Now that both Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston are each actively planning to remarry, a familiar drumbeat arises in the constant coverage of their lives. This time it’s framed as a race to the alter, but in reality it’s a continuing marathon towards closure, marked at every milestone by headlines. In the spectator sport that is Branifferolie (for lack of a better word), it seems important somehow that they best each other’s pace. And sadly, no matter what she seems to do, it is somehow always Aniston who is tagged as the loser.
In the early days, following their insta-split in 2005, the competition began to see who would find their way back to normalcy first. As for dating, Pitt won that one as he had jumped the starting gun with Angelina Jolie before Aniston got her trainers on. From there began an ongoing evaluation of their happiness, sex lives and self worth – binding them together in divorce longer then they were ever actually wed.
For Jennifer, after some initial ups (Vince Vaugh) and downs (John Mayer), she seemed to hit finally the jackpot with actor Justin Theroux. But she remained cautious, telling Hello Magazine in October 2011, “I’ve been married once, and I don’t know if I’ll get married again. But I can tell you that as of this very moment, I have no plan to get married. Got that?”
As for Theroux, who popped the question this past weekend, he has famously remained coy on the whole spectacle. Asked for comment by New York Magazine in February, he explained “I understand the curiosity, but other than saying I am happy, I am not going to indulge it. That’s building your own torture device.”
As to why it took so long for Brad to ask Miss Jolie for her hand, you have to remember the vitriol the couple withstood after their relationship torpedoed his marriage to Aniston. The public held on to a grudge with that one – and an early ceremony would have likely been soured by those memories. Not that anyone has ever actually forgotten. When they do eventually exchange vows on their private estate in France, how many of the guests will be murmuring about Jennifer in the reception hall?
There were genuine early doubts as to whether Pitt-Jolie could even withstand the immense level of fame held by both parties. Rarely does Hollywood produce such a supercouple, both of whom are A-List actors at the top of their respective pay grades. The demand, the schedule, the tabloids and the legions of hangers-on will usually conspire to destroy such partnerships. That apparently didn’t happen with Mr. & Mrs. Smith.
There’s also something to be said for staying busy. With Pitt and Jolie averaging two films and one adoptee per year, their calendars have been packed. While Jennifer works as well, her’s is a less rigorous public life. This, too, has led many to see her as cocooning away since the split, perhaps lovelorn to some degree. Does this unfair but ongoing depiction keep her up nights? If so, she can always lull herself back to sleep by counting her considerable F-You money from Friends.
Jolie has also been in a tough spot when discussing their relationship, as the whiff of homewrecker still lingers for many. Asked two years ago on Good Morning America about whether she and Pitt could actually make it for the long haul, she rather succinctly said “We wouldn’t have six children if we weren’t absolutely sure of that.”
As far as living happily ever after, hopefully all parties packed a lunch. But when all is said and done, the entire ordeal remains largely unfair to Jennifer, as is sadly customary. We look to the broken-hearted bride to analyze everything through their eyes. Most of it is often conjecture, but the questions are always drawn around her issues. Has Jennifer gotten over the betrayal? Is Jennifer Dating Out of Desperation? Does Jennifer Really Wish Them Well? The question is rarely framed… Does Brad Still Harbor Guilt?
That’s a scarlet letter we often curiously place on the cheatee – punished almost as a co-conspirator to the scandal. Despite this, Jennifer appears to be happily charging toward her own finish line regardless of Brad’s position. Maybe that’s the trick to moving on – not seeing an ex-spouse as a competitor, but rather just another hurdle along the track.
Will King is a television and media critic who splits his time as a stand up comic. He collects conspiracy theories and claims to have invented Teflon. In his spare time he follows presidential politics and all traffic signs. He lives in Charlotte, NC.
Selma: With so many crazy rumors and stories overflowing the tabloids about Brad, Jen, and the homewrecker – ahem – Angelina, who knows what to believe! Finding a guy to date Jennifer – not a difficult task. Finding a guy to marry Jennifer – that’s a different story! Way to go Jen… you found yourself a hottie! I recommend this DiscoveryGame to help the happy newly-engaged couple work on moving in together.
Giulia: Jennifer Aniston is a beautiful person inside and out, and she deserves nothing but the best from her new fiance! I wish them the best of luck – they do say that everything is better the second time around! I recommend this DiscoveryGame for Jennifer and Justin to prep for that special day!