Ben Affleck on Jennifer Garner: ‘I’m very lucky she is the mother of my children’

Ben Affleck has been doing a redemption tour in advance of his new movie, The Way Back. It’s out next weekend, which surprises to me as I assumed it was coming out sooner given how much press he’s been doing for it. Throughout, he’s focused on his alcohol addiction and sobriety, on the toll that his father’s alcoholism took on him as a child, and how ashamed he is about his divorce after experiencing his mother and father’s divorce. He’s also been complimentary of his ex, Jennifer Garner, and issued a nice statement to Diane Sawyer thanking Jen for everything. Ben recently gave a similar statement to People where he praised Garner as a mother and said that they’re working to make sure their children only see them getting along.

“When you have children with somebody you’re connected to them forever,” says Affleck, who was married to [Garner] for ten years. “And I’m very lucky she is the mother of my children.”

“I’m very grateful and respectful of her,” he says of Garner, also 47. “Our marriage didn’t work, and that’s difficult. Both of us really believe that it’s important for kids to see their parents respect one another and get along, whether they’re together or not.”

As he tells PEOPLE, “My parents got divorced when I was young and I know how painful that is, and I knew that they [my kids] would have to go through that publicly. But kids are resilient. They appreciate the truth.”

He and Garner are committed to coparenting their children and are often seen together at school events. “It’s important for my kids to know that I respect and care about Jen and she treats me the same way,” he says. “I have a lot of respect and gratitude toward her. And I wish her the very best.”

The actor and director publicly admitted his alcoholism in 2018 and describes his road to recovery as “one step forward, two steps back.”

[From People]

This is the narrative Ben and Jen have been pushing for years: that they’re committed to their children and to co-parenting peacefully. Of course like every other divorced couple they must have their moments and it must get tense, but I also buy that they’re working on it. Of course this is for PR too, but it probably works to keep them on track. For all you can say about these two, they’re not trashing each other through sources. Sometimes there’s mild shade, but that’s it.


Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner have a tense conversation outside her house

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner have a tense conversation outside her house

These photos are from November and December of last year. Credit: Backgrid

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14 Responses to “Ben Affleck on Jennifer Garner: ‘I’m very lucky she is the mother of my children’”

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  1. Ladygyms says:

    At least something good came out of that marriage.

  2. ElectricEELEEEEL says:

    They go on and on about this as if they’re the only people who ever got divorced.

    It seems like they resent each other big time, actually.

  3. Ravensdaughter says:

    It could be worse. After the divorce, my ex used to sneak up to me when the kids weren’t looking or when we were alone and say, “You’re hurting them”. He shamed me because I had a history of depression. Finally, after years of this I realized I didn’t deserve the shame and I told him to STFU.
    He has never called me a good mother, little less publicly (I call him a good dad periodically via our texts)-but at least we’re civil now so we can do things with the kids-they’re late teens now-and he doesn’t say creepy things to me anymore.
    Every divorce is the same, and every divorce is different.

    • Noodle says:

      @ravensdaughter, that was a really terrible thing your ex did to you. It sounds like he knew what would cause the most pain in you, and said exactly that. I’m glad you were strong enough to tell him to pound sand, and realize how abusive that behavior was. I hope your kids take their “decent human being” cues from you, and not him.

  4. Layla Beans says:

    Violet is just the spitting image of her mother. Wow. I hope all their kids can go onto college etc and not go the route of IG model/influencer/wannabe that so many celeb kids seem to do these days.

  5. Kate says:

    I’m not divorce-shaming by any means, but something he said made me think. People always say kids are resilient and they definitely are, but they are resilient by adopting coping mechanisms that they carry with them into adulthood and often hold us back from being our authentic selves. This isn’t my concept, this comes from my therapist. Her example that she talks about on social media is that she had a lot of chaos in childhood so she always had to be “ok” and “cool” and in her adult relationships that meant she didn’t draw appropriate boundaries or ask for what she needed. I’m always thinking/worrying about this as a parent. I’m glad it sounds like they are committed to creating some normalcy and peace for their kids.

    • Ravensdaughter says:

      Yes, normalizing is the way to go. We had parenting classes before divorce. The bad things were “hide the kids” or talk about your ex-spouse; the good things were share photos and family events despite the divorce.
      They’re trying.

      • Kate says:

        That’s so good of you guys! I always felt really good as a kid when my dad would share a story about him and my mom. It made me feel more connected to them maybe? And my sis and I always appreciated them both coming to our events and interacting with each other nicely. When you think about how it feels as a kid to have anyone disrespect your parent, it makes sense why trash talking an ex can hurt a kid so much.

    • lucy2 says:

      That’s a good point. Everyone says that about resiliency, but I don’t know anyone, myself included, who hasn’t hung onto stuff from childhood and has it affect us as adults – either stuff from our families, or from other kids, or trauma. Resilient in the moment maybe, but not over time?

      • Kate says:

        100%. She says as kids we shape shift to receive our core needs and most of the time the role we played as kids we play as adults in trying to receive love and connection. It’s all patterns.

  6. Molly says:

    One of the saddest things about the Charlie Sheen meltdowns was the fact that his ex-wife was ALSO a mess. Those poor kids never stood a chance.
    It must be some comfort to Ben that even if he couldn’t tackle his own addiction, his kids had Jen as a stable force.

  7. Jumpingthesnark says:

    Lucky ???? I mean, ok. But it is an odd way to describe the ongoing and consistent work of parenting that Jenn does no matter what, that he isn’t able to do, because of his issues. Whether you like Jen or not, I do think she is a good parent to their kids. I don’t think “luck” is the way to describe that though.

  8. Carolnr says:

    Ben is lucky to have Jen as the mother of his children…Jen not always so lucky. I think that with the divorce, it forced Ben to also independently parent their children, not just Jen. Children know when a parent is absent in their childhood. My husband has told me that his dad never went to one of his little – league /baseball games. He was always working, even on weekends. His mom was always there & to this day, he is much closer to his mom than his dad. But my point is, even after all those years, he still remembers that.
    I think that Ben& Jen are really trying to be great parents to their children , which cannot be easy! I think Violet really teases her Dad every chance she gets& his other children love him as well! I’m sure Jen sees that in him & wants him to have the best relationship he can with their children! Hats off to them!