On December 19, 2015 my husband and I will celebrate 17, count em, 17 years of mostly marital bliss. I want to tell you that after 17 years I’ve finally learned the secret to staying successfully married and living happily ever after. But in doing so I’d be flat-out lying. I am still trying to win the same arguments with my husband we started having 17 years ago when we first wed–which is learning to live with his sports addiction.
My husband could happily subsist in a mud hut with one pair of jeans and a t-shirt as long as he had a transistor radio that could broadcast ANY AM sports talk radio station. The man lives and breathes sports and the minutiae of dissecting each and every play. Ladies let me say, I was always under the impression that men do not over-analyze any situation. And then I found out about this 24/7 sports culture where ALL these men do is talk, analyze and pontificate about each and every play, both past, present and future. And my husband, well, he LIVES for it.
So of course it’s fair to ask, did I know my husband had this “addiction” when we met?The answer, yes and no. I think when you first meet someone you try and keep what might be construed as obsessive behaviors under wraps. So sure my husband occasionally listened to sports radio stations, but I had no idea that following our marital vows EACH and every night for the next 17 years I’d be listening to sports talk radio all night long. The things we do for love…right?
You might also think, after all these years of hearing sports figureheads rehashing games, plays, injuries and trends that I’d have a better grasp on the world of sports. Well, in that case you would be mightily misguided.
I still have not been able to figure out the whole first down system in football. I’m still trying to get the gist of a pick and roll in basketball and for the LIFE of me I can’t understand why on earth anyone would put so much energy on a ball making contact with a bat. But I digress…
In an effort to strengthen our marital vows, this year my husband and I have decided to turn over new leaves, so to speak. My husband has promised that he will try to take more of a vested interest in programs that I’m passionate about and therefore I have told him I will do the same in kind, aka, and at the very least try to understand sports terminology.
So far I have tried to live up to my part of our bargain. My husband has drafted a cheat sheet for me, explaining in great detail, all these sports terms that have escaped me, he’s even drawn diagrams.
And instead of reverting to our separate rooms as soon as I turn on the television he has sat with me on the couch as I’ve tried to share my fascination with pretty much every movie shown on the Lifetime Television network. In fact I think he is FINALLY beginning to understand why Meredith Baxter’s portrayal of Betty Broderick is still one of the most riveting performances I’ve ever had the opportunity of watching. Okay, maybe he is not completely on board with my Betty Broderick obsession, but at least he’s trying to understand it.
And when we are sitting in bed, instead of expending 99 percent of our pillow talk on the kids, bills, the dogs, bills, laundry, bills; well, you get the gist, we have been reviewing sports plays of the day and then watching a total chick flick TOGETHER. And by the end of January I am confident I will be all set for Superbowl Sunday and we will have watched The Notebook.
We’re taking those baby steps, one day at a time and it feels good having the tenor of the moment be just about the two of us fulfilling our needs, pursuing a shared interest or even just waxing about our hopes and dreams (you know, the way we used to, pre-kids, mortgage and lawn care).
So what are you doing right now to reignite that spark that has been dormant in your marriage and was the catalyst for this family you hold so dear?