Ben Affleck got emotional as he spoke to Diane Sawyer about his divorce, his sobriety battle, and more during a “Good Morning America” interview.
Affleck, who has been promoting his new film “The Way Back”, in which he plays a high school basketball coach with a drinking problem that torpedoes his marriage and lands him in rehab, said: “I never thought that I was gonna get divorced.”
He added, when asked what the hardest thing he had to be honest with himself about was, “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.
“And 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 and Jennifer Garner, who share three children, Violet, 14, Seraphina, 11, and Samuel, 7, got divorced in 2018.
Affleck also spoke about getting sober in 2001, which lasted a couple of years before he wanted to “drink like a normal person.”
This lasted around eight years before he admitted he started to drink every day until he passed out on the couch.
Affleck spoke about his dad, grandmother, and aunt also being alcoholics.
“For me, seeing my dad was just, he was drunk every day and that was just life. And then, as that got worse, that was really, really painful,” he said. “And I always said, ‘That’ll never be me. I’m never gonna do that.’
“I wish he had been sober during those formative years but what he’s taught me is how important it is for me to be sober now during these formative years for my kids.”
Affleck added he doesn’t want his kids to “pay for my sins or to be afraid for me.”
“[That] is one of the hard parts of being the child of an alcoholic,” he said. “Do you think, ‘What if my dad gets drunk? What if he does something stupid?'”
Affleck said he’s now accepted that “pain is a part of life.”
“Divorce is very painful and alcoholism is very painful. They just are. If there’s something that your child is suffering, that’s a level of pain that is not easily gotten past, not easily forgiven, not easily forgotten. And it’s hard,” he said. “You’re not going to avoid causing your kids pain, all pain. Pain is part of life. I take some comfort in that.
“I’m doing my very, very best… It has to be good enough. I don’t really have a choice,” Affleck continued. “I have to be the man I want to be at this point. I don’t have any more room for failure of that kind.”