“Sex and The City” actress Sarah Jessica Parker has revealed that her 7-year-old ex-boyfriend Robert Downey Jr. taught her important life lessons during their affair.
Sarah Jessica Parker and Robert Downey Jr. may seem like an unusual couple. Still, there was a time, in the ’80s and early’ 90s, when the actors had a romantic adventure together.
The old couple started dating in 1984 after meeting on the movie “Firstborn”. Parker played a character named Lisa, while Downey played Lee in the film.
Later in 1991, the “Hocus Pocus” actress and the “Sherlock Holmes” actor went their separate ways. However, despite breaking up 20 years ago, Parker has revealed that their relationship has taught him some valuable life lessons.
In 2016, Parker sat down with People and Entertainment Weekly director Jess Cagle and gave an insightful look at her previous romantic relationship with the action movie star. She first explained on their relationship:
“It taught me how to love,”
Additionally, her relationship with the “Dolittle” actor, who struggled with drugs and alcohol for much of their relationship, taught her the difference between loving someone and taking care of someone.
This seven-year passion has enabled Parker to achieve what is needed to care for a partner and what adults should and should not bring to their partner.
In addition to learning to set boundaries, the “Footloose” actress said her affair with Downey taught her things about raising children.
She explained that it was because she did things and looked after Downey like a parent would rather than a romantic partner, like she said it in Cagle:
“The things that I ended up taking into account, and the way I looked after Downey, were things that might be more suitable for a parent at some point.”
So it helped her raise her three children, James Wilkie, and her twins, Tabitha and Loretta. Parker welcomed her children with her husband, Matthew Broderick.
During the interview in 2016, Parker spoke about the impact of his relationship with Downey on the education of his eldest child, James Wilkie.
The “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” actress explained that when James became a teenager, she asked herself the same questions as when she was dating Downey.
She wondered what to do for her son and when to let her son take the reins and fend for himself. Parker further described his thoughts and said :
“Like, when do I have to let him lose something? When do I say, ‘You have to lose something to figure out how to deal with the situation? “
As a mother, it was essential for Sarah Jessica Parker to know when it was time to let her son fend for himself and develop his own coping skills without depending on her.
Of course, Parker’s thoughts on the life lessons she learned were retrospective, as she explained that while she was in the relationship, she was unaware that she was learning anything.
As in the case of raising children, the “The Family Stone” actress explained that in a relationship, a person focuses on the day-to-day aspects of loving and caring for someone. She is therefore not aware of what she is learning.
Additionally, Parker told People that she learned to take care of herself because she spent a lot of time worrying about Downey and wondering if he was okay during their relationship.
In addition to learning to set limits and some parenting skills from his past relationship, Parker confessed have acquired other valuable skills during their relationship:
“I also learned to balance a checkbook because I had to, and I think those are pretty important things to learn.”
After years of worrying and caring for Downey, Parker has put these life lessons to good use. She finally had the courage to say that she could walk away from this relationship, and they broke up in 1991.
Of course, Parker isn’t the only partner rethinking their former life together. Downey spoke positively about the couple’s old relationship and how the “The First Wives Club” actress tried to help.
In 2016, Downey appeared on the Howard Stern show and revealed his thoughts on the couple’s former relationship and said he did the best he could under the circumstances.
The “Tropic Thunder” actor said their relation was “very conventional,” even though he was abusive of various substances and was out of his mind, while Parker was “normal.”
He later explained in an interview with Parade that while Parker was not happy with her alcohol and drug problem, she gave him a home, understood, and tried to help him. So he continues :
“She was so upset when I didn’t take control.”
However, despite the issues Parker and Downey faced in their relationship, they both view their relationship without regret or resentment for the time spent together.
Twenty years later, Parker and Downey’s lives are not much different. Parker is the proud mother of three beautiful children, and Downey is the father of three children, Indio, Exton and Avri.
In the same interview with Parade, Downey discussed his style of upbringing with his son Indio, and admitted that he wanted his son to grow up with honesty and happiness. Downey shares his son with his ex-wife, Deborah Falconer.
The couple tied the knot in 1992, a year after he and Parker left each other. However, he separated from Falconer in 2004. He is now married to Susan Downey. They hosted Exton and Avri together.
As for Parker, she met Broderick in 1992, and they dated for five years. Later, on May 19, 1997, they hosted a surprise wedding for their guests in New York City.
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Robert Downey Jr taught Sarah Jessica Parker life lessons during their relationship