Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston have tied the knot! (Photo: Corbis/Frank Trapper)
Fans of Jennifer Aniston were thrilled after news broke on Thursday (Aug. 6) that the actress had married her fiancé of three years, Justin Theroux.
The couple exchanged “I dos” Aug. 5 in a top-secret ceremony that included more than 70 family members and friends at their home in Bel Air, California, People reports. Guests — which included Friends stars Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow, Chelsea Handler, and Ellen DeGeneres — were reportedly told they were attending a birthday party for Theroux.
Many fans gushed about the news on social media, with several posts implying that … well, it was about time:
FINALLY JEN AND JUSTIN HAD THEIR WEDDING WEVE BEEN WAITING SINCE THE STONE AGE— Tamara (@anistonxprepon)August 6, 2015
Coming home to see Jen and Justin might finally have got married makes me happy— • Molly • (@mynamemolly_)August 6, 2015
has jennifer aniston gotten married?!?! if she has i might cry. fINALLY— em (@hayIeyatwells)August 6, 2015
Aniston and Theroux began dating in May 2011 and became engaged in August 2012. But despite a unified public presence, they were plagued with breakup rumors as their engagement stretched out.
Psychologist Paul Coleman, PsyD, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Intimacy, tells Yahoo Health that long engagements unfairly get a bad rap: “It suggests to people that there’s an uncertainty about commitment or that a couple is questioning the level of success that they may have if they were to get married.”
But he says Aniston and Theroux were smart to wait to get hitched. “You get to test out the relationship under a greater variety of circumstances than you would if you had a very brief engagement,” he says.
Among the perks: Friends and family have the opportunity to get to know your significant other well and hopefully see your partner in the same light as you. “That support is really helpful,” says Coleman. “Couples who have a lot of support from friends and family seem to do better.”
It also eases some of the inevitable pressure and stress that can come from planning a wedding, Atlanta-based psychologist and relationship coach Jared DeFife, PhD, tells Yahoo Health. “Couples who wait to get married can really enjoy their engagement period and have time to be thoughtful about the kind of wedding and life they want to have together,” he says.
While a long engagement may seem the same as dating for a long time, Coleman says they’re actually very different. Why? Engaged couples face different pressures and more intense decisions than those who are just dating. “You’re going to have to make the same decisions as you would if you were married — finances, career moves, where to live,” he says. “If you can’t negotiate those well, it leads to arguments.”
And, if a couple can’t learn to navigate those tough decisions, it can lead to the end of the relationship. But Coleman says that’s not always a bad thing, since couples who split during a long engagement would have likely faced those same issues in a marriage (which is objectively more binding!) as well.
Aniston and Theroux’s long engagement seems to have been the right decision for them, but DeFife says there is no magic length of time to be engaged before heading down the aisle: “Ultimately it depends on the couple and their needs.”
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