With the recent revelation that Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck’s divorce could be dismissed, a glimmer of hope crept into fans’ hearts. However, the former couple will not be reuniting. According to Us Weekly, Garner has a very specific reason for drawing out the divorce — and it has everything to do with the exes' three children.
“Jen wanted to give Ben the time and opportunity to work on his health and sobriety,” a source told Us Weekly, referring to Affleck's struggle with alcohol addiction, which has been well documented in the media.
While new court documents show that the LA Superior Court has threatened to drop the divorce if it drags on, Garner reportedly isn’t fazed. “She isn’t in a rush,” the source said.
Garner’s reportedly relaxed attitude about the divorce doesn’t mean she still harbors romantic feelings for her former husband, though. Rather, she wants him to “be the best father he can be” to Violet, 12, Seraphina, 9, and Samuel, 6. “She wants what’s best for the kids.”
As the source tells it, Affleck is much more keen to finalize the divorce. “Ben would have liked to have finished this and closed the books sooner,” the source revealed of the actor and director, who has been dating SNL producer Lindsay Shookus for at least a year.
But Garner isn’t caving in until she knows she can count on Affleck’s commitment to his sobriety and co-parenting. Confirmed the source, “Jen just isn’t willing to settle the custody issues until she’s 100 percent certain that he’s clean. She’ll wait for him to prove he is taking it very seriously.”
And it would appear he currently is. Per a source, Affleck is “focused on being there for those in his life.” To help keep him on the straight and narrow, he attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings (which the source says he’s been doing for months) and meditation classes.
Enduring such personal struggles in the public eye can’t be easy — it’s easy to see how the added stress could exacerbate issues. In a recent interview with CBS News, Garner touched on that reality, opening up about her marriage being placed under a public microscope.
“What I think I’ve learned is that the scrutiny in your private life puts a pressure to make something happen,” she said. You feel a pressure to hurry up and get married, ‘cause you think that’ll end the ‘Are you engaged? Are they not?’ And that’s true in the reverse, as well. If there is any inkling of trouble, or if the tabloids decide there’s trouble, it can create trouble.”
Ultimately, though, the worst part of the split according to Garner was the split itself. “But to be honest, public scrutiny, everyone says, ‘Oh, you’ve had to go through this in public.’ The public isn’t what’s hard. What’s hard is going through it,” she told CBS.
The former pair, who was married for 10 years before announcing their separation in 2015, managed to make it through their difficult split with a friendship still intact. Once they clear this final hurdle, it would seem their transition from couple to co-parents will be complete.