*Update July, 2015. Ben and Jenn have decided to call it quits. Read about it here
For an A-list couple, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner rarely end up in the glare of the tabloids. Instead, year after year, their love and friendship continue to grow—and so does their family.
No one saw it coming, this seeming pair of opposites.
Jennifer grew up in West Virginia and was raised in a conservative family. After college she headed for New York and a life in the theater. But a small part on the television show Felicity soon led to the role that would change her life—Sydney Bristow on ABC’s Alias.
Ben’s childhood was quite different from Jennifer’s. Born in Berkeley, CA, to liberal activist parents who eventually divorced, he moved to Cambridge, MA, at a young age. Together with schoolmate Matt Damon, he began to pursue acting. The 1990s were filled with small parts, until he and Damon struck gold with their script Good Will Hunting, which earned them an Oscar for Best Screenplay.
After finding success, Ben’s personal life became the stuff of major publicity. In fact, when Affleck and Garner first met while making the 2001 action movie Pearl Harbor, he was entrenched in the highest of profile romances with a different Jennifer—Jennifer Lopez, aka J.Lo. The world seemed obsessed with the couple known as Bennifer, at least until they co-starred in the mega-bomb Gigli.
Affleck and Garner were reunited onscreen again, this time in Daredevil, where the pair said they became friends. At the time, Garner was married to actor Scott Foley. But as her marriage faltered, so too did Ben and J.Lo’s engagement.
Both suddenly single in 2004, they soon began dating, and managed to keep this love affair out of the spotlight. Ben proposed in 2005 on Jennifer’s 33rd birthday, and they surprised the world by tying the knot in an intimate beachfront ceremony a few months later. They started a family with daughters Violet and Seraphina, who were joined by brother Samuel in February of 2012.
After her failed first marriage, Jennifer said she went into therapy to learn what she really wanted out of life, and how to get it. In a story for Huffington Post, she said, “My mother is a big believer in being responsible for your own happiness. She always talked about finding joy in small moments and insisted that we stop and take in the beauty of an ordinary day. When I stop the car to make my kids really see a sunset, I hear my mother’s voice and smile.”
Though he’s a self-professed workaholic, Ben has said his family comes first.
Both stars have managed impressive careers while juggling a happy home life.
Lately, Ben’s acting has been overshadowed by his directing, most recently with the critically acclaimed Argo.
Jennifer has scaled back her work to care for the kids, but she continues to shine in movies such as the remake of Arthur and The Odd Life of Timothy Green.
How do they make it work? In an interview with Parade Magazine, Jennifer said, “You steal the time. You steal a date, you steal a kiss, you steal a whisper. After the kids are asleep you … well, you know. Whatever it is. You slip away for a night.”