Why Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux split: She’s LA, he’s NY (Exclusive)

Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux called it quits on Thursday, but it seems cracks in their relationship were not formed overnight.

A source tells ET that the split was actually a long time coming, and that one of the major factors that played into their break-up was a fundamental disagreement about where the couple should live.

According to ET's source, Theroux thoroughly considers himself to be a New Yorker, and living in Hollywood was something that he never really wanted.

"He much prefers being here [in New York] and that's been a major issue for them for a long time," says the source. Adding, that the actor's roots are deep in the Big Apple, and that his friends and social group, which Theroux holds closely to his heart, are all based in the city.

“Justin has a very diverse friend group, and he likes that they're not all 'in the industry,'" says the source. "He's friends with people in the restaurant world, writers, comedians, artists, tattoo artists. It's an eclectic group and he doesn't have that type of network in LA."

See photos of Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux together:

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Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston together
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Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston together
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JULY 26: Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux attend the ceremony honoring Jason Bateman with Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame on July 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JULY 26: Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux attend the ceremony honoring Jason Bateman with Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame on July 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
PARIS, FRANCE - APRIL 13: Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston attend the Festival Serie Mania Opening Night, at Le Grand Rex on April 13, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux seen leaving Chanel store in Paris on April 12, 2017. (Photo by Mehdi Taamallah/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - APRIL 11: Actor Justin Theroux and Actress Jennifer Aniston attend the 'LVxKOONS' exhibition (Louis Vuitton and Jeff Koons Collaboration) at Musee du Louvre on April 11, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - APRIL 11: (L-R) Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston attend the Louis Vuitton's Dinner for the Launch of Bags by Artist Jeff Koons at Musee du Louvre on April 11, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 04: Actor Justin Theroux and actress Jennifer Aniston attend the season 3 premiere of 'The Leftovers' at Avalon Hollywood on April 4, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Actors Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux arrive at the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 26, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Actors Jennifer Aniston (L) and Justin Theroux pose backstage during the 89th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 28: Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston seen on the streets of Manhattan on September 28, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux step out for dinner in Manhattan on September 24, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 21: Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux seen out on June 21, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 19: Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux are seen in Midtown on June 19, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Alo Ceballos/GC Images)
Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux attend the 'Zoolander 2' world premiere at Alice Tully Hall in New York City. ?? LAN (Photo by Lars Niki/Corbis via Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JANUARY 17: Actors Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux arrive at the 21st Annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 17, 2016 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JANUARY 17: Actor Justin Theroux (L) and actress Jennifer Aniston attend the 21st Annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 17, 2016 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Tiffany Rose/Getty Images for Santa Margherita, Heineken and Proximo Spirits)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JANUARY 17: Justin Theroux, Will Forte and Jennifer Aniston attend the 21st Annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 17, 2016 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston attend the Celebrity Charades Goes Medieval Gala 2015 at Capitale on November 16, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Randy Brooke/WireImage)
AUSTIN, TX - OCTOBER 03: Actors Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston attend HBO's 'The Leftovers' Season 2 Premiere at Paramount Theatre on October 3, 2015 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by C Flanigan/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Actors Justin Theroux (L) and Jennifer Aniston attend the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Actors Justin Theroux (L) and Jennifer Aniston attend the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 22, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 25: Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston attend the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amy Graves/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 25: Actors Justin Theroux (L) and Jennifer Aniston attend the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 15: Actors Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston arrive at the 20th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards at Hollywood Palladium on January 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 15: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Actors Justin Theroux (L) and Jennifer Aniston attend the 20th annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards at the Hollywood Palladium on January 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for A&E Network)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 11: Actor Justin Theroux and actress Jennifer Aniston attend HBO's post Golden Globe Awards party at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 11, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 11: Actor Justin Theroux and actress Jennifer Aniston arrive at the 16th Annual Warner Bros. And InStyle Post-Golden Globe Party at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 11, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
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The source said that Aniston, however, does not feel the same way about New York -- despite growing up as a kid and developing her early career there. 

Additionally, the two stars' experiences with life in New York were vastly different. "Justin can hop on his [motorcycle], walk in the neighborhood, hang at a bar and all that without being bothered, but for Jen, the paparazzi are all over her," the source noted.

“He really wanted her to be comfortable here," the source says, explaining how Theroux tried hard to make his wife come to love the city. "He even negotiated with the paps to make a deal that they would only shoot her once per day and then leave her alone. He also agreed to move out of his apartment, which he loves."

In an attempt to give New York a shot, the source says the couple moved into an apartment in the West Village. However, there were some drawbacks that became immediately apparent. Aside from the fact that there was no garage, the presence of a small public park across the street provided a prime location for paparazzi to set up shop waiting to snap of pic of the former Friends star coming and going from her home.

The presence of unwanted tabloid attention also drew the ire of the couple's neighbors.

"There was the construction, which is obviously a nuisance, but what really pissed off the neighbors was just the constant commotion outside their door all the time with the photographers," the source says. "It made for an awkward living situation for Jen and Justin because they knew the neighbors weren't happy."

The tension came to a head in what the source refers to as "the bologna incident," in which Theroux came down stairs to discover that someone had covered his motorcycle in slices of bologna, and Aniston believed it was one of their neighbors who did it.

"She just never really could get settled in, she wasn't happy [in New York]," according to the source.

Eventually Theroux acquiesced and agreed to move across the country to Los Angeles, but constantly came up with reasons to return.

Jennifer Aniston's past relationships:

7 PHOTOS
Jennifer Aniston and her relationships through the years
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Jennifer Aniston and her relationships through the years
Promotional portrait of American actor Jennifer Aniston for the television series, 'Friends,' c. 1995. (photo by NBC Television/Getty Images)
Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston at the premiere of 'The Mexican' at the National Theater in Los Angeles, Ca. 2/23/01. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images).
Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston at the premiere of 'Rock Star' at the Mann Village Theater in Los Angeles, Ca. 9/4/01. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 25: Actress Jennifer Aniston attends the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2015 in Los Angeles,California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
SANTA BARBARA, CA - JANUARY 30: Actress Jennifer Aniston attends the Montecito Award honoring Jennifer Aniston at the Arlington Theater at the 30th Santa Barbara International Film Festival on January 30, 2015 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for The Santa Barbara International Film Festival)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Jennifer Aniston and Emma Stone attend the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux arrive to the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, California on February 22, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ (Photo credit should read ADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
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"He was bicoastal, she was not," says the source.

While the couple ended up selling their apartment in the West Village, the source says Theroux never gave up his apartment in Greenwich Village and he would stay there whenever he had to return to the city for work. However, Aniston rarely would stay there with him and often opted to stay at luxury hotels instead.

"She rarely stayed at his place, she preferred hotels," says the source. Adding, "Justin on the other hand did not like staying at hotels -- especially uptown. He eventually convinced her to at least stay in hotels with him downtown, like the Bowery hotel."

Despite their differences when it came where they wanted to live and their eventual split, the source stressed that the two really did love each other, and doesn't believe that there was any one incident that tore them apart. Rather, the wedge was slowly driven between them by their very different lifestyles, and it became a bigger problem over the course of their relationship.

"They really were a great couple. And they cared a lot about each other. Justin was always really protective of her," says the source. "They both wanted this to work."

Aniston and Theroux, who tied the knot in a secret ceremony at their home in Bel-Air, California in August 2015, announced their separation in a statement released to ET on Thursday.

"In an effort to reduce any further speculation, we have decided to announce our separation," Aniston and Theroux's statement reads. "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," the statement continues. "Above all, we are determined to maintain the deep respect and love that we have for one another."

More photos of Jennifer Aniston:

43 PHOTOS
Jennifer Aniston through the years
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Jennifer Aniston through the years
FERRIS BUELLER -- Pictured: Jennifer Aniston as Jeannie Bueller -- Photo by: Alice S. Hall/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
1990 file photo of Jennifer Aniston at a NBC pool party in Los Angeles, California (Photo by Barry King/WireImage)
FRIENDS -- Pictured: Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green -- (Photo by Reisig & Taylor/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
FRIENDS -- Season 1 -- Pictured: (back l-r) Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing (front l-r) Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green -- (Photo by Reisig & Taylor/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
FRIENDS -- Pictured: (l-r) Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay in 'Friends', circa 1995. (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
255721 02: Jennifer Aniston poses January 4, 1996 in Aspen, CO. Along with her role as Rachel on the television show 'Friends,' actress Aniston starred in the films 'Picture Perfect' and 'She's The One.' (Photo by Russell Turiak/Liaison)
1997 Jennifer Aniston Stars In The Movie 'Til There Was You'. (Photo By Getty Images)
FRIENDS -- Season 4 -- Pictured: (l-r) Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay (Photo by Gerald Weinman/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 03: Jennifer Aniston arrives for premiere of movie 'Meet Joe Black' at the Ziegfeld Theater. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
372882 01: Jennifer Aniston stars in 'Friends,' 1999-2000 season. Photo by: Warner Bros. NBC
Co-hosts Courteney Cox Arquette, Lisa Kudrow and Jennifer Aniston at 'The 10th Annual Fire & Ice Ball', a gala event, hosted by Lilly Tartikoff and Ronald O. Perelman, to raise funds for Revlon/UCLA women's cancer research program. 12/11/00 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, Ca. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
PASADENA, : Actress Jennifer Aniston of the television show 'Friends' accepts her People's Choice Award for 'Favorite Female Television Performer' during the 27th Annual People's Choice Awards 07 January 2001 in Pasadena CA. AFP Photo Lucy NICHOLSON/ (Photo credit should read LUCY NICHOLSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Jennifer Aniston on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' at the NBC Studios in Burbank, Ca. 9/5/01. Los Angeles. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.
Jennifer Aniston during The 54th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Press Room at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
Jennifer Aniston (Photo by J. Merritt/FilmMagic)
Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt during 'Along Came Polly' Los Angeles Premiere at Mann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
Jennifer Aniston during 9th Annual Hollywood Film Festival Awards Gala Ceremony - Show at Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by J.Sciulli/WireImage)
Jennifer Aniston, presenter (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 09: Actress Jennifer Aniston arrives at the premiere screening of the FX Network's 'Dirt' at the Paramount Theater on December 9, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 17: Jennifer Aniston visits the ''Late Show with David Letterman'' at the Ed Sullivan Theater on December 17, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
MARRAKECH, MOROCCO - NOVEMBER 26: Actress Jennifer Aniston attends the Gala evening to celebrate the re-opening of Hotel La Mamounia on November 26, 2009 in Marrakech, Morocco. (Photo by Fizcairn/WireImage)
NEW YORK - MARCH 16: Jennifer Aniston attends the premiere of 'The Bounty Hunter' at Ziegfeld Theatre on March 16, 2010 in New York, New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 876 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jennifer Aniston with host Jimmy Fallon during an interview on August 1, 2013 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 22: Actress Jennifer Aniston attends 'El Hormiguero' Tv showon February 22, 2011 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images)
Actress Jennifer Aniston arrives at the 'Horrible Bosses' Los Angeles premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on June 30, 2011 in Hollywood, California.
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 17: Jennifer Aniston arrives as ELLE Honors Hollywood+s Most Esteemed Women in the 18th Annual Women in Hollywood Tribute; at The Four Seasons Beverly Hills on October 17, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 15: Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston attend the American Cinematheque 26th annual award presentation at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on November 15, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 14: Actress/producer Jennifer Aniston arrives at the 'Life Of Crime' Premiere during the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival at Roy Thomson Hall on September 14, 2013 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Isaiah Trickey/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 21: Actress Jennifer Aniston speaks onstage during a Q&A following the screening of 'Cake' during the 2014 Variety Screening Series at ArcLight Hollywood on November 21, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 19: Jennifer Aniston arrives at the Premiere Of Lionsgate Premiere's 'She's Funny That Way' at Harmony Gold on August 19, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JANUARY 17: Actress Jennifer Aniston arrives at the 21st Annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 17, 2016 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by C Flanigan/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 13: Actress Jennifer Aniston attends Open Roads World Premiere of 'Mother's Day' at TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX on April 13, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 16: Actress Jennifer Aniston is seen walking in Soho on June 16, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 24: Jennifer Aniston seen on the streets of Manhattan on June 24, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 30: Jennifer Aniston is seen in the West Village on September 30, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Alo Ceballos/GC Images)
WESTWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 07: Actress Jennifer Aniston arrives at the Los Angeles Premiere 'Office Christmas Party' at Regency Village Theatre on December 7, 2016 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 08: Jennifer Aniston is seen at 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' on December 08, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
US actress Jennifer Aniston addresses the audience at the 89th Oscars on February 26, 2017 in Hollywood, California. / AFP / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 04: Jennifer Aniston attends the premiere of HBO's 'The Leftovers' Season 3 at Avalon Hollywood on April 4, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
US actress Jennifer Aniston gestures as she poses during a photocall ahead of a diner for the launch of a Louis Vuitton leather goods collection in collaboration with US artist Jeff Koons, at the Louvre in Paris on April 11, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - APRIL 14: Actress Jennifer Aniston is seen leaving the 'Dries Van Noten' store on April 14, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/GC Images)
Actor Jennifer Aniston (L) and Justin Theroux attend Jason Bateman's star unveiling ceremony on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, on July 26, 2017, in Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACON (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Presenters Carol Burnett and Jennifer Aniston onstage during the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
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