Batman superhero, director, and Oscar-winning screenwriter Ben Affleck tells sources about his regrets over divorcing his ex-wife, actress Jennifer Garner, in a raw and vulnerable way.
The actor, 47, recently opened up about the painful experiences that followed his broken marriage to America’s sweetheart Jennifer Garner. Affleck candidly disclosed the personal struggles he has been facing since the couple’s divorce in 2018.
How “Bennifer” Began
Love never seemed too far out of reach for the Good Will Hunting actor, with two Jennifers in his life during the early 2000s. Affleck met Garner on set while filming Pearl Harbor. Jennifer was still married to actor Scott Foley at the time, and Ben was dating Jennifer Lopez. This didn’t seem to deter the celebrities from finding true love, however, and the couple was smitten with each other during the filming of Daredevil in 2002. Ben declared it was then that he fell in love with Garner.
Ben and J.Lo were engaged in 2003, and Garner and Foley divorced. The greenlight was officially lit when Affleck and J.Lo broke up, and the Daredevil co-stars married in 2005. Their relationship spanned thirteen years, and they had three children together, the oldest being fourteen years-old.
Trouble was on the horizon for the famous duo when Affleck started drinking more heavily. He drank relatively normally up until 2015, but his drinking intensified when the marriage became rocky, only worsening any existing marital problems.
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 confided that he has battled compulsive behavior, stating, “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. It becomes a vicious cycle you can’t break. That’s at least what happened to me.”
Eventually, the problems became so bad that the couple filed for divorce in 2018.
Regrets Settle In
In a pre-recorded interview released on February 20, the actor opened up about his heartache and his regrets to Good Morning America’s Diane Sawyer and said that he never imagined divorce would happen. He shared, “I didn’t want to get divorced. I didn’t want to be a divorced person. I really didn’t want to be a split family with my children. It upset me because it meant I wasn’t who I thought I was and that was so painful and so disappointing. In myself.”
Affleck’s downward spiral of disappointment led to shame, and he admitted that, “The biggest regret of my life is this divorce,” and that “Shame is really toxic. There is no positive byproduct of shame. It’s just stewing in a toxic, hideous feeling of low self-worth and self-loathing.”
What Does the Future Hold for Affleck?
The actor admitted himself to rehab in October of 2018 during the separation from Garner, and he has now become outspoken about his plans for further treatment, his mistakes, and his plans to move forward. "I have certainly made mistakes. I have certainly done things that I regret," he said. "But you’ve got to pick yourself up, learn from it, learn some more, try to move forward."
In a public expression of gratitude, Affleck thanked his ex-wife in a written letter for being a great person.
In a public expression of gratitude, Affleck thanked his ex-wife in a written letter for being a great person: “What I want to say publicly and privately is, 'Thank you. Thank you for being thoughtful, considerate, responsible and a great mom and person’.”
Should Jennifer forgive Ben’s transgressions? Ultimately, that’s up to her, and while “Bennifer” may never be a thing again, the couple appear to remain cordial co-parents. One thing is for certain, we hope that Ben finds healing and can forgive himself and move on from the past regrets.