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Why does my husband chose to spend his only day off at football rather than with us?

(68 Posts)
stocks81979 Sun 25-Sep-11 09:40:44

I have struggled with this question every week for the last 4 years. My husband works Mon-Fri gone from 6am - 7pm (as do I when I am not on maternity leave). Its one mad dash on weekdays dinner, bath and bed for the kids and by the time I return he has fallen asleep on the sofa. Fridays are the worst where husbands family visits they can't understand why they cant visit more or why we don't visit the rest of the family - LOL!

Anyway Saturday we are always doing chores (washing, cleaning etc), diy or he is working. So sunday is the only day remaining. Out of football season we go out together as a family me, my 4yr old, 2yr old and 10mth old and we love being with Daddy. But in football season he leaves at 9am and returns between 2pm and 4pm.

I just don't understand he was the one who wanted kids, he was the one who declared he would be there on the weekend when I had sleepless nights (not once!) before our 1st was born he said he would give up football to spend more time with us cause thats his priority.

What happened? Why does he choose to spend so much time at a local league football game? Why didn't his priorities change like he said? like mine did. Why are the kids 100% my responsibility? Why do I have to ask for him to help and say thank you if he does? We have been together 11 years and no matter what happens I have never understood his relationship with sports. Everytime he is in a room he has to listen to the scores of every football team, and take an interest in every sport thats being reported on.

Please help me to understand why he didn't change and I did? How can I bridge this gap when I have no interest in sports.

OpenMouthInsertFoot Sun 25-Sep-11 09:42:19

Have you asked him all this? What does he say?

FabbyChic Sun 25-Sep-11 09:43:07

People are allowed some me time, and he clearly enjoys football and deserves after working all week doing something that he enjoys.

He clearly has no me time in the week and Sunday is the only day he can have any.

Women have more of a maternal instinct!

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 25-Sep-11 09:43:18

YANBU.... but if it was never specifically agreed at the outset, he probably assumed that his 'one love' ie. football, wasn't a problem. Some people are very selfish when it comes to their hobbies. You should read 'Fever Pitch' by Nick Hornby. It's very illuminating.

WhiteTrash Sun 25-Sep-11 09:43:33

Have you asked him?

Collision Sun 25-Sep-11 09:44:30

I suppose that this is his only time to do something he loves and enjoys.

He knows what hard work it is with the children and he needs a break after working all week?

I think you should plan something for yourself though on a Saturday and leave him with a list of jobs and the children.

It might make him think how much work you do.

Deesus Sun 25-Sep-11 09:44:39

This has been going on for 4 years? He probably has no idea he is doing anything wrong! Have you tried telling him how you feel?

Deesus Sun 25-Sep-11 09:46:00

I don't think you are BU by the way and he does need to be more thoughtful but agree with what cogito posted above.

Animation Sun 25-Sep-11 09:47:45


EVERY Sunday is a bit much. Does he not do anything with the kids?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 25-Sep-11 09:49:00

BTW.... there's nothing to stop you having a hobby that takes up Sundays. That way you could take it in turns - alternate weeks pursuing something that give you both a break and something to talk about when you get back together. Relationships are so much better when everyone gets a bit of 'me time' and aren't in each other's pockets.

mankymink Sun 25-Sep-11 09:53:04

My DP is similar in that he feels the need to know every bloody football score known to man every single weekend (and watch all the highlights and post on his football message boards etc.) so I know how you feel in that respect. However he doesn't go to matches so it's not that bad.

Does he make up for family time it in other ways during football season, with whatever windows of time he does have during the week? For instance do his family need to be there every single Friday night?

Have you actually told him how you feel?

halcyondays Sun 25-Sep-11 09:55:33

When does the op get me time, then? They both work all week, op does chores etc on Saturday, then on Sunday she's left to look after the kids on her own for a large part of the day. She should go out on her own for a couple of hours on the Saturday and he can have the kids on his own for a change.

As for women having more of a maternal instinct, frankly that's bollocks. Most mums want a break and time to do their own thing just as much as men do, but it seems for some people there's an assumption that the mum is the default parent at weekends and the dad can just "help" when he feels like it.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 25-Sep-11 09:59:19

Everyone needs 'me time'. I'm a single parent and, since DS was old enough to have a babysitter, I've made sure I've had one night a week where I get out of the house and do something interesting. If I had a 'D' anything I'd still do it... just wouldn't need a babysitter.

The OP needs to stick up for herself, I think. Not ban football matches all together but even things up a little.

nomoreheels Sun 25-Sep-11 09:59:46

I would pull him up on the fact that he has promised you one thing but isn't following through. Agree that you need to stand your ground & find something for you to pursue as well, & ask clearly for a mix of family time, time for his football & time for you.

I could not be a football widow. Or a cricket widow. Or any major obsession widow really. It's too hard to compete with!

troisgarcons Sun 25-Sep-11 10:14:56

Everytime he is in a room he has to listen to the scores of every football team, and take an interest in every sport thats being reported on.

Is my husband a bigamist and married to you too? let me tell you it's bad when watching football, the screen is split into 8 so he can watch all 8 European qualifyer games at once!

Its wall to wall sport in here; well it would be with 4 blokes in the house. I cant think of any sport that I couldnt make a passable go at on mastermind these days. You know, I thought I'd get through life not knowing what a "silly mid off" nor even caring now I could even qute cricket stats at you.

Summer holidays I was hoping for P&Q but no - the child was on football transfer alert - and text swapping news bulletins all day.

It doesnt particularly bother me; the only sport he plays now is golf because he's too old for football. I dont mind them going off to matches, I like the P&Q!

Please help me to understand why he didn't change and I did? How can I bridge this gap when I have no interest in sports.

He didnt change because you married him knowing he was sports obsessed (as I did) as that is part of his make up. Why would you cahange someone you fell in love with a nd run the risk of making them resentful? too many women try to change their menfolk into something they aren't. How can you bridge the gap? Well I find right royal pisstaking works grin but in a year or two, your 4yo will be demanding to go football training - its only when you are stuck on a cold windy field watching that you will understand the thrill of it. Mind you, I only did that on rare occassions at the weekend as it really was father-and-son time.

Sport is a healthy interest. Rather that than down the pub!

MarginallyNarkyPuffin Sun 25-Sep-11 10:20:09

Is he going to home games only or away games too? Why is he away from 9am until at least 2pm for a football game?

DorothyGherkins Sun 25-Sep-11 10:24:17

And I dont think this relationship with sport ever changes. Our kids have left home, but every weekend, our timetable is ruled by football/cricket/whatever sport is in season. We cant go out, there is football on television. If I look forward to a nice quiet evening after work on a weekday and settle down to a spot of telly, I m often told its football, what am I going to do? I dont understand this fascination with sport either, but it seems to rule his life. I d rather talk to and interact with a real human being any day of the week - but it seems a lot of men would rather spend time immersed in the sports commentary on the telly than talk to their family. I doubt if it will ever change for you!

MarginallyNarkyPuffin Sun 25-Sep-11 10:29:20

This isn't really about sport, it's about time. Talk to him. Work out how you can use the time you have better. If he's falling asleep on the sofa and sometimes working Saturdays, then spending more than half of Sunday out alone isn't really fair to you or the children. Can you rearrange the 'chores' so they're done on Sundays when he has Saturday off? Could he not go to the football if he's working on Saturday? During the week is he getting enough sleep? Rather than having him fall asleep on the sofa, going to bed earlier would mean that he'll at least be awake when you are with him.

It doesn't really matter what he's spending the time doing. It's something that doesn't interest you but that he loves- it could be angling or the gym. He has the right to some personal relaxing time but you have a right to see him too.

stocks81979 Sun 25-Sep-11 10:31:48

Thanks for all your comments. Believe me I have always made it clear that I wasn't having kids on my own and that football sundays were to be a thing of the past if he wanted kids with me because its hard work and you need to be a team. He was keen to have kids and nodded in all the right places just didn't follow through.

I have pulled him up on this broken promise nearly as many times as he plays. I have tried suggesting alternate weeks but apparently he won't be allowed to play for the team if he refuses to show dedication by turning up every week. I have tried pointing out that the game only lasts 90 minutes, the pitch is 5mins walk from our house so could he make it just 3 hours on sunday so we have 1/2 a day. But it all ends in arguements, he says I don't understand and that he is as quick as he can be. If I persue it he declares he is quiting and football if I am going to be like that. Its clear that he is miserable, I don't want him miserable I want him to want us more than football. Its clear I cant have that but why is that? What has football got?

He feels he has already compromised by stopping Friday evening football training (but he stopped so his family could visit as I wasnt doing that on my own). He does go out with his mates once a month too so he does have some me time there. But me time is scarse when your family are young and I would choose family time over me time everytime.

I did organise swimming on a Sunday to keep me and the kids busy whilst daddy was out. Daddy came too out of football season it was great we all loved it but then money got tighter and daddy suggested we couldn't afford swimming (£15 for all of us) I only commented on this to him in a final losing arguement but I said it was abit of a joke we couldn't go swimming when football costs £20 per week. We will go again once I earn again but now my maternity money has stopped it will have to wait for the time being.

MarginallyNarkyPuffin Sun 25-Sep-11 10:32:20

And I'm the sports mad one in my house. It doesn't have to takeover everything.

dreamingbohemian Sun 25-Sep-11 10:38:57

How often does he work on Saturdays? Because it sounds like at least sometimes you actually have two days off, it's just that one of them is taken up with chores.

Could you talk to him and see if he will do some of that work on weekday evenings, so you can spend more time together on the weekend?

If you had the whole weekend to do things together, you may be less annoyed about 5 hours away.

Personally I would be less upset about the weekend and more upset that he falls asleep on the sofa every night. That is really odd, and kind of passive-aggressive.

As for your ultimate question -- if you have no interest in sports, I don't really see how you can bridge this gap. But like any hobby, you need to come to an agreement on how much time he can spend on it.

Obviously the current set-up isn't fair but it's also not fair to say he can't spend any time at all on sports. What would be a good compromise for you?

MarginallyNarkyPuffin Sun 25-Sep-11 10:47:07

Ah. He plays. OK, I understand now. So he's spending £20 a week on football when he says you can't spend £15 to take the children swimming??? I think that he really needs to grow up. He has 3 children. It's one thing to have personal time and hobbies you love but to deprive the children whilst spending on yourself rather takes the piss. As does the pitch being 5 minutes walk and him being gone for five hours minimum.

I think the exercise and socialising are important but when he has 3 children under five spending at least half of his only day off away from you all is too much.

You need to have a serious talk with him. And break the usual pattern. He knows that you will back down and deliberately throws out the 'I'll quit then' because you'll feel bad. If the football going was part of the discussion when you had children then this has been going on for over 4 years. That's long enough. Add up the hours a week he actually spends with his children and ask him if he thinks it's enough. See how he feels if you are make sure you are not available when he wants to spend time with you.

He doesn't necessarily have to stop playing but he might need to stop playing with that team if they demand time he doesn't have.

MurunBuchstansangur Sun 25-Sep-11 10:47:09

Why is he sitting on the sofa while you do all the bathing and bedtime?

I think YABU to take his football away. He works all week and is allowed some me time.

You need to take your turn too though. You could do what you like of an evening/ saturday and let him do some parenting.

You can spend your quality time on a saturday, you need to prioritise it. 'Jobs' can be fitted in around doing stuff together, you need to make the family time the main focus of your weekend, and fit the other stuff round. Be assertive about what you want to do.

You are being too passive and getting resentful about it.

MurunBuchstansangur Sun 25-Sep-11 10:48:14

BTW If I were you I'd turn up in the second half to watch daddy play and cramp his style so he left early with you after the game

dreamingbohemian Sun 25-Sep-11 10:48:50


That's really unfair about not paying for swimming. But do you agree that you can't afford it? Because you write that he suggested you couldn't, so now you don't go. I would be tempted to go anyway, and if he complains suggest that he give up the football then. If you only have 15-20 pounds a week to spend on hobbies, better something that everyone can do rather than just one person.

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