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Real Housewives Of New York Star Gets Real About The Challenges JLo and Ben Affleck Will Likely Face In Marriage

screenshots of Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck from halftime doc trailer
(Image credit: Netflix)

In a truly full circle moment, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck finally got married in Las Vegas on July 16. It was a low-key affair, but there’s a bigger, second wedding reportedly on the horizon as well. Everyone from JLo’s first ex-husband to their contemporaries have weighed in with thoughts on the nuptials, namely how long it will or will not last. And now, Real Housewives of New York alum Bethenny Frankel shared her own two cents on the challenges the Hollywood couple will likely face now that they're married.

Drawing from her own experiences on her Just B with Bethenny Frankel podcast, the notorious TV personality spoke about how being in a relationship in the public eye can be “exciting” at first. But she added that trying to keep up with the outside perception versus the actual reality did a number on her, which she claims could become the case for Bennifer 2.0: Married Edition. The 51-year-old said,

It takes a toll on you. Not only does it take a toll on you, you kind of believe the excitement to be real and be part of the relationship. So, you’re in a relationship and everybody else thinks it’s so great and you are in a fairytale and you believe what everybody else believes and you’re all in this together. And that’s a dangerous dynamic because it’s not real.

Bethenny Frankel is basically implying that the Gigli co-stars’ relationship could be mostly living off of hype and nostalgia, which isn't good for longevity. What's more is that the former reality star thinks the two aren’t doing much to avoid the pitfalls of said-hype, much like in the heyday of their first time dating in the early aughts. She noted that their paparazzi-packed honeymoon trip to Paris – a.k.a. one of the busiest cities in the world – was pretty much proof that they aren’t as concerned about privacy as they should be.

The SkinnyGirl CEO added that the Batman actor’s well-documented history with alcoholism is another major challenge for his relationship. Ben Affleck has spoken at length about his substance abuse and the ways in which it impacted his first marriage to Jennifer Garner. But Bethenny Frankel seems to think the heightened scrutiny surrounding Affleck, JLo, and their fairytale second chance will be even more triggering for his struggles with alcohol, saying,

Compound [the scrutiny] with one member of the relationship being an addict, and being an addict has its challenges for the person and for the person in a relationship with the addict. I call it activation. I've been surrounded by addicts for most of my life, and from everything to eating disorders to cigarettes to alcohol to pills to dabbling with drugs. I’ve seen a lot. And I grew up very, very fast, very, very young, and so I really do understand this, and people have triggers. Addicts are not supposed to be treated as if they’re made of glass, but stress is not great for an addict.

Interestingly, she continued on to say that JLo is more famous than Ben Affleck at this point in time (which is arguable) and that the latter will have “a lot of activation” because of her notoriety. In particular, Bethenny Frankel took some issue with Lopez appearing to intensify their marriage’s publicity by “posing nude” when she launched her new body care line on her 53th birthday/honeymoon recently. In short, Frankel quipped that they “make Meghan and Harry look private.”

Now, Bravo fans know all too well from watching Bethenny Frankel for eight seasons on RHONY (available for streaming via Peacock Premium) and her other shows that she isn’t one to mince words – even about those way out of her pay grade like the now Mr. and Mrs. Ben and Jen Affleck. However, someone might want to tell her that Bennifer aren't new to this. 

This is their second time on this rodeo, and they might just have a better chance than she thinks they do. After getting back together last year, in fact, Ben Affleck shared that at this stage in his life, he’s learned to keep the relationship private – only sharing the details they feel okay with. JLo has seconded those thoughts herself, saying that they now know “what’s real, what’s not real.”

Of course, all marriages face challenges, and Ben and Jen’s should be no different. At least, though, their kids from previous relationships are reportedly all blending together nicely and the newlyweds are on the same page as to where to live. So, Bethenny Frankel might just end up one of the naysayers on the footnote of their iconic love story. Time will tell.

Lauren Vanderveen
Movies and TV News Writer

Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.