My husband Derek and I have a wonderful relationship. We've been married for over four years. There's just this one little problem...sports. We have a TV in our living room that Derek is constantly watching. We have one in our bedroom. We have one in the bathroom and he has installed a window in his shower that you can see the TV directly. He can be anti-social because of the sports problem. He's on the computer checking sports blogs. I've diagnosed Derek as a sports addict. I'm a sports widow at age 26. Dr. Phil, this has progressively gotten worse. What do you think?—Elizabeth from Austin, Texas
Dr. Phil: All right. Well, first off, Derek, I have to say, you need your eyes checked. Because maybe that TV is making you blind, but look to your immediate left: That is a gorgeous wife you have and she is energetic and she's wanting your attention.
Holly Robinson Peete makes a case for women to become football fans
Look, there are 168 hours in the week, okay? And how many hours do you think you work? Including travel time to and from—everything together—how many hours do you think you work? Say 50 hours a week. You sleep seven hours a night, that's 49. That leaves 69 hours, minus 14—a couple hours a day for miscellaneous—and you've got 55 hours left for the week. That's seven hours a day. How much of it are you spending with your wife and how much of it are you spending on sports?
Here's the thing, and I've talked to so many women about this—and I might need to recuse myself because I watch a lot of sports—but let me tell you: It's not so much how much you watch sports as what you do when you're not. What do you want him to do with you when he's not watching sports?
The male brain: What's really going on in there
Let me give me some very specific ideas. You need to pay attention, Derek, to the fact that your wife is not happy. And women have a really long memory. A really, really long memory. So you need to ask yourself, "All right, what can I do to make her happy?" Relationships are negotiations, and the window never closes. So you need to ask her, what can I do that makes you feel better about all of this? And if she says, "Let's do things without the TV," then you've got to say, "Okay, I'm going to shut this off. I'm going to prioritize my games, and then when I get down to two or three, I'm going to shut it off and I'm going to spend time with her until she is grinning really, really big." And if she starts grinning really, really big a lot of the time, then you know you've struck that balance. And until then, you're in trouble.
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