Millions of men in the U.S. love football.
In fact, even though many wives may roll their eyes, football season is perhaps one of the most exciting for husbands across the nation as they get ready for their favorite teams to hit the gridiron.
(Important note: Many wives enjoy football just as much as their husbands do, some even more. If that’s the case at your house, enjoy the upcoming season! If game time is a shared interest, it can strengthen your marriage … that is, if you’re rooting for the same team! But if you are less than enthusiastic about the impending onslaught of games and fantasy football leagues, read on.)
The onset of football season is exciting for most men. In truth, many wish it were a year-round sport, or at least had a longer season like hockey, basketball, or baseball. Even before the season starts, the TV is locked on any channel showing games from the past.
For many men, it doesn’t matter the day of the week, football is on the brain or the television. Families plan meals around game start times or during half-time. Date nights (if they happen during the season) may fall on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday because of all of the great games on the weekend.
Families make adjustments. But football season has the potential to create a big divide in marriages if husbands and wives are operating with different expectations. It’s not just about the pigskin. Sometimes wives and husband have trouble sharing time with each other’s hobbies or interests no matter what they are.
So, how can you do it?
How can couples successfully manage football season when one can’t wait for the next game, and the other sees it as an intrusion on life? Here are seven “plays” to run that will keep penalty flags away if football is a huge part of your family.
- Have a conversation and come to an agreement on a reasonable number of games to take in during the week. Football-loving husbands, be realistic. Take-it-or-leave-it wives, don’t be stingy.
- If you are the football-loving spouse, write the games you’re planning to watch each week on the calendar. If you’re not, commit to watching at least part of one game with your spouse each week. (You may find that you enjoy watching them enjoy the game as much as they enjoy the game.)
- For women who don’t know (and perhaps don’t really care) about all the rules of the game, try asking questions. Warning: Only do this during time-outs or commercials. He will probably really enjoy man-splaining the intricacies of his favorite sport.
- Go together to a local game or watch one at home as a date night. Or go to a favorite restaurant and watch the game together there.
- Make sure to balance other activities that you and your kids like to do. Don’t let football be the only activity in your house.
- Use football as an analogy to talk about things in your marriage, like the “wins” you share together when you work as a team.
- Talk about the importance of investing a similar amount of time in keeping your marriage strong. Register for a marriage class at your church that happens on a night games usually don’t take place.
Football season doesn’t have to be a drain on your marriage.
Clear communication, reasonable expectations, and the proper balance of football and investing in your marriage and family can help you have a winning season.