Just one day after marking their 10th wedding anniversary on June 29, Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck announced they were divorcing. Breakup rumors had swirled around the pair for months, but we didn't want to believe the gossip was true. Alas, where there's smoke there's often fire.
Ben, 42, and Jen, 43, met on the set of Pearl Harbor, but fell in love while co-starring in 2003's Daredevil. They began dating in August 2004 and married in June 2015. Ten years later, they are now parents to Violet, 9, Seraphina, 6, and Samuel, 3.
Although they were quite private about their romance at the beginning, the Batman actor and Alias alum eventually started to give us a glimpse into what their married life was like. Aside from the fact that they are Hollywood stars who earn a lot more money than the rest of us, they've always come across as being, dare we say, normal.
But as every couple knows, a successful marriage takes work, which is why we appreciated the fact that they weren't afraid to speak honestly about their relationship.
Take a look back at 20 quotes they gave about marriage where they kept it real — and we loved them for it.
August 2006: After the undercover pair tied the knot, Ben kept mum about their relationship for the most part. But after they welcomed their first child, daughter Violet, in December 2005, Affleck couldn't help but gush about his little girl. "I love being a father. It's wonderful. It's changed my life. It all sounds like platitudes and clichés, and that's because they're the truth," he told reporters.
But even early on, there was always a subtle joke intertwined in his quotes, giving a glimpse into their home life: "[Jennifer said], 'You take the peaches in the thing and you stir that up and you put that in with a little oatmeal and then put that in with a little bit of the crushed pears.' Then she looked at me and said, 'In all seriousness, is this too complicated?' That's my wife."
April 2007: One child and two years into their marriage, there was no denying their marital bliss. "You know how as a kid you picture yourself with a tall, handsome husband, and you imagine him cuddling your baby?" Jen mused to InStyle. "Ben is like that, like, on crack."
September 2007: As one of the few Hollywood couples who seemed destined for a happily ever after, Garner was often asked what makes their high-profile marriage work. "I don't know what makes it work. But it does," she told Marie Claire, while shedding light on how they handle disagreements. "One thing that makes it work is that we're both pretty nice. He's not someone who's ever going to blow up on anyone. What I mean is, if he's ever angry with me, he doesn’t act out on it in a weird way or yell at me. And I am the same. So we handle conflict in a very loving and adult way."
January 2009: It's clear that Ben was the shyer of the two, early on at least, when discussing his relationship. "I'm definitely romantic," Ben revealed to Extra. "I didn't raise my hand because I didn't want to be the guy who started talking about how romantic he was on TV."
However, he didn't bat an eye when revealing that he and Jen communicated via text message: "I correspond with my wife that way… She's like, 'Get over here. Pick this s--t up! It's time for you to go get our daughter!'"
April 2009: Before Ben's career resurgence, it seemed like home duties were relatively split between husband and wife. "Ben will do the school run," Garner told InStyle. "He dresses her and does her hair. It's pretty funny. You can always tell when he has been at it, just two random barrettes hanging in there. It's so sweet. Ben can be pretty clueless when it comes to my clothes or makeup. But when he does notice and says something, he's so sweet that I forgive him."
December 2009: When Jen was asked by W about Ben not mentioning her very often in interviews, she responded: "Ben asks me, 'How come when I do an interview I manage to keep you out of it completely?' And I'm like, 'Either because you don't think about me or because boy magazines don't care about what I make you for dinner. But they should!'"
January 2010: Still, Garner was never shy in boasting about her man. "Ben is sexy and kind, but he's also a riot. We can be very goofy together," she told Parade, admitting he wooed her online. She also talked about how they find time to be romantic. "You steal the time. You steal a date, you steal a kiss, you steal a whisper. You sit next to each other on the couch with computers on your laps. After the kids are asleep you… well, you know. Whatever it is. You slip away for a night, which we've only just now done for the first time. Of course, I call home while we're away. Ben would be surprised if I didn't."
However, it didn't seem like Affleck was amused by her story. "I do write e-mails to my wife, that is true," he told Access Hollywood shortly after Jen's interview. "Sounds like the kind of thing that my wife was looking for something to say in the interview… and that's what she came up with. So, thanks for that, because now here I am, doing another interview and then they ask me about that. So thank you, honey."
September 2010: When in doubt, you can always go back to Medieval times to describe your family dynamic. "I just know what it's like to be a serf that just does things," Affleck explained to Ellen DeGeneres. "When one of the vassals comes and points at something... I take orders from people that cannot speak. And yet still they are higher up on the food chain than I am. I have three women in the house… I get to be wrong three times a day." Despite the sarcasm, he was quick to add, "I am madly in love. I have the best family."
December 2011: Garner continued to make it clear she and Ben were very much a team at home. "We both know we couldn't do what we do without each other," she explained to InStyle. "Ben always says, 'If you love it, we can make it happen.'" She added jewelry helps too: "He knows when to swoop in with the gesture. He's sweet that way. Honestly, I would do anything for that man, because I know it's not taken for granted."
February 2012: No seven-year itch here… Jennifer Garner gushed about her marriage to The Sun: "Ben is not only my husband, he has helped me in every way. He is the base of my life. He is an incredibly loving and generous man. I expected he would be a great dad and he is. But what really surprised me was how, when something goes wrong, he is so much calmer than I am."
October 2012: Slowly but surely, Ben started opening up more — publicly, at least — about his better half. "She truly is kind," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "She means no one any harm. She doesn't have ill will for any person. She's not competitive with other people. She's not spiteful." Of course, he had to throw in a a little zinger: "It's one of those things where it becomes almost aggravating at times. Every time I go, 'F--k him!' I see in her face that she just thinks that's petty and small."
February 2013: In what was certainly one of the more memorable Oscar speeches, Ben acknowledged his wife while accepting the Best Picture trophy for Argo... just in an unusual way. "I want to thank you for working on our marriage for 10 Christmases," he told the audience. "It’s good, it is work, but it’s the best kind of work, and there’s no one I’d rather work with."
April 2013: So what did Jen have to say about that infamous shout-out? "I had a friend call and say, 'Are you OK?'" she told the Telegraph. "I know Ben, I knew he meant it as the hugest, warmest compliment in the world. I think he was saying, 'Look, what we have is really real and I value it above all and I'm in it with you and I know you are in it with me.' That's the way I took it.'"
She continued, "Poor guy. It's so horrible to put yourself out there… he didn't have to worry about it from my point of view."
August 2013: Now that the awards season circuit was over, Jen and Ben weren't as much of a red carpet fixture. "It's a very conscious decision," Garner explained to Allure about skipping certain events with her husband. "Sometimes it's a pain because my heels are so high and it would be nice to have [Ben's] arm. And he's such a great date! But it can be too much. I think especially for women, they can really lose their identity and just become the 'wife of.'"
Still, they remained a power duo. When asked if she thought Ben would get into politics one day, Jen said: "Would I be surprised if one day he did go into politics? No. But not now… I'm along for the ride."
January 2014: When talking with Playboy, Ben was asked if he dwells on failure, and his answer was interesting in how it unraveled. "No… look at Daredevil. That’s where I found my wife. We met on Pearl Harbor, which people hate, but we fell in love on Daredevil. By the way, she won most of the fights in the movie, which was a pretty good predictor of what would happen down the road — my wife, holding swords and beating the living s--t out of me."
But it wasn't all jokes (at least, we think that was a joke). "[My wife] is by leaps and bounds the most important person to me in that respect," Affleck said of Garner's resolute support. "Over the past 10 years she has allowed me to have a stable home life while accomplishing my professional goals… Once I'd made it, the most critical thing was that she said, 'If you're going to work 24 hours a day, that's cool. I'm going to be here.' That allowed me to think, OK, that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to kill myself over this next period of time."
September 2014: And the candid quotes just kept on coming. "You can't expect to be courted all the time, and I don't want to court him right now — I don't have the energy!" she told InStyle. "But we're definitely in a very mindful place where we're making an effort to be together, do things at the same time, and be loving." She added, "When we had our first [child] we had only been together a year. We were babies. It happened so fast, I hardly remember what we were like before the kids got here."
November 2014: While receiving his award at the Save the Children Illumination Gala, Ben thanked his wife for taking on the "lion's share" of responsibilities, spending her time raising their three kids, while maintaining her career and charity work.
"She's been really smart about choosing her projects, doing Dallas Buyers Club or Alexander and the Terrible [Horrible, No Good, Very Bad] Day, smart, good movies that luckily have been successful. And then, they're not so time-consuming that she can't do this work and be there for our kids, which is the most important thing to her," Affleck said per the AP. This was the last red carpet event they attended together.
March 2015: Though the couple sounds to be united on the home front, it's also clear Jen is ready to get back to work. "Ben is super busy and I'm super happy for him," Garner told reporters. "I chose to stay home this year and just said, 'Go for it babe. Do it all. Do Gone Girl, do Batman, do The Accountant. Do everything.' I want that for him and I'm happy for him. And he says the same to me. Except that he's really busy. But he understands that when I really have to do it, we figure it out."
She added, "You'd be amazed how we figure it out. I've never been away for more than I think four days. Maybe once I was gone from my kids for five days... I sit down at the beginning of the movie and say to the people making the schedule, 'Let's look at this.' Then I figure out where I'm going to take the kid and when I can get home."
May 2015: Right before separation rumors really heated up, Jennifer spoke to Yahoo Parenting about how having a baby changes a marriage. "You just go on a ride together because you don’t know who you’re going to be when you first have a baby and you don’t know who [your partner] is going to be," she said. "You have to just hang in there while you figure it out — and have a lot of patience for each other."
Unfortunately, it looks like they ran out of patience. On June 30, the couple released the following statement to The Insider With Yahoo:"After much thought and careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to divorce. We go forward with love and friendship for one another and a commitment to co-parenting our children whose privacy we ask to be respected during this difficult time. This will be our only comment on this private, family matter. Thank you for understanding."