2018 NASSS Annual Conference
Sport Soundtrack: Sport, Music, & Culture

Steven Ortiz

Oregon State University
The Sport Marriage: A Career-Dominated Marriage
The Sport Marriage: A Career-Dominated Marriage
Scholarly knowledge about the lived experience of men and women who marry professional athletes is extremely limited. Based on my longitudinal research with wives of professional athletes, I developed a work-family model called the career-dominated marriage and applied it to heteronormative sport marriages in the four major professional team sports. Using this model, my research examines how wives subordinate themselves while supporting their husbands’ careers, cope with unique occupational and marital stressors, and deal with the numerous personal sacrifices and marital inequities they deem necessary for their survival. Despite their meaningful support, many feel isolated, devalued, and oppressed. This model can potentially be applied to numerous other types of sport marriages, such as those involving Olympic competitors, triathletes, boxers, surfers, skiers, marathoners, track and field athletes, auto-racing drivers, golf players, tennis players, soccer players, and rugby players. These marriages also may involve males married to female professional athletes, LGBTIQ partners, partners who are both pursuing a sport career, and so forth. This begs the question of how the scholarly knowledge gained from other types of sport marriages might frame our current understanding of the distinctive challenges a professional athlete’s partner confronts.

My Moderators Sessions

Friday, November 2

4:30pm PDT