Valerie Bertinelli and ex-husband Tom Vitale

Valerie Bertinelli Talks Childhood Trauma Impact On Marriage To Tom Vitale

Home / Entertainment / Valerie Bertinelli Talks Childhood Trauma Impact On Marriage To Tom Vitale

By Afouda Bamidele on April 15, 2024 at 5:45 PM EDT

Valerie Bertinelli is finding joy along the way to her healing. 

The actress expressed her gratitude at finally finding herself after realizing how her childhood trauma influenced her romantic relationships, especially her marriage to her ex-husband, Tom Vitale.

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Valerie Bertinelli Has Absolved Her Former Husband Of Ruining Their Marriage

Valerie Bertinelli attends the 32nd Annual Elton John Oscar Party

Monday's episode of "The Drew Barrymore Show" came with an intense conversation featuring Bertinelli and Barrymore bonding over being thrust into the limelight at a young age. 

Opening up about becoming an acting star at age 15, Bertinelli said, "The business can really mess with a child's head. I'm going back to the childhood stuff and working on that."

As it turned out, her childhood trauma affected many things in her life, including her marriage. On that, she admitted that she could not blame her ex-husband "for a toxic, horrible marriage."

"It's not his fault. What led me to that? Oh, childhood! That's the stuff I got to start working on," she stated.

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The 63-year-old also explained that she discovered "that when my gratitude is really placed in even the challenging, hard times, that's when the growth really happens."

Her candid confession comes months after she seemingly dubbed Vitale a "narcissist."

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Bertinelli's Decision To Change Her Life Began With Her Cooking Again

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Somewhere else in the conversation, Bertinelli disclosed that "22 was probably the worst year" of her life. 

Explaining how she reached the conclusion, the ex "Hot in Cleveland" star shared that she "hit rock bottom" and had zero interest in participating in anything at that age. 

The cookbook author continued, "I thought, 'I have to get myself out of this.' Because I'm finally in a house where it doesn't feel like I'm walking on eggshells anymore, I can actually live my life now."

Regarding how she intended to live her life, Bertinelli stated that she opted to become "intentional" and find her "joy again" by returning to the kitchen.

After noting that she went back to "cooking and coming up with these recipes," the "Valerie's Home Cooking" host added:

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"It all starts with this: until I was ready to actually feel my emotions and walk all the way through them and not numb them with food and alcohol, I wasn't going to change my life. That's how I started changing my life."

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Bertinelli Is An Inspiration To Social Media Users

Since Barrymore shared a snippet of Bertinelli's life-altering move on Instagram, viewers got a chance to listen and weigh in via the comment section.

One social media user wrote, "Valerie always has a genuine aura that holds my attention. She's like the best friend we all need. I'm so glad she's living the happy life she so deserves."

Another person declared, "It's inspirational that Valerie Bertinelli is so honest and vulnerable in sharing her story to help other people get through their pain."

"I really love this woman so damn much. I would be so honored to meet Queen Valerie Bertinelli. She is such an icon!!!" a third Instagram user expressed, as a fourth chimed in:

"She inspires me constantly! Thanks for having her on today. Her words touched and encouraged me."

Valerie Bertinelli: 'What Matters Is Your Heart'

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The Delaware native previously inspired fans through a short interaction with a commenter in September 2023. As reported by The Blast, the moment came when she uploaded a throwback image of herself posing for Seventeen Magazine on Instagram.

For the shoot, the then-17-year-old paired a white turtleneck long-sleeve top with a pair of blue jeans and a floral scarf.

Shortly after posting the picture, one fan asked Bertinelli, "If you could go back and tell that young lady anything…what would it be???"

In response, she stated, "You're not fat. It doesn't matter what size you are. What really matters is the size of your heart."

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The exchange promptly birthed a slew of other responses, including this one that read, "Your heart & compassion define you no matter what you weigh. We all know that, so please try not to feel anything but love because you're a masterpiece just the way you are."

Bertinelli Unexpectedly Found Love Again

Valerie Bertinelli at the 2019 Daytime Emmy Awards - Pasadena

Last month, The Blast revealed that Bertinelli had found herself a new man a year after her divorce from Vitale was finalized. Spilling on the romance, she gushed:

"I've met someone. And I'm incredibly grateful for him. It's unlike any relationship that I've ever experienced with a man. I don't want to say too much, but I feel incredibly blessed and lucky to have met him because I wasn't expecting it!"

Claiming that she previously had no plans of dating again, Bertinelli added: 

"He was not on my radar. I was going to die with my six cats and my dog and be incredibly happy doing it. So this came out of left field, and I'm grateful it did. He's very special."

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