Jason Ritter Gets Emotional Speaking About His Alcoholism Before Marrying Melanie Lynskey

"I knew she was incredible. It was working on myself enough to feel like maybe I can be the one for her, too," Ritter said

Jason Ritter became emotional talking about his relationship with alcohol when he first started dating his now-wife Melanie Lynskey.

The Emmy nominee opened up about his experience with alcoholism early on in his relationship with the Yellowjackets actress during Wednesday's episode of The Drew Barrymore Show.

When asked by host Drew Barrymore, "What was your moment when you knew [Lynskey was the one]," Ritter responded: "I knew how incredible Melanie was early on."

Ritter, 43, continued, "It's not as cute of a story as you would like to think. It was messy and interesting and weird. But mixed in the mix, [I was] dealing with some alcoholism issues."

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Melanie Lynskey and Jason Ritter. Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty

"At a point, I knew how amazing she was, and I thought she would be incredible for someone who deserved her, basically," he said, choking up. (Lynskey, 45, quietly uttered "aw" and reached for his hand.)

"And I didn't feel like I was that person. I thought [I was] a little bit too crazy," he shared. "So it was only after like maybe a year into not drinking where I started to go, 'Oh, maybe I can promise some things to someone else. Maybe I can be this person.' It's been like a slow burn."

Melanie Lynskey and Jason Ritter attend the 2023 Film Independent Spirit Awards on March 04, 2023 in Santa Monica, California.
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Ritter continued, "I knew she was incredible. It was working on myself enough to feel like maybe I can be the one for her, too."

Wiping her tears away, Lynskey said of her husband, "He did so much work on himself. I'm so proud of him."

Responding to the shock on Barrymore's face, the couple jokingly apologized as Lynskey quipped, "It's gonna get more fun."

However, Barrymore said, "This is the fun. This really is."

She added, "I haven't had a drink — and I'm not sober, I don't work a program — but alcohol was my poison. And I haven't had a drink in almost four years." (Earlier this month, Barrymore opened up about turning to alcohol after her 2016 divorce from Will Kopelman in an interview with The Los Angeles Times.)

On her show, Barrymore told Lynskey and Ritter, "The narrative that one creates is that I can't be with someone, and I haven't been in a relationship since I stopped drinking, and I'm really looking forward to, one day, not having that 'bad girl' narrative, the instability, the: 'I'm not someone who's right to not be with someone for their sake.' "

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Following the couple's appearance on the show, Ritter tweeted, "Thank you @DrewBarrymoreTV for having us!! And for the space to talk about things like this! And thank you @melanielynskey for having me in the first place."

Ritter and Lynskey first met while costarring in the dramedy The Big Ask in 2013. They started dating shortly after and went on to star in two more movies together — the 2014 rom-com We'll Never Have Paris and 2016's The Intervention.

The couple welcomed a daughter in 2018 and tied the knot in 2020 in a private ceremony on their front porch. The actors are very supportive of each other's respective careers, and they often praise one another on social media.

Last week, Ritter told E! News that watching Lynskey's successes is "so satisfying, it's so incredible," adding: "She's just been so wonderful for so long and she never really put a lot of thought process into anything else aside from her work. That was always the most important thing to her."

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, please contact the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

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