The Cherries let the forward return to his former club Wolverhampton Wanderers on a loan deal for the remainder of the season.
Having found himself struggling for starts at the Vitality Stadium this season, Afobe was eager to return to Molineaux to get more game time.
Howe has revealed he was reluctant to allow the 24-year-old to leave the club but understands Afobe's decision.
He told The Echo: "Letting him go was a decision I didn't really want to make but the player felt he needed football so it was something I reluctantly agreed to.
"He was keen to play and I think part of that was that he was keen to score and do well. You always want players to want to achieve individually, that has to be there.
"Sometimes you have to make them understand their opportunity will come and they have to be patient and develop behind the scenes.
"Sometimes they have to wait behind players performing very well ahead of them.
"But sometimes it's very difficult to convince players of that if they don't see an opportunity coming and I think Benik was in that situation."