Is My Spouse Normal: Vicki and Peter

"Not Just a Game"
Dr. Phil weighs in with guests who want to know if their spouse's strange behavior is normal.
"He is definitely obsessed with sports," says Vicki about her fiancé, Peter. when he's not playing basketball, softball, tennis, golf, volleyball, or football, then he's playing a game on his PlayStation or watching sports on TV. Because Peter works six days a week, Vicki only gets about one or two hours per week with him. "It does get frustrating when we have a limited time together," she says. Peter's competitive personality also comes out when playing board games. "We played a game of Pictionary and he started yelling at me and getting really frustrated because I couldn't guess what he was drawing," explains Vicki. "Pete really gets upset when I say 'Oh, it's only a game.'"

"The person who said that had never played a sport in their life," claims Peter, who loves to win and thinks his love of sports is a good "stress release." As far as his wife, he says, "Her only hobby is really me."

Vicki says that his sports obsession has even carried over into their wedding plans. After they decided their wedding colors would be red and silver, she realized they were the color of his favorite team: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers! She wants to know: "Dr. Phil, is my fiancé's obsession with sports normal?"

Peter wants to win this debate as well. "Come on, Dr. Phil, you're a guy. Tell my fianceé this is normal," he says.
Dr. Phil wants to clarify what Vicki's objection to Peter's hobby is: Does she oppose sports or is it a matter of what he's not doing with her?

"Because sports takes up so much of his time, that's my only problem with it," says Vicki. "I would never want him to stop playing sports completely because he's so passionate about it. I just wish he could allocate his time better."

Peter explains that Vicki needs to get more of her own life. "She is very dependent on me. She doesn't go out with her friends a lot. She doesn't have a lot of friends. She's not a real outgoing person," he says.

The audience groans and Dr.Phil pauses before saying, "I don't believe I would've said that. Did you like get hit in the head with that ball or something?" Dr. Phil points out that in addition to the time sports takes up in his life, Peter works 60 hours a week. "That's a lot," he says.

"It is a problem," Peter admits.

After looking over Peter's regular schedule " which has him playing sports almost every night and sometimes not getting home until 2:00 in the morning " he asks Vicki, "I saw the ring. So you're going to marry into this deal?"
Vicki responds: "Well, he is wonderful at so many other things. Sports is just kind of the annoying part."

"So that two hours a week, he's just great," jokes Dr. Phil. "That's not what we call a marriage, that's what we call a date!" He turns to Peter: "If that's where your heart is right now, maybe you don't have enough to put into a relationship."

Peter explains that sports is his passion. "I work all week, if I get a Sunday off, I like to spend it at home watching football with her. For women, if the malls were only open on Sundays, for four months of the year ..."

The audience groans even louder. "You said no one who's ever played the game has said, 'It's only a game'? I've played the game, and it is just a game," says Dr. Phil. "It only takes somebody you love getting sick or losing somebody you love or getting invested in your children to realize that it's even barely just a game. If it's not just a game, what is it?" he asks Peter.

Peter pauses. "I don't have an answer for that," he says.
Vicki says her main concern is Peter allocating his time when they get married and once they start having children.

"Do you think he will do that?"

"I think he will once we have children because he loves children," says Vicki. The audience starts to laugh. "He does. He loves children and I think once we have a family, that would take priority."

"You really need to think about this," Dr. Phil tells Vicki. "Because what you see is what you get. I'd get this worked out before I started walking down the aisle."

Dr. Phil tells them what he sees: "You're unwilling to give that time up to be with her. And if you did, you'd probably resent her for it. If you go forward like this, it won't work. And I don't think it's normal."

When Dr. Phil says that some people are obsessive about sports to avoid the relationship, Peter says, "No, that's definitely not the case. I love her and she's great."

"But just not great enough to forego a football game ..."

Peter is speechless.