By now, everyone can agree that Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck have had quite a few bumpy years. Even though they announced their separation back in 2015, it took them a long time to actually pull the plug on their marriage.
There was speculation that Jennifer and Ben were trying to work things out for the sake of their kids. Others thought that perhaps they were giving their love a second try. And while no one knows what is really going on behind closed doors, one thing is for certain: Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck are a real, ex-couple who are doing their best. They might not be picture or Hollywood perfect (according to some critics), but they are an ex couple that many other parents can definitely relate too, especially when it comes to the way they operate, post-marriage.
Here are 20 ways that Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck are still making things work when it comes to their kids, their family and the way they are co-parenting in front of the cameras. It might not always be easy, but you’ve got to give credit where credit is due. Check out our list below and let us know what you think!
20 They Go To Church As A Family
Sure, Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck might be two of the most recognizable names in the industry. They have cameras that follow them everywhere they go. What’s more, every little step they make or the things they say make headlines that are both big and small. But that hasn’t stopped them from living their lives and trying to be as ‘normal’ as possible for their three kids. That’s why Jen and Ben make an effort to go to church as a family each and every Sunday. They feel very strongly about their faith, regardless of how many photogs might be waiting for them in the parking lot.
19 Separating Their Dating Life From Their Family Life
Believe it or not, Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck do separate their dating life from their family life, even though some media reports and tabloid and gossip blogs say otherwise. Sure, Ben often makes headlines for his romances and the girls he dates, but Jen has made it pretty clear that when he spends time with his family, he is to focus on their kids. That’s why fans almost never see any of Ben’s conquests with him whenever he’s out and about with his children. After all, girlfriends come and go but your children are forever. Every parent can agree on that.
18 Jennifer Never Posts Social Media Photos Of The Kids
Both Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck are huge A-list stars who are also household names all around the world. And while they do a great job of cashing paychecks on their blockbuster hits, Ben and Jen also make sure that their children live a life that is as normal as possible. That’s why you will never see them post photos of their kids on social media. As a celebrity, Jennifer posts photos of herself on social media, but doesn’t share anything that is personal or family related. Jen doesn’t want her kids to be broadcast in public if they don’t have to.
17 Grinning And Bearing It In Front Of The Cameras
Let’s face it: separating is never easy, regardless if you are just a regular, middle class couple trying hard to make things work or a Hollywood family similar to what Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck have. Jen and Ben have a lot of household help and the kind of staff that some people would never be able to afford. With that being said though, it’s not always easy. They are often times forced to “grin and bear” it in front of the cameras, especially with their children in public. The last thing this ex-couple wants is for one of their arguments to be publicized or documented for the world to see.
16 Ben Is Putting The Effort In
Sure, a lot of things can be said about Ben Affleck. He’s had one rollercoaster ride in Hollywood, he doesn’t always look too pleased in front of the paparazzi cameras, and he’s either hot or cold when it comes to his media interviews. But when it comes to his kids, there’s no denying that he loves them with his entire heart. That’s why he is willing to put the effort in with Jennifer Garner, even though the romance between them has long been cold. He knows that co-parenting with Jen is perhaps now harder than ever before, but both of them are not willing to give up on their kids or themselves.
15 Doing The School Pick Up And Drop Off Shuffle
Say what you will about Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner and their marriage, but if there is one thing that they have been very consistent about, it’s always being there for their kids. As a matter of fact, many fans have noticed that Ben and Jennifer have always done the school pick up and drop off shuffle together, both when they were together and after Jen pulled the plug on their marriage. Not many parents have the opportunity to do the school runs with their kids, but Ben and Jennifer always do it, especially when they are available in between their projects and work schedule.
14 Attending Extra-Curricular Events As A Family
Another thing that Ben and Jennifer do as a post-couple is attend all of their children’s extra-curricular activities and events together as a family. It doesn’t matter if it’s a ballet recital, baseball practice or a basketball game, Ben and Jen show a united front for their kids. What’s more, Ben always attends each and every one of his children’s birthday parties. Could you imagine sharing a slice of birthday cake with a Hollywood star like Ben at a place like Monkey Joe’s? Yeah, we couldn’t either. But as a doting father to his kids, Ben knows that its part of his parental obligations.
13 Working Together, But Separately
No matter what happens between Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner as a couple, one thing is for certain: these two will always be in each other’s lives, for better or for worse. That’s what happens when you become a parent, right? Ben and Jennifer might not be on the same page when it comes to their lifestyle choices or even their own relationship, but they communicate and keep things civil for the sake of their three children.
If there’s one thing that Jennifer has worked hard to avoid, it’s unnecessary drama. She doesn’t want them arguing in front of the kids or worse, in front of the cameras.
12 Communicating As Co-Parents
As many former couples will tell you, communication is always key, especially when it comes to co-parenting your kids. Jen and Ben always talk things out between them. “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.”
11 Being On The Same Page With Rules
When it comes to parenting rules and regulations, Ben and Jen work as a team. They don’t always agree, but they try to meet in the middle. “You have to be on the same page. You have to cooperate," Ben told The Today Show. "If you recognize that you both have the best interest of the kids at heart, it’s quite a special connection. We’re the only two people in the world who care this much about these three kids. We don’t always agree. I tend to be more permissive about video games, for example. I played video games when I was kid.”
10 Giving Their Kids Stability
The Affleck kids might live in a Hollywood bubble, but for Jen and Ben, giving them stability in their lives is important. They also want to introduce them to people from all walks of life. Jen told Southern Living, "It's really important for my kids to see that everyone doesn't have the lives they see in Los Angeles. That doesn't reflect the rest of the world. I want them to grow up with the Southern values I had—to look at people when they say hello and to stop and smell the roses. If I could do half as good a job as my mom did, I'd be pretty happy."
9 Jen’s Determination To Be A Good Mom
Jennifer is determined to always be a good mother, even when the going gets tough. The actress told Us Weekly, "There's an internal battle. I need to work, I need to work, I need to work, and I need to be home with my kids and the kids win. It's about getting the kids up and fed, getting one to school, getting the other down for a nap, going to the grocery store, picking one up from school, getting the other one down for another nap, cooking dinner . . . I live my life at these two extremes. I'm either a full-time stay-at-home mom or a full-time actress."
8 Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
Let’s face it: Jennifer Garner should be given credit where credit is due. While there have been plenty of other celebrity moms who have tried to drag their exes down to the ground, Jen is not one of them. She has always remained focus on the kids. And while there have been plenty of embarrassing headlines over the years, Jen doesn’t let it get the best of her. She always carries herself with grace and holds her head up high, no matter what is written about her, her ex, and their family. There’s just no room for negativity in Jennifer Garner’s schedule.
7 Keeping Their Issues Out Of The Headlines
A lot of things have been said and written about the Affleck and Garner family online, but both Jen and Ben do their best to shield their children away from it. That’s why they do whatever it takes to keep their issues out of the headlines. They also have a no social media policy at home with their kids. “I don’t allow my oldest daughter to get on Instagram or Facebook. Or any of those. I do protect them from trolls by not letting them read it. If we want to show them something, we specifically show them,” Ben said.
6 No Arguing In Front Of The Kids
This might be tough, but it’s something Ben and Jen are committed to do, and that’s always treat one another with respect. In other words, they try their best not to argue in front of the kids. They might have disagreements, but they avoid any unnecessary shouting matches that would just make their situation worse. Separating is never easy and separating with children is perhaps one of the hardest things that adults can do. That’s why Jen and Ben try their hardest to be good role models for their three children. You might not agree with the other person, but the best you can do is listen.
5 Making Sure Their Kids Are Happy
Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck’s biggest priority as parents is to make sure that their kids are always happy, regardless if they are around or not. Seeing how they have very hectic filming schedules, their three children have gotten used to the fact that their family life and schedule isn’t always the same. Luckily, they’ve got plenty of good support around them. Jen told Well and Good, “My kids are used to the strange rhythm of production —I’m either very much home and available, or I’m working a bunch and leaving notes everywhere for them to find during the day. I have great help at my house and it all works out.”
4 Jen’s Support For Ben
It might have been hard staying married to him, but Jennifer assures everyone that she always has Ben Affleck’s back, through thick and thin. Jen told Vanity Fair, “It’s not Ben’s job to make me happy. The main thing is these kids—and we’re completely in line with what we hope for them. Sure, I lost the dream of dancing with my husband at my daughter’s wedding. But you should see their faces when he walks through the door. And if you see your kids love someone so purely and wholly, then you’re going to be friends with that person.”
3 They Refuse To Give Up On Their Family
Both Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck could have easily thrown in the towel years ago. But if there’s one thing that they refuse to do, it’s give up on their kids or their family. No matter how busy they are, they always take the time to be with their kids during the weekends. They know that the time they have with them is valuable. Jennifer told Well and Good, “I love to hike with my kids on Sunday afternoons. And I have been known to bribe them to meditate. If we can get outside, even for a minute, the whole evening moves more easily.”
2 Working Towards A Better Future
While no one knows what is in store for Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, they are working towards a better future. They also know that their kids are growing, their needs are changing and that they are aware of some of the stuff that happens in their lives. “Kids are pretty resilient. Once you explain it to them, they’re pretty cool about it. She rolls her eyes,” Ben says of his daughter Violet in an interview with The Today Show. “It’s a pretty good lesson. Kids are mean in grade school. The Internet is quite a bit like sixth grade. Can you believe it?”
1 Ben Still Lives Close To Home
While Ben Affleck is still working out some of the issues in both his personal and professional lives, one thing is for certain: he’s not going anywhere, anytime soon. After reports indicated that he and Jen had separated back in 2015, the actor apparently moved in to their guest house so he could still be close to his kids. These days he’s still very close to home and remains a fixture in his children’s lives. Jennifer might no longer be married to him but as the father of her three children, she’s remained dedicated to making sure that he is always included during every birthday, holiday and special family get together.