Long before Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux tied the knot (and ultimately split), he was perfectly happy with the status of their relationship. In fact, a source tells Us Weekly that the actor wouldn’t have minded if they never walked down the aisle at all.
“He had reservations at the time because they still hadn’t figured out where they were going to live as a couple. Justin was absolutely head over heels in love with Jen — and probably always will be — but marriage was never important to him,” the insider says of Theroux, who was previously in a 14-year relationship with costume designer Heidi Bivens. “Marriage was always just a piece of paper to Justin, and he didn’t need it.”
But Aniston did. “Constant scrutiny of Jen’s personal life, including whether she would ever find her happily ever after, played a huge role in her marriage to Justin,” the source tells Us. “It was obvious Jen needed more than an engagement or to be life partners with Justin. He didn’t want to lose her, so they got married.”
In the end, things didn’t work out and the couple decided to call it quits after two years of marriage. “In an effort to reduce any further speculation, we have decided to announce our separation,” they told Us in a joint statement on Thursday, February 15. “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.”
Aniston, 49, and Theroux, 46, added, “Normally we would do this privately, but given that the gossip industry cannot resist an opportunity to speculate and invent, we wanted to convey the truth directly. Whatever else is printed about us that is not directly from us, is someone else’s fictional narrative. Above all, we are determined to maintain the deep respect and love that we have for one another.”
The separation was caused in part by distance. “Jen tried the whole living in New York City thing with Justin, but at heart, she is a California girl,” a source previously told Us. “New York City wasn’t ever going to be home for Jen.”
With reporting by Jen Heger.