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Mandy Moore Says She Put Up With Toxic Ex Because She Believed 1 Big Marriage Myth

Mandy Moore says when she looks back at her marriage to musician Ryan Adams, she doesn’t recognize herself.

On Tuesday’s episode of Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s podcast “Dinner’s on Me,” the “This Is Us” alum discussed her turbulent marriage to Adams and reflected on how her ideas about relationships have evolved. 

“I think back to that chapter and it almost feels like it was someone else entirely that it happened to,” Moore told Ferguson of her marriage to the “When the Stars Go Blue” singer. The pair married in 2009 and split in 2015. Their divorce was finalized in 2016.

Ryan Adams and Mandy Moore at Disney's
Ryan Adams and Mandy Moore at Disney's

Ryan Adams and Mandy Moore at Disney's "Tangled" world premiere in 2010.

Moore told Ferguson she got married “very young” at the age of 24 — and that she decided to tie the knot with Adams at the same time her parents were ending their 30-year marriage.

Thanks to her naivete about relationships, she said, she believed that marriage was supposed to be hard.

“When I got married, it was not something I took lightly,” Moore said around the episode’s 40-minute mark. “I went into it fully aware and was like, ‘This is my forever person, this is our forever life.’ And I worked really hard to make it work.

“And I remember when things would get really tough, I was like, ‘Wow, this is a lot. This feels like more than I bargained for. But this is what marriage is!’ Like you ride out these harrowing times in order to find the joy on the other side and like, it’s just the rollercoaster of life. … And ultimately I got to a point where I was like, ‘It’s not supposed to be this hard. It’s not supposed to feel this bad. A person is not supposed to treat you like this.’”

Moore said that her marriage to Adams “left me in a really hollow, empty, isolated place.”

She added, “The feeling of belittling yourself or making yourself as small as possible to make others around you feel as comfortable as possible was something that started obviously at a young age for me and continued through that very unhealthy relationship that I was in.”

Julia Goodall, a psychotherapist and host of the Grounded Families podcast, told HuffPost UK in 2022 that marriage can certainly be challenging, but it shouldn’t feel downright onerous.

“I think that the idea that marriage is hard is the same if you say gardening is hard,” Goodall said. “It’s not hard. It’s just that you have to show up every day in tiny ways and keep an eye on it. So it’s hard work in terms of the constant commitment of it, but it’s not difficult.”

Mandy Moore and her husband Taylor Goldsmith at the 29th Annual Critics Choice Awards in January.
Mandy Moore and her husband Taylor Goldsmith at the 29th Annual Critics Choice Awards in January.

Mandy Moore and her husband Taylor Goldsmith at the 29th Annual Critics Choice Awards in January.

In 2019, The New York Times reported that seven women, including Moore, had accused Adams of being manipulative, controlling and obsessive. Moore characterized her ex-husband at the time as psychologically abusive. (Adams’ lawyer refuted her assessment, saying it was “completely inconsistent” with the singer’s “view of the relationship.”)

Yet, despite how low Moore felt during her first marriage, the “Dr. Death” star said she’s “grateful” for the experience.

“I’m grateful for all it taught me and where it brought me and ultimately it led me to finding this incredible partner,” Moore said of her husband, Taylor Goldsmith, whom she married in 2018. They share two young sons. August Harrison was born in 2021, and Oscar Bennett was born last year.

Moore told Ferguson that she met her now-husband during her “trying, and challenging, and awful” divorce from Adams, and the way Goldsmith behaved during that difficult time signaled to her that she “was in the right relationship.” 

Goldsmith was “not bothered by it all, he just let everything sort of roll off his back,” Moore said. “And I was like, ’Oh, if he could weather this, like, I think we’re probably going to be OK. We’re probably going to make it. And this is probably the person I should’ve been with all along.”

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