It is often the little things that can bring situations to a head. Admittedly, sometimes it’s the equivalent of invading Poland that sets in motion a chain of events, but more often than not it is the clothes left on the floor, toothpaste squeezed around the sink or the toilet seat up.
So this is a warning to couples ahead of the World Cup: don’t let football be the decisive penalty in an emotional shootout.
Divorce lawyers – me not included – are rubbing their hands at the prospect of a World Cup summer prompting a run on divorce. The emotional rollercoaster of supporting England – or whichever country you follow – can lead to frayed tempers, short fuses and a trip to your solicitor.
It is the same when there is any pressure pinch in life. Emotionally charged situations can bring undercurrents of feelings to a head. These issues may have been bubbling under for some time. They are not created by the specific situation. It is merely the catalyst. Christmas is a prime example. Two weeks of turkey dinners and card games with the in-laws is the straw that breaks the back of many couples and family lawyers see the traditional post-new year rush of individuals initiating divorce proceedings. It’s not specifically the turkey curry, or the canasta, but they are the spark.
From June 12, I suspect about half the national will be glued to the TV watching the matches unfold in South Africa. I am not saying this is all men, but it is likely to be more men than women. If we win, the nation will be triumphant. When we lose, tempers will flare and rash decisions might on reflection appear, well rash, even without the benefit of a slow motion replay and pundit’s commentary.
So this is my plea to everyone to stay calm in the face of soccer adversity. I’m not going to use the phrase “it’s only a game”. The nation has a passion about football and we have high expectations. It is very important to the majority of this country.
But keep cool, don’t argue with the ref, don’t make big decisions during the dying minutes of a game – and be philosophical when we underperform and slump out of another tournament. Think yellow card rather than red.