Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner's Relationship: A Look Back

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner wed in 2005 and welcomed three children together before announcing their split in 2015

Jennifer Garner and actor-director Ben Affleck arrive at the Oscars at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 24, 2013 in Hollywood, California
Photo: ason Merritt/Getty

From costars to spouses to co-parents, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner have been through a lot together.

The former couple first met on the set of Pearl Harbor, but their relationship did not begin until four years later. After starring in 2003's Daredevil together, Affleck and Garner became close friends and by the summer of 2004, their friendship had turned romantic. Following their wedding in June 2005, the pair welcomed three children: daughters Violet Anne and Seraphina Rose Elizabeth and son Samuel Garner.

While they shared plenty of sweet moments over the course of their decade-long marriage, they ultimately decided to go their separate ways in 2015, finalizing their divorce in 2018.

Nevertheless, the exes and co-parents have continued to speak highly of one another over the years.

"She's just a fabulous person," Affleck said of Garner in 2016. "She's a great mother. She's a real talent … She's somebody that I admire and respect and remain excellent friends with."

From early dates at Boston Red Sox games to their divorce, here is a look back at Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner's relationship.

2000: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner meet on the set of Pearl Harbor

Affleck and Garner first met on the set of Pearl Harbor in 2000. Garner had a small part in the film as a nurse named Sandra, while Affleck starred as Captain Rafe McCawley, a U.S. Army Corps pilot and one of the love interests of Kate Beckinsale's character.

At the time, Garner was married to her Felicity costar Scott Foley.

2003: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner star in Daredevil

Colin Farrell, Michael Clarke Duncan, Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck pose for photos at the premiere of "Daredevil" at the Village Theatre on February 9, 2003 in Los Angeles, California
Kevin Winter/Getty

The pair reunited on-screen in 2003's Daredevil. Though they were both in relationships at the time — Garner was still married to Foley and Affleck was engaged to Jennifer Lopez — they became close friends.

"He's your basic tall, dark and handsome. He's it," Garner told PEOPLE of her costar in 2003. "I can't imagine anyone in the world I would rather see swoop in and save the day than Ben."

October 2004: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner attend a Boston Red Sox World Series game

Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck
Allen Kee/WireImage

Affleck and Garner made their first public appearance as a couple when they attended Game 1 of the 2004 World Series together — supporting Affleck's home team, the Boston Red Sox. They were spotted again at game 2, hugging and stealing a kiss as the Red Sox played.

Affleck and Garner's romance came shortly after their respective relationships ended. Affleck and Lopez ended their engagement in January 2004, while Garner filed for divorce from Foley in April 2003.

In a later interview with Parade magazine, Garner revealed that their romance began over email. "Well, it helped that we were both single at the time," she said. "He's a very good writer ... He's a very persuasive writer." When asked if she kept the emails, the 13 Going on 30 star answered, "Of course!"

April 2005: Ben Affleck proposes to Jennifer Garner

After nine months of dating, Affleck and Garner got engaged while celebrating Garner's 33rd birthday. The majority of the couple's relationship to this point had been private — save for some appearances at Boston Red Sox games and other low-key events — and their engagement was no exception. Neither Affleck nor Garner confirmed their engagement, but a close friend told PEOPLE that the pair would be tying the knot.

"[They're] like high school sweethearts," the source said. "They're very lovey-dovey."

June 29, 2005: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner marry and reveal they're expecting

Ben Affleck and wife Jennifer Garner, who's expecting their first child, are on hand to cheer on the Boston Red Sox during a game against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park
Linda Cataffo/NY Daily News Archive

The couple quietly wed in Turks and Caicos in June 2009. Reps for both Affleck and Garner confirmed the nuptials and the news that Garner was pregnant. "They're married and they're expecting their first child," their reps said in a statement.

Garner later told InStyle, "We were able to have a beautiful, private wedding and I couldn't be happier."

December 1, 2005: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner welcome daughter Violet Anne

Affleck and Garner became first-time parents when the Alias star gave birth to a baby girl, Violet Anne Affleck, in Los Angeles. Reps for both Affleck and Garner kept the details of the birth private, only revealing in a statement that the three were "doing great."

Garner had previously let it slip during an appearance on The Tonight Show in late September 2005 that they were expecting a girl.

"You can just start to feel really pregnant, like you are the hugest person on the face of the planet," the actress told host Jay Leno. "I felt bigger and bigger, like she … " Garner then quickly covered her mouth with her hands, and the crowd cheered.

Both Garner and Affleck quickly settled into parenthood. "You took two of the best people, who have the most love and affection for each other, and just when you think the ultimate is the two of them finding each other, this little girl came into their lives," a friend of the couple told PEOPLE.

August 20, 2008: Jennifer Garner confirms she is pregnant with her second child with Ben Affleck

Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck
Alexandra Wyman/WireImage

After a few months of speculation, Garner confirmed that she and Affleck were expecting a second child.

"We're so excited, obviously," she told Access Hollywood.

Garner credited her growing baby bump to "carbs for breakfast," and shared how she felt about becoming a mother of two.

"Yeah, been through it," she said. "It's all good, it's great. I'm really excited."

January 6, 2009: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner welcome second daughter Seraphina Rose Elizabeth

Garner gave birth to the couple's second daughter on Jan. 6, 2009, in L.A., her rep confirmed. "Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck gave birth to a healthy baby girl," the statement to PEOPLE read.

The couple later revealed their baby girl's name to PEOPLE: Seraphina Rose Elizabeth Affleck. The actress also opened up about watching Affleck become a father for the second time.

"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," Garner said.

January 21, 2010: Jennifer Garner talks about keeping the spark alive with Ben Affleck

Actor Ben Affleck and actress Jennifer Garner pose during the 16th annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards at the Hollywood Palladium on January 14, 2011 in Los Angeles, California
Christopher Polk/Getty

Appearing on the January 2010 cover of Parade, Garner spoke about how she and Affleck kept the romance alive in their nearly five-year marriage — while also parenting their two young children.

"You steal the time. You steal a date, you steal a kiss, you steal a whisper," she said. "After the kids are asleep you well, you know. Whatever it is. You slip away for a night."

Garner also shared that balancing marriage, motherhood and her career was not always easy.

"I hate to miss even one bedtime with my girls," she told Parade. "I understand that being an actress as well as being at home isn't some heroic thing. That doesn't mean it isn't confusing or difficult — especially that question of how you find a balance."

September 16, 2010: Ben Affleck says he has the "best family" with Jennifer Garner

During an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Affleck joked about being the sole male in his household, which included Garner and daughters Violet and Seraphina.

"I have three women in the house. I get to be wrong three times a day," he joked to DeGeneres.

But despite being outnumbered, Affleck shared that he wouldn't change a thing.

"I am madly in love," he said. "I have the best family … I could not be luckier. I really have come right to the place where I was supposed to be. You've got to knock wood. I've gone around and I've taken some rights and lefts and found myself at a place that is really wonderful, and that I'm really grateful for."

August 22, 2011: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner confirm they're expecting their third baby

Affleck and Garner revealed baby number three was on the way in August 2011. The couple told the Associated Press they were "thrilled" to be expecting their third child.

Garner previously spoke about the challenges of being a working mom in April 2009.

"I fake it like any working mom," she told PEOPLE. "[I] feel like half my brain is somewhere else all the time, but when the camera's rolling, I pull it together and focus for two minutes and then I kind of turn back to a ditz again. I have a split personality."

December 13, 2011: Jennifer Garner talks about the secret to her seven-year marriage with Ben Affleck

Actors Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner attend the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014 in West Hollywood, California
Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage

After seven years of marriage, and with baby number three on the way, Garner spoke about her relationship with Affleck to InStyle.

"We both know we couldn't do what we do without each other," she said in the January cover story. "He knows when to swoop in with the gesture. He's sweet that way. Honestly, I would do anything for that man, because I know it's not to be taken for granted."

February 27, 2012: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner welcome son Samuel Garner

Affleck and Garner welcomed their third child, a son named Samuel Garner Affleck.

"We are happy to announce on February 27, Jennifer gave birth to a healthy baby boy, Samuel Garner Affleck," Affleck shared on his Facebook page.

Garner had previously said during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in September 2011 that "it would be so weird to have a boy" after growing up as one of three sisters and being a mom to two daughters.

But Garner did acknowledge that the experience of being a boy mom would be "cool and different" and that it would be "fun" for Affleck.

December 9, 2013: Ben Affleck calls Jennifer Garner "the most important person to me"

In an interview with Playboy, Affleck credited his career success to Garner's support and stability.

"She is by leaps and bounds the most important person to me in that respect," the Oscar winner said of his wife. "Over the past 10 years she has allowed me to have a stable home life while accomplishing my professional goals."

September 15, 2014: Jennifer Garner talks about her "mindful" nine-year marriage to Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner attend the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 18, 2014 in Los Angeles, California
Angela Weiss/FilmMagic

Garner spoke to InStyle magazine about how her relationship with Affleck had evolved over the course of their nine-year marriage.

"You can't expect to be courted all the time, and I don't want to court him right now — I don't have the energy!" she said in the October 2014 cover story. "But we're definitely in a very mindful place where we're making an effort to be together, do things at the same time, and be loving."

The actress also spoke about how having children changed the dynamic in their relationship.

"When we had our first [child] we had only been together a year. We were babies. It happened so fast, I hardly remember what we were like before the kids got here," Garner said. "Now we're just starting to go away for a night here and there."

June 30, 2015: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner announce they're divorcing

Days after their 10-year wedding anniversary, Affleck and Garner revealed they were getting a divorce.

"After much thought and careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to divorce," the couple said in a joint statement. "We go forward with love and friendship for one another and a commitment to co-parenting our children whose privacy we ask to be respected during this difficult time. This will be our only comment on this private, family matter. Thank you for understanding."

A source told PEOPLE that the couple intended to seek mediation.

July 7, 2015: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner vacation in the Bahamas with their kids post-breakup

The former couple spent some family time in the Bahamas immediately following the announcement of their split. During the vacation, Garner and Affleck were photographed enjoying activities with their three children, both together and separately.

A close friend revealed to PEOPLE that the vacation was planned with their children in mind. "[Garner] is an amazing and attentive mother and everything she does is with the kids in mind," the source said, adding, "they had a lot of great activities they were able to do together with the family and separately that [Affleck] really appreciated."

September 3, 2015: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner attend marriage counseling

Affleck and Garner were spotted smiling as they left a family counseling center in L.A. It marked the couple's first visit to the center since announcing their divorce in June 2015. Before their decision to separate, they had attended weekly counseling sessions at the center but stopped going in the months leading up to their split.

The sighting of the amicable exes fueled reconciliation rumors. The month prior, the couple celebrated Affleck's 43rd birthday with their kids in Georgia and Affleck had been seen wearing his wedding ring.

February 26, 2016: Jennifer Garner calls Ben Affleck the "love of my life"

Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck during the monologue on May 18, 2013
Dana Edelson/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty

In her first major interview since announcing their plans to divorce, Garner spoke candidly to Vanity Fair about her relationship with Affleck and their decision to split. Despite taking an "oath" following their breakup to avoid the media, she did not hold back in the interview, addressing everything from Affleck's alleged affair with their nanny to how the couple is coping with their separation.

"I didn't marry the big fat movie star; I married him," she said in the cover story. "And I would go back and remake that decision. I ran down the beach to him, and I would again. You can't have these three babies and so much of what we had. He's the love of my life."

As the couple continued to navigate their divorce, Garner revealed they were still each other's support system.

"We still have to help each other get through this," she said. "He's still the only person who really knows the truth about things. And I'm still the only person that knows some of his truths."

March 14, 2017: Ben Affleck completes rehab and thanks his "co-parent" Jennifer Garner for her support

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner attend the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 27, 2013 in Los Angeles, California
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

In 2017, Affleck revealed that he completed treatment for alcohol addiction with the support of Garner. It was his second time attending rehab, the first being in 2001.

"I have completed treatment for alcohol addiction; something I've dealt with in the past and will continue to confront," he wrote on Facebook. "I want to live life to the fullest and be the best father I can be. I want my kids to know there is no shame in getting help when you need it, and to be a source of strength for anyone out there who needs help but is afraid to take the first step. I'm lucky to have the love of my family and friends, including my co-parent, Jen, who has supported me and cared for our kids as I've done the work I set out to do. This was the first of many steps being taken towards a positive recovery."

April 13, 2017: Ben Affleck and Jennifer officially file for divorce

Affleck and Garner filed for divorce nearly two years after they initially announced their split in June 2015. The couple filed the documents together and sought joint legal and physical custody of their three kids.

The filing put an end to nearly two years of rumors that the couple were reuniting. Since their split in June 2015, Affleck and Garner had continued to live together, vacation together and co-parent their children — often fueling talk of reconciliation.

August 22, 2018: Ben Affleck enters rehab for the third time as Jennifer Garner drives him to treatment

Affleck checked himself into rehab for the third time in August 2018 and Garner was spotted driving him to the treatment facility.

"He is seeking treatment. He knew he needed help and was vocal about it," a source told PEOPLE.

In addition to dropping Affleck off, Garner was also the one to explain to their three children what was happening with their dad. "There are no secrets, and Jen is great at explaining what's going on in ­age-appropriate ways," an insider told PEOPLE. "She tells them Ben is sick and needs doctors. What she ultimately cares about is his sobriety and whether she can rely on him to co-parent. She is trying to keep the father of her children alive."

October 5, 2018: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner finalize their divorce

Affleck and Garner finalized their divorce in October 2018 — three years after initially separating.

The former couple and co-parents met at Garner's house with lawyers and a private judge to handle the final details of the divorce, according to court documents obtained by PEOPLE.

The divorce news came a day after Affleck posted on Instagram about completing his 40-day stay in treatment for alcohol addiction.

"The support I have received from my family, colleagues and fans means more to me than I can say. It's given me the strength and support to speak about my illness with others," Affleck said in the statement shared on Instagram. "Battling any addiction is a lifelong and difficult struggle. Because of that, one is never really in or out of treatment. It is a full-time commitment. I am fighting for myself and my family."

January 4, 2019: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner sell the home they shared in Pacific Palisades

Following their divorce, Garner and Affleck sold their Pacific Palisades home for $3.195 million, a real estate source confirmed to PEOPLE.

The couple purchased the 8,800-square-foot home in 2009. They continued to live there together even after their separation in 2015, with Affleck staying in the guest house.

February 18, 2020: Ben Affleck calls his divorce from Jennifer Garner his " biggest regret"

Ben Affleck (L) and Jennifer Garner attend the Charles Finch and Chanel Pre-BAFTA cocktail party and dinner at Annabel's on February 8, 2013 in London, England
Dave M. Benett/Getty

In an interview with the New York Times, Affleck reflected on his road to sobriety and public divorce from Garner, calling it "the biggest regret" of his life.

"Shame is really toxic," Affleck told the outlet. "There is no positive byproduct of shame. It's just stewing in a toxic, hideous feeling of low self-worth and self-loathing."

"I drank relatively normally for a long time," he continued. "What happened was that I started drinking more and more when my marriage was falling apart. This was 2015, 2016. My drinking, of course, created more marital problems."

Days later, Affleck spoke more about his divorce on Good Morning America.

"I didn't want to get divorced, I didn't want to be a divorced person, I really didn't want to be a split family with my children," he said on GMA. "It upset me because it meant I wasn't who I thought I was and that was so painful and so disappointing. In myself."

Despite his regrets over their divorce, Affleck told PEOPLE that the two would always be in each other's lives due to their three children.

"When you have children with somebody you're connected to them forever," he said. "And I'm very lucky she is the mother of my children. I'm very grateful and respectful of her. 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."

December 14, 2021: Ben Affleck says he'd "probably still be drinking" if he stayed married to Jennifer Garner

In an interview on The Howard Stern Show, Affleck spoke candidly about how marriage troubles with Garner influenced his alcohol addiction.

"I'd probably still be drinking. It's part of why I started drinking … because I was trapped," Affleck said of feeling unhappy in his marriage to Garner. "I was like 'I can't leave 'cause of my kids, but I'm not happy, what do I do?' What I did was drink a bottle of scotch and fall asleep on the couch, which turned out not to be the solution."

Later in the interview, Affleck spoke about the divorce process with Garner. "We did it amicably. We did our best. Did we have moments of tension? Did we have disagreements over the custody? Was stuff difficult for us? Did we get angry? Yes," he said. "But fundamentally it was always underpinned with a respect."

He added, "We had a marriage that didn't work, this happens, with somebody that I love and respect, but to whom I shouldn't be married any longer. Ultimately, we tried, we tried, we tried, because we had kids. Both of us felt like we don't want this to be the model that our kids see of marriage."

December 16, 2021: Ben Affleck clarifies his comments about his divorce from Jennifer Garner

Jennifer Garner and actor/director Ben Affleck arrive to the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 13, 2013
Christopher Polk/NBC/NBCUniversal via Getty

Following Affleck's interview with Stern, the actor appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! to address some of the statements he made about his marriage to Garner and his alcoholism.

"That's not true. I don't believe that. It's the exact opposite of who I am, what I believe," Affleck said.

He added, "I would never want my kids to think I would ever say a bad word about their mom."

July 16, 2022: Ben Affleck marries Jennifer Lopez

After rekindling their romance in spring 2021, Affleck and Lopez tied the knot in a small ceremony after obtaining a marriage license in Las Vegas. The couple had announced their (second) engagement two months prior.

The pair went on to have another, larger ceremony at Affleck's Georgia estate in August 2022.

October 30, 2022: Jennifer Garner joins Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez while trick-or-treating

Now a blended family, Garner met up with Affleck and Lopez to go trick-or-treating with all of their kids, including Lopez's twins Emmy and Max.

"Everyone gets along and the focus is always on the kids. Jennifer, Ben and Jen Garner all wanted the kids to have an amazing Halloween," a source told PEOPLE. "The kids are friends and wanted to go trick-or-treating together. It made sense that they all went together."

Earlier that day, the exes were spotted spending time with their kids while out to lunch.

March 16, 2023: Ben Affleck says he doesn't blame Jennifer Garner for his alcoholism

After feeling misunderstood in previous interviews, Affleck made it very clear to The Hollywood Reporter that he doesn't blame Garner for his drinking.

"I don't blame my ex-wife for my alcoholism. To be clear, my behavior is my responsibility entirely," he said.

Affleck went on to add that, despite the tumultuous end to their relationship, he and Garner still "care about each other" and "have respect for each other."

Related Articles