My husband has addiction issues, but not to drugs or alcohol like you probably thought upon reading that. His addiction can only be fed during the same six months of the year, sending him into withdrawals for the other six months. He jumps aboard the bandwagon with all the others who can’t live without the sounds of the play calls shouted over the roar of the crowd waiting for the hike. Or the sight of pig leather spiraling through the air, hoping the beastly players on the home team can scramble out from under a pile of opponents to catch the ball and run it in for the touchdown, only to break into an audacious celebration the crowds can’t get enough of.
Yes, I’m talking about football. My husband’s addiction is to the game, just like a gazillion other guys all across the United States. Only he goes a step further than being just an obsessive fan for one team in particular. He loves his home team, but he follows the whole league passionately. He doesn’t just know the starting lineup players’ names. He knows them all. Professional level and college level. Coaches, owners, and important team history. The whole hubbub and shebang of football season is the only life source which sustains him from August to January.
I have resigned myself to the all-inclusive glory of the sport for the love of my husband. I have chosen to embrace this almighty and powerful sport coursing through his veins and accepted his addiction as a part of his genetic code. If your significant other is also from the same Set-Hut-Hike Genetic Mutation pool, there are a few rules you should follow to keep the lines of communication open and the love flowing in your relationship throughout football season:
Acceptance Will Keep The Peace
Making a conscious decision to take their obsession with football at face value will keep the harmony in tune. Everyone has their own quirks, habits, passions, and talent which can consume their very existence to some extent. We typically accept these things as a crucial part of the fabric with which we’re woven, making us the unique individuals we are. Football fandom included.
If you can’t understand the fact that the love of the game is in their blood, you better walk away now. If you do accept this, you will come to discover how attractive it can be to see your love so deeply engrossed in a private paradise of grunting men banging into each other and chasing one another down over an oddly shaped ball.
Sex, Beer, and Food
Okay, it’s not as crazy as it sounds. What are the three things we all know men love? Good sex, good beer, and good food. Give them ample doses of all three quite often to balance out the constant absorption of this glorified game of catch. Just don’t attempt to have sex during the football game. His rejection might not go over so well with you. And let’s be thankful the roles aren’t reversed here because we all know women never like the same three things consistently enough for a man to choose correctly. Maybe that’s why we do what we do and change our minds as often as our clothes!
Save The Dates
What I mean is, do NOT make plans, schedule appointments, or become emotionally needy on Monday nights, Thursday nights, or anytime after one o’clock p.m. on a Sunday. You also need to find the game roster for whichever college teams your addict favors because there are very few days of the week you won’t find a college game being played. What I’m really saying here is save the date nights for after football season and all will be well. You’ll save yourself the world’s biggest migraine from trying to beat reminders into his helmet-head.
Role-Playing Turns Him On
There’s nothing your football-season-loving maniac will appreciate more than a partner who pulls on the pleated miniskirt and bouncing blonde ponytail persona to cheer on their favorite teams. (I don’t expect any of us to actually look the part this far removed from our 21st birthdays, but surely we can play it so much better now!)
Watching the most anticipated games of the football season alongside them and actively participating in the commentary with some basic knowledge of rules and terminology will earn you mega brownie points. For them, it’s a much-appreciated display of love in their preferred language. Way more so than attempting a romantic getaway for two in a remote cabin in the woods without even the weakest Wi-Fi signal to stream the Super Bowl on a signal-less iPhone.
Be Their Support System
Now, as wonderful as it may sound for it never to happen, every team loses a game now and again — some more than others. When this inevitably happens, you’ll have to pull out the therapist persona and stay strong for them. This is an opportune time to refer back to #2.
Smother them with all the things they love outside football season to ease the pain. They will need lots of sympathy and validation to get past the loss of a higher stakes game, like rivalries and championship series. The loss of a Super Bowl can even send them into a state of grieving. They will need to go through the steps to get back to themselves. Overdramatic crybabies they may be at times, but who are we to deny something they feel so passionately in their heart?
Keeping these basic rules in mind will keep your relationship going long and strong throughout the season of turf churning, helmet clashing, touchdown celebrating football. Come February, the pigskin junkies will be in full-blown withdrawal again and football season will only be every other thought on their mind once more.
Until then, bring on the football, because we women got game of our own!