No Looking Back: How Jennifer Aniston 'Found Peace' Getting Rid Of 'Toxic Exes'
For decades, Jennifer Aniston has been known as America’s Sweetheart, both on and off camera.
The A-list actress is still friends with pals from high school and is on such great terms with ex-husband Justin Theroux that he spent Thanksgiving at her home after their 2018 split.
“She makes me laugh very, very hard,” the Leftovers star gushed last year. “She’s a hilarious person. It would be a loss if we weren’t in contact, for me personally.”
Theroux may soon be in for a rude awakening. According to a source, good-natured Aniston, 53, has made a vow to start setting more boundaries in her life — starting with him and her first husband, Brad Pitt.
“Jen wants people to like her — and they do,” shares the source, “but she has a habit of putting other people’s happiness before her own.”
Now that she’s finally moving on, the source says she feels better than she has in ages. “Jen has found peace,” confides the source. “Getting rid of her toxic exes has definitely helped her find her happy place.”
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Thankfully, the Friends star's divorce from Theroux was as amicable as it gets. “We didn’t have that dramatic split, and we love each other,” the American Psycho actor has said. The Wanderlust costars were married for nearly three years.
But the source says Aniston began to back away from the Mosquito Coast actor after realizing their bond was preventing her from fully moving on. “Jen is such a yes-girl that even after she and Justin broke up, she was still his biggest cheerleader,” explains the source. “She was always calling him to check in.”
In September 2021, she even praised his animal rescue work in a sweet Instagram story. They remain on good terms, but the We're the Millers actress isn’t reaching out as much. “She had a good talk with Justin and explained why she needed to pull back, and he got it,” says the source. “There are no hard feelings.”
A similar fate has befallen her relationship with Brad Pitt. The duo parted ways in 2005 when the Oscar winner, 58, left Aniston heartbroken and humiliated after he famously fell for his Mr. & Mrs. Smith costar, Angelina Jolie. Still, he and The Mother's Day star reconnected following his 2016 split.
“The big irony is that Jen wound up being his go-to person to complain about his divorce,” spills the source, adding that she was initially happy to offer solace and advice — but after a while, it started to weigh on her.
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The source says her close friends were urging the star to stop being the Troy actor's therapist and just give up on him once and for all. Inspired to make some big life changes after her birthday in February, Aniston set down some ground rules.
“She told Brad that if he wants to talk, it has to be about happy stuff and that he can save the complaining for a professional,” explains the source. “Jen still cares about Brad, but she’s no longer willing to be used as this dumping ground for his personal problems.”
The actress has also given ex boyfriend John Mayer the boot. “John’s been trying to rekindle things this past year, sending Jen cute messages and coming around occasionally but never really following through — and she’s just had enough,” says the source.
The sitcom star and the singer, 44, dated on and off for a year between 2008 and 2009; Mayer has blamed their eight-year age difference as the reason for their failed romance. “Jen politely let John know that she doesn’t want to hear from him anymore,” says the source, adding that drawing the line “was really empowering for her. She’s not angry or bitter; she’s just done with the mind games.”
The only direction she’s looking is forward. And while she’s open to finding love again, the source says fellow celebrities need not apply.
“Jen is eager to date a man who isn’t in the entertainment business,” the source dishes. Famous pals like Big Little Lies actress Laura Dern are also on a mission to find Aniston's perfect match.
“Folks in her circle are always suggesting people Jen should meet, and lately, she’s actually agreed to a number of setups,” says the source. She’s already had a few fun flings. “So far, nothing has really worked,” notes the source, “but it’s a great sign that she’s willing to give it a shot.”
While she’s surrounded by friends with kids (and even godmother to pal Courteney Cox’s 17-year-old, Coco), the source says Aniston feels great about her decision to not have children of her own.
“Acting is her first love, and she loves to work,” the source says. “Kids need so much attention, and Jen’s not sure she could give that. It’s out of her good heart that she’s told friends, ‘I’ll never be a mom.’ Besides,” adds the source, “she’s already a mom to her dogs. They’re enough for her — and they make her really happy!”