The football season is in week 7, so my clients are sometimes upset with the state of their relationships, i.e., the distant stares, the one word answers, and the TV hogging. My husband is in three fantasy football leagues, so I totally get it.
My husband said to me recently, “Fantasy Football is the best thing that has ever happened to the NFL”. What he means is, Fantasy Football allows people to take on a new perspective when it comes to football. People who wouldn’t usually be interested in football now feel “apart of the team”. People who only watch “their team” now are watching three different games to see how their fantasy players stacked up against the competition. Fantasy Football is an exciting addition to the already aggressive American past time. But what about the wives, partners and significant others of these fantasy “coaches” who still don’t care about football?
We also have to take on a new perspective. Instead of the automatic responses, “he would rather watch football than be with me”, “he knows he doesn’t actually own the team, right?” or “if I sit and watch all of the games with him, then I will make him do something with me that he thinks is equally boring”, there is an opportunity to create a stronger relationship here despite the emotional distance.
First of all, you are not a scorekeeper. You are the assistant coach of the relationship. Saying and doing the things above minimizes your role in the relationship. Even if you aren’t in any fantasy leagues, your relationship with your significant other is much like being on the same team. The calls you make are equally important to your team’s success. Let’s experiment with some different calls you can make when you are in this situation. It’s game time.
Instead of the passive aggressive response: “Well, looks like I am on my own again for today!”
Try an assertive one: “I know you want to watch the game at 1 pm today, how about we plan a dinner together for afterwards?”
Or a sarcastic one: “Alright coach, I need you to give all of your attention to your team today. They really need you to pull them through. I’ll get out of your hair so that you have no distractions. I’ll be at the mall”.
Or, “If your team does well how are we going to celebrate?”
Also, practice vulnerability with your partner, it will improve intimacy and your bond in the long run, “I have been feeling kind of alone lately, can we schedule some time to be together without phones and TV’s?”
What other responses have you come up with that have worked well for you?
The above responses are just a few of your options aimed at bringing you and your partner/assistant coach together. Once the pressure of choosing between your team and the fantasy team is lifted, everyone will feel better.
Let me know what things have worked for you! I love new ideas! Comment below!