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Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck’s Friends Are Divided on Whether Marriage Can Be Saved (Exclusive)

Jennifer Lopez looked as stunning as ever when she stepped onto the red carpet at the premiere of her new Netflix film, Atlas, at the Egyptian Theatre in L.A. on May 20. Dressed in a cropped white top and a black, floor-length mermaid-cut Greta Constantine skirt, the glamorous star posed for photos and waved to fans.

Despite appearances, an eyewitness shares in the latest issue of Us Weekly that Lopez, 54, wasn’t her usual “bubbly” self at the event.

“There weren’t a lot of big smiles, even for photographers,” says the eyewitness, noting that Lopez wore her wedding band but not her 8.5-carat diamond engagement ring. “It seemed like she was just going through the motions.”

The press tour for Atlas hasn’t come at the most opportune time for Lopez. Earlier this month, news broke that she and husband Ben Affleck have hit a rough patch, with Affleck, 51, leaving their $60 million Beverly Hills mansion to stay at a nearby rental while they figure out their next steps.

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One source close to the couple — who wed in the summer of 2022, nearly 20 years after calling off their first engagement — says the decision to spend time apart was mutual: “They are taking some space to work out whether or not the relationship is right for both of them.”

According to a source close to Lopez, things between the Shotgun Wedding actress and Affleck began coming to a head a few months ago.

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck’s Friends Are Divided on Whether Marriage Can Be Saved
FilmMagic; WireImage

“Jennifer had started ramping up her work commitments and prepping for her tour,” says the source. “She’s very focused on work and overextends herself.”

Lopez is set to kick off her 30-date This Is Me…Now Tour on June 26 in Florida. The source says Affleck “doesn’t agree with Jennifer’s lifestyle” and has felt “worn down” by the marriage.

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“He’s been checked out,” the source says, noting that the pair are on “two completely different pages most of the time. The honeymoon phase has worn off.”

A second Lopez source says the couple’s work commitments have also caused friction at home. “Both have demanding careers that often require them to be in different cities,” the source explains.

Lopez was recently in NYC filming the upcoming musical Kiss of the Spider Woman, while Affleck, who’s started shooting The Accountant 2, stayed in L.A. The scheduling, says the source, “highlighted the emotional and physical distance between them.”

Communication is an additional source of contention. “Over time, Jennifer and Ben found it increasingly difficult to communicate effectively,” explains the source, “and small misunderstandings grew into significant arguments.”

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The source says Lopez prefers to talk things out when conflicts arise, while Affleck tends to withdraw. “They have fundamentally different approaches to conflict.”

There are basic personality clashes as well. Lopez is known for being an open book, sharing intimate details of her life with her fans in interviews and via social media. She reflected on her past relationships — and her reunion with Affleck — in February’s $20 million self-financed musical film, This Is Me… Now: A Love Story, and its accompanying documentary, The Greatest Love Story Never Told.

In the doc, Affleck himself muses on their differences, saying, “Getting back together, I said, ‘Listen, one of the things I don’t want is a relationship on social media. Then I sort of realized it’s not a fair thing to ask. It’s sort of like, you’re gonna marry a boat captain, and you go, ‘Well, I don’t like the water,’” he said. “[We are] two people with different kinds of approaches trying to learn to compromise.”

The source close to the couple says that rumors of Lopez being high-maintenance are inaccurate, adding that the pair’s issues are “complex.”

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The second Lopez source says disagreements over things like finances and parenting “have exacerbated” their issues. (Lopez shares twins Emme and Max, 16, with ex Marc Anthony; Affleck shares Violet, 18, Seraphina, 15, and 12-year-old Samuel with ex Jennifer Garner.)

There’s a lot at stake. For Lopez, a fourth divorce could be a source of embarrassment. “She’s upset,” says the first Lopez source, “and really did think she and Ben would be endgame this time around.”

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck’s Friends Are Divided on Whether Marriage Can Be Saved
MICHAEL TRAN/AFP via Getty Images

The second Lopez source adds that after the pair were so open about their love and reunion, the idea of a split could be uncomfortable.

Lopez was put in an uneasy position during a Wednesday, May 22, press event for Atlas in Mexico City when a reporter asked about divorce rumors. “You know better than that,” Lopez told the reporter before costar Simu Liu quickly came to her defense. “Don’t come in with that energy, please,” Liu said, adding, “Jen is a producer on this movie and the reason why I am here and why [castmate] Sterling [K. Brown] was in this beautiful movie is because [she] cares. Jen cares about things like representation and diversity. She’s a boss.”


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The second source says Lopez has been “committed to working on the marriage” and is pushing for them to get help. Affleck, meanwhile, was initially hesitant but is starting to “invest more.”

The source adds that “[Ben has] struggled with loneliness” since moving out of their home “and realized how much he misses Jen.”

For now, they’re at an impasse. While they were apart, “Ben and Jen kept in touch primarily to discuss essential matters and updates,” says the second Lopez source.

Friends are torn about where Lopez and Affleck should go from here. “Some believe they can work it out with time and effort, pointing to their deep bond. Others think the relationship has run its course.”

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For now, Lopez and Affleck are “both reassessing their priorities,” adds the source, “and 
[figuring out] what they truly want from the marriage.”

For more on Lopez and Affleck, watch the exclusive video above — and pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.

With reporting by Andrea Simpson & Amanda Williams

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