Jennifer Garner opens up about separation: 'It's not Ben's job to make me happy'

Behind the Scenes of Jennifer Garner's Cover Shoot
Behind the Scenes of Jennifer Garner's Cover Shoot

Jennifer Garner is opening up about her tumultuous past year, during which she went from being one half of one of Hollywood's most powerful couples to being on the other side of devastating cheating rumors.

The actress, who has been separate from ex Ben Affleck since last summer, sat down with Vanity Fair for their March issue to discuss her family, men and moving on in a refreshingly frank interview that debuted online on Friday.

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"It's not Ben's job to make me happy," she told the magazine. "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."

"No one needs to hate him for me," she continued. "I don't hate him."

Though she's put the situation into perspective, Garner revealed the she still doesn't plug into the constant news cycle and headlines that have followed her dissolving marriage for almost a year; she tries her best to tune out the chatter.

See photos of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner together:

"I turned on CNN one day, and there we were. I just won't do it anymore. I took a silent oath with myself last summer to really stay offline. I am totally clueless about all of it," she said. "It hurts me so much, and I care so much [that] I cannot be driven by the optics of this. I cannot let anger or hurt be my engine. I need to move with the big picture always on my mind, and the kids first and foremost."

The actress said that instead of paying attention to what's being said on the Internet, she does things that distract her, like playing the piano or taking dance classes. They're things that she has loved since she was a child.

She also said that if she were to do it all over again, she would.

"I didn't marry the big fat movie star; I married him, and I would go back and remake that decision," she insisted. "I ran down the beach to him, and I would again. You can't have these three babies and so much of what we had. He's the love of my life. What am I going to do about that? He's the most brilliant person in any room, the most charismatic, the most generous. He's just a complicated guy. I always say, 'When his sun shines on you, you feel it.' But when the sun is shining elsewhere, it's cold. He can cast quite a shadow."

As for the rumors that swirled about Affleck's infidelity with their nanny Christine Ouzounian, Garner insisted that that wasn't the sole reason for their separation. In fact, they had already separated by the time she even found that out.

"Let me just tell you something," she said to Vanity Fair. "We had been separated for months before I ever heard about the nanny. She had nothing to do with our decision to divorce. She was not a part of the equation. Bad judgment? Yes. It's not great for your kids for [a nanny] to disappear from their lives."

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