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How Jennifer Lopez Overcame 'PTSD' From Dating Ben Affleck Before Reuniting 20 Years Later

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jennifer lopez and ben affleck

Love usually comes around only once in a lifetime, but for Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, love— and marriage came back to them after 20 years apart.

Now, Lopez is reflecting on the challenges she had to overcome to revive her romance with the "Argo" director.

Jennifer Lopez says her first breakup with Ben Affleck gave her PTSD.

In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Lopez addressed how she overcame having "a little PTSD" from dating Affleck 20 years prior to their impromptu Las Vegas wedding in July 2022.

Lopez, 53, and Affleck, 50, were first engaged from 2002 to 2004, after sparking a much-publicized romance on the set of the critically-panned movie Gigli.

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According to a joint statement made in 2003, they postponed their first wedding due to “excessive media attention,” after reporting that “the spirit of what should have been the happiest day of our lives could be compromised” and “spoiled.”

The couple officially split in 2004, with both Lopez and Affleck marrying and starting families with other people soon after their breakup.

Lopez married singer Marc Anthony in June 2004, with whom she had two children, Max and Emme.

Affleck married actress Jennifer Garner in June 2005 and had three children, Violet, Serafina, and Sam. 

Both relationships ended in divorce.

Lopez and Affleck went on to date other high-profile celebrities after their respective divorces, yet the two rekindled their romance in 2021, after 20 years apart.

After Lopez split with then-fiance Alex Rodriguez following rumors of his infidelity in March 2021, she and Affleck were spotted in LA together just one month later, in April 2021.

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Jennifer Lopez opened up about taking a more laidback approach to her nuptials this time.

The two made it Instagram official in July 2021, after Lopez posted a photo of her and Affleck together to honor her 52nd birthday.

Affleck proposed to Lopez for a second time in April 2022, giving her an 8.5-carat green diamond ring estimated at $10 million dollars, as Lopez reported she no longer had the ring from his original proposal in 2002.

“He had to ask me again,” Lopez told Kimmel.

During the interview, Lopez joked, “I don't know if you guys know this, but 20 years ago we were supposed to get married and it kind of all fell apart back then.”

“And this time, I absolutely had a little PTSD,” she continued.

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Lopez said that planning a wedding was 'so stressful' that Affleck suggested they elope to Las Vegas.

Referencing both their second engagement and their second attempt to plan a wedding, Lopez told Kimmel she asked herself “is this really happening?” 

“We were so happy, and of course, it was happening but I just felt like the wedding was so stressful and one day Ben just says f–k it, let’s go to Vegas and get married tonight,” Lopez reported. 

“It was amazing, it was the best night of our lives,” she said of their marriage ceremony at The Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas.

Lopez announced their nuptials in the July 17 edition of her “On The JLo” newsletter, writing, “We did it. Love is beautiful. Love is kind. And it turns out love is patient. Twenty years patient.” 

In the newsletter, Lopez stated that they “stood in line with four other couples… all of us wanting the same thing— for the world to recognize us as partners and to declare our love to the world through the ancient and nearly universal symbol of marriage.”

She continued, “Stick around long enough and maybe you’ll find the best moment of your life in a drive-through in Las Vegas at twelve-thirty in the morning… with your kids and the one you’ll spend forever with.”

Giving hope to second chances everywhere, Lopez ended the newsletter by proclaiming, “Love is a great thing, maybe the best of things, and worth waiting for.”

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers celebrity gossip, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.