Jennifer Garner is radiant on the cover of Vanity Fair's March cover, and the actress got more candid than ever in the accompanying interview — especially when it came to talking about her split from Ben Affleck. The couple announced their plans to divorce back in June 2015, but have been keeping things amicable for the sake of their three kids, Violet, Seraphina, and Samuel Affleck. In her Vanity Fair profile, Jennifer finally broke her silence, calling the past 12 months her "year of wine," and admitted that she has been reflecting on her part in their breakup, saying, "There's no way I get off in this."
Overall, Jennifer's heartfelt, eye-opening quotes address pretty much everything the public has been wondering about their relationship while also touching on what's next for her and her family. She went on to address Ben's rumored infidelity — including "Nannygate" — and revealed that she "laughed" at Ricky Gervais's Golden Globes joke about Ben only being faithful to Matt Damon. Keep reading for the biggest truth bombs that Jen dropped in Vanity Fair, and then check out more celebrity women who bounced back from very public breakups.
- Her marriage was not for show: "It was a real marriage. It wasn't for the cameras. And it was a huge priority for me to stay in it. And that did not work."
- She doesn't regret marrying Ben: "I didn't marry the big fat movie star; I married him. 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?"
- But she definitely didn't expect any of the drama: "Of course this is not what I imagined when I ran down the beach, but it is where I am. We still have to help each other get through this. He's still the only person who really knows the truth about things. And I'm still the only person that knows some of his truths."
- Ben can be complicated and "cold": "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."
- The nanny didn't play a part in their split: "We had been separated for months before I ever heard about the nanny [28-year-old Christine Ouzounian]. She had nothing to do with our decision to divorce. She was not a part of the equation. Bad judgment? Yes. It's not great for your kids for [a nanny] to disappear from their lives. I have had to have conversations about the meaning of 'scandal.'"
- She ignores the media coverage: "I turned on CNN one day, and there we were. I just won't do it anymore. I took a silent oath with myself last Summer to really stay offline. I am totally clueless about all of it. Ben says, 'Oh, you just don't care,' and I say, 'No, it's the opposite.' It hurts me so much, and I care so much. I cannot be driven by the optics of this. I cannot let anger or hurt be my engine. I need to move with the big picture always on my mind, and the kids first and foremost."
- The split made it challenging to film love scenes for her new film Wakefield: "When you haven't been kissed for over eight months, it's strange. But it's my job. It's 9 in the morning, and you think, I could really use a shot of alcohol. Then, after a take or two, after everyone has seen your boobs and love handles, you just want to take every crew member and be like, 'Please have mercy on me!'"
- She's been looking to famous comedians for laughs: "When I can't sleep — and I am not someone who typically has that problem, but I really have in the last year — and I need something to switch my brain off, it has been Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. God bless those girls."
- She's healing her heart by writing poetry and punching people: "When the earth shakes, you go to what you know from childhood. All of a sudden, I'm sitting down at the piano. I went back to church. I sat down and wrote bad poetry all day because I was so sad. I needed a dance class; it reminded me of my fight scenes [in Alias] and how I missed that. I feel the need to be physical and I feel the need to punch someone. You know what I look forward to? I look forward to getting past the pity stage. I look forward to just having a sense of humor."
- She's already been asked on dates, but isn't sure about dating yet: "We were waiting for the bathroom at JetBlue, and I was so floored. I had to remind myself that that was something that could happen. He said, 'Could I take you for a cup of coffee?' And I was, like, 'No! You may not take me for a cup of coffee, sir.' And then I said, 'But thanks for asking.' I don't know. It's just that, [from] everyone that I know that is dating, it just seems, well . . . men don't call anymore. I want flowers; I don't want to text. What does that make me? What kind of dinosaur am I?"
- Their children are her first priority: "It's not Ben's job to make me happy. The main thing is these kids — and we're completely in line with what we hope for them. Sure, I lost the dream of dancing with my husband at my daughter's wedding. But you should see their faces when he walks through the door. And if you see your kids love someone so purely and wholly, then you're going to be friends with that person."
- The breakup has brought her closer to 10-year-old Violet: "I used to think I would never watch television on my phone, but there I am, because I am sleeping next to my daughter. I'm happy to have her; she's happy to have me."
- She knows that people are rooting for them to reunite: "When Jen Aniston and Brad Pitt broke up, I was dying to see something that said they were getting back together."
- She doesn't need anyone to hate Ben for her: "People have pain — they do regrettable things, they feel shame, and shame equals pain. No one needs to hate him for me. I don't hate him. Certainly we don't have to beat the guy up. Don't worry — my eyes were wide open during the marriage. I'm taking good care of myself."
- She's reflecting on her past relationships and view of marriage: "I'm a pretty hard worker. It's one of the pains in my life that something I believe in so strongly I've completely failed at twice. You have to have two people to dance a marriage. My heart's a little on the tender side right now, and it's always easier to focus on the ways that you feel hurt, but I know that, with time and some perspective, I'll have a clearer sense of where I let the system down, because there's no way I get off in this."
- She's not yet sure how to refocus her attention: "I definitely put a lot of time towards my marriage that I will now have for myself. I don't know how I will use that."
- She wants nothing to do with Ben's massive back tattoo: "You know what we would say in my hometown [Charleston, WV] about that? 'Bless his heart.' A phoenix rising from the ashes. Am I the ashes in this scenario? I take umbrage. I refuse to be the ashes."