Addiction is a lifelong battle and nobody knows that better than Melanie Griffith, who has visited rehab three times in her lifetime.
Luckily, she's got a great family to give her the support she needs to keep fighting the good fight.
In the November issue of AARP Magazine, Melanie and her husband, Antonio Banderas, give separate, but equally revealing interviews about their marriage.
While Antonio openly admits they "have had as many problems as anybody", one thing is clear, their 15-year marriage is as strong as ever.
Recalling her first encounter with Banderas on the set of the 1995 film Too Much, she said:
"The first thing he asked me was my age. I said, 'That's the rudest thing anyone has asked me first.' But there was something about him. Still is. I just love him."
Perhaps the strength is partly due to their ability to remain open to each other and their kids, instead of attempting to mask the issues.
Speaking about his wife's addiction problems, Antonio says they have "never hidden it" from their 15-year-old daughter Stella or Melanie's older children from previous relationships, Alexander and Dakota. He explained:
"The pretending is the worst, because kids are so smart. They can see through all of those things, and if you don't talk openly about problems, it creates a very dark place. They carry that through the rest of their lives, to their marriages, to their kids."
After Melanie's third admission into rehab two years ago, Antonio insists in his version of events that the whole family participated in her recovery and "did all the therapies together."
She remembers the experience differently, however, and revealed:
"I'm sorry to say, that's in his mind. … I started on pain pills when I hurt my knee skiing and just kept taking them. The kids knew; Dakota and Stella called me on it. Antonio was in London at the time. I went away to rehab for three months; it took 10 days just to detox. We had two family weeks there, but we didn't follow through. Antonio was supportive to the extent that he can be, but if you're not an alcoholic or drug addict, and you find out that your wife is a bad one, it's hard to deal with. … I wish he would go to a meeting with me or to Al-Anon, but it's very foreign to him. Addiction runs in my family but not in his."
Even though he may not have been as supportive as she would have liked, she doesn't blame him and can only praise his loyalty, adding:
"I don't mean that against him. I would like him to do more, but it's a difficult thing to have happen in any family, and in that way he has been totally by my side. He really is the greatest guy."
Marriage really is for better and for worse. It's clear these two understand that and we couldn't be happier for them!
Tags: aarp, antonio banderas, children, drug addiction, husband, interview, melanie griffith, rehab, wife