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Ben Affleck on alcoholism and rehab: 'It's about yourself, your life, your family'

In an interview with TODAY, the actor opens up about his battle with alcoholism and his pride in getting treatment for himself — and for those who love him.
/ Source: Today

Ben Affleck is an actor, writer, director and producer, but during a Monday morning visit to TODAY he was just as happy to speak up about a few other roles in his life — including being a father, an ex-husband and a recovering alcoholic.

"I mean, some people are sort of uncomfortable, but it doesn't really bother me to talk about alcoholism," the 46-year-old told Hoda Kotb. "Being an alcoholic is part of my life; it's something I deal with."

Just last summer, he dealt with it by successfully completing a 40-day stay in a treatment facility.

"It doesn't have to subsume my whole identity and be everything, but it is something that you have work at," he said of managing addiction. "I feel like I had a problem, I really wanted to address it and I take some pride in that."

He knows just how important addressing alcoholism is — and not just for his own sake.

"It's about yourself, your life, your family," he explained.

And for Affleck, family includes his ex-wife Jennifer Garner, whom he reached out to prior to entering rehab. In fact, she was the one behind the wheel of the car when he went to get treatment.

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"People, we encounter these kinds of hurdles and we have to deal with them," he said.

And it wasn't a shock to see Garner helping him deal with it. After all, the former couple remains close and continues to support each other as they raise their three children post-divorce.

Those children — Violet, 13, Seraphina, 10 and Samuel 7 — are the top priority for Affleck.

Actress Jennifer Garner poses with her children
Actress Jennifer Garner poses with her children Violet Affleck, Seraphina Rose Elizabeth Affleck and Samuel Garner Affleck at her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, August 20, 2018 in Hollywood, California.AFP/Getty Images

"I hope I'm a pretty good dad," he said. "I certainly try very hard. I'm lucky they've got a great mom and she helps out a great deal with making sure that we co-parent in as good a way as possible. I think dads are so important to kids and it's our responsibility to be there for them, to be present, to be mindful, to be attentive, to be part of their lives, to be as in it as moms."

He calls that his "central preoccupation in my life."

"It's what makes me happy, the rest of the stuff kind of follows," he said.

Affleck, who stars in the upcoming film "Triple Frontier," also continues to find happiness with his current relationship with Garner.

"Of course," he raved when asked if he still loved her. "She's wonderful. Somebody's the mother of your kids — they're going to be the most important, central person in your life."