is hoping a change of scenery will save his rocky 17-year relationship with wife Luciana Barroso.
The couple and their three girls have set up house in a lavish $7,000-a-night rental in Australia's tony Byron Bay while the actor films Thor: Live and Thunder.
According to a friend, the beachy new surroundings are just what the couple needs after hitting a rough patch. (The Jason Bourne actor was recently spotted without his wedding ring.)
Now’s he working overtime to ensure Luciana enjoys herself Down Under.
“Matt’s arranged date nights and has bought gifts for her to open every day.” says a pal. “Even when he’s working, he’s got time set aside for just them.”
The gestures seem to be working. “It’s the shot in the arm they both needed."
As OK! previously reported, a source said that Damon, 50, and Barroso, 45, have "been experiencing some serious growing pains."
The Oscar winner and his wife "have really seemed to be struggling these past few months during lockdown," says the source, explaining that the couple has had to deal with the shifts in Damon's filming schedule and their younger kids' schooling along with the stress of everything else. "It's led to increased tension between them."
Another point of contention is the actor's longtime friendship with newly single pal Ben Affleck, 48. "Ben's been going through a rough time since Ana [de Armas] left him. Matt's been consoling him, and Luciana isn't thrilled about it," says the source. "She feels for Ben, but he's extremely needy. The way Matt rushes over to his house to check up on him every other day is frustrating for her. Matt's been picking up the pieces for Ben for years."
While the source notes that the Martian star has been known to "take his ring off and forget to put it back on" — and even suggests that perhaps the real reason his band was off was simply that "with all the hand washing he's been doing, Matt may find it to be a hindrance" — there are fears that it could be more serious than that.
"Matt and Luciana have been in couples' therapy off and on for years. It's helped them in the past, but with COVID-19 restrictions, they aren't able to go in person," says the source. "Of course, there's always virtual meetings, but they're not exactly the same."
Still, the spouses' inner circle remains hopeful. "Friends know they've been through rough patches before and turned things around," adds the source. "They have their fingers crossed that Matt and Luciana can get through this one too."
Star initially reported Damon's new efforts to save his marriage.