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- Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux confirmed they have separated in an official statement.
- An anonymous source reportedly told ET that the couple's disagreements about where to live was a major part in their decision to break up.
- Psychologists and relationship experts say that discussions around long-term goals, along with where you want to live, should be discussed prior to marriage.
After seven years of being together — two of which they were married — actress Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux have decided to split. The news came out Thursday from an official statement by the couple to the Associated Press.
"This decision was mutual and lovingly made at the end of last year. We are two best friends who have decided to part ways as a couple, but look forward to continuing our cherished friendship," the statement read.
While no reasons for the breakup were listed in the official statement, an anonymous source spoke to ET, suggesting a major reason for the separation is the couple's inability to decide where to live together.
While Aniston allegedly prefers Los Angeles, "[Theroux] much prefers being [in New York], and that's been a major issue for them for a long time," the source told ET.
Whether or not the story of their coastal tensions is true, it brings an important lesson for any couple to the surface: Talk about where you're willing to live well before tying the knot.
"If you don't deal with an issue before marriage, you deal with it while you're married," Robert Scuka, executive director of the National Institute of Relationship Enhancement, told Eleanor Stanford in the New York Times' viral 2016 article 13 Questions to Ask Before Getting Married.
One of the questions the article suggests asking a partner is "How do you see us 10 years from now?" to help resolve current conflicts while ultimately working towards your larger-picture goals, including how and where you want to live.
Licensed clinical psychologist Andrea Bonior, Ph.D., also suggests discussing expectations about where you want to live with your partner. "When one person has a solidified vision and the other wants to stay open or changes their mind, that can spell disaster," she wrote in Psychology Today.
Where you want to live is only one element of planning a life together. As Business Insider previously reported, other important questions to ask your partner before getting serious (or married) include:
- Do you want kids?
- How much debt do you have?
- How do you feel about divorce?
They're all hard conversations to have — which is why they're so important.
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