In a candid interview with Howard Stern, Ben Affleck opened up about his struggles with sobriety during his marriage to Jennifer Garner, revealing that he felt “trapped” while trying to save the relationship for the sake of the couple’s three children, Violet, now 16, Seraphina, 12, and Samuel, 9.
In a stunning admission, he said that if he had stayed married to Garner, “I’d probably still be drinking. It’s part of why I started drinking … because I was trapped. I was like ‘I can’t leave ’cause of my kids, but I’m not happy, what do I do?’ What I did was drink a bottle of scotch and fall asleep on the couch, which turned out not to be the solution.”
Affleck has been open about his alcohol addiction, seeking treatment three times — once in 2001, and again in 2017 and 2018, as his marriage to Garner was ending. The couple wed in 2005, with Affleck telling the radio host they did “everything” they could to keep their marriage together to protect their young children. “The truth was, we took our time, we made the decision … We grew apart,” he said, adding, “We had a marriage that didn’t work, this happens, with somebody that I love and respect, but to whom I shouldn’t be married any longer. Ultimately, we tried. We tried, we tried because we had kids. Both of us felt like we don’t want this to be the model that our kids see of marriage.”
Thankfully, it seems the former couple is now doing great with co-parenting their kids, with Affleck telling Stern the relationship ultimately ended “amicably.” He explained, “Did we have moments of tension? Did we have disagreements over the custody? Was stuff difficult for us? Did we get angry? Yes. But fundamentally it was always underpinned with respect. I knew she was a good mom. I hope that she knew that I was a good dad. I was. I had to get sober — I knew that too — and I acknowledged that. I said, ‘You’re right. I’ve got to quit drinking.'”
Affleck has maintained his sobriety and, of course, is now famously dating his former fiancée, Jennifer Lopez, telling Stern he had some hesitations about reuniting with his mega-watt ex. “My responsibility to my children is the highest responsibility,” he said. “I don’t want to do anything that is painful or destructive to them if I can help it.”
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