My Husband’s Mistress: MSU Football

It started innocently enough like I’m sure most affairs do. I was in graduate school and working nearly full-time. On top of that, we were starting off our newlywed life in Mississippi, approximately 800 miles away from our home.  What’s a guy to do to entertain himself with no wife or friends to speak of? Watch football. I can’t say that I blame him, though it did feel like a “bait and switch.” At first, it was nice he found something that could occupy him while I was so busy. What I didn’t realize was how out of control it had gotten. 

As I prepared for a post-graduate career we decided to move back to the Midwest. Our goal was to be able to make it home to Michigan in  a reasonable four to five hour drive, which meant we could make it home for weekend family festivities. We found ourselves in Chicagoland and while I didn’t have school work anymore I still had on-call nights as a Hall Director. Thankfully, my in-laws now had season tickets to Michigan State football games to watch and support my youngest sister-in-law in the greatest band in the land. On weekends I was on-call, Aaron could skip home to see his family and catch a freebie football game.  How awesome right?!

Aaron, daughter Ro, and Sparty at the first 2016 tailgate.
Aaron, daughter Ro, and Sparty at the first 2016 tailgate.

On-call life eventually wore me down and I found a job with more regular hours. And then we moved in to the city and downsized to one car. Somehow it wasn’t until Christmas I realized Aaron had made it to EVERY SINGLE Michigan State home game! In my pursuit to be a flexible and supportive wife, I sacrificed my husband, money, and sanity. I slowly but surely pushed him in to the arms of his mistress, MSU Football. And thus began some of  the biggest arguments we’ve had in our ten years of marriage. Here’s how we’ve coped:

  1. Make a plan and compromises –  When the football schedule is released, we have a conversation about what games he’ll go to, what games we’ll both attend, what tailgates we’ll go to but skip the game, and what weekends just won’t make sense for our family. We have a plan in place so I know when we’ll be apart and together, and how to fit in our other fall family activities.  
  2. Be fair, be realistic and be flexible – I’m not suggesting keeping score, but this is part of the compromise conversation. If he could go to every game he would – it happened! Totally swindled me during the 2011 season.  He gets football, what does that mean for me? He’s gone this Saturday so next Saturday he gets up early with our daughter so mommy can sleep-in. Weather prevents a fun tailgate with a toddler? Barring any other plans, we’ll consider going next weekend instead. 
  3. Distinguish between the “everyday” and the “once in a lifetime” – When the Spartans were going to the Rose Bowl and my in-laws offered to pay Aaron’s way for travel, game, and festivities, I have to admit I was  little jealous and sad.  Him going would mean spending New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day (and subsequently the beginning of what we now know as  The Polar Vortex) alone. But truthfully, none of it interested me, especially not enough to justify spending that kind of money to get myself to Pasadena. And for Aaron, it was “once in a lifetime.” He went, with my blessing. And thank God they beat Stanford so that if Spartans go again, I don’t have to hear “sure honey I got to go, but I didn’t get to see my team WIN!”

    Baby's first tailgate 2015
    Baby’s first tailgate 2015
  4. Can’t beat ’em, join ’em – My in-laws put on a large tailgate, like 160 people large, for the Spartan alto saxophone section and alumni and all of their families. It’s a standing gathering spot and time – with a theme. Who doesn’t love a theme?  Take it or leave it, my husband, the father of my daughter, loves it. It’s something at the very least he wants to do with our child(ren). Who am I to deny him that? Or exclude myself because it’s not my most favorite thing in the world? It’s easy family time, outside, with good food. Full disclosure, it took me a little while to let go of my resentment from previous seasons, all the gear Aaron has accumulated over the years, and how everyone thinks he graduated from State and not Central. But through some of the above techniques, my attitude now is “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!” Except when Central plays State – GO! Fire up Chips!
Aaron and daughter Ro at tailgate before the MSU vs. CMU game in 2015
Aaron and daughter Ro at tailgate before the MSU vs. CMU game in 2015
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Megan G.
Megan lives in Livonia with her husband and three toddlers. Megan works full-time in automotive customer data and digital marketing, but constantly feels the pull of entrepreneurship. When she's not balancing her working-mom schedule with her ever impossible home organization standards, you can find her dreaming up more designs for her apparel and babywearing company. Megan has a passion for learning, podcasts, all things birth, attachment and crunchy parenting. She loves chocolate milkshakes and believes that leggings ARE pants. Keep up with Megan by following her on Instagram: @momoxieco


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