My husband is a sports fanatic! He likes playing sports, he loves competition, and he enjoys watching sports. Baseball. Football. Basketball. Hockey. Well, he does draw the line at soccer, but he still know 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). 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.
- Join a fantasy league with him. But have your own team. My husband and his friends started a fantasy football league almost 10 years ago. It was almost all husbands and wives. Last year we actually played in two leagues and I am guessing I am probably one of the only people to draft my fantasy football team while nursing my 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. 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!
- 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 is usually one “feel good” story about someone overcoming something difficult in life, but now I try to read some of the bigger sports articles as well. This gives me something to talk about with my husband that he is interested in. Read something about a sport he is interested in and then ask him his thoughts on it. For example, what does your husband think about Brady getting suspended with no hard evidence? (Not sure what I am talking about? Google it and then talk about it). 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).
- 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 U of M 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.
- 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 (back when they were still good) 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.
- 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 Tough Mudder or Warrior Dash. Get out and compete/participate together.
Sports might not be “your type of thing”, but if they are your husband’s then it is 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 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?