My marriage ended because John McCain didn't want to be 40, he wanted to be 25," Carol McCain told England's Daily Mail. "You know that happens... it just does."
John and Carol, then a swimwear model, wed in 1965.
"I thought, of course, we would live happily ever after," said Carol, who now lives in Virginia Beach.
While John was held captive in Vietnam, Carol was disfigured due to multiple injuries from a car accident. He returned in 1973 and they split seven years later.
"My accident is well recorded," Carol recounted. "I had 23 operations, I am five inches shorter than I used to be and I was in the hospital for six months. It was just awful, but it wasn't the reason for my divorce."
Although John married his current wife – 17 years his junior – just a month after the split, Carol insists, "I have no bitterness."