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Ben Affleck Prefers 'Alone Time' Over Jennifer Lopez's Fame

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck need to spend some time apart to maintain a healthy relationship.

Decked out in a pale gold gown with cape and thigh-high slit, Jennifer Lopez shined at the Hispanic Federation Annual Gala in NYC on April 18, where Lin-Manuel Miranda presented her with the Pride Award and she mingled with guests including Matt Damon and his wife, Luciana Barroso. Strangely missing for her big night? Her husband and Matt’s BFF, Ben Affleck. “He was in L.A. shooting a movie,” says a source exclusively to In Touch. “So she had to attend alone.”

She’s been doing a lot of that lately. “Ben and J. Lo are normally together 24/7, but lately, they’ve been spending time apart,” the source says of the couple, who went at least 30 days without being publicly photographed together after they were spotted in NYC on Easter weekend in March. “Jen’s need to make their relationship so public and perfect often leaves Ben feeling overwhelmed and henpecked,” explains the source. “He just needs to be by himself sometimes, out of her shadow.”

He’s been out of his comfort zone for most of their nearly two-year marriage. In the past few months, Ben, who once declared, “I hate being famous,” has supported three of Jen’s projects inspired by their second chance at love. In her documentary, The Greatest Love Story Never Told, Ben, 51, addressed how he and his wife, 54, have conflicting feelings about fame. “Getting back together, I said, ‘One of the things I don’t want is a relationship on social media. Then I realized it’s not a fair thing to ask,” he said, but ultimately, “we’re just two people with different approaches trying to learn to compromise.”

To that end, J. Lo stuck around her hometown in the weeks leading up to the Met Gala, which she co-chaired on May 6, while he filmed the sequel to The Accountant in L.A. “She’s giving him some breathing room,” says the source. “Of course she was a little hurt, but she knows he loves her. He just needed a break from the red carpets and publicity that she craves.”

They’ve even looked into making their bi-coastal situation more permanent. Over Easter weekend, the couple checked out some NYC townhouses that are on the market. Matt has a base in Brooklyn, and Ben, says the source, likes the idea of having a place to escape from Hollywood. “He enjoys doing normal everyday stuff,” adds the source, noting that it can be easier to blend in solo in Manhattan than with J. Lo in Beverly Hills. “Ben thinks having independent lives and separate interests is healthy for the relationship. J. Lo doesn’t totally agree, but she gets it.”

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