Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger's 2019 offseason was challenging for marriage, his wife Ashley says

The quarterback had a tumultuous 2019

Ashley Roethlisberger, the wife of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, detailed the difficulty of the 2019 season in the first episode of a docuseries focusing on the player.

Ben Roethlisberger suffered an injury during the second week of the season in 2019 and was out for the remainder of the year. Ashley Roethlisberger said the offseason going into the season was especially difficult because of the Antonio Brown controversy and the death of Darryl Drake, the late wide receiver's coach of the Steelers.

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“Last year's offseason was probably one of the most challenging offseasons that we've had in our marriage,” she said during the episode. “Personally, there were disappointments. Professionally, I understand criticism is part of the job. I get that. I wish it wasn't, but I get it. But last year seemed different.”

When the quarterback learned of the extent of his injury, he called Ashley to let her know what was going on. She said during the episode that she couldn’t believe it. She said she told her husband that if he wanted to retire, she’d understand.

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“I told him that I was only going to say this one time,” she said. “I wanted him to hear me and mark my words, not going to bring it up again, but if he felt content where he was with the career that he's had and it's on his heart to just be done, I would support him 100% in that. He doesn't have to worry about my feelings in all that. I want what he wants. I was basically just handing him permission to retire if that's where his heart was and I was going to support him in that.

“And he listened, and you could tell he really took it to heart and thought. And he said, 'Thank you, but I don't feel done. I'm not done.’”

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The series can be seen on YouTube.