Relationships are a funny thing aren’t they?
When you first start out, you put your best face forward – you clean your teeth before the date, you wear something nice, you smile a lot and you hide the gnarly shit that would make any sane person run for the hills. You hide parts of yourself, and don’t you dare say you dont, because we all do – unintentionally too.
I think that’s what happened with me and Adam. When I first met him, he was madly, irrevocably in love with me. Or was that lust…? It could well have been, but that is a different (totally unnecessary) story. We were virtually inseparable for the first 3-4 months, and it was both overwhelming and blissful. Adam always made it clear that he was a sports-a-holic, as addicted to his sports as I was to chocolate and cheeky vimtos (shhh, it was cool back then…). What he didn’t have was a season ticket to watch his football team, sky sports or even a signing to a team.
Slowly but surely, these things have changed in our marriage, he started playing for a local football and cricket team, giving up the football when he could afford his season ticket. He would go to every match, every day of the week if he could and I would just become someone to warm the bed, cook the food and occasionally wash his shit. This didn’t change when we had kids, but rather it became more frequent.
If I’m honest, going back to putting that best face forward, it’s a good job he wasn’t all about the sports when I met him because I wouldn’t have married him. 19 year old Harriet wouldn’t have stood by and played second fiddle to sports, but nearly ten years on, I *just* don’t have the energy to do anything but accept my second place trophy to this sporting obsession with a poor grace and that aforementioned slab of chocolate that I am still into – though my tastes have evolved from Cheeky Vimto to “proper” cocktails that won’t make your stomach feeling like one of those exploding volcano science projects.
This may sounds very self centered, but it genuinely isn’t. The truth is, football (or sport in general, but especially football) is more important to my husband than I am, despite the protests he has made to attest that fact. The old saying “actions speak louder than words” had been applied so very often. When I had our first son, Adam went to football the following day while I was in the hospital, he went to football when I had Noro-virus 8 weeks after giving birth to Toby and, most recently, he went to football when I had a D&C. He could probably list you every match he has ever missed in order to stay with me through something or other, but by that very virtue he would prove my point. He would know he had been made to miss something he wanted to do, even if it meant being there for the birth of his child, a birthday party (in fact, he has left his own children’s birthday parties early to go) or just an evening out with his wife and friends. It feels like an inconvenience to him, you can see that in his eyes whether he admits it or not.
I could say I don’t resent this. I could tell you a small part of me doesn’t wish I had known before I married him and had children who idolise their daddy. I could tell you we haven’t almost separated over the issue many times and I haven’t sat in floods of tears wondering why I’m not important enough to miss football for, especially in the moments I truly need him. But that wouldn’t be true. A lot of our marital issues stem from sports related arguments, and if I had known the extent to which sports would govern my life and emotional wellbeing, I think I would have run for the hills.
It’s not all doom and gloom, this is one part of our marriage. Like every marriage there are so many facets, I do know that deep down Adam loves me and no one can equal him as a father in my eyes or the eyes of his children.
In addition to the bullshit, there are the amazing things – the giggling that only Adam can pull from the pit of me in my darkest hour, the way he can make me feel like the most beautiful woman on the planet with just a smile or a whispered word, the way that we know each other better than anyone, better than we know even ourselves. There are the moments that I watch him with our children, and the adoration in their faces is reflected and magnified in his, and the everyday moments where we can sit in quiet companionship, snuggled together and quietly content.
It doesn’t take a genius to see that my family is filled with love, from my husband and towards him.
I just have to check the fixtures list to know whether or not we’ll be made to feel it that day.
I guess the point to this is to say it’s ok to have those things about your marriage that DON’T work. That make you feel unhappy, that suck. The kicker is making sure that you have that balance and ultimately, the happy out ways the not-so-happy moments.
You’ve just put my own thoughts down on paper. Something I haven’t really revealed to anyone but my oh. In our house it’s cricket. So only from April to September, max one day a week. But it’s pretty much a whole day, a whole weekend day. We have two kids, 2 and 5 and I don’t drive. And he disappears from around 12ish on a Sunday and is usually home between 7 and 7.30 although last week was after 8. So I have to do all the kids feeding, bath, bedtime etc. Recently he was away at least one night a week for work and then did everything he could to prevent another overnight trip to he could be with his family. Yet weekend comes and no hesitation about playing cricket. He didn’t even cancel a game when I felt awful before he left one morning, and we had a birthday party to go to that afternoon. It wasn’t even about the party, it was the fact he was happy to leave me quite under the weather to manage the kids for the whole day.
Yeah… sucks doesn’t it at times. I hear you 🙁
Seriously Harriet, I could have written this. Nothing came before the sports, in exactly the same way. When I had an ectopic pregnancy and was in hospital for days. I was heartbroken and desperate to go home. The doctor was due to discharge me, but it clashed with football, so I stayed there an extra day. Just so many times rugby or football was chosen over me. After the third wedding anniversary in a row where he went to rugby, I divorced him. xx
Ahh hopefully we’ll not get to that stage but it is something that causes real issues in a marriage!
My ex-husb was always a sports nut, played it, watched it, listened to it on radio. Every. Single. Sport. Not one in particular and I swear I knew stuff I wasnt aware of as I was absorbing it subconsciously. First thing I did when I left and set up home, installed sky tv WITHOUT the sports package 😀
Ohhhh how gratifying haha! Bye Sky sports!
Thank you for sharing something personal and heartfelt. I know that relationships are never simple or easy, and there will always be something that we dislike about it. I understand totally how you feel though, it does hurt and takes it’s toll on you. But there are a lot of positives too, by the sound of it xx
Thanks Tanya, that is so true! H x
My partner is work obsessed, seriously think he loves it more then us at time as he is always going to work when he meant to be off etc. I suppose the weird habits they have are what makes us love them though in a funny way even though they drive us madxx
Very true x
This made me laugh and made me sad at the same time! I hope he’s willing to miss more matches and be there for you a bit more in the future – you never know, maybe he’ll go off it 😉
Bahaha I wish Becca xx
It’s not always happy moments and I guess those no-so-happy times make the relationship stronger! 🙂
Thanks Jess x
That’s such a tough one. If he’s really invested in the moments he IS with you and focused on you, it would be easier to take. There’s such a fine line on this.
Thanks Liz xx
relationships are funny but also complex, what is ok or not can only be established by the people involved in that relation. From my own experience is no good to compare yours with other , each relation is special
So very true!
It’s all about balance isn’t it. I have lost count of the number of arguments my husband and I have had over the amount of time my husband spends with his hobbies which take his time and attention away from his wife and family. We’re not asking them to give up their hobbies, just to simply balance them with family life!
Yes!! Exactly! Thanks Elizabeth x
Marriage is complicated – no matter how we sugar coat things. It is complicated because it’s different in so many ways than just being in a relationship. But also beautiful in so many ways than one can imagine. Thank you for sharing your story. Totally love reading other people’s perspective into things. I am a proud wifey and still continue to learn each passing day.
Thanks Angela x
Thank you for such an honest post – I think we get so caught up in looking for the “perfect” relationship that we forget there’s no such thing! We all have our flaws, I think it’s about loving each other anyway, which you and Adam obviously do 🙂
Thanks lovely, so true xx
This post reads like the film ‘Fever Pitch’ – the UK one with Colin Firth in. Have you seen it? Think you could relate! x
I haven’t – I’ll check it out!
My other halfs love would probably be games – I’m sure they take precedence some time. x
It must be so tough when someone’s hobbies and things change from when you first met to further down the line. The most important thing is your happiness though x
Amen to that!
I wish I didn’t know what you were talking about, but to a certain extent I do. And the harlot’s name is RUGBY!
Hahaha harlot! I love it! She’s a demanding mistress with many people on the go this sport isn’t she?!
Not every part of marriage is going to be amazing, which is what makes it real. It’s tough work, but so worth it.
I don’t believe in perfect romance, those that you love with a passion have to infuriate with equal measure. This is a totally honest and true post.
Thanks lovely x
What an honest post! And you are a very patient woman 🙂 When I was in my 20s, I used to think as long as you love each other, marriage will be easy. How naive of me to think that! Marriage isn’t easy at all even when you love each other. It take so much work! My mum once said to me “Marry a friend. Love comes and goes, but friendship will always stay”. And it’s obvious that you have married yours as I have mine 🙂
I deserve to be sainted haha… though I think he’s likely to say the same about himself!! x
Marriages take all sorts to work and unfortunately, there are things that annoy the crap out of me about my own husband. However, the wonderful things he does every day makes those other things not matter quite as much.
Exactly Lyndsey, all about balance x
Like to say it’s made to see how much a relationship can change from not seeing them unless you look amazing to seeing you when you have had about 2 hours sleep . This is when you know it’s true love and meant to be
Thanks lovely x
Wow this is so sweet! I love how you write! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks lovely, I try xx
It is always sport with men lol, it can be a pain but at the end of the day it warms my heart that despite everything you are still madly in love with each other. Its refreshing to see you being so honest when most would like to pretend they have the perfect marriage when the perfect marriage does not exist x
Haha true! Mind you he might say the same about my laptop!
I firmly believe that no relationship is perfect, and anyone who says their relationship perfect is either lying, delusional or in the very early stages of the relationship 😉
Thanks lovely, that is so true! Honeymoon periods are a delight!
Definitely, if everything was perfect I don’t think it would be a healthy marriage. It’s all about balance and compromise.
So true hun x
He certainly seems passionate about his sport, and I can only credit you for standing by him in this, as Im sure he would do the same if you had a real passion for a hobby yourself
Thank you! He does with my working on the blog, which has gone from career to passion, though I don’t think if I put it before him he would take it so well… We’ll never know!
Aw my heart was in pieces reading this! Phil and I have been together just shut of 5 years and I’ll admit that it’s probably him who feels second best in the relationship by how much I’m on social media and blogging stuff. Marriage, relationships generally, is hard work and sometimes the negatives feel overwhelming, so it’s definitely important to step back and look at all the positive stuff xx
It is super hard isn’t it?! It is something filled with compromise! Thanks for the lovely comment lady xx
Yea as long as the happy outweighs the sad or unhappy moments that is all that matters. Lovely post.
Thanks sweetness! I think so too!
Harriet, I love this! So honest and true. With us it’s a total lack of affection or physical interest in me. If I left it, M would literally never touch me. Not a hug, a kiss, a hand on my arm – anything. He is the least affectionate person I have ever encountered. It is the main thing that causes arguments.
But actions- actions he excels at. He does so much for me, every day. And he is the best father I could imagine.
Swings and roundabouts, eh? 😉
Amen to that! You have to take the good with the bad xx