Before writing Marriage, a Journey and a Dog I knew little of Millwall Football Club. When I realised they played Manchester United in the FA cup in 2004, they were the perfect choice for Alan the football fan.
Alan’s obsession with football left him with girlfriend problems he didn’t understand. First his wife left him and then Natalie (heroine) didn’t fancy him – at all. Both big disappointments to him.
When he met Gerry (Natalie’s husband) they found common ground in having a sport obsession.
With the two characters obsessed with sport, men reading the book have laughed as they relate to an all consuming love of sport. Women sympathise with Natalie for what she has to put up with and feels helpless to change.
I’m sure he isn’t typical of Millwall fans as his hygiene habits and communication skills are not good.
I follow Millwall on twitter and amuse myself checking on their results. It feels personal if they win or lose.
So Alan the Millwall Football Club fan, in Marriage, a Journey and a dog, left his wife at a petrol station I wondered if readers would find it plausible. As the book is part comedy I decided it was OK, and in the back of my mind I remembered hearing a similar story on the news.
Today another story. A tourist and his son drove 60 miles, in Brazil, before realizing his wife wasn’t with them, he had left her at a petrol station.
Do some men have problems focusing on more than one thing? I remember the horrific story of a man heading for the squash courts in America and forgetting he had his two small children in the back of the car. The heat killed them after he rushed off to the courts. How does anyone repair their life after that?
My book is a comedy, with a serious side. I listen to wives and girlfriends who take second place to their partner’s interests; sport or otherwise.
At a golfing party there was a woman who left her husband with the children regularly to play golf. Regularly means 4/5 times a week. He wasn’t happy. The fact is women aren’t happy in this situation either. A sporting nature means wanting to be good at it and being good means practice and constant thought..
I’m not a relationship psychologist; experience tells me to fill your own life and don’t wait for change.
My husband is a glider pilot and it works well. I enjoy social visits to the club now and then and we are both happy. If a family situation comes up, it’s easy for him to change his flying time. This works because we are retired. Gliding families don’t always work. If your family time is reliant on the weekends and – usually he – wants to glide, there is no time left.
If you have a sport driven partner, you are far from alone. You will feel lonely in a relationship..