Although Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck famously called off their engagement and 18-month romance in January 2004, the actor was happy to help as his ex's seven-year marriage to Marc Anthony was falling apart.
"She always liked and trusted him. [Ben] replied back on email, wished her well and offered what he could," the source says of Affleck, 38, now happily married with two daughters to Jennifer Garner. (Lopez, now 41, wed Latin crooner Anthony, 42, just months after she and Affleck split.)
Three days after that secret email exchange with Affleck, Lopez and Anthony announced the end of their union in a joint statement. "It was a very bad marriage, and Jennifer got the courage to end things," an insider says, adding, "[Marc] was a terrible husband."
At issue: Anthony's raging jealousy over Lopez's career, his compulsion to control everything from her business endeavors and even her famous wardrobe, and, according to multiple sources, at least one extra-marital affair in 2009.
And despite her ultra-glamorous, ultra-confident persona in the public eye, Lopez "actually has low self-esteem," one pal explains. "And Marc really played into that insecurity. That's why she put up with his abuse for such a long time."