March Madness breeds boyfriend madness

My boyfriend is a monster during tournament season and I’m starting to hate him. Photo: Wichita State's upset win over Pittsburgh no doubt left many Panther fans in sulky moods AP.

SALT LAKE CITY, March 22, 2013 — When you need some friendly advice, write the Ask Angela Column at or through the Ask Angela Facebook page.

Dear Angela:

I recently made the rather big step of moving in with my boyfriend of four years. We’ve had a wonderful relationship and this felt like the right step to make considering we are definitely on the path towards marriage. I’ve always known that he is an ardent sports fan and for the most part I’ve let him do his thing. Since moving in together and during this crazy March Madness month, I’ve noticed that he’s way more into it (sports) than I thought.

If his team loses, he can’t even talk to anyone or me after the game. He goes to our room and sulks for the rest of the night. If I ask him a question, he mumbles one-word answers in response. If I try to touch him, he shrugs me off and stares angrily at the wall or ceiling. It’s the most immature adult behavior that I’ve ever seen, and it’s very unattractive.

How do I address this? Keep in mind there are a lot of tournaments for a lot of different sports every year and I honestly don’t want to hate my boyfriend. Help?

Sincerely, NoMoreBball

Dear NoMoreBball,

So you knew you were going to learn new things about Mr. Boyfriend when you two moved in together, so first, be grateful that this acting-like-a-baby-about-sports issue is your first challenge and not something…else.

Second, many women have to find ways to navigate the complexities of men and their sports, so take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone.

Here’s what you do: When he’s having his “baditude,” ignore it. Trying to hug him, asking him what’s wrong and force feeding him dessert to “make him feel better” will just give him more opportunities to take whatever frustration he’s feeling out on you. This is also absolutely not the time to be like, “Why are you acting like this? I hate when you act like this! We need to have an in-depth conversation about our feelings because you’re making me so mad!” As much as you will want to do this, don’t.

Instead, a couple days later, when he has calmed down and is back to normal tell him that you’ve noticed that when X happens (his team loses) he acts like Y (a baby) and it makes you feel like Z (like you hate him), and you’re not sure how you should respond in this scenario. Then have a conversation about it, it’ll relieve the tension that you’re feeling and allow him to see how he’s acting.

Don’t expect everything to be better the very next loss, but he’ll at least be aware of what he’s doing and how it’s affecting you, and that’s a good place to start.

Readers: Do you think this BF’s behavior is indicative of a deeper issue? How have you handled your significant other’s immature behavior? 

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Angela Trusty

Angela Trusty brings her great life observations and advice Communities.  Angela also authors   ‘Ask Angela’ which also appears bi-monthly in the Deseret News. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the lucky sibling of 5 sisters and 1 brother.

She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, but Baltimore will always be her home. 


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