"My relationship with him fulfills a lot of needs," the actress and 'Celebrity Jeopardy!' winner says, also name-checking her 'Parent Trap' costar Elaine Hendrix as a longtime connection
Even though their romantic relationship wasn't meant to be, Lisa Ann Walter still cherishes her bond with her first husband.
As part of an essay written for Cosmopolitan's "Sex After 60" special digital issue, the Abbott Elementary star opened up about her many trials and tribulations through love — including an unexpected shakeup in her first marriage. But she began by reflecting on where she's currently at with dating.
"Filling in a new partner on the past 60 years can be challenging, and it’s one of the reasons why I love my life as is," wrote Walter. "I have great friends who have been there through it all: two kids, a divorce when I was 36, two more kids, another divorce when I was 42, and getting sober in the aftermath. Even though I've been hurt in love and been single for a minute now, I think I'm finally ready to dip a toe back in for the right guy — with the right kind of accent."
Opening up about how these days, her "most important relationships" are with her best friends, referencing her The Parent Trap costar Elaine Hendrix and her Strong Medicine costar Rosa Blasi. She also spoke highly of her relationship with ex Sam Baum.
"We got divorced because he came out to me," she recalled. "I didn't want to be in a relationship with someone who wanted something that I could not possibly provide."
Walter and Baum divorced in 1999. They are parents to daughter Delia and son Jordan. Despite calling it quits, they are still just as close as ever, with Walter saying, "Sam comes over every weekend, and as he left the other day, he said, 'Bye, my sort-of wife!' I think my kids would love to Parent Trap us and get us back together. We're not sexual and yet my relationship with him fulfills a lot of needs."
However, Walter noted that her second husband was "not quite as nice." The exes share twin sons Simon and Spencer.
"The joke I make is I have two ex-husbands. The first one was a lovely Jewish man, and it turned out we had too much in common — he also liked men. The second one was a cheater, which is not technically a religion, but he practiced it like it was," she explained.
"After two husbands, my body started shifting into a mode where I didn’t need to make a baby and I didn’t need to be in a sexual relationship. My primary relationships became the ones that fed me in all the other ways," she continued. "But there comes a point when you’re busy living your life — I'm raising all these kids, getting my twins to graduate school, taking care of all my friendships, doing all of my charity work, doing my SAG-AFTRA union service — and you go, 'I’m horny.'"
As for what the future holds for her life, the actress is ready to meet someone new.
“It's easy to get to a place where you're like, 'You know what? I don't need a relationship, so I'm not going to get involved at all,'" she said. "I would absolutely be open to meeting someone and forming a meaningful connection with them — I just don't need relationships anymore, which is interesting. I don't need one monetarily and I don't need one socially, but that doesn't mean I don't want one."
Although Walter has yet to find a romantic partner that suits her, she previously spoke to PEOPLE about how Hendrix, 53, is her "life partner."
"She just was the person that I called," Walter said. "Everybody has a person they check in with about everything in their life. And Elaine is it for me."
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Abbott Elementary returns for its third season Feb. 7 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.
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