Jennifer Garner has taken her estranged husband Ben Affleck to rehab. The separated couple, who share three children, Violet (aged 12), Seraphina (aged nine) and Samuel (aged six), officially separated in 2015 after ten years of marriage.
But, as any woman who’s had to co-parent with someone they still care about would know, that move would’ve taken a considerable amount of woman-ing up.
You may love your kids, and love the father of your kids by default – but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy thing to do. Love, marriage, and divorce is complicated.
It’s not the first time that Garner has seen Affleck in rehab. After their marriage ended, it was revealed he’d had an ongoing affair with their children’s nanny. Since then, he was reportedly dating Lindsay Shookus, a Saturday Night Live producer, and more recently, he’s been connected with model Shauna Sexton.
And that’s exactly what makes Garner’s most recent move all the more impressive – because none of that mattered when she tried to save him, yet again, this week.
On Thursday, TMZ reported that Garner staged an intervention to help encourage Affleck back into rehabilitation at The Canyon centre in Malibu for his continued substance abuse. Apparently, she drove him there herself.
It’s a clear move by Garner to help the father of her children get better, so he can be a better father.
It’s clear that Garner still has an enormous amount of respect for her ex-partner, which was most obvious in June this year, when she posted an Instagram ode to him on (American) Father’s Day:
“Our kids are lucky to have a dad who looks at them the way you look at them and loves them the way you love them, @benaffleck. #happyfathersday #threeluckykids #haveagreatday” she wrote in the caption.
The couple is not yet officially divorced, with the matter still before the L.A. Superior Court. But that closure doesn’t seem to be something Garner needs to continue to be a rock for her family.
As mother and father, the pair reportedly regularly attend Church together, and have gone on a family vacation. They also continued to live together for the family’s stability for some months after their split.
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In 2016, Garner spoke to Vanity Fair about Affleck in the most beautiful way – despite how painful the breakdown of their marriage was:
“He’s the love of my life. What am I going to do about that?
“He’s the most brilliant person in any room, the most charismatic, the most generous. He’s just a complicated guy. I always say, ‘When his sun shines on you, you feel it.’ But when the sun is shining elsewhere, it’s cold. He can cast quite a shadow.”
Again in 2016, Garner spoke to ET at the Save the Children Illumination Gala about how she and Affleck have chosen to raise their kids:
“It’s so important that you model for your kids how to be a citizen of the world, and I think that’s the best thing you can do,” the actor said. She also explained that the pair each have special causes that they try to teach their kids about.
“That’s really important at home, to make sure that our kids know that we both have causes that we care so much about… that we dedicate time, resources, and our energy toward making our own little slice of the world a little bit better.”
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) August 4, 2016
If you’re wondering where Garner gets her strength, the answer is, quite simply, that she is a mother. In August of 2016, Garner told the American Today show that putting her kids first during the separation was her priority.
“It has to be,” she said. “You don’t have a choice. It has to be.”
That’s something which every mother knows; no matter how uncomfortable something is to do, you’ll woman-up and do whatever’s needed, to give your kids everything you want them to have. In Garner’s case, that’s a healthy father, and a healthy family – and if that involves driving him to rehab, so be it.