Ben Affleck Says He Wants to 'Ostensibly' Be a 'Good Husband' Amid Jennifer Lopez Romance
By Paige Gawley
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Ben Affleck is opening up about his hopes for his future. The 49-year-old actor covers WSJ. Magazine's December/January issue, and reveals the kind of man he wants to be, in work and in life, amid his rekindled romance with Jennifer Lopez.
While Affleck notes that, for years, "fear drove" him to have a strong work ethic, that feeling has dissipated over the last few years, as he's focused on himself and his kids. Affleck shares Violet, 16, Seraphina, 12, and Samuel, 9, with his ex-wife, Jennifer Garner.
"Only in the last four years have I been able to not be so terrified, because I recognize I won’t die without work," he explains. "The most important thing is being a good father. The second most important thing is to be a good man. And a good person. And, ostensibly, you know, a good husband. Hopefully."
Affleck and Lopez first dated in the early aughts, and rekindled their romance earlier this year. The story of their renewed relationship, Affleck says, is one that's "definitely beautiful to me."
"One of the things I really value across all facets of my life now is that it was handled in a way that reflected that," he said of his second relationship with the singer, 52. "My life now reflects not just the person that I want to be, but the person that I really feel like I am -- which is not perfect, but somebody who tries very hard and cares very much about being honest and authentic and accountable."
"It’s hard to say who benefits more, without going into gossipy detail," Affleck continues. "I could just say that I feel great about being very healthy. And it is a good story. It’s a great story. And, you know, maybe one day I’ll tell it. I’ll write it all out. And then I’ll light it on fire."
Beyond that, though, Affleck tells the mag that he does not plan on discussing his and Lopez's relationship publicly.
"You can write conjecture about it, but one of the harder lessons that I have learned is that it’s not wise to share everything with the world," he says. "There are some things which are private and intimate and have meaning in terms of their intimacy by dint of the fact that they’re not shared with the rest of the world."
"I’m more comfortable just learning to find a boundary between things that I want to share and things that I don’t. I don’t know if it’s good or bad. I don’t," Affleck continues. "I know that I feel more comfortable having those healthy boundaries in my life around which, in a friendly and straightforward way, I tell you, I just don’t want to be talking about my personal relationship in the newspaper. I’m going to exercise a little restraint."
Affleck did speak to second chances, though, something he considers himself "very lucky" to have received both personally and professionally.
"I am aware that other people don’t even get first chances," he says. "I’ve had second chances in my career. I’ve had second chances as a human being. Life is difficult, and we are always failing and hopefully learning from those failures."
"The one thing you really need to avail yourself of the opportunities provided from that growth is the second chance. I’ve definitely tried to take advantage of that," Affleck continues. "I haven’t always been successful, but in cases in which I have, they’ve turned out to be the defining aspects of my life."
As he looks ahead to the future, Affleck reveals that he's focused on being a good dad and finding projects that matter to him, like the upcoming George Clooney-directed film The Tender Bar, in which he stars.
"It’s important to have two parents for the rearing and upbringing of a child. The most important thing to me is to be a good father... The next nine years, the priority is being a great father for my kids until they’re all off at college," he says. "In terms of my work, it would be about directing complex dramas that don’t necessarily have happy endings and resolve neatly, but explore the adult world without judgment."
When it comes to his romance with Lopez, a source told ET in September that the couple "could not be more in love."
"It is like they never broke up, but everything is way better this time," the source said. "They are all over each other and their friends joke around about it with them."