ByHeather Snowden, writer at
Lover of bad puns, nostalgic feels and all things Winona. Email: [email protected] Tweet: @heathbetweetin
Heather Snowden

Brad Pitt has finally opened up about his split with Angelina Jolie in a candid interview with GQ Style. Leaving no stone unturned, the 53-year-old actor discussed many intimate details regarding the couple's divorce, and the current state of their family, which according to Pitt has been "ripped apart" since Jolie filed for divorce last September following a spat involving their son Maddox on a private plane:

"I was really on my back and chained to a system when Child Services was called. And you know, after that, we've been able to work together to sort this out. We're both doing our best. I heard one lawyer say, 'No one wins in court — it's just a matter of who gets hurt worse.' And it seems to be true, you spend a year just focused on building a case to prove your point and why you're right and why they're wrong, and it's just an investment in vitriolic hatred."

and were together for over a decade before announcing the split, and while the situation has undoubtedly been rough for both parties, they seem agreed that their children — Maddox, 15, Pax, 13, Zahara, 12, Shiloh, 10 and twins Vivienne and Knox, 8 — come first:

"Fortunately my partner in this agrees. It's just very, very jarring for the kids, to suddenly have their family ripped apart. If anyone can make sense of it, we have to with great care and delicacy, building everything around that… Our focus is that everyone come out stronger and better people — there is no other outcome. I see it happen to friends — I see where the one spouse literally can't tell their own part in it, and it's still competing with the other in some way and wants to destroy them, and needs vindication by destruction, and just wasting years on that hatred. I don't want to live that way."

One of the primary reasons for shielding their kids from the "hatred" that naturally comes to the foreground in such matters is that they're like sponges, they absorb the negativity:

"Kids are so delicate. They absorb everything. They need to have their hand held and things explained. They need to be listened to. When I get in that busy work mode, I'm not hearing. I want to be better at that. I grew up with a Father-knows-best/war mentality — the father is all-powerful, super strong — instead of really knowing the man and his own self-doubt and struggles. And it's hit me smack in the face with our divorce: I gotta be more. I gotta be more for them. I have to show them. And I haven't been great at it."

Majorly for Pitt, the experience has been a huge learning curve; he now knows the meaning of what it is to truly, unselfishly, love someone, and if there's any silver lining in shitty situations such as this, it's that realization:

"The first urge is to cling on. And then you've got a cliché: 'If you love someone, set them free.' Now I know what it means, by feeling it. It means to love without ownership. It means expecting nothing in return. But it sounds good written. It sounds good when Sting sings it. It doesn't mean f--k — all to me until, you know — until you live it."

You can read the full GQ cover story here, including numerous pictures of Brad Pitt breaking his neck on sand dunes.

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