Sports are a big deal for my husband. He watches all of them, despite my objections, and if it were up to him, we'd have SportsCenter on 24/7. Until about 3 years ago, I pretty much loathed all sports.
Hubby and I were going through a difficult period during the early stages of my pregnancy with Connor. I was on bed rest for 2 months, not working and hormonal often led to me being snippy or depressed and making a not-so-great home environment. He was getting frustrated and distant because nothing was going the way we had planned and life was becoming very stressful.
I truly believe that if we hadn't found something new to bond over, things could've taken a very big turn, very quickly.
This isn't something I talk about, ever, and no one really knows that we had these problems. I don't like being vulnerable and I hate talking about things that occur between myself and my husband; I just don't think it's really anyone's business. So why am I writing this at all? Why am I opening up this conversation if I hate it so much? Because I know there are so many couples out there who are going through a tough time and I don't want them to give up! If my story can help motivate even one couple to find something new to bond over and reignite their relationship, then I'm happy to share.
I grew up watching my brother play every sport he could get his hands on, and every single Saturday for over a decade was filled by some game he had. Then I dated a hockey player in high school, so that filled several of my nights.
My mom loved baseball, and had season tickets with her brother for a few years, until he passed away suddenly back in 2009. My dad played football and loves college (specifically Texas A&M) sports and I've been to quite a few Aggie basketball games. I went to Astros' games a few times as a kid, but I never got into it. For years, decades, I would sit back and wonder "What's the big deal? Why do I care if whoever does whatever and scores?" I genuinely didn't get the appeal and I couldn't stand watching sports on TV. In person the environment and food was enough to get me semi-interested, but at home? I'd rather watch anything else.
I'm not sure what happened, but some magic switch got flipped when I was pregnant with Connor back in 2014. The Astros were having a great season, and I was watching every game, even when hubby was still at work. I loved watching Springer and Altuve doing all their silly dances after any small victory. Keuchel was (and still is) kicking ass and I seriously enjoyed watching them play.
This magically switch was a turning point for us. We had something new and exciting to talk about. Since I didn't grow up in a massively baseball family (they are more basketball and football people) I had a million questions and I think hubs enjoyed answering them. He liked that I was genuinely interested and asking questions because I really wanted to know the answers. I was taking an interest in something he loved, and I think he really loved that.
Now, don't misunderstand, baseball didn't solve our problems, it didn't magically make me cleared to go back to work or suddenly make my hubby more willing to come to me and tell me when something was bothering him, but it opened a dialogue and got us talking about something different. We got a chance to get reacquainted by learning each other's likes and dislikes and giving him a chance to teach me about something he grew up loving.
Maybe saying that baseball "saved my marriage" is an overstatement, but I truly believe that the communication and bond that we forged as a result of this game definitely revitalized our marriage and brought us closer together. Watching the games, talking about the players, learning and/or teaching, it was sort of like dating each other again. It was a whole new facet to our relationship and it got us talking to each other about something other than work, money, and the pregnancy. We got to be carefree again, if only for a few hours. I love baseball now, because it's a great game, our players are fun to watch, and because I feel this strong bond with my husband thanks to that first really amazing season during a very trying time in our marriage.
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Writer and Contributor for the Motherhood Community