It seems like just yesterday we were writing about Ben Affleck and his romance with Jennifer Lopez. It’s the couple-phenomenon you might know as “Bennifer.” That was back in June and they’ve captured the headlines since. Until now, the stories have been mostly positive. But, Affleck’s most recent statements about his ex-wife, Jennifer Garner, have been decidedly off-message from the lovey-dove public image he and Lopez were presenting.
In a recent episode of The Howard Stern Show, Affleck talked about his alcoholism and his marriage to Garner, saying: “It’s part of why I started drinking…because I was trapped. I was like, ‘I can’t leave because of my kids, but I’m not happy, what do I do?’ And what I did was drink a bottle of Scotch and fall asleep on the couch, which turned out not to be the solution.”
Affleck is not the first celebrity who has faced off against the demons of alcoholism. He started acting when he was 8 years old, and his parents divorced when he was 12. His father “drank a lot.” Affleck calls his father a “real alcoholic” in his interview with Barbara Walters, but he himself checked into rehab in 2001, long before he met Garner. Of course, genetics and childhood trauma are factors in alcohol and drug abuse (the demands and stresses of celebrity don’t help), but Affleck’s ill-advised statements threaten to distract from what’s really going on here.
This whole story involves more than just Affleck and Garner. They have three children: Violet, 16, Seraphina, 12, and Samuel, 9. Parents, with shared children, both need to be VERY careful how they talk about their relationship and each other. Those kids will hear and read stories about what he said. Even if they have heard and know how much their dad felt “trapped” and know that he stayed for them, the current maelstrom is not doing them any favors.
By blaming his boozing on his loyal protective ex-wife, Ben Affleck has revealed himself to be a narcissistic deadbeat douchebag who loves himself more than any of the Jennifers in his life. https://t.co/OyXb7mXTjU pic.twitter.com/RK4QUNX6GR
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) December 15, 2021
I don’t like to take sides in any relationship squabble, but I think it’s often wise for both parties to keep their mouths shut when it comes to airing the dirty laundry of a relationship. It seems likely that Affleck got going and probably just didn’t know how to stop himself. Many of the statements he made were probably cathartic. He got to talk about anything and everything, including his happiness with Lopez. The ex is often the easy scapegoat to explain why he was unhappy before. I get that…
I think it’s interesting that his current girlfriend, Lopez, is pissed that he said all that stuff. I don’t know where she stands on all the issues, but it just sets the paparazzi off into a frenzy, drawing unwanted attention when their story WAS more about love and happy endings. Sources close to Lopez are calling Affleck’s interview “reckless and cavalier.”
“It’s reckless and cavalier of him.” https://t.co/PARKWwdQtk
— Women’s Health (@WomensHealthMag) December 17, 2021
Instead of focusing on the happy couple (which has been great PR), Affleck has slanted the conversation to center on the negative way he talks about his ex. The unwanted attention is setting off a media circus, which is bringing greater scrutiny on his relationship with Lopez as well as on Garner and the kids.
It’s not that Garner hasn’t talked about her life, her kids, and her relationship with Affleck. Her statements have been tempered with the realization that what she says really does matter. What she says and how she responds will affect her kids. So, she’s been seen smiling. She’s carrying on with her life. In an interview with Vanity Fair a few years ago, she said that it wasn’t that she didn’t care what the media said. She explained, “It hurts me so much, and I care so much.”
Ever the class act, Garner told Vanity Fair, in that 2016 interview, “I cannot be driven by the optics of this. I cannot let anger or hurt be my engine. I need to move with the big picture always on my mind, and the kids first and foremost.”
What are your thoughts on Affleck’s statements? We’d love to see your comments below.
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