Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner were one of the most notorious Hollywood couples of all time. As individuals, they have each had an incredible career within the entertainment industry, specifically as actors. Together, they built a beautiful family during the happy times of their long marriage. Although they have gone their separate ways, the pair have continued to co-parent and raise their children to be great model citizens.
Affleck is most known for being an actor, producer, screenwriter, director, and philanthropist, while Garner is known as an actress and producer. The two have been prominent figures in the film industry and have both used their platforms to help the betterment of others through charities and organizations.
The “Good Will Hunting” star and Garner have had their share of ups and downs throughout their long-winded relationship, but they have come together to make their children a priority. Their well-known relationship has made them a popular subject in the spotlight and a prominent target for the media.
Affleck stars in the 2020 film “The Way Back” and has spoken candidly to various news sources, confessing that his divorce from Garner is the biggest regret of his life. After several stints in rehab due to his alcoholism, their marriage eventually fell apart, seeing them divorced in 2018.
Affleck has been honest about his struggles with addiction and seeking help through recovery. He acknowledges that his alcoholism stems from his family history as well as his personal struggle with his mental health. Read on to learn more about Affleck’s experience with alcoholism and why he said that his divorce is the “biggest regret of his life.”
In 2004, Ben Affleck met the love of his life, Jennifer Garner. They married the following year and eventually had three children. On the surface, their life looked perfect. What most didn’t see was Affleck’s progressive drinking problem. As his marriage fell apart, Affleck increasingly turned to alcohol to numb the unbearable pain. Tragically, alcohol and marital woes became a downward spiral, as reported here by Fox News.
As their marriage was on the way out, Affleck drowned his sorrows in alcohol. By the time the pair separated in June 2015, Affleck had begun a series of stints in alcohol rehab programs. “The biggest regret of my life is this divorce,” he told The New York Times.
Since shame fueled his pain, moving forward from it began to bring the highly acclaimed actor back to life. In August 2018, just ahead of his October 2018 divorce, Affleck entered rehab another time. True to the lifelong nature of alcohol addiction, Affleck experienced a relapse short of one year of sobriety.
In 2020, Ben Affleck spoke to ABC News’ Diane Sawyer and got candid about his struggles with addiction and his eventual recovery. “There are things that I would love to go back and change,” he said. “I have regrets. I made plenty of mistakes, some big, some small. I wish I could go back in time and change all kinds of things, but I can’t.”
The actor also touched on the topic of how his fellow Hollywood friends Bradley Cooper and Robert Downey Jr. helped him through his hard times when battling alcohol addiction. “Bradley and Robert have been really helpful to me and really supportive,” Affleck told Sawyer. “They’re wonderful men.”
Affleck acknowledges that his family history has an effect on his own experience as an alcoholic. “For me, it was a two-pronged thing. I have a genetic component,” he explained to People. “Two of my grandparents were alcoholics. (As was his father.) So it seemed like statistically, the dice were kind of loaded.”
Alcohol became Affleck’s coping mechanism during his divorce from Garner. “When my life got stressful, which principally had to do with the disappointment and the pain that the divorce caused my children, that affected me profoundly,” he said. “I didn’t want to see them hurt. I found myself drinking more and more at night at home by myself. It was something I was doing to avoid dealing with painful feelings. My parents got divorced when I was young. I know how painful that is.”
Mental health is also a factor in his sobriety, according to Affleck. “I’ve experienced depression and anxiety,” he shared. “The psychological issues are not as well understood as addiction is now. Addiction has become more destigmatized, where mental health is more confusing and more elusive. Sometimes it’s hard to differentiate ‘Something bad happened to me, so I feel bad’ versus ‘I’m feeling bad because something is not working right chemically in my brain.'”
Even with his lifelong struggle with addiction, Affleck doesn’t let life’s challenges define him and he is able to see the positive side of things. “It’s liberating and kind of freeing not to have a secret or to feel shame about something,” he said. “My life has been full of blessings, and I’ve had some struggles — those things make up who we are.”
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