Today Show host Hoda Kotb found Jennifer Lopez's marriage to Ben Affleck inspiring because the singer did not give up on love after heartbreak. Lopez and Affleck tied the knot on July 16, 20 years after they got engaged for the first time and two years after Lopez and Alex Rodriguez called off their engagement. Kotb went through heartbreak herself recently, as she and longtime boyfriend Joel Schiffman called off their engagement during the 2021 holiday season.
"I just have to say something about Jennifer Lopez," Kotb told her Today with Hoda & Jenna co-host Jenna Bush Hager on July 18. "I feel like some women, when they get their heart broken, curl up and say, 'That's it, that was the best part of my life is now past, and my heart's broken and I won't let that happen to me again.' They get that suit of armor and that's how they barrel through life."
Kotb, who has interviewed Lopez in the past, noted that the "Dance Again" singer does the opposite. "There's always been, since the first time I interviewed her, a vulnerability that says, 'I'm open,'" Kotb said.
\Affleck and Lopez were engaged in 2003 and split the following year. Lopez then married singer Marc Anthony, with whom she shares 14-year-old twins Max and Emme. They split in 2014, and Lopez later dated Rodriguez. Lopez and Rodriguez got engaged in March 2019, but they called it off in April 2021. Just weeks later, Lopez and Affleck began dating again.
\As for Affleck, he married Jennifer Garner in 2005. They are parents to Violet, 16, Seraphina, 13, and Samuel, 10. Affleck and Garner split in 2017 and finalized their divorce in October 2018. He briefly dated Saturday Night Live producer Lindsay Shookus and actress Ana de Armas before reuniting with Lopez.
"You know what, people may say what they're going to say... you get one, beautiful life to live," Kotb said. "What are you going to do? Are you gonna sit back and say, 'Well, look at me, I'm all protected.' No, you dove back in, you're going to Vegas! With your old boyfriend! Who you know looks at her like he did 20 years ago."
Kotb's own heartbreak came late last year when she and Schiffman called off their engagement. The two were together for eight years. They adopted two daughters together, Haley, 5, and Hope, 2. "Joel and I have had a lot of prayerful and meaningful conversations over the holidays and we decided that we are better as friends and parents than we are as an engaged couple, so we decided we are going to start this new year on our new path as loving parents to our adorably delightful children and as friends," Kotb told viewers in January.