What To Do If Fantasy Football Is Affecting Your Relationship

If your partner or spouse is dedicating all of his time to fantasy football, you aren’t alone. Increasingly there are spouses around the country and even the world who feel like they’re widows during fantasy football season. It could also affect your kids if your spouse or partner is spending all of his time listening to fantasy football podcasts, checking rankings, and agonizing over his team. 

So what can you do to keep your marriage or relationship intact from September to January?

Why Does It Cause a Problem?

When someone is involved in fantasy football, they aren’t just spending hours on the weekend watching the games. They’re usually spending time on it during the week too. There’s Sunday, Monday, and Thursday taken up by games, and then the rest of the week might be spent strategizing. 

As fantasy football leagues have gotten more popular, football season has become a massive source of tension in relationships. 

What’s most important to realize here, though, is that it might not be the fantasy football itself that’s creating an issue. Instead, fantasy football might be highlighting issues that already exist. 

Maybe you don’t have shared interests with your partner, for example. You might feel envious because you don’t have a hobby, or you could feel like your partner generally neglects your needs, and maybe that doesn’t have all that much to do with fantasy football. 

So, what can you do if you feel like there are problems brewing?

Have a Plan

People in marriages can and should have things that interest them. There’s nothing inherently wrong with having a hobby. What can help keep it from turning into a breeding ground for resentment, however, is to have a plan ahead of time when possible. 

Sit down before football season, when possible, or early on in the season, and talk about some boundaries and what each of you might be comfortable with. 

You can use this time to talk about your individual frustrations and work on your general communication skills. 

It becomes about a lot more than fantasy football, which can be a good thing. 

Clear Communication 

You have to look at both perspectives in this situation. Your partner could feel like they enjoy doing something and wonder why you don’t want them to. You, on the other hand, could feel like you are stuck doing chores, for example, while your partner gets to relax during his free time. 

If you approach things combatively or you threaten your partner, it’s not going to help you in any part of your marriage—not just when you’re dealing with fantasy football. 

Before you have a conversation, you also want to think about exactly what it is that’s bothering you. Is it that you feel like you’re pulling more than your fair share of your weight around the house, or do you wish you got more attention from your spouse? Whatever’s bothering you, try to pinpoint it exactly before starting a conversation. 

Legitimize Fantasy Football

If you want to get along with your spouse, being condescending about something they really love isn’t going to be helpful. With that in mind, when you have conversations about fantasy football, recognize it as something legitimate. Don’t make it sound like it’s silly, even if you think it is. You can also proactively bring it up in your conversations. This is something important to your partner, and they’re going to want to talk with you about it more than likely. 

Even if it doesn’t necessarily include you, there are certainly times when you want to talk about things that might not interest your partner, either. 

Could It Be Something You Do Together?

It might sound out of the question when you first think about it but could fantasy football be something you do with your partner? Fantasy football has become so mainstream that it’s no longer something just sports fanatics do. 

Increasingly people who might not have been traditional football or even sports fans at all are finding they enjoy fantasy sports quite a bit more than they thought they would. There’s a sense of competition in fantasy football that keeps people hooked on it. 

Finally, if you’re willing to give it a try and participate, even if you aren’t drafting your own team quite yet, it may be a way for you and your spouse to enjoy time together and have something in common. There are also some social components of fantasy football, like draft parties, that you might enjoy participating in. 


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