In a new interview, Jennifer Aniston opens up about marriage and happily ever after.
“We live in a society that messages women: By this age, you should be married; by this age, you should have children,” Jennifer Aniston tells Elle in the publication’s January 2019 issue, adding, “That’s a fairy tale. That’s the mould we’re slowly trying to break out of.”
Promoting her new Netflix original Dumplin’, Aniston has been busy on the media circuit candidly discussing her relationship with her late mother Nancy Dow and now her two marriages.
“Why do we want a happy ending? How about just a happy existence? A happy process? We’re all in process constantly,” Aniston says. “What quantifies happiness in someone’s life isn’t the ideal that was created in the ’50s. It’s not like you hear that narrative about any men.”
Touching on the double standard applied to women, Aniston reveals she was never the type to dream of saying ‘I do’ or picking out her white dress as a child, something, the actor notes, probably had to do with coming from a “divorced-parent home”.
“I also was never a kid who sat around and dreamed about a wedding, you know? Those were never my fantasies. When I was first popped the question, it was so foreign to me,” Aniston admits, acknowledging that those who continue to paint her as a women missing something (children or a man) are discrediting all that the actor has built.
“My priorities weren’t about finding partnership and who am I gonna marry and what am I gonna wear on my wedding day. I was building houses with shoe boxes and toilet paper and felt. It was always about finding a home that felt safe. And I’m sure, because I was from a divorced-parent home, that was another reason I wasn’t like, ‘Well, that looks like a great institution.’ ”
Aniston continues, “I don’t feel a void. I really don’t. My marriages, they’ve been very successful, in [my] personal opinion. 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. 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. We have these clichés around all of this that need to be reworked and retooled, you know? Because it’s very narrow-minded thinking.”
Aniston was famously married to Brad Pitt for five years, marrying the actor in 2000 and divorcing Pitt in 2005. More recently, Aniston was married to Justin Theroux though the pair separated in 2017 after two years of marriage.
As for kids, the world’s favourite Aniston topic, the actor says never say never.
“Some people are just built to be wives and have babies. I don’t know how naturally that comes to me,” Aniston says, adding she finds the prospect of children “frightening”.
“Who knows what the future holds in terms of a child and a partnership— how that child comes in…or doesn’t? And now with science and miracles, we can do things at different times than we used to be able to.”