5 Ways to Keep Your (Pro Sports) Marriage Healthy: The Annie Berryhill MLB Guest Blog
Tuesday July 10th, 2012
Annie Berryhill (MLB Guest Blogger): With so many professional athletes becoming reality TV stars these days, it’s no wonder the general public has a warped view of marriage. Especially pro sports marriages!
I have been married to the same man for 25 years. Yes it’s true! Together, we have lived through an entire Professional Sports career: minors, majors, injury, rehab, recovery, 15 min of fame, retirement and reinvention. I can tell you for a fact that most sports marriages aren’t even close to what you see on TV. Real life is a whole different ballgame.
While the current divorce rate is approximately 50%, marriages in this arena do face some even tougher odds for success than most unions. It has been reported that a whopping 80% of sports marriages fail. For those keeping score, that is barely at the mendoza line of a .200 average. For every 10 sports marriages, only 2 are likely to make it. What are the contributing factors? The main ones are travel, job insecurity, injuries, infidelity, ego, loneliness, and fame. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The truth is that all of these challenges (with the exception of fame), often are the undoing of regular marriages not involving professional athletes. Thus the majority of the reasons behind successful sports marriages can easily be applied to most marriages. Sports marriages, like all marriages, require work to be successful. A great deal of practice time off the field is needed to build a winning sports union.
Here are my 5 keys (for Pro athletes) that I believe will go a long way to helping solidify all marriages:
- Leave your ego on the field (job, office etc.). This means being your true self, the person that your partner fell in love with. Remember, jobs come and go. But if you play your cards right, it won’t matter who you work for or what you do, in the eyes of a spouse that loves you.
- Remember: for all the attention you receive at your job, your spouse is holding down the fort- doing all the things that would otherwise distract you from being the best you can be at your position. It is very important to be truly appreciative to your spouse in the way that THEY best receive it! For example: don’t give them movie tickets, if they really would rather have a foot rub or spend quality time with YOU!
- Communicate. Duh, this goes without saying but it’s important to say again! Recognize that your (sports) spouse may be 110% supportive of your career and totally invested. So don’t go it alone. Marriage is the ULTIMATE team sport and just like any successful team, it is essential to have frequent communication to execute the right game plan.
- Map out goals together. Life gets hectic and a pro athlete is often approached with many different opportunities. Knowing ahead of time what is and isn’t important to both you as part of your joint long-term plan will help decision-making become easier and less stressful. It’s really easy to stay on a road when you have a well-defined map. Even if you detour from time to time, the map will always lead you to your destination!
- Nothing is a more important priority than your relationship with each other. Many would say that a relationship with God comes before that, and I highly recommend investing in that relationship together. But at very least, be sure to carve out regular time to stay connected to each other. Cultivate hobbies and interests that you share and create those life-long memories together. Make it a point to never go a day without a kiss and an “I Love You”. Even when life is strained. It’s amazing how restorative human touch and simple kindness can be during stressful times.
Annie Berryhill is the wife of former MLB catcher, and current minor league manager, Damon Berryhill. She loves working with people to achieve their Health, Fitness and Business Goals. Her current project is all about helping people Look Better and Live Better and is actively interviewing potential team members who are ready to GO and GROW into their highest potential. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out the qualifications for becoming part of the team amazing team.
Annie and Damon are the parents of 2 sons, Josh, 23 (USMC) and Jake,19 who were both born during the baseball season and of course, love playing baseball too.
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Posted on July 10, 2012, in Interviews with MLB Stars and tagged anne berryhill, annie berryhill, baseball, damon berryhill, mlb, mlb guest blog, pro sports marriage, strategic action coach. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.