Four Ways the Superbowl Is Like a Bad Marriage
Sunday, February 5, 2012Tweet
A week or so ago, I asked my Twitter followers for post suggestions, and Erin asked me, "What qualities, dynamics, values, etc lend to a happy and successful marriage?"
Broad as the topic is, I was going to attempt to tackle it today, but as it's Superbowl Sunday, I got the idea to do a fun twist on it instead.
So I present to you: Four ways the Superbowl is like a bad marriage.
1. The Goal Is Winning
The Superbowl is essential a big battle to see which team will come out on top. One team will emerge victorious, while the other will slink away in defeat.
While marriage can sometimes feel like a battle, healthy communication, even when arguing, focuses on reaching a mutual understanding and working out an agreeable solution. If your focus is instead on proving you are "right" or that your partner's feelings about a situation are illogical, you might win the argument, but you're not helping your marriage. Put your pride in the backseat and stop focusing on proving that your way is the best way -- even if it is.
2. The Focus Is On One Big Day
Just like a wedding, the Superbowl brings people together; people throw parties to watch the game (and the halftime show) with their friends and family. They eat, drink, talk, and laugh at the commercials that companies have poured millions of dollars into just for this single day. Then it's over, the football season is over for the year, and people go back to their regular lives.
A surefire plan for disaster is to put ten times the effort into planning your wedding that you do into thinking about -- and talking about -- what married life will be like. Sure, it's fun to get married, but being married is tough work that requires lots and lots of open communication, decision-making, and trust.
3. It Involves Secrecy and Deception
I'm not the world's biggest football fan, but I do know that each team wants to keep their strategy a secret. They'll have a lot more luck getting the ball down the field if the other team thinks they're going one way, and they go the other way instead.
I once heard it said that privacy is good for marriage (like closing the door when you use the bathroom), but secrecy is bad, and I like that distinction. Trust is incredibly important in marriage, and the quickest way for trust in your partner to be eroded is to find out that they've been hiding things from you or even outright lying to you. Birthday gifts and surprise parties aside, if you're having to cover up from your spouse how you're spending your time or money, you're headed down a bad path.
4. People Who Aren't Even Involved Take Sides
A very tiny percentage of Americans will actually be on the field during the Superbowl, but a much, much larger number are rooting for one team or the other. There are far more people invested in the outcome of the game than there are people playing the game itself.
Be cautious about sharing marital issues with those outside your marriage. It's one thing to open up to a counselor or spiritual leader, but another to constantly bash on your partner when you're with your friends. It's rare that I talk with a friend about personal things going on in my marriage, and when I do, it's generally to ask for help finding a solution and not just because I want validation that I'm right and he's wrong. And I tend to agree with Tony and Alisa DiLorenzo's advice that it's bad news if you're, say, a straight female, to spill your marital guts to a straight male friend. If you're upset with your partner, they should be the first one to know about it -- not your blog readers or Twitter followers.
So there are four ways the Superbowl is like a bad marriage. No disrespect is meant to football fans; what's bad for a marriage works well for the big game!
What do you think? Are there other parallels I missed?