As JLo weds, why multiple marriages CAN be the key to a lasting love

Why multiple marriages CAN be the key to a lasting love: As JLo weds for a fourth time, experts explain how divorces make people more ‘realistic’, open and willing to compromise

  • Jennifer Lopez married her fourth husband Ben Affleck in a Las Vegas ceremony
  • Experts explained multiple divorces can make people better suited to marriage
  • The experience makes divorcees more ‘realistic’ and willing to compromise
  • A string of celebrities have found love the third, fourth or fifth time around

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck have tied the knot in a Las Vegas wedding, 20 years after the actor first proposed. 

It marks the fourth time down the aisle for glamorous megastar JLo, 52, and the second for Academy Award-winner Ben, 49.

JLo shares children Emi and Max, 14, with her third husband Marc Anthony, and was previously married to Ojana Noa and Cris Judd. Academy Award-winner Affleck has three children from his marriage to Jennifer Garner. 

Although being married for a fourth time might be unusual, it does not mean the marriage isn’t destined to last, relationship experts told FEMAIL.

In fact, sometimes these relationships are even stronger and more rewarding than first – or even second – unions because individuals have had time to grow and reflect, and are less likely to take a good relationship for granted. 

Dr Rina Bajaj, counselling psychologist, explained: ‘When people have been through marriage before, they can become more realistic about what marriage means and the compromises and sacrifices that it can entail. 

Mr and Mrs: The entertainer, 52, wore two stunning gowns for the big day, with the second being a lacy creation designed by Zuhair Murad (pictured) 

Look one: In addition to the sleeveless dress from a former film she worked on, the fashionista sported something more glam

‘They go into marriage with their eyes more widely open and they have a better idea of how they want to live life, as well as what they are and are not willing to compromise on. 

‘Perhaps they are not so afraid of living up to other people’s expectations and they may be more confident about the value that they bring to a relationship.   

‘This can help to ensure that they enter into a marriage because they want to rather than they need to. They may also be able to negotiate their needs and notice the green as well as red flags.’

Tina Wilson, British relationship expert and founder of Wingman, said couples who are entering their third or fourth marriage are also ‘older and wiser’.  

‘As we get older we tend to get tired of playing games and instead focus on enjoying life and spending quality time with loves ones,’ she explained. 

‘In the case of JLo and Ben, they are now both mature enough to know who they are, what they want and have a lot of life experience and practice behind them. 

‘They have had time to process things and past “rehearsals” can be advantageous when re-marrying.

‘To find love again in later life will mean that both parties with have gratitude for each other and they will feel like they have been given another chance at their happy ending.’

JLo joins a glittering list of A-listers who have found lasting love after multiple times down the aisle. Here, FEMAIL reveals the others stars who finally found ‘the one’, from Sir Rod Stewart to Harrison Ford… 

ROD STEWART 

Married to: Third wife Penny Lancaster (2007) 

Previously married: Rachel Hunter (1990-2006); Alana Hamilton (1979-1984) 

Smitten: Sir Rod Stewart, 77, tied the knot with third wife Penny Lancaster, 51, in an intimate ceremony in La Cervara, Italy, in 2007. Fifteen years later and the couple looked as loved up as ever. Pictured, Sir Rod and Penny in an Instagram snap 


Blonde beauties: Rod married first wife Alana Hamilton (left) in 1979 and the couple they had two children together, daughter Kimberley Stewart, 42, and son Sean Stewart, 41, before splitting in 1984. Right, with second wife Rachel Hunter in 2003. They divorced in 2006

Family: Rod Stewart and his wife Penny Lancaster pose with their family at Christmas time in 2021. (L-R, Bella Spooner, Liam Stewart, Aidan Stewart, Renee Stewart, Alastair Stewart, Penny and Rod)

Sir Rod Stewart, 77,  tied the knot with third wife Penny Lancaster, 51, in an intimate ceremony in La Cervara, Italy, in 2007. 

Fifteen years later and the couple looked as loved up as ever. They are parents to sons Alistair, 16, and Aiden, 11, although Penny embraces life as a blended family with Rod’s six children from previous relationships. 

The Maggie May singer first became a dad at the tender age of 17, when his girlfriend Susannah Boffey gave birth to daughter Sarah Streeter. Sarah, now 58, was raised by her adoptive parents Gerald and Evelyn Thubron and only learned about Rod when she was 18. 

Rod married first wife Alana Hamilton in 1979 and the couple they had two children together, daughter Kimberley Stewart, 42, and son Sean Stewart, 41, before splitting in 1984. 

The musician fathered daughter Ruby Stewart, 34, with Texas model Kelly Emberg.

He was married to actress Rachel Hunter from 1990 to 2006 and the couple hhad two children together, daughter Renee Stewart, 29, and son Liam Stewart, 27.

Penny said in a previous interview: ‘Two kids are the perfect number for me, although I always think of us having eight children because all Rod’s kids are so much a part of our lives, like one big extended family.’ 

She added: ‘[Rod] has learned to compromise. He has become a lot softer and his elder children will even admit he’s a better parent who gives them more time.’

KATE WINSLET 

Married to: Third husband Edward Abel Smith (2012)

Previously married: Sir Sam Mendes (2003-2011); Jim Threapleton (1998-2001)

His biggest fan: Oscar winner Kate Winslet, 46, will this year celebrate her 10th wedding anniversary with husband Edward Abel Smith, who was known as Ned Rocknroll when they married shortly before Christmas 2012. Kate has previously praised Edward, the nephew of Sir Richard Branson, for being a ‘superhot, superhuman, stay-at-home dad’. Pictured, in 2016


Unconventional family: The actress met her first husband, director Jim Threapleton (right), on the set of 1998 film Hideous Kinky. They married that year and welcomed daughter Mia in 2000. She shares a son, Joe, with her second husband Sir Sam Mendes (left together) 

Oscar winner Kate Winslet, 46, will this year celebrate her 10th wedding anniversary with husband Edward Abel Smith, who was known as Ned Rocknroll when they married shortly before Christmas 2012. 

He changed his name back to Edward in 2019 to ‘set a good example’ for their son, Bear Blaze, now eight. 

Kate has previously praised Edward, the nephew of Sir Richard Branson, for being a ‘superhot, superhuman, stay-at-home dad’. 

The Titanic star fell for her future husband during a trip to Sir Richard’s private Necker Island in August 2011 with her on-off boyfriend model Louis Dowler. 

At the time she was recently divorced from her second husband, the acclaimed director Sir Sam Mendes. The couple, who married in 2003, share a son, Joe Mendes, 18. 

The actress met her first husband, director Jim Threapleton, on the set of 1998 film Hideous Kinky. They married that year and welcomed daughter Mia in 2000. 

Kate describes her family set up as ‘unconventional’ but has spoken on the importance of her being present in the lives of all her children. 

She and Edward live in West Wittering, Sussex, where she enjoys a quiet life out of the spotlight.  

GREGG WALLACE 

Married to: Fourth wife Anne-Marie (2016) 

Previously married: Heidi Brown (2011-2012); Denise Wallace (1999-2004); Christine Wallace (1991)

Found love online: Gregg Wallace met fourth wife Anne-Marie months after his divorce from third wife Heidi. The couple married in 2016 and welcomed son Sid in 2019

Third wife: Gregg Wallace met his third wife Heidi Brown, pictured, on Twitter in 2009

Gregg Wallace met fourth wife Anne-Marie months after his divorce from third wife Heidi. He met both women via Twitter.

Anne-Marie, who at the time was running a catering business with her parents, contacted Gregg to ask about one of his recipes.   

Gregg has said he looked at her picture and thought, ‘Oh my word, you’re a pretty girl’ so took her out for dinner.

The couple married in 2016 and welcomed son Sid in 2019, despite Gregg’s initial hesitations about becoming a father for the third time in his 50s.

Wallace has had a chequered romantic history. His first wife, Christine, walked out after just six weeks of marriage in 1991.

Next he was married for five years to pastry chef Denise, with whom he had children Tom and Libby, now 27 and 24.

Wife number three was Heidi, now 39, who he met via Twitter. They separated in 2012, just 14 months after their wedding.

BRITNEY SPEARS

Married to: Third husband Sam Asghari (2022)

Previously married: Kevin Federline (2004-2007); Jason Alexander (2004)

Newlyweds: Embattled popstar Britney Spears, 40, appears to have finally found ‘the one’ in fitness trainer and actor Sam Asghari, pictured together

Marriage no. 2: Spears was married to her second husband Kevin Federline from 2004–2007. In January 2008, she was put on a psychiatric hold after refusing to return their sons Sean and Jayden to him (pictured in 2005) 

Quick turnaround: Britney’s first (brief) marriage was to Jason Alexander, who had been her friend since childhood. They eloped in Las Vegas at the Little White Wedding Chapel, but they famously got the union annulled after just 55 hours

Embattled popstar Britney Spears, 40, appears to have finally found ‘the one’ in fitness trainer and actor Sam Asghari. 

The couple met on the set of her music video for Slumber Party in 2016 and went public with their relationship the following January. 

Sam proposed in September 2021 after Britney was freed from an oppressive conservatorship that prevented her from marrying or having children. They had a star-studded wedding in June attended by A-listers including Madonna and Donetella Versace. 

It has been a rocky road to love for Britney. Britney’s first (brief) marriage was to Jason Alexander, who had been her friend since childhood.

The couple tied the knot on a whim in the early morning hours on January 3, 2004 during a ceremony at the Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada. They were both 22 years old at the time.

Their marriage was annulled 55 hours later, which Alexander later claimed was forced by Britney’s mother, Lynne, and Britney’s management. Following the annulment, Spears said in an interview: ‘It was me being silly, being rebellious.’ 

Later that year she married second husband, backup dancer Kevin Federline. The couple share two sons, Sean, 16, and Jayden, 15.  

The couple divorced in 2007, and it was her struggles with custody that factored into the creation of her conservatorship.

HARRISON FORD 

Married to: Third wife Calista Flockhart (2010) 

Previously married: Mary Maquard (1964-1979); Melissa Mathison (1983-2004) 

Red carpet encounter: Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart wed in June 2010, eight years after they first met on the Golden Globes red carpet. Pictured, the couple in 2015


First wives: Ford was first married to Mary Marquard from 1964-1979 (left). Right: Ford with second wife Melissa Mathison in 1997

It was a romance that initially raised eyebrows due to their 22-year age gap, but Harrison Ford, 80, and Calista Flockhart, 57, have proven their marriage is the real deal. 

The couple wed in June 2010, eight years after they first met on the Golden Globes red carpet. 

The couple, who own property in California and Wyoming, share an adopted son Liam Flockhart Ford who was adopted at birth by Calista shortly before she met her future husband.

The marriage is Calista’s first and Harrison’s third. 

He was first married to Mary Marquard from 1964-1979. The couple share two sons, chef and restaurateur Benjamin and entrepreneur Willard. 

In 1983 he wed screenwriter Melissa Mathison. They welcomed a son, Malcolm, and a daughter, Georgia. The couple divorced in 2004. Melissa died in 2015.  

JOAN COLLINS 

Married to: Fifth husband Percy Gibson (2002) 

Previously married: Peter Holm ​(1985-1987); Ronald Kass ​(1972-1983)​; Anthony Newley (1963-1971)​; Maxwell Reed ​(1952-1956)​

Two decades of love: For the last 20 years, Dame Joan Collins, 89, has been happily married to fifth husband Percy Gibson, pictured last year, but the legendary star has not always been lucky in love 

Man about town: Joan met her fourth husband, Scandinavian singer Peter Holm, pictured, at a party. Joan, then at the height of her fame as Alexis in the TV soap Dynasty, said she thought Holm was charming, open and honest. They married in 1985 but split two years later

Third time down the aisle: Joan married third husband Ron Kass, then head of the Beatles’ record label Apple, in 1972. The couple welcomed a daughter Katy. Pictured, the couple in 1982

Adulterer: Her second marriage was to British actor-composer Anthony Newley (pictured making their first public appearance after their wedding) 

Unhappily married: Dame Joan has previously claimed she married her first husband, film star Maxwell Reed – whom she married out of ‘shame’ after he raped her on their first date

For the last 20 years, Dame Joan Collins, 89, has been happily married to fifth husband Percy Gibson, but the legendary star has not always been lucky in love. 

After starring as a rebellious teenager in I Believe in You, Joan Collins was introduced to her first husband Maxwell Reed, who was 14 years her senior.

‘He was 31, and I was 17 and a virgin. I knew that would cause trouble at home,’ she once recalled. 

She claims she was drugged and woke up on the living room floor to find him having sex with her.  

The five marriages of Dame Joan Collins 

24 May 1952 – Married her first husband Maxwell Reed

1956 – Divorced Reed 

1963 – Married her second husband Anthony Newley

1969 – Divorced Newley 

1972 – Married her third husband Ron Kass 

1983 – Divorced Kass

1985 – Married her fourth husband Peter Holm 

1987 – Divorced Holm 

2002 – Married her fifth husband Percy Gibson  

Through a sense of guilt over being attacked, Joan went on to marry Maxwell and was subjected to abuse throughout their four-year marriage, culminating in the actor attempting to sell her to a sheikh for £10,000.

She said: ‘Had I not been so innocent about sex and the way things should be I wouldn’t have done that, but I had a strong sense of guilt, so I did it.

‘The honeymoon was a fiasco. We looked outwardly happy but underneath I was miserable.’

Her second marriage came in 1963 when she tied the knot with British pop star and serial cheater Anthony Newley, the father of her two children Tara and Alexander. 

However the relationship was only to last six years. 

Joan moved on, marrying third husband Ron Kass, then head of the Beatles’ record label Apple, in 1972. The couple welcomed a daughter Katy. 

After Katy suffered catastrophic injuries in a car accident, Joan divorced Kass in 1983, and went on to meet her fourth husband, Scandinavian singer Peter Holm, at a party. 

Joan, then at the height of her fame as Alexis in the TV soap Dynasty, said she thought Holm was charming, open and honest. They married in 1985 but split two years later. 

The starlet met and married fifth husband Percy Gibson – 32 years her junior – in 2000 when he managed a theatre production she was in, and the couple remain married today.  

DAVID FOSTER

Married to: Fifth wife Katharine McPhee (2019) 

Previously married: Yolanda Hadid (2011-2017); Linda Thompson (1991-2005); Rebecca Dyer (1982-1986); B.J. Cook (1972-1981)

Fifth wife: Music mogul David Foster became a father in his 70s when his fifth wife, US musical theatre star Katharine McPhee, welcomed son Rennie last year 

Sprawling family: Foster took on stepchildren Gigi, Bella and Anwar Hadid during his six-year marriage to Yolanda Hadid from 2011-2017. Pictured, with Gigi, Bella and Yolanda in May 2011

Part of their lives: In 1991, David married Linda Thompson (pictured) and became stepfather to her children, Brody and Brendan Jenner (pictured), who she shares with Caitlyn Jenner

Music mogul David Foster became a father in his 70s when his fifth wife, US musical theatre star Katharine McPhee, welcomed son Rennie last year. 

Baby Rennie is the latest edition to Foster’s sprawling blended family that includes five biological daughters and string of famous stepchildren. 

His first child, Allison Jones Foster was born in 1970 when David was just 20. He subsequently placed her up for adoption, but reconnected with her when she was 30 and she now works for the David Foster Foundation.

His first marriage to the singer B.J. Cook resulted in the birth of a daughter, Amy Skylark, in 1973. The couple split in 1981 after nine years of marriage.

The following year he married his second wife, Rebecca Dyer, in 1982, and the couple welcomed daughters Sara, Erin and Jordan before divorcing in 1986.  

In 1991, he married Linda Thompson and became stepfather to her children, Brody and Brendan Jenner, who she shares with Caitlyn Jenner. The couple divorced in 2005 after 14 years together. 

During his six year marriage to Yolanda Hadid from 2011-2017, David became stepfather to her children Gigi, Bella and Anwar.  

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