A Man’s Guide to Relationships
My Five Rules of
Football and Marriage – Rule 5
Let’s start off by saying that I am not a licensed therapist or a professional counselor. My observations of my mother and father, who were married for over fifty years before my mother’s death and my own very happy marriage to the same woman for forty five plus years is my only source of expertise. I believe that I have learned some very valuable lesson in that time and feel it is my duty as a fellow man to pass these things on to whoever might benefit from it.
You’ve spent years preparing yourself for the day. You’ve trained, tried out for the team and have been selected. Now what? It turns out that when you were in school and your coach was teaching you the fundamentals of football, he wasn’t just teaching you football but was teaching you the things you needed for creating a lasting relationship. Who knew that coach ‘Earl the Squirrel’ was so damn smart?
Rule #5 – Always Fight Fair:
Every relationship is going to have arguments, it is inevitable. How you fight is the key to whether or not you will have a successful, long term relationship. If you disagree with another player, you don’t start yelling at them on the field or bad mouthing them to the press. You talk it out in the locker room. If you can’t settle the argument, maybe you both talk to the coach. You work together to solve the issue and to do ‘what is best for the team’. If done correctly, conflict and healthy ‘fair fighting’ can even strengthen a relationship. So, fighting fairly in your relationship is the most critical skill that you must learn to do.
The rules are simple and you have lived by them all your life:
- Don’t let little things that bother you build up until one of you explodes the issue into a large fight. That’s not fighting fair in your relationship. If you are angry about something and don’t try to talk about it within 48 hours, let it go. It obviously did not mean that much to you.
- If your partner is too upset or just doesn’t want to discuss the matter right now, make an agreement to set aside the time later to discuss it. When that time comes, stick to the issue that got you angry to begin with.
- Make sure that you keep your argument between the two of you. You wouldn’t bring in your teammates and have a free-for-all in the locker room, so don’t bring in third parties like your mother-in-law or your children.
- Don’t hit below the belt. No name calling or bringing up the past. Stick to what is really bothering you.
- Watch what you say and especially HOW you say it. Even endearing terms or pet names can be hurtful when you are using a sarcastic tone. Laughter is good, but teasing can be misinterpreted and can often end up being hurtful instead.
- Look at one another while you speak. Don’t interrupt your partner during your fight and never blame one another or make accusations.
- Just as you would ‘leave it in the locker room’ you must leave your arguments in the past.
- Always be open to asking for forgiveness and being willing to forgive.
There you have it. Maybe it is not right for every couple, but it has worked for me. Here is to hoping you have many more winning seasons.