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Susan Sarandon reveals why she 'never wanted to get married the first time'

The Oscar-winning actor says she only got hitched to avoid being kicked out of school.
/ Source: TODAY

Given her druthers, Susan Sarandon never would have gotten married.

And as the actor, 74, explains in the latest edition of the "Divorced, Not Dead" podcast, back in 1967 when she said "I do" for the first and only time, to fellow actor Chris Sarandon, it was just the expected thing for two students at the Catholic University of America.

Image: Today - Season 66
Susan Sarandon visiting TODAY in 2017.Nathan Congleton / NBC

"I was in college at 17," the Oscar winner told host Caroline Stanbury. "We kind of eventually dated. Eventually, my first sexual experience. I was so grateful. I decided to get married, and only because we would've gotten kicked out of school. So, we agreed that we would decide every year whether or not to renew."

After seven years married, she says "we decided to mutually move on."

She added, "(I) never wanted to get married the first time."

Premiere Party for film "White Nights"
Susan Sarandon and Chris Sarandon in 1985.Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

The Sarandons were together from 1967 to 1979. her maiden name is Tomalin, but she kept "Sarandon" post-divorce, and they had no children together.

Sarandon went on to have a number of relationships with famous names, including Sean Penn and David Bowie, but ever since her divorce she's only ever had long-term partnerships, and no more marriages. She was with director Franco Amurri from 1984 to 1988, and they had daughter Eva Amurri.

In the late 1980s, she met actor Tim Robbins while filming "Bull Durham." The two clicked despite their age difference (he's 12 years Sarandon's junior) and together they had Jack (now 31) and Miles (now 28).

But while Eva "adored" Robbins and he thought of Eva as "a bonus daughter," once they had sons together problems cropped up.

"He was very jealous, really jealous of the boys," Sarandon said. "Part of it was because he didn't have a close relationship with his mom. He saw (the closeness between Sarandon and their sons and) that drove him crazy. He was jealous. Definitely."

Robbins and Sarandon split in 2009; she was with Ping-Pong entrepreneur Jonathan Bricklin from 2010 to 2015.

Still, Sarandon says she understands why people do get hitched. "After a while in a relationship, if you get a bunch of kids and a bunch of real estate, and you've been together for 27 (years), you do (get married)," she said. "I mean, it's hard not to take each other for granted.... I don't know it just for me, I, I wasn't interested in it. I don't know why my parents were married."

"War of the Worlds" New York City Premiere - Outside Arrivals
From l.: Eva Amurri, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Jack Robbins, Miles Robbins in 2005.Robin Platzer / FilmMagic

To Sarandon, it's all about remaining independent. "Maybe it was a fear of losing your identity," she said. "When you become a couple (that's) so easy to have happen. Maybe it was partly that."

And it's a message she's made sure to pass on to her children. "One thing I did always stress with my daughter was to have your own income," she said.

These days, she's been weathering the pandemic and quarantine like most everyone else, and learned a few things about connection and self-sufficiency.

"This has been the first time I've been on my own," she said. "This has been the first time I haven't been getting up with an agenda almost every single day of what has to be done. .... This has been a real interesting period for me.

"To not have that structure, to not have somebody that gets another vote about everything in my life, because that's the way that I've been from the time I was tiny ... I'm kind of getting off on being by myself and, um, open," she added. "I'm pretty open to the idea of, of being with someone, but it certainly would take something extraordinary to share my medicine cabinet at this point."