So being the wife of a professional mixed martial artist in the UFC is amazing, fun, entertaining, crazy, different, unique, stressful, and hard!
Matt and I have 2-year-old twin boys which definitely makes everything about his career that much harder but everything about life a lot more enjoyable. There’s a few different reasons why having kids makes things a bit harder for the wife. For example, rest is a very important part of Matt’s career and especially during a training camp. It’s important for him to have time to rest and recover, which means that I don’t get to sleep in too often. This has definitely been an area for arguments with me and Matt because of course everyone likes to sleep in, but its all about communication and when I really need a couple extra hours I tell Matt and he has no problem getting up early with the twins. Of course spouses who don’t have kids wont have this problem but if and when they do it’s definitely important to let your spouse get the rest he or she needs because they are putting their bodies through extreme workouts almost everyday and without the rest their body won’t be able to keep up with their mind.
Another really tricky area is dieting. For most people, we can say “I’m going on a diet” and try to eat clean and healthy. But for a fighter, it’s not a diet its a lifestyle. It’s important for the spouse to understand that it’s not easy for the fighter to eat salad when he is craving a pizza but you have to be there and support him and not tempt him. It really is a lifestyle change for the spouse too, unless he or she was a total health freak before they met but for me, I didn’t even eat salad when I met Matt so filling the fridge has been a huge challenge for me and I’m still trying to get better at it…its all about trying…if you don’t try you wont be helping the situation at all and you will only make it harder on the person you love who is trying everyday to become the best he or she can be.
Trust. Matt travels a lot, especially lately. I’m sure everyone can understand how hard it is for your husband or wife to leave for weeks at a time, but its even harder with kids. But I trust that Matt is doing what he needs to do for his career which supports our family. Trust is also important in regard to traveling for the relationship. Matt is gone for weeks at a time and it can get lonely but he trusts me that I’m not off being a bad wife and I trust him that he is being a dedicated faithful husband. I think that this is harder for new couples it was harder for me when matt and I started dating because the relationship was new and he was going off to Seattle, Hawaii, Ohio (we lived in Vegas at the time) and I didn’t fully trust that our relationship was solid enough to keep him from giving into temptation. Luckily it was and now its a lot easier for me to be comfortable with him leaving to all these different cities and even countries. But in the beginning of a relationship I would tell the spouse of a fighter to be open with each other and if there’s any doubts or questions be up front about them. Dont snoop thru emails and phones, just be straight up and honest with one another. Tell each other your worries and fears about being away from each other for extended periods of time and you will work thru any potential issues.
Finally I would say patience is a must when you are the spouse of a fighter. Sometimes I want Matt to do things at a time when he will be training, or I want him to go to a doctor’s appointment for the kids at a time when he is out-of-town for a fight, and sometimes he is just too tired! Its frustrating but I try to be very patient and understanding. Fighters seriously put their bodies thru SO much and when a fighter is at the peak of their career the spouse really needs to be patient and understand that there WILL be time, maybe just not ‘today’
MMABeats: As you can tell the life of an MMA fighters wife isn’t always easy but when you truly love someone it can and will work. Thank you Colleen for taking time to tell me what your life with Matt is like.