“Jen Garner is used to watching Ben jump in at the deep end so I wouldn’t say she’s shocked about the engagement,” the insider says. “The children are a bigger priority to her than Ben and J-Lo’s engagement.”
The 13 Going On 30 actress, 49, announced her split from the Gone Girl actor, 49, in 2015 after nearly 10 years of marriage. Their divorce was finalized in 2018. The former couple shares three kids, 16-year-old daughter Violet, 13-year-old daughter Seraphina and 9-year-old son Samuel. The pair met on the set of Pearl Harbor in 2000.
Following their breakup, they both moved on romantically. Ben went on to date TV producer Lindsay Shookus in 2017 and Instagram model Shauna Sexton in 2018, then later dated actress Ana de Armas, whom he met on the set of Deep Water in late 2019.
After splitting from Ana, 33, after nearly a year of dating in January 2021, Ben reconnected with ex-fiancée J. Lo in April 2021, shortly after her split from ex-fiancé Alex Rodriguez. The pair went public in July 2021 on her 52nd birthday. Their romance was going so strong that an insider told In Touch in January that a proposal was “imminent.”
“There’s no question that Jen and Ben will be engaged,” the source said. “He’s told pretty much everyone that he lost Jen once before, and he’s not going to let that happen again. It’s meant to be, and if you see them together, there’s no doubt about it.”
The couple announced their engagement on Friday, April 8, via Lopez’s newsletter, On the JLo.
While Garner ultimately gave Ben and J. Lo her “blessing” at the beginning of their rekindled romance, things got tense between Ben and his ex-wife when the actor-director seemingly took a shot at his former marriage. “That was part of why I started drinking alcohol, I was trapped,” Ben said about their former union during a December 2021 interview with Howard Stern. A separate source told In Touch exclusively that the actress felt his wording was “disrespectful” and a “slap in the face.”
Ben later clarified that his statement was taken out of context.
“[Howard and I] talked a lot about my family and divorce and alcoholism and struggling with real things and how you have to be accountable and loving and how I work with my ex-wife and how I’m so proud of the way that we work together for our kids,” he explained on Jimmy Kimmel Live! later that month. “I had gone on and said how much we respect each other and cared about each other and cared about our kids and put them first and went through our stuff. They said that blamed my ex-wife for my alcoholism and that I was trapped in this marriage and just made me out to be the worst, most insensitive, stupid awful guy.”
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