Ben Affleck Says Jennifer Garner Divorce Is The Biggest Regret Of His Life

By Emily Lee

February 19, 2020

85th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

In a rare interview, Ben Affleck opened up about his divorce with Jennifer Garner. While speaking with The New York Times, Affleck called his separation from Garner "the biggest regret" of his life. The 47-year-old actor also discussed his struggle with alcoholism and how it affected his marriage in the wide-ranging interview.

"People with compulsive behavior, and I am one, have this kind of basic discomfort all the time that they're trying to make go away. You're trying to make yourself feel better with eating or drinking or sex or gambling or shopping or whatever. But that ends up making your life worse," Affleck explained. "Then you do more of it to make that discomfort go away. Then the real pain starts. It becomes a vicious cycle you can't break. That's at least what happened to me."

The former Batman star added that it took him a while to realize his drinking was problematic. "I drank relatively normally for a long time. 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," he said. "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. The next drink will not be different."

Ultimately, Affleck and Garner divorced in 2018 after a long separation. "The biggest regret of my life is this divorce. Shame is really toxic. There is no positive byproduct of shame," he said. "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."

Affleck and Garner share three children together, Violet, Serafina and Samuel. They have remained close as they continue to co-parent their kids.

Photo: Getty

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