Jennifer Garner should absolutely request that Ben Affleck move out
It's been a rough year for Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck, from announcing their divorce this summer to fending off rumors of the latter's alleged infidelities — infamously including the couple's nanny, Christine Ouzounian.
Still, Garner and Affleck have a long history and three young kids together, so they've managed to maintain a united front. Not only are they often seen on family outings together, but Affleck also continues to live on the family property alongside Garner and the kids (albeit not in the main house).
Occasionally, the exes are even photographed wearing their wedding rings, which is reportedly a choice born out of their commitment to co-parenting. According to one source, Garner and Affleck's kids — Violet, 9, Seraphina, 6, and Samuel, 3 — "are a big part of why they're still wearing [the rings]. They just want them to be OK."
But now a new source is telling People that Garner is questioning the decision to allow Affleck to remain at their LA home.
"Jen will always make sure that Ben spends as much time with the kids as he wants, but she is rethinking their living situation. She can't stand the situation Ben has put her and the kids in," says the new source.
Let the record show that I have always adored Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck as a couple. In fact, when I heard the news of their split, I was affected in that "why am I so bummed out about some strangers?" kind of way.
Having said that, I absolutely think Garner is smart to put more space between her and Affleck. Because here's the thing — prior to the news breaking about any potential trysts with the nanny, Garner and Affleck had already decided to divorce. Whether an affair spurred that, we'll likely never know for certain.
What we do know for certain is that this couple was facing problems so insurmountable that the only logical conclusion they could reach was to go in different directions. We also know that they are both incredible parents who are wholly committed to the well-being of their kids.
And for that very reason, Affleck should find another place to live. It's hard enough for celebrity kids to live in the public lens; can you imagine how much of a fever pitch it must reach when the couple is embroiled in a celebrity scandal?
Right now, Affleck is at the center of some pretty nasty allegations, so the media circus is trailing him. Isn't it entirely possible that the scrutiny the kids are exposed to might be lessened if he moves away? It seems like it could be confusing for the kids to have their parents together but not together. And what happens if they do eventually break it off for good or one meets a new love interest?
I'm not saying they should abandon any hope of a reconciliation. I love a happy ending as much as the next girl. And lest anyone assume I don't value the sanctity of marriage and the virtues of sticking it out, I've been married for 13 years.
But I do think the best chance Garner and Affleck have of determining whether they can make this work is by putting some distance between the two of them.
That would allow for some of the energy spent shooing away the paparazzi and being resentful about the overexposure to be channeled toward sifting through their emotions. Plus, it would allow each parent to truly focus on the kids when they are with them.
This weekend, Affleck returned to LA with the couple's three kids in tow, following a visit to Atlanta where Garner is filming Miracles from Heaven. Back home, the beleaguered dad's happy-go-lucky weekend with the kiddos included crafting, playing and hitting up their favorite local farmers market.
These kinds of family outings put the focus on the children, without the added distraction of any weird (but understandable) tension between Garner and Affleck. Because they are both such wonderful parents, they undoubtedly realize this. Perhaps it is why Garner is considering a change.
Regardless, it's nice to see a Hollywood couple try to keep things amicable for the kids' sake.
"They are thinking about the housing situation together and continue to work on the relationship," the source told People. "Any family going through a split hurts. They are in a much better place now... [they] are planning to raise their kids together."