Something I didn’t quite notice (or maybe I didn’t care) when my husband and I were dating is how much of a sports junkie he is. Sure, he played a little high school football and he ran track. Sure, he has a lifelong addiction to the Los Angeles Lakers and adds their games to his Outlook calendar. But it never seemed to bother me until we had kids.
Now that we have two children, it’s harder for me to understand his desire to be plopped on the couch allll day on Sunday to catch his favorite teams””from pregame commentary to “Outside the Lines” to ESPN Classic to the afternoon games, to post-game commentary, to the pregame commentary for the evening games. It’s insanity.
I was so excited last year at the prospect of having TWO professional sports leagues in a lockout. That was glorious. Until I noticed that my husband was beginning to watch baseball and golf and track. Uh-uh.
So I always have to try to remember when his favorite teams are playing or the dates of the NBA Finals, Super Bowl, and of course March Madness. I used to like sports but am nowhere near the fanatic my husband is. I can usually watch perhaps one game a week and that’s enough for me. With the championship game tonight, I thought I might offer a couple of tips that has helped my marriage tremendously.
For the sports fan:
You love sports. And that’s okay. No one is trying to make you change. However, the main problem your spouse has with you is either 1) how much time being a sports fan takes up or 2) how much passion you have for the game that you may not display toward your marriage. Or maybe it’s both.
If it’s the first item, make sure you are still productive while the game is on. My husband has designated Sunday as laundry day, and he washes and folds 3-4 loads of laundry while watching the game. I’m not as stressed any more because I know that’s one less thing I have to do. Find something that’s helpful and do it while the game is on – whether it’s packing the kids’ lunches, vacuuming, laundry, etc. I also want you to assess if you truly need to watch every game that’s on. How about you just watch the evening games and pre-show commentary? As I always tell my husband, “The Lakers won’t keep you warm at night!”
If it’s the second item, you need to make sure you make your spouse feel special all the time, but particularly before the game. Give them a back rub. Make their favorite dinner. Let them get out of the house without the kids for a couple hours.
For the non sports fan:
You don’t love sports. And that’s okay. I’m not suggesting you have to sit and watch the game all day like your spouse does. But what I am suggesting is that you let it go. If they like sports, let them like it without worrying about you stomping around the house for two hours.
Here’s my advice – find something else to do, preferably something that gets you out of the house. Or, suggest that your sports-loving spouse heads to a friend’s house or to BW3 to catch the game amongst their sports-loving friends. The more you make it a big deal, the more they’ll dig in and you’ll both be frustrated. As is the key with most things in marriage, communication and patience is key.
Do you and your spouse clash during football/basketball/baseball season?