Yes! Jennifer Lopez – or Jennifer Affleck, don’t you know – covers the December issue of Vogue. I’ve been waiting for this. This is the victory lap, the bow on top of the gift that is the Bennifer Revival. J.Lo has always narrated her relationships and here it is, her narration of finally marrying Ben Affleck, after all of these years. She also talks about work, which I appreciate, plus some small asides about her surroundings, the gifts she receives, how she decorates her “tent” on a green screen soundstage (an Hermes blanket, candles, a green neon sign reading “Mrs. Affleck”). You can read the whole piece here and it is long!! You just need to sit back and let the Bennifer wash over you!! Some highlights:
On changing her name to Jennifer Affleck: “People are still going to call me Jennifer Lopez. But my legal name will be Mrs. Affleck because we’re joined together. We’re husband and wife. I’m proud of that. I don’t think that’s a problem…. I’m very much in control of my own life and destiny and feel empowered as a woman and as a person. I can understand that people have their feelings about it, and that’s okay, too. But if you want to know how I feel about it, I just feel like it’s romantic. It still carries tradition and romance to me, and maybe I’m just that kind of girl.”
On Bennifer 1.0: “We were so young and so in love at that time, really very carefree, with no kids, no attachments. And we were just living our lives, being happy and out there. It didn’t feel like we needed to hide from anybody or be real discreet. We were just living out loud, and it turned out to really bite us. There was a lot underneath the surface there, people not wanting us to be together, people thinking I wasn’t the right person for him. I became very guarded because I realized that they will fillet you. I really wish I could say more. I used to be like that. I am like that. But I’ve also learned.”
Post-divorce from Marc Anthony: “I just didn’t understand what it was to care for myself, to not put somebody else’s feelings and needs—and your need for them to love you—in front of taking care of yourself. You turn yourself into a pretzel for people and think that that’s a noble thing, to put yourself second. And it’s not. Those patterns become deep patterns that you carry with you, and then at a certain point you go, Wait, this doesn’t feel good. Why am I never happy?”
When she & Ben got back together: Lopez’s intimates know that she has always held a candle for Affleck. Shortly after she and the retired baseball great Alex Rodriguez called off their engagement in early 2021, she got an email from the actor-director, who had just come out of a relationship with the actress Ana de Armas. A magazine had asked Affleck for a comment about Lopez, and he wanted her to know that he had provided a rave. They kept talking. They started visiting each other at home. “Obviously we weren’t trying to go out in public,” she explains. “But I never shied away from the fact that for me, I always felt like there was a real love there, a true love there. People in my life know that he was a very, very special person in my life. When we reconnected, those feelings for me were still very real.”
Getting back with an old flame years after the split: “I don’t know that I recommend this for everybody. Sometimes you outgrow each other, or you just grow differently. The two of us, we lost each other and found each other. Not to discredit anything in between that happened, because all those things were real too. All we’ve ever wanted was to kind of come to a place of peace in our lives where we really felt that type of love that you feel when you’re very young and wonder if you can have that again. Does it exist? Is it real? All those questions that I think everyone has.”
J.Lo & Ben are both “in recovery” sort of: “I have to forgive myself for the things that I did that I’m not proud of, the choices that I made that worked against me. Self-love is really about boundaries. Learning what you’re comfortable with and putting up the boundaries, not being afraid of the consequences. Knowing that in taking care of yourself, everything will turn out okay, that people will treat you the way you want to be treated and your life will feel good to you. For a long time, I was just like, Yes, do whatever you want! I can take it, I’ll be here, because I’m really strong, and I’ll be fine. Little by little it chips away at your self-worth, your self-esteem, your soul.”
Their exes: Affleck’s ex-wife is, Lopez says, “an amazing co-parent, and they work really well together.” Lopez does not have the benefit of such a relationship with her ex-husband, who lives on the East Coast. “The transition is a process that needs to be handled with so much care. They have so many feelings. They’re teens. But it’s going really well so far. What I hope to cultivate with our family is that his kids have a new ally in me and my kids have a new ally in him, someone who really loves and cares about them but can have a different perspective and help me see things that I can’t see with my kids because I’m so emotionally tied up.”
The timeline of the Bennifer revival is a little bit shifty, but I love it. I love that this is the narrative she’s going for, that Ben just happened to send her an email two seconds after she dumped A-Rod, and it was just an organic conversation which led to all of this. Please – Ben was absolutely waiting to make his move, and I doubt he even waited until she was completely done with A-Rod. As for Ben, he’s quoted in this piece too, and he’s so in love with his lady. He gushes, in part: “There is something innately, magically kind and good and full of love at the heart of who Jennifer is.” He also talks about her heart and her boundless love. Aw.
As for the rest of it… what I like is that she’s talking about the work she’s done on herself, how she used to stay in relationships and just go along with sh-t and how it chipped away at her self-esteem. You can tell that she’s been in therapy, she’s done the soul-searching and probably been through some life-coaching too. It’s nice to see, and I think it explains why she never married Caspar WhatsHisFace and why she ended things with A-Rod too. She figured out that she was worth more than settling for those bozos.
Cover & IG courtesy of Vogue.