Stamos, now 60, began dating Romijn, now 50, in 1994 and they got engaged on Christmas Eve three years later. The twosome tied the knot in September 1998, but tension was brewing beneath the surface of their relationship.
“As I’m lifting Rebecca up, I’m losing myself,” Stamos writes in his memoir, out now, claiming there were “toxic friends” in Romijn’s circle who had a strong influence. “She makes it clear that I’m the TV guy and she’s the newly minted star. … Somewhere deep inside, I start to believe it.”
Stamos recalls experiencing “ups and downs” throughout his marriage. “But through all that, there’s zero talk about having kids and starting a family,” he writes. “This was always our plan. Our dream. It feels as though she doesn’t share that dream with me anymore.”
Romijn was too “busy with her career and new friends” to notice that Stamos was “slipping away” — and he almost didn’t realize it himself. “We’re trying new things and growing, but not together,” he recalls, confessing it felt “harder to make time for each other, slow down, disconnect from the chaos of the world, and make eye contact again.”
Stamos remembers trying to convince himself that their issues were simply part of a “phase” and that they would soon “get back on track,” but they were never able to find their footing. Stamos hints at “something cruel and calculating” infiltrating their once “pleasant” relationship.
“She smiles at me a little less, doesn’t look me in the eyes over dinner, takes phone calls in the other room. … 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,” he writes. “There’s nothing more to say. There’s a point of no return, and what felt like a phase is now her phasing me out for good.”
The couple “secretly” separated in March 2003, going public with their split one year later. Stamos officially filed for divorce in August 2004, and the proceedings were finalized in March 2005. (A rep for the pair previously denied cheating was the reason for their breakup.)
In his book, Stamos recalls feeling conflicted about calling it quits despite recognizing that it was “the right call” in the end. “In the darkest hour, the schmuck who proposed, the clown who’d do anything to make her laugh, and the husband planning for the future all sit up torturing me with ‘what-ifs,'” he writes. “The guy who promised her and himself ‘forever,’ just like in the Beach Boys song, now sees that forever might not last the night.”
Both Stamos and Romijn have since found love again. The Full House alum married Caitlin McHugh in 2018, welcoming son Billy that same year. Romijn, meanwhile, exchanged vows with Jerry O’Connell in 2007 and welcomed twins Dolly and Charlie in 2008.
Despite their continued career successes, Romijn and Stamos didn’t cross paths after their divorce — until last year. Romijn detailed the run-in to O’Connell, 49, on an episode of The Talk.
“I finally saw him just a few weeks ago [for] the first time since we split up,” she said in May 2022. “I had the girls in the car. We were sitting in after-school traffic at a strip mall and I saw him: There he was, walking right in front of the car, cap pulled down, sunglasses on.”
When O’Connell asked why she didn’t say hello, Romijn confessed she wasn’t happy with the way her hair looked. “I certainly wouldn’t want you there [either],” she told her husband. “That would be his worst nightmare.”
O’Connell, however, has asserted that he would be totally cool with bumping into Stamos. “I am on the lookout,” he teased on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen in October 2021. “It would be super friendly if we did [see each other]. … I probably won’t run into him because I shop at sort of discount supermarkets in our area and there are some higher-end supermarkets that I’m sure [he goes to].”
If You Would Have Told Me: A Memoir is available now.