Relationship tips we can take away from Garner and Affleck's marriage.
By Tammy Greene for Hope After Divorce
There are few other couples that have amassed more attention in 2013 than celebrity power couple Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck. It has been a memorable year for them with Affleck’s huge success and Oscar for his brilliant movie Argo. In the coming months, Garner will step back into the spotlight with the film adaptation of the popular book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. With their stellar careers, three beautiful children and easy affection with each other, it seems like this Hollywood pair has it all.
But let’s not forget the bumpy path these two heavyweights took before they found each other. No one can ignore Affleck’s relationship with Jennifer Lopez, a love that the media referred to as “Bennifer.” The couple called off their engagement after only 18 months of dating. And Garner isn’t without her own, though certainly less notorious, relationship history: She married fellow actor Scott Foley in 2000 and found herself divorced in 2004. Though celebrity couples seem to live a fairytale, these two prove that happily ever after does not come easily.
We often find ourselves looking to celebrities to guide us in our lives – from how to dress, what to eat and where to shop. Similarly, we look to them to guide us in our relationships. Here are three lessons that we can learn from this fan-favorite power couple.
Related Link: Celeb Couples: More Like Us Than We Want to Admit?
Keep your personal life personal.
It is hard to say exactly why, but the media bombed hard on Bennifer. Whether it was because of their rather embarrassing nickname or possibly their highly-criticized movie Gigli, this couple could do nothing to escape the jokes or harsh criticisms. What might have topped it all off was the music video that the pair filmed together for Lopez’s song, “Jenny from the Block.” The couple openly displayed their affection for each other in a way that many felt was unnecessary, leaving themselves open to severe criticism by critics and fans alike. It was no surprise, then, that they soon broke up.
There is something to be said for keeping your personal life personal. Publicly displaying arguments or overtly sexual displays of affection leave you open to criticism and opinions from third parties. Thanks to social media, many feel it’s okay to air their dirty and sometimes very inappropriate laundry for the world to see. In truth, nobody really wants to hear all about how angry you are at your husband or know what your “dirty talk” sounds like. Keep the details of your relationship personal. Being in a relationship is hard enough; there is no need to invite the unnecessary opinions or criticisms of others.
Admit that marriage is work and work on it daily.
Upon winning the Oscar for Best Picture for Argo, Ben Affleck gave an acceptance speech that caught people’s attention. He said to his wife, “I want to thank you for working on our marriage for ten Christmases. It’s good. It is work but the best kind of work, and there’s no one I’d rather work with.” The actor was criticized for possibly alluding to the fact that his marriage was in trouble. According to the happily-married duo, though, his speech was totally misunderstood.
Why is it that our society struggles to admit that marriage is work? Anyone in a good and happy marriage knows that daily effort is required for a successful relationship. It seems that people would rather hear that all is rosy and perfect in the land of Hollywood. Affleck should be commended for reminding all of us that what you love is worth the work.
Related Link: What We Can Learn From “the Work” Celeb Couples Do
Don’t take things too seriously.
As a result of the media criticism for his acceptance speech, Affleck found himself having to clarify what he meant and took the opportunity to do so while hosting an episode of Saturday Night Live. During his monologue, with the help of his lovely wife, they showed fans that they were still in love and happy and could laugh and joke about the way the acceptance speech was construed.
Being able to laugh in a relationship is a vital part of happiness. It is important not to take things too seriously and to always try to find the humor in situations. There are endless factors that add stress to a relationship and can work cracks into any strong foundation. Laughter can often be the glue that keeps those cracks from splitting in half. There is something admirable about a couple who doesn’t take themselves too seriously.
Garner and Affleck are a power couple who seem to have it all together, but they remind us that the path to a happy ending can often be blocked with bumps and turns. Still, it is undoubtedly a path worth taking.
Tammy Greene is a graduate of the University of La Verne. She has worked as a Child Life Specialist and social worker assisting families who have children with illness or mental disabilities. Tammy is a producer of the national PBS children’s television show, Curiosity Quest. She has a blog, Married and Naked, where she shares personal lessons learned from her own life, offering helpful ways to navigate through the challenges of marriage. Tammy is a contributing expert at HopeAfterDivorce.org, FamilyShare.com, LAFamily.com and CupidsPulse.com. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart and is the mother of two. See Tammy’s Curiosity Quest website and follow her blog, MarriedandNaked.