Few Hollywood stars over the course of the last few decades have been pictured on supermarket and online tabloids more than Jennifer Aniston, the award-winning actress best known for her role of Rachel on the sitcom Friends between 1994 and 2004.
Now 54-years-old, Aniston has been talking openly about her personal relationships and struggles, including two high-profile marriages that led to divorce – one with actor Brad Pitt, and the most recent to actor and producer, Justin Theroux. Aniston also recently revealed her struggles with dyslexia and infertility.
Ahead of the launch of the third season of her latest series, “The Morning Show,” an Apple streaming television program with co-star Reese Witherspoon, Aniston gave another rather intimate and vulnerable interview this week with the Wall Street Journal’s Ellen Gamerman.
Born into a Hollywood family – her father, John Aniston, played a recurring role for 37 years on the soap opera, Days of Our Lives – Ms. Aniston intimated that her home life was downright depressing.
“My parents, watching my family’s relationship, didn’t make me kind of go, ‘Oh, I can’t wait to do that.’”
Aniston’s parents divorced when she was just nine. It seems she attempted to subconsciously escape some of her misery by assuming other character identities and personas on stage and screen.
Paparazzi and celebrity gossip magazines shine a light on dysfunction, but rarely, if ever, bother to mine the source of the sadness.
“It was always a little bit difficult for me in relationships, I think, because I really was kind of alone,” Aniston told the Journal. “I didn’t like the idea of sacrificing who you were or what you needed, so I didn’t really know how to do that. So, it was almost easier to just be kind of solo. So, I didn’t have any real training in that give-and-take.”
In other words, Jennifer Aniston missed out on what every child and young adult desperately needs – mentors to watch, guide, and emulate. As a result, it seems that despite her nearly unprecedented success as an actress, she’s well aware that her childhood deficit remains something of a haunting handicap.
“It’s just about not being afraid to say what you need and what you want. And it’s still a challenge for me in a relationship,” she said. “I’m really good at every other job I have, and that’s sort of the one area that’s a little…” She never finished the sentence, but her silence says it all.
Jennifer Aniston’s reflections bring to mind the heartbreaking comments from the famous oil industrialist J. Paul Getty. Once the richest man in the world, Getty suffered through five failed marriages and a string of tragedies concerning his children. He once reportedly said, “I have succeeded at everything at life except for my family.”
It’s this sad spirit of regret that led to Dr. James Dobson starting Focus on the Family back in 1977. He recognized that worldly riches were often easily attainable, especially in America. But in his family counseling, common themes of regret emerged, especially from fathers who ignored their families to instead chase down promotions and profits.
Focus president Jim Daly and radio co-host John Fuller regularly speak with authors and experts who have devoted their lives to coaching, counseling and creating material designed to help moms and dads find balance and avoid the pitfalls of misplaced priorities. If you don’t already listen, you’ll find the show to be both practical and inspirational in helping you thrive as either a spouse, parent, or grandparent.
Jennifer Aniston’s journey remains uneven, and she and others who seem to be on a search would benefit from our prayers.
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