Pete Wentz Opens Up About 2011 Ashlee Simpson Split, Thought They’d Be Together “Forever”

Pete Wentz and Ashlee Simpson
Pete Wentz candidly opened up about his 2011 divorce from Ashlee Simpson in a new interview with Howard Stern  Jeff Schear/Getty Images

Wild and young. It's been three years since Pete Wentz and Ashlee Simpson pulled the plug on their marriage, but the memory of what really went wrong in their relationship is still fresh for the Fall Out Boy rocker. In a candid interview with Howard Stern earlier this week, Wentz opened up about the messy split and how the now-amicable exes are co-parenting their 6-year-old son Bronx.

According to Wentz, his marriage with Simpson, now 30, began to go downhill when his band went on hiatus in 2010. "At 31, we'd had all these great years as a band, and then we took time off, and I basically became Mr. Mom," he said on Tuesday, Jan. 20. "I had the beard, the flannel shirt. I didn't know what my identity was. That factored in. When your identity is what you do, it's hard when you stop doing it."

"It was the first time where I was like, 'Well, no one's really taking my picture. I'm just basically hanging out with my kid all day. Who cares?' I think when you stop caring about your personal appearance, your personal hygiene, it makes you even more depressed, but it makes you do it more," Wentz, 35, explained. "It's like a vicious cycle."

Wentz's troubles continued when he begrudgingly hosted a Jingle Ball event around the same time. Upset about not performing, he drank a lot of beer. "That night I banged my head and I ended up needing to get stitches," he recalled. "All this stuff that was not like myself at all was part of this cycle of being bummed out."

Pete Wentz and Meagan
Meagan Camper and Pete Wentz attend the Barnstable Brown Kentucky Derby Eve Gala in 2014. Vivien Killilea/Getty Images

In addition to his spiral, Wentz also blamed the couple's young age as a factor in the split. He and Jessica Simpson's younger sister married in May 2008 at 29 and 24, respectively.

"I think there's an important thing where you know how to fight, because you can fight with somebody and it's not the end of everything," he told Stern. "But if you don't know how to have those arguments, then they become nuclear. And we were doing this all in the public eye, which doesn't help." Listen to Wentz’s revealing interview here.

Wentz thought the marriage was going to be "forever," but he doesn't appear to hold any grudges. In the moment, however, he was angry about the timing of it all.

"Don't you feel betrayed when your wife breaks up with you at your low point?" Stern asked.

Wentz replied: "I would be an idiot to think that I didn't contribute to the unraveling of it. Of course, at first, I'm like, 'This sucks! You bailed on me!'" he said. "But you get perspective. We have a kid together. Our kid is awesome. He's great."

Evan Ross and Ashlee Simpson
Ashlee Simpson and Evan Ross attend the Brian Bowen Smith WILDLIFE show in 2014. Jason Merritt/Getty Images for De Re Gallery

The pair co-parent their little guy, with Wentz sometimes taking Bronx on the road while touring. "We've actually figured out how to parent that way in a really good, healthy way," Wentz noted. "And we can be friends."

Wentz and Simpson have moved on since their breakup, too, with Wentz welcoming son Saint Lazslo in August 2014 with girlfriend Meagan Camper. As whether he will walk down the aisle again?

"…When you're really committed to somebody, you know that you're going to be with them, whether a ring changes that or not," Wentz said. "I think it's important to the kids. I do still believe in marriage. My parents are married. My sister is married."

Simpson, for her part, has already remarried. She and Diana Ross' son Evan Ross, 26, tied the knot back in August. Us confirmed last month that the couple are expecting their first child together.

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