In her first in-depth interview since the devastating split with her husband of 10 years was announced in mid-2015, Jennifer tells Vanity Fair that she’ll always be close to Ben.
“Of course this is not what I imagined when I ran down the beach, but it is where I am,” confides a devastated Jennifer.
“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.”
She acknowledges, though, that it’s up to her to move on.
“It’s not Ben’s job to make me happy,” adds Jennifer, mum to Sam, 4, Seraphina, 7, Violet, 10.
“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 couple reportedly came together to celebrate youngest Sam’s recent super-hero themed fourth birthday party at their L.A. home.
Jennifer, 43, admits that the months after the break-up were particularly tough.
One of the most testing moments came when Ben filming his new movie, Live by Night.
“I wasn’t part of it,” says Jennifer. “It was starting, and it was a hard day for me. I got the kids to school, and I went home and went to bed.”
Jennifer also shares how friends, family members and even strangers expressed how they wanted the A-listers to reconcile.
“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.
“When Jen Aniston and Brad Pitt broke up, I was dying to see something that said they were getting back together.”
Jennifer also admits that she regressed back to childhood as her way of coping.
“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.”