Mandy Moore Opens Up About Marriage to Ryan Adams: 'I Had No Sense of Self, I Was Imperceptible'

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On Monday, Mandy Moore paid the WTF With Marc Maron podcast a visit and spoke about her ex-husband Ryan Adams, her first time going on the record since the New York Times published a report last week in which seven women, including Moore, accused Adams of sexual misconduct and psychologically abusive behavior.

The pair discuss how Moore met Adams (on tour in Minneapolis) and how their relationship unraveled.

Marc Maron: It must’ve been intimidating, musically.

Mandy Moore: Without getting too into the weeds, he’s an incredibly prolific writer. He’s constantly writing music and poetry.

I think that’s how he stays sane.

...I guess? I think that’s just where he operates. That’s where he feels comfortable, it’s engrained in who he is... It was intimidating but it became the norm. After a while, that sort of faded and it just became, ‘This is my husband and he’s writing another song. It’s not that big of a deal.’

And what were you doing?

I was living my life for him. Yeah.

Co-dependency action? Taking care of—

—Being the mother. That’s an entirely an unhealthy dynamic.

You lose yourself.

Oh, I had no sense of self. I was imperceptible. I was so small in my own world.

Maron then asks if Moore can identify a similar co-dependent dynamic in her parents’ relationship—she says “no” immediately—and continues:

“It made me feel worthy. It made me feel like I had value if I could be there for somebody else and serve their needs because—and not to go down a rabbit hole of therapy but I think it goes back to a feeling of [being] undeserving of what I’ve had in my life. As a young person and finding success, I think there was part of me that was like, ‘Okay, this part of my life I’m okay to not live for myself right now. I’ve had enough of that. He needs me and I know how to do that. This person who is estranged from their family, like, I can show them what it’s like to have a normal life and to celebrate birthdays and holidays and go on vacations.’ It was like, ‘let’s do this together.’ And I thought that’s how it was going to sort of unfold but it didn’t.”

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In retrospect, she describes their marriage as “the perfect cacophony of madness” that made her feel like she was “drowning”:

“My co-dependency fed into his co-dependency and some other issues, underlining issues where it was just the perfect cacophony of madness. I was so not serving myself. I felt like I was drowning. It was untenable and unsustainable and it was so lonely. I was so sad. I was lonely with him. The worst. There’s nothing worse.

I knew this wasn’t the rest of my life. I knew this was the person I wasn’t supposed to be with, I knew I wasn’t the person I was meant to be.”

Listen to the full conversation here.

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Maria Sherman

Senior Writer, Jezebel. Opinions expressed here do not reflect my own.