4 Ways To Keep Sports From Ruining A Marriage

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men playing soccer
How co-parenting and an equal marriage gave me the guilt-free space to be a huge sports fan.

I am a San Francisco Giants fan, which means I am a happy man today. My team just won the World Series for the first time in my lifetime. In fact, this is the first time a team I like in any sport has ever won a championship. I checked. It's been 108 seasons of active rooting misery.

Now, while I might seem the perfect candidate to be that sports guy... that obsessed fan who almost ruins a marriage... I'm not. In fact, my Swedish wife cooked me a celebratory dinner today. She told all her classmates at grad school, and my kids' preschool teachers, about the Giants' win. And she could care less about sports. Especially American sports.

Why the domestic tranquility on the sports front? I have four good guesses.

1. We have an equal relationship. John Keilman wrote this about "the New Man" in the Chicago Tribune a few weeks ago:

The New Man keeps a tidy home. He washes dishes, sweeps floors and does laundry with nary a peep of complaint. So when he and his buddies destroy a hotel room in Vegas, the missis will have to write it off as an aberration."

Exactly. We're talking about an evolving masculinity here, and our co-parenting lifestyle reflects that. Not that I destroy Vegas hotel rooms, but men can gain a lot from taking on more responsibility. Why One Dad Embraced A Reversal Of Gender Roles

2. I have watched hours and hours of America's Next Top Model and Project Runway. It makes no difference that I actually liked these shows once upon a time. What matters is that I passed up on many games to watch them. Instant credibility for when it really matters. You have to pick your battles. And anyway, I would take Tim Gunn over any NFL linebacker in a bar brawl.

3. She knows how important it is to me. Not how important the beer and the food is. Not how important the flat-screen TV is. No. She has heard the stories about how I went to Buffalo Bills games in the rain when I was 5. She's heard about those cold summer days at Candlestick Park. She knows how wrapped up this all gets with my own years playing football and baseball, and blowing my knees out and loving the hard contact. How To Manage His Love Of Football

4. We don't live in the U.S. This means that a huge chunk of games are on in the middle of the night. It means that I am not surrounded by other fans. It gives me—shudder—perspective. Who needs perspective with sports, right? Well, it turns out perspective is good. So a little conscious separation has been good for me.

Now if you will excuse me, I must continue weeping with joy and daydreaming about flying to San Francisco in order to watch a parade.

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