Every fall, husbands (and some wives) across the country retreat to their couches for hours at a time and become unavailable to the outside world because football is on TV. From September through January, time stands still while grown men run around chasing a little brown ball. There's always a "big game" on seemingly every TV.
The following etiquette tips will help both husbands and wives survive the football season and keep their marriage intact—and possibly even improved!
1. Learn how to multitask. Fold the laundry or fix something that is broken while you’re glued to the television for multiple hours. Be sure to fit chores in at other times and do a few extra to stay in your spouse's good graces from now through the Super Bowl. If you are sitting together, even better but it's not always the case.
2. Utilize the DVR. Recording games can be a big time saver and relieve the pressure of having to stop everything you're doing for kickoff. If you don't have one, consider getting one. It's in your best interest to avoid missing your children’s birthday parties, family get-togethers, or your wedding anniversary because your favorite team is playing. You may be surprised by how much down time and commercials you can fast-forward through when you record the game.
3. Plan a special night out where you can focus on your spouse, and not at a sports bar. Big football days are Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Thursday, which leaves three other days for you to remind your spouse that you love her/him more than the NFL or NCAA. Take advantage of the opportunities.
4. Give it a rest. Don't be completely unavailable for the next four months. Choose a few games that you don't really need to see (especially on weekends) and proactively make plans to spend time with your husband or wife. The sacrifice will look huge.
5. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Take (or fake) an interest in the sport. The worst possible outcome is that both of you become glued to the non-stop barrage of games, but even then you'll enjoy a shared interest and bond with your spouse. At a minimum, root for your spouse's favorite team.
6. A football fan's heart is through their stomach. Invite over like-minded friends and cook a great, memorable tailgate meal. Practice those cute recipes that you saw on Pinterest of practice your new cocktail recipes. You'll have an audience willing to try probably anything.
With a little thoughtfulness and cooperation, football season can be a time that both of you enjoy.
Diane Gottsman, a nationally recognized etiquette expert, is the owner of The Protocol School of Texas, a company specializing in etiquette training for corporations, universities and individuals, striving to polish their interpersonal skills. You can reach Diane at 877-490-1077 or www.dianegottsman.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @: www.twitter.com/DianeGottsman.