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Courteney Cox shares shocking revelation about partner Johnny McDaid

The Friends star was blindsided during the couple's first joint therapy session

Faye James
Senior Editor
April 25, 2024
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In a candid revelation on the Minnie Questions podcast, Courteney Cox opened up about a pivotal moment in her relationship with Snow Patrol musician Johnny McDaid.

The Friends star revealed a very unexpected turn of events that occurred during their first therapy session – which was intended to strengthen their bond but ended with Johnny ending their engagement within the first minute.

Courteney, 59, reflected on the profound impact of that moment, expressing gratitude for what was a painful experience at the time. 

"Johnny and I broke up five years ago. So three years in, we broke up and it was really intense. We broke up in therapy," she disclosed. 

Courteney Cox and Johnny McDaid are seen on February 28, 2023 © Hollywood To You/Star Max
Courteney Cox and Johnny McDaid are seen on February 28, 2023

The breakup came out of the blue while they were discussing their relationship boundaries. But despite the initial shock and pain, Courteney now sees Johnny's decision as a brave act that spurred significant personal growth and ultimately transformed their relationship. 

Courteney Cox and Johnny McDaid © Gilbert Flores
Courteney Cox and Johnny McDaid

"I didn't know it was coming. Whether I should have or not, it was just like we went to this therapist to talk about our boundaries - what we could and couldn't accept about each other," she explained.

Rather than harboring resentment, Courteney chose to lean into the experience and work on herself. "And he's an incredible human being, so he wasn't trying to surprise. He was in that much pain in the relationship," she said, acknowledging the mutual discomfort that led to their temporary split.

(L-R) Johnny McDaid and Courteney Cox arrive at the 2019 Hollywood For Science Gala at Private Residence© George Pimentel
(L-R) Johnny McDaid and Courteney Cox arrive at the 2019 Hollywood For Science Gala at Private Residence

The breakup, while initially devastating, became a catalyst for Courteney to delve deep into her own psyche and behaviors, guided by the same therapist who was present at their breakup.

 "I learned how to reclaim my voice, boundaries, what were my motives in life - like what was my part in this. I'm so thankful for that break-up because a, when we got back together it was a different relationship, but also because it really taught me how I operated in the world - what were the things from my childhood that I needed," she shared passionately.

The journey through therapy helped her understand her needs and the ways in which her past influenced her relationships. 

"Whether it was to be adored by men. Things that I didn't know how to let go to be in a relationship. To not take things personally. My boundaries, I just went into myself and I had a great therapist," Courteney added, emphasizing the transformative power of facing one's issues head-on.

The personal work she did post-breakup not only healed old wounds but also prepared her for a healthier relationship dynamic upon reconciling with Johnny. 

Johnny McDaid and Courteney Cox attend The BRIT Awards 2022© JMEnternational
Johnny McDaid and Courteney Cox attend The BRIT Awards 2022

"And I'm really thankful a) nothing will ever hurt me that bad again, and b) most of all, most importantly, I completely changed," she reflected.

The couple's decision to downgrade their status from engaged to dating when they reunited might seem unusual to some, but for Courteney, it marked a new chapter of understanding and maturity within their partnership. 

By 2022, the actress felt open to the possibility of marrying Johnny, signaling a full circle in their complex journey together.

Courteney, who was previously married to David Arquette from 1999 to 2003, with whom she shares a daughter, Coco, highlighted the courage it takes to end a relationship that's filled with passion but may not be right.

 "It takes a lot of bravery to end something that has so much passion, or end anything," she concluded. 

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