My husband is a sports fanatic! He likes playing sports, watching sports, and loves competition. Baseball. Football. Basketball. Hockey. Obstacle Course Racing Well, he does draw the line at soccer. But, he knows quite a bit of what is going on in the soccer world for not being a fan.
I enjoy sports, somewhat. I played basketball in high school for a few years before deciding not to try out for the team to spend more time with my boyfriend (who is now my husband). And, I have great memories of smelling chili cooking on the stove while my dad watched football on a cold Sunday afternoon. And who can grow up in Michigan without having memories of watching the Lions lose for years?
While I like sports, my husband’s passion for sports far exceeds what I can understand. But, I realized early on that this was an area I could use to connect with my husband instead of letting it separate us. So, if your husband is a sports fanatic and you aren’t, here are some things you can do to connect with him and enter his world of sports.
1. Join a fantasy league with him
Join a fantasy team with him and have your own team. My husband and his friends started a fantasy football league 15 years ago. It was almost all husbands and wives. Several years ago we actually played in two leagues. And, I am guessing I am one of the only few that have drafted a fantasy football team while nursing a newborn!
There are fantasy leagues for every sport. You can spend money on it or do it for free. You can have a league with friends or join one online with strangers. The options are pretty open.
I like watching football, but only to a certain extent. But, during our fantasy season, it gives me more incentive to watch with my husband because I can cheer for the players on my team. I even won our league one year!
2. Read about sports
Years ago I started reading my husband’s subscription to Sports Illustrated. At first, I only read the little tidbit sections instead of the long sports articles. And, there’s usually one “feel good” story about someone overcoming something difficult in life that I always enjoyed. But, then I started reading some of the bigger sports articles as well. It gave me something to talk to my husband about that he was interested in.
Read something about a sport your husband likes and then ask his thoughts on it. For example ask him, “Who do you think the best sleeper in the NFL is going to be this year?” Then, have a few names that you think could be and share them with him. If he isn’t used to taking an interest in what he likes then this might catch him off guard.
You don’t need a subscription to a magazine, just go online and start looking. And by the way, if you have a subscription to Sports Illustrated you can request to not receive the Swimsuit issue, which I recommend doing for obvious reasons (no one needs that in their house).
3. Go to a game together
I have enjoyed a Tigers baseball game with my husband on a nice summer evening and stayed for the fireworks after, and I have shivered in the rain/snow/sleet with my wet jeans clinging to my legs to watch a late season UofM football game in The Big House.
Do you have to enjoy the sport to go to the game? Nope. But, try it with a good attitude and you might find that you have a great time. I wasn’t a baseball fan until I went to the Tigers game with my husband. After that, I started to enjoy the sport a lot more.
4. Surprise him with tickets to see his favorite team
When I was dating my husband I once set my alarm so I could wake up in the middle of the night to get online and buy him tickets for a Michigan football game. I wanted to make sure that I was ready when they first went on sale to get good seats. It was so worth it to see how excited he was when I gave him the tickets.
5. Find a sport to play together
There are all sorts of coed leagues for all sorts of sports: church softball, dodgeball leagues, kickball leagues, sport and social clubs in cities, bowling, tennis, run together, bike together, signup for a Spartan Race (this is on my list for 2019). Get out and compete/participate together.
Sports might not be “your type of thing”, but if they are your husband’s then it’s your responsibility as a wife to take an interest in it. In the book, A Severe Mercy, Sheldon Vanauken shares a key element of his relationship with his wife:
“Look,” we said, “what is it that draws two people into closeness and love? Of course there’s the mystery of physical attraction, but beyond that it’s the things they share. We both love strawberries and ships and collies and poems and all beauty, and all those things bind us together. Those sharings just happened to be; but what we must do now is share everything. If one of us likes anything, there must be something to like in it – and the other one must find it – every single thing that either of us likes. That way we shall create a thousand strands, great and small, that will link us together. Then we shall be so close that it would be impossible – unthinkable – for either of us to suppose that we could ever recreate such closeness with anyone else. And our trust in each other will not only be based on love and loyalty, but on the fact of a thousand sharings – a thousand strands twisted into something unbreakable.”
Wow! I love that. Entering your husband’s world (even the world of sports) helps create such a bond that he won’t be able to imagine any other person being able to fill that place.
That is why it’s worth taking an interest and making an effort at something that you wouldn’t naturally care about. What ways do you enter your husband’s world?