She Said

How to Love a Golfer

Four strategies for building a better life your golf-obsessed man.

He leaves you every Saturday for hours on end and doesn’t even realize there’s anything wrong with that. When he can’t physically go golfing, he mentally goes golfing and drifts away during conversations as he imagines his favorite hole on his favorite course, working out the variables of the green, the wind, the club, the distance…Really? How are you supposed to deal with such an obsession? Why doesn’t he understand why it even matters? Do you need to seek professional counseling to save your marriage? Well, maybe. But before you call a shrink, try this.

“A wife can sometimes be a deterrent to a good game of golf.”

Earl Woods

Get Real

Before you go off the deep end, step back and take in the big picture.

What are we actually looking at here? Your husband loves to golf. Why? Because it offers him a mental and physical challenge. Because it satisfies his competitive urges. And because he gets to be free from demands and responsibilities for a few hours. And, okay, it’s really fun.

When you look at it that way, it’s not hard to understand. It’s not that he loves you less, and it really isn’t about selfishness. It’s about fulfilling a need. Don’t you feel like getting away from it all at least once a week, even if it’s just to get your nails done or walk through the mall? We all understand the need for temporary escape. Tough to get mad at a guy for that.

Get Honest

Next time you feel the anger building up inside as he’s loading up the clubs, ask yourself what’s really making you mad. It doesn’t make sense to hate golf; it’s just a game.

What’s the real issue?

He’s having fun and you’re not?

You feel left out? Abandoned?

He’s not doing his share of the household chores?

Drill it down to a tangible issue. Once you identify the problem, you can start to find a solution.

Get Talking

I know, you’ve been “talking” till you’re red in the face, but it’s tough to drill through the wood. That’s probably because you’re talking “at” him and not “with” him.

Most people put up a wall when someone starts lecturing them, and men are no different. Well, actually they are different—they’re worse.

So turn the dial and broadcast something he won’t automatically tune out. Start by committing yourself to keeping a calm, low voice. Believe it or not, half the problem between men and women is that the high pitch of an angry woman’s voice annoys men.

You may have something valuable to say, but if you screech it, he won’t hear you.

Next, don’t place blame. Just let him know you identified what upsets you when he goes golfing, and work together toward a solution.

If he’s not spending enough time with you, plan a day or a night that belongs just to the two of you.

If he’s not pulling his fair share of the home maintenance load, work out a schedule so that he can get it done at other times and still golf on the weekend.

Just remember that husbands and wives have these discussions all over the world whether or not the husbands golf.

Golf is not the enemy.

Get Out

The worst thing you can do when your guy goes golfing is to sit home and sulk. As a general rule, feeling sorry for yourself never helps; it only makes you bitter.

So take the kids to the park, go for a hike, start a diary, plant a garden, take up photography, plan a gourmet meal, or (as cliché as it sounds) go shopping. Heck, go golfing. Just go!

Do something to relieve a little stress and fulfill your own hopes and dreams.

I promise you, as soon as you do, you’ll stop resenting his golf days and start looking forward to them.