1. OK!: How do you think Ben and Jen “work” on their marriage?
Dr. Jenn Berman: I think they probably go to therapy. They’ve probably done some couples therapy. They work to communicate better. They call each other out on their stuff. They try and challenge each other to grow and to be better parents and better partners. The tough stuff.
2. OK!: Was it awkward for him to reveal that at the Oscars?
JB: I thought it was so honest and it’s really beautiful but I wondered how it felt for her to have that shared with the world. What I think was really great about it is that the public likes to think that celebrities have perfect lives. That either they are perfect or a mess and there’s nothing in between.
3. OK!: Why are they loved so much?
JB: I think that a lot of people with Jen and Ben put them on a pedestal and say look at their perfect marriage, look at their gorgeous kids, they’re one of those couples that we do that with and I think that it was probably nice for the public to get the sense that wow, maybe they’re not so perfect. I wonder how it felt for her to be exposed that way.
4. OK!: The Afllecks recently had a third child—how would this have impacted their marriage?
JB: It’s a simple formula, the more children, the more stress, no matter who you are, no matter how much money you have. It adds a stress factor because there are only so many hours in the day and to know you have all these people that have their own emotional needs that need to be met by their parents and that’s tough.
5. OK!: Jen has said she doesn’t want any more children and Ben may want more-how does a couple deal with a situation like that?
JB: I would say there’s no rule but the person who says no has the veto power. You shouldn’t bring a child into the world that isn’t wanted by both parents.
6. OK!: Ben works away a lot while Jen is more in the traditional role—how do you think this dynamic works?
I don’t think Jen is exactly in the traditional role because she earns millions of dollars when she does movies so she’s a very successful career woman. But at the same time she’s the one who appears to stay home more with the kids. When you have a relationship with two successful actors, they kind of do have to take turns being at home and right now maybe it’s her turn but next year it may be his turn.
7. OK!: Ben and Jen have been married nearly 8 years now… What tends to happen at this stage of a marriage?
Eight years into a relationship is not a honeymoon period anymore. It’s not the same excitement and newness that it was at the beginning. And at the same time in a healthy good relationship, there’s a level of intimacy and a level of knowing each other and trust that is very special and is very different than in the beginning. Especially with two actors who can’t trust a lot of people because somebody always wants something from them and people are always trying to get money and those kind of things. It must be very nice for them to have that security with each other.
8. OK!: Do you think having a hot Hollywood actor for a husband puts pressure on Jen to always look her best and to lose the baby weight quickly?
JB: I think the combination of having a hot, hunky husband like Ben and also being in the movie industry where there is a lot of pressure on women to look a certain way, I think it’s got to be a lot of pressure on her.
9. OK!: Jen has been married before and says she’s more realistic about marriage—do you think the fact she’s been divorced makes her easier on Ben regarding unrealistic expectations?
JB: Absolutely. It sounds like she learned a lot from her previous marriage and that she now she’s now not looking for Prince Charming. She’s looking for a real person to be married to and understands the complexities and things people have to work through in real life marriages.
10. OK!: Why do you think it’s so hard to make marriages work in Hollywood?
JB: I think for a lot of reasons. First is that, in order to be a successful performer you have to have a certain kind of personality and that’s oftentimes a personality that craves attention, that needs validation and that tends to need to be the center of the spotlight and that can be very hard on marriages especially when it’s two people who are like that in the relationship. That can be very stressful. JB: Also when you achieve success in Hollywood you tend to be surrounded by ‘yes’ people and people who will co-sign any negative behavior that you’ve done on the dotted line. They can help you do things that are ultimately destructive to yourself or your marriage. And there’s also opportunity that when you are a celebrity in Hollywood you have opportunity to meet other people. You have fans that are throwing their panties at you and people who are on movie sets and the actual other actors. You are chemistry tested to have chemistry with someone and then you’re doing love scenes and things happen.
11. OK!: Do you think Ben and Jen’s marriage will stand the test of time?
JB: Oh god I couldn’t make a prediction in this day and age. We all thought that Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston were going to be forever so I’ve given up on predictions after that one.