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Learn from the Divorce That Shaped a LifeZach Braff’s parents decided to file for divorce when he was still a young boy. As it turns out, the star of Scrubs and Garden State continues to deal with the fallout from that single event. In a recent Reddit AMA, while addressing the “pivotal moment” for him that rivaled that of his character in Garden State, he had this to say:

“My parents divorce at a young age. I was shocked by it and it truly caused life-long pain that I’ll always deal with.”


According to Huffington Post, Braff’s parents filed divorce papers around the time he was in junior high school. In March of this year, he wrote an essay for the New York Times describing that period of his life and how it led him to pursue acting:

“I was a melancholic child. Worried, anxious. I never felt as if I belonged anywhere, as if I were a foreign exchange student living among the other kids, who seemed predestined to love sports. Add to that alienation the fact that my parents were going through a divorce, and I was truly treading water. But in that junior high school auditorium, I felt like I’d discovered a secret I didn’t even know was being whispered. There was a place where I might belong: It was the Theater, and I was sold.”

Two Lessons

Firstly, no one is immune from the pain of divorce. Whether you’re filing divorce forms against your spouse or you’re the child caught in the middle, divorce can wreck lives. It certainly changes the trajectory of all involved parties for the years to come. Even a wealthy and successful actor-writer-director like Braff can wear the scars.

Secondly, and this is the good news, experiencing a divorce firsthand can lead to healthy awakenings in the lives of everyone involved. For Braff, it helped him find his calling. For others, it helps them determine what they want or need in a relationship, and it produces more well-adjusted relationships down the road.

If you are concerned about the effect that divorce may have on you or your kids, take heart in knowing that there is an upside as long as you stay the course. Best of luck to you!

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