DEAR ABBY: A few years back I got my husband, "Al," involved in coaching our son's hockey team. The sport is something our family enjoys, so I thought it would bring us together. Was I ever wrong! Al's obsession is driving us further apart.
Our son (for unrelated reasons) has been forced to stop playing, but Al is deeper into it than ever. He coaches three teams on a volunteer basis and is away from the house and our four children frequently. It's as if he had a part-time job.
Before you say it, I know there are worse things my husband could be doing. However, that doesn't make it easier to play second fiddle. Al says this is his "thing," so I have no right to intrude. I used to be involved, too, when our son was playing, but I can't justify it now. So Al has told me to butt out of his life and stay away from the whole thing.
Obviously there are other things troubling our marriage, but the fact that he's putting "his responsibility to his teams" before his responsibility to his family is more than I can handle.
I resent the way my husband has put other people's kids ahead of his own. Don't get me wrong; most of the boys and girls he coaches are great. Al may not believe it, but I'm proud of all he's taught them to accomplish. But enough is enough! I don't want it to cost this coach his marriage. -- MRS. COACH IN FLORIDA
DEAR MRS. COACH: Marriage is a team sport that requires effort from both players in order to be successful. Coaching is the way your husband has managed to avoid confronting the "other things" troubling your marriage. The situation won't improve unless you and Al reach a compromise about the number of hours he devotes to coaching so the two of you can resolve your differences and revive your relationship.