updated 02/13/2014 AT 9:00 AM ET
•originally published 02/13/2014 AT 10:15 AM ET
Robin Wright, who has found new love with actor Ben Foster, looks back at her relationship with Sean Penn and says they stayed together too long – for the sake of their children.
“Divorce in and of itself, and with children, is devastating. Worse than that. One of the reasons why we got back together and broke up so much was trying to keep the family together. If you’ve got kids, it’s a family, and you try again, and you try again. We did that for a long time.”
They split for good in 2009, and Wright later met Foster during the making of the 2011 film Rampart. They hit it off immediately, and he did something she’d never experienced – he asked her out.
“I’d never, ever been asked out on a date before,” Wright says. “Never. I was frickin’ married my whole life, and even before that I hadn’t been asked out.”
Turns out Wright is trying all sorts of new things with Foster, 33, to whom she got engaged last month. For one thing, she has a small letter “B” tattooed on her ring finger.
“Ben has an ‘R’ tattoo in the same place,” she says with a laugh. “I’ve been so anti-tattoos my whole life. But doing this felt right because we’re not that traditional.”
His proposal was “such a shock,” she adds. “But we felt married anyway. We’ve been together ever since the first date.”
Between her work, her relationship and her kids – daughter Dylan, now 22, and son Hopper, 20 – Wright is constantly on the go. “I have a house here in California and come back every month and a half to see my kids,” she says. “And they come to New York. Ben and I fly to each other. We make it work.”