Just days after calling his divorce from Jennifer Garner "the biggest regret" of his life, Ben Affleck once again opened up about their "painful" and "disappointing" split. While chatting with Diane Sawyer for Good Morning America, the 47-year-old actor spoke about the breakdown of his marriage, as well as how his struggle with alcoholism affected his relationship with Garner and their 3 children, Violet (14), Seraphina (11) and Samuel (7).
Affleck told Sawyer he first got sober back in 2001. "I was sober for a couple of years. And then I thought, 'You know, I wanna just drink like a normal person. And I wanna have wine at dinner. I was able to for about eight years," he recalled."I started to drink more, and more, and more. And it was really hard for me to accept that that meant that I was an alcoholic. I was like, 'I could just go back. I was fine before. You know, I just need to take a break. I just need to slow down.'"
Before long, however, Affleck said he "started to drink every day. I mean, I'd come home from work and I'd start to drink. And then I'd just sit there and drink till I pass out on the couch." Eventually, his drinking began to cause problems in his marriage, which Affleck admits was the hardest part of his struggle with alcoholism.
"I never thought I was gonna get divorced—I didn't want to be a divorced person," he said, while holding back tears. "I really didn't wanna be a split family with my children—and it upset me because it meant I wasn't who I thought I was. And that was so painful and so disappointing."
Not only did his drinking affect his relationship with his ex-wife, Affleck also worried about causing his children pain, especially after TMZ caught him stumbling out of a party during a relapse in 2018. "I really don't want my children to pay for my sins," Affleck said. "Or to be afraid for me, which is one of the hard parts of being the child of an alcoholic. You think, 'What if my dad gets drunk? What if he does something stupid? What if he ends up on TMZ,' you know? And on my newsfeed and other kids see it?"
"It's very painful. Divorce is very painful. And alcoholism are very painful— they just are," he continued. "If there's something that your child is suffering —that's a level of pain that is just not easily gotten past, not easily forgiven, not easily forgotten. And it's hard. You're not gonna avoid causing your kids pain, all pain—pain is a part of life. I take some comfort in that."
For now, Affleck says he's "doing my very, very best" when it comes to staying sober for his kids."It has to be good enough. I don't really have a choice," he said. "I have to be the man I wanna be at this point. I don't have any more room for failure of that kind."