7 ways to make game day victorious—even when your wife hates sports
A guy has to wonder what he’s gotten himself into when one month after he’s married, he takes his bride to a football game…and she brings a cookbook to read.
That’s when Rich and Kathy knew they would face challenges in their marriage. And 40 years later, they will tell you that, although the challenges have diminished, they are still hanging around.
Rich was raised on sports and to him, sports events brought family together. Kathy was raised in a home where her dad spent a lot of time watching sports, and to her, sports caused family division.
Sounds like a recipe for lots of fights, doesn’t it? How does a husband manage his love for his wife and his love for sports, without neglecting either one? How does a crazy-about-sports man keep a not-crazy-about-sports wife happy?
Rich offers these suggestions for handling the conflicts that arise from these two opposites:
- Make your wife #1. “I’m thankful for DVR!” laughs Rich. “She needs to know she is #1 on my love list and that I choose doing something with her over watching an important game in real time.” Before DVR? “I made some sacrifices,” he admits. But he found that when he made a sacrifice for Kathy, she in turn gladly sacrificed back by joining him in front of the TV for a game.
- Recognize personality differences. Rich gets energized by reading or relaxing in front of a game. Kathy by being with people. Understanding their differences helps them deal with conflicts.
- Make sports a family event. Rich started taking the kids to games when they were very young. This gave Mom time alone and Dad time with the kids. Besides making great family memories, he succeeded in raising 4 healthy sports fans.
- Make sports a social event. For Rich, having people over to watch a game was a win-win situation. Kathy, a very social person, loved having the people and Rich loved having a fan base.
- Plan ahead. Kathy has learned to ask ahead about when important games are when planning an event. Rich has learned to inform her when an important game is coming up if he thinks she might be planning something. Pre-planning can prevent conflicts.
- Look for compromises. For Rich, it sometimes means watching a game with the sound down when guests are over or if Kathy wants to talk. They also invested in a second TV for the office adjacent to the TV room; they can watch separate TVs and still be close enough to each other to have a conversation!
- Learn to give and take. “In any marriage, there will be things about your spouse that bug you,” says Rich. “You simply have to decide you will love and accept him/her anyway.”
- Keep a balance. Be intentional about balancing family/spouse time with TV sports time. There’s just no way around the fact that husbands will have to make some sacrifices to keep that balance.
With the ever-increasing opportunities to watch sports—cable, satellite, computer—it is literally possible to consume them 24/7. Because of that, Rich and Kathy still work at compromising and sacrificing to keep sports conflicts at a minimum. Their example is proof that it can be done!
As a coach’s wife for 27 years and a sports parent for 17, Janis Meredith writes a youth sports blog for sports parents to help them make sports a character building experience for their kids. Check out her blog jbmthinks.