What Did Reese Witherspoon Learn From Her First Marriage?

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Reese Witherspoon Opens Up About Her First Marriage
Reese divulges that her first marriage to Ryan Phillippe taught her some valuable lessons.

Last weekend Reese Witherspoon said "I do" for the second time, marrying Hollywood A-lister agent Jim Toth. Reese, 35, recently said she now knows a lot more about what it takes to create a harmonious marriage; and she says it's because of the knowledge she gained from her first marriage to Ryan Phillippe.

Reese and Ryan met at the actress's 21st birthday party, which was in 1997. Fear, a psycho thriller film in which Reese starred opposite the super-handsome (though his character was ultra-crazy) Mark Wahlberg, had just been released the year before; it was her first major film and it cemented her acting credibility in Hollywood.

Perhaps Reese was still flying high on her career take-off at her birthday party the following year, as she was the one who approached Phillippe, 22 at the time. During the festivities, she walked up to him and said, "I think you're my birthday present."5 Reasons Having Sex Is Better Than Being Skinny

The two started dating afterward, and they became engaged in December 1998 and married in June 1999. During their eight years of marriage, the couple had two children—Ava and Deacon. Ava was born almost exactly nine months after the couple announced their engagement, which begs the question: did they only decide to get married after knowledge of Reese being with child? And then, continue to stay married to each other for the kids? Who knows, though if that were the case, it seems they would have held off on baby #2. And also the couple counseling they attended during the last years of their marriage. Ryan and Reese divorced in 2007. Bringing Sexy Back: 5 Ways To Increase Female Libido In Marriage

The Daily News reports that, in a recent interview with UK Elle magazine, Reese illuminates some newly discovered hindsight about her first marriage: "I was so, so young," she said. (Reese was 23 when she married Ryan.) "I learnt a lot though. It was an excellent opportunity for me to really find out what it means to be a partner and to be in a marriage and it's not anything that I thought it was."

Reese says she walked away from her first marriage with a wealth of knowledge, including this bit of insight: "You can't say, 'I don't want to talk about that,'" she said. "You just can't. You've got to talk about it all."

Seems like Reese has really gotten to know herself over the last 14 years. And we're thinking she probably didn't learn everything she knows about successful relationships just from her marriage to Ryan, but also from her relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal, whom she dated for about two years in between her marriages. Are Jake and Reese An Item?

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