Love and Affleck-tion | 

Deirdre Reynolds: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez show magic and monotony of monogamy

As Jennifer Lopez’s pain-faced hubby showed at Sunday night’s glitzy award ceremony, nothing says ‘I love you’ more than quietly enduring your other half’s three-and-a-half hour work do.

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck at the Grammys. Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images© Getty Images for The Recording A

Channing Tatum

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck

Deirdre ReynoldsSunday World

Thoughts and prayers with all the straight husbands dragged along to see Magic Mike 3 this weekend.

By absolutely no coincidence the Channing Tatum strip-athon hits cinemas nationwide just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Jump cut to an audience of middle-aged men looking about as engaged as Ben Affleck at the Grammys; although the presence of Salma Hayek as lap ‘dancee’ Maxandra in the steamy sequel should at least prove slightly more diverting than the bottom of their popcorn buckets.

Channing Tatum

The international day of love, which sees attached men and women worldwide show their appreciation for their partner in the flashiest way possible by splurging on everything from bouquets of red roses to romantic weekends away, rolls around once more today.

But, as Jennifer Lopez’s pain-faced hubby showed at Sunday night’s glitzy award ceremony, nothing says ‘I love you’ more than quietly enduring your other half’s three-and-a-half hour work do.

Sitting front and centre with his superstar missus, the Oscar winner went viral after being caught on camera looking less than thrilled to be there, even as music legend Stevie Wonder wowed the crowd with his performance of ‘Higher Ground’.

Or as one viewer put it on Twitter: “Ben Affleck at the Grammys is me any time I have to be on a Zoom call”.

A British tabloid went so far as to enlist the services of a lip reader to supposedly catch J.Lo chiding her husband-of-seven-months to “look more friendly” and “look motivated” for the cameras.

Far from being a sign that their new marriage could be in trouble, as some have speculated following another seemingly tense exchange on the red carpet for her new movie Shotgun Wedding, I just saw a regular (if ridiculously good-looking) couple settling in for the long haul.

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck

When Bennifer reunited after two decades last year, in a whirlwind of clandestine dates, yachtside kisses and a second engagement, it was the stuff romantic comedies are made of.

Now that the Marry Me star and her soulmate are starting to look more and more like a real-life husband and wife, it’s a reminder of the life-long effort required to sustain a committed relationship long after the “fanny flutters” have faded - and isn’t the magic (and, yes, even monotony) of monogamy what we should really be celebrating this February 14?

Joining Maura Higgins on Friday night’s Late Late Show Valentine’s special was Galway couple John and Vera Hogan, who renewed their wedding vows after 56 years in fuss-free style; with the gran-of-11 thanking her husband for his “love and kindness and support” over the years, and devoted John, in turn, thanking his wife for “putting up with me”.

Inside today’s Magazine+, we also spoke to three Irish couples, celebrating ruby, golden and diamond wedding anniversaries this year, to discover the secret to going the distance.

Funnily enough, not a single one of them mentioned the flowers, chocolates or frilly knickers traditionally exchanged this week, but all agreed that making time for each other was the greatest gift of all.

Like Ben, how many of us have suffered through a family wedding or office party in the name of love - or forced someone else to - when we’d rather be attending our own funeral?

Granted, it would be better if you could do it without having a face like a slapped arse.

From Tinseltown to Tuam, though, ultimately we’re all just searching for a forever plus-one to “put up” with us.

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