The marriages — and subsequent divorces — of Jennifer Aniston to Brad Pitt and Justin Theroux may not have ended the way we all hoped, but the actress doesn’t equate either relationship to failure. In fact, the 49-year-old looks back fondly at her time with both men in the most mature, pragmatic way, all while letting us know she’s capable of getting her own happily ever after, thank you very much.
“I don’t feel a void, I really don’t. My marriages, they’ve been very successful, in [my] personal opinion,” Aniston told ELLE. “And when they came to an end, it was a choice that was made because we chose to be happy, and sometimes happiness didn’t exist within that arrangement anymore.”
It wasn’t all puppies and rainbows, Jen admitted. “Sure, there were bumps, and not every moment felt fantastic, obviously, but at the end of it, this is our one life and I would not stay in a situation out of fear. Fear of being alone. Fear of not being able to survive. To stay in a marriage based on fear feels like you’re doing your one life a disservice. When the work has been put in and it doesn’t seem that there’s an option of it working, that’s okay. That’s not a failure.”
Justin broke his silence on their divorce in September, giving a very Goop-like description of their split. And we all know what happened with Jen and Brad, how after their five-year marriage ended in 2005, he quickly moved on to Angelina Jolie (though, many would argue, he had already moved on with her while he was still married). Perhaps because the end of Jen and Brad felt like the death of true love as we knew it, we all wanted Jennifer to find a new Prince Charming, but that was just silly of us. Because a woman doesn’t need a man to be happy. And Jen is living her best life, proving just that.
“Why do we want a happy ending? How about just a happy existence? A happy process? We’re all in process constantly,” Aniston opined. “It’s not like you hear that narrative about any men. That’s part of sexism — it’s always the woman who’s scorned and heartbroken and a spinster. It’s never the opposite.
“The unfortunate thing is, a lot of it comes from women,” she mused. “Maybe those are women who haven’t figured out that they have the power, that they have the ability to achieve a sense of inner happiness.”
And as far as having children goes, Aniston clarified the topic once more. You know, in case we missed it the first 9,284,547 times: “Some people are just built to be wives and have babies. I don’t know how naturally that comes to me. Who knows what the future holds in terms of a child and a partnership — how that child comes in … or doesn’t?”
Aniston concluded: “I’ve always been predominantly a happy person. … It’s a glass-half-full kind of thing. Always being open. Allowing myself to feel what I feel. What brings me happiness? I have a great job. I have a great family. I have great friends. I have no reason to feel otherwise.”
There’s so much to unpack in this interview but what we do know for sure is the entire thing is fantastic. Aniston and Theroux’s marriage simply fizzled out, but can the same thing really be said about her and Brad? Maybe that’s how she sees it and feels about it now but back then? It must’ve been quite the blow, him falling for someone else. But what she felt then no longer matters, because she’s happy now. And honestly? Pitt and Theroux couldn’t ask for a more gracious ex.
But it’s what Ani says about the perception of women in breakups that we can all relate to and applaud. Sometimes — hell, a lot of the time, we’re actually OK with a relationship coming to an end. Gasp! That’s right, no pity parties needed. On the contrary, bring on the next chapter. We can’t wait to see Aniston’s.