Settle This: Christine and Kevin

Sports Widow?

"My husband is wrong to be gone so much doing his sports and activities," says Christine, who has been married to Kevin for two years. While she stays home taking care of their 1-year-old son, Kevin spends five nights a week either umpiring games, shooting pool, playing softball or coaching as a volunteer. "There are days when my husband will only see my son for half an hour or less. This issue keeps getting worse and worse. Sometimes I feel like he just doesn't want to be around us. It seems to be empty apologies, and then he goes off and does it again."

 

"I think I deserve to get away from the house, mainly the ruckus around here with my wife and child," Kevin explains. He says that he has played sports his entire life, and Christine knew of his passion when she married him. "I am an active person. I like to get out and be doing things with children, adults; it doesn't matter. Coaching basketball runs in the family, and my dad used to do it for us."

 

Although Kevin loves his active life, he recognizes that Christine is not comfortable with the situation. "Sometimes, I'm nervous about coming home, because I know she's going to be up

set," he shares, but he doesn't agree with her. "My wife is wrong trying to make me give up my activities after work ... I think Dr. Phil will be on my side, at least a little bit, because when he was younger I'm sure he did other things besides just work."

 

Christine says that Kevin has the mentality of a single person. "I think my husband, Kevin, is wrong, and he needs to grow up," she says.

Dr. Phil asks Christine how she feels hearing her husband say that he deserves to get away from the ruckus in the house.



Christine says that the first time she heard it she was very annoyed. "I always tell him, ‘Of course you deserve some things, and I deserve some things, but it doesn't mean that it's always right,'" she says.

Dr. Phil addresses Kevin. "When you're married, you make changes. You make sacrifices," he tells him, noting that he is siding with Christine. "You have trouble saying no to others and to yourself, but you don't have trouble telling her no." He suggests that Kevin find balance between his activities and family life. Dr. Phil explains that he loves to play tennis, and he plays every day, but he is always home in time for dinner and was there to help his sons with homework. "This is a partnership. You're not single anymore, and so you really do have to say no," Dr. Phil
says.

Christine says that she would understand if Kevin were involved with an activity a few nights a week, and it would be great if she and their son could watch.

"It's a trade-off. You give up certain things, and you gain certain things," Dr. Phil says to Kevin. Even though their son is young, Kevin can still bond with him. "Sitting on the floor, rolling that ball, playing chase, tickling him around the house, that's sport for him now, and you need to be his coach in that," he says. "You can do that at home. It will be the greatest joy in your life."