NFL Star Ben Roethlisberger's Addiction Battles Don't Make Him the Best Father and Husband

Oyin Balogun
Mar 08, 2021
07:40 A.M.

NFL star Ben Roethlisberger had a rough couple of years where he battled addiction. This took a toll on his home and marriage. However, he was able to retrace his steps and make better decisions thanks to his wife, Ashley Harlan.


When Ben Roethlisberger, also known as Big Ben, joined the NFL playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers, his charismatic and bold manner of playing on the field endeared him to the hearts of many.

The Quarterback was able to steal many hearts with his dedication to the game. Many in Pittsburgh drooled over him and wanted to be associated with him. Sadly, the fame and pomp got into his head, leading to a decline in the hype.

Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers in action against the Washington Football Team on December 8, 2020 | Photo: Getty Images

Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers in action against the Washington Football Team on December 8, 2020 | Photo: Getty Images

At some point, Ben began to misbehave. There were many accusations levied against him, especially by women who had been in contact with him. Ben was in the news for the wrong reasons.

Some of those included the alleged sexual harassment of a hotel worker and a college student at a party. This addiction to partying and a wild life soon began to affect his time on the field, and something needed to be done about it.


After a series of sit-downs with his team, he decided to put his life together, and this time, he had the help of his then-girlfriend Ashley Harlan, who later became his wife.


One of the many things Ben was addicted to was the fast and dangerous life. From riding motorcycles without helmets to throwing wild parties, there was no stopping him.


Ben once suffered an accident while riding a bike that required him to have almost seven hours of surgery. It is possible to assume that Ben would become more cautious following the accident and begin using his helmets, but that was not the case.

He was recorded on several occasions riding without a helmet. During his 28th birthday, Ben threw a massive party in a gated community in Eatonton, Georgia, that saw students from Georgia College and State University in attendance.


It was at this party Ben was accused of sexually harassing a 20-year-old student who had come for the party. Although he denied the allegations and things were swept under the rug, another incident at Harrah's Lake Tahoe raised eyebrows.

Ben was once again accused of harassing a worker named Andrea McNulty. The management was able to take care of the case, but Ben was fast losing his credibility, with many admitting he was nothing but trouble.



When an episode of "South Park" aired back in 2010 with an episode called "Sex Addicts Anonymous Progam," which shed light on Ben and the likes of Tiger Woods, Charlie Sheen, and Bill Clinton, Ben knew it was time to change his life.

He admitted that he truly had a sex addiction problem and hoped that his being on the show would help him win back many Americans' hearts.


Ben expressed that he wanted to see his name cleared, and he was trying to be on his best possible behavior as he realized that his former lifestyle hurt those close to him, especially the ones he loved.

Also, following the college student's case, Ben apologized, saying that although he did not have an alcohol problem, he needed to know when to be smart about his consumption.

He admitted that he got caught up in the whole Big Ben facade, which was honestly not his personality. He added that he would live up to a better representation of himself while being a role model to many who need to get their life together.


He also stated that his way of living affected his teammates as he did not truly understand what teamwork meant. He tendered his heartfelt apologies to all those he had wronged and promised to make a change. Amazingly, Ben has kept to that promise ever since.


One thing that has helped Big Ben maintain this lifestyle of change is his faith in God. He decided to become born again and commit his off-field addictions into God's hands as he knew that he could not do it independently.


Ever since giving his life to Christ, Ben has been working tirelessly to ensure that he does not take credit for his successes. He always gives God credit. His faith in God has become one of the strong pillars in his life.

Next to that is Ben's wife, Ashley Harlan. The pair dated for quite a while before deciding to settle down. Their on-and-off relationship became cemented when they walked down the aisle back in 2011.


The couple decided to keep their marriage away from public scrutiny. Through Ben's career's ups and downs, one person who was by his side was Ashley.

She allegedly expressed that she would firmly support his decision. Also, she would be at his side and encourage him despite the downtimes.

In 2012, the pair welcomed a baby boy, and Ben admitted that having a son made him see life from a different perspective. He began to understand what it meant to care for someone and have them look up to him.

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