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Did Sexism, “Mad Men” Mentality End Ben Affleck’s Marriage?

Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck at the 85th Annual Academy Awards AIt was a bit of a shock when Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner announced their plans to divorce earlier this week, despite the fact that there have been rumors about a split for a while. The couple have three children, Violet, 9, Seraphina, 6, and Samuel, 3, and have seemed devoted to their family life but there were signs that the relationship was struggling.

Mad Men Mentality

Some people have suggested that Affleck’s old-fashioned view of marriage ultimately led to their demise. Rather than being the progressive, modern husband that Garner wants, he was acting more like Don Draper.

As one source told People: “He’s like a ’50s dad. He thinks work is your priority and providing money for your family is your priority, and raising the kids day to day and making a nice house is the wife’s priority.”

The biggest problem with that? “It leaves too much of the burden on Jen to be a mom and dad to the children when she also has a career,” the source says. “Ben is a good dad when he is around, but he has so many outside interests and personal issues to get beyond.”

Her Career Suffered

While Garner has often been quoted saying that they would take turns working so that the kids wouldn’t be left alone, it seems as though Affleck kept piling on his own projects. From Argo to Gone Girl and not Batman, he’s had a number of huge commitments that have prevented Garner from having her turn in the spotlight.

Currently, she is preparing for the upcoming film Miracles from Heaven and has been filming Nine Lives in Montreal but she really hasn’t been in any major films recently. That could have really added to her frustration.

Work-Life Imbalance

Last fall, Garner showed signs of irritation over how she was being treated by the media as opposed to how they approached him. During separate press junkets, Garner marvelled over the questions each of them was asked. She lamented: “…every single person who interviewed me — and I mean every single one… asked me: ‘How do you balance work and family?’ [Ben] said the only thing anyone asked him repeatedly was about the (breasts) on the ‘Blurred Lines’ girl!” We’re talking about them — they are real and they are fabulous and everyone should take a look and enjoy. As for work-life balance, he said that no one asked him about it that day. As a matter-of-fact, no one had ever asked him about it. Not once.”

It is reasonable to assume that this imbalance in both their schedules and how they have been treated in Hollywood would begin to put an emotional strain on Garner and their relationship, particularly if Affleck did little to equalize things. Unfortunately, it may be too late now for anything to change.

Did Sexism, “Mad Men” Mentality End Ben Affleck’s Marriage?

Jeanne Croteau

Jeanne has been a celebrity blogger for eight years and also teaches psychology at the college level. In addition to her passion for mental health, she is an avid reader, hockey fan and mother of four.

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APA Reference
Croteau, J. (2015). Did Sexism, “Mad Men” Mentality End Ben Affleck’s Marriage?. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 2, 2020, from


Last updated: 3 Jul 2015
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