Reese Witherspoon shared how she gained strength after an abusive relationship

Just because she’s maintained a successful career since childhood doesn’t mean that Reese Witherspoon hasn’t experienced her fair share of hurdles. The actress opened up in an interview with her Wrinkle in Time costar Oprah Winfrey for O, the Oprah Magazine, sayingthat the decision to leave an abusive relationship helped her better fulfill her destiny.

Aside from her current husband, Jim Toth, Witherspoon was most notably married to Ryan Phillippe, with whom she has two children. She’s also been linked to actors like Chris O’Donnell, Stephen Dorff, and Mark Wahlberg, although some of those were only rumored at the time.

After her official split with Phillippe, she dated Jake Gyllenhaal for two years. When they called it quits, she started a relationship with Toth, a talent agent. The two married in 2011 and have a son together.

Without naming names, Witherspoon revealed that she was young at the time, and that her partner was both verbally and psychologically abusive.

"I drew a line in the sand, and it got crossed, and my brain just switched. I couldn't go any further. I was really young, and it was profound," she told Winfrey.

She said that leaving the relationship changed the course of her life.

"It changed who I was on a cellular level, the fact that I stood up for myself," she said. "It's part of the reason I can stand up and say, 'Yes, I'm ambitious.' Because someone tried to take that from me."

Witherspoon has been a key supporter of the Time’s Up movement, and she’s been vocal about how treatment of women in the industry needs to change.

"There are a lot of really good men in the world, but I do think it's incumbent on women in leadership to rewrite the rules," she continued in the interview. "We have to get together as groups of women, which is what I've been doing with a lot of actresses. It's been incredibly illuminating."

The new issue of O, the Oprah Magazine will be out on newsstands February 13th, and you can catch A Wrinkle In Time in theaters on March 9th.