Wife Saviour Complex is an increasingly common syndrome affecting woman who date and marry footballers nominated for The Fronwlow Medal and The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame. Women afflicted with the syndrome save footballers from their destructive behaviour regardless of how much the women themselves suffer in the process.
The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern-day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. NRL player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while NRL star Jarryd Hayne is the most recent recipient.
The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours former players and players who received media attention in previous seasons, for similarly scandalous behaviour, and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Julian O’Neill.
Women exhibiting signs of Wife Saviour Complex stick by their man through his terrible behaviour. They rescue him from his drug and alcohol abuse, his driving offences and public humiliation. They tolerate his partying and infidelity, and forgive his latest social media faux pas, plus his nudity, racism, sexism, homophobia and destruction of property. The women are left to pick up the pieces when the player gets fined or arrested, and spends time behind bars. They console their man when he gets suspended from his club, or sacked. In some cases, the Wife Saviour suffers psychological, emotional or physical abuse. They suffer through all of these behaviours, even during ‘Women’s Round’.
Some even start a relationship with a man despite knowing that he has engaged in destructive behaviour for many years. Amelia Miller dated former AFL player and Frownlow HoF inductee Nick Stevens knowing he had violently assaulted his former girlfriend, and heard the torrid details while she sat through his court case.
“She turned my life around.”
That’s great for the footballer. The question is, what did the woman have to do, and have to put up with, in order to turn the player’s life around? The net result of the woman’s tireless work is a return to form for the footballer, more victories for his team, representative honours and more money in his bank account.
Behind every great man…
Are they great?
The footballers are grown men, earning a lot of money to play a game they love. Despite this, they can’t turn their own lives around; they need a woman to do it for them. After the woman has turned the footballer’s life around, he returns to being ‘a great bloke’, a ‘top human’ and a ‘role model’ for young people.
Behind every great woman…
This phrase does not exist, but female Frownlow nominees exist. Nita Maynard was the first, and Deni Varnhagen and Millie Boyle followed. There were no articles praising the men who helped these players get back on their feet after their off-field incident. Certainly not for Millie Boyle. The man with whom she committed her toilet tryst and earned her nomination is none other than NRL player Adam Elliott, who has earned numerous Fronwlow nominations for his own indiscretions.
Jack de Belin’s partner apparently helped him turn his life around. We don’t know exactly what happened in the de Belin home, but we do know that the woman was at home, heavily pregnant, while de Belin was out partying and having sex with a 19-year-old woman and Callan Sinclair which resulted in charges of rape (which were eventually dropped).
Next time you hear about a woman turning around the life of a wayward footballer, remember that she may be afflicted with Wife Saviour Complex.