Why Jennifer Garner's First Marriage Ended In Divorce After Only Three Years

Today, Jennifer Garner is a successful and beloved actor, having won over audiences as flirty-thirty-and-thriving Jenna Rink in "13 Going on 30" and aspiring-to-be-a-mom Vanessa Loring in "Juno." However, before she was launched into fame in the early 2000s, the celeb was taking on much more minor roles, guest appearing on television shows like "Law & Order" and "Fantasy Island."

It was through one of these smaller roles that Garner met her first husband, actor and "Felicity" star Scott Foley. In 1998, the then-unknown actress had a two-episode arc on the drama series. "She played my girlfriend on 'Felicity,'" Foley told Andy Cohen on SiriusXM. "Yeah, we met on the show, and we hit it off instantly and were soon dating."

Two years into their relationship, the duo married in 2000. While it continues to be a favorite celebrity pairing among some Garner fans, it was a short-lived relationship at the time, with the couple splitting in 2003. Though there were rumors of infidelity, Foley and Garner attribute the end of their marriage to maturity and unexpected fame. 

Jennifer Garner's rise in fame impacted her marriage

Jennifer Garner and Scott Foley met before the "13 Going on 30" actor had hit her big break. After appearing in "Felicity," Garner landed notable supporting roles in "Pearl Harbor" and "Catch Me If You Can" prior to becoming a well-known celebrity as the star of "Alias."

The action thriller series, whose creator J.J. Abrams she met through "Felicity," first aired in 2001 and quickly became a huge success. Though there were rumors that Garner was involved with her "Alias" co-star Michael Vartan, Foley has maintained that their split wasn't prompted by an extramarital affair. Instead, the "Scandal" actor marks his partner's quick rise in fame as a contributing factor to their divorce.

"Jennifer became a huge celebrity. She became a huge star, and she deserved everything she got," he shared with TV Guide. "There was no other relationship, there was no infidelity, nothing. People get divorced, you know? Through no one's fault and everyone's fault" (per People).

Jennifer also cites her age as a contributing factor

Since splitting with Scott Foley in 2003, Jennifer Garner has echoed his thoughts about the stress that the Hollywood lifestyle put on their marriage. "Everything is speeded up here — it is a fast-lane life, and if something is not working, it is considered best to end it without much thought," she told InStyle. "If we lived where I was brought up [in West Virginia], we would probably still be together."

In addition to this, the "Peppermint" star has also shared regrets about marrying in her twenties. "Everyone reaches maturity at different times. I wish I'd known to wait for marriage until I was 30 or over," Garner shared with The Sun (per Page Six). She expanded on this thought in an interview with Allure, "We were full-on grown-ups, but looking back I'm aware we did not know what hit us ... We didn't have a shot. He's a really good guy, and we just imploded" (per Just Jared).

Foley and Garner both went on to new relationships and started families. Foley married Marika Dominczyk in 2007 and now has three children with the fellow actor. Garner shares three children with Ben Affleck, whom she married in 2005 and divorced in 2015. The "Dallas Buyers Club" actor has since been in a relationship with businessman John Miller, who she began dating in 2018.