Dear Dr. Buckingham,
My husband and his friends range from 40-52 (All married or living with someone). During football season, they turn into drunken clowns and buffoons. They use the NFL as an excuse to drink excessively and hang out 8+ hours every Sunday. They all drink and drive and have a CDL license. I can’t take it anymore! Now it’s spilling over to Thursday nights coming home late from work. I’m sick of the Bro-love fest! I CANNOT go thru another NFL season. The NFL Season is Turning Me Against My Husband: Am I Overreacting?
Dear Dallas Texas,
You are entitled to how you feel about the NFL season and its impact on your marriage, so I do not think that you are overacting. Nevertheless, I do not believe that you will get the empathetic response that you desire from your husband if you present with name calling and belittling.
A large percentage of men watch football with the fellows on a regular basis because they need some escape time. They need to escape from work and other potential stressors in order to rejuvenate. Sometimes they over indulge in this activity, but not with the intent of neglecting their women. However, I have seen some husbands create disharmony in their marriages in order to preserve the “Bro-love fest”. Some women struggle to understand this phenomenon and often feel like their husbands care more about football and their boys then they do them.
The best way to approach the situation with your husband is to express your concerns about his safety and the increased distance in the marriage. Avoid talking about his commitment to football. If you begin with football talk and how much time he spends with his friends, he will probably become defensive and shut the conversation down. Your primary objective is to get him to listen to you and talk about the issue. The best way to accomplish this objective is to approach the issue from a team perspective. Let him know that you are on his team and want what is best for him.
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The concept behind football is to work as a team. Working as a team requires good communication. Ask him if you all can talk about some concerns that you have and begin the conversation by asking questions instead of complaining. Such questions could include:
- How do you think we are doing?
- Are you aware of anything that could cause tension in our marriage?
- If I could do one thing to make you happier what would it be?
- Do you notice a change in my mood during a particular season?
The purpose of these questions is to get him to think about the marriage and to build a spirit of collaboration. You need him to be on offense, not defense during the conversation. As you end the conversation, give him solutions not ultimatums or a statement of terms. This is important because if he rejects your ultimatums, the result will be a further breakdown in the marriage.
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Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.