The counsellor laughed but he was not amused.
“It’s a very pressing issue, it might lead to a divorce,” he said.
“Okay. Tell me. What really happened?”
A short silence ensued.
“Before we tied the knots, my first experiment was to find out if she loved football. When I found out she did, I was overjoyed,” he paused.
“I’m listening,” the counsellor assured.
“Loving her was easy because I’m personally, crazy about football and wouldn’t want to go into a longtime relationship with anyone whose enthusiasm for the game didn’t match mine,” he paused again to allow an interlude.
“But immediately after our wedding, it was like she switched her love for the game off. I noticed it on our first night when I sat down to watch an interesting match, she was totally cold towards it. She didn’t care at all. She picked a book instead and read it all through, without a glance at the interesting match. That was when it dawned on me that she was pretending after all, probably to impress me.”
“Okay,” the counsellor said.
“It became worse with time. She’s so impassionate now and her mood changes to somewhat sad during each match. What pains me most is that she has forced me to remove the TV from the bedroom.”
“You had a TV in your bedroom?”
“Of course. This is because I love to wake up to watch at any time.”
“She said she hated it when I stayed awake into midnight JUST because of football. Now football is ‘just’ to her. Meaning that it’s irrelevant.”
He paused to hear a supporting comment but the counsellor said nothing.
“Are you listening to what I’m saying?”
“Of course, I am.”
“When I sit all by myself to watch a match, I always had this deep longing for her to sit by my side to cheer my team up with me or feel sad with me when my team is losing.”
The counsellor couldn’t help but laugh
“Have you ever nursed the thought that you’re probably the one who made her hate football?”
“You know what follows weddings right?”
“Exactly. What do you understand by the term, ‘honeymoon’?”
“The holiday taken by a couple immediately after their wedding to spend some happy moments with each other for a short period of time say a week or two,” he said and grinned.
“Perfect! So what did you do on your first night? “Waaaaatch football!”
“It was a very important match, sir. Couldn’t afford to miss the live match.”
“And you keep this damned game so close to your heart afterwards so much so that every other thing mattered less.”
“Not exactly,” he murmured
“Including her, she mattered less too, ”
He grinned.” She matters to me, a lot.”
“Do you know one thing about women?” The counsellor asked.
He kept quiet.
“If a woman finds out her partner loves something or someone more than he does her, that thing or person becomes a rival, a threat. So, football right now is her rival and a threat.”
“Unbelievable!” He laughed. “Anyway, I believe people should be allowed to do whatever makes them happy. Football is my passion and if she truly loves me, she should love my passion for the game and support me all the way.”
“Do you play too?”
“No, I only watch,” he felt uneasy. He had always wondered why he loved watching the game so much but couldn’t play.”
“So this is what you’re going to do? Go home, and stay away from football for some time, say, a month.
“I dont think I can pay such an expensive price. Can’t stay a day without watching football, ” he said and ruffled his hair.
“You work right?”
“Of course I do. My business is doing well. I leave home every day by 7 am to my business and come back by 6 pm.” he said feeling very proud of himself.
“What do you do when you come back from work?” the counsellor asked.
“I settle down to watch football after freshening .”
What is your weekend programme like?
I wake up around 4 am to watch football match until 5:30 am. We do the laundry after breakfast and then go for shopping. I help out in the kitchen before going back to watch matches for the rest of the evening. On Sunday, after church service and lunch, I watch football up to 5 pm before going with her to visit friends and family. When we come back, I watch football for the rest of the night.”
“Wow. Wow! That’s one heck of a weekend. Interesting. I love the part where you did things together. It’s impressive.”
“Oh, thanks for the encouraging statement,” he said feeling very good
“But…I think you’re addicted to football,”
“Not that kind of addiction.” he laughed.
“Let’s not talk about your football addiction for now….. Do you love her?”
I do, really. But I’m beginning to feel cold because she hates my passion for football,” he said.
“Just go home and follow my guidance. It’s just a month. During the period, give her a lot of attention and regard her affectionately.”
“It will be hard but I’ll try my best. Thank you, sir. It has been a very nice section. I feel better.”
“See you after one month then. Call me if you need me.”
“Thank you, sir.” Another handshake before he leaves the office and the counsellor thought he’s a good man. Any man who seeks the yields to the good advice of another is humble.
He followed the counsellor’s advice and two weeks into the abstinence, his wife was scared. Why was he avoiding the sports channels?
“I don’t understand, ” she began one evening when they sat together watching NTA news.
“Its a decision. I think I’m becoming addicted to it and could sense it’s affecting your happiness,” he said and she was flabbergasted and dumbfounded.
She didn’t feel comfortable with the idea so she began to force him to watch his favourite game. And each time she did force him, he watched with less enthusiasm and with an indifferent demeanour.
He was glad it worked. She started sitting with him to make sure he watched to the end.
After a month, he met with the counsellor for the next step.
“Stick to what works, don’t change it. Whenever you pick the TV remote, do not go to the Sports channel. I repeat, do not go to the football channel. You can turn on the news or movie. Youre free from this rule when she’s away. Don’t worry, she’ll always change the channel to suit your desire because she knows that you sacrifice what you’re crazy about to make her happy. If you do this she’ll become madly in love with you and football.
And that’s what he did.
It worked and they lived happily ever after 💏.