With the Euro 2012 tournament in full swing, football fever is about to dominate our summer, TV screens and if your partner is soccer mad - it may take over your relationship too.

The ‘beautiful game’ has kicked off and millions of football fanatics fans are already filled with competitive fervour - and quite likely arguing with their other half.

According to a recent study by Samsung, tension over penalty shoot-outs and goalkeeping errors aren’t the only things that’ll mount up over the football season, as 20% of Brits admit to experiencing ‘relationship issues’ during the tournament.

euro 2012 relationship

The biggest bugbear is from partners who constantly talk and ask questions throughout the match. However, the cardinal sin as discovered in the study - is revealing the score before their partner has had a chance to watch the match.

Although (among anti-football fans) the stress over goal scoring isn’t considered a huge deal - for avid fanatics, match-related tension could potentially lead to deeper psychological issues, such as anxiety and depression.

So much so, that leading bookmaker, Blue Square, has teamed up with psychologist Dr David Lewis, to ensure football fans have psychological support during the ups and downs of the games, via the Blue Square Twitter feed.

“Euro 2012 can be a real roller coaster of emotions with extreme highs and lows in a short space of time,” Dr Lewis told HuffPost Lifestyle.

“I will provide practical advice on dealing with eventualities ranging from the dreaded penalties to a game-changing sending off.”

But how can you help a football-mad partner? Scroll down to find out

“First of all, you’ll need to recognise what kind of relationship you have with your partner,” explains Dr. Lewis.

“If you can distinguish whether you’re in an adult/adult partnership or adult/child relationship, you’ll be able to fully understand how to deal with their moods and football-related tantrums.”

Dr Lewis explains that if you’re in an adult/adult relationship (where both partners communicate and respect each other on an equal footing), suggest a brisk walk or jog to help dissipate adrenalin and pent-up stress.

If you’re in an adult/child relationship (where one partner acts a lot younger than their age), take another approach by using subtle relaxation techniques to avoid confrontation.

“A lot of men behave like children when it comes to football, but the most important thing is to recognise how powerful emotions can be and to remind your partner that they need to stay in ‘the zone’.

“By this, I mean, follow the sports stars’ example by keeping your eye on the ball, not getting too wrapped up in the emotional ride and perform at your peak, making sure you don’t over-do it.”

HuffPost Lifestyle asked Dr David Lewis, who is also founder of independent research consultancy, Mindlab International, for his tops tips on how to de-stress your relationship during Euro 2012.


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  • How To De-Stress Your Football-Mad Partner

  • Pre-Match

    "If you can feel the pre-match excitement turning into anxiety, adopt a classic relaxation technique before it gets out of hand. Get your partner to uncross his legs, stand with his feet flat on the floor and inhale and exhale for 15 seconds each time during four intervals. This deep breathing, calming technique will help him to get the game into perspective and alleviate any pre-match nerves he may be experiencing."

  • During The Match

    "The anticipation and nerves are building up and during this stage, you may notice his face has become pale. This is because the blood is being drained away from his cheeks as the adrenalin builds up. Instruct him to place his dominant hand about 1cm away from his cheek and imagine that his face is warming up the palm of his hand. The cheek contains many blood vessles, so by imagining the heat evaporating from his face into his hand helps relax tense muscles and blood vessels, bringing the body temperature, and blood flow, back to normal."

  • Match Climax: Penalties

    "Penalties can be the most stressful part of the game. To avoid a complete meltdown, make a 'colour card' by sticking/ painting/ drawing a green, yellow or blue dot in the middle. Give him the card and ask him to look at it while the penalty is about to be kicked instead of getting more and more wound up. These colours are relaxing, soothing colours and should help take the edge off the excitement."

  • Post-Match

    "The game is over and your partner is either reeling - or elated - by the results. Help contain his emotions by instructing him to stand up and shake his hands vigorously as if his hands are soaking wet and he is trying to dry them, for 15 seconds. Then get ask him to inhale and exhale deeply, and as he does, raise his hands above his head so his palms are stretching towards the ceiling. This will allow the air to oxygenate his lungs and reach his brain. During the 90-minute game, chances are, your partner spent it crunched up on the sofa - which also scrunches up his diaphragm, which stops him being able to breathe in properly. These simple exercises will help him regain normal breathing patterns and as a result, it will alleviate stress levels."