No matter how turbulent their marriage and relationship was, Garner was the calm in the storm and a safe place for Affleck.
For celebrity ex-couple, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, their divorce in 2018 didn't mean an end to the special relationship they had. Throughout their marriage, separation, and divorce, the Batman actor knew that Garner had been there to support him in regaining his health and life.
But it wasn't just that she stood by him through his personal struggles. She also helped him get back on his feet career-wise because she knew how important it was for him.
She was the reason his film, The Way Back, still made it to the theaters. The movie follows Jack Cunningham, a former basketball all-star struggling with addiction and attempting to find balance by becoming a coach at his former high school’s basketball team, a storyline not unlike Affleck's own. So this film was truly one that the actor needed and his ex-wife understood that.
The director of the film, Gavin O’Connor, spoke to 34th Street Magazine about the Elektra actress’s influence on the film after 47-year-old Affleck, relapsed in 2018 due to his alcoholism. He said, "...just as we started prepping the movie, Ben fell off the wagon. So he ended up going to rehab, and I didn't know if the movie was over. The studio certainly thought the movie was over. His ex-wife Jennifer Garner called me up and told me that when he went to rehab, he took a basketball with him. She said, “Gavin, he's asking you, please don't pull the plug on the movie, he really wants to do this."
"So, he had about a week of detoxing, because he really went off the deep end, and after a week, I was able to go see him. We spent half a day together and figured out a way to do this that will work for him, because most importantly he needed to recover and needed to get his sobriety on track. That overtook everything. And then he got out the day before we started shooting. So we had a very raw, vulnerable guy showing up for our first day of shooting," the director continued.
When Affleck spoke to People about the "cathartic" experience, he said, “There are some things about this character I really could connect to — being a recovering alcoholic, going through family strife, a divorce. You try to bring your own life experience to the parts that you can, use your imagination on the other parts.” However, it was what he said to The New York Times that really highlights how he feels about his divorce from the mother of his children after he allowed his alcohol addiction to break them apart.
He admitted, “The biggest regret of my life is this [his and Garner's] divorce. Shame is really toxic. There is no positive byproduct of shame. It’s just stewing in a toxic, hideous feeling of low self-worth and self-loathing. I drank relatively normally for a long time. What happened was that I started drinking more and more when my marriage was falling apart. This was 2015, 2016. My drinking, of course, created more marital problems.”
Their difficult decision to separate didn't stop the Catch and Release actress from being his rock. During his other stints in rehab, she was there for him for the sake of their three kids, Violet, 14, Seraphina, 11, and Sam, 8. Her love for him was real and "it wasn’t for the cameras," according to Vanity Fair.
Though it doesn't seem like the two will get back together especially since the actress is reportedly dating again, according to Us Weekly, Affleck realized what an amazing woman he let go of. Perhaps one day, he might learn from this and move on so that he too can find happiness and love again.