Meg Ryan was driven to it. After eight years of silence, she finally revealed why she was susceptible to falling into Russell Crowe’s arms. In an interview with InStyle magazine, Ryan, 46, said it was Dennis Quaid’s womanizing that helped collapse their 10 year marriage.
“Dennis was not faithful to me for a long time and that was very painful,” said Ryan, whose new film, The Women, is about divorce.
But those flings were not public, so the perception was that it was Ryan who broke up the marriage.
To her credit, she didn’t badmouth Quaid, the father of her son, Jack, when they split up.
Her relationship with Crowe soon ended, and now she admits that she ended up hurting both him and her husband.
"Russell didn't break up the marriage," she says. "I was a mess. I hurt him too at the end. I couldn't be in another long relationship. It wasn't the time for that. So I got out."
Whether it's a man or a woman doing it, an affair is not a cure for dissatisfaction. You have to deal with yourself before you can then deal with someone else again.
Ryan also made clear that all women have choices in how they deal with events and what they tolerate in a marriage. “I was not a victim," she said. "I was there. I was in that marriage for a really long time." Subtext is that she was putting up with it for awhile before she had enough.
Isn’t it wonderful to hear such heartfelt honesty? Most women I know work really hard at their marriages. After finding out about an affair, they often blame themselves. (Big mistake).
As I wrote in my review of Still Hot it is really not about you but most often about them.
Once an affair happens, I have seen many wives find forgiveness in their hearts and usher their husbands into marriage therapy to find solutions. They will surrender their hurt, their dissatisfaction, their betrayal for the greater good of the family.
But sometimes, enough is enough. That’s why 60 percent of all divorces are launched by a woman.
As with many women, Meg Ryan’s divorce became a source of reinvention and reflection. Only through a life change do you grow and reconnect to your true self.
Ryan, who starred in hits like When Harry Met Sally and You’ve Got Mail, says the divorce turned out to be “incredibly liberating.”
“Now I was utterly free. I didn’t have to care about what people thought,” she said. “I have gotten to do what I guess I secretly wanted to do. Be totally under the radar and live my life.”
Divorce has a way of shifting life in surprising ways.
Ryan adopted a daughter, Daisy, and still co-parents her son, Jack, with Quaid, though they have little contact. Russell Crowe, bruised by Ryan’s brush-off, returned to Australia and married his college sweetheart, with whom he now has two sons.
Quaid is happily remarried and just had twins — though the couple had a health scare when the hospital gave the children an overdose of heparin. Fortunately, all parties have survived their real life dramas and have settled into a rhythm that suits their desires.
That may not be a typical Hollywood ending, but it is, in fact, a happy one — and a much more realistic ending in this age of divorce.