'He's The Love Of My Life': Jennifer Garner Speaks Candidly About The Heartbreak Of Divorce

by Valerie Williams
Image via Jason Merritt/Getty Images

In a recent Vanity Fair interview, Jennifer Garner talks about life post-divorce and why we shouldn’t hate Ben Affleck

A favorite among celebrity moms, Jennifer Garner has always been a class-act. Her devotion to her kids is well-known and the world was devastated with her in the wake of her divorce from actor Ben Affleck. As cheating rumors swirled and her marriage fell apart, she held it together for her kids and up until now, hasn’t said much about her family situation.

That changed in a recent interview with Vanity Fair where she discussed her divorce, her children and why we shouldn’t hate Ben Affleck.

Of her life post-divorce, Garner says it’s been “a year of wine.” The couple announced their plans to separate last June, a day after their tenth wedding anniversary. Amid rumors that Affleck cheated on her with their nanny, a total nightmare for any wife and mother to deal with, Garner soldiered on as a parent to their three kids — Violet, Seraphina and Sam.

While the tabloids focused on the nanny scandal, Jennifer focused on the truth. “Let me just tell you something. 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.”

Typically, the world sees a Hollywood marriage as something false and temporary with the couple’s 10-year union amounting to an eternity in comparison to their peers, but Garner sets the record straight. “It was a real marriage. It wasn’t for the cameras. And it was a huge priority for me to stay in it. And that did not work.”

She shares that the end of her marriage meant the end of her vision of what the future with their children would be like. However, it sounds as though the couple is on the same page as far as parenting is concerned. “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.”

She talks about how she married Affleck the person, not “the big fat movie star.” “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. He’s the love of my life. What am I going to do about that?”

Obviously, it’s a heartbreak hard for anyone to deal with but of course, Garner had to handle it all in the public eye. One difficult public moment came in January when Ricky Gervais introduced Matt Damon at the Golden Globes as “the only person who Ben Affleck hasn’t been unfaithful to.” Garner handled it with such grace. “I laughed. People have pain — they do regrettable things, they feel shame, and shame equals pain. No one needs to hate him for me. I don’t hate him. Certainly we don’t have to beat the guy up. Don’t worry — my eyes were wide open during the marriage. I’m taking good care of myself.”

Any divorce is painful, even for non-famous couples, but the way Garner is speaking out about the end of her marriage for the whole world to dissect is admirable. Most Hollywood couples don’t express their heartache after their relationship ends and she’s very brave to do so. It’s clear that their children are her top priority and the way she refuses to bash her ex-husband can serve as a great example of how anyone should co-parent following divorce.

Of her life now, Garner says, “I definitely put a lot of time towards my marriage that I will now have for myself. I don’t know how I will use that.” We hope she uses it doing whatever in the world she wants. She deserves it.