September 20, 2016 01:00 PM

After the news broke that Angelina Jolie had filed for divorce from her husband of two years, Brad Pitt, the actor released the following statement to PEOPLE:

“I am very saddened by this, but what matters most now is the well-being of our kids. I kindly ask the press to give them the space they deserve during this challenging time.”

While the pair’s split has many blindsided, that Pitt’s statement referred to the couple’s children is less shocking: Pitt and Jolie have frequently mentioned their children in the same breath as each other, or their careers.

“I suppose what I’ve learned from Brad is to be able to have the kind of family whose happiness and well-being comes before your own. I’m very, very grateful to have such a loving family, and I wouldn’t have that without him.”
–Jolie, in Marie Claire, December 2011

“It really tells you a lot about yourself and who you are and how you react to things. They make me better … They make me a better person as a father.”
–Pitt, on The Oprah Winfrey Show, in 2008

“You have to recognize real love when it’s there and know that in going after it, there is always a risk … To live with love, you have to chance losing it. That’s also true when you decide to have kids … My real fear at this point is the safety and health of Angie and the kids. The fear of losing them is what keeps me up at night.”
–Pitt, to Parade, August 2009

“I was thinking of only adoptive children, but [Brad] saw a big family mixed with adoptive and born children. And I ended up falling in love with a man who I think was destined to have children and suddenly one day it felt right and there it was.”
–Jolie, to The Times Online, November 2008

“Your worst fear is anything happening to your kids. Every day I came home, and I was so clinging to my kids. I was grabbing them. And checking them in the night.”
–Jolie on filming Changeling, to Entertainment Tonight, October 2008

“I’d say kids first, kids, woman to Brad and then my work internationally and trying to educate myself and trying to learn about the world and … trying to do some good things while I’m alive.”
–Jolie, on her priorities, to Nightline, February 2009

“I would never be the kind of parent to force somebody to be something they are not. I think that is just bad parenting. Children should be allowed to express themselves in whatever way they wish without anybody judging them because it is an important part of their growth.”
–Jolie, to Reuters, in July 2010

“Children are clearly a commitment, a bigger commitment [than marriage]. It’s for life.”
–Jolie, to Vanity Fair, July 2010

“Like every mother, I’m learning patience and all these wonderful things from them and I’m just so curious to see who they’re going to be when they’re older.”
–Jolie, to Stylist, August 2010

“One of the greatest, smartest things I ever did was give my kids Angie as their mom. She’s such a great mom. Oh, man, I’m so happy to have her. With a partner like Angie, I know that when I’m working, the kids are happy, safe, and prospering. And when Angie’s working, she knows she has the same.”
–Pitt, to Parade, September 2011

“I’m satisfied with making true choices and finding the woman I love, Angie, and building a family that I love so much. A family is a risky venture, because the greater the love, the greater the loss. You’re putting yourself on the line. That’s the risk we take. That’s the trade-off. But I’ll take it all.”
–Pitt, to Parade, September 2011

“I never thought I’d have children, I never thought I’d be in love, I never thought I’d meet the right person. Having come from a broken home – you kind of accept that certain things feel like a fairy tale, and you just don’t look for them.”
–Jolie, to Elle, June 2014

“You don’t know who your children are until they show you who they are and they are just becoming whoever they want to be.”
–Jolie, on Woman’s Hour, June 2016

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