NFL Wives Nurture Marriages to Reduce Cheating

VIDEO: Fox News reports that Brett Favre still denies sending racy photos to Jenn Sterger.
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Keeping a man honest is a noble goal -- and a tough one if your husband is an NFL player.

Traded from team to team, they work grueling schedules and have little time at home with their wives or significant others.

And there are women who would do anything to snag a good-looking athlete as a trophy.

Minnesota Vikings star Brett Favre has been accused of sending photos of his private parts to a New York Jets' game hostess when he was their quarterback in 2008. Just last spring, former New York Giants player Tiki Barber left his wife Ginny for 23-year-old NBC intern Traci Lynn Johnson. At the time, Barber's wife was eight months pregnant with twins.

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So how to keep players on the straight and narrow? Tia Robbins, wife of St. Louis defensive tackle Fred Robbins, has launched a company, Off the Market, with Jerika Johnstone, wife of former NFL player Lance Johnstone and Jasmine Silva, girlfriend of St. Louis Rams safety James Butler.

Off the Market sponsors invitation-only gatherings for NFL couples, allowing them to socialize on the road, bonding others so they can sustain a "positive, healthy, sexy, fun relationship."

"When we got married, it was a huge commitment for both of us," said Robbins. "We were wondering how we could keep this marriage fresh and fun and rewarding."

The wives also want to create a haven for committed couples -- so their husbands don't stray.

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"We can't keep anyone from being unfaithful," said Robbins, who is expecting her first child in June. "But we can create the environment."

The company was started in 2009, right before the Tiger Woods sex scandal. But cheating was "probably the last thing on our minds," according to Johnstone. "We wanted to focus on the positive."

"For sure, there are challenges with busy schedules and traveling," she said. "It can lead a wandering mind to assume there are things or incidents occurring if you are not in a secure and trustful relationship."

"We see other people facing that, [thinking] 'Oh gosh, I haven't seen him over the weekend,'" she said. "'It's possible he's outside partying.' But that's an issue whether you are married to an athlete or a stay-at-home dad."

Love and the NFL

It's also a support group that posts tips to other wives on Off the Market's Facebook page.

Some read like an advice column from Cosmopolitan: "Cater to your mate's pleasures and desires, be it fried chicken or a foot massage; initiate sex; give your mate an overdue compliment; give your partner a genuine loving and approving smile."

But they also promote "autonomy" in a relationship as "essential to long-term love."

"I am the author of many of the posts," said Johnstone. "I am a Ph.D. and a mother and this perhaps is a side of me that needs a little bit of a boost... It seems simplistic, but these are quick points that we can insert to build spark in our lives."

Its first event, in New York, was sponsored by a concierge service and an insurance company for athletes. On Oct. 31, about 40 athletes and their wives or girlfriends will meet up in St. Louis.

The company will soon launch a social networking site and perhaps plan a retreat.

Football is "extremely stressful on men, physically and mentally," said Silva. "While there is still a presence, it isn't as dynamic as in the off season. The husband comes home, but you are spending time taking care of the family and maintaining a normal family on your own."

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