Ben Affleck has been battling alcoholism for years, and recently said the breakdown of his marriage to Jennifer Garner caused him to relapse. But if they’d stayed married, he probably would still be drinking, he said on Howard Stern’s radio show.
The actors were married in 2005, separated in 2015 and their divorce was finalised in 2018. They’d fallen out of love, but tried to make their relationship work for the sake of their children, Violet (16), Seraphina (12), and Samuel (9), Ben said.
The 49-year-old told the radio host that he started drinking again because he was feeling trapped in an unhappy marriage.
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“I was like, ‘I can't leave because of my kids, but I’m not happy, what do I do?’ And what I did was I drank a bottle of Scotch and fell asleep on the couch, which turned out not to be the solution,” he said.
The two-time Oscar winner decided to sober up when he realised his drinking would damage his relationship with his kids.
“The cure for addiction is suffering. You suffer enough that something inside you goes, ‘I'm done.’ I'm lucky because I hit that point before I lost the things that were most important. Not my career or money – it was my relationship with my kids.”
Alcoholism is a demon many in the Affleck family have battled, The Last Duel star said. His father, Timothy, younger brother, Casey (46), and late grandmother all struggled with it too.
Jen (49) checked him into a rehab clinic in 2018, and “since that day, I swear to Christ, I haven’t wanted to drink once. I’m not cured. I’m not a preacher, but there’s a happy ending if you can get there,” he told Howard.
On his marriage, he said, “We had a marriage that didn't work. This happens. She's somebody I love and respect, but to whom I knew I shouldn't be married to any longer.”
After the couple announced their separation, the Yes Day actress told Vanity Fair that it was “one of the pains in my life, that something I believe in so strongly I've completely failed at twice.” She’d previously been married for four years to actor Scott Foley (49).
“You have to have two people to dance a marriage,” she said. “My heart’s a little on the tender side right now, and it’s always easier to focus on the ways that you feel hurt, but I know that with time and some perspective I’ll have a clearer sense of where I let the system down, because there’s no way I get off in this.”
Ben is now focusing on being a dad and has rekindled his relationship with ex-fiancée Jennifer Lopez (52), whom he previously dated from 2002 to 2004.
After the divorce, Jen started seeing businessman John C Miller (43). The two briefly split up in August 2020 but got back together in April 2021.
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Although things didn’t work out between Ben and Jen, they’ve remained friends and are committed to co-parenting their children.
“I’ve always known Jen is a good mother. And I always wanted her to know that I’m a good father,” Ben added.
SOURCES: NYPOST.COM, PEOPLE.COM, DAILYMAIL.CO.UK, BUZZFEED.COM