We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for this important message:

The Major League Baseball season starts tomorrow, which happens to make me incredibly happy. However, one thing I’m not quite as in love with also starts tomorrow: Fantasy Baseball.

Despite being a huge baseball fan, I still find it hard to get excited about a team that isn’t actually real. As such, I feel compelled to try to help my fellow woman cope with a husband/boyfriend/friend/brother who obsesses over fantasy sports.

First off, let me just say that you don’t even want to know the dorkiness complexities of my husband’s league.

When I think I’ve heard it all about their league, another layer of the onion gets peeled off, and I’m completely horrified. If you don’t find passing a white jacket with fuzzy lining on the hood to the new league champion every year horrifying, then you are probably in my husband’s league.

(yes, this is the jacket and yes, that’s embroidery on the back of the jacket. They actually pay for that.)

In light of that disturbing knowledge, here are my four tips for coping with your dude’s ridiculous fantasy sports habit:

  1. Fantasy sports=male bonding. My husband’s league is made up of his college buddies (whom I love dearly) and this is how they keep in touch with each other. So even though I say this and can’t help but roll my eyes at the same time, it truly is more to them than just how well their team is doing. They get to trash talk each other and talk about sports no matter how many miles are between them. And let’s be real. Unless the OPS of an obscure Royals outfielder whips you into a frenzy (I’m sure there’s a few of you girls out there…maybe 4.3 of you), trust me; you want him to have an outlet to talk about it where that outlet is not you. They’ll talk about Albert Pujols’ opposite field power with a reverence that would make just about any wife/girlfriend/friend/sister uncomfortable, so you’re better off not hearing those conversations
  2. Tradeoffs. Oh, glorious tradeoffs. In my vast experience in marriage (just under six months) I have learned the importance (and the prevalence) of tradeoffs. If he needs three hours to hang with his buddies and draft his team on one Saturday, let him have that time, and let him have it without any interruptions or complaints from you. Once it’s over, he owes you a nice dinner/a movie/a mowed lawn/a foot massage/at least 24 hours where you don’t have to hear the words “WHIP” and “Roy Halladay”. It’s only fair. I’d lay out the tradeoff rules before the draft, if I were you.
  3. Pull him out of fantasy and into reality as necessary. For example, on Saturday afternoon, my husband was flipping through the channels to ESPN, right as a Fantasy Baseball show came on. So I heard a voice say on the TV: “The Fantasy Draft Preview on ESPN starts now.” So I yelled from the other room to my husband, “The Nerd Alert Preview on ESPN starts now!”  Look, I have a serious passion for the Harry Potter books and movies, so I know a thing or two about liking something to a pretty high level on the nerdy scale. It’s good to be reminded sometimes when our passions go a little over the top.
  4. Set boundaries. I am a big believer in setting expectations so everyone is on the same page. I have an extremely low tolerance for when guys check their phone or computer after every play and see how they are faring against that week’s opponent. Worst of all, they feel compelled to give a running update of their team’s score. (I can’t stress enough that only you care how your team is doing. Only. You.) Thankfully, my husband does not do this and he knows that most of the time, I don’t mind fantasy sports discussion, as long as it doesn’t devolve into that. So set your limits. If you need a good starting place, I’d say middle inning relievers. If you hear those words in a sentence, tell him he needs to stop.

This way—whether you’re a baseball fan like me or not—you can live firmly in reality, even if your favorite guy chooses not to do so. You’re worth it.