Ben Affleck Revealed How Alcohol Affected His Marriage To Jennifer Garner, Calling Their Divorce His "Biggest Regret"

    Speaking of the couple's 2018 split, Affleck said: "The biggest regret of my life is this divorce."

    Ben Affleck just opened up about how his addiction to alcohol affected his relationship with ex-wife, Jennifer Garner.

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    In a frank and candid interview with the New York Times, Affleck drew parallels between his own life and his upcoming movie, The Way Back, which sees him play a basketball coach whose alcohol addiction upsets his marriage and leads to a period in rehab.

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    Opening up about the "compulsive behaviour" both he and his character have experienced, Affleck said: "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. Then you do more of it to make that discomfort go away. Then the real pain starts."

    He added: "It becomes a vicious cycle you can't break. That's at least what happened to me."

    Speaking of his own marriage to Garner, Affleck revealed that his drinking — which he said was "relatively normal for a long time" — eventually became the catalyst for their divorce.

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    Affleck and Garner married in 2005, two months after announcing their engagement. A decade later, the couple announced they were separating, before finalising their divorce in 2018. They share three children together.

    "What happened was that I started drinking more and more when my marriage was falling apart. This was 2015, 2016." Affleck said. "My drinking, of course, created more marital problems."

    "The biggest regret of my life is this divorce," he continued, adding that he had made mistakes that he still feels remorse for.

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    "I have certainly made mistakes," he said. "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 went on to discuss how he and Garner have handled his relapses over recent years.

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    Addressing a 2019 relapse which saw a video of him published on TMZ, Affleck said: "I wish it didn't happen. I really wish it wasn't on the internet for my kids to see. Jen and I did our best to address it and be honest."

    Despite his upcoming movie being somewhat close to home, Affleck called the role "very therapeutic". However, it wasn't without its emotions, with the director adding that Affleck had a "total breakdown" on set after filming a difficult scene.

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    The scene in question apparently comes towards the end of the film and sees Affleck's character apologise to his wife, saying: "I failed our marriage."

    Garner herself has previously opened up about the couple's decision to separate. In a 2016 interview with Vanity Fair, she said that it was a "priority" for her to stay in the marriage but in the end, it didn't work out.

    "We still have to help each other get through this," Garner added. "He's still the only person who really knows the truth about things. And I'm still the only person that knows some of his truths."

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    You can read Affleck's full New York Times interview here. BuzzFeed has reached out to reps of Jennifer Garner for comment.

    Ben Henry is a celebrity reporter for BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.

    Contact Ben Henry at ben.henry@buzzfeed.com.

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