Jennifer Aniston says parents' split made her love life 'difficult'

Jennifer Aniston, 54, admits her parents’ troubled marriage and bitter divorce has made her own love life ‘difficult and challenging’ – and left her feeling like it was ‘easier to be solo’

  • Jennifer, 54, has been married twice to actors Brad Pitt and Justin Theroux
  • Friends actress admitted it’s still a ‘challenge’ for her to be open about what she wants and needs in a relationship
  • Jennifer’s parents John and Nancy Dow divorced in 1980 when she was just 11

Jennifer Aniston has opened up about the repercussions of her parents’ bitter split and the negative impact their divorce has had on her own romantic relationships.

The 54-year-old actress has been married twice herself; first to Brad Pitt from 2000 until 2005, and then to Justin Theroux from 2015 until 2018, but she’s admitted that her ‘difficult’ childhood experiences didn’t exactly leave her desperate to say ‘I do’.

‘It was always a little bit difficult for me in relationships, I think, because I really was kind of alone,’ she explained in an interview with Wall Street Journal.

‘I don’t know. My parents, watching my family’s relationship, didn’t make me kind of go, “Oh, I can’t wait to do that”,’ she said, referring to her father John Aniston and her mother Nancy Dow.

John, who sadly passed away in November 2022, married Nancy in 1965 – but the couple’s relationship ended when Jennifer was just nine-years-old, and they got divorced in 1980.

Jennifer Aniston has opened up about her ‘difficult’ love life in a new interview with Wall Street Journal

The Friends star admitted it’s still a ‘challenge’ for her to be open about what she wants and needs in a relationship

The 54-year-old actress (seen in a childhood snap with her parents) had a famously difficult relationship with her mom Nancy Dow and dad John Aniston 

Past love: The Friends star was married to fellow actor Brad Pitt from 2000 until 2005

Speaking about the long-term effects that their tumultuous divorce had on her own romantic relationships, the Friends star admitted it felt ‘easier’ to just be alone.

‘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, before adding: ‘So it was almost easier to just be kind of solo. So I didn’t have any real training in that give-and-take.’

Nowadays, the Along Came Polly star is focused on making sure she doesn’t sacrifice her own desires to please another person.

‘It’s just about not being afraid to say what you need and what you want. And it’s still a challenge for me in a relationship,’ Jennifer explained.

‘I’m really good at every other job I have, and that’s sort of the one area that’s a little….’ she added before trailing off and joking that her dog is who she’s ‘sleeping with’.

Jennifer’s comments come just weeks after it was revealed that she is leaning on her ex-husband Justin for support as she continues to mourn the loss of her father.

The Morning Show star was left deeply grief-stricken by the death of her dad, Days of Our Lives star John, who passed away last November at the age of 89. 

Inside sources told the actress’s prolonged battle with grief has seen her cling to a tight-knit support system which includes some of her father’s former co-stars on the long-running soap opera.

Single lady: Jennifer said it felt ‘easier’ to be alone and to ‘just be kind of solo’

Former couple: Jennifer was married to Justin Theroux from 2015 until 2018

Daddy’s girl: Jennifer pictured with her father John Aniston, who sadly passed away in November 2022

Back in the day: Jennifer’s mother Nancy Dow was married to John from 1965 until 1980

Justin has also been a close source of comfort, with the actor calling her almost every day to console her, insiders said.

The couple tied the knot in 2015 after four years of dating and shocked fans when they announced their separation just two years later. 

Despite their split, the two have indicated that they still maintain a close relationship, occasionally celebrating birthdays and holidays together. 

In a rare, candid interview earlier this year, Justin himself revealed that the exes still keep in touch through text, Facetime, and phone calls. 

Jennifer is also said to be on good terms with her first husband Brad, who went on to marry Angelina Jolie in 2014. The couple have six children and Angelina filed for divorce in September 2016, with the pair declared legally single in April 2019.

Last year, Jennifer slammed speculation that any of her former husbands divorced her because she ‘wouldn’t give him a kid’, and admitted that the constant rumors about her relationships made her infertility battle all the more difficult.

‘I was trying to get pregnant. It was a challenging road for me, the baby-making road,’ she told Allure magazine of her IVF journey, which the magazine noted was ‘several years ago’.

‘All the years and years and years of speculation… It was really hard. I was going through IVF, drinking Chinese teas, you name it. I was throwing everything at it.’

Brad and Jennifer reunited on screen for the first time in decades in September 2020 when they took part in a star-studded table read of 1982 movie Fast Times At Ridgemont High via Zoom during lockdown.

Throwback: Jennifer as a young girl pictured with her father John, who starred in Days of our Lives

Made up: Jennifer had a strained relationship with John in the past but they’d grown closer before his 2022 death

Speaking about their reunion the following year during an appearance on SiriusXM’s The Howard Stern Show, Jennifer said: ‘It was absolutely fun.

‘You know, Brad and I are buddies. Like, we’re friends and we speak,’ she added.

Jennifer’s 2005 split from Brad prompted her to reach out to her mother Nancy, despite having been estranged from her for nearly a decade.

The mother and daughter didn’t speak for around six years after Nancy wrote a book about their relationship, entitled From Mother and Daughter to Friends: A Memoir, in 1999.

Prior to that, Jennifer had a strained relationship with her father, who left the family home when she was just nine-years-old.

In a 1999 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, she revealed that one day she asked her dad why he left her mother but said he did a terrible job of explaining what broke their family. 

‘He’s not a good communicator. Maybe if my parents had talked more. There were signs, but also, knowing my father, he probably didn’t say anything,’ Jennifer said at the time. 

‘But, as best he could, my dad explained and apologized, and it’s enough. We’ve made up. There are still parts that are hard for me, but I’m an adult. I can’t blame my parents anymore,’ she added.

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