MJ Gabel/Advisors and Trustees of Fine Jewelry. Founded in 2006, with direct access to over 5 Million buyers, the MJ Gabel process is incomparable, offering clients options beyond just a cash offer. MJ Gabel provides direct jewelry buying, consignment and brokering, and auctions. To learn more, visit their site.
Several years ago, I was in a relationship with a divorced guy who had a 13 year-old daughter who refused not only to meet me, but she wouldn’t even acknowledge that I was in the picture. I remember feeling so frustrated and angry about the situation. I mean, you can’t really be angry at a 13 year-old, especially one who is dealing with her parent’s divorce. But I did have a little resentment. I remember saying to a girlfriend one time, “The little brat’s just going to have to deal with it!!” The issue caused a lot of friction in my relationship.
When she finally agreed to meet me, I’m not kidding when I say I was so nervous, I spent two hours getting ready. I changed my shirt 14 times, and was more scared to meet this kid than I was for any first date in my entire life.
Fast forward, she is now in college and we ended up becoming very close, even though I am no longer with her father. I absolutely love her and I consider her a friend.
I realize now that her not wanting to meet me had nothing to do with me, and everything to do with other factors.
I just spoke with a therapist yesterday, who was telling me that a large population of her clients are divorced men and women, and that she hears from almost all of them that the boyfriend’s kids (or girlfriend’s kids) are causing tension in the relationship because they want nothing to do with their dad (or mom’s) new love.
If you think about it, the downside of not meeting the kids is that you are very limited in your relationship and can only get together when the kids are either with the ex-spouse or if they have plans. Furthermore, people in this situation tend to feel hurt and frustrated.
They might think, ‘The kids just don’t like me,’ and what I want to say is, nothing can be further from the truth! Here are the real reasons your boyfriend’s kids don’t want to meet you (or even admit that you exist)
1. They are still hoping their parents will reconcile. I heard once from a therapist that no matter how old the kids are–even if they are in their 40’s, they never lose hope that their parents will get back together. So, if you are a boyfriend/girlfriend of a divorced person, you could be standing in the way in the kids’ minds.
2. They might think ‘All women are the same’ or ‘All men are the same.’ This could be the case if the kids have issues with one of their parents. For example, let’s say a woman left her husband because he was abusive, and let’s say the kids saw it. Why on earth would they want to meet their mom’s new boyfriend? If he’s a man, they might think he is abusive also. In other words, their father has given them a reason to think all men are abusive. So, even if you are the nicest guy in the world, they might unjustly lump you into a negative category.
3. They might be scared and uncomfortable. As a girlfriend or boyfriend of someone, you might not realize that the kid is really uncomfortable, not because of you or anything you did, but because all kids are nervous and shy and uncomfortable around new people—especially someone who is spending so much time with Mom or Dad! Think about how scary it would be for a kid.
4. They might be protecting their dad or mom. In the case where the mom or dad was left by the other parent, kids might be afraid that you will do the same thing, that you will hurt their dad, just like mom did. So, they might be defensive and very protective.
5. They might not want to get close to someone who might not be around for the long-term. Think about it. Their parents just broke up (even if it’s been several years, to a kid, it doesn’t matter.) So, they now maybe only see the dad on weekends or maybe custody is 50/50 and weeks go by when they don’t see one of the parents. Or, maybe one parent left and they don’t see that parent at all, and they feel abandoned. So in their eyes, who’s to say you won’t do the same thing?
There’s a reason kids can benefit by going to therapy during and after a divorce. Kids have so many issues that they might not be able to cope with or even express, and one of them is meeting people their parents get into relationships with.
So, when it comes to dating a guy or girl with kids, cut the kids some slack if they aren’t on board with meeting you. They are dealing with a lot and it has nothing to do with you. How could it?? They don’t know you.
The key is to be patient, to be understanding, and try not to push too much. And, most importantly, don’t take it personally. If you are in a healthy, loving relationship with their mom or dad, once they meet and get to know you, they will love you!
In the episode, 36-year-old Arie got down on one knee and proposed to finalist Becca Kufrin. So far it seems like your typical “Bachelor” “fairy tale” ending.
But at the end of the episode, we find out that after spending six weeks with Becca (after the production ended), Arie realized he had made the wrong choice and reached out to the other finalist, Lauren Burnham.
In this week’s Love Essentially column, I write about what I learned interviewing therapist, David Klow on relationship problems, and how the problems you think are unique to you aren’t.
If you’re having a relationship problem, it’s probably more common than you think by Jackie Pilossoph for Chicago Tribune Media Group
For 13 years, David Klow has been working as an individual and couples’ therapist. The Chicago-based licensed marriage and family therapist, who is also a professor at The Family Institute at Northwestern University, said session after session, he hears common themes.
Clients “all say similar things in regards to loneliness, disconnection with life, pain in relationships and feeling un-valued,” said Klow. “They are hard on themselves and they think they are horrible.”
Klow said there’s a question almost every client asks him: “Am I crazy?”
“They think there is something wrong with them, and that what they are experiencing falls outside of what they think is normal or healthy in human life,” Klow said.
Two years ago, in an attempt to answer, “Am I crazy?” Klow began writing letters to his clients.
When I realized that the 5th year anniversary of Divorced Girl Smiling, (my divorce advice site) was approaching, I decided I wanted to do something really special, meaningful and important. So, I decided to throw a huge party, and make it a fundraiser for WINGS, an organization that offers shelter, support and education to victims of domestic violence.
The party planning wasn’t easy. It was another full time job to get sponsors for the event, find a good venue, explore different vendors, plan the details of the event, and then, the toughest part: selling tickets and making sure we filled the room to raise as much money as possible for WINGS.
My dear friend, Alisa, helped me so much. Together, we blasted this event out on social media constantly, we consistently sent personal emails and texts to friends, we asked people to help us promote it, and let me tell you, it wasn’t easy!! But in the end, the event ended up selling out, and we even had to turn people away because the room did not have the capacity to hold more than 175.
Me and Alisa!
If you didn’t come to the event, here is a sneak inside it, including pictures and a video of my speech.
Divorce Advice Site Celebrates 5 Years In Business - YouTube
Why do I think Divorced Girl Smiling has been a success? Two reasons: one because of my readers, so thank you so much!! And two, because of my mission, which is to help men and women facing divorce know that they are not alone, that their feelings are validated, and that they can come to my site for support and information.
Remember, if you have the guts to look in the mirror and take some accountability for the divorce, if you focus on the future instead of the past, and if you always have an open heart, you have the tools for a better, happier life ahead.
I LOVE this article that offers relationship advice in regards to taking on someone else’s problems. We all have problems, but I think what Kaplin is saying is, when other people tell you their problems, listen and empathize, but remember that they are not YOUR problems, and that you are powerless to an extent to help them. Sure, you can lend an ear and offer your support, but to try to give too much advice can be a disservice to both you and to the other person, and can leave you feeling frustrated. What you would do in a situation might be a lot different than how the other person chooses to handle it. And remember, if you love someone, have respect for how he or she chooses to handle a situation, even if it’s not the same way you would choose to handle it.
Get Out Of My Car! by Lisa Kaplin
Do you ever find yourself in the middle of your kid’s business, or your partner’s, or your co-worker’s? Are you over involved, telling them what to do and over attached to their outcomes? Well, I was mentioning this issue to a friend of mine and she told me that she and her husband call it, “getting in other peoples’ cars.” They say to each other, “Don’t get in my car” as a reminder to not get dragged into other people’s drama.
When my husband comes home from work and is upset about something that happened that day, I can listen to him, but not get in his car! My kids can call home and complain or tell me how unhappy they are and I don’t have to get in their car! There is something so fabulously freeing about this concept and how my friend and her husband labeled it.
We can empathize with other’s problems without getting in their car and going along for the ride.
Would you get in the car with a friend who has been drinking? I hope not. I hope you would take their keys and wait until they sober up. You also wouldn’t get in a friend’s car if they were driving erratically or they were over tired. So why do we get into other’s cars when they are upset, angry, or making life harder for themselves? We wouldn’t if we really thought it out.
Not getting in the car doesn’t mean we don’t listen to them or that we don’t empathize with them. Both are important and what people do when they care about each other, but we don’t have to go along for the ride. When my kids were little and they had temper tantrums, I learned that I didn’t have to get involved in that. It was their car to ride in, not mine.
So ask yourself whose car you’re getting in and why? How are you helping by getting in that person’s car? What’s it keeping you from in your own life and how could it be holding you back in some way? Does getting in that person’s car ever improve the relationship or just make you both a bit crazy? Think about it, we can only drive one car at a time, so drive your own car and get out of everyone else’s. The roads will be a lot safer if we do.
Lisa Kaplin is a psychologist, life and executive coach, and professional speaker. She helps people live happier, healthier, and more productive lives than they ever thought possible. You can reach her at Lisa@lisakaplin.com
This is an inspirational story about a couple whose online dating experience turned into an engagement. The article includes online dating tips from the couple, as well as from a dating and relationship coach.
Tips for navigating the crazy world of online dating from a success story by Jackie Pilossoph for Chicago Tribune Media Group
“Disheartening,” “disappointing,” “frustrating” and “hurtful” are just some of the words I’ve heard single men and women use when describing their online dating experiences. Although dating sites and apps such as Tinder, Bumble, eHarmony and Match are among the most common ways people look for love, the process can be challenging.
So, when I found out a woman I know just got engaged and that she had met her fiance on Match.com, I was curious to learn how she managed to find love and commitment in an arena that so many find difficult to navigate.
When a woman emailed me these two questions: 1) Why can’t I meet anyone? and 2) Why do I always feel alone? I had to dig deeper. So, I asked her some questions. I asked about her past, her relationship history, how she met the guys, what the circumstances were, etc.
After hearing some details about her dating life, what I found out was, the answers to her questions are simple: her. In other words, this woman is her own worst enemy, and she is the reason she can’t meet anyone. She is the reason why she always feels alone. Before you think I’m too judgmental, let me explain.
I want to preface what I am about to write by saying I realize that finding love can be very difficult, and that there are so many undesirable men (and women) out there with baggage and issues that go beyond complicated. Dating can be frustrating, exhausting, scary and time-consuming, with a rollercoaster of highs and lows that can lead someone to feelings of extreme disappointment and hopelessness.
But, there are certain people who self-sabotage their chance at real love and a fulfilling, meaningful relationship. Some of the things they do include:
3. Dating men with problems—alcoholism, drugs, gambling, sex addiction, etc.
4. Dating men who are emotionally unavailable.
5. Refusing to date “nice guys,” and being turned off by men who treat them well or who truly care for them.
Let’s take my reader. She told me that she has been dating a man on and off for the past year who says he is getting divorced. But, he still lives at home, and has taken no legal steps to get divorced. He says it is because the kids are not ready, and he has to sort out some things.
So, one of a few things is going on here. First, he could be completely lying and could have no intention of leaving his wife. The wife might have no idea about his affair. Or, maybe he and the wife are having problems and talking about divorce. Or, he could be telling the truth. But, how healthy can this relationship really be? How do we know how long it’s going to be before he takes action? Is she supposed to trust him and just keep waiting? Also, after he decides to move out and separate, isn’t he going to need some time to adjust from that and heal? He has a whole divorce ahead of him.
Here’s the thing. Doesn’t this woman deserve to be in a relationship where she isn’t a secret? Doesn’t she deserve more of him and his time? Doesn’t she deserve to get the best of what he has to offer? And clearly, whether he is cheating or telling the truth, he can’t give her (or anyone) a healthy, nurturing, happy relationship. All he has to offer is sneaking around, secrets, and kids at home who don’t know their dad is occasionally hanging out with some other woman.
I would be willing to bet my readers sits home every weekend and only sees him for hook ups or a quick drink or lunch or dinner. Then, he goes home to his “family” and she has to go home to no one (she doesn’t have kids) and feel sad and empty and lonely that she doesn’t have all of him. How good is this scenario for someone’s self-esteem? I would think all this situation would do is cause someone frustration, resentment, disappointment and self-loathing. The joy is fleeting.
Before this woman dated this married guy, she was dating an alcoholic, who hit her a few times. She kept getting back together with him and then they would break up again when he became drunk and mean and abusive and sometimes violent.
Before him, she dated a guy who was single, but who cheated on her repeatedly. She found a pair of woman’s underwear in his apartment that was not hers. They broke up for 3 months and then reconciled. She then came to his place and saw a woman leaving. They broke up again, but then got back together. The guy would tell her she was insecure and paranoid, and she would give him another chance.
When people deep down know they are in a relationship that is bad for them, but they stay in it or keep getting back together with the person, all it does is spiral into this bad cycle of ups and downs, disappointment, resentment, anger and self-loathing.
It seems this woman is attracted to toxic relationships for whatever reason. Possibilities include: low self-esteem, a bad childhood that led her to mimic behavior that she saw, no self-love, her subconscious desire to stay single, or her fear of intimacy that can stem from a variety of reasons.
She then shared that she was dating this one guy for a little while but he was “too into me.” She also turned down dates with men for reasons that included a guy being too tall, a guy being too short and a guy who didn’t smoke. (she is a smoker.)
I think this woman, and anyone else who finds themselves asking “Why can’t I meet someone?” and “Why do I always feel alone?” would benefit by exploring with a therapist what the deep-seeded reasons might be.
There is no denying that finding the right person can be challenging. There are countless factors we can’t control, such as fate, timing, and being in the right place at the right time. But, we CAN control the choices we make as to who we spend our time with, who we get involved with, and who we let into our hearts. And if we are making poor choices, then we are hurting ourselves, oftentimes without even realizing it, not only because we are with the wrong person, but because we aren’t free–physically or emotionally, to find the right person.
There is nothing better than a romantic relationship in which you let yourself love and be loved by someone who treats you well, who can give you what you need, and who makes you happy—ALL the time. Love and vulnerability can be scary, but there is no better feeling than knowing your love is unconditional and authentic. That is when you will never, ever feel alone.
People have different ways of coping with the loss of a loved one. Here is a story about one way I found comfort when my dad died. I wrote it with the hope that it might help others.
When you’re mourning a lost loved one, how do you keep the conversation going? by Jackie Pilossoph for Chicago Tribune Media Group
For as long as I can remember, my dad has been the first person I call when I have good news, especially when it comes to my professional life.
Because he was so successful in his own business endeavors, it has always given me great joy to let him know the minute something good happens when it comes to my career. When I got my first job out of college, my dad was my first call. When I found out I won the distinguished sales award for my company — which meant an all-expenses-paid trip to a five-star resort in Arizona — I called my dad. When I got my first on-air reporting job, who did I call? My dad. And, when I won the President’s Club award — another trip, this time to Hawaii … Dad was the first to know.
It comes on suddenly. I’ll be watching a movie, and the moment I feel extreme joy, sadness or hopefulness, my eyes well with tears. It might stop there, but more often than not, my highly emotional divorced woman over 50 mentality causes full blown bawling.
I’m not sure when exactly I turned into a human water faucet. It might have been after having my first child, the result of out of whack hormones, or maybe it was after I got divorced. Or, maybe that’s what happens in your Botox, red wine, metabolism-halted years.
Don’t get me wrong. Crying during movies isn’t a bad thing. It actually feels good to express pent up emotion and to deeply feel those dramatic moments of happiness or sadness that we don’t always have in our everyday lives.
If you agree with me that there’s nothing better than a good cry, a box of Kleenex, and a glass of red wine while watching a movie, then here are 10 you can’t miss. Not only will each one have you sobbing, (in a good way), but these movies will leave you feeling encouraged, energetic and inspired!
1. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)This adorable dramedy is about a recently divorced guy who just got out of a mental institution and who is trying to rebuild his life when romance develops with a recent widow living in his parent’s neighborhood. Football, bookies, ballroom dancing, family and love all mesh together in a deep, meaningful and really funny story. Best scene: Pat and Tiffany’s dance number during their dance competition.
2. The Notebook (2004) I’ve seen this movie 50 times and I still cry every time. The Notebook mixes young and old romance, sending the message that true love is ageless, and that every woman should trust her gut when it comes to marrying the right guy.
3. Something’s Gotta Give (2003) Nancy Myers, another genius in the field of screenwriting and directing is responsible for this hilarious and heartwarming movie about a woman who falls in love with her daughter’s much much older boyfriend.
4. It’s Complicated (2009) Another Nancy Myers movie! The plot: a woman is having an affair with her ex husband, who left her for a younger woman whom he married. I think this movie offers satisfaction to every divorced woman whose husband left her for a younger woman. Is it realistic? Probably not, but who cares!
5. Enough Said (2013) A divorced man and woman, both in their early fifties begin dating and unexpectedly fall in love. Meanwhile, the woman, a massage therapist discovers that her new client is her boyfriend’s ex wife. I think this movie paints a realistic but endearing picture of dating after divorce. Trivia: this was James Gandolfini’s last movie before dying unexpectedly in 2013.
6.When Harry Met Sally (1989) “I’ll have what she’s having!” “I’ve been looking for a red suede pump.” “You should never go to bed with someone when you find out your ex boyfriend’s getting married.” “Men and women can never really be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.” These are just a few lines from this adorable comedy about a couple whose platonic relationship turns romantic. The late Nora Ephron, who wrote and directed this and several other romantic comedies was a genius.
7. Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011) This is perhaps a lesson about getting lazy in your marriage, and about how if people are willing to make an effort for true love, it really pays off. Plus, Ryan Gosling is hot in this darling romantic comedy!
8. Brokeback Mountain (2005) I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been in the sixties, when gay men and women felt they had to hide their relationships. Brokeback Mountain is a beautiful but tragic love story of two cowboys who have a secretive 20-year relationship.
9. Sex and the City (2008) Don’t even get me started! When my all-time favorite HBO series became a movie, I couldn’t have been more ecstatic. And the movie did not disappoint! One might think that Sex and the City is all about sex and men, but it isn’t. The movie (and the show) is truly about the loyalty and support of real girlfriends, who pick each other up, especially when love lets them down.
10. Moonstruck (1987) I can still remember going to a movie theater by myself at age 22 to see this Academy award winning film. It is a darling story of a middle-aged accountant from a traditional Italian family who falls in love with her fiancé’s brother. Favorite lines: “I’m in love with you.” “Snap out of it!” It shows that when love is right, it only takes one afternoon to realize it.