“We have enjoyed so many wonderful years together and are moving forward with deep love, kindness, and mutual respect for everything we have created together,” Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth jointly said on Instagram. Witherspoon and Toth married 12 years […]
“We have enjoyed so many wonderful years together and are moving forward with deep love, kindness, and mutual respect for everything we have created together,” Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth jointly said on Instagram.
Witherspoon and Toth married 12 years ago. They share a ten-year old son.
“Our biggest priority is our son and our entire family as we navigate this next chapter,” Witherspoon said.
“These matters are never easy and are extremely personal,” she continued.
Witherspoon was married to fellow actor Ryan Phillippe from 1999 to 2007. The couple met at a party for Witherspoon’s 21st birthday and starred together in Cruel Intentions. Six months pregnant, Witherspoon and Phillippe tied the knot at Charleston’s Old Wide Awake Plantation. They celebrated the birth of their daughter in 1999 and a son in 2003.
The public learned Witherspoon’s marriage to Phillippe was over on October 30, 2006 when Witherspoon released a statement and filed for divorce a week later, citing irreconcilable differences.
Media reports the couple didn’t have a prenuptial agreement and Witherspoon rejected Phillippe’s requests for spousal support. The couple did agree to joint physical custody of their two children seven months later as their case wound through the court.
Forty-seven year old Witherspoon played a role helping America recover from the 9/11 terrorist attacks, hosting the first live episode of Saturday Night Live on September 29, 2001, the first following the attacks that killed thousands of innocents.
In 2015, Witherspoon made the Time 100 list in a unanimous vote. Writer Mindy Kaling cited Witherspoon for being “a perfect example of an actress flourishing in today’s world” and “an active and successful movie producer who is moving her career forward both behind and in front of the camera.”
Witherspoon comes from an impressive family and has a personal connection to America’s military and veteran families. Her father, John Draper Witherspoon, served as a lieutenant in the United States Army Reserve. Her mother earned a PhD in pediatric nursing. Both parents were university professors.
Lasting Moment that Led to Marriage
Tennessean Jim Toth is co-head of the motion picture talent department at Creative Artists Agency. CCA represents many of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities, among them Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Shonda Rhimes, Samuel L. Jackson, and Pete Davidson.
Witherspoon said she was grateful her husband wasn’t an actor and shared the story of their first meeting:
“This really drunk guy was hitting on me, making such an idiot of himself, yelling at me. He was like, [slurring, scowling, pointing finger in her face] ‘You don’t know me.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, I know. I don’t know you!'”
And that’s when Toth swooped in, Witherspoon said. The moment had an impact. “That’s just kind of who he [Jim Toth] is, a really good person.”
24 Million Children in Single Parent Homes
Relationship expert Seth Eisenberg said Witherspoon and Toth’s decision will have a lifelong impact on their children.
“Twenty four million children grow up in single parent homes,” Eisenberg said. “Many will go on to live extraordinary, happy, successful lives,” he added.
Eisenberg said the lasting impact of divorce may only be seen when children become adults.
“The number one predictor of marital breakdown is what happened to your own parents’ marriage,” Eisenberg said, citing research that shows children whose parents divorced are much more likely to themselves divorce.
Co-Parenting Skills Training
Skills training can help couples create and navigate the “new normal” of their lives, Eisenberg said.
Studies have shown those who divorce once are more likely to divorce twice, and those who divorce twice more likely to end their marriages again.
Marriage is tough, experts agree. Divorce and co-parenting is also a challenge, despite the enormous financial resources available to wealthy, celebrity couples.
Eisenberg pointed to relationship skills he said can be most helpful to couples committed to helping their children navigate such a significant change in their lives.
Making it Safe for Kids to Confide
PAIRS Daily Temperature Reading, Talking Tips, Emptying the Emotional Jug, and Follow-the-Leader exercises have helped many, the PAIRS Essentials author said.
“Skills that strengthen connection, help parents make it safe for youngsters and teens to confide, and give kids a chance to be leaders” can be the difference between young people who feel safe and connected to the adults in their lives or increasingly vulnerable to outside influences,” Eisenberg said.
Witherspoon and Toth aren’t missing anything needed to move on with their lives. Parenting their beautiful children will take making those youngsters their number one priority.