Football & Hunting Wives: A Survival Guide

I love the fall. I always have. I love pumpkins patches and hayrides; football tailgates, warm cozy sweaters and drives to1375765_10202465629308328_2085413086_n see the changing leaves. I even got married outdoors in the fall so all the gorgeous color could be a part of our wedding. Then it all changed for me. My already football obsessed, NCAA loving, Saturday absentee husband discovered hunting. He also started coaching high school football again making it a year-round sport in our house. Suddenly my blissful fall with trips to the cider mill and playing in the leaves took a backseat to daily practices and weekend trips to the woods; and not the good kind that I used to go on.

I used to fight it. I used to get mad and complain about him being gone all weekend or worse being home but not being present. I would get hurt feelings that football and hunting were more important than we were. I would pout about having to do everything while he got to enjoy all his hobbies. I would even occasionally go on strike from doing anything constructive until I got some help. Seemed fair, I work full-time too buddy. I wasted a lot of Saturdays doing the equivalent of a grown-up temper tantrum. If I had thought it would help I probably would have thrown myself on the ground to cry and pound my fists.

I also hated the terms “Football Widow” and “Hunting Widow” and I was bound and determined not to be one. So, I made my first misguided assumption that I could change this situation. Surely I could make him see my side. After all, my husband is a reasonable adult. Misguided assumption #2. He is not a child, he’s a grown man. Usually. However, when it comes to football and hunting, he was just as prepared as I to stomp his feet and hold his breath until he got his way.


Of course we all know I really had no control over the situation, he is technically an adult who is going to do what he wants to do. That may sound archaic but let’s be honest, I am the same way. I don’t want to be controlled or told what to do and I certainly don’t want to be guilted into doing or NOT doing something.

FullSizeRenderSo we had reached an impasse. What to do at the nexus of our marriage? One weekend, in my irritation, I made plans. I filled up every waking moment of the long weekend with stuff. I took our daughter and we did whatever we felt like. We went to a park and walked in the leaves. I did a little photo shoot of it. We went to get cider and doughnuts (which my husband is insanely addicted to) WITHOUT him. We shopped; we did art projects, met friends and went out to lunch. It was glorious! Why had I not been doing this the whole time? Maybe it was that our marriage was not new and shiny anymore and I didn’t feel the need to be near him every moment (I can’t believe I even just wrote that!) You know what I’m talking about if you have been married more than 45 minutes. More likely I was just so sick to death of us having this same adolescent argument that I was ready to embrace change rather than be around us anymore on a Saturday afternoon!

Occasionally he skips a game to come along with us. Occasionally we go with him to his hunting spot because we can spend the day visiting with our family while he is outside for a few hours. Most weekends we huddle-up in the morning, throw our hands in the middle and break for a day of “Me/Us” time. Sometimes I wonder if a few month season is long enough! Today I consider myself a “Football/Hunting Survivor,” a beacon of sorts for the unenlightened sufferers who endure this magical time rather than celebrate it. I don’t have a cape or anything but I probably should. I have healed with this advice.

Listen, if you enjoy football game after football game then good for you! Join in and find your Zen. Personally, I am usually in it for the food. If you are a hunter and your idea of fun is sitting in the woods, then I bid you a quiet adieu. However, if you don’t want to be a part of the football marathon or if the thought of hunting puts you… off, it doesn’t have to be a dreaded season! Call a friend. Make a playdate at one of those play places that exhausts the kids while you sit in a comfy armchair chatting with a friend. Start your holiday shopping. Drop the kids off at your moms and just go get a massage. Make it whatever you need it to be because what it really is – is a few months of YOU time. Get out there and enjoy it!



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