Jane Fonda Shares The One Oddly Relatable Way She Knew Each Of Her Three Marriages Was About To End

​There are always signs, but for Fonda, it was one very telling and hilarious fantasy that sealed the deal each time.

how Jane Fonda knew her marriages were over as told to Heather McMahan on her "Absolutely Not" podcast @dearmedia / TikTok

When a relationship ends, there are always signs. Sometimes you don't pick up on them until after the fact, but they're always there. 

For Hollywood icon Jane Fonda, it was an unexpected and darkly hilarious moment that signaled the end of three of her marriages, and tons of women are relating to it. 

Jane Fonda knew her marriages were over all three times in the most hilariously relatable way possible.

Well, yeah, that'd be a pretty good indicator, wouldn't it?! 


The 85-year-old actor and activist has three husbands under her belt. She was hitched to French filmmaker Roger Vadim from 1965-1973, activist and politician Tom Hayden from 1973-1990, and media mogul Ted Turner from 1991-2001. 

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Fonda had been candid about how fraught all three partnerships were, from Vadim's drinking problem to Hayden's infidelity

She's also opened up about how issues stemming from her relationship with her father, fellow Hollywood legend Henry Fonda, negatively impacted her marriages. Including Turner, to whom she thought she'd be married forever. 

But ultimately it was something far simpler that clued her in that each of her three marriages were heading for the rocks. 



During a recent interview with podcaster Heather McMahan for her "Absolutely Not" podcast, Fonda put it straight, as only she could.


"I always know when a marriage is going to end sooner or later because I'm starting to fantasize about his funeral," she said, going on to quip of the laughter that erupted in the background, "They're laughing but it's absolutely true!"

Fonda's teasing bit of insight certainly resonated with other women. "This is 100% real," a woman who broke things off with her beau a month ago said. Another woman wrote that similar thoughts were how she knew her relationship was in a bad way, adding, "I started thinking it would be easier if he wasn’t around and then I was like oh, that’s not good!"

One divorcée quipped, "Still do [think about his death]. Even after the divorce," and one commenter shared how hilariously detailed her thoughts about her ex's funeral are: "I’m absolutely tailgating my first husband's funeral," she wrote. (What sort of tailgating food do you bring to that, exactly?)


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But death fantasies aside, Fonda also revealed how she maintained friendships with her exes, including Turner. 

Fonda's first two husbands passed away, Roger Vadim in 2001 and Tom Hayden in 2016. But Ted Turner is still very much alive at 85, and despite the end of their marriage in 2001, Fonda has been able to maintain a friendship with him. How?

"Well, in the beginning I wanted to kill him, as one does," Fonda conceded of her breakup with Turner. But to move forward, she told McMahan she did what she had done with Vadim and Hayden, too: She wrote him a nasty letter but never sent it. 



"I write the letter that I want to really write him, which I still have," she said. "Don't send it. But you write it and that helps." Between this and therapy, Fonda said "I got through the anger stage, and then I remembered why I fell in love with him." 


Fonda said her close relationships with some of Turner's five children also encouraged her to find a way past her anger, and now their post-marriage life has evolved into a genuinely close friendship. "Ted and I communicate all the time," she told McMahan, and I went fishing with him in June."

Fonda's open to the idea of loving again, but with one caveat.

"I'm ashamed to say this, but if I were to take a lover," Fonda told McMahan, "he'd have to be 20." Cougar alert! But why 20? "Because I don't like old skin!" Perfectly said, as only Fonda could. 



So will we ever get to see all those letters to her exes? Don't expect a tell-all memoir any time soon. Fonda said she wants the good memories and relationships to be what endures, not the heartbreak. 


"When I know I'm about to go, I'm going to burn them all," she told McMahan. A fitting move from a woman who always finds her way back to the positive, no matter what challenges she's faced. 

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice, and human interest topics.