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Bruce Willis and Demi Moore's path to chilled co-parenting paved with whirlwind romance, infidelity and divorce

The world was a little shocked to see Willis self-isolating with ex-wife Demi Moore and their daughters, but the seemingly chilled-out family dynamics did not happen overnight
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Earlier this week, people were shocked to learn that Bruce Willis had chosen to self-isolate with his ex-wife Demi Moore and their daughters instead of staying at home with his current wife, Emma, and the two daughters he shares with her. The seemingly chilled-out family dynamics, however, did not happen overnight.

In the initial stages of their lives, Willis and Moore's relationship was rushed, ill-planned and chaotic. Just four months after meeting at a film premiere in 1987, the pair decided to get married. Not long after, Moore became pregnant and all hell broke loose.

While the 'Striptease' actress was successful in overcoming her alcohol and drug addictions, Willis allegedly turned "controlling" as his career took off. In her 2019 autobiography, 'Inside Out', Moore wrote that Willis wanted to be free "to do whatever the f*** he wanted to do" while wanting her to quit her career to be a stay-at-home mother to their daughters Rumer, 31, Tallulah, 26, and Scout, 28, Mirror reported.

What made it worse was the fact that the 'Die Hard' actor became increasingly unsure of whether he still wanted to stay married. When Moore said during one of their many marital rows, "This is never going to work if you're off shooting a film," Willis allegedly replied, "I don't know if I want to be married."

Willis could not make up his mind whether he wanted out of the relationship and the couple began to spend less and less time together. The trouble in paradise was strengthened by the fact that Willis struggled with the concept of monogamy. 

In a 1996 interview with Playboy magazine, he described men as "donkeys wanting to f*** everything." 

Actors Demi Moore and Bruce Willis with their daughters Rumer (R) and Scout arrive at the premiere of the film "Bandits" October 4, 2001 in Westwood, CA. (Getty Images)

“No woman is going to satisfy a man’s natural impulse to procreate, procreate, procreate. The impulse doesn’t go away because you have three or ten or a hundred kids," he said. "If you’re heterosexual and you are honest, you must admit that the first thing that comes to mind when you look at a woman is, 'Hey, I’d like to f*** her'. It’s programmed in our genetic map. You’re not thinking, Oh, there’s a good childbearer. I could have a good brood of apes with her. It’s unconscious. All you’re thinking is, Mmmm, yes. I’ll take you and you…"

Moore was apparently aware of Willis' inherent infidelity as she wrote in her biography that she always pegged him to be a better father than he was a husband. "I think both of us from the outset were more passionate about having kids than we were about being married," she wrote.

After "leading independent lives for some time" the pair finally decided to call it quits in 1998. "They have had problems for at least two years," a producer who had worked with the couple told the People magazine at the time.

Soon after, Willis was romantically linked to a bunch of women, many of whom were much younger than him. For example, in 2005, Willis was seen "flirting and giggling" with Lindsay Lohan, who was just 19 at the time, at a party in Beverly Hills.

Nevertheless, the exes did work through their differences as time went and developed a friendship that currently allows them to be excellent co-parents to their children. 

"It's a funny thing to say, but I'm very proud of our divorce," Moore wrote in the book. "[The split] wasn't easy at first, but we managed to move the heart of our relationship, the heart of what created our family, into something new that gave the girls a loving, supportive environment with both parents."