Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones

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Michael Douglas has a new perspective on his marriage to Catherine Zeta-Jones.

The 69-year-old actor and the 44-year-old actress, parents to son Dylan, 13, and daughter Carys, 11, separated last year and later reconciled. The two Oscar winners were most recently photographed together at the 2014 AFI Life Achievement Award Gala, honoring Jane Fonda, in Hollywood, California on June 5 (see above).

"A lot of it has to do with age," Douglas told People magazine in an interview posted online on Wednesday, June 18. "When you've accomplished a certain amount in your career, you're not so focused on your ambitions. It makes you appreciate—and hopefully you do that sooner rather than later—the value of your partner."

"Like a lovely orchid, or anything else that's nurtured, marriage prospers and grows, but if it's ignored, it withers," he added.

Douglas, who picked one of the most beautiful but also one of the most difficult-to-maintain flowers to use in his analogy, also said he has become "more prone" to talking to their children about such sensitive issues.

Douglas and Jones, his second wife, wed in 2000. The two have both suffered personal turmoil over the past few years.

Douglas battled and overcame tongue cancer, which he initially said was throat cancer, while Jones underwent treatment for bipolar II disorder. It was reported in August 2013 that they had separated, although no divorce papers were filed. A rep for the couple told E! News at the time that the two were "taking some time apart to evaluate and work on their marriage."

The following month, Douglas thanked his wife while accepting his Emmy for his role as Liberace in the HBO film Behind the Candelabra. In December, the two were photographed leaving their New York City apartment. Both wore their wedding rings. 

In January, Douglas and Zeta-Jones went on a ski trip in Canada with their kids. The family also attended the 2014 Super Bowl together. This past April, Douglas and Zeta-Jones walked a red carpet together for the first time since their split (see below).

"Sometimes people take a little bit of a break, but it doesn't necessarily mean that's the end," Douglas had said on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno last October.

Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Douglas

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

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