Why Did John Stamos And Rebecca Romijn Divorce?

Everyone will likely agree that the '90s gave us some of the best celebrity couples. There was Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe, Johnny Depp and Kate Moss, Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Pitt, and Matthew McConaughey and Sandra Bullock. Also, who can forget Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears? There are too many iconic relationships to count — and another romance we'll never forget is the love story between John Stamos and Rebecca Romijn.

The actor and the model met in 1994 backstage at a Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in New York and went on their first date at Disneyland. They married in September 1998, and years later, Romijn recalled the moment she met Stamos. She told Jane magazine (via The Intelligencer): "I totally remember seeing John Stamos walk in with his guitar in hand and that dorky haircut, the double-decker mullet. Today, I keep thinking, God, what if somebody had been sitting next to me and said, 'You're going to marry that man someday.'"

Unfortunately, the marriage didn't last and the pair got a divorce in 2005. Keep scrolling to find out what really happened between Stamos and Romijn.

Rebecca Romijn made John Stamos to turn down a TV role

John Stamos and Rebecca Romijn appeared to be in love, but it turns out, there was a lot going on behind the scenes. After getting married, the model's career as an actor took off when she landed the role of Mystique on "X-Men" — and though the "Full House" star was supportive, the same can't be said about Romijn. During a 2015 interview with Details (via Page Six), Stamos revealed he had to turn down a role on "Nip/Tuck" because his wife didn't approve.

He claimed that Ryan Murphy had originally written the part for him, explaining, "Maybe I was too afraid then. Ryan also wrote 'Nip/Tuck' for me, but the person with whom I was in a relationship at the time read the script and said, 'That's demeaning toward women.' I'm not with her anymore."

Though Stamos didn't mention Romijn by name, the series premiered in 2003 when they were still married. In 2006, Stamos also opened up about the relationship, admitting to Howard Stern that he and Romijn were broken up way before they announced their divorce and even pretended they were still together at the 2003 premiere for the second installment of the "X-Men" franchise. "We went to that together, but we had already been split up for like 6 months," he said (via Hollywood Life). "I just couldn't say anything."

The couple reportedly disagreed about having children

John Stamos and Rebecca Romijn announced in 2004 that they were separating after five years of marriage. At the time, their publicist, Lewis Kay, told CBS, "The split is amicable and they have asked that the media please respect their privacy regarding this situation during this difficult time." It was also reported that there was "no third party" or "real reason" for the breakup except they've decided to go in separate directions" (per Entertainment Weekly) and according to Radar Online, the couple may have disagreed on having children.

Stamos later told People in 2009 that the idea he had of marriage in his mind didn't pan out within their relationship. "We were together for 10 years — it was heartbreaking," he said. "In my book, at this point, I would still be married and have three kids. So, it was more about that plan being foiled than anything." He added,  "We just both woke up one day and it had run its course."

Stamos admitted he didn't always give his best effort

Relationships are all about give and take, and John Stamos is the first to admit that he didn't give as much as he should or could have when it came to his marriage to Rebecca Romijn. During an October 2023 interview on "The Howard Stern Show," the TV star recalled that he coasted a lot during that period of his life. He told the radio host that it didn't matter if it was his career or his personal relationships, he was rarely ever putting more than "50, 60%" of effort into things. Stamos added that at the time he thought, "'Well, my 50% is better than, you know 99%, of the people out there. I don't have to give it all.'"

Looking back, he knows that isn't true. "I didn't work on anything. I didn't work as hard as I should at anything," he said, admitting, "[my] career and my life would have been a lot better" had that been different. Reflecting on how this affected his marriage with Romijn, Stamos explained that he let himself down in the end, admitting he could have tried harder to fix things.

Stamos felt 'emasculated' after Romijn 'outgrew him'

When John Stamos and Rebecca Romijn first tied the knot in 1998, he was riding high from his success on "Full House," while she was a model trying hard to break into the world of acting. Through the course of their relationship, the pair essentially swapped places. Stamos's accolades petered off — until he bagged a lead role on "ER" in 2005 after their divorce — while Romijn shot to fame playing Mystique in the "X-Men" movies, while simultaneously starring in a handful of other successful features.

The "Grandfathered" alum shared his side of the story on "The Howard Stern Show," saying the downfall of their relationship happened partly because he put much of his attention onto Romijn's career while not thinking about himself so much. "She was taking off, and I just wasn't paying attention to mine ... I said, 'You know what, I've had enough fame, I'm okay. Let's put the spotlight on her.' And I loved watching it," he explained. Stamos noted that this was his own choice, but he struggled once Romijn's success eclipsed his own. "I felt that I became emasculated," he said.

Ultimately, this change in dynamic had negative consequences for their relationship. Looking back, Stamos said he was happy for Romijn's success but that it changed her. "I think that she outgrew me," he admitted.

Stamos alluded to Romijn's infidelity in his memoir

John Stamos and Rebecca Romijn weathered plenty of storms through their ten-year relationship, not least rumors of infidelity. Unfortunately, this is par for the course for most celebrity couples, and as Romijn's star began to rise in the early 2000s, the rumors began to circulate in the tabloids. Reflecting on that time in his 2023 memoir, "If You Would Have Told Me," Stamos revealed that he even started believing the stories.

"Betrayal starts as a sinking feeling in your stomach, grows into a suspicion that clouds your every thought, and by the time you find out the truth, it's uniquely horrible at first but also expected, like you've been waiting for something bad to happen," the actor wrote (via Us Weekly). Although Romijn hasn't publicly confirmed having relationships outside of their marriage, the "Big Shot" star's comments seem to imply there's more to the story.

Writing about their relationship prior to splitting, Stamos observed how distant the two had become as a result of their distrust and different schedules. "Rebecca doesn't notice me slipping away and I don't notice myself adrift," he shared in his memoir (via Today). "She's busy with her career and new friends. We're trying new things and growing, but not together." Eventually, in 2004, after six years of marriage, the pair separated for good before divorcing the following year. It was Stamos who chose to make their parting legal, but he struggled for years afterward.

Stamos carried a lot of resentment toward Romijn

Anger is one of the five stages of grief, and John Stamos certainly felt it in full force after his split from Rebecca Romijn, laying much of the blame for their marriage breakdown on her at the time. "In my mind back then, she was the Devil, and I just hated her. I couldn't believe how much I hated her, and it ruined my life," he explained in a 2023 interview with People

Years later, Stamos recalled the feeling clearly. "I never knew I could be so angry and hate-filled toward another human being, much less one I had been dedicated to for a decade," he wrote in his memoir, "If You Would Have Told Me" (via Today).

Ultimately, this feeling of hate carried Stamos down a dark path, as it marked the beginning of his decade-long alcohol addiction. The actor got sober after voluntarily entering a rehab program in 2015 following a DUI arrest. During this time, he reflected on his life and past mistakes, acknowledging that he also played a part in his and Romijn's divorce. "You start thinking, it's like, 'Oh, she wasn't the Devil. Maybe I was as much to blame as her,'" he told People. Stamos went one step further and revealed in his book that he let go of the anger and resentment he was harboring toward his ex-wife after his DUI. "It's in my moment of greatest shame that I let go and forgive Rebecca and myself," he wrote (via Today).

He was heartbroken after their divorce

Despite everything he said after the fact, John Stamos was admittedly heartbroken when his marriage to Rebecca Romijn ended in divorce. The actor told People that he struggled for years afterward. "My first marriage was shattering to me. I was shattered for way too long, too. I mean, a year, okay, good. But it went on [for] years and years," he said.

Part of Stamos's heartbreak stemmed from the fact that he felt like a "failure" at marriage. Detailing his feelings during that tumultuous time in his memoir, "If You Would Have Told Me" (via Today), the actor explained that he took the institute of marriage seriously and he saw himself spending the rest of his life with Romijn. After their split, he struggled with being alone. "I like marriage. I want that soulmate by my side through thick and thin, happy and dark times, for better and for worse," he wrote.

Stamos also was left feeling embarrassed after he called it quits with Romijn. "It was very much the opinion that she dumped me because her career was going great and mine wasn't, and that's humiliating," he explained in the memoir. However, Stamos added that he didn't believe that was the case at the time and noted that he doesn't blame Romijn for the fact the situation looked that way in the public eye.

Romijn has 'fond memories' of her ex-husband

Exes John Stamos and Rebecca Romijn haven't seen each other since 2004, the last time they met with their divorce attorneys. Nevertheless, it's not all bad blood between them. "I have a lot of really fun memories. I have a lot of fond memories of him. A lot of things about him that I miss," Romijn admitted during an interview on "The Talk" (via People). "But yeah, it's tricky. It's a very hard decision to come to when you decide to end a marriage. It was heartbreaking."

Although she hasn't spoken about her relationship with Stamos as publicly or in as much detail as her ex has in his 2023 memoir, the model-turned-actor revealed that she struggled with her own feelings of failure after their split. "Divorce feels like a failure ... And there were a lot of things that I had to let go of that were very sad," she said. However, the "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds" actor seems to prefer to hold onto the good memories and not dwell on the past, which is why her current husband, Jerry O'Connell, confirmed on "Radio Andy" that he and Romijn chose not to read Stamos's memoir.

They've both moved on

After John Stamos and Rebecca Romijn split, Stamos embarked on a string of short-lived relationships with fellow actors like Denise Richards and Renée Zellweger, before eventually meeting his now-wife Caitlin McHugh Stamos in 2015, having first crossed paths on the set of "Law and Order: SUV" four years earlier. The pair made their fairy tale romance official, tying the knot in 2018 after getting engaged at Disneyland the year prior.

After not having kids with Romijn, Stamos wasn't sure fatherhood was going to happen for him. But the famous TV uncle was thrilled to finally become a dad when McHugh gave birth to their son, Billy, in 2018. "It's just taken me a lot longer than I anticipated. It would be a tragedy if I didn't have children, and I finally found the right woman — the perfect woman," he gushed to ET.

Meanwhile, Romijn found a happy ending of her own. The "X-Men" star met her now-husband Jerry O'Connell in 2004 and got engaged soon after Romijn's divorce was final. They tied the knot in 2007 and wasted no time in welcoming children of their own. Their twin daughters, Dolly Rebecca Rose and Charlie Tamara Tulip, were born in 2009. Romijn confirmed that the couple was still going strong in a celebratory anniversary post in 2022. "Still smiling after all these years," she wrote on her Instagram.