Susan Sarandon spoke this week about her partner of 23 years, actor Tim Robbins, and how their 2009 split made her “feel like a failure.”

In a new interview with Reuters, Sarandon said that while it hurt her immensely, every pain experienced is an opportunity to grow:

“Of course you feel like a failure. It’s a big deal, but again, it’s an opportunity to grow…At the end of my first marriage, it was about the loss of ideal, about who you thought this person was. I thought love conquered all and I had to reevaluate everything. And you need your girlfriends, you need to take long, long walks until you’re exhausted and no longer freaking out and you hold on until a new dawn. Then you get another chance.”

So how is single life for the actress?  Sarandon says that it’s never just one thing, but always changing:

“It’s been a lot of different things. It’s traumatic and exhilarating…The one thing that’s been really clear to me is that you have to think of your own life and your relationship and everything as a living organism. It’s constantly moving, changing, growing. I think long-term relationships need to be constantly reevaluated and talked about.”

Sarandon and Robbins have two sons together, 22-year-old Jack and 19-year-old Miles.  They met on the set of their movie, BULL DURHAM.