Brooke Shields Reveals How She and Husband Chris Henchy Keep Their 23-Year Marriage Healthy (Exclusive)

The couple are parents to daughters Rowan, 20 and Grier, 18

<p>Mike Coppola/Getty</p> Brooke Shields and Chris Henchy in 2020

Mike Coppola/Getty

Brooke Shields and Chris Henchy in 2020

For Brooke Shields and her husband Chris Henchy, communication is a key component of marriage.

“I think you have to constantly make sure you discuss things rather than let them fester,” the actress and producer, 58, tells PEOPLE. “And you have to be willing to adapt to the other person growing and changing.”

“Sometimes you don't grow and change at the same rate,” continues Shields, who wed producer Henchy, 60, in 2001. “And that can be really hard because what you initially fell in love with looks different. It doesn't mean it's bad, it just is different.”

“It's like we have to get to know each other as people at this age, whereas we met in our early 30s,” explains the star of the new Netflix movie Mother of the Bride.

“I have to personally keep growing and going to therapy, and getting to know myself in this era of my life so that I can tell him, rather than just expect him to know.”

Related: Brooke Shields Celebrates Husband Chris Henchy’s 60th Birthday: ‘No Idea What We’d Do Without You’

Shields adds that it’s important to speak up. “The things that were cute in the beginning aren't cute now,” she says. “So I'll be like, ‘That doesn't fit with me anymore. Can we find another way of ribbing me? That doesn't feel good anymore. It felt good in my 30s. It doesn't feel good in my late 50s.’ ”

<p>Brooke Shields/Instagram</p> Brooke Shields and Chris Henchy

Brooke Shields/Instagram

Brooke Shields and Chris Henchy

“I think that's where some couples get into trouble because they're not willing to accept growth and change. I think you have to keep at it,” says Shields.

She and Henchy are going through plenty of change at the moment as they prepare to become empty nesters. Their daughter Rowan, 20, is currently in college, and their younger daughter Grier, 18, will be leaving the house in the fall too.

While Shields is looking forward to some relaxing time with her husband, she says she know she’ll be preoccupied.

<p>Brooke Shields/Instagram</p> Brooke Shields and Chris Henchy with daughters Rowan and Grier

Brooke Shields/Instagram

Brooke Shields and Chris Henchy with daughters Rowan and Grier

“You get on vacation and all you do is think about where they are and what they're doing,” she says. “It's like there's really no relief.”

Shields, who was previously wed to tennis star Andre Agassi, met Henchy in 1999 in a meet-cute straight out of a rom-com.

“I had just gotten an American bulldog, Darla, and I brought her to meet friends of mine in the gym on the Warner Bros. lot. While there, the dog wandered off, and Chris brought her back,” she recalled in her 2005 memoir Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression. “He was writing for a show filmed on the lot and loved dogs. We chatted and he made me laugh."

He still does to this day. Shields told PEOPLE in 2023 that her husband helps keep things light.

"He consistently makes me laugh and doesn't take anything too seriously so I don't go down those rabbit holes the way I used to," she said. "He sort of just brings me back out and says, 'We'll figure it out.' So he's good at leveling me."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

<p>Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix</p> Miranda Cosgrove and Brooke Shields in 'Mother of the Bride'

Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix

Miranda Cosgrove and Brooke Shields in 'Mother of the Bride'

When Shields was filming Mother of the Bride last year in Thailand for two months, she says she kept in constant contact with Henchy and their girls via FaceTime.

“I just made it a point to FaceTime every day. Sometimes I'd have to wake up at odd hours to FaceTime them, but I was like, we're not going any length of time without FaceTiming,” she says. “Yeah, I don't care if it's just you brushing your teeth. Be a part of it.”

Related: Mother of the Bride Trailer: Brooke Shields and a Nude Benjamin Bratt Rekindle Romance in New Netflix Rom-Com

In Mother of the Bride, Shields plays Lana Winslow, a widowed doctor whose daughter (Miranda Cosgrove) gets engaged to the son (Sean Teale) of her former college flame. Lana only figures out her ex is a soon-to-be in-law at the destination wedding.

For Shields, who starred on the NBC sitcom Suddenly Susan from 1996 to 2000, making the movie was a treat: “It feels so good to go back to my comedy roots.”

For more on Brooke Shields, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE.

Mother of the Bride is on Netflix May 9.

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.