Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fan of Fall Season Not Cheering For Football

Dear Tazi-Kat:

I am what people would call a “football widow”, and I absolutely hate it!  Every weekend, from September to Super Bowl Sunday my husband is glued to the TV, watching college football on Saturdays and professional football on Sundays.  He even gets up early to make sure his house chores (yard work, car maintenance, and odd jobs) are complete before the games begin.  If the Rhody Rams or the New England Patriots are playing at home, he goes to the games in person and I do not even get to see him until after the post-game revelries are over.  Autumn is my favorite time of year and I would love to go apple picking, to harvest festivals and state fairs, and to seasonal craft shows; but I hate going alone so I end up just staying home. 

Admittedly, I knew he was a football junkie before I married him (we actually met at a University of Rhode Island football game), but I thought his obsession would wan as he got older and his interests matured.  Tazi, short of cutting the cord to the television and tearing up his season tickets, is there any way to get my husband to lay off the football and get a life?

Fed Up With Football

Dear Fed Up:

It would appear that, to your husband, football is life and that he feels he has no need to get one.  As for "maturing interests", what do you find so immature about watching sports?  Or is your husband one of those men who paints his face in team colors and dresses up like the mascot for every game?

In order to answer your question, I must ask a question of you: Does your husband have any interest in going apple picking, to harvest festivals and state fairs, and to seasonal craft shows; or would he sooner shove ice picks under his toenails than attend any of these types of events?  Would you be willing to watch or attend some of the games with him, as a way of spending time together; or would you prefer the ice pick pedicure?

Not all married couples share all of the same interests, and that is okay.  By maintaining a strong sense of self, you are able to maintain your individuality, which is what originally attracted your husband to you and you to him.  Too often, when we go along to get along, we lose a part of ourselves and resentment builds; especially when we are sacrificing something we enjoy doing for something we do not.  This appears to be the extreme you have gone to in order to accommodate your husband’s interests; however, I do see room for compromise on both sides.

You mention that your husband wakes up early to complete his house chores before the games begin (football widows everywhere are cheering him, as this is generally not the norm).  This shows that he understands that there are priorities equal to or more important than football.  You should be one of those priorities, too.

The beauty of football is that, unlike other sports, the games are only once a week and the season only lasts for five months out of the year (including professional, post-season games).  It has the shortest season of any of the four major professional sports (baseball, basketball, and hockey being the other three).  There are also BYE weeks (weeks when a team does not play), late games, and night games.  On occasions such as these, you and your husband should be able to spend time together doing things that you both enjoy.  On days when your husband has plans to go to a home game, there is nothing stopping you from getting together with friends and family to do the things that you enjoy.  

In a marriage – as with any relationship – communication and compromise are keys to continued success.  A few sessions with a marriage counselor could give your relationship a tune-up, and help each of you see the other’s point of view.  If you or your husband would prefer, you can think of the counselor as a "marital referee".


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