One of the saddest breakups that we saw in Hollywood was between Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck. They were one couple that we really believed was going to make it. They fell in love young and went the long haul, getting married, and having three children together. But like many Hollywood couples, it just didn’t last. Fans couldn’t understand what went wrong with a couple who seemed to always have each other’s backs.
It wasn’t always that way, though. There was a time when these two were madly in love and it all started on a movie set. When they first met, of course, they were with different people, so it took a while for them to get together, but like all good love stories, we discover that when two people are meant to be together, nothing is ever going to keep them apart.
There is a lot to love about this couple and sometimes it’s just nice to go down memory lane and remember the good times for a little while. This is the place to be if you were looking for a little romance and nostalgia. Check out these 20 rare photos of Jennifer Garner and her ex Ben Affleck.
20 They Have Known Each Other For A Really Long Time
These two go way back, well before they started dating. You might not remember that Jennifer Garner starred in Pearl Harbor at the beginning of her acting success but she didn’t have a large role. It wasn’t until the two starred alongside each other in Daredevil that sparks started flying between them. Even though Ben will admit that he was falling for Jennifer Garner during the movie, he was also dating another Jennifer, as in Lopez at the time. So, it wasn’t until much later that the two actually started dating. It’s one of those situations where they were friends first which usually helps a relationship.
19 They Were Reunited On The Set Of Daredevil
Reuniting on the set of Daredevil seemed to be a game changer for the couple and as we said before, Ben admitted that’s where he fell in love with her. “That’s where I found my wife. We met on Pearl Harbor, which people [dislike], but we fell in love on Daredevil,” he said. It wasn’t just Affleck that wasn’t able to act on his feelings. At the time, Garner was also married to Felicity actor, Scott Foley. Her success was growing much faster than her husband’s and we all know that it can cause a strain on a marriage.
18 She Inspired Him To Start Directing
Ben Affleck took his job to the next level when he started directing, and his first movie was Gone Baby Gone, which starred his brother, Casey Affleck. Ben hasn’t always been the best actor but he is a consistent one and fans know what to expect from him. “Getting to know Jennifer, falling in love with her, and being connected with her gave me a foundation to reach out and say, okay, I’m going to do ‘Hollywoodland.’ I’m going to direct ‘Gone Baby Gone.’ Those were the steps forward I needed to put positive stuff on the board,” he told Huffington Post.
17 They Used To Attend Church Every Sunday
These two don’t let their Hollywood names discourage them from doing the things that they wanted to do as a family. They are two of the biggest names in Hollywood and they have to deal with cameras following them around all the time. The one thing that they try to do for their children is to give them as normal of a life as they can. When they were together the two made it a priority to attend church every Sunday as a family because they wanted that normalcy. It’s sad that they have to worry about photographers right in the church parking lot but their faith is very important to them.
16 He Saved Her Life Like A Superhero
They made a real connection on the set of Daredevil and Jennifer Garner tells a story of how Ben Affleck once saved her in a very superhero-like way. “One time, actually, on my way over, I got tangled in the wires,” she told E!. “There was such velocity as I was swinging towards the wall, I was about to literally break my face on this brick wall. And Ben came out of nowhere in his Daredevil costume and went whoosh and caught me. Like ‘I got her!’ And I just thought, ‘who else has Ben Affleck as their own personal superhero?’”
15 He Gave Her A Birthday Proposal
Victor Garber was her co-star in the TV series Alias and he obviously had a huge impact on her life because she asked him to officiate their wedding. He was her father in the series and he likely became a father figure in real life. During an interview on The View, Garber stated, "We went to a private place. I don't like to talk about it publicly, because it was so personal, but I'm happy to talk about it only because it was such a joyous, extraordinary thing. I was so honored and they are so happy, their baby is so beautiful, and I just love them so much."
14 She Was Pregnant At The Time Of The Wedding
What a lot of people didn’t know at the time of their wedding was that Jennifer Garner was four months pregnant with their daughter Violet. At the time, Garner stated that she wanted to have “lots of kids” and in the end, they only had three together. It’s been a rocky road for the couple but now that Ben is out of his sober lifestyle program, Garner believes that he will take his sobriety seriously. “Jen is convinced that Ben will take this latest stab at sobriety as seriously as possible and is happy that he is continuing to make himself better because he is a great father and a great man,” another source revealed Hollywood Life.
13 She Had Victor Garber Officiate The Wedding
Victor Garber was her co-star in the TV series Alias and he obviously had a huge impact on her life because she asked him to officiate their wedding. He was her father in the series and he likely became a father figure in real life. During an interview on The View, Garber stated, "We went to a private place. I don't like to talk about it publicly, because it was so personal, but I'm happy to talk about it only because it was such a joyous, extraordinary thing. I was so honored and they are so happy, their baby is so beautiful and I just love them so much."
12 Garner Was In A Whirlwind Romance With Affleck
After Ben proposed, the two got married right away and Garner was also pregnant at the time. So, they didn’t waste any time starting a family and because of that, Garner has described their relationship as a whirlwind experience. “When we had our first [child] we had only been together a year. We were babies. It happened so fast, I hardly remember what we were like before the kids got here,” she said. “Now we’re just starting to go away for a night here and there.” It’s so important for married couples to find time for themselves after they have children.
11 She Was The One Who Took On Most Of The Parenting
When it comes to parenting, usually the parents take on different roles. There is usually one that is stricter than the other or laxer in the discipline department. Garner has suggested that Ben came off as the “fun dad” while she was the one that laid down the law. “I know who wants what lunch, and I’ve done all the school paperwork and filled out the emergency cards. Ben doesn’t know that stuff exists,” Garner told InStyle. “He is in charge of laughter. No matter how much I tickle them or toss them or chase them around, it’s not the same. If I’m the slow, steady drumbeat, he’s the jazz.”
10 She Accepted Him Regardless Of His Flaws
Jennifer Garner is a firm believer that you can’t change a man so you shouldn’t even try. She stated that the reason why their marriage has lasted as long as it did was that she accepted him wholeheartedly, flaws and all. “My mom’s solid piece of advice to my sisters was, ‘Never marry a guy thinking you can change him,’” she said. “Don’t get in there and think you can start to tinker. So, I’m not a fixer.” It’s really good advice and many women often get disappointed when they get into a relationship and they can’t seem to change a man’s bad behavior.
9 No One Wanted To See Them Onscreen Again
A lot of people assume that if a couple is popular that they should also be doing movies together but in truth, fans often get sick of seeing their favorite stars coupling onscreen as well. Actors also run the risk of getting movie flops like Ben and Jennifer Lopez did with their movie, Gigli. “Well, my wife and I made Pearl Harbor and Daredevil. With our track record, I don’t know if anyone’s looking for a three-quel,” he told Playboy. Garner seemed to agree with what he said in an interview with Allure. “Really, you don’t want to see a couple onscreen. People see paparazzi shots of us together all the time. There’s no mystery… People are sick of us,” she said.
8 She Was His Everything
Nothing is worse than hearing your favorite celebrity say that his wife is everything only to see them later go through a divorce. We start to ask ourselves, what happened to make her not be “everything” or something worth fighting for? We often tear up when we hear these sentiments and puzzle up when we hear they are separating.
When Affleck won Best Director at the Golden Globes in 2013 for the movie Argo, he made sure to thank his wife. In his speech, he thanked Garner, saying, "I adore you, I love you. You're my everything." What went wrong and why are they now another Hollywood statistic?
7 They Are Always There For Their Kids
Even when it came to announcing their split, they always had their children’s feelings at the forefront of their mind. Not too many people would want to spend time with their soon-to-be ex-wife right after announcing the split but that’s what Garner and Affleck decided to do. They were separated for 10 months leading up to the split and when it came time to make the announcement, they took a page out of Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow’s book and took a vacation together with the kids. They headed to the Bahamas so that they could avoid the paparazzi madness that was sure to ensue an announcement like that.
6 Therapy Wasn’t Helping Them At All
Sometimes therapy works to help strengthen a couple and fix a marriage while other times it seems to magnify all the problems and the couple separates anyways. It’s not for everyone. We’re not sure how long Ben and Jen were having issues before they decided to call it quits. There were signs of course, like when Ben started looking for his own apartment. There was also a lot of talk about the last ditch effort to try marriage counseling before Garner threw in the towel, as reported by US Weekly. It’s clear that whatever happened in marriage counseling, it wasn’t enough to save the marriage or keep them together.
5 Surprising The World With A Separation
The saddest part of their relationship timeline came when they announced that they were calling it quits. Of course, there was lots of speculation about the nanny having a lot to do with their separation but Jennifer Garner was quit to end that speculation. “Let me just tell you something,” she told Vanity Fair. “We had been separated for months before I ever heard about the nanny. She had nothing to do with our decision to divorce. She was not a part of the equation. Bad judgment? Yes. It’s not great for your kids for [a nanny] to disappear from their lives.”
4 She Would Marry Him All Over Again
This is one aspect of their relationship that certainly tugs at our heartstrings. It took the couple a long time to get a divorce and many wondered if they really just didn’t want to get divorced. It’s clear that Garner still has Ben in her heart and she told Vanity Fair in 2016 that she would marry him all over again. “I didn’t marry the big movie star; I married him. And I would go back and remake that decision. I ran down the beach to him, and I would again. You can’t have these three babies and so much of what we had.”
3 He Was The Love Of Her Life
In the same interview with Vanity Fair, Jennifer Garner talks about how Ben was the love of her life and it’s kind of sad when you think about it. She has already stated how she would marry him all over again and even with that kind of love, you still can’t keep it together. Sometimes there is just too much working against you and that could be the addictions and gambling that Affleck experienced. “He’s the love of my life. What am I going to do about that?” These days, the two have moved on with other people and that’s probably a step in the right direction. Garner is now seeing businessman John Miller.
2 He Cast A Shadow Over Her
Jennifer Garner shared an interesting observation about what it felt like to be married to Ben Affleck and it speaks volumes to why they may have separated. She told Vanity Fair that when she was the object of Ben’s affection it was magical, but when she wasn’t, it was a lonely place to be in. “He’s the most brilliant person in any room, the most charismatic, the most generous. He’s just a complicated guy. I always say, ‘When his sun shines on you, you feel it.’ But when the sun is shining elsewhere, it’s cold. He can cast quite a shadow,” she said.
1 They Have Their Children’s Best Interest At Heart
Now that they are apart and moving on with their lives, they are trying their best to co-parent their children and that comes with its own struggles. At least they are trying to do the best for their children and they try to talk through things. “My daughter is demanding a phone and she’s 11. Jen is not as supportive as I am of the phone. I feel like she should have it to be able to call or whatever,” says Ben. “She goes to her friend’s house and they have less computer supervision over there so she reads stuff. There’s only so much you can do to staunch the flow of information. It’s better to help them contextualize it.”