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Twenty years ago, the Bennifer breakup stunned fans of the celebrity couple.

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck’s whirlwind romance seemed over for good … until, in 2021, they rekindled things.

Now the two are married, vacationing together, attending premieres together, and releasing a film all about how their romance survived.

And with that, J. Lo is finally opening up about the real reason that she and Ben parted ways two decades ago.

Jennifer Lopez stares at the camera while Ben Affleck directs his focus elsewhere in 2024.
Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck attend Amazon’s “This is Me… Now: A Love Story” premiere at the Dolby theatre in Hollywood, California, February 13, 2024. (Photo Credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

In 2004, the Bennifer breakup shocked the couple’s fans

Just three days before what would have been their 2003 wedding, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck called off the nuptials. They claimed that the media circus was the cause.

No one really believed that. Especially when they didn’t, say, immediately go through with new wedding plans (or just elope).

Much, much more recently, Jennifer Lopez gave an interview with Zane Lowe for Apple Music’s This Is Me … Now Radio series. Here, she revealed the true cause of the demise of Bennifer 1.0.

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck in November 2023.
Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck attend the 2023 Eastern Congo Initiative Poker and Blackjack Tournament hosted by TAO Group Hospitality at LAVO Restaurant & Nightclub at The Palazzo at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas on November 17, 2023. (Photo Credit: Mindy Small/Getty Images)

“We didn’t break up right at that moment, it happened over the series of the next few months,” J. Lo recalled during the interview.

“Because what it did was it [cast] doubt in me, and both of us, about what our relationship was, and where it was going, I think,” she reflected.

“And I knew in my heart that I wanted to be with him for the rest of my life, I knew that,” Lopez acknowledged. “But it didn’t feel like we were going to make it. And so, it scared me.”

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck weren’t in a place where they could make it work

“It was very hard, it was a very sad moment of letting go of somebody that you truly love because you just can’t figure it out,” J. Lo described.

“You just don’t have the capacity and the ability at that moment, emotionally, to figure it out,” she then added.

Lopez chalked this up to their relative immaturity at the time, adding that they “weren’t ready” to put in the work.

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Afflect in June of 2023.
Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck attend the Los Angeles premiere of Warner Bros. “The Flash” at Ovation Hollywood on June 12, 2023. (Photo Credit: Phillip Faraone/Getty Images)

“We weren’t ready to deal with and look at each other and go, ‘What we have is real, we need to buckle down, we need to do some work,'” Lopez suggested. “We just weren’t there yet.”

She continued: “And so, we go, ‘Oh, this is what people do, they break up when things get hard, and we’re going to go our separate ways.’”

J. Lo acknowledged: “And we went, and we both tried, and found other people, and had beautiful children, and had other families, and then even had other relationships after that.”

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez at a premiere in May of 2023.
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez attend “The Mother” Los Angeles Premiere Event at Westwood Village on May 10, 2023, (Photo Credit: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Netflix)

Perhaps they both needed to move on, at the time

“And it wasn’t until both of us had done, I know for me, a lot of work, and got into a place where I was like, you know what? I’m totally good on my own,” Lopez remarked.

She chose to describe herself: “I’m chill, I love my life, I have this amazing career that I’ve built for myself, I have these amazing children … I have great friends, that’s when he showed back up.”

J. Lo shared: “Funnily enough, he said he had had the same type of experience. And that’s kind of how it went down.”

Jennifer Lopez gazes up at Ben Affleck in February 2024.
Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck attend Amazon’s “This is Me… Now: A Love Story” premiere at the Dolby theatre in Hollywood, California, February 13, 2024. (Photo Credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

We doubt that either Jennifer Lopez or Ben Affleck’s exes from long-term relationships and marriages would enjoy feeling characterized as learning opportunities. But J. Lo isn’t saying that this is all that they were.

It doesn’t sound like the singer and actress chose to offer any tips when it comes to knowing when you’ve reached that threshold of maturity to make a marriage work.

But it seems that, for Bennifer, they’ve reached their happy place. Their rekindled relationship has already outlasted their first attempt.