I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention lately, but if you put your ear to the ground, you can practically hear a Hollywood marriage crumbling. It belongs to none other than Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck, and the proof is all over the internet.
It seems like every interview they give or speech they make, they manage to sneak in some sort of dig at the other person, either as a partner or as a parent, to the point that it’s starting to feel obvious to me. But as a part of my job, I probably pay much closer attention to the internet than any sane person, so I can understand if you haven’t been picking up the signals.
But I also hate to have opinions by myself, so I put together a little round-up of the most glaring examples in the past year or so, just so you can see for yourself.
1. Ben’s Oscar Speech, February 2013
“I wanna thank our friends in Iran, living under terrible circumstances right now. I wanna thank my wife, who I don’t normally associate with Iran…but I wanna thank you for working on our marriage for ten Christmases. It’s good. It is work, but it’s the best kind of work. And there’s no one I’d rather work with!”
I’m fully behind marriage being work, but is an acceptance speech for Argo really the best place to bring up that particular facet of your union? Maybe not, right?
2. The Beard Fiasco, February 2013
Apparently Jennifer hated Ben’s Oscar beard so much that she ‘actually brought the clippers to the party‘ so he could shave it off in the bathroom and emerge smooth-cheeked into the next, Argo-less phase of his life.
“He did it himself at the restaurant. The whole family was tired of the beard!”
I’m sure beards are annoying, but give the guy a second! This is a big night for him.
3. Explaining Why They’re Rarely Seen Together, August 2013
Jennifer says that she and Ben intentionally don’t go to events together so that they can remain separate people with separate careers.
“It’s a very conscious decision. Sometimes it’s a pain because my heels are so high and it would be nice to have his 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 ‘wife of.’”
Girl, you need to decide if you want him around or if you don’t want him around, because this is a lot of mixed messages.
“Really, you don’t want to see a couple onscreen . . . People see paparazzi shots of us together all the time. There’s no mystery . . . People are sick of us.”
People are sick of you, or you’re sick of you? Might this be a teensy case of projecting?
4. My Wife Beats The Shit Out Of Me, January 2014
When explaining how he and Jennifer met and fell in love, Ben couldn’t resist throwing a little shade at his wife:
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 shit out of me.
Ummmm that does not sound like your typical good-natured disagreement. Perhaps you’d like to either adjust your phrasing or involve the authorities?
5. The Face Change, April 2014
“You can’t go for too long without being together as a unit. Face time is a must time for us. I make pajamas for the kids with Ben’s face on it that they sleep in. I put his voice in things…like there’s a teddy bear you can get where you can put the voice in the paw.”
In this case, it’s not so much what Jennifer said, about Ben never being around, but how she said it. Just look at the way her face changes from one of elation while discussing her movie Draft Day, to completely falling when she realizes it’s time to talk about Ben. Like she saw a ghost. Also for all the things she does to keep Ben fresh in his kids’ heads, it doesn’t seem like he does any of those things for her.
“Let’s not overstate things. We are divided down a very mom-dad line. If it has to do with making food, or doing homework or anything that has to do with actually functioning — sorry it’s true — that’s a mom thing. And then coming in just as you’re getting them to bed and picking them up by their heels and swinging them around, that’s a dad thing. Anything fun, that is Ben.”
Um um ummmm oh dear. You basically just said that your husband doesn’t help you out with parenting. That he actually detracts from your hard work by coming in at the last minute and being the fun guy. Next thing you’re gonna tell me is that he turned the house into a petting zoo for one of the kids’ birthdays, ala Mrs. Doubtfire.
Just someone call me if a bosomy woman with a suspiciously cleft chin and five o’clock shadow starts taking a special interest in cleaning the Affleck house.