Ben Affleck had a moment of clarity. Just days after celebrating Saturday Night Live producer and girlfriend Lindsay Shookus’ Emmy win at the September 17 awards show, the two-time rehab vet realized he was once again losing grip on his alcohol addiction.
“Ben reached a breaking point,” a source reveals in the new issue of Us Weekly. “He knew he was spiraling and was unhappy.”
To get ahead, he turned to the one person who has always been there for him: estranged wife Jennifer Garner. “Ben told her everything that was going on with his life,” says the insider. “He was devastated but knew he had to change.”
Along with his younger brother, Casey, Garner found him help at a rehab facility in northern L.A. “After everything they’ve been through, she is going to continue to be there for him when he needs her,” says the source. “No matter what the circumstances.”
Even after his vices torpedoed their decade-long union. Though she filed for divorce in April, nearly two years after they announced their split, the 45-year-old Tribes of Palos Verdes actress has cemented herself as Affleck’s rock. “From the smoking to drinking and gambling, Jen has always been the person who can get through to him,” says a second insider. “She keeps Ben in line as much as she can.”
Now, Affleck, also 45, is equally determined to walk the straight and narrow. Dedicated to co-parenting kids Violet, 11, Seraphina, 8, and Samuel, 5, he was insistent on taking immediate action before he lost control, according to a source. A decision Garner — who dubbed her ex “the love of my life” in a 2016 interview with Vanity Fair — fully supported. “Jen is a good person — she’s an angel,” says an Affleck confidant. “No one ever told her she needs to stick around to help Ben, but she always will. They are both good parents and good people.”
Though the Justice League star had completed treatment in March for alcohol addiction, which he opened up about in a March 14 Facebook post, he knew trouble was looming in September after months of sinking back into old habits.
“There wasn’t a specific instance that made him check into a facility,” says the confidant. “It was more of a prevention. People in his life knew he needed a treatment that was more serious than what he was currently getting.”
With encouragement from Garner and his 42-year-old brother Casey, who is sober, he entered an inpatient 30-day program September 25. There, “he got into a great headspace,” says the Affleck source. “He has learned that dealing with his addiction is an ongoing battle. He understands he cannot just wake up one morning and say, ‘OK, we’re all done.’ Treatment is like a job.”
Now, he’s feeling his strongest. Though Affleck checked himself out after just five days — “he realized it wasn’t the best scenario for him and he was allowed to go,” says the source — he is now actively participating in outpatient programs. (He was seen leaving Buddhist meditation therapy Against the Stream in L.A. October 4.)
“He knows he can’t get through this all alone,” says the source. “His slip-ups have affected his loved ones, but the good thing is that he’s making strides toward recovery. Friends and family have never seen Ben so proactive and serious about wanting to get better.”
Improving his health also means improving his relationship with his kids. “Ben will do whatever it takes to be a great parent,” says the Affleck insider.
And, as always, Garner has his back on that mission. Adds the first source. “She wants her kids to have the best dad possible, and Jen knows Ben can be that person.”
For more on Affleck’s road to recovery, pick up the new issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.
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