Jennifer Garner Will ‘Always Feel Responsible’ for Ben Affleck: ‘Won’t Let’ Him ‘Spiral’ Again

He snapped. On June 23, after pulling away from the Beverly Hills mansion he, until May, shared with second wife Jennifer LopezBen Affleck suddenly stopped, reversed and slammed on his brakes. Jumping out of his car, the Oscar winner got into a photographer’s face and began scolding the man for blinding him with flashes as he exited the property he and J. Lo, 54, are now selling for $65 million amid relentless speculation that their nearly two-year marriage is beyond repair.

Why Jennifer Garner Feels 'Responsible' for Ex Ben Affleck

“It’s not surprising Ben lashed out like that,” a source exclusively tells Life & Style, “because he’s close to his breaking point.”

The past few months have been difficult for Ben, 51, and J. Lo as they navigate what’s next. Their marriage drama has also created new challenges for Ben’s first wife, Jennifer Garner, who in recent weeks has been spending more time with the troubled star and recovering alcoholic. She was even pictured punching a code into a call box to let herself into his $100,000-a-month rental in LA’s Brentwood neighborhood on June 15.

“People close to Ben have been concerned about him for some time. He’s in a bad place and has been isolating,” reveals the source. “Jen’s opening up to friends like never before about it, explaining why she’s been so involved lately and is often seen visiting Ben. She wants to finally share her side of the story.”

Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez and Jennifer Garner’s Situation Is Complicated

Pals had been trying to understand why Jen, 52, is providing support to her ex nine years after they announced that their decade-long marriage was over.

“Jen definitely had doubts that Ben and J. Lo would work out. But she says her biggest concern is Ben spiraling worse than before. She won’t let that happen,” notes a second insider. “Jen’s moved on from Ben as a husband, but because of the children they share [Violet, 18, Fin, 15, and Samuel, 12], she’ll always feel responsible for him.”

She’s been here before. Following their 2015 split, Jen let Ben live in her guesthouse so he could be close to the kids. In 2018, she drove him to rehab. During his treatment, she begged the actor’s The Way Back director, Gavin O’Connor, “‘Please don’t pull the plug on the movie. He really wants to do this,’” the filmmaker later recalled.

Why Jennifer Garner Feels 'Responsible' for Ex Ben Affleck
Bellocqimages/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Jen tried to maintain a healthy distance from Ben when he wed J. Lo in 2022. “But Ben would still always pull Jen in and confide in her,” says the insider. Being his sounding board “can be overwhelming,” adds the insider, “but she really does know him better than anyone else.”

Though Ben and J. Lo technically have a longer history — the couple first got together in the early 2000s before calling off their engagement in 2003, only to reconcile in 2021 — today, “Jen is more in tune with Ben — what makes him tick, his demons, his deepest secrets — than she ever was when they were married,” says the insider.

That’s bittersweet. Especially considering that Jen’s “biggest regret” with Ben “is that she couldn’t get him to open up to her more when they were together and they didn’t try even harder to save their marriage,” explains the insider. “She’s finally at peace with it, but there’s a part of her that will always love Ben.”

She’s admitted as much. “I didn’t marry the big fat movie star; I married him. And I would go back and remake that decision,” Jen famously told Vanity Fair a year after their split, explaining, “You can’t have these three babies and so much of what we had. He’s the love of my life … He’s just a complicated guy.”

Jen Garner’s Turn for Love

Jen eventually forged a new love. For six years, she’s been in a relationship with CaliGroup CEO John Miller, who, like her, is coparenting teens with a former spouse. The situation with Ben “has put a strain on Jen’s relationship with John,” admits the insider, “but he also gets it. John knows Jen has a big heart. It’s one of the reasons he loves her.”

She only wants the best for Ben. “Jen hopes he can one day find someone who understands him and can love him unconditionally,” says the insider. “She wants to be able to concentrate on her own future.”

Despite what Ben’s going through, “Jen’s assured friends that she is putting her needs first,” adds the insider. “She knows she deserves happiness, too.”

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