Sports fury shows broader is­sues

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - COFFEE BREAK - Q A

- My hus­band of two years (to­gether for five) loves watch­ing sports. Un­til a year ago, we were liv­ing over­seas where ac­cess to tele­vised North Amer­i­can games was very lim­ited.

Now, in Canada, he watches nearly ev­ery game. I like sports, too, but here’s the prob­lem: He loses his tem­per when his team isn’t do­ing well - re­ally loses it. He’ll yell and scream, stomp around, knock things off ta­bles, punch walls, and kick things in our home. His be­hav­iour cre­ates a toxic, stress­ful en­vi­ron­ment in our home dur­ing game days.

I’m also los­ing re­spect for him. There’s noth­ing ap­peal­ing about a man in his 30’s throw­ing a tem­per tantrum when things don’t go his way. I’m preg­nant with our first child and have started leav­ing home dur­ing game time to avoid the stress.

We live in a tiny apart­ment and I have no other way of es­cap­ing it.

If he’d watch the games with­out los­ing his tem­per there’d be no prob­lem, but he can’t or won’t.

I’m too ashamed to tell any­one about this sit­u­a­tion.

Oth­er­wise, our lives are fairly stress-free - our mar­riage is good, we have healthy so­cial lives, both have jobs we love, and our preg­nancy was planned. I’ve asked him if he’s happy, he in­sists he is. He seems to have ad­justed well to life in Canada.

I didn’t know that sports trig­gered stronger re­ac­tions un­til we moved here. I don’t want to ask him to stop watch­ing, it’s one thing he re­ally loves and is pas­sion­ate about, and I fear he’d re­sent me for it. Stressed Out

- Many sports fans are pas­sion­ate about their favourite game or one par­tic­u­lar team. Their en­thu­si­asm’s of­ten in­fec­tious, even hu­mor­ous.

But your hus­band ap­pears to use sports as an out­let for in­ner rage. oth­ers see them. Be sure to ask for more feed­back, as you easily could make a mis­take. A part­ner who has been dif­fi­cult might loosen up. Tonight: TGIF! LEO ( July 23-Aug. 22)

You might be fo­cused on the com­ing week­end and opt­ing for a more leisurely few days than what you have had in the re­cent past. Tak­ing time off will help you deal more ef­fec­tively with oth­ers. Use this pe­riod to re­flect on what you want from some­one. Tonight: Sched­ule a mas­sage. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

If you can, take off early and head to your fa­vorite week­end spot. You might en­joy your­self much more than you re­al­ize. You have a way about you that draws a lot of at­ten­tion, es­pe­cially when you are out of your im­me­di­ate cir­cle. Tonight: Go for some­thing ex­otic. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

You might de­cide to do some­thing dif­fer­ently from how you have done it in the past. Fol­low through on your feel­ings; you will find that your plans be­come in­vig­o­rated as a re­sult. A friend has an un­usual way of de­mon­strat­ing his or her car­ing. Tonight: Add some ro­mance. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

You might con­sider tak­ing some time off from your usual style. You are likely to en­joy mak­ing plans and get­ting to­gether with oth­ers. All you have to do is go along for the ride. The very se­ri­ous worry – with all the new chal­lenges that a baby brings – is that his ready anger will boil over be­yond sports. But of im­me­di­ate con­cern, is your stress level. For­get shame. Talk to your doc­tor about how to han­dle the ef­fects on you, now.

Also, con­sider re­treat­ing to the bed­room with ear­phones and a good book, dur­ing game time.

En­cour­age him to watch some games at a sports bar with a friend, where yelling at the screen is a group ac­tiv­ity. The cru­cial need is for him to learn anger man­age­ment, with pro­fes­sional help. Talk to him – when there’s no game on – about the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and pres­sures of be­com­ing a fa­ther. Say, gen­tly, that you’re both aware that he some­times has a short fuse, but that kind of re­ac­tion fright­ens ba­bies, and can be harm­ful.

Urge him to talk to an anger man­age­ment spe­cial­ist to un­der­stand the deeper source of his frus­tra­tion and anger, and learn strate­gies to han­dle them dif­fer­ently. Let­ting go of a need for con­trol is good for you, though it could be dif­fi­cult. Tonight: Say “yes.” SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

You will dis­cover that you have lit­tle choice but to put up your feet and re­lax. You might try to stir up some fun; how­ever, un­less it fits into your nor­mal rou­tine, you could find your­self all alone. Some­one you care about will ap­pre­ci­ate your ef­forts. Tonight: Fri­day night rit­u­als. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

What­ever you touch has an el­e­ment of cre­ativ­ity. A loved one might dis­tance him- or her­self, as he or she might not be used to see­ing you in this man­ner. You could find that your feel­ings are chang­ing about a friend. Tonight: Make amends rather than cre­ate an up­roar. AQUARIUS ( Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

You will be fo­cused on a per­sonal mat­ter. Deal­ing with a fam­ily mem­ber could be some­what dif­fi­cult, and it might take all you’ve got to make it work. Your feel­ings could be chang­ing about this sit­u­a­tion, es­pe­cially if you can de­tach. Tonight: In­vite friends over. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)

A friend might be quite rigid. Be more laid-back and ob­ser­vant when it comes to this per­son. Know that you can­not change any­one but your­self and your re­ac­tions. Tap into your imag­i­na­tion when speak­ing with a child or new friend.

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