Jennifer Garner is turning to her friends and family for support during this difficult time

By Jodi Guglielmi
Updated July 04, 2015 09:15 AM
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Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Earlier this week, Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck announced that after 10 years of marriage they “made the difficult decision to divorce,” the couple exclusively told PEOPLE in a joint statement.

In the days following the announcement, and as details about their relationship and what drove them apart unfold, Garner, 43, is turning to those close to her for comfort.

“Jen has been leaning on friends. She has a close circle of pals who she trusts and are really protective of her. Her girlfriends have been really supportive,” says a source close to Garner. “They just want her to be happy.”

Her close-knit circle includes both Hollywood and childhood friends.

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Garner has also kept a strong bond with her two sisters, Melissa and Susannah: “Being the middle sister of these three girls is the relationship that defines me more than anything else,” Garner told Southern Living magazine.

The actress has deep roots in her hometown of Charleston, West Virginia – where her mom and younger sister Susannah still live.

Garner and Affleck, 42, often spent their vacation time visiting her side of the family, and even baptized their son, Samuel, 3, in a local Charleston church in 2013.

“I feel so fortunate to have grown up in a place where people look out for each other,” she told Southern Living. “I grew up with such an excess of it that now wherever I go, the first thing I do is build my group.”