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Jennifer Lopez Says She and Ben Affleck 'Both Have PTSD' from Media Attention During First Romance

Lopez and Affleck split in 2004 before rekindling their relationship in 2021 and tying the knot the following year

<p>John Salangsang/Variety via Getty</p> Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez in Los Angeles on May 10, 2023

John Salangsang/Variety via Getty

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez in Los Angeles on May 10, 2023

Jennifer Lopez says she and Ben Affleck still have "PTSD" from the time of their first romance.

Ahead of the release of her new album and companion film, This Is Me ... Now, Lopez, 54, revealed to Variety that she has some worries about putting her love life in the spotlight again.

“As artists, we have to follow our heart and this is me following my heart and doing something that maybe everybody didn’t think was the best idea, but I had to do it,” she told the outlet.

She added, “We both have PTSD," about the media frenzy she and Affleck, 51, faced when they first dated. (The two rekindled their relationship in April 2021, after splitting in 2004.)

“But we’re older now. We’re wiser,” Lopez continued. “We also know what’s important, what’s really important in life, and it’s not so much what other people think. It’s about being true to who you are.”

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DOUG KANTER/AFP via Getty Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck in the early 2000s
DOUG KANTER/AFP via Getty Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck in the early 2000s

Related: Jennifer Lopez Says She and Ben Affleck Are 'Real Partners': He Wants to 'See Me Shine as Bright as I Can'

For the couple, a lot has changed in 18 years. "We're older now, we're smarter, we have more experience, we're at different places in our lives, we have kids now, and we have to be very conscious of those things," Lopez told PEOPLE in a February 2022 cover story.

The superstar spouses, who are parents to five kids between them, also have the benefit of life lessons gleaned along the way.

"It's a beautiful outcome that this has happened in this way at this time in our lives where we can really appreciate and celebrate each other and respect each other," said the pop powerhouse and Marry Me actress. "We always did, but we have even more of an appreciation because we know that life can take you in different directions."

Looking back at the pomp and media circus that surrounded their relationship before they split in 2004, Lopez told PEOPLE, "I think we are strong enough now to know what's real and what's not, whereas when we were younger maybe some of those outside voices were a little bit tougher for us to reconcile and survive."

<p>Kevin Winter/Getty</p> Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez in Los Angeles on Dec. 5, 2023

Kevin Winter/Getty

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez in Los Angeles on Dec. 5, 2023

Related: Ben Affleck Says Jennifer Lopez Knows He's 'Guarded' About Public Attention: 'She's Looking Out for Me'

This Is Me ... Now will serve as a sequel to Lopez's 2002 album This Is Me ... Then. Both the new album and companion film of the same name are set to drop on Feb. 16, 2024.

The project will also mark the “If You Had My Love” singer's first studio album in 10 years, following A.K.A. in 2014.

According to Variety, the movie will be released by Amazon MGM Studios. Directed by Dave Meyers, the short film was co-written by Lopez, Affleck and Matt Walton. It will also serve as a "musical and visual reimagining of her publicly scrutinized love life," per a press release.

“You have to see it and you’ll have to experience it to understand it,” Lopez told Variety of the film. That’s why I call it a ‘musical experience.’ Because there’s music, you can see it, you can hear it and then you’ll get to live it.”

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