Baseball is a popular way to escape reality
"Baseball is a popular way to escape reality," says Richard Drobnick, LCSW, DCSW of Mars & Venus Counseling Center, Bergen County, with offices in Ramsey, Oradell, and Teaneck, New Jersey. Richard Drobnick's counseling center ractices the philosophy of Dr.John Gray, best-selling author of "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.” www.marsvenusnewjersey.com “It’s great to focus on problems that seem bigger than your own. When a man believes that his screaming at the TV or painting his face to go to a live game will help his team, he is focusing on his team’s problems and not on his problems. He disengages from his everyday stressors.”
When talking about sports fanaticism, generally we are talking about men. Male fans aren't the only ones who fall deeply into baseball and/or sports fanaticism, but female fans are less likely to wrap their egos in the future of their team, says Drobnick.
Richard is also a die-hard baseball fan and understands this fanaticism; nevertheless, Drobnick still gives the following advice: It is very important to take a deep breath and realize it's still just a game. Life does not depend on a final score.
Male fans can become estranged from loved ones when the emotional thrill ride of watching an exciting game becomes too addictive. Not only do some men spend too much time watching, but if their team loses, a black cloud is over their heads for days on end. “If Team A defeats beloved Team B, men can be depressed for a day or two," Richard explains.
"If a man is obsessed with sports to the point that it takes him away from his girlfriend or wife, she'll feel low on his priority list," he says. And, without his realizing it, relationships, marriages, familial, and emotional ties may all weigh in the balance. The long-term cost of a man pulling away from his significant other to watch sports games can be resentment on the part of a woman.
To prevent this resentment, women need to understand and be ready for this possible post-game depression after a painful loss. "If a man feels that depression, a man may need 'cave time,' " Drobnick says. "He may need some alone time to deal with the loss of his team. And for a while a woman should not run after him to talk about it because it will make him feel worse. A woman has trouble understanding this, because when a woman talks about her problems, she feels better, which is opposite of a man."
Many times when women do not want to talk and they pull away, it means that they are upset with their partners. Women sometimes unconsciously think men pull away for the same reason, so when he continues to want to be alone, in her frustration, she wants to take a battering ram to the cave’s entranceway and get him to come out. "He needs to stay in his cave," Drobnick says.
A man also must do what he can to help a woman not become resentful of his cave time. A grieving male fan should tell his significant other that he needs time alone. He needs to tell that he will return to his old self and will make up for his time away by being an attentive partner, advises Drobnick.
A woman should not just sit in front of him or hover around him waiting for him to come back. “It’s like putting vinegar in front of a bear’s cave, instead of honey.” A woman should do something for herself during this time, preferably away from him. Perhaps hang out with friends, watch her favorite shows, watch a movie, read a book, get on Facebook -- do something for herself.
Some women may want to join their men. Male fans can also teach their significant others the ins and outs of the American past-time of baseball and other sports. Banding together against a common enemy is a fun way to connect and re-connect. Rooting for a baseball team can be healthy activity.
Richard also adds that if men and women learn too late about their particular needs and ways of coping and resentment has reached a peak where there seems to be no turning back, it may be time for the couple to come into counseling. At the Mars & Venus Counseling Center, both partners in the relationship attend marriage counseling or couples counseling sessions to discuss the couple’s specific issues. The aim of counseling is to help a couple deal appropriately with their immediate problems and learn better ways of communicating in general and meeting each other’s emotional needs.
Richard Drobnick, LCSW, DCSW is the Director of the first Mars & Venus Counseling Center in Northern New Jersey with offices in Teaneck, Oradell, and Ramsey. He has been a practicing counselor/psychotherapist for more than 25 years. For more information on Richard Drobnick and the Mars & Venus Counseling Center, please visit www.marsvenusnewjersey.com or call 201-692-0508.