Marriage & Wedding Information

Brad Pitt - Jennifer Aniston Marriage Undermined by Inappropriate Friendship with Angelina Jolie

Speculation continues about the break-up of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, and what role Angelina Jolie may have played. At least three different rumors are circulating as to what may have been the cause.

Rumors of an Extramarital Affair

One rumor has it that Pitt and co-star Angelina Jolie were having an affair. This rumor began circulating last May, when Pitt was photographed holding Jolie's hand on the set while filming Mr. & Mrs. Smith. They both denied there was any romance.

A Recipe for Emotional Infidelity

"Even if the rumors of an extramarital affair are untrue," says author and infidelity expert Ruth Houston, "it highlights the danger of inappropriate friendships with members of the opposite sex. This can lead to emotional infidelity, which is often a precursor to sexual infidelity". Problems can develop if the friendship is conducted away from the view or without the knowledge of the other person's marriage mate. Affairs usually start with someone the wayward spouse knows and comes in contact with on a regular basis.

Workplace Affairs

According to one study, 73% of infidelity begins in the workplace. Friendships that start out innocently enough progress to emotional infidelity and eventually escalate to extramarital affairs. Says Houston, "This holds true whether the workplace is a movie set or an office environment. And workplace affairs are on the rise." Anytime two people of the opposite sex are in close proximity on a regular basis for extended periods of time, the potential for emotional infidelity exists. All that's needed to take it to the next level is sexual chemistry and opportunity. "Even if the intense year-long friendship between Pitt and Jolie did not take a sexual turn," says Houston, "they were treading on dangerous ground."

When Opposite Sex Friendships Become a Problem

Time spent by a husband with a "friend" of the opposite sex is time spent away from his wife, unless they include her in the activities taking place "Even if there's no sex involved," explains Houston, " emotional bonding occurs, and before you know it, infidelity is rearing its ugly head." Opposite sex friendships become a problem when they become a replacement for the marriage. When one marriage mate starts sharing hopes, dreams, special moments and intimate information with an opposite sex "friend" instead of their spouse, a bond develops which has infidelity potential. Houston warns, "All it takes for the situation to spiral out of control and infidelity to occur is an air of secrecy, sexual chemistry, and the opportunity factor. Even if an affair was not the original intent."

Arguments Over Starting a Family

Another rumor has it that constant arguments between Pitt and Anniston over the issue of starting a family were a contributing factor to the split. Pitt, 41, is anxious to start a family, while Aniston, 35, is reluctant to do so at the expense of her acting career. During the filming of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Angelina Jolie brought her 3-year-old adopted son, Maddox to the set every day and Pitt enjoyed spending time with the little boy. Their closeness caused him to compare Aniston unfavorably with Jolie, by pointing out to her that Jolie, who is 6 years younger, has successfully combined motherhood with her acting career.

A Marriage "Ripe" for An Affair

Regarding the friendship that developed between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie - if there were problems in the marriage, however minor, it was a bad time to form a close relationship with someone of the opposite sex - even if that friendship was platonic. It doesn't take much for such a friendship to make the transition from emotional to sexual infidelity. Houston observes, "If there are major problems between husband and wife, that marriage is 'ripe' for an affair. Given the right (or wrong) set of circumstances, infidelity could be just a 'friendship' away."

Telephone Sex

Still a third rumor has it that Pitt and Jolie, called each other constantly on the phone. Supposedly Jennifer Aniston listened in on one conversation (either accidentally or deliberately) and heard Pitt and Jolie having telephone sex. "If the rumor about phone sex is true," says Houston, then Pitt's friendship with Jolie had already crossed the line - even if phone sex was as far as it went." Frequent lunches, dinners, meetings, or phone calls with the "friend" that a spouse "forgets" or neglects to mention, have a way of alienating one's marriage mate.

Denials All Around

Angelina Jolie has denied any responsibility for the Pitt - Aniston split. Both Pitt and Aniston themselves have publicly denied that a third party was involved. Even People magazine said the friendship between Pitt and Jolie never reached the point of an affair. In "Jennifer's My Space Blog" Aniston said, "The tabloid stories weren't true, no one was cheating, no one was carousing around town, it just didn't work out."

Jolie Directly or Indirectly Responsible

Says Ruth Houston, "The bottom line to all the rumors and speculation is this: It appears that either directly or indirectly, Angelina Jolie, contributed to the break-up of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. Even if her only role was to prompt Pitt to make unfavorable comparisons between Aniston and Jolie."

The Lesson

Whatever the truth is concerning Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie, the lesson is clear: Avoid opposite sex friendships that become very close and exclude your partner or marriage mate. They can lead to emotional infidelity. Houston cautions "If sexual chemistry and the opportunity factor are also part of the mix, sexual infidelity may not be far behind."

ATTENTION: Editors, Reporters, Staff Writers, Producers, Talk Show Hosts

If you would like a copy of the Inappropriate Friendship Quiz or "13 Tips on How to Keep Opposite Sex Friendships from Becoming Infidelity" to use as a sidebar or as part of your coverage of this story, please send an e-mail to with "friendships" in the subject line. Please include your name and the name of your publication or show.

To interview Ruth Houston, please call 718 592-6039 or email her at

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About Ruth Houston

Author and infidelity expert Ruth Houston is the nation's leading authority on signs of infidelity. Her book Is He Cheating on You - 829 Telltale Signs documents practically every known sign of infidelity, making it the most comprehensive infidelity reference of its kind. A member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, Ruth's articles have appeared in publications in the US and abroad for the past 20 years. Ruth's 10 years of in-depth research on infidelity began when she accidentally discovered her now ex-husband's affair. Ruth has been quoted in such publications as the New York Times, and Cosmopolitan, and has been a guest on Good Day New York, Telemundo, 1010WINS and over 100 other radio and TV talk shows nationwide.

To receive a copy of the Inappropriate Friendship Quiz and a free tip sheet on "How to Keep Opposite Sex Friendships from Becoming Infidelity" send an e-mail to with "friendships" in the subject line or visit

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