3 Reasons Why We Thought Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt Would Last
Alas, Brangelina is no more.
After 12 years together, two of them married (the couple wed in August 2014), Angelina Jolie has filed for divorce from Brad Pitt, 52, citing “irreconcilable differences.”
Jolie’s attorney, Robert Offer, issued a press release that said the divorce was made “for the health of the family” and stated the 41-year-old actress is seeking full physical custody of the couples six children. As far as we know, there was no third party person involved and Jolie made the decision after voicing her displeasure over Pitt’s parenting methods. (Although some outlets are reporting that Pitt had an affair with French actress Marion Cotillard).
Whether you were a fan of the high-profile relationship or not (Team Aniston, anyone?), the split has come as a shock to Hollywood and fans around the world. So, what went wrong? The couple had weathered more than their fair share of public storms and tabloid gossip to the point that their foundation seemed impenetrable, so why now? And what exactly does it mean that Jolie is reportedly “extremely upset” by Pitt’s parenting methods?
While we may never know exactly what went on behind the scenes, it doesn’t mean we can’t reflect on the good times the couple shared in their longterm romance.
Here, three reasons why we never though Brangelina would never split up.
1. Their kids
Well before he was one of the most recognizable—and bankable—faces in Hollywood, Pitt would often voice his dream of having a large family.
“I had a friend who had a big family when I was a kid,” Brad was once quoted as saying. “I just loved the chaos around the breakfast table and the fighting and the ribbing…I just decided then if I was ever going to do it—this left some indelible mark on me—if I was ever going to do it, that’s the way I was going to do it.”
And it seemed he’d found the perfect partner to start a large brood with, too. By the time the couple met on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith in 2004, Jolie was already an adoptive mother, and keen on adding to her family.
The couple went on to have three adopted and three biological children together: Maddox, 15, Pax, 12, Zahara, 11, Shiloh, 10, and twins Vivienne and Knox, 8.
Although constantly shadowed by the paparazzi, the Jolie-Pitt family made few public excursions, choosing to keep their family life out of the limelight in an effort to shelter their kids from fame.
Next: The tabloid drama
2. They weathered a major tabloid drama
It’s common knowledge that Pitt and Jolie met on the set of the 2004 action-comedy, Mr. and Mrs. Smith. At the time, Pitt had been married to Friends star Jennifer Aniston for nearly five years. Although Pitt and Jolie never publicly admitted to an actual on-set affair, the relationship blossomed over time and the couple sparked international interest and became a part of public consumption, with some fans even choosing sides: remember those tacky Team Aniston and Team Jolie t-shirts?
It’s been 15 years since Pitt and Aniston split, but it was such a public spectacle that it never really entirely died down. But despite all the tabloid headlines accusing them of ongoing infidelities with other actors and for being home-wreckers, Pitt and Jolie waited for the dust to settle and, through their philanthropic work and growing family, showed that—despite the scandal—the love between them was real.
Next: Jolie’s surgeries
3. Pitt’s support during Jolie’s surgeries
In an op-ed written for the New York Times in May 2013, Jolie bravely shared her decision to have a double mastectomy as a preventative measure for the breast cancer that ended her own mother’s life. Jolie carries what she calls the “faulty” gene BRCA1 which drastically increases a woman’s chance of getting breast and ovarian cancer.
Jolie revealed that doctors told her she had an 87 percent chance of getting breast cancer, hence her difficult decision to have her breasts removed. Two years later, writing again for the Times in August 2015, Jolie detailed her decision to also remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes in a further attempt to prevent the ovarian cancer that she had a 50 percent chance of getting.
Only 39 at the time of the surgery, Jolie found herself in early menopause.
Her decision to share her decision in a public forum likely encouraged millions of other women to assess the risks and consider the options available to them. It’s an admirable decision that was almost universally applauded—to forfeit one’s privacy for the sake of bringing awareness to an issue is no easy task.
And, through it all, Pitt rallied to support his wife. “There’s no vanity to my wife’s approach,” he said on Today. “It was mature. There was a strength in that. It was just another one of those things in life that makes you tighter and she was doing it for the kids, and she was doing it for her family so we could be together.”
The couple only seemed closer after the surgeries, openly discussing Jolie’s decision and reiterating how it also strengthened their relationship.