How To Survive the Football Season
“Six months out of every year, I might as well be made of stone. Six months out of every year when I’m with him I’m alone.”
That’s the song “Six Months Out of Every Year” from Damn Yankees, a musical that deals– in part – with the perils of being married to a hardcore sports fan. The song is about baseball, but the sentiment works for any sport.
This time of year, that sport is football. From the first pre-season matches in August through Super Bowl Sunday at the start of February, pretty much every Sunday is game day. (And that’s not counting the Monday and Thursday games.)
Football is a big part of fall culture, and you may revel in the season, even incorporating it into your country décor.
But if you’re a football widow – or widower (40 percent of the NFL’s fan base is female) this might feel like a lonely time of year.
“There are three of us in my marriage: my husband, me and the Jets,” said self-described football widow Rachel Rabkin Peachman.
Writing in Women’s Day, she described how her husband’s love of the New York Jets had invaded their marriage. When her family gathered to celebrate her parents’ 40th anniversary, Peachman’s husband cut the trip short to visit the Jets’ nearby training camp.
She knew what she was getting into when they got married, but that didn’t make things much easier. “Falling in love with my football fan had been easy; falling in love with football, not so much,” she wrote.
But she’s learned to deal with her husband’s fandom, and you can too. Peachman closed her essay by offering a few tips to help survive your spouse’s love of football.
1. Find some allies
Peachman suggests inviting other couples who root for your spouse’s team and turning game day into a party. If you and the other couples all have younger children, you have “a ready-made playdate.”
2. Say goodbye to gift-giving confusion
Here’s one of the up sides of living with a football fanatic: If your husband is a die-hard, through-thick-and-thin fan, he’ll be pleased with any sort of team-related gifts: mugs, shirts, jerseys, hats or – if you’re really feeling generous – game tickets.
3. Get your kids involved
Get your kids to watch the game with their dad/mom, whether that means going to the stadium or just seeing it on TV. It gives them a chance to bond, and gives you time to yourself at home. Use the opportunity to read a book, work in your garden, or decorate for the holidays.
4. Make a trade
If you’re willing to indulge their need to spend the season with their team, they’ll be more open to letting you spend time with your friends, or take up a new hobby or activity.
5. Give the game a chance
If you haven’t already watched the game, give it a shot. Maybe you’ll catch your spouse’s football fever, and learn to share their passion for the game. (If you find yourself at a lot of games, be sure to check out our line of fall clothing to stay cozy while you cheer on your team.)
Aside from these five tips, here are a few other ways to make life with a hardcore football fan more bearable:
- “Watch” the game. By that we mean stay in the same room, but read a book or play a game on your phone/tablet or shop online. If anything really good happens out on the field, you can see the instant replay.
- If there’s a problem or important conversation you need to have, don’t wait until game day to bring it up.
- Check out the team’s schedule beforehand. If you know there’s an important date that coincides with a game, you can have the DVR ready to go.
- Feel free to check out on game day. Go for a hike, join a book club, or have dinner with your friends.
- Finally, be patient. Football season only lasts a few months.