Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
05/22/2013 at 09:30 AM EDT
Talk about teamwork.
In the weeks surrounding Angelina Jolie
's preventive double mastectomy
and subsequent reconstructive surgery, her fiancé, Brad Pitt
, served as her No. 1 support.
At the bustling home they share with their six kids in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, "Brad did everything he could to keep things secret
and protect Angie," a family insider tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story.
Using early morning appointments and rental cars to avoid discovery, "They really wanted Angie to be able to recover and rest before they shared the story," says the insider.
The actress's medical ordeal only deepened the bond between Jolie, 37, and Pitt, 49, a couple for seven years. Those close to them say the pair's teamwork is always on display, in public and private.
"They are very loving and inspiring to each other, exchanging ideas," says Jeremy Kleiner, a longtime exec at Pitt's Plan B production company and producer on his upcoming movie World War Z
On-set, "He would light up when his family showed up. It's just a very cool thing to see."
For much more on this story, including Angelina's next surgery and how Brad's family has supported her, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE