We Would Like to Thank Ben Affleck For Acknowledging That Marriage Is Work

What Women Really Think
Feb. 25 2013 3:21 PM

We Would Like to Thank Ben Affleck For Acknowledging That Marriage Is Work

In an Academy Awards ceremony that vacillated between offensive and crushingly dull, Ben Affleck Best Picture speech was not only a relief because it signaled that the evening was finally coming to an end, but also because it was one of the best of the night.

It's customary for people who win Academy Awards to thank their spouses. But Affleck's breathless thanks to his wife Jennifer Garner stood out among the evening's boilerplate expressions of gratitude. "I want to thank you for working on our marriage for ten Christmases," Affleck said to Garner from the stage. "It's good. It is work, but it's the best kind of work. And there's no one I'd rather work with."

Advertisement

From my Twitter feed at least, Affleck's thank you was generally viewed as a faux pas, and an awkward moment. My initial reaction was to wonder if he was referring to rumors that he cheated on Garner with Blake Lively while he was directing her in The Town. Other viewers felt like he'd insulted Garner by suggesting that being married was hard. "Am I the only one who thinks Ben Affleck's gonna be in a lot of trouble at home for telling the world his marriage is 'A LOT of work'?!" tweeted the popular songwriter Savan Kotecha. (Exception: Dr. Ruth, who tweeted: "Nothing I could say about ur relationship that Ben Affleck didn't last nite: work hard, don't hold grudges, work harder!")

Affleck may be more work than most. He's admitted that he's "not very present" in his home life, given how consumed with work he can be. But there was something lovely about seeing him plainly state that he and Garner are working things out together, and to say, however briefly, that the work is worth it. Whether he was slyly referencing an affair or just talking about the daily grind of married life, it sure beats hearing another powerful man thank the little woman at home for helping him achieve greatness.

Alyssa Rosenberg writes about culture and television for Slate’s “XX Factor” blog. She also contributes to ThinkProgress and theatlantic.com.

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

The Best Way to Organize Your Fridge

Politics

The GOP’s Focus on Fake Problems

Why candidates like Scott Walker are building campaigns on drug tests for the poor and voter ID laws.

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

Farewell! Emily Bazelon on What She Will Miss About Slate.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 16 2014 7:03 PM Kansas Secretary of State Loses Battle to Protect Senator From Tough Race
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 8:43 PM This 17-Minute Tribute to David Fincher Is the Perfect Preparation for Gone Girl
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 6:40 PM This iPhone 6 Feature Will Change Weather Forecasting
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 16 2014 4:09 PM It’s All Connected What links creativity, conspiracy theories, and delusions? A phenomenon called apophenia.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.