“I still believe in happily ever after, for sure, 100 percent,” Jennifer Lopez said during a November 2021 interview on Today. When asked if she would marry again, she said, “I don’t know. Yeah. I guess.” At the time, she was only dating Ben Affleck, but five months later, Ben would surprise J.Lo while she was taking a bath with a proposal and an 8.5-carat green diamond engagement ring. This sparkler, worth an estimated $5 million, became the latest in J.Lo’s collection of engagement rings, as she’s walked down the aisle three times before. And now she can add a wedding ring to her cache, as she made it official with Ben on July 16, 2022.
“If you can’t laugh at yourself and just take it as it comes — I just don’t think about those things,” J.Lo added during the interview. “I feel like I’m a human being like everybody else. I’ve had my ups and downs, I’ve made mistakes, and I’m really proud of where I’ve come to in my life and who I am as a person, as a mom, and as an actor and an artist. So yeah, it’s OK, everybody’s got that.”
That number could have been higher. She was engaged to Alex Rodriguez before calling off their two-year engagement in March 2021. Plus, Jen and Ben were set to wed during “Bennifer 1.0,” the romance that swept up the early 2000s. Now, in the glow of “Bennifer 2.0” getting hitched, here’s a look back at all her past husbands.
“I wish you were my first love
‘Cause if you were my first, baby
There would have been no second, third, or fourth love”
Jennifer Lopez, “First Love”
You never forget your first, though sometimes, you wish you could. Jennifer married Ojani Noa in February 1997. The two first met when she was in Miami to film Blood and Wine. Ojani worked as a server in Gloria Estefan’s restaurant, and romance was on the menu. The couple tied the knot, but in March 1997, Selena was released. J.Lo’s profile suddenly skyrocketed with the breakthrough performance, and her marriage quickly buckled under the weight. The couple divorced in 1998 after barely a year together.
“I’ve never been married in a church, and I’ve been married three times, and once was nine months and once was 11 months, so I don’t really count those,” J.Lo said in a YouTube video documenting her It’s My Party tour.
“Taking away the fact that I care about you, it’s just your way
So sweet, everything seems right around you
Did you know that you had this calming way about you when you touch?
And I wanna know if I could be your girl”
Jennifer Lopez, “The One (Version 2)“
In the case of “second verse, same as the first,” J.Lo got hitched to dancer and choreographer Cris Judd on September 21, 2001. The two met in Spain in late 2000 when Cris was hired to direct her “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” music video. Their chemistry carried off the film set and into the wedding chapel.
“When Jennifer walks in, I shake her hand, and we kinda look at each other — and in my head, I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to marry this woman,’” Cris said in a 2013 episode of Oprah: Where Are They Now?, per HuffPost. That dream quickly turned into a nightmare for both Cris and J.Lo.
“Whenever we would leave a place, we would leave separately,” he said in the episode. “I guess the first introduction to me being with her was when we were at the Oscars. It was just bedlam. I’ve never seen so many people concentrated in one place, especially cameras. I knew she was there to do a job, and so I was just that guy who was just by her side.”
J.Lo filed for divorce in July 2022, nine months after the wedding. Though Cris’s father would give an interview in 2002 where he pinned the blame for the breakup on Ben Affleck, Cris himself was willing to let bygones be bygones. “During the time when we were separated, and we were going through [the] divorce, I was getting a lot of calls to interview, and naturally, everyone wants to know the dirt about your marriage and what went wrong,” Judd said. “And I never wanted to do that because that’s no one’s business.”
“No me ames
Para estar muriendo
Dentro de una guerra llena de arrepentimientos
No me ames
Para estar en tierra
Quiero alzar el vuelo con tu gran amor
Por el azul del cielo.”
Jennifer Lopez & Marc Anthony, “No Me Ames“
In the J.Lo timeline, Cris Judd came before “Bennifer 1.0,” and Marc Anthony came afterward. J.Lo and Marc reportedly began dating in September 2003, shortly after J.Lo and Ben announced they were postponing their nuptials. By 2004, Ben and Jen had split, and in June 2004, she said “I do” to Marc in a small ceremony that included just 30 guests.
Marc and J.Lo had been friends for years before they became romantic. In her book, True Love, she said that Ben was her “first real heartbreak” and that Marc’s arrival was perfect timing. Reuniting him was the “start of her fairy tale,” and he made her “feel loved” during a low point (h/t Cheat Sheet).
For a while, it looked like these two were going to make it. J.Lo and Marc welcomed twins Emme and Max on February 22, 2008. Plus, as J.Lo would tell Cosmopolitan in 2013, marriage to Marc lifted her confidence. “The biggest insecurity I had was my singing,” she said. “Even though I had sold 70 million records, there was this feeling like, I’m not good at this. And while I was married to Marc, he helped me get over it. He kept telling me, ‘You’re the only one holding yourself back from reaching your full potential as a singer. You have to let go.’”
Letting go is what these two did. “We have decided to end our marriage,” Mar and J.Lo said in their 2011 announcement, per the New York Post. “This was a very difficult decision. We have come to an amicable conclusion on all matters. It is a painful time for all involved, and we appreciate the respect of our privacy at this time.”
J.Lo wrote in her book that the problems that led to her divorce were Marc stemmed from her own low self-esteem. She and her ex-husband have since been on excellent terms, co-parenting their kids and praising each other in the press.
“The thing about Jennifer is her ability to see and understand things before they happen. Before she even brings an idea up, she has visualized it a thousand times. And if anyone says it might not be the greatest idea, she’ll say, ‘You just don’t see it yet,’” Marc said in the April 2021 cover story for InStyle. “Nine times out of 10, she’ll nail it. She’s the first one in the room and the last to leave. The hardest worker I’ve ever met. When we were together, it was quite the opposite for me. That has changed since. I learned so much from her. She’s the original!”
I just can’t control myself
I can’t be with no one else
It seems I’m addicted to the way you like to touch me
I don’t think they understand
Why I love at your command
From the words you speak
So deep our bodies meet, I had to have you
Jennifer Lopez, “Dear Ben“
Ben Affleck first began dating Jennifer after her second divorce. They met while filming Gigli in 2001, got engaged in November 2002, and called everything off in 2004. Fast forward to April 2021, and J.Lo has just called off her relationship with A-Rod. Ben was photographed getting out of J.Lo’s SUV, sparking rumors of a “Bennifer 2.0.” A few days later, after Ben and Jen participated in the May 2 Vax Live event in Los Angeles, they boarded a plane headed to the Yellowstone Club resort in Montant. The two were photographed cruising around the Big Sky state. The couple soon confirmed the romance was back on before taking their love around the world and back again.
In his time apart from J.Lo, Ben married Jennifer Garner, became a father of three, divorced, and dated a handful of women. And in 2022, Ben proposed to J.Lo for a second time, with the pair making it official on July 16, 2022. It seems that believing in “happily ever after” pays off.