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‘The Biggest Regret of My Life’ — Inside Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck’s Divorce

Entertainment icons, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, were once Hollywood sweethearts. However, their romance ended in 2018 following a divorce, which Affleck considers his biggest regret.

Actor Ben Affleck lived out his romance with actress Jennifer Garner for over a decade. The relationship, which began on-set, ended in a sad divorce in 2018. The pair have since carried on with their lives, pursuing different commitments while building their respective careers

Despite failing in the marriage department, the former Hollywood sweethearts, who share three children, have sustained their relationship as co-parents. Additionally, they are determined not to let their past marriage or divorce define the future.

Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck | Image: Instagram/Garneraffleck
Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck | Image: Instagram/Garneraffleck

In celebration of their love, history, family, and friendship, here is a brief look at their relationship timeline up until their divorce.

JENNIFER GARNER AND BEN AFFLECK’S FIRST MEETING

The duo met for the first time on the set of their 2000 film, “Pearl Harbor,” Although Jennifer Garner was Scott Foley’s wife at the time, the co-stars managed to form a connection both on and off the screen.

HOW THEIR LOVE DEVELOPED

Two years after co-starring on “Pearl Harbour,” the two reencountered each other in “Daredevil,” playing the male and female leads. During an interview, Affleck once admitted “Daredevil” marked the onset of their love story as they fell in love during the production.

Sadly, the pair could not act on their feelings, as they each had other partners. While Garner still enjoyed marital bliss with Foley, Affleck was dating singer and actress, Jennifer Lopez, whom he proposed to months later.

THE ONSET OF THEIR ROMANCE

In early 2003, just months after “Daredevil” premiered, Garner and Foley announced their separation. They finalized the divorce in May without rancor. In January the next year, Affleck and Lopez called off their engagement, marking the end of their relationship.

Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck | Image: YouTube/TODAY
Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck | Image: YouTube/TODAY

Garner and Affleck hooked up shortly after and kicked off their relationship. The duo made their first public appearance as a couple at the World Series in the fall of 2004. They spent the months that followed trying to keep their affair private.

THEIR ENGAGEMENT AND MARRIAGE

On April 17, 2005, Ben Affleck went down on one knee on Garner’s 33rd birthday. The actress welcomed the birthday surprise and ultimately accepted his proposal.

They sealed their union two months later in a private ceremony. Only two guests graced the wedding, namely, Victor Garber, who doubled as the officiator, and his husband, Rainer Andreesen. Garner became Ben Affleck’s wife on June 29, 2005.

WELCOMING NEW ADDITIONS

Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck welcomed their first child, Violet, on December 1, 2005. Three years later, their second daughter, Seraphina Rose, born in January 2009, joined the family.

The couple’s only son, Samuel Garner Affleck, arrived in February 2012, completing their adorable family of five.

Jennifer Garner,  Ben Affleck, and their three children | Image: Instagram/Garneraffleck
Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck, and their three children | Image: Instagram/Garneraffleck

THE HEARTBREAKING DIVORCE

Things soon began falling apart for the couple, sending their fortress of love crumbling. In July 2015, the pair released a joint statement announcing their separation. They also disclosed their intentions to move forward with love, friendship, and a commitment to co-parenting their kids. Additionally, the statement appealed to the public to respect their privacy and that of their kids as they scaled through the difficult phase.

The announcement of their split came days after rumors of Affleck’s affair with the family nanny, Christine Ouzounian, flooded the media. Although the actor denied the reports repeatedly, they still went through with their divorce.

Months later, Garner affirmed in an interview that Ouzounian in no way facilitated their divorce. According to her, they were already separated for months before Affleck’s rumored affair leaked.

Despite rumors of an impending reconciliation between the exes, the pair officially filed for divorce in April 2017. They finalized the divorce in October the next year, marking the end of Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck’s union.

BEN AFFLECK’S BIGGEST REGRET

Affleck has been open about his past alcohol addiction and how it played a role in his divorce from Garner. During a 2020 interview, the star revealed that he began drinking excessively when his marriage started falling apart. The habit soon became an addiction. Rather than offering him solace, his drinking habits created more marital problems, eventually forcing him into rehab.

In 2017, Affleck announced his recovery from alcoholism, but the recovery did little to save his marriage. According to the star, causing his marriage to crumble and end in divorce was a move he lived to regret. He noted:

“The biggest regret of my life is this divorce. Shame is really toxic. There is no positive by-product of shame. It’s just stewing in a toxic, hideous feeling of low self-worth and self-loathing.”

Remarkably, Ben Affleck learned from his past mistakes and has since strived to lead an exemplary life, both for himself and his three amazing kids.

Judith
Judith
Judith is an experienced writer, a thespian, and a creator with background knowledge in science and environmental technology. Her love for science led her to obtain a BSc. Degree in Microbiology. She also boasts of a certificate in Desktop Publishing. Driven by her passion for sustaining the environment, she explored environmental health-related courses like Health Safety & Environment and Environmental Impact Assessment. Her knowledge in these fields has helped her organize events and seminars over the years to create awareness about the detrimental impact of global warming and climate change in a bid to save the planet. When she's not saving the world, you can find Judith exploring new places, meeting people, embarking on adrenaline-pumping adventures, and creating things. Judith's numerous interests informed her love for writing. To her, writing is more than information-dissemination. It is an art that enables her to live out the best of both worlds by putting them into words. She loves writing about entertainment gist, celebrity gossip, useful life hacks, DIY projects, scripts, educational pieces on environmental protection, and advancement in medicine.
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