"Once we called off that wedding 20 years ago ... I honestly felt like I was going to die."
Jennifer Lopez admits Ben Affleck has been her muse on more than one occasion ... and the source of one of her biggest heartbreaks.
In an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1, the 53-year-old "Jenny on the Block" singer revealed that her rekindled relationship with Ben is responsible for her long awaited return to music.
Lopez recently announced she would be releasing a new album in 2023 titled "This Is Me…Now," a follow-up to her 2002 album "This Is Me … Then," which was written and recorded when the couple dated for the first time in the early 2000s.
"That album, 'This Is Me... Then,' really captured a time where I fell in love with the love of my life. And I just, it's all right there on the record," the "Marry Me" star explained. "Every single song we wrote, me writing 'Dear Ben,' it was such a special moment in time to have captured."
Jennifer noted her husband's fondness for her old body of work. "He loves that album. He loves that music. He knows all of the words," she gushed. "He also was with me while I was creating it... He's my biggest fan, which is awesome."
The couple were engaged the first time around from 2002 to 2004, before they inevitably parted ways. Lopez wound up marrying Marc Anthony in 2004, just five months after her split from Affleck. She and Marc welcomed twins Max and Emme in 2008, before they eventually split in 2011. She went on to date Casper Smart and Alex Rodriguez, the latter of whom she was engaged for two years before they called it quits in April 2021.
Affleck, meanwhile, went on to tie the knot with Jennifer Garner, who he was married to from 2005 to 2018. They share three children: Violet, 16, Seraphina, 13, and Samuel, 10.
Though Jen and Ben reunited to finally tie the knot in July 2022, Lopez described their initial break up as a particularly "painful" time in her life.
"I wouldn't even perform these records. It was so painful after we broke up," she admitted. "Once we called off that wedding 20 years ago, it was the biggest heartbreak of my life, and I honestly felt like I was going to die."
Lopez confessed she struggled to write music after the breakup too.
"I didn't make music in that way that I did in 2002 until now ... It set me on a spiral for the next 18 years where I just couldn't get it right," she explained. "But now, 20 years later, it does have a happy ending. It has the most, would never happen in Hollywood ending."
The "Hustlers" actress explained that when the two reunited, "the same thing happened where I felt so inspired and so overtaken with emotion that [the music] was just pouring out of me."
Lopez added that she hopes her fans learn from her experiences and don't lose hope when it comes to true love.
"True love does exist and some things do last forever. And that's real. I want to put that message out to the world," she noted. "That does take a lot of vulnerability, but I couldn't stop myself. Parts of it scare me and I think parts of it scare Ben too. He's like, 'Do you really want to say all this stuff?' And I'm like, 'I don't know how else to do it, baby.'"
"Now we know. There is no questions and there is no, 'Well, let's see how this goes.' It's like, 'No, it's me and you, that's it. All the way, 'til the end,'" she concluded.