Angelina Jolie Once Felt That Adopting Her Child Led to Difficult Times With Ex-Husband Billy Bob Thornton

Angelina Jolie once thought she found the love of her life in her ex-husband Billy Bob Thornton. But her marriage with the actor might have changed after adopting her first son Maddox.

Angelina Jolie thought she was meant to be alone after her divorce from Billy bob Thornton

Angelina Jolie smiling.
Angelina Jolie | Marilla Sicilia/Getty Images

Jolie and Thornton’s marriage lasted three years before the pair went their separate ways in 2003. This was a trying time for the Tomb Raider actor, who confided that she became slightly more guarded after the split.

“I’m more cautious about giving myself away as a woman. But I think now I’m more open and free emotionally and I laugh more, but the side of me that’s a woman in relationships is closed down,” she once said in a 2003 interview with Cosmopolitan.

The collapse of the relationship also changed Jolie’s views on marriage. At that point, she doubted she’d be able to find a partner that was her exact match. But it was an idea she was perfectly fine with.

“In my case, I think I grew up. I grew in a different direction, and I don’t know if there is one person who has the answer to everything—a soul mate. I don’t believe in that. [I’m] beginning to think I am really supposed to be alone [and] that’s okay,” she said.

Angelina Jolie once felt that adopting her first child led to difficult times with Billy Bob Thornton

Jolie has always been very open about the positive impact her first child had on her life. As many know, Jolie first became a mother when she adopted Maddox from an orphanage in Cambodia in 2002.

While exploring the orphanage, she remembered spotting baby Maddox for the first time, and experiencing an instant connection with him. One she couldn’t find with any other child at the orphanage.

“I cried and cried,” she once told Vanity Fair about seeing Maddox.

Soon Jolie welcomed her new son into the family. But shortly after the adoption, her own marriage with Thornton was beginning to fall apart. Jolie saw their changing priorities as what presented the initial cracks in their marriage.

“Sometimes you don’t see things coming, even though they are happening. It was a real deep connection, a deep marriage, so it’s not that simple to say this or that one thing caused the problems. It’s clear to me that our priorities shifted overnight,” she once said in an interview with Us Weekly (via Hello).

Adopting Maddox might have been the source of some of these shifting priorities. It was noted that after Jolie’s son was finally permitted to live in the United States, Thornton went on tour with his rock band. Because of this, it was clear to Jolie that she and her husband were focused on different things.

“He’s focused on his music and his career,” she said. “I’m focused on my baby. Maddox is so important to me. It comes down to what’s important to you. Good for him. But I have other priorities.”

Angelina Jolie once believed her children brought her and Brad Pitt even closer

Whereas adopting Maddox might have played a part in straining her marriage with Thornton, it had the opposite effect on her and Pitt. One of the reasons she found herself compatible with Pitt was because of their views on parenting.

“When we met, I was already a mother,” she once told Good Morning America. “So I think I had kind of found my way as a mom. … And I think the reasons we came together is we agreed on the way — I had discovered parenting — in the way he planned to parent and that was a big part of us coming together.”

Jolie was also impressed by how much the Fight Club star genuinely liked being around her children.

“He really enjoys them,” she continued. “He woke up very, very early this morning and let me sleep in because I had this interview. … Dealing with the two girls and bottles and food, which is not easy to do, on his own, for quite a few hours this morning so I could rest. … He’s just a really great partner, a great, great man.”

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