The Real Reason Wives Dread the Football Season Turn things around with these 3 ways for wives to enjoy football, even if they hate it. BY BRETT WILLIAMS
Enjoy football season with your husband by getting his attention once again.
Are you ready for some football?
Yes, itís that time again when the sportscastersí blaring voices are only silenced by the even louder cheering or jeering of your husband and his buddies. Wives become widows, and the house seems to explode into a confection of beer, popcorn and chips. Itís a strange time: women are filled with a mix of joy for their man and frustration for themselves. Maybe "hate" is too strong a term, but many women resent this annual ritual of the all day marathon that is football. Has anyone ever asked the question, "Why arenít wives ready for some football?"
Is it the sounds, the mess or the excessive jubilance?
Itís all of these and none of these. Itís about love or, more accurately, about feeling unloved. Somewhere deep in our subconscious everyone has the basic sense to understand love as a form of attention. When your husband is fixed on the game, it probably feels like he doesnít care. Even if he can provide a pathetic rendition of what you said, any woman, including you, would still feel hurt because his attention is elsewhere.
One of the main reasons you probably hate football is because when the game is on, all of your husbandís attention goes to the TV. He becomes more alive and animated than he has ever been in your own marriage. Like it or not, the primitive part of your brain that understands the principle of love as attention feels hurt and unloved.
Because you may never have heard or been explained this simple principle, you are more than likely having a hard time expressing that when he comes alive watching TV, you feel unloved. Certainly your husband has no idea what youíre talking about (maybe in part because he is only half-listening). All he hears is that you hate football. To him, it sounds like you are unhappy whenever he is happy, so he feels like he can never win.
But it isnít the football! Every woman on the face of the planet would love to see her man happy. The problem is that you would like to see his eyes light up like that when you walk in the room and you would like to hear those kinds of cheers when you share your day.
Whatís important is that you understand the connection between love and attention. Try making it a date.
If you canít beat them, join them. First you will need to change the game to one of anticipation. You can do this by preparing ahead of time. Don matching jerseys, decorate with team colors, plan and prepare the menu for the game, clear the television viewing area and arrange the seats. Then use one of these three ideas that would work best for you.
1. Create a picnic with a blanket, candles, a basket and food. Every commercial put on a 3-minute timer and turn off the TV. Then, spend that time enjoying another course or part of your picnic.
2. Mute the TV all together and have your husband become the sportscaster explaining and sharing all the facets of the game. The key here, just like a sports commentator, will put his lips where they need to be, working every moment of the game. The nice part is that he'll be giving attention to you and will appreciate your interest in his beloved sport.
3. The rub down. Again using the timer, during every commercial break turn off the TV and spend those 3 minutes getting your feet, hands and back rubbed. This may seem like a tough sell, but if you're there enjoying the game with him, you'll be surprised what he's willing to do in return.
The key is to do all of these things together with a sense of anticipation and fun. Thatís what brings your attention and love to the situation. Be sure to celebrate your marriage and game with high fives, whoots and maybe even a kiss!
Brett Williams is the Clinical Director of HelpTalking.com, providing communication technical support to couples, and Executive Director of the non-profit OC Marriage, flooding Orange County, CA with marriage education classes. He is also the author of "You Can Be Right Or You Can Be Married." Find out more by going to http://www.helptalking.com/brett-williams.