Ben Affleck is coming clean about his sobriety and admitting most candidly that his "biggest regret" in life is his divorce from his ex-wife, Jennifer Garner. In a detailed and compelling interview with The New York Times, the actor opened up about his relapse, the vicious cycle of what can come with trying to get sober, and his marriage with Garner.
"I drank relatively normally for a long time," he admitted, adding how it came at a time when his marriage started to plummet. "What happened was that I started drinking more and more when my marriage was falling apart. This was 2015, 2016. My drinking, of course, created more marital problems."
"The biggest regret of my life is this divorce," the actor confessed. "Shame is really toxic. There is no positive by-product of shame. It's just stewing in a toxic, hideous feeling of low-self worth and self-loathing. ... It's not particularly healthy for me to obsess over the failures — the relapses — and beat myself up. I have certainly made mistakes. I have certainly done things that I regret. But you've got to pick yourself up, learn from it, learn some more, try to move forward."
The two famous names were married for 10 years but decided to go their separate ways in June 2015, then finalizing their divorce three years later in October 2018. The two share three children together, Violet, 14; Seraphina, 10 and Samuel, 7. While the two may not be together romantically anymore, Garner is still a very supportive person in his life because she wants to aid in any way she can in hopes of always having him around for the kids sake.
"She wants Ben to be in the kids' lives," one insider revealed. "That means dealing with things she isn't happy about. Jen's major sticking point is that Ben needs to be sober — and truthful about it. There's no wiggle room on that as far as his relationship with the kids goes."
Affleck has seen rehab three different times and Garner has been by his side every single time. His third stint was in October 2018, after his previous one in August of that same year. Then, after a "slip-up" he went back in October 2019.
The same struggle Affleck battles with, is the same one his own father fought with as well.
"My dad didn't really get sober until I was 19. The older I've gotten, the more I recognize that my dad did the best he could. There's a lot of alcoholism and mental illness in my family. The legacy of that is quite powerful and sometimes hard to shake. ... It took me a long time to fundamentally, deeply, without a hint of doubt, admit to myself that I am an alcoholic."
Thankfully, the Gone Girl actor has had a lot of support from a few other famous friends: Bradley Cooper, who stopped drinking when he was 29, and Robert Downey Jr., who's been sober since 2003 after his battle with drug addiction.
Affleck is hoping to make a big comeback with his role in The Way Back, a film based around a basketball coach's struggle with addiction.
Photo credit: Steve Zak Photography.