Michael J. Fox's 34-Year Marriage to Tracy Pollan Has Evolved in a Key Way: 'We Assume the Best'

Michael J. Fox's 34-Year Marriage to Tracy Pollan Has Evolved in a Key Way: 'We Assume the Best'

Michael J. Fox's love story with his wife, actress Tracy Pollan, is one for the ages.

Fox, 61, met Pollan, 62, after she was cast in 1985 as his girlfriend on his hit '80s sitcom Family Ties, though it was later that the two became a couple while making the 1988 film Bright Lights, Big City. Now married 34 years, they share four children: son Sam, 33, twin daughters Aquinnah and Schuyler, 27, and youngest daughter Esmé, 21.

The enduring pair have faced his battle with Parkinson's side by side through the last three decades, and one shared maxim at home has been a guiding force: Giving each other the benefit of the doubt: "We assume the best," says Pollan.

Michael J. Fox Rollout
Michael J. Fox Rollout

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RELATED: Michael J. Fox Opens Up About Painful Injuries, Recovery and Kind Acts That Changed His Life

In practice that means even in small moments of friction, they try to place themselves in the other's shoes. Should Fox, for example, be short with a response, "my first assumption is not that he's not being unkind to me. It's that something else was going on," says Pollan. "And he does the same [with] me. It's assuming the best from the person you live with until you are actually presented with the worst. And same with our parenting: It's also how we are with our kids."

"It is all about acceptance," Fox adds.

RELATED: Michael J. Fox Says 'Gratitude Makes Optimism Sustainable' While Living with Parkinson's Disease

Michael J. Fox Rollout
Michael J. Fox Rollout

Joe Pugliese

Fox appears on this week's cover of PEOPLE's Kindness issue, and even through the most difficult times, Pollan calls her husband "one of the most kind people I've ever met." She credits how he was raised, noting that he "almost always looks at the situation and at the people involved and thinks about others before he thinks about himself."

Fox says in the last year, which has held a painful cascade of injuries, including a broken cheek, hand, shoulder and arm, he's also reconsidered on how his health and recovery affects those around him.

"It took me a while to get that it wasn't just about me," says Fox. "If I break my arm, I'm dealing with my broken arm. But if you're the person who lives with and loves and supports the person with the broken arm, you've got to do everything."

Michael J. Fox Rollout
Michael J. Fox Rollout

Joe Pugliese

RELATED: Michael J. Fox on Staying Positive After the Recent Loss of His Mother: 'She'd Never Add Up the Losses'

The Back to the Future alum, who recently shared a sweet mini-reunion with costar Christopher Lloyd and will receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, an honorary Oscar, at next month's Governors Awards, has also reconnected with his famously optimistic outlook. "The last of my injuries are healing up, my arm is feeling good," the star says.

"My best life now is I enjoy my family so much," says Fox. "Tracy and the kids are amazing. I know that sounds boring, it sounds like a fairy tale, but we've been married thirtysomething years, so we've got something figured out."