For better or worse, we are all products of the environments we were raised in, and Jennifer Aniston is opening up to WSJ. Magazine about how her parents’ failed marriage still affects her own relationships: “It was always a little bit difficult for me in relationships, I think, because I really was kind of alone,” she said in a cover story for the outlet’s Fall Women’s Fashion Issue. “My parents, watching my family’s relationship, didn’t make me kind of go, ‘Oh, I can’t wait to do that.’” Aniston’s parents Nancy Dow and John Aniston—both of whom have passed away—divorced when she was young.
Ahead of The Morning Show’s new season dropping next month, Aniston got candid, telling the publication “I didn’t like the idea of sacrificing who you were or what you needed, so I didn’t really know how to do that,” she said. “So it was almost easier to just be kind of solo. So I didn’t have any real training in that give-and-take.”
Aniston told WSJ. Magazine that right now, she’s focused on her needs and desires (love this)—not sacrificing anything in order to please someone else. “It’s just about not being afraid to say what you need and what you want,” she said. “And it’s still a challenge for me in a relationship. I’m really good at every other job I have, and that’s sort of the one area that’s a little…”
Aniston has been open in interviews, especially as of late, about how her life—beautiful as it may be—didn’t always go as planned. She previously described her home life as a child as “destabilized and felt unsafe,” and once told friend Sandra Bullock for Interview Magazine that this environment helped her learn to stay afloat when challenges arose. “I guess I have my parents to thank,” Aniston said. “You can either be angry or be a martyr, or you can say, ‘You’ve got lemons? Let’s make lemonade.’”
Aniston has been married twice (though we probably didn’t need to tell you that, as both were dissected by the media)—to Brad Pitt from 2000 to 2005, and to Justin Theroux from 2015 to 2018. She has also had high-profile relationships with Vince Vaughn and John Mayer after her divorce from Pitt. “My marriages, they’ve been very successful, in [my] personal opinion,” she 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 doesn’t exist within that arrangement anymore. 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.”
A source close to Aniston told People not long after her relationship with Theroux ended that “she is very happy being single. She is focused on her own happiness.” In 2021, Aniston told People that, when she falls in love again (and despite mostly dating actors or men in show business), “what I’m sort of hoping for is not necessarily somebody in the industry itself. That’d be nice.”