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Courteney Cox opens up about ‘the shock and pain’ of Snow Patrol star breaking up with her



Actress has since rekindled her long-term romance with the Northern Ireland musician

But the Friends star also claimed that her break-up from the Snow Patrol guitarist before getting back together has made their relationship stronger.

Courteney (59) said: “When Johnny and I broke up five years ago… so three years in we broke up and it was really intense.

“We broke up in therapy. I didn’t know it was coming.

“Whether I should have or not, it was just like, we went to this therapist to talk about our boundaries, what we could and couldn’t accept about each other.

“Instead he just broke up within the first minute.

“And I was like, ‘What?’ We were engaged and I was so shocked, I was in so much pain. I also don’t like surprises.

“And he’s an incredible human being, so he wasn’t trying to surprise me. He was in that much pain in the relationship, there was that much that needed to be dealt with that he ended up protecting himself around his heart.”

Courtney Cox and Johnny McDaid

The celebrity couple met at a party in Los Angeles, where they both now live, when they were introduced by mutual friend and pop singer Ed Sheeran in late 2013, before announcing their engagement in June 2014.

But Courteney said that she is now “grateful” that they went through their split before rekindling their romance as she feels they are in a better place now.

She explained: “As opposed to going, ‘F*** him’, you know, getting in this mode of anger, I went in.

“And I did the most work on myself by far. I learned how to reclaim my voice, boundaries. What were my motives in life? Like, what was my part in this?

“I am so thankful for that break-up because when we got back together it was a different relationship but also because it really taught me how I operated in the world.

“What are the things from my childhood that I needed, whether it was to be adored by men, or things that I didn’t know how to let go to be in a relationship. To not take things personally. My boundaries.

“I just went into myself and I had a great therapist.

“I went to the same one, I kept seeing him, the one that we met on the break-up day and it was brutal to go to his office after that for a while but then it was fate and I’m really thankful (a) nothing will ever hurt me that bad again and then (b) most of all, most importantly, I completely changed.”

Courteney said that the lessons from her break-up with Derry-born Johnny (47) and subsequent therapy has not just helped them both but is something she shares with her 19-year-old daughter Coco, who she has with her ex-husband and Scream co-star David Arquette.

She revealed: “It takes a lot of bravery to end something that has so much passion or end anything, any kind of relationship. It’s so much easier just to stay and ride things out and make excuses and fear of pain is too much to handle.

“But once you are bold enough to make decisions and go through the pain — you can’t go around it so you just go through it — and then when you do everything’s easier. That’s what I always try to tell Coco, ‘This issue is a roadblock. You can’t go around it. It’s gonna catch you down the road, go through it. Deal with it.’

“And this is another thing that I learned during that time, and I’m still working on it every day — am I doing this out of fear or connection?

“And I have to ask myself. Like sometimes I’m like, ‘I haven’t heard from that person, I wonder if they still like me? I wonder if they care?’

“And then I think, ‘Wait a minute. Do I actually care if they care? Am I connecting with them or now I’m seeing if they care?’ It gives you a lot of clarity. What is your motive? What are you doing things for?

“And I’m thankful that Johnny was so bold and brave, because it was lifechanging for me — and I’m sure for him.”

Speaking to the new episode of the Minnie Questions podcast hosted by English-born Hollywood actress Minnie Driver, she also opened up about what she has learned about relationships in general.

Courteney Cox

She added: “Well, when you first meet someone you accept everything.

“And then as time goes you just don’t accept anything, or you say, ‘Wait a minute, I don’t really like that.’

“And then as I get further into a relationship and I like the person, then I realise some of the things that I couldn’t accept in the middle part where things that I probably needed to control.

“I remember wanting to control certain things, whether it’s ‘I don’t like you smoking cigarettes’ — I would make it personal. Cigarettes are really hard to not do when you’re addicted.

“But for some reason, if you couldn’t quit for somebody then it was like, ‘How about that’s their issue, it’s okay, I accept it.’ I remember just feeling that.

“It’s really about self-acceptance because if you can accept the part of you that doesn’t… you don’t have to be rigid, you don’t have to hold onto things. You can accept or ask yourself questions.

“And understanding them more because I don’t know if it’s age or whether it’s duration, but now I can really see, ‘Oh, this is what’s happening.’ I see where the wounds come from, in myself and in others. I see that in all of my relationships.

“It’s so much easier to be tolerant and patient when you know that any kind of act-out or any kind of trigger that comes up, it has such a root that is more important than what is happening in a moment.

“So I can almost forgive anybody, any friend, anything.

“I don’t hold any grudges because you know that’s coming from a deeper wound.”

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