Ben Affleck’s divorce from Jennifer Garner and subsequent return to his old beau Jennifer Lopez is one of Hollywood’s most highly publicized tales of recent years.
However, now Affleck himself has opened up about his experience of his first marriage.
The Argo star first married actress Garner back in 2005, just over a year after his 2004 engagement to Lopez was called off. The pair went on to have 3 children together — Violet, born in 2005, Seraphina, born in 2009 and Samuel, born in 2012.
Affleck remained with the 13 Going on 30 star until 2015, when they publicly announced their separation, and their divorce was finalized in 2018.
Flash forward a few years, and Affleck began dating Lopez once again, twenty years after the pair first met. He finally married the ‘On the Floor’ singer in a Las Vegas ceremony in July earlier this year.
However, it has by no means been an easy journey for the fifty-year-old Gone Girl actor. Speaking on The Howard Stern Show, he explained the truth of some of his past struggles, and what caused the breakdown of his marriage to Garner.
“I’d probably still be drinking. It’s part of why I started drinking … because I was trapped,” he shared, per People.
He continued to explain exactly why he was unhappy: “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.”
The Good Will Hunting star has been to rehab multiple times for his alcohol addiction, in 2001, 2017 and again in 2018.
“The truth was, we took our time, we made the decision … We grew apart,” he said of his first marriage.
“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,” Affleck concluded.
He also discussed his journey to sobriety with Stern.
“I used to go to meetings and hear all these old timers say ‘I’m a grateful alcoholic and, you know, the obsession left me a long time ago.’ And I would get so angry,” he said. “The obsession left you? What the f*** are you doing here? You don’t want a drink? You’re not an alcoholic.”
He explained that he “resented that for a long time,” but after years of staying sober but then failing, he found that the only cure for the addiction was “suffering.”
“You suffer enough that something inside you goes ‘I’m done’,” he shared. “I’m lucky, because I hit that point really before I lost the things that are most important.”
Affleck said that it was when he felt his alcoholism impacted his children that marked his turning point, and since then he has “not ever wanted to drink”.