What should I do in this situation?

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    I’m a 30-year-old female and my fiance is a 33-year-old male. We’ve been together for 2 and a half years and we live together. He has always been a big fan of watching basketball (if you live in the U.S. maybe you’re familiar with our local team the Milwaukee Bucks).

    I was always attracted to his passion, excitement, and loyalty for watching the Bucks. After going to my first game I realized how much fun I had cheering the Bucks on alongside him. A couple of years ago they were doing fairly well, but this season they’re doing fantastic.

    This is great, except my fiance’s hobby has started to turn into a time and money consuming obsession. They play about 4 games per week and he prioritizes his schedule around the games making sure he doesn’t miss one. If we go out to dinner and they’re playing he wants to sit at the bar and eat so he can watch the TV. If we’re at home on a weekday night he’ll put on earphones and watch the game on his phone (if I’m watching TV- otherwise he’ll put it on the TV). He also watches post-game highlights, reads articles on the Bucks, and listens to Bucks podcasts on days when they don’t play.

    I’m starting to feel like our relationship isn’t a high priority and have joked to him a couple of times that I wished he got as excited about me as he does about the Bucks. Also if a game is on and I start talking to him he’ll be half listening and half watching the game and then a big play will happen and he’ll say “Sorry! That was a huge play! What were you saying?”

    We talked and he said he’ll start to watch less games and cut it down to maybe two games per week, but even this seems to make him sad.

    Does anyone have any thoughts or advice? 🙁



    Classic fill-in-the-blank sports widow.

    Find something else to do.  It is always best not to be tied at the hip as a couple.  Get friends to do things with.  Find a hobby.

    Now if he is not being present in general and rather look at his phone than talk with you during off season then that’s a problem.



    Hi dreaming 717,


    This is a trigger moment for me. I can’t help it. I need to comment on your situation.

    I’ve been in this situation before, except that my ex was addicted to Mobile Legends (mobile app game). It started from subtle changes until our relationship revolved around it. Once, we were on a family event (this is the only event his family hosted during our time together) and he was playing the entire time! When the event was over, some of his relatives approached him if he could drive them home and he said they can wait for him to finish first. We ended up leaving the venue last. That was so embarrassing. This is just one of the many cases where he would prioritise that stupid game.

    I’ve talked to him many times about this but he refused to change. We argued countless times, hurtful words were thrown here and there, until we broke up.

    I know what I want in a relationship and there are billions of people in the world so why would I settle for that. I almost gave up my dream job for him and he would choose a mobile game over me? I refuse to tolerate this kind of behavior so I entered into fight or flight mode. I deserve the same amount of time and effort that I’m giving in a relationship. There’s nothing wrong with me wanting more in a relationship and maybe there’s nothing wrong with him being consumed with that game, but that kind of relationship wasn’t for me.

    Now I’m in a beautiful relationship with a person that whenever I walk into the living room and he’s doing something on his phone, he will put it down and check first if I need his 100% attention, or if he can continue playing/watching. And he is a great fan of basketball! He plays weekly and I never felt threaten by it. It’s about balance.


    dreaming715, stop dreaming, you deserve the same in real life! First, you should know what you want and be firm with it. Ask him to change. If that didn’t work, girl, please get out asap. You’ll only lose yourself in that relationship. You shouldn’t be demanding time and attention in the first place.





    I’m sort of with Mark on this one. Basketball is a seasonal sport, so is he only this obsessed during the season? Is it something that will end for several months once the season is over?  How long do the games generally last and can you plan to do something else during them that you enjoy doing?  People get engrossed in hobbies all the time and, who knows, you may eventually find one that you want to spend a lot of your time doing because you love it so much, and you’d probably want the same support from him. If you both have hobbies that you can each enjoy during that same time period, even separately, it could actually enrich your relationship.

    Now, if it gets to the point where he isn’t paying attention to you at all or it’s the off-season and he can’t pull himself away from it even then, then I can see it becoming a bigger problem.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by Valora.

    Hi dreaming715,

    This is how it is in my house too only it also involves my sons (1 in college, 1 in high school). They are obsessed with the NBA. (My husband is mostly obsessed with hockey and college basketball/football.) Not only do my sons know every stat on every player on our local NBA team, but they also know stats for most of the players on ALL the teams. They can talk to each other for hours debating what a particular trade will mean for the two teams involved. During basketball season, everything revolves around basketball. If we go out to eat, we go to a restaurant that will be showing the game they want to watch.

    I know this is different from your situation as my husband isn’t quite as obsessed with the NBA as my sons (he used to be when he was younger), but don’t get me wrong, he’s obsessed with his teams too!

    I see this situation differently than you do. I’m happy with it. It brings the guys in my family so much joy. It’s their passion.

    So here’s my advice: Learn everything you can about the Bucks. Learn personal things about each player like which ones are married, have kids, if/where they went to college, what were their childhoods like, etc. There’s a show on TV called “Before the Bigs” which is a documentary that profiles professional athletes, tells their life story before they entered the NBA, NFL, MLB, etc. This show is amazing — it turned me into an NBA fan! Google it. Watch it and the games with your fiancé. Share his passion with him. This is what I did and now the guys in my family actually ask me my opinion on a certain trades, etc. I’m an active participant now, not a frustrated bystander. And the funny thing is I now look forward to the games and the conversation. I’m interested. I want to see what happens.

    I think sports is a healthy obsession, so much healthier than so many other things.


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