Jennifer Lopez Reveals Why She Took Husband Ben Affleck’s Last Name

Plus, the actress opens up about her relationship with the actor.

JLo and Ben Affleck

Amy Sussman / Getty Images

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck's love story spans the course of two decades. When they first met in 2002, the pair had a chemistry so strong that the Deep Water actor popped the question later that year. Although they split in 2004, it was only the beginning of their journey. In 2021, almost 20 years after their first encounter, Lopez and Affleck shocked the world when they rekindled their romance. After Affleck got down on one knee once again, the duo tied the knot in July 16, 2022, and then again on August 20 of that year.

After saying “I do,” Lopez decided to take her husband’s last name, which she revealed in her newsletter “On the JLo.” In response to the Marry Me actress’s choice, the New York Times published an opinion piece, expressing disappointment that the singer-turned-actress didn’t uphold the feminist ideal of keeping her surname. In an exclusive interview with Vogue, which was published on November 8, 2022, the Hustlers star responded to the opinions on her name change. “People are still going to call my Jennifer Lopez, but my legal name will be Mrs. Affleck because we are joined together,” she explains. “We’re husband and wife. I’m proud of that. I don’t think that’s a problem.”

For Lopez, becoming “Mrs. Affleck” was less about succumbing to the patriarchy and more about embracing the romantic meaning behind it. “I’m very much in control of my life and destiny and feel empowered as a woman and as a person,” she explains. “I can understand that people have feelings about it, and that’s okay too, but if you want to know how I feel about it, I just feel like it’s romantic. It still carries tradition and romance to me, and maybe I’m just that kind of girl.”

In the interview, Lopez also discusses her initial romantic relationship with Affleck and how she found her way back to him. After Alex Rodriguez called off the engagement in 2021, Lopez received an email from Affleck, who had also just come out of a relationship with Ana de Armas, according to Vogue. From there, the two started talking and spending time together, which reminded them that their love for one another was still present. “Obviously, we weren’t trying to go out in public,” she points out. “But I never shied away from the fact that for me, I always felt like there was a real love there, a true love there. People in my life know that he was a very, very special person in my life. When we reconnected, those feelings for me were still very real.”

Lopez also explains why their initial relationship, which began in 2002, didn’t work out. “Sometimes you outgrow each other, or you just grow differently. The two of us, we lost each other and found each other. Not to discredit anything in between that happened, because all those things were real too.”

After 20 years of dating other people, embarking on a journey of self-discovery, and accomplishing milestones in her career, Lopez finally found what she was looking for in Affleck. “All we’ve ever wanted was to kind of come to a place of peace in our lives where we really felt that type of love that you feel when you’re very young and wonder if you can have that again,” she expresses. “Does it exist? Is it real? All those questions that I think everyone has. You go through all these relationships, and you’re searching and you’re connecting and you’re disconnecting with people, and you’re like, God, is this just what life is? Like a carousel, roller coaster, carnival ride? And then it settles. But the journey to that is the mystery for everybody.”

Affleck also agrees that Lopez is his soulmate and someone who inspires him on the daily. “There is something innately, magically kind and good and full of love at the heart of who Jennifer is,” he gushes. “That’s exactly the person I remember from 20 years ago. Maybe she sees all the changes she’s made, whereas when I see her, mostly I just see someone who has retained, against the odds, the thing about her that always made her the most incredible to me: a heart that seems boundless with love. She is my idea of the kind of person I want to be.”

Now, the Maid in Manhattan star and the Good Will Hunting actor are enjoying their newlywed lives and focusing on combining their households. "What I hope to cultivate with our family is that his kids have a new ally in me and my kids have a new ally in him, someone who really loves and cares about them but can have a different perspective and help me see things that I can’t see with my kids because I’m so emotionally tied up,” Lopez notes, who shares Max and Emme with ex-husband Marc Anthony. Meanwhile, Affleck is a father to Violet, Seraphina, and Samuel, whom he shares with ex-wife Jennifer Garner.

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