Divorce sucks. Going through a divorce while the entire world is watching REALLY sucks. Jennifer Garner sat down for an interview with Vanity Fair and spoke candidly about her split from Ben Affleck last year, all while staying true to her classy self.
Here are the ten things we learned:
1. Jen calls 2015 a “year of wine,” explaining that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler helped get her through.
When I can’t sleep—and I am not someone who typically has that problem, but I really have in the last year—and I need something to switch my brain off, it has been Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. God bless those girls. I used to think I would never watch television on my phone, but there I am, because I am sleeping next to my daughter. I’m happy to have her; she’s happy to have me.
2. Despite their marriage being over, Jen still considers Ben “the love of [her] life.”
I didn’t marry the big fat movie star; I married him. 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. What am I going to do about that? He’s the most brilliant person in any room, the most charismatic, the most generous. He’s just a complicated guy. I always say, “When his sun shines on you, you feel it.” But when the sun is shining elsewhere, it’s cold. He can cast quite a shadow.
3. Following their separation, Jen made it a point to stay offline to help ease the pain.
I turned on CNN one day and there we were. I just won’t do it anymore. I took a silent oath with myself last summer to really stay offline. I am totally clueless about all of it. Ben says, “Oh, you just don’t care,” and I say, “No, it’s the opposite.” It hurts me so much, and I care so much. I cannot be driven by the optics of this. I cannot let anger or hurt be my engine. I need to move with the big picture always on my mind, and the kids first and foremost.
4. Oh, and that “scandal” about Ben and their nanny? Well, that happened long after Jen and him had split.
Let me just tell you something. We had been separated for months before I ever heard about the nanny. She had nothing to do with our decision to divorce. She was not a part of the equation. Bad judgment? Yes. It’s not great for your kids for [a nanny] to disappear from their lives. I have had to have conversations about the meaning of “scandal.”
5. Having to film a love scene in her upcoming film, Wakefield, following her divorce felt super awk.
When you haven’t been kissed for over eight months, it’s strange. But it’s my job. It’s nine in the morning and you think, I could really use a shot of alcohol. Then, after a take or two, after everyone has seen your boobs and love handles, you just want to take every crew member and be like, “Please have mercy on me!”
6. She recently got hit on by a fellow airline passenger and was completely weirded out.
We were waiting for the bathroom at JetBlue and I was so floored. I had to remind myself that that was something that could happen. He said, “Could I take you for a cup of coffee?” And I was like, “No! You may not take me for a cup of coffee, sir.” And then I said, “But thanks for asking.” I don’t know. It’s just that [from] everyone that I know that is dating it just seems, well…. Men don’t call anymore…. I want flowers; I don’t want to text. What does that make me? What kind of dinosaur am I?
7. Jen and Ben are totally on the same page when it comes to hopes and dreams for their kids.
It’s not Ben’s job to make me happy. The main thing is these kids—and we’re completely in line with what we hope for them. Sure, I lost the dream of dancing with my husband at my daughter’s wedding. But you should see their faces when he walks through the door. And if you see your kids love someone so purely and wholly, then you’re going to be friends with that person.
8. She’s honest as hell and doesn’t play the blame game in regards to her marriage not working out.
I’m a pretty hard worker. It’s one of the pains in my life that something I believe in so strongly I’ve completely failed at twice. You have to have two people to dance a marriage. My heart’s a little on the tender side right now, and it’s always easier to focus on the ways that you feel hurt, but I know that, with time and some perspective, I’ll have a clearer sense of where I let the system down, because there’s no way I get off in this.
9. And totally gets why people hope her and Ben will end up back together.
When Jen Aniston and Brad Pitt broke up, I was dying to see something that said they were getting back together.
10. As far as that gigantic tattoo spotted on Ben’s back in December? Yeah, she was just as confused as us.
You know what we would say in my hometown about that? “Bless his heart.” A phoenix rising from the ashes. Am I the ashes in this scenario? I take umbrage. I refuse to be the ashes.
Jen’s issue of Vanity Fair is on stands now.
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