Drew Barrymore Revealed Divorce Was Her ‘Worst Nightmare’ and ‘the Death of a Dream’

Iconic actor and talk show host Drew Barrymore grew up in the spotlight. But she’s not one to shy away from her human parts. Throughout her life, she’s been candid about her “wild child” childhood and reconciling with her parents after teenage emancipation. And more recently, she opened up about the feelings of failure she experienced after her third divorce — her “worst nightmare.”

What did Barrymore have to say about feeling like “the biggest failure” and starting to “find grace”? Plus, what advice did she give to anyone dating after divorce?

Drew Barrymore in a plaid shirt wearing 'Drew' earrings
Drew Barrymore | Mike Pont/Getty Images

Drew Barrymore felt like a ‘failure’ after her 2016 divorce

In 2016, Barrymore and ex Will Kopelman released a joint statement regarding the end of their marriage. Together they said, “Divorce might make one feel like a failure, but eventually you start to find grace in the idea that life goes on.”

In happier days, the couple married in June of 2012 and had two children. After they announced the divorce, Barrymore was on the 2016 premiere episode of Chelsea Handler’s Chelsea on Netflix. There, she joined Handler for a candid chat about the end of her marriage.

“I put in my statement about divorce the word ‘failure,’ because it’s so honest,” Barrymore confessed. “You break up with somebody, and you’re just like, ‘Yeah, that didn’t work.’ And you get divorced and you’re like, ‘I’m the biggest failure. This is the biggest failure.’”

Then, she elaborated, “It’s a tough time. It’s a hard thing to go through. It’s like your being put on a cheese grater and every second, going, ‘Ah! This wasn’t the plan!'”

Drew Barrymore lost 40 pounds in divorce

While speaking on the Finding Fearless podcast, Barrymore called her 2016 divorce her “worst nightmare.”

Although it was Barrymore’s third divorce, it seemed to have the biggest impact. It was the only marriage during which she had any children.

“I was really broken. Divorce is the death of a dream,” she shared. “I lost 40 pounds of weight.”

For Barrymore, one thing she said helped was taking on a new project. “I had to go back to work,” she said. “[Santa Clarita Diet] came along. Sometimes what you think is the worst timing ever is actually the best blessing. So be open.”

While she said getting back to work was good for her, she also leaned on friends. “I have a long standing history with my girlfriends. They are my original family,” she revealed. “You cannot accomplish anything by yourself. It takes this village.”

Drew Barrymore doesn’t ‘judge people for judging’ divorce

On an episode of The Drew Barrymore Show, Barrymore revealed she doesn’t “judge people for judging” divorce. More personally, she said, “I have three divorces under my belt, and I understand if someone looked at me and was like, ‘Is there something wrong with her?’”

Then, she also added, “If I met a man who was thrice divorced, I might be like, ‘What’s that all about?’”

While she noted that “until you really get to know somebody and their story, you don’t why” they might be divorced, she also said, “It can seem like too many notches on a belt.”

However, she believes “people pick up what you put out there” and a person should be accepting of their journey. If a divorced person is ashamed of their past, maybe people they meet will think they have something more to be ashamed of.

So, she may have felt like a failure herself, but she doesn’t recommend treating oneself like a failure — especially not while dating after divorce.

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