In news that may break fans' hearts, Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux are separating after more than two years of marriage. The Hollywood Reporter and the Associated Press announced the news on Thursday, Feb. 15. Confirming the split, Aniston's rep shared the following joint statement with Bustle:
"In an effort to reduce any further speculation, we have decided to announce our separation. 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. 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."
Although fans may be upset about the announcement, especially since it comes the day after Valentine's Day, at least the pair makes it clear that it was a mutual decision to separate. Plus, from the sound of it, they still respect and care deeply for each other.
Perhaps the best part of Aniston and Theroux's split announcement — if there is, indeed, some sort of silver lining here — is that they're taking the story into their own hands. They're not letting tabloids spread further rumors, since as they point out, "Whatever else is printed about us that is not directly from us, is someone else’s fictional narrative." They're sharing the news, as devastating as it may be, on their own terms and it's hard not to respect that.
As a recap, Aniston and Theroux tied the knot in August 2015. According to People's report at the time, the ceremony took place at their home in Bel Air with more than 70 family members and friends in attendance. As Us Weekly reported, those friends included fellow celebs, like Lisa Kudrow, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Ellen DeGeneres, and more. And the event was so secretive, that most attendees reportedly believed they were attending Theroux's birthday party — not a wedding.
The pair had been engaged since 2012. According to an Us Weekly timeline of Aniston and Theroux's relationship, they reportedly first met when the Friends alum was filming Tropic Thunder in 2007. However, it wasn't until 2011 that they were photographed together and the dating rumors really began.
For as much as it may have seemed like a fairytale romance, sometimes relationships just don't last unfortunately. And fans on Twitter immediately began reacting to the separation news. That included broken hearts and declarations that they just want Aniston to be happy (which, to be fair, is a solid response).
There were also an unsurprising amount of Friends references, though it's a little too soon to determine whether they're actually funny. Still, clearly these people were just trying to lighten the mood and heal Twitter's collective broken heart.
Speaking of mending broken hearts, fans are already rooting for a reunion between Aniston and ex Brad Pitt, who's no longer with Angelina Jolie. But if it's potentially too soon for Friends GIFs, it's also way too early to 'ship an Aniston and Pitt reunion. Come on, she literally just got out of a marriage and likely needs time to heal and process that type of major life change.
At least the fan below seems to hit the nail on the head:
Instead of rushing to root for Aniston and Pitt to get back together, it may be best to reread her and Theroux's joint statement once or twice. They make it very clear that there's no bad blood, and they're not letting any rumors or drama ruin their bond. And that, in itself, is comforting.