The Wives' Lounge:
Strong Marriages in Sports Research Project:
We have now completed over 70 interviews of players,coaches, wives and staff in
MLB. We learned many new things about marriages and the unique challenges the
baseball life adds. We have made some changes and are now entering into Phase 2
of the research. We have hired the Pacific Institute of Research and Evaluation,
a reputable independent research firm to protect and analyze the data. This will
authenticate the research and give us access to many more resources in the
future. We are sending out two research teams in Spring Training this year. Dr.
Robbins and Nancy DeLaney will he coming to Florida and Dr. Zimmerman and Pam
Cupp will be heading to Arizona. We will be open to do face to face interviews
with anyone who is willing to participate. Annette Andrus will be interviewing
retired players. The interviews are much more in depth and specific than the
first ones. We are focusing on wives taking good care of themselves, dealing
with external stresses like money, family and expectations and prevention
of and dealing with infidelity. We are also trying to
find more data to determine what the actual divorce rate is in baseball. Once
interviews are complete, they will be analyzed and then we will move on to Phase
3 which will be sharing the results and giving you tools and information to deal
with issues that arise. We also are offering ongoing support for couples that
participate. If you are interested, please contact me via email or cell to see
up times. Thank you again for all of you who participated.
Click here to view the results of the exploratory research survey (2.8mb PPT)
Pacific Institute of Research and Evaluation(P.I.R.E.)
1300 South 4th St. Suite 300
Louisville, KY 40208
~Kym Byrd: Coordinating, Life Coaching and Program Development
~Dr. Tom Robbins: Primary Investigator, Counseling and Program Development
Bio: Director of Family Counseling for the Archdioses of Louisville and a
researcher for the P.I.R.E.
~Nancy DeLaney: Researcher and Program Development
Bio: Graduate student in Counseling and Psychology at the University of
~Annette Andrus: Interviewer and Counseling
Bio: Masters in Counseling from Auburn University and runs Wellspring
Counseling Center in Opelika, Alabama
~Dr. Rick Zimmerman: Researcher and Interview Analysis
Bio: Center Director for P.I.R.E. and Professor of Sociology and Health
Communications at the University of Kentucky
~Pam Cupp: Interviewer
Bio: Deputy Director at P.I.R.E.
These are little fun, helpful tips for you to use as you see fit. I have gathered these from wives all over the country. Please enjoy! If you have a tip you'd like to share email it in.
Tip #1: My friend Sonya gave me a great tip on keeping my jewelry in order. A clear tackle box with many compartments and a snap on lid($5.00 at hardware store) can hold 50 pairs of earrings. I color coordinate mine. Then when I travel if they flip over they still stay in order. It also makes it easier to coordinate them with outfits.
Tip #2: Instead of everyone in our extended family giving my kids toys, we ask for small amount gift cards to Barnes and Nobles, Toys R Us and Target. Then during the season when the toys I've packed are "Boring," we head to these stores and pick out new ones. It also cuts down on my packing during the year.
Because we are on the road a bunch dinner is usually out. (My kids favorite
thing to do is eat grilled cheese and ABC soup at home.) But hey we are together
at a table for a meal. We've had dinner at some unusual places. It count! One
game Paul and I play to pass the time and engage with our kids is "Guess the
lie." We tell the boys 4 convincing tales of our past. For example: 1.Mom knows
the secret recipe for Orange Julius'. 2. Mom once ate 3 bags of pig skins and
was sick. 3. Mom wanted to name you Madison and Emmy. 4. Mom had a class with
Shaquile O'Neal in college. (The lie is 2.) The boys have to guess which is the
lie and if they as a team guess right they get a point. Otherwise we act really
obnoxious and get the point. They love it and are amazed at all the things we
have done. And before you know it the grilled chicken is at the table!
Here are answers to your questions. My hope is that they will support and encourage you as you navigate through the baseball like. Check back as the questions will be changed periodically, Feel free to email your questions.
Q: I know you have school age children. What do you do for school with the kids?
A: It is such an individuaI family decision. It depends on your kids' personality. I personally, take my kids out in the first of March. We have hired a certified teacher to tutor our kids March, April and May. It is an expensive alternative. But they improve in areas of weakness and are not having to change to a new school. My youngest would not adjust well to a new school setting. The school provides us with the work they need to finish and we email grades back weekly. We do put them in school in August at home and they start the school year there. Paul and I commute back and forth to visit and spend no more than two weeks apart.
Q: Do you worry that the baseball lifestyle is bad for your kids?
A: I do at times. I worry that they might feel chaotic with all the changes and
moves. However, Paul and I have had the priviledge of playing with second
generation baseball kids. Several of them said they loved their childhood. They
loved being a part of a different life and loved the adventure of going away
each year. Another wise coach's wife told me baseball had taught her children to
learn to have relationships better and also to be flexible. There is no one
formula because all children adapt differently. You need to pay attention to
your child and how they are behaving or adapting. We notice that the hardest
thing on our two boys is that they are together all day long. The are in school,
and without friends and school until the summer. They tend to fight more than
usual. This off-season we hired a family counselor to help us encourage them and
give them healthy boundaries. This gave us a great bit of insight into their
thoughts on the lifestyle and enabled us to tweak things before the season.
Do you have an helpful tip or question you'd like to share? Feel free to email it to me.