In a new interview, Jane Seymour is opening about one constant theme that has prevailed throughout her life: divorce. Talking to People, Seymour called divorce "painful," "depressing" and "anger-making."
The 69-year-old actor has been married four times over the years. Her first marriage was to theater director and son of actor Richard Attenborough, Michael Attenborough, whom she was married to from 1971 to 1973. Four years later in 1977, she married Geoffrey Planer. Their union only lasted one year.
In 1981, Seymour married David Flynn, a business manager. The couple had two children together: a son named Sean, now 35, and a daughter, Katherine, now 39.
On what the "Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman" star learned most from going through divorce so many times "is to let go. To try to find a way to communicate and keep what was good in the relationship."
"Especially when co-parenting," she continued. "And I tried to look at my side of things: 'What could I have done differently?' But it's hard when you're a mother and you work. It means sometimes you're gone. And sometimes you may be in a relationship where they would rather that you were there 24/7 and never worked."
"That hasn't actually been the case with me, but that's the only thing I can look at that I did really wrong — I went to work," Seymour explained, adding, "But I was providing for the whole family, so it's very hard."
Her marriage to Flynn ended in 1992. But one year later, she fell in love again, this time with actor and filmmaker James Keach. The couple share twins John Stacy and Kristopher Steven, who are now 25. But while Keach and her were together for quite some time, they divorced in 2015.
"I've always done the best I could; I took my kids all over the world whenever I was working, I had them on-set with me," she said. "And I somehow managed to juggle it. I was married to men who had different issues, and I never ended the marriages — they did, by finding other people!"
Last year, Seymour opened up to The Daily Mail about what ended her last marriage: an affair.
"Choices were made that I couldn’t live with," the "Sandy Wexler" star said. "I thought we were going to be married for ever, but James made a choice that I wasn’t privy to. He found someone else. I felt horrible, devastated."
"I don’t do well with betrayal," she added. "If someone says: 'Things aren’t good, let’s separate,' it would be different. But I was never privy to that conversation. By the time I found out — entirely by accident — it had been going on for some time, so that was that. It was someone I knew, so that was very frightening."
But today, Seymour seems to be much more accepting of the trials and tribulations she has endured, finding a silver-lining her mother taught her "that everyone in life faces challenges."
"The sooner you can accept it, the better for you and others," she explains. "And then when you look out from yourself and look around to see what other people are suffering or challenged by, you realize what you have is minimal compared to other people's challenges."
"And so for me, I was really brought up to see what I could do for others, because that would give me a sense of purpose. When I had a sense of purpose, I was able then to deal with what I had to deal with."