Jenna Dewan and Channing Tatum shocked everyone when they announced their split in April of 2018 after more than 10 years together and nearly nine years of marriage, but now the actress and dancer’s life is changing again as she expects her first child with boyfriend Steve Kazee.
The 38-year-old recently opened to PEOPLE about her split and moving forward, saying, “It was a journey of growth and change.”
“Ultimately now I can honestly say that I’m living in a very joyful new place in my life, and I’m happy about it,” she added.
“I always say no one gets married to hopefully get divorced,” she said of deciding to end her nearly nine-year marriage to Channing Tatum, with whom she shares 6-year-old daughter Everly.
“People grow and they change and sometimes they don’t grow and change together. So it wasn’t a overnight thing that happened,” she continued. “There was no one event. I think it was just a slow realization that we wanted different things.”
“I was just gutted. It was so difficult for me,” she shared. “It was the loss of an idealistic future for myself and my life. What does that now look like for me? Where do I begin? I met him when I was 24, I didn’t know life without Chan.”
Ultimately, Dewan knew it wasn’t what she expected but also knew she had to move forward with support from friends and family. “You would never expect your life to take a turn the way it does. But embracing it and starting fresh and figuring out what you want in life and what means a lot to you and what’s meaningful, what is going to make you happy. I’m grateful that I now am at a place where I understand myself and what I want and I’m happy about this new chapter. I’m in a place of joy.”
Dewan and Tatum have continued a very respectful and strong friendship as they co-parent their daughter, and it is still something they are all getting used to, especially as Dewan starts a family with Kazee and Tatum has moved on with singer Jessie J. “We’re all aware that it’s a new normal, we’re all getting used to it,” she said. “You can still have a relationship and just because the forms change as to who you are to each other, it doesn’t take away from the love that we had or that we shared all those years.”
Dewan’s book, Gracefully You: How to Live Your Best Life Every Day, hits bookshelves on Oct. 22.