Jamie McCarthy/WireImage
January 27, 2016 03:00 PM

Michael Douglas is getting candid about his relationship with his incarcerated oldest son, and revealing what it took to save his marriage.

“It took work on both our parts,” the actor, 71, says of his marriage to Catherine Zeta-Jones in an interview for AARP’s February/March issue.

The couple, who married in 2000, have been going strong since briefly separating in 2013 amid stress resulting from Douglas’ 2010 battle with cancer and Zeta-Jones’s struggles with bipolar II disorder.

“I don’t think there’s much chance of fixing a relationship if one of you is already out the door,” Douglas said of their reconciliation. Reflecting on their marriage’s improvement, Zeta-Jones told the magazine, “I think we’re both mellower and wiser. That comes naturally with time. We count our blessings.”

Michael Douglas AARP Febuary/March Cover

While Douglas has enjoyed being a hands-on parent to his two youngest children, Carys Zeta Douglas and Dylan Michael Douglas, he tells AARP he regrets not being more present in the life of his oldest child from his previous marriage, Cameron.

“When you’re busy all the time, you don’t think about a whole lot of things other than the realities that are in front of you,” he admits.

Cameron, 37, has been incarcerated since 2010 on drug charges, and has had his sentence extended several times since then for drug-related infractions. He will remain in prison until early 2018.

“I see him twice a month now because he’s incarcerated closer to our home,” says Douglas, who will be the Career Achievement honoree at the AARP Movies for Grownups awards on February 8. “He’s a drug addict, but he’s done more than his fair share of time for it.”

Until Cameron is released, Douglas plans to continue enjoying time with his youngest children while he’s healthy. “It’s been five years, and I feel really good, but you have a new appreciation,” he says of beating cancer. “I’m more motivated, more responsible. My younger kids could be my grandchildren. I want to be here a while.”

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