A 'SUPER' BEGINNING
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner first crossed paths — and weapons! — on the set of 2003’s Daredevil, where he played the blind, sensory-enhanced comic-book hero. “He’s your basic tall, dark and handsome. He’s it,” Garner told PEOPLE of her costar. “I can’t imagine anyone in the world I would rather see swoop in and save the day than Ben.”
AN IMMEDIATE SPARK
After meeting Joe Kindregan, who suffers from ataxia-telangiectasia, Affleck became an outspoken advocate for the fight against the childhood genetic disease. Garner joined the two in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 21, 2004 for an A-T Children’s Project fundraiser.
Once Affleck shot a scene for Garner’s Daredevil spin-off, Elektra, the couple began dating and took their romance public at the end of 2004. Soon, Garner was snapped visiting Affleck on the Vancouver and Beverly Hills sets of Man About Town, and he moved into her Brentwood, California, neighborhood.
SO IN LOVE
AND BABY MAKES THREE
The actor stole a smooch while keeping a protective hand on Garner’s baby bump at little brother Casey’s 30th birthday party on Aug. 12, 2005. A month later, the actress let slip on the Tonight Show that she was expecting a girl, whom the couple named Violet when they welcomed her into the world on Dec. 1, 2005.
There’s no question the West Virginia-raised Garner was Team Ben all the way, rooting right alongside Affleck for his beloved Boston Red Sox at a July 30, 2006 game at Fenway Park. So, just how big of a Red Sox fan was she? When Jay Leno quizzed the actress on the team’s starting lineup in 2009, she got every question right.
GLAM NIGHT OUT
The low-key couple hit a glam slam on the red carpet at the 2007 Golden Globes, where Affleck was a best actor nominee for Hollywoodland. Although he lost to Dreamgirls star Eddie Murphy, these two were clear winners in the best-looking couple department.
The happy couple’s close-knit group included Affleck’s BFF Matt Damon and his wife Luciana, with whom they vacationed in Hawaii over Fourth of July in 2007. Garner even made fun of her husband and his pal’s relationship, saying in 2010, “Here’s proof that love is alive and well in Hollywood. At least for my darling husband and my husband’s darling husband.”
When Garner made her Broadway debut in Cyrano de Bergerac on Nov. 1, 2007, her hubby was on hand to show his support, cheering on his wife from the audience. “She did fine!” he declared on opening night. “It was terrific, and I had a lot of fun.”
Sporting a tiny baby bump, Garner and Affleck met up with the Damons (not pictured) on Aug. 2, 2008, for a $1,000-per-person fundraiser for then-presidential candidate Barack Obama at Miami club SET. “Jennifer Garner gave the first speech supporting Obama, and she was very witty, clever and funny,” a source said.
VIOLET GETS A SISTER
Glowing from her second pregnancy, Garner stepped out with Affleck just two days before welcoming daughter Seraphina Rose to their brood on Jan. 6, 2009. “There’s nothing more emotional than seeing your partner — the man you love — with your baby at any time: the first time, the second, yesterday, today. There’s nothing more beautiful,” she told PEOPLE.
Another day, another Boston game! The couple turned game night into date night, checking out the Boston Celtics vs. Orlando Magic at Game 7 of the NBA Eastern Conference basketball playoffs on May 17, 2009. Their presence didn’t help their beloved Celtics, though — the Magic won, 101 – 82.
THE PARENT TRAP
With kids taking priority, Garner admitted that she and Affleck worked hard at keeping their romance alive. “You steal the time. You steal a date, you steal a kiss, you steal a whisper,” she told Parade. “After the kids are asleep you … well, you know. Whatever it is. You slip away for a night.” That became all the more important when the stars welcomed their third child, son Samuel, on Feb. 27, 2012.
The couple continued on with various film projects and family life, though on June 30, 2015, announced that they’d decided to separate. They remained the friendliest of exes, however, saying only glowing things about one another in public, living together and taking family vacations. But in April 2017, they filed for divorce. “It was just time,” a source told PEOPLE.