- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Jane Fonda opened up about being married three times in her life.
She also revealed why she could never be in another intimate relationship.
“It wasn’t until I was finally single at 62 that I began to feel whole, feel that I was where I was supposed to be.”
It might surprise you, but Jane Fonda sees her thrice married life as somewhat of an accomplishment—not because she wanted to experience three divorces, but because she at least didn’t catch up to her father.
“My dad was married five times,” the actress, 83, recently told Harper’s Bazaar in an “Explains it All” video. “So I stopped at three, realizing that I just wasn’t dealt a hand that made me good at relationships.”
Fonda first divorced director Roger Vadim in 1973, then activist Tom Hayden in 1990, and finally, CNN founder Ted Turner in 2001. And the recurring theme in all three marriages, she told Bazaar, was her tendency to fade into a passive role. “I would tend to mold myself according to what my then-husband wanted me to be,” she explained. “But there was always a center to myself that they never touched.”
She attributes losing herself in those relationships to a natural chameleonic quality, which she explained in Bazaar’s print interview. “Part of the reason I get into a relationship with a man is because I feel that he can take me down a new path,” she said. “I’m attracted to people who can teach me things and whose lives are different from mine, and so I give myself over to that.”
But as she got older, she realized that she deliberately chose men who didn’t require her vulnerability or intimacy—mostly because it scared her.
“What I’ve had to really think about is that I’m not really capable [of intimacy]. It’s not them. It’s me,” she said. “If a guy had come along and said, ‘Come on, Fonda, show up,’ I would have run away scared. I was attracted to men who never would have done that to me because they couldn’t necessarily show up themselves.”
It wasn’t until the Grace and Frankie star approached her 60th birthday that she realized a change needed to be made. At the time, she was married to Turner, and after spending the day rounding up bison on his ranch with friends, it dawned on her: “Next year, I’m gonna be 60... that’s the beginning of the end,” she recalled. “I did not know how I wanted to live out the last act of my life.”
That mini epiphany launched Fonda into a deep-dive reflection on her own life. To figure out where she needed to go, she had to learn where she’d been. “I realized that I’m not afraid of dying but I’m afraid of having regrets,” she explained. “It wasn’t until I was finally single at 62 that I began to feel whole, feel that I was where I was supposed to be.”
Ever since then, she’s adamantly lived with purpose and done only what she feels she was put on Earth to do, which is namely activism with Fire Drill Fridays and her efforts toward a Green New Deal. “The more you can be intentional about how you’re living, the better,” she said. “You can’t make your life longer, but you can make it deeper ... by being intentional.”
Go here to join Prevention Premium (our best value, all-access plan), subscribe to the magazine, or get digital-only access.
You Might Also Like