Jennifer Lopez: Marriage Isn't Always Easy

01/06/2010 at 04:10 PM EST

Jennifer Lopez: Marriage Isn't Always Easy
Courtesy Latina
Before marrying Marc Anthony, this Jenny was around the block twice with marriage, and by now Jennifer Lopez thinks she knows what it takes to make it last.

"What people don't talk about, which is interesting to me, is how you have to put as much work into your relationships as you do into anything else," Lopez Latina magazine's February issue. "We put so much into our careers … but there's also a lot of work that goes into making a successful partnership and marriage. It's not easy."

The 40-year-old Lopez tried and failed at marriage twice before, first with Ojani Noa and then with Cris Judd. She also was engaged to actor Ben Affleck, but the couple called off their wedding.

"Anybody who's successful at it deserves a pat on the back," Lopez says. "You've got to grow with each other; you've gotta bend over backwards for each other."

The Bronx, N.Y., native says sticking it out with Anthony, 41, has been the right move. They've been married since 2004 and have twins who turn 2 next month.

"That's how I know that this relationship is worth it, because a lot of people walk away too easily," says J-Lo. "But to take that step and actually get married – and I've done it three times, and two times were, you know, not good for me or for them – I'm gonna take it seriously."

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