It wasn’t one thing. Peter Facinelli spoke about how his relationship with his ex-wife Jenny Garth has changed over the years and how this has affected his new romance with his fiancee Lily Ann Harrison.
“I think they’re great in a relationship at the beginning,” the 48—year-old actor said on Tuesday, April 12, in an episode of The Allison Interview podcast. “You have this honeymoon period and it’s fantastic.”
The Twilight star, who was married to Garth, now 50, for 11 years before their separation in 2012, recalled that “slowly, over time” events took a negative turn.
“Someone might say something offensive. Another person can allow it, and then they will become a habit,” Facinelli explained. “So bad things can become habitual as you start treating each other, giving the other person permission or permission to talk to you in a certain way.”
The “Indestructible Boy” actor noted that “everyone has bad days,” but once your partner’s hurtful actions become commonplace, it’s hard to fully return to the good times.
“If this person talks to you in a certain way or does something, then suddenly he feels that he has permission to do it, because you didn’t say: “It hurt my feelings.” Facinelli continued. “Suddenly it becomes habitual, and it grows, and then you get offended.”
The New York native, who has daughters Luca, 24, Lola, 19, and Fiona, 15, with Garth, also explained that changing these habits once they take root is not easy.
“Relationships are like a tree. In the beginning, if it starts to bend, you can fix it, but if you allow it to continue on this path, there is nothing you can do to bend it back, because it has already grown and hardened in this way,” he said.
Facinelli noted that “every relationship is different. When you’re with this [new] person, you’re not going to react the way I would with my ex-wife.”
The “Can’t Wait” star’s relationship with the “Beverly Hills, 90210” graduate has since influenced how he approached communicating with 33-year-old Harrison before their wedding.
“I think when Lily and I got together, it was so wonderful, and I told her: “I really want to keep it.” I want to be very careful with each other, and let’s work really hard every day so as not to acquire bad habits,” he said. “It’s been six years and I’m really proud of our relationship because we rarely raise our voices at each other.”
Facinelli explained that if a couple really have disagreements, they “negotiate them” and try not to get into any disputes.
“[We are] very careful not to hurt feelings, and we do it normally. Just be very careful to treat each other with respect, treat each other with kindness and be honest with each other at all costs,” nurse graduate Jackie added. “As soon as you start not doing it and feel that you have permission not to do it, suddenly these arguments, screams become habitual and destroy the relationship.”
He concluded: “I would say that’s what I’ve learned [from my past marriage], it’s just not to acquire bad habits.”
“I learned that forgiveness is possible and that time heals wounds, it’s hard to believe when you’re in it,” the actress said then, “What I Like about You.” — But in the end everything works out.
After her breakup with Facinelli, Garth moved on to Dave Abrams, whom she married in 2015. In 2017, the duo separated for a while, but since then their romance has resumed.