The pair announced their plans to divorce in June 2015 and finalized the split three years later

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Ben Affleck admits his excessive drinking played a role in his divorce from Jennifer Garner.

In a new interview with The New York Times, published Tuesday, the actor, 47, says he “started drinking more and more” while his marriage with Garner was “falling apart.”

“This was 2015, 2016,” Affleck said. “My drinking, of course, created more marital problems.”

Affleck’s spoke with the Times to discuss his return to the screen in his new film The Way Back, in which he plays a high school basketball coach struggling to keep his life together while battling alcohol addiction and coping with a failed marriage. The movie has echoes of his own experience with alcohol issues and divorce.

Affleck and Garner, both 47, announced their separation in June 2015 and finalized their divorce two months later. The two first started dating in 2004 and married the next year, later welcoming three kids — daughters Violet, 14, and Seraphina, 11, and son Samuel, 7.

EE British Academy Film Awards, Winners, Royal Opera House, London, Britain - 10th February 2013
Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck in 2013.
| Credit: David Fisher/Rex USA

Affleck, who’s been in rehab multiple times, entered rehab again in August 2018.

In October 2018, he broke his silence about his treatment in an emotional statement on Instagram.

“This week I completed a forty-day stay at a treatment center for alcohol addiction and remain in outpatient care,” Affleck revealed in a post. “Battling any addiction is a lifelong and difficult struggle. Because of that, one is never really in or out of treatment. It is a full-time commitment. I am fighting for myself and my family.”

The actor suffered another relapse a year later in October 2019 after appearing to be publicly inebriated outside a Halloween party.

“Relapse is embarrassing, obviously,” the two-time Oscar winner continued to the Times. “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.”

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Now with The Way Back soon in theaters, Affleck reveals it took him a while to come to terms with his own illness.

“It took me a long time to fundamentally, deeply, without a hint of doubt, admit to myself that I am an alcoholic,” Affleck continued to the Times. “The next drink will not be different.”

The Way Back opens March 6.