When Ben Affleck reportedly returned to rehab to receive treatment for alcohol addiction for the third time on Wednesday, looking downcast in the back seat of a car during the journey, it was his ex-wife Jennifer Garner who was at the wheel, supporting her estranged husband in his time of need. The moment, captured by a photographer, was the latest chapter in the onetime couple's evolving relationship; once the tale of one of Hollywood's most high profile power couples, these days the former pair's story is centered around co-parenting. Ben and Jen secretly married in 2005, tying the knot in Turks and Caicos, and went on to have three gorgeous children: Violet, 12, Seraphina, nine and Sam, six. They would announce their split in 2015, the day after they celebrated a decade of marriage.
Meanwhile, the actor's battle with alcohol has been well documented. After Ben's first stint in rehab in 2001, he confirmed in March 2017 – the month before Jennifer filed for divorce – that he had completed treatment for alcohol addiction, "something I’ve dealt with in the past and will continue to confront,” he said in a statement on Facebook. “I want to live life to the fullest and be the best father I can be. I want my kids to know there is no shame in getting help when you need it, and to be a source of strength for anyone out there who needs help but is afraid to take the first step. I’m lucky to have the love of my family and friends, including my co-parent, Jen, who has supported me and cared for our kids as I’ve done the work I set out to do."
Over a year later, and illustrated by those powerful photographs, it seems that their close bond has continued as Jen faithfully supports co-parent Ben's struggle for sobriety. "I didn’t marry the big fat movie star; I married him," Jennifer told Vanity Fair in 2016, calling their union "a real marriage, it wasn't for the cameras". "And I would go back and remake that decision. I ran down the beach to him, and I would again. You can’t have these three babies and so much of what we had. 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."
Although Jennifer filed for divorce in 2017, it has not yet been finalized. Since the split, Ben – who has been pictured with his estranged wife countless times as they took on the joint task of co-parenting – has been romantically linked to TV producer Lindsay Shookus and, as recently as this week, to Playboy model Shauna Sexton. As reports of the actor's possible new love interest came to light, Jennifer was making her own headlines as she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame joined by her parents and three children – but not Ben – for the landmark moment.