Who isn’t rooting for Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner to have a fairytale ending?
The two, who married in 2005 and share three kids, announced they were divorcing last year amid cheating rumors (on Ben’s part) and the recent revelation he had spent two weeks in a recovery program for alcohol addiction—all while Jen supported him emotionally. The two remained close throughout their separation, co-parenting like pros, with Ben never actually leaving the family property while they tried to work out their problems.
It seemed as if there was always hope for these two. Maybe it was that kiss they shared at a hotel bar in Paris while they were broken up, or the fact they were spotted leaving therapy together looking not so miserable.
Recently, Ben, 44, has been the perfect family man, spending quality time with his two daughters, Violet and Seraphina, and son, Samuel, heading out on errands with Jen—and actually smiling.
Last week, the duo withdrew their divorce papers, giving their marriage one more chance.
Is it a long shot for the two, who seem to be a solid family but maybe not a married couple? Or can their marriage work the second time around?
New York based relationship expert and Platinum Poire founder Rori Sassoon weighed in on one of her favorite Hollywood couples.
“What I love about them is they really took their time before they filed for divorce. They were built on a friendship. They really did love each other and they are committed to their children,” Rori says, which is a solid start.
With the goal of the kids first and foremost in mind, they began to work with each other next, she says.
“Jen is amazing. She’s the best mom and the best support system for Ben. She’s very smart the way she handled this whole thing,” Rori says. “Listen, he’s always going to be the father, he’s always going to be around. She put the kids first. And Ben, he never badmouthed her, he always spoke highly of her and gave her the respect she deserved, which is always the way to go with children involved.”
So they've now reached a different stage in their relationship.
“They’ve been married for so long, the excitement for a new relationship is so shallow and goes away," Rori says. “If you don’t experience a mini-crisis together you don’t know how the other person would handle it. You need to know how someone will behave and act—are they going of the rails here?”
Since Ben and Jen had a two-year relationship crisis, how can it be better now?
“You need to be committed to fixing what was wrong the second time around. Know what the problems are and don’t repeat them," Rori says. “They need a top therapist in this field and if both of them are not committed, it won’t work.”
As for calling off the divorce? It can always be reversed again, but there’s hope.
“When people threaten to file for divorce, it’s also an ultimatum. But she wasn’t threatening anymore—it’s real,” Rori says. “Jen obviously has learned to forgive and won’t throw the past in someone’s face, which is key. Ben went through his own thing with rehab. She’s a beautiful woman, she is invested in him. Now he seems to appreciate and not take for granted that she was there the whole time.”
During the two years, Jen had ample opportunity to move on with her life, but didn’t—another good sign, according to Rori.
“She obviously didn’t move on with her life. They came from a place of love throughout their separation. I’m hopeful,” Rori says. “I hope Ben’s evolved to realize it’s not about hooking up. She stuck around for two years. They are both very into their children. They’ve never really lived apart, and I think it’s amazing for the kids if they can work this out.”
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