In her new memoir Open Book, Jessica Simpson reveals one of the reasons her marriage to first love Nick Lachey ended was because she didn’t know herself yet.
The first time Jessica Simpson laid eyes on Nick Lachey, she knew.
The two first crossed paths at a Hollywood Christmas party in 1998 and she thought: ‘Hello my life’, according to her upcoming memoir, Open Book.
The pop star glamour couple married in 2002 and because the public was so invested in their fairy tale romance, they were given their own reality show, which chronicled the beginning (and eventually, in 2006, the end) of their high-profile union.
Looking back, Simpson blames the couple’s marriage breakdown, at least in part, on being so young. “I didn’t know myself,” she explains in the book, as per an extract in People.
”I was really young and my success hadn’t really begun,” Simpson says. “[Nick] knew me as this young innocent 18-year-old that had never been introduced to the world in so many ways. I went straight from my father to him. Nick’s very smart. He was eight years older than me, but he was also very young.”
This was only compounded by the non-stop work and ongoing media pressure to be “this perfect golden couple,” she explains. “We really got crushed by the media and by ourselves.”
Thanks to therapy, self-examination and giving up alcohol, Simpson began to learn more about herself over the next few years, she says. In 2010, she met her now-husband Eric Johnson, with whom she has three kids: Maxwell, seven, Ace, six and 10-month-old Birdie. Lachey also got remarried to Vanessa Minnillo Lachey. They have three children together.
Simpson’s story about the end of her first love is a relatable one: most of us eventually outgrow our first loves.
We willingly throw ourselves heart-first, head-last with reckless abandon into these relationships that are intoxicating, formative and yet, for the majority, rarely forever.
Our 20s are such a significant growth period that the idea of committing to someone for eternity is a daunting prospect.
How do you know what you want in a life partner when you don’t know yourself yet? Some do, of course, but most don’t.
And while it can be painful when that relationship ends, it’s often only when we look back, as in Simpson’s case, that we can appreciate the role it played in getting us to where we are now.