Fresh off announcing her ninth studio album This Is Me...NowJennifer Lopez sat down with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe to discuss creating the LP after her 2004 breakup with Ben Affleck.

“Twenty years ago, I fell in love with the love of my life,” Lopez told Lowe. “I was working on an album and it was called This Is Me … Then. It was all about capturing that moment in time. Now, the most amazing, incredible, unbelievable thing has happened. The reason we’re here is because I want to capture this moment in time because it is even better than the first time.”

“Dude, I wouldn’t even perform these records,” she recalled. “It was so painful after we broke up. Once we called off that wedding 20 years ago, it was the biggest heartbreak of my life. I honestly felt like I was going to die. It sent me on a spiral for the next 18 years where I just couldn’t get it right.”

After meeting on the set of their 2003 film Gigli, Lopez and Affleck got engaged in January 2004. They subsequently broke off their engagement, before rekindling their romance in May of 2021. A year later, in April 2022, months after Affleck alluded to his relationship with Lopez in a December 2021 interview with WSJ Magazine, the couple announced their engagement.

In July, Lopez and Affleck filed for a marriage license in Clark County, Nevada, as the couple exchanged vows in a small ceremony in Las Vegas. A month later, they celebrated their wedding with an official ceremony at the Gone Girl actor’s Georgia home.

Elsewhere in the interview Lopez explained how her and Affleck’s relationship fell apart the first time. 

“It was a new thing and it destroyed us,” she said. “That was part of what destroyed us was the outside energy that was coming at us. And we loved each other. It was hard. It felt, at times, unfair, but neither one of us is that person to be like, ‘Woe is me.’ So we were like, ‘Well, we just got to dust it off and keep it moving.’”

“I think, in the weirdest way, that it motivated both of us to then become and do the things that we wound up doing, which is going into hyper-gear,” she continued. “He went into hyper-gear and I went into hyper-gear. But not together. We had to do it separately. He went on to start directing, win his Oscar, do his second Oscar, do his thing where people had written him off in a way. The same thing with me. It was just like people were like, ‘Her music career’s over.’”

Lopez concluded, “It fueled us in a weird way that we felt we had to prove ourselves again.”

Watch J. Lo’s full interview with Zane Lowe up top.