Years ago, it’s hard to imagine that there would be anything that could bring exes Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt back together again. But then, when he and estranged wife Angelina Jolie revealed that their marriage was over, Jen became an unlikely source of comfort and strength for her former spouse. And when Jen first hit a rough patch with her own partner, estranged husband Justin Theroux, Brad returned the favor.

“Jen made a tearful, late-night call to Brad one night recently and explained how Justin went off to the East Coast three months ago, and she felt he was never coming back,” a friend of Jen’s told In Touch exclusively. “She confided in him about all the missteps and problems in the relationship, and Brad provided the calming words that she needed to hear.”

And it turns out, Jen’s sneaking suspicions about her husband of two years were right; the friend explained, “Justin left Jen three months ago when he went off to shoot the film On the Basis of Sex in Montreal and work on the Netflix series Maniac in New York. He’s been living primarily at his apartment in Greenwich Village.” Another insider told In Touch, “It’s over.”

Jen and Justin have since confirmed their breakup in a joint statement, saying, “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.”

And Jen was extra cautious, given what she went through with her ex. “She’s been burned before,” the insider explained. “Brad broke her heart. She can’t take another failed marriage.

But it looks like that’s what’s about to happen, now that their differences have officially become too much to bear. There are many reasons why their marriage didn’t work, sources told In Touch, including their different lifestyles (the friend says they were mismatched “from the start”), his desire for a child, and her issues with jealousy; and while they were able to put these differences aside for a while, they can no longer move forward; said the insider, “They gave it their best shot.”

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