Sunday, June 16

‘90210’ star Jennie Garth’s ex-husband says he felt like he was in an ‘arranged marriage’

Peter Facinelli compared his 11-year union with Jennie Garth to an “arranged marriage” this week as the two reflected on their time together. 

“I was in this marriage, and it felt to me like a little bit of an arranged marriage. You know what I mean? Like, I loved you, and we had this beautiful family from the outside, but I just hadn’t developed who I was,” Facinelli, 50, told his ex-wife on the latest episode of her “I Choose Me” iHeartRadio podcast. 

“I didn’t even know how you could love me ’cause I didn’t even know me.”

Facinelli and Garth, 52, met in LA in their early 20s, and she became pregnant within six months with their first child. 

‘90210’ STAR JENNIE GARTH ‘DEFINITELY WOULD NOT’ LET HER KIDS PURSUE ACTING WHEN THEY WERE YOUNG

The “Beverly Hills: 90210” actress asked Facinelli during their discussion about their marriage and co-parenting after divorce.

“You never looked at me and thought, ‘I’m going to be bound to this person for the rest of my life by having children with her?'” she asked.

Facinelli said he didn’t. 

“When we had our first child, I wasn’t thinking about life. I was 21 years old. I was thinking about the moment. We came together very fast, very fierce, very quickly. And then I remember thinking, ‘Let’s move in together and see how it goes’ and it kinda just went. Five years went by, and I thought, ‘Well, we should get married.’

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“It was almost like an arranged marriage in a way. Things seemed well, and we had disagreements here and there, but we were really young.”

Facinelli said at the time he hadn’t “formed my identity of who I was yet, and so I just felt like I’ll be who everybody needs me to be.” And he “fell into” Garth’s world because her life was more established. At the time, she had already solidified herself as a star playing Kelly Taylor on “90210.” 

Over the course of their relationship, he said, he realized he didn’t even know who he was anymore. 

He said they had “beautiful things on the walls” of their home, but none of them were his. After their divorce, he said, he didn’t even know how he wanted to decorate his own home. 

“I had to really find me because I was for so many years living this – being a dad being a husband, being a perfect family,” he explained. 

He said he went from living with his parents to moving to LA. And, within six months of meeting Garth, she was pregnant. 

“I didn’t have a sense of who I was,” he said.

Despite all that, he said, “We lasted a long time for Hollywood years.”

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“We had a good run,” she agreed. 

The couple married in 2001 after five years together, and Facinelli filed for divorce in 2012.

One thing they have always been steadfast about, though, is their three daughters: Luca, 26, Lola, 21, and Fiona, 17. 

“Looking back on it, I felt like we were two parents who cared a lot and, so, whatever friction came up was because we did really care about our children,” the “Twilight” actor said. “We both cared really passionately about our kids, and we wanted the best for them. And sometimes, you know, our ideologies would not mesh, but somehow we worked it out.”

The former couple agreed to share custody after their divorce, and Garth said she knew that “absolutely the best thing for” their children was having them with their father half of the time. 

PETER FACINELLI SHARES CO-PARENTING TIPS WITH EX-WIFE JENNIE GARTH

“It broke my heart to break up a family, you know, and it was one of those decisions that was, like, you never know if you’re making the right decision,” Facinelli said. “But we made the decision, and it was all about trying to find a balance and picking up the kids and knowing they were going to miss you for the week and then dropping them off knowing they were going to miss me for a week. It was hard.” 

The former couple repeatedly discussed how they had very different upbringings. Facinelli joked that they came from “two extremes,” with Garth’s parents being more nurturing and Facinelli’s teaching him self-sufficiency. 

“It’s hard, but it’s like, I think, what we were good at is we loved our kids so much that we were somehow able to, like, get to a point where even if we didn’t agree, they were OK,” he said. 

He added he felt “blessed with our kids that they grew up so wonderful.” 

On his decision to file for divorce, Facinelli said he didn’t want to wake up when he was 60 years old and wonder, “’Did I live this life for all these other people and not know who I was?’ So, I just needed to go sort that.”

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“I wouldn’t be the parent that I am now without, first of all, your partnership through all of the ups and downs of co-parenting, no matter if we wanted to kill each other at times or not. We still were here for each other,” Garth said. “They always had a dad.” 

Garth is now married to actor Dave Abrams, and Facinelli is engaged to actress Lily Anne Harrison, with whom he shares a baby boy. 

Fox News Digital has reached out to reps for Facinelli and Garth for comment.

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