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Ben Affleck Reveals The 'Legacy' Of Alcoholism In His Family Amid His Own Sobriety Battle

Gettyimages | Michael Tran
By Clark Sparky

Ben Affleck has been very open this week about his struggles with addiction and his divorce from ex-wife Jennifer Garner. He talked with both the New York Times and Diane Sawyer on "Good Morning America" about his sobriety efforts, and in the Times piece he revealed that his family has a history of alcoholism and mental health issues.

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"My dad didn't really get sober until I was 19," he revealed to the outlet. "The older I've gotten, the more I recognize that my dad did the best he could. There's a lot of alcoholism and mental illness in my family. The legacy of that is quite powerful and sometimes hard to shake."

He added later in the piece, "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."

Affleck also revealed that his grandmother killed herself in a hotel room in her '40s, one of his uncles shot himself, and another aunt died of a drug overdose.

In his interview with "Good Morning America," Affleck said that he never wanted to get divorced.

"I never thought that I was gonna get divorced. 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," Affleck said. "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."

"I really don't want my children to pay for my sins," he added. "Or to be afraid for me. Which is one of the hard parts of being the child of an alcoholic. Do you think, 'What if my dad gets drunk? What if he does something stupid? What if he ends up on TMZ and it's on my news feed and other kids see it?'"

"Divorce is very painful and alcoholism is very painful," he continued. "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. 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. I have to be the man I want to be at this point. I don't have anymore room for failure of that kind."

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