Ben Affleck Had 'Respect' for Jennifer Garner amid 'Difficult' Divorce: 'I Knew She Was a Good Mom'

"Did we have moments of tension? ... Was stuff difficult for us? Did we get angry? Yes," Ben Affleck said

Ben Affleck,Jennifer Garner
Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner. Photo: Magnus Sundholm/Shutterstock; Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Ben Affleck is getting candid about his divorce from ex-wife Jennifer Garner and why there was always respect for each other in the process.

The 49-year-old The Tender Bar star appeared on The Howard Stern Show Tuesday for a lengthy interview about his career, sobriety and personal life.

Affleck and Garner, costars from the 2003 Daredevil film, got married in 2005 and separated in 2015 before finalizing their divorce in 2018. They share three kids: Violet, Seraphina and Samuel, who are 16, 12 and 9 now, respectively.

"We did it amicably. We did our best. Did we have moments of tension? Did we have disagreements over the custody? Was stuff difficult for us? Did we get angry? Yes," he recalled of the divorce process. "But fundamentally it was always underpinned with a respect."

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"I knew she was a good mom. I always hoped that she knew that I was a good dad; I knew I was," continued Affleck. "I had to get sober, and I knew that too and I acknowledged that."

Elsewhere in the Stern interview, Affleck said he and Garner tried to make things work but ultimately struggled to make it last.

"We had a marriage that didn't work, this happens, with somebody that I love and respect, but to whom I shouldn't be married any longer. Ultimately, we tried, we tried, we tried, because we had kids. Both of us felt like we don't want this to be the model that our kids see of marriage," he said.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner in 2014. Angela Weiss/FilmMagic

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Over the years, Affleck has gone to rehab multiple times for alcohol addiction, including in 2001, 2017 (which he revealed in a post on Facebook) and 2018. He has since been open about his journey to stay sober.

Recalling how his drinking habits worsened during the difficult times in their relationship, Affleck told Stern that if they'd stayed together, they "would've ended up … probably at each other's throats."

"I'd probably still be drinking. It's part of why I started drinking … because I was trapped," he said. "I was like, 'I can't leave 'cause of my kids, but I'm not happy. What do I do?' What I did was drink a bottle of scotch and fall asleep on the couch, which turned out not to be the solution."

RELATED VIDEO: Ben Affleck on Jennifer Garner: 'It's Important for My Kids to Know I Respect and Care About Her'

In February 2020, Affleck told PEOPLE of Garner, "When you have children with somebody you're connected to them forever, and I'm very lucky she is the mother of my children."

"I'm very grateful and respectful of her," he added at the time. "Our marriage didn't work, and that's difficult. Both of us really believe that it's important for kids to see their parents respect one another and get along, whether they're together or not."

For Mother's Day earlier this year, he paid tribute to Garner, writing on social media, "So happy to share these kids with you. Luckiest parents in the world. Thanks for all the good you do. Happy Mother's Day. Love, their Dad."

Affleck's new film The Tender Bar is in select theaters Dec. 17, nationwide Dec. 22, then streaming on Amazon Prime Video Jan. 7.

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