On 13 June 2014, the World Cup of football got underway in Brazil

For four weeks every four years, the Football World Cup causes strange and obsessive behaviour among a large proportion of the male population across the globe. If your husband or partner is even vaguely interested in sports, it is very likely that you are going to notice the changes:

  • Waking at strange times of the night and early morning, particularly if you live in a part of the world that is in a different time zone to the host country. 
  • Requesting that you set the alarm to wake him for an early morning game, seemingly oblivious to the fact that will mean you will also be woken, even though you don’t want to watch the match 
  • Sleeping on the couch or randomly falling asleep at inappropriate times because his sleep patterns are out of kilter
  • A perplexed look if you offer to record the match for them. Apparently, only watching it ‘live’ will suffice; any comments that if they don’t find out the results before they watch it will mean that it is effectively be a ‘ live delayed’ are considered illogical
  • The random yelling of “goal" at the top of his voice
  • The compulsive checking of matches and scores
  • An inability to talk about any other topic or issue and the mistaken belief that you really enjoy the play by play descriptions or dissections of each and every great goal
  • The belief that you have any any interest in the standard of refereeing or whether a player that you have never heard of really deserved that yellow or red card
  • The conversion of your lounge or TV room into a 24/7 media viewing facility and the regular and unannounced visits from his friends resulting in more than person yelling “goal” at the television 

What can you do about it?

Not a lot. Smile, nod, say “yes dear” and start counting the days down to the final match.

If you have children, sit them down and explain that daddy’s strange behaviour and lack of attention won’t last forever.

Give up any hope of getting any chores or jobs done around the house, it is easier to give him a four week free pass, then trying to get his attention or drag him away from coverage of a match.

However, a smart woman will keep that list of chores and jobs handy, and keep adding to it during the month and will then make the most of a ‘well played’ dose of post Cup guilt. The weeks directly following the end of the Cup can be very productive period if managed properly.

Additionally, these four weeks can be a great opportunity for you to get things done that are normally impossible. Finish that book, watch that ‘chick flick’ or take some long hot baths without interruption. Enjoy your ‘alone’ time in bed without the incessant snoring, talking, kicking and farting.

World Cup widowhood doesn’t need to be frustrating if you are realistic about what is not going to get done around the house, and understanding about the changed behaviour.

It is only one month every four years, and after a brief period of ‘football mourning’ when it is over, your husband or partner should be back to themselves until the next one.