A Love That Withstood the Test of Time: See Inside Jennifer Lopez And Ben Affleck’s Turbulent Love Story

One of Hollywood’s most talked-about love stories: from the moment they first met to marriage and matching tattoos.

By

Madeleine O’Connell

Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her master’s degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Music Mayhem, she has been published in American Songwriter, Country Now, and Holler.Country. When she’s not attending a concert or adding new country music to her playlist, O’Connell spends her time dancing in the studio and traveling with her family.

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Posted on July 8, 2023

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Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck; Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

For over two decades, Jennifer Lopez (J.LO) and Ben Affleck have continued to create buzz around their turbulent love story. 

On top of being a critically acclaimed superstar, Lopez’ name has dominated the press with her multiple marriages. First, she tied the knot with aspiring performer, Ojani Noa, but the pair divorced in 1998. Her second marriage to dancer and choreographer, Cris Judd, lasted just nine months from 2001 to 2002. Husband number three was Marc Anthony, whom she was married to for seven years until their split in 2011. The pair welcomed twins during their relationship named Maximilian and Emme.

Affleck has experienced his own set of complicated romances over the years. He was married to Jennifer Garner from 2005 to 2018, and together, they have two daughters, Violet and Seraphina and a son named Samuel.

Lopez’ fourth and current husband is Affleck, a two-time Academy Award-winner who she met in 2002 on the set of the romantic comedy crime film, Gigli. Their relationship didn’t start right away as Lopez was still married to Judd at the time, but it didn’t take long before the sparks turned into fireworks.

Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck; Photo by CBS/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck; Photo by CBS/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Lopez And Affleck Go Public

Soon after divorcing from Judd in June of 2002, Lopez and Affleck went public with their romance. Things seemed to move pretty quickly because later that year, Affleck popped the question with a custom Harry Winston ring. 

Lopez opened up about the engagement during an interview with Diane Sawyer. She described the special moment as “traditional, but also in a very spectacular way, as of course Ben would do it … it was very, very beautiful.”

Suddenly, fans wanted to know anything and everything about their favorite couple dubbed, “Bennifer.”

“We didn’t try to have a public relationship,” Lopez told PEOPLE in 2016. “We just happened to be together at the birth of the tabloids, and it was like ‘Oh my God.’ It was just a lot of pressure.”

Another major point of conversation surrounding their relationship was Affleck’s not-so-subtle appearance in Lopez’ 2009 “Jenny from the Block” music video. The pair was filmed getting close and sparking rumors of their budding romance. 

The Wedding Is Off

The public began to talk even more when the pair called off their wedding just days before the Santa Barbara ceremony was set to take place. It turns out that the amount of hateful media coverage may have been one of the reasons for their split.

On Sept. 14, 2003, they shared a statement letting the world know that their wedding had been postponed.

“Due to the excessive media attention surrounding our wedding, we have decided to postpone the date,” Affleck and Lopez said. “When we found ourselves seriously contemplating hiring three separate ‘decoy brides’ at three different locations, we realized that something was awry.”

“We felt what should have been a joyful and sacred day could be spoiled for us, our families and our friends,” they added.

Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck; Photo by CBS/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck; Photo by CBS/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Split Up In January 2004

Their split was officially announced in January 2004.

“I am confirming the reports that Jennifer Lopez has ended her engagement to Ben Affleck. At this difficult time, we ask that you respect her privacy,” Lopez’s rep told Chicago Tribune at the time.

Although their love story had come to an end for the time being, they continued to support each other as friends. Just two months after the split, the stars appeared in their second film, Jersey Girl.

Both Got Married To New Lovers

While they were apart, Lopez fell in love with and married her third husband, Latin music star, Marc Anthony, in June 2004 at her home in Beverly Hills. Throughout this relationship, the singer shared the stage several times at award shows, on tour and in the 2007 film El Cantante.

Then, in September 2007, they announced that Lopez was pregnant with their twins. This family of four unfortunately did not have a happily-ever-after story as Lopez and Anthony separated and finalized their divorce in 2014. 

Meanwhile, a year after Lopez moved on with Anthony, Affleck tied the knot with Jennifer Garner.

It seems as though the romantic flame between Lopez and Affleck never really went out. They started to spend more time together after the singer ended her marriage with Anthony. It started with a professional reunion in 2016 when they joined forces in the studio to create a Spanish-language album.

Reconnected In July 2021

Then, in July of 2021, rumors of their reconnection were confirmed when Lopez posted a carousel of photos on Instagram in celebration of her 52nd birthday. The final image showcased the couple kissing. 

Plus, an insider told E! News that Lopez was “crazy about Ben.” 

“He spoils her with love and is very witty and charming” they continued. “He’s a man’s man, and she finds him so attractive and strong. She’s in it for the long term and sees her future with him.”

With their newly refined romance on display, the lovebirds were seen attending several red carpets and movie premiere’s arm-in-arm.

Confirmed Rekindled Romance In 2022

While opening up about her personal life to PEOPLE for the 2022 Love Issue, Lopez shared, “I feel so lucky and happy and proud to be with him.”

She added, “It’s a beautiful love story that we got a second chance.”

Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck; Photo Courtesy of Instagram
Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck; Photo Courtesy of Instagram

Affleck then spoke to WSJ Magazine to share his feelings on their rekindled romance.

I can say that it’s definitely beautiful to me,” he said of how they got back together. “And, you know, one of the things I really value across all facets of my life now is that it was handled in a way that reflected that. My life now reflects not just the person that I want to be, but the person that I really feel like I am—which is not perfect, but somebody who tries very hard and cares very much about being honest and authentic and accountable.”

He added, “It’s hard to say who benefits more, without going into gossipy detail. I could just say that I feel great about being very healthy. And it is a good story. It’s a great story. And, you know, maybe one day I’ll tell it. I’ll write it all out…And then I’ll light it on fire.” 

Tied The Knot For A Second Time

According to US Weekly, Lopez and Affleck said “I Do” for the second time in a Las Vegas wedding, which was followed by celebration in Georgia with family, friends, and each of their children who were born from past relationships. With their love peaking, the newlyweds embarked on a romantic getaway to Italy. 

Lopez took her commitment to Affleck a step further when she revealed during an interview with Vogue that she had taken the actor’s last name. Despite the legal change, she explained that “people are still going to call me Jennifer Lopez.”

“We’re husband and wife. I’m proud of that. I don’t think that’s a problem,” the actress continued.

Got Matching Tattoos Together

The latest major update of their relationship came in February 2023 when Lopez took to social media to reveal the matching tattoos she got with her husband.

She captured a photo of her infinity sign tattoo with “Jennifer” and “Ben” written in cursive. Affleck’s new ink included two arrows crossing one another with the letters “J” and “B.”

“Commitment ♾️,” she wrote in the caption. “Happy Valentine’s Day my love 🤍.”

Both stars continue to pursue their own careers, while also maintaining a burning romance. 

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her master’s degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Music Mayhem, she has been published in American Songwriter, Country Now, and Holler.Country. When she’s not attending a concert or adding new country music to her playlist, O’Connell spends her time dancing in the studio and traveling with her family.

See more posts from Madeleine O’Connell