For what seemed like an eternity, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner were one of Hollywood’s strongest power couples… or so it seemed. The couple began dating mid-2004 after Jen had just gotten out of a short-lived marriage and Ben had recently split with his high-profile fiancée Jennifer Lopez. It seemed like it was love at first sight for the pair, as they were married only a year later in 2005 during a private ceremony in Turks and Caicos. The wedding was so tiny that it only featured two guests- Victor Garber, who was the officiant, and his husband Rainer Andreessen. Ben and Jen went on to welcome three children: daughters Violet and Seraphina, and son Samuel.
Despite seeming to have a picture-perfect family, things came crashing to a halt when the famous couple announced that they were filing for divorce in 2015. Tons of media speculation followed the surprising announcement, including rumors of Ben’s bad habits. The couple appeared to be trying to work things out for some time, as it took them three years to finally follow through with the divorce, but things were finally finalized in October 2018.
Read on to learn about the secrets that have been unearthed since Ben and Jen’s infamous split. This is one celebrity breakup we’re still not over!
20 Why Did It Take So Long To Finalize The Divorce?
Ben and Jennifer announced their plans to divorce almost three years ago, but the couple only recently got around to finalizing things (even though Ben has been dating other people since). Many fans have been curious to know what took the parents-of-three so long.
Hollywood Life explains that the actress was the one who decided to stall the divorce so Ben could focus on his sobriety. The actor has struggled with drinking for many years, and it evidently got out of control post-split. Only now did Jen feel it was okay to proceed with their divorce. One source told the publication about how Ben is continuing to work on self-care,
“He’s undergoing a lot of therapy, and he’s being forced into doing a lot of self-examination, which is tough at times, but totally invaluable.”
19 What In The World Is Going On With Ben?
Ben Affleck’s struggle to play sober is no secret from the media. But, unfortunately, it seemed like he lost control again after separating from Jennifer.
In 2017, the actor announced he was sober in order to focus on being the best father, Entertainment Tonight reports. However, things went downhill this summer when the celeb’s troubles started up again. He reportedly sought treatment in August after pressure from his loved ones.
Ben’s issues with sobriety go back decades. The celeb claimed to be sober in 1998, completed his first rehab stint in 2001, and the media has suggested throughout the years that his struggles also impacted his marriage to Jennifer.
18 Did Ben’s Mom Move In With Jen?
Most people aren’t necessarily on good terms with their ex-spouse’s parents, but it looks like that isn’t the case for Jennifer and her former mother-in-law.
According to People Magazine, Jen’s MIL actually moved in this past August when Ben entered treatment for his sobriety.
A source explained to the magazine that Jen allowed her to move in temporarily in order to help out with the three kids while mom is promoting her new movie Peppermint.
“Jen has been super busy promoting her movie and getting the kids settled back in school. She seems great. She has been very excited and proud to promote her new movie. The kids are excited to be back in school.”
17 Did Ben Hit Up The Other Jennifer?
Okay, this may have been one of the wildest rumors floating around immediately after Ben and Jen’s split!
Before marrying Jennifer Garner, Ben was famously engaged to another Jennifer -- Jennifer Lopez, that is! Though they broke off their engagement in 2004, sources say he reached out to her after announcing his divorce for support. “Ben and JLo have been talking and texting since he split with Jennifer,” an insider dished to Hollywood Life.
“When news of him splitting came out, JLo reached out to him just to see how he was holding up,” they added.
“Since then they have talked a few times and it’s been really nice. Jen knows what its like to go through a rough divorce when you have young children.”
16 Was It True Jen Pulled An Intervention On Him?
Despite separating on rocky terms, it’s clear that Jen wants all the best for her ex-husband. This was especially evident when she reportedly staged an intervention for him this past August insisting he seek help for staying sober.
“[She] spent 2 hours convincing [Ben] to check into rehab,” an insider admitted to Hollywood Life. “She pleaded with him that she could not stand by another minute and watch him continue to hurt himself.” They added, “After tears from both of them and a lot of begging and pleading from Jen, Ben agreed to check in immediately.”
Shortly after, it was reported that Ben did check himself into a facility and has been seeking treatment for his issues ever since.
15 How Does Jen Feel About His Treatment?
It’s no secret that Ben has struggled with his sobriety over the years -- some publications allege it even contributed to the divorce. But the actor has gone through a particularly rough patch post-split.
It’s been reported that Ben has entered treatment numerous times in the last three years to address his issues, and now it sounds like Jen is getting fed up.
Just this August, when Ben checked into treatment yet again, a source told Hollywood Life that she made it clear this was it. “Jen has made it very clear to Ben that leaving rehab is not an option right now, for him or the kids,” they explained. “She’s growing weary of constantly picking up the pieces after him,”
They added, “Sober Ben is the most amazing, kind, funny and warm person you will ever meet, but Ben [under the influence] is very dark, and nobody wants to be around that.”
14 Did Ben Step Out On Jennifer?
Many fans have been curious as to the real reason why this once-power couple called it quits. The parents-of-three seemed as happy and in love as ever mere months before their surprise announcement. But the media was quick to speculate that Ben’s wandering eye was the cause of their split.
Months after the divorce news, People Magazine broke the news that Ben had reportedly not been solely committed to Jen and to top it off, the other woman (SNL producer Lindsay Shookus) was his current girlfriend!
The magazine claimed they’d been seeing each other for several years, even though both were married with kids.
Amidst the drama, Lindsay and Ben have since broken up.
13 Did Jen Ever Confront The Other Woman?
As the news began circulating that Ben wasn't committed to his wife, many fans began to wonder if Jennifer had her chance to confront the other woman, or if she’d learned about her hubby’s ways through the media.
According to People Magazine, Jen did come face-to-face with Ben’s other woman, Lindsay Shookus.
“[She contacted her] after she found out about their [thing together] in 2015,” an insider told the publication about Jen’s initial reaction. She even went so far as to go out of her way to meet Lindsay. “On a work trip to New York City,” the source explained, “[Jen confronted her] about the fling.” However, the source added, “Lindsay refused to back down or quit [seeing him].”
12 Is Ben Really Dating a 20-Year Old Now?
Well, a 22-year old to be exact. But yes, tabloids began reporting this fall that the actor was dating 22-year old model Shauna Sexton. Many fans were surprised given their huge age difference- Ben is 24 years her senior!
Despite the big age gap, these two seemed to be going strong for a number of months. However, at the beginning of October, media reports said Ben had broken off their fling as he wanted to work on his sobriety. But, considering these two have been spotted together since, it doesn’t seem like the break-up is permanent.
“He really likes Shauna, but he doesn’t want to pin her down and get into a relationship with her and would rather see her thrive and not be bogged down by his schedule and health concerns,” one insider told Hollywood Life. “Once he is in a better place he would definitely consider getting back with Shauna."
11 How Involved Is His New GF In His Treatment?
While many outlets are only reporting on what Jennifer has been doing to help Ben while he’s been in treatment the past few months, there are many fans curious to know about the role of his 22-year old girlfriend, Shauna.
And, according to Gossip Cop, Ben is hoping she’ll take the lead in his recovery.
Specifically, one source told the publication he offered to pay Shauna a whopping $45,000 per month to be his caretaker when he comes home from the treatment center. “No matter what threats Jennifer has made, Ben’s not willing to give up Shauna,” they explained. “He can’t stand to be alone and has told her he doesn’t care that she has no experience in working with [people who have dependencies]. He feels that just looking at her keeps him from drinking.”
10 Did Jen Really Try To Pay His New GF Off?
To make matters even more complicated, not only did Ben reportedly offer to pay his girlfriend Shauna to stay with him post-treatment, but it turns out Jen tried to pay her to stay away from her ex when he comes back.
Now that sounds like a soap opera!
Gossip Cop alleges that Jennifer tried to bribe Shauna to stay away from Ben, but the model refused. “[She was] calling Shauna and warning her off,” the insider explained. “Jen apparently got her lawyers to offer her cold hard cash – a few hundred grand – to get her out of the picture, but even that didn’t work. Shauna just laughed.”
9 Did They Ever Try Couples Counselling?
Considering that this former couple took three whole years to finalize their divorce, it’s pretty clear they tried as hard as they could to make things work.
Many fans wonder just what lengths the celebs went to try and salvage their marriage, and one report from People Magazine says they did, in fact, go to counseling.
Back in September 2015, the magazine published photos of the estranged pair attending a session at a family counseling center in LA together. The pair had reportedly been attending sessions before announcing their plans to divorce but stopped months before.
Too bad their second time around wasn’t a success either.
8 Was Jen Blindsided By The Allegations Against Ben?
Fans didn’t think it could get much worse for Jen and Ben after their surprise divorce announcement and the subsequent rumors.
However, things reached an all-new low in 2017 when several women came forward accusing Ben of acting inappropriately with them. Actress Hilarie Burton accused the actor of being inappropriate during a TV interview, of which there was video evidence that started floating around on Twitter. Shortly after, a makeup artist claimed the actor grabbed her at a Hollywood event.
Jen never publicly spoke out against the allegations, though Ben did issue an apology via social media to Burton after the video footage began circulating. We wouldn’t be surprised if this incident contributed to their decision to finally finalize the divorce.
7 Were Jen and Chris Pine A Thing?
We’ve been secretly hoping Jen would find love again with some handsome Hollywood bachelor. And we almost got our wish answered when a report said the brunette was dating hunky actor Chris Pine back in 2017.
“Chris and Jen have been seeing each other on the down-low for a little while now,” one source dished to OK! Magazine. “They meet up whenever their schedules allow and their attraction towards each other is only growing.” The insider added the pair met at a charity event in 2011 and immediately hit it off, though they didn’t start romantically seeing each other until after Jen’s split from her husband.
However, even if this report was true, the fling clearly didn't last, as these two haven’t been heard about together in over a year.
6 How Are They Doing With Co-Parenting?
Considering that Ben and Jen share three young kids between them, many fans were curious to see how the actors would deal with co-parenting. Though the exes have done their best to put on a brave face for the public, there have been multiple instances where it’s clear not all is well in their world.
This February, in particular, the parents were photographed getting into a public spat while at their son Samuel’s basketball game. Radar Online published photos of the pair getting into a heated argument. “Jen’s furious with Ben’s infantile behavior and demanded he quit boozing and biking,” a source told the magazine.
Clearly co-parenting is more challenging than we thought for these famous exes!
5 Has Jen Started To Date Again?
It wasn’t long after announcing their separation that Ben stepped out with his new girlfriend, Lindsay Shookus, who he was rumored to have started seeing while still married to Jen. So many fans have been wondering when Jennifer will feel ready to hit the dating scene again. And, according to People Magazine, she may already be back at it!
Just this month, the magazine reported that Jen was ready to date now that their divorce has been finalized. “Jen has been wanting to move on and now when the divorce is finalized, she finally can,” a source explained. “Jen doesn’t want to be single for the rest of her life, so she is open to dating.” They added that she’s “been on dates,” and is currently “dating someone new.”
4 Did Cards Play A Part In The Divorce?
Alongside his habit for drinking a bit too much, it also turns out that Mr. Affleck is a fan of cards.
The celeb has had a gambling problem for several years, though he’s largely managed to keep it out of the public eye. However, right around the time announced their divorce, reports suggesting Ben’s casino nights played a part in their split.
One source told TMZ in 2015 that Ben’s drinking and gambling got to the point where “she couldn’t take it anymore.” The site said the couple had been in counseling since 2013 trying to work through their issues, but Jen no longer saw any hope at the end of the tunnel.
3 Does Jen Blame Herself... Or Ben?
Considering the rumors of other women and Ben’s problems with drinking and gambling, it sounds like he did a lot of things to hurt his ex-wife.
And many fans are quick to blame him for the disintegration of their marriage. However, it doesn’t look like Jen necessarily sees it that way.
In a 2016 interview with Vanity Fair, Jen admitted that she feels responsible for her second marriage ending in divorce.
“I’m a pretty hard worker. It’s one of the pains in my life that something I believe in so strongly I’ve completely failed at twice. You have to have two people to dance a marriage,” she explained, Hollywood Life reports.
The actress added, ”My heart’s a little on the tender side right now, and it’s always easier to focus on the ways that you feel hurt, but I know that, with time and some perspective, I’ll have a clearer sense of where I let the system down, because there’s no way I get off in this.”
2 Did They Almost Get Back Together?
Ben and Jen were one of the most loved celebrity couples for over a decade, so obviously there were tons of fans who were rooting for them to get back together after their initial split news. One media report gave fans false hope when it said the estranged couple was looking into renewing their vows despite allegations that Ben had been unfaithful.
“[Ben and Jennifer have] decided to renew their wedding vows, possibly as early as this summer,” a source told Life & Style in 2016. “He’s determined to show his commitment to her and the children,” they added, saying he was motivated to try and put his family back together.
Too bad things didn’t work out.
1 Does She Still Love Him?
As many fans are heartbroken after this beloved celeb couple called it quits, we can only imagine how Jen actually felt going through this whole drama. Though it seems that Ben gave her plenty of reasons to be furious with him, many fans want to know if there are still feelings there - and the answer looks like it’s yes!
In 2016, Jen gave a candid interview to Vanity Fair where she opened up about their split and admitted she still considers Ben the love of her life, Hollywood Life reports. “[Ben’s] the love of my life. What am I going to do about that?” she explained. “He’s the most brilliant person in any room, the most charismatic, the most generous. He’s just a complicated guy.”
She added, “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.”
Sources: People Magazine, People Magazine, People Magazine, Hollywood Life, Hollywood Life, Hollywood Life, Hollywood Life, Hollywood Life, Entertainment Tonight, Life & Style, Radar Online, Radar Online, Gossip Cop, TMZ,