Inside Jennifer Lopez And Marc Anthony's Relationship

They've made plenty of beautiful music together — on records (most notably, "No Me Ames") in concerts and music videos, and at Barack Obama's Latino Inaugural Ball (per People). As the top salsa artist of all time, according to NBC News, Marc Anthony met his match in Jennifer Lopez, a star with an electrifying stage profile owing much to her kinetic, hip-hop/pop individuality.

Naturally, you would expect a pair so mesmerizing on stage to enthrall their fans if they were to become romantically involved — and get married and have children, too. Unfortunately, this most dynamic of duos also got divorced, though by all accounts they remain on friendly terms today (per Hello).

Throughout their relationship, Lopez and Anthony shared much in common, respected each other's talents, and brought out the best in on another. After all these years, here's what we know about the former couple's tumultuous decades-long relationship. 

Anthony makes his feelings clear

Many people admire Marc Anthony's stage presence — his ability to capture and hold an audience's attention. If Jennifer Lopez didn't know it already, she learned when they first met in 1998 (per Insider) that his stage acumen springs from his confidence and magnetism.

Anthony came on strong. As she recounted in her memoir "True Love" (via Heavy), Anthony told her: "One day you're going to be my wife." Was he prescient or just self-assured? Perhaps a little of both. But he definitely got Lopez's attention. The pair dated for several months before splitting up and going their separate ways, as Insider reported.

Work may have been a healthy distraction for Lopez — widely known in the entertainment industry as a hardworking perfectionist. She was getting good reviews for her role in the film "Out of Sight" and was working on her first Latin pop album, "On the 6," which was released in 1999.

Lopez fell hard for Anthony's comforts

Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez found their way back to each other in 2004, soon after Lopez and actor Ben Affleck broke off their engagement (via Insider).

As she admitted in "True Love," Lopez was in a fragile emotional state — heartbroken and fearful of being alone. So when she saw Anthony again, she decided to think that the hand of destiny was guiding her. And she was determined to pay attention. 

"We make our own choices, and I chose to believe that Marc and I were meant to be together — that destiny was stepping in," Lopez said, per Hola. "In that moment, I needed to believe that; I needed to believe in something. The reality was, I didn't want to be alone. So when Marc was there, when he met me with his big smile, his heart on his sleeve, and his arms open wide, I was more than happy to let myself fall into them."

Signs of marital trouble surfaced early

By 2004, Jennifer Lopez had been married three times. Before Marc Anthony, she had been married to Ojani Noa from 1997 to 1998 and Cris Judd from 2001 to 2003, according to Us Weekly. Despite these experiences, Lopez's ability to judge long-term marital happiness apparently didn't improve. She told W magazine that soon after marrying Anthony, she "knew very quickly that it wasn't the right thing" (via Female Network).

The couple separated in July 2011, and their divorce was finalized in 2014 (per Insider). By that time, they were parents to fraternal twins, Max and Emme, who were born in 2008. Lopez also told W, "When my marriage ended, it was not easy to find forgiveness. It wasn't the dream that I had hoped for, and it would have been easier to fan the flames of resentment, disappointment, and anger. But Marc is the father of my children and that's never going away. So, I have to work to make things right. And that is, by far, the hardest work I do," as Female Network mentioned. 

Lopez admits to insecurities

Published in 2014, "True Love" covers the years following the Marc Anthony-Jennifer Lopez divorce. In a statement to the Los Angeles Times, Lopez said writing it was a "deeply cathartic, personal, and vulnerable experience." If fans were skeptical about learning anything they didn't already know about the couple, Lopez was smart enough to provide a few surprises. Namely, as super-confident as Lopez seemed on stage and screen, she may have been a better actress than people gave her credit for. She blamed her poor self-esteem for creating problems in her marriage. 

"[The problems] I had weren't about anyone else; they were about me," Lopez said in the book. Namely, Lopez says she suffered from low self-esteem. As she said during an interview on The Meredith Vieira Show, "I never really understood what loving yourself was . . . I never gave myself credit for being good at anything." 

 Still, Lopez casts the divorce as a learning experience. As the Chicago Tribune noted, "The main message of the book is that during her divorce, she learned to love herself" — hence the meaning of the book title.   

Lopez gives 'em something to talk about

Marc Anthony apparently bore his share of the responsibility for causing tension in the marriage. To their credit, he and Jennifer Lopez tried to keep the conflict between them just that –  between the two of them without engaging in public squabbles. But reports of Anthony's purported "jealousy issues" and tendency to be controlling eventually snuck into the headlines (via E! News). 

Things eventually settled down between the two, with each widely credited with being devoted parents and good co-parents to their children. So imagine how they once again set tongues wagging in 2016, when they appeared together at the Latin Grammy Awards. Lopez presented her ex with the Person of the Year award — but not before planting a passionate kiss on Anthony. Weeks later, he and his then-wife (and Lopez lookalike) Shannon de Lima announced they were divorcing after two years of marriage, according to The Sun

Though JLo reunited with and married Ben Affleck in July 2022, you can't blame fans of Anthony and Lopez for wondering: the book may be written on the couple, but is their story really over?