"Family first," he said. "People on their deathbeds don't talk about what they obtained or were awarded. They talk about their loved ones or their regrets."
It's been a rough few years for Brad Pitt, who's been going through a divorce that's been unraveling in the public eye and a custody battle for his six children. The tough phase has made him recently admit, "I don't want to go on like this."
For over a decade, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were one of the most admired couples and they seemed perfect for each other. He had fallen deeply in love with his wife for being the brave and bold woman she is. "That's who I fell in love with from the very beginning," he told E! Online about how nothing stopped her from going public after her double mastectomy. "The person that you see now is the person that I've always known and she's heroic and incredibly strong and will attack any problem head-on and make it work."
But even after their relationship came to a tumultuous end, he still prioritized his family over everything else.
A few months after their divorce proceedings began, he told GQ, "Family first. People on their deathbeds don't talk about what they obtained or were awarded. They talk about their loved ones or their regrets—that seems to be the menu."
He was able to say that even though they separated as a couple, he and Angelina Jolie were together in trying to find the best way out of it. He said, "...we've been able to work together to sort this out. We're both doing our best."
Although divorce battles are fought in courts with one party pitted against the other, he understood that nobody really wins at the end of it. "I heard one lawyer say, 'No one wins in court—it's just a matter of who gets hurt worse,'" the actor said. "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. I just refuse. And fortunately, my partner in this agrees. It's just very, very jarring for the kids, to suddenly have their family ripped apart."
Seeing his family left broken has changed a lot for the actor, who told NPR, "A breakup of a family is certainly an eye-opener that as one — and I'm speaking in general again — but as one needs to understand, I had to understand my own culpability in that, and what can I do better. Because I don't want to go on like this."
What he also acknowledged was how men often suppress their pain rather than fully feeling the trauma of what they're going through. "In fact, we're better at burying them — at least certainly speaking for myself," he admitted. "You know, it's this Marlboro Man image of: Don't show weakness. But then we were questioning: In doing that, are we actually denying our own feelings? Denying a part of ourselves — a vulnerability, in this guise of Superman — to really be open for our loved ones, for our sons and daughters, in the sense that we're all flawed; most of us are doing the best we can."
Through the strain of a divorce, Brad Pitt and his ex-wife have tried to bring back some normalcy for their kids especially. "They both knew they needed to move forward with their lives. There’s no more drama. All of the dust has settled," a source told ET. "They are and have always been focused on what is best for the children."
Almost three years after divorce papers were filed, a source told HollywoodLife.com, "Brad has not really been dating much at all since his split with Angelina. He does not have any romantic dates over to his home that he shared with Angelina and the kids, and he is a long way from falling in love again."