Why Ben Affleck Puts His Children First: ‘These Years Are Too Important’
By Movieguide® Contributor
Ben Affleck recently shared how his children steer his decisions about future career projects.
The actor spoke about his move towards the production side of the industry, citing his children as the reason why he’s trying to expand his career while still staying in Los Angeles.
“One of the reasons I did it was, I’m divorced. I share custody. I don’t want to go to Austin and New Orleans and Georgia anymore and not see my kids,” Affleck explained.
Affleck shares Violet, 17, Seraphina, 14, and Samuel, 10, with ex-wife Jennifer Garner. He is also step-father to wife Jennifer Lopez’s 15 year-old twins Max and Emme.
“It just doesn’t work,” the actor said of traveling for work while also being a committed parent. “These years are too important. If I miss them, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life. And then I thought, ‘OK, well, if I’m in Los Angeles and I’m in an office and I’m doing this work, I can step out for the basketball game or the jazz performance.’ So I protect those things.”
Affleck shared that other people in the industry are taking his commitment to family “quite seriously.”
“As an actor, people look at you, like, ‘He doesn’t really mean that.’ But [in business] they treat it as sacrosanct. They’ll go, ‘Yeah, well, we were going to have that meeting with the heads of the Five Families, but you had your kid’s basketball game,’” he explained.
Affleck continued, “Now, my parents never came to one Little League game ever, once. But in the modern era of raising children, with three kids, 11, 14, and 17, and three schools with their individual activities, it turns out that is in and of itself a total full-time job.”
Movieguide® previously reported on Affleck’s dedication to his children:
Affleck himself grew up with an alcoholic father and didn’t want his children to experience the same pain.
“I really don’t want my children to pay for my sins or to be afraid for me which is one of the hard parts of being the child of an alcoholic,” Affleck told Diane Sawyer.
Despite her rekindled faith, Affleck’s drinking amplified their marriage problems.
“People with compulsive behavior, and I am one, have this kind of basic discomfort all the time that they’re trying to make go away,” he said. “You’re trying to make yourself feel better with eating or drinking or sex or gambling or shopping or whatever. But, that ends up making your life worse. Then, you do more of it to make that discomfort go away. Then the real pain starts. It becomes a vicious cycle you can’t break. That’s at least what happened to, me.”
His wake-up call came when he realized how drinking was destroying his family.
“I never thought I was gonna get divorced. I didn’t wanna be a divorced person. I really didn’t wanna be a split family with my children, and it upset me because it meant I wasn’t who I thought I was. And, that was so painful and so disappointing,” the actor said.
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