Dear Annie: My husband is a passionate sports fan whose mood fluctuates with the performance of his teams. He has always been passionate about sports, since before we started dating. In the beginning of our relationship, he would coordinate dates around games and always wanted to take me to games. I never enjoyed going but would be supportive and go with him.
Now that we are married with children, this passion has become increasingly frustrating to me. To watch the games, he will miss activities with our children and me. He’s missed school events, our kids’ sporting events, my birthday and even one of our anniversaries. I grew up with parents who came to every event, and I try to do this for our kids as well.
To make it worse, if his teams lose, his temper becomes out of control. He will remain in a bad mood for a few days and be short with all of us. He has never been physically violent but will be verbally abusive. He’ll listen to sports talk radio and comment back to himself, usually in nasty language, in front of the kids.
He has tried to encourage our children to share the love of following sports, but they’ve been indifferent to date, thank goodness. I would like to intervene and help my husband become a calmer fan. How can I do this? -- Worried Wife
Dear Worried: Time to blow the whistle and call a foul; your husband’s sports obsession has gone way outside the bounds of what’s healthy.
He needs an intervention. He is emotionally dependent on sports, and it is impacting your relationship and your family. Sit down with him and explain to him the impact his obsession is having. Encourage him to take a break from watching the games and replace the viewing with activities with the kids that will enable him to re-engage in their lives and activities. As with any addiction, it won’t be quick or easy to break this habit. Be positive with your husband, and allow him to find the help he needs so he can be happier about a goal scored by your children than one by his favorite team.
Dear Annie: A woman broke up with me a year ago, and we have been on good terms for the most part since then. I have since moved and recently came back to town to visit some friends. We run with the same groups, and I ran into her at a bar. She appeared fine, but soon after leaving, she sent me a series of angry, disappointed texts because I hadn’t told her I was coming into town and this apparent dismissal had dug up a lot of old wounds for her. I was really taken aback. I told her we could get coffee to talk about it in person the next day, but when she didn’t contact me, I just avoided it, I guess. When I got home, I contacted her through Facebook, trying to apologize, but it’s been a week and she hasn’t responded. Was I wrong? -- Sorry
Dear Sorry: You’re not obligated to be friends with anyone, and that goes double for exes. If what happened during your visit “dug up a lot of old wounds,” she should be able to understand why you might not want to see her. And if she cared about the friendship so much, she wouldn’t have blown off your attempts to patch things up over coffee. I don’t know what her problem is, but you’re not the one to fix it.
Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about Annie Lane and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.