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Super Bowl XLVIII is just around the corner. It is sure to be a fabulous weekend where stars will walk red carpets past real and imaginary seas of adoring fans. Cameras will click both to boost the egos of those in attendance and to give the media outlets a chance to score pictures of some of the hottest names in sports and entertainment. Fans will pour in from all over the world to celebrate their favorite teams competing for the Lombardi trophy.
Invite-only parties will commence all over the city. Inside, those on corporate expense accounts mingle with recognizable sports faces and others who are lucky enough to slip in as a part of a star’s entourage. Last year, my husband and I were in the latter category, his NFC championship ring holding no power to get our names on the invite-only lists to which his more high-profile friends were invited.
Free-flowing drinks, tray-passed foods, and fashionable young people filled the rooms. But even among the the facade of fame, I couldn’t help but notice the number of married people who were there alone. I also couldn’t help but notice the number of women, married and not, who circled the single-in-attendance athletes like piranhas ready to strike. Despite my focus on them, it wasn’t just the athletes who attracted attention. Men and women on corporate expense accounts flirted their way to and from parties, over cocktails in their nicest outfits for co-workers and strangers while their spouses presumably slept at home.
Sure, some stars are paid to be there and think of it as work. Others are just business men and women who have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend the Super Bowl. But as the wife of a retired athlete, after seeing what I saw, I couldn’t rest peacefully knowing my husband was in the shark tank, regardless of why he was there.
I’m sure that Super Bowl parties are not the only corporate events that invite married people to forget their morals and their marriages. But as a woman who champions monogamy, I implore you to protect your marriage regardless of how exciting a party might seem. Players and teams throughout the NFL work hard year round to put themselves in the position to be successful. Many of those teams trip up through the long NFL season and end up with a losing record. Only the teams that have the discipline and determination to succeed make it to the playoffs. Marriage and relationships are no different. As a marriage grows in years, so do the stakes. No team would knowingly put themselves in a position to lose, so why put yourself or your spouse in a position to fail? Don’t go out alone. If you can’t be there together, don’t go. There is nothing that can make the potential loss worth more than the experience. Super Bowl events are spectacular. If you have the chance to attend Super Bowl XLVIII or any other fun event with your spouse, be there together and live the experiences together. Let the experience propel your marriage with happy memories that you create together instead of tempting fate in a way that may ultimately drive you apart.
Rachel Terrill, Ph.D., is an instructor at Northwest University and spent seven years in the field studying NFL relationships while her husband, Craig Terrill, played for the Seattle Seahawks from 2004-2011. She writes and teaches about love and marriage on her website www.rachelterrill.com.