Jake Gyllenhaal Discusses How His Parents’ Divorce Affected Him

Posted by Steven D. Eversole | Jul 28, 2015 | 0 Comments

There is no question that when a couple gets divorced, both the process itself and life after divorce can have a major effect on minor children. What may be somewhat more surprising is that even adult children may be emotionally affected when two parents decide to get a divorce.

However, that does not always mean the effects will be negative.

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According to recent article from People, actor Jake Gyllenhaal, best known for his role inBrokeback Mountain and Jarhead, and also star of the upcoming movie Southpaw, discussed how his parents' divorce allowed him to be more honest with himself.   By the time his parents announced they were getting divorced, Gyllenhaal was already a successful Hollywood actor.

His father, director Stephen Gyllenhaal, and his mother, screenwriter Naomi Foner, had been married for over 30 years before their divorce in 2009. When the couple was going through their divorce, their son was also having issues in his personal life, and it was starting to have a major effect on him. He said all that was happening caused him to “hit pause” on his acting career and reexamine the path on which he was headed.

The reason he found their decision get divorce “so inspiring,” as he puts it, is because even though it upset other members of the his family, his parents examined their situation and asked the question “What is our truth?” In other words, his parents did not pretend things were going to get better, as most couples that have been married for as long as they have would do, and they decided to ask if they would both be better off not being married to each other.   In this case, his parents decided the answer to that question was that, in their truth, or their situation, they would be better no longer living as husband and wife and decided to do the brave thing and get a divorce.

Gyllenhaal has said this has inspired him to ask himself what his own truth is and that has helped him be more honest with himself in various aspects of his life, from making decisions in relationships to choosing what roles to take. He said this new maturity has helped him with his most recent role in the upcoming boxing movie Southpaw and said his parents are still his role models, and he still turns to them for advice and guidance.

As our Birmingham divorce attorneys can explain, this is certainly not only a question that famous Hollywood couples should be asking themselves. Whenever someone is unhappy in a marriage, that person would be best served by examining his or life and situation and see if there is something that can be done. In some cases, marriage counseling or even just talking about the issues can help, but in other cases, the unfortunate reality is that there is nothing that can be done to fix the situation, and getting a divorce may be the best thing for everyone involved.   In some cases, a divorce will even be better for the children.

Additional Resources:

Jake Gyllenhaal Says His Parents' Divorce ‘Allowed Me to Be More Honest with Myself', July 24, 2015, People

About the Author

Steven D. Eversole

J.D., Samford University's Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham, Alabama B.A., University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

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