pickleball spouses

Pickleball Spouses — The Joys & Challenges of Living with a Pickleball Addict

Do you sit at home waiting for your spouse, who’s already an hour late, to come home!!!?  Do you have a honey-do list that keeps growing because your spouse isn’t around? Does your spouse have a sore thumb because they’re watching videos, or commenting on Facebook Pickleball Forum Groups from their phone?  If so, you must be like me, a pickleball spouse!

Pickleball Spouses

Note: This blog post is written by my wife, Teresa.  Given the time I devote to pickleball in one form or another, she’s an absolute saint. Here’s her perspective on being a “pickleball spouse.” Some of you, I’m sure, can relate.  You may want to share this post with your spouse or significant other.  On the other, hand, perhaps you shouldn’t 😉 See you on the courts.    -Todd

“Okay. I get it. Pickleball is Addicting.”

If you’re married to a pickleball player, you know what I mean. Pickleball is addicting. I guess there are worse things someone could be addicted to. At least pickleball is good exercise, a stress reducer, provides good socializing and is relatively inexpensive.

My Husband is Addicted — Now it’s Non-Stop Pickleball

My husband, Todd, with PickleballMAX, is someone who is totally addicted to pickleball. He’s on the courts either playing or coaching an awful lot. He works his schedule around pickleball on most days. When we travel, he stops by pickleball courts along our drive, just to check them out and see if there is an opportunity for open play. When we’re on vacation, he plays pickleball. When he’s at home, he watches pickleball instructional videos and live streams on Facebook. Around the house, I often catch him doing shadow swings as he works on developing the perfect technique for himself or one of his students.

Fortunately, pickleball is one of our businesses. Actually, I recommended it once he caught the pickleball bug. I knew he was hooked and would be spending a lot of time with it. I have to admit, and others have also mentioned, he was born to play pickleball.

“As for Me, Not so Much.”

I like to play pickleball from time to time, but I’m not addicted. I know I will never be at my husband’s level and I’m okay with that. If I play, it’s just for fun and exercise. I don’t want to play competitively and I don’t want people watching my technique (or lack thereof) — since he’s a coach. I enjoy just assisting during his pickleball clinics and watching him play from the sidelines — both of which have allowed me to develop relationships with the always-friendly group of pickleball players.  Afterall, pickleball is a social sport. We both have met a ton of people on the pickleball courts.

The Good & the Bad of Pickleball

I believe pickleball can be a great sport for couples, but I also know it can be a point of contention if the spouse doesn’t possess that same desire to play. I’ve seen couples who are great playing together, couples who need to play on different courts and, unfortunately, marriages which were harmed because of the pickleball addiction.

On our PickleballMAX blog, we get questions and comments from pickleball spouses from time-to-time. Some spouses don’t play, others love the game just as much as their spouse, and, still others play simply to spend their available free time with their spouse (even though they may not even enjoy the game…  gulp!).  Here’s one such comment:

My husband loves pickleball. We both started at the same time, practice the same amount and have the same coaching. He is now playing at a very high level while I am at the same level with which I started. Neither one of us are former tennis players but 99% of the people we play with are. I am the worst player in our area. Even beginners are better than me. If I play with someone really good, I manage to guarantee we will lose. My husband loves pickleball and I wouldn’t dare burst his bubble by telling him I don’t enjoy it. I ride out the 4 hours we play each week, doing the best i can but it is an exercise in frustration for me, and I’m sure, those with whom I play.

When Todd Plays it’s a Nice Break for Me… Shhhh!!!!  Don’t Tell him that!

For me, I actually don’t mind the time that Todd devotes to pickleball because we both work from home and see each other “all of the time.” Actually, it’s nice getting a break when he’s gone (but don’t tell him that 😉 ). However, if we both worked outside of the home from 9-5, and he then spent time on the pickleball court every night, that would get old.

What’s your Story?

How about you? Are you a pickleball spouse who loves to play? Are you someone who tries to play just so you can spend time with your spouse?  Are you someone who’s content at watching your spouse play? Or are you someone who doesn’t care about pickleball and are frustrated/upset with all of the time your spouse devotes to the sport?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Maybe all of us pickleball spouses need to form a support group 🙂 !

About Teresa

Teresa is the idea-maker behind PickleballMAX. Teresa joins Todd to manage and market PickleballMAX. She creates pickleball content and assists with pickleball tournaments. In 2023, she wrote a pickleball devotional book titled Pickleball Is [Not] Life

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10 Comments

  1. I play pickleball and love it! I play 4-5 days a week- mornings mostly. I do drills, attend clinics, play tournaments as well as organize them. My husband doesn’t play. I wish he would but he doesn’t want to try it. I am retired. My husband still works so we are not missing any time together for the most part. He has a demanding job and works long hours and is catching up on work on the weekends. I used to sit home and wait for him. No more. I’ve met some great friends with pickleball and am happier. My husband is supportive as long as I’m not letting other things slide. He does think it’s a cult. I think everyone should find something that they love to do and it doesn’t necessarily need to be with your spouse/partner. My husband and I love to travel. I know what trips I can bring my paddle and what trips I should leave it at home.

  2. My husband got hooked onto pickleball when we moved to Arizona 2 years ago. He travels and works a lot. So do I. I work (3) 12 hr. shifts each week.. Just recently, I had a surgery and finally realized I don’t see or spend time with him. I am at home waiting for him to get done. He works all week from 5am to 3pm. Plays all weekend (Fri to Sun) about 6 hours including driving distance. Other husbands.. do they not want to spend time with their respective spouses? He texted players all the time to arrange a game or two. I felt so neglected!! My relationship with him is not the same anymore. I don’t know what to do. I used to play and even wanted to train to be able to play at his level. I hate pickleball now because it took my husband away. He even got all his siblings involved. Now all they do when they come together is watch pickleball channel!! Frustrated…

    1. Hi EL, I hate to hear that. While I am certainly not a counselor I would suggest that — in the most loving way possible — you make him aware of how you feel. My guess is he may be oblivious to what he’s doing and the impact it’s having. Unfortunately, guys, at times, are oblivious to the obvious. I’m guilty of that myself from time-to-time! ;-).

  3. Today will go down in history! After a year of pleading, nagging, almost threatening to break up with my fiancé if he did not try Pickleball, he finally caved! He played and played pretty darn good for a beginner. As silly as it sounds, it made me so happy that he now can see the basis for my Pickleball addiction and we have finally found something we Both love to do…

    Doing the happy dance!

  4. I am a non playing spouse with two children. We both work full time, which means that there are no longer family dinners ( maybe once a week), Sunday brunches, weekday walks. Initially I used to enjoy my time “off”. Now I resent pickle-ball and I agree that it is an addiction

  5. I am a pickleball spouse. Although I enjoy both playing and watching the game, I am not as addicted as my husband. I have to resolved to continue to play socially, although I do admit that I love to compete as well. But, tournaments are not for me even though they seem to be his new vocation. Our vacations and spare time off tend to revolve around his pickleball schedule and that can be a good and bad thing. It’s good because we travel places we may not have traveled but it’s bad if we end up spending more time with pickleball than we do our family, or more money on pickleball than we could’ve saved or spent elsewhere. But overall, I am so thankful that my husband loves the game. As you said, it’s such a healthy Outlet and the people we have met through the sport are wonderful.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Molly! I knew you would be able to relate. You and I could be the stars of Real Housewives of Pickleball:)! ~Teresa

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