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Why does he get to take the easy way out? - Page 2

post #21 of 39

My husband has a TV addiction.  It's absolutely an addiction and he knows it.   He flips on the TV when I run into the other room to grab something!

 

Anyway, he's been working on his addiction for a few years and has improved quite a bit, but that doesn't change the fact that LO is 9 months and doesn't need to be chilling on the couch with my husband watching cartoons!  He doesn't need to be watching TV at all, and in fact was banned from it by the doctor because he is high risk for ADHD due to his birth mother's sketchy drug history. 

 

Although this isn't quite a SOLUTION per say, it was an improvement for us.  I made a play area for the little one, literally right in front of the couch.  We made an U shape with the square ottoman, couch and loveseat and there he has toys and a little play mat. 

 

This ended up being our compromise.  Keeps baby right at daddy's feet actually PLAYING  and so close which keeps daddy involved.  And instead of cartoons, he watches boring things.  The ottoman blocks the TV while he's playing but he does occassionally stand up and look at it / dance to the commercials, which is much better than the previous situation. 

 

He feels like he still gets to relax and get TV time.

post #22 of 39

I don't think that preschoolers should be watching a ton of television, but I don't feel it's the devil, either. There's some kids programming that's actually pretty good. My DD's now four but is a big Team Umizoomi fan. She's learned a lot of math from that show.

 

He's their father. He should be able to watch tv with a preschooler for short bits of time if that's something he enjoys doing with his child. You can do what you enjoy with your preschooler when it's your time with him (which is most of the time.)

 

The baby doesn't need to be watching tv, though.

post #23 of 39
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polliwog View Post

He's their father. He should be able to watch tv with a preschooler for short bits of time if that's something he enjoys doing with his child. You can do what you enjoy with your preschooler when it's your time with him (which is most of the time.)


Sigh. I so didn't want to come out with an actual number here because I am seriously embarrassed. But, last weekend, hubby let our toddler watch the movie Cars three times in one day: we are talking six hours of screen time there (please don't kick me out of MDC). Also for at least one viewing, hubby had our toddler go watch it in another room because he was sick of the movie. So it's not always about spending time together. It's about my hubby wanting the toddler to be calm, quiet and "good".

 

 

 

 

post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by allisonrose View Post

 


Sigh. I so didn't want to come out with an actual number here because I am seriously embarrassed. But, last weekend, hubby let our toddler watch the movie Cars three times in one day: we are talking six hours of screen time there (please don't kick me out of MDC). Also for at least one viewing, hubby had our toddler go watch it in another room because he was sick of the movie. So it's not always about spending time together. It's about my hubby wanting the toddler to be calm, quiet and "good".

 

 

 

 


Nobodys gonna kick you out of MDC...or even think less of you. You have a real live problem here with your co-parent and you are trying to fix it. Don't get down on yourself, man. Seriously. Being a part of this community is about sharing joy and supporting each other through troubles...and you've got real troubles. We're here for you, not to judge, but to try and help you with our combined knowledge and life experience.

 

Yeah, that's a lot of freaking TV...yeah, I would be freaking the hell out on my husband if that were his approach to parenting....but it's not my DHs approach, it;s YOUR DHs approach and to me, it speaks of an overwhelming underlying inability to cope with his life. I can't *really* say what I'd be doing if this were my reality, just like you can't say what you would do in my shoes, with some of the struggles I have with MY man. We've all got things in front of us we're trying to work through. You;re here, you're trying to work on this with a completely uncooperative partner...that says a lot.

 

A lot of the time, people who plug into TV compulsively and obsessively like your husband seems to want to, are escaping so hard from the relationships in their lives that it's not even funny. It's not about enjoying the TV or "relaxing"...it's about UNplugging from you, the kids, the reality of the persons life entirely.

 

Your husband needs help. The TV piece of things is not going to improve until the underlying inability or unwillingness to plug into and engage his life is shifted, big time.

 

I really almost feel badly for him. I mean, we all reach the end of our ropes...on a bad day, sometimes we're just trying to hold on, hour by hour...having kid, just the "everyday-ness" of it, can really be taxing. But your husband can't handle a Sunday afternoon...a regular day, taking a walk...laying on the floor and babbling when there is nothing else to do....he can't handle any of it.

 

 

The reason the kid is going nuts and getting loud and obnoxious is because he's trying to break through the wall of distraction and detachment that is up around your DH when he should be present and peaceful with your child. I really believe that for the most part, he is creating the very behavior he is trying to resolve with TV.

 

I say this lovingly and gently:

 

The problem is, your husband isn't present in his/your life. He doesn't want to be around your kids, he doesn't want to be around you. He wants to be in a silent room, with the TV on. That's what he wants. There are very many people living like this. Some of them are depressed, some of them are bored, some of them are generally overwhelmed with their lives.

 

He has something going on with him...an unhappiness that is deep inside him that he needs to resolve. Talking to him about "just stop, get off the couch and play with your kid" is like saying to a heroin junky "just put down the needle!" - putting down the needle, or clicking off the TV, is not touching the depression/overwhelmed feeling/boredom/etc that is the reason why the junky picks up the needle....or the unplugged-dad flips on the TV.

 

You need to stop coming at this from a "TV is bad for our kids" angle and you need to start making a serious plan for fixing your marriage. Your kid watching TV as much as you describe makes me shiver, for sure, but you going the rest of your life in a partnership like that one I think you're living with, makes me feel downright sad....even worse than that, is the way I feel when I imagine your DH, going through life so overwhelmed/depressed/whatever...that he misses so many joyous things, so much laughter and fun, because of his TV habit.

 

There is something deeply wrong here. Six hours of Cars movie is not normal...a normal dad, with no underlying issues of his own, does not let his kid sit down and watch Cars three times in a row.

 

He has a problem. A REAL problem.....you guys need help. I really really think you should stop talking about TV the way you have been...and start talking, instead, about the fact that this man is a complete ghost in your life.

 

post #25 of 39

Yeah OP....I just went back and re-read your first post...the frosty is such a dead giveaway. Can you imagine what that looked like? Your son is completely glued to Spiderman, your little baby is crawling all around, while your DH is completely glued to his TV program...and then he is eating a Frosty and the baby is all "agghhhhh" :pointing to the frosty: and your DH can't cope with even a second a of crying..he can't/doesn't want to cope with the two minutes of crying that would come as a result of him finishing off and throwing away the frosty and then redirecting a baby to some other toy or whatever. So he just sits there and lets the baby have it.

 

In my mind, that speaks volumes. The man has no tools and no parenting coping skills. Resolving the TV habit is not going to fix anything..TV is not the problem. Just like drugs aren't the problem for junkies. The problem is your husbands RELATIONSHIP with TV and the fact that he is using it to shield himself from the horror of trying to parent with no skills.

 

The man needs skills. He needs tools to work with here....there is no amount of talking or chart making that is going to shift this situation in any meaningful way. Even if you unplugged the TV....he would develop an unhealthy relationship with something else to help him. Rage, maybe? Screaming at them and retreating to some other part of the house? I don't know.

 

But I can imagine how completely terrible it must be to try and parent small kids with zero skills. The REASON he has no skills may be perfectly honest, he may just REALLY be lacking...he may be actually depressed...who knows, he may just be completely unwilling and too lazy to get a clue....but regardless of what it may be, it has to change...because these kids are real, they are here...and you only get one shot to have a warm, loving, connected childhood experience with them.

post #26 of 39

As the wife of a husband with similar issues I can really relate.  But also remember, he's a guy with feelings and if he's like most guys - stubbornness.  If you are forceful or demanding in any way it's only going to serve to isolate him further. Try to look at things from his perspective and see what's really bugging him.  I doubt you'll ever fully get a handle on his drug, but you both can, as a team, work together. 

 

Clearly you wouldn't have come asking for help if something wasn't wrong, but don't feel responsible for it.  Odds are, deep down, I bet he feels kinda shameful about it to. 

 

I work full time (till late at night), cook, clean and still somehow manage to get up at the crack of dawn and entertain baby, but some days it's REALLY difficult and I know how my husband feels,.  As the person that deals with the day to day aspect of everything that's going on, it's very easy for me to realize what the baby needs. 

 

One thing I've discovered really helps my husband is to have access to the routine as well as some ideas of what to do.  My husband is a writer, and is absolutely brilliant, but sometimes just figuring out what to do with a baby is really overwhelming for him.   

 

No matter what, you're not going to magically help him get over his TV problems, or his lack of presence, and to be honest I think ou'd be fooling yourself if you think you can change him in any way at all, but you guys can work as a team to come up with solutions.

 

Some other things that have helped my husband:

 

Access to the routine, so he knows about when nap time is, and snack time, play time, etc... it helps give him a sense of right now and not 'the next 8 hours while I'm all alone with a baby."   He's grown out of needing it, but it helped.  He would get really overwhelmed looking at the big picture.

 

Babywearing -  We got a traditional backpack type carrier that he wasn't embarassed to wear.  It helped give him a sense of control back.  He can do something whille still soothing baby.

 

Toys - it sounds kind of silly, but toys that he could connect with.   He can literally play with a BABY for an hour with just foam blocks.  He builds towers, and baby plays babyzilla.

 

Have you asked him what you can do to help support him on the days you're not around?   He might not know at first, but if you probe him with some suggestions, something might spark an idea in him. See if you can figure out what exactly he's having a difficult time with.  My husbands answers ended up being very confusing, but came down to, "I don't feel like I can get anything done," "I don't know how to entertain him..."

post #27 of 39

And, sadly, your husband is pretty much like every other dad that I know on the planet that was born after 1975, so don't feel like he's some kind of monster, or abnormal.  It's not easy being a dad, and some just really don't know how to.  Just be sure you don't make him feel like he's some kind of horrible person or father.  Just figure out ways that you, as a couple, can move forward and improve all around. 

 

Another thing that helps is giving my husband some time to himself, to veg or get stuff done without us around.

 

 

post #28 of 39
Thread Starter 

I have been thinking about this thread and running the recent posts over in my mind even though it's taken me a while to post again. 

 

On a practical level, we did better with TV this weekend: a lot less mindless watching. So he did hear me even though he was defensive. He even took our toddler to the playground. This Monday was definitely easier than last Monday. (I think Mondays tend to be tough because it's sort of detoxing from too much TV.)

 

I made a comment today about his addiction to TV. He denied it. I asked him if he could go a day without watching TV. He said "sure but I'd sleep all day and you wouldn't like that either." I don't feel that sleeping and TV watching are legitimate hobbies. (Of course, he's a tad perplexed by my interest in a Kindle since reading is not at all enjoyable for him.)

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by AverysMomma View Post

 

I say this lovingly and gently:

 

The problem is, your husband isn't present in his/your life. He doesn't want to be around your kids, he doesn't want to be around you. He wants to be in a silent room, with the TV on. That's what he wants. There are very many people living like this. Some of them are depressed, some of them are bored, some of them are generally overwhelmed with their lives.

 


Thank you for validating my feelings. I've told him that he's not really emotionally available. He doesn't understand what I mean.

I suspect one of his biggest issues is that he very likely suffers from sleep apnea. Sometimes he admits it's possible but sometimes he denies it. Sleep apnea can cause depression which I think he does struggle with to some extent. He is also a rather anxious person (I don't know if that is related to the sleep apnea or a completely seperate issue). He asked me just recently how he can be more happy. He realizes our life is pretty good and yet he constantly worries about something.
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by IzzyTheTerrible View Post

 

Have you asked him what you can do to help support him on the days you're not around?   He might not know at first, but if you probe him with some suggestions, something might spark an idea in him. See if you can figure out what exactly he's having a difficult time with.  My husbands answers ended up being very confusing, but came down to, "I don't feel like I can get anything done," "I don't know how to entertain him..."


Good points. I'll have to sit down and talk to him about what I can do to help him be a (more hands on) dad. Although he's only have 2-3 hours max with the kids: my boob-loving baby would make 8 hours very difficult!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IzzyTheTerrible View Post

 

Another thing that helps is giving my husband some time to himself, to veg or get stuff done without us around.


In my house, we always seem to have this push and pull of needs. I need his help with the kids. I also occasionally need a bit of down time. So it's hard for me to give him more time away from the family than he already has with working outside the home.

post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by allisonrose View Post


Thank you for validating my feelings. I've told him that he's not really emotionally available. He doesn't understand what I mean.

I suspect one of his biggest issues is that he very likely suffers from sleep apnea. Sometimes he admits it's possible but sometimes he denies it. Sleep apnea can cause depression which I think he does struggle with to some extent. He is also a rather anxious person (I don't know if that is related to the sleep apnea or a completely seperate issue). He asked me just recently how he can be more happy. He realizes our life is pretty good and yet he constantly worries about something.
 



Yeah...I remain convinced that your DH is struggling with something emotional or mental. Sleep apnea is no joke and could absolutely contribute to a depressed state. I've just known of too many people who were that way with TV...who managed depression or anxiety or just plain hid from their lives and families in front of a TV screen. If somebody was zoned out for six hours a day staring at a wall, or looking at a tree in the yard out the window, while their wife tried in vain to reach them and their kids cried and rolled around at their feet, bored and desperate for some attention from their dad.....we'd call them depressed. We'd say "clearly there is something going on with this guy" - but because TV is such a socially acceptable way to zone out, people can spend unbelievable amounts of time staring into the screen and nobody says "hey, you okay?".

 

TV is not participatory.  TV is not building anything. In small amounts, or if you pick specific shows you actually really enjoy and get something out of, can be a healthy and enjoyable thing for an adult to do with some "down time". But when he's spending whole days just flipping around from show to show....it's not normal.

 

He is emotionally unavailable. Completely so. Your marriage is crippled right now, because your partner is SO far away. Your feelings of being abandoned for TV are completely valid and totally on point. His actions and words are, to me, classic signs of depression. I don't think there is even a question about that. The question is, how much of his life is he willing to let slip by him. How much of YOUR life are YOU willing to let slip by YOU? How much of your childrens early life are you willing to let them be without an emotionally present father? Because you know, lady, that when they are tiny like this, you can "fudge it" and make up for some of it and it's not going to feel SO bad or be SO memorable that their father is not present. But you are living on borrowed time, as far as that's concerned...and much less of it than you probably even know. Kids are smart....kids get it when someone is checked out.

 

Pretty soon it's going to be harder to make up for everything they're not getting from the "couch lump" dad they have right now. Pretty soon, the "all you" show is going to feel more than tired and old...it's gonna start to feel like it's just not worth it. He needs some help. It seems so insignificant to the TV watcher. "I'm here, you can talk to me, I'm just watching a show" - because they don't understand that it's even WORSE that they ARE there....I'd rather my DH was out at a bar wasting his time, than right in front of my face a million miles away. :( Having him there, but not helping and participating is horrible. It feels terrible for you and pretty soon it's going to start feeling pretty terrible for your kids, too. Take care of yourself, mama...take care of your life and your kids and your DH.

 

When you are in love with someone and you marry them and have kids with them....you are making a lot of promises. One of the most important promises you make, is to yourself and to your partner....and that promise is:

 

That when they are doing something that is threatening the integrity of the marriage, when they are doing something that could put you on a road to resentment, anger and growing apart....you have a responsibility to yourself and your partner, to say "hold the phone, buck-o, this shit cannot fly" - and the person who is doing the thing which is causing anguish for the other people in the family has a responsibility to stop what s/he's doing and take note.

 

Don't tell him "You watch TV too much and I don't understand why it's such a big deal for you to stop" - you need to say "WAIT A MINUTE....TIME OUT.....I feel I have a responsibility as your wife and best friend to tell you that you are in a bad place in your life right now and that if this distance between us keeps up, I'm worried about where we're going to be in ten, or maybe even five, years....we need to shift this, because we're slipping, we're headed to a bad place if we don't get to the bottom of why you need to be so far away from me" - and then you need to commit to doing whatever work is necessary.

 

It may seem like I'm making a bigger deal out of this than it is.....but ask yourself, if you are still dealing with this issue in five years....what do you think that is going to look like, on a practical level (as far as, bigger kids....it's not diaper changes and frostys anymore, it's missing soccer games and sucking in front of all your guests at the awesome tenth birthday party you planned) and also an emotional level (as far as, the way you feel about this is going to deepen, the level of hurt you feel is going to get worse and worse...until you either snap or start to numb yourself to it so you don't have to feel disappointment and hurt anymore).

 

It's"little" things like this that go unchecked, that lead to couples feeling like they just aren't on the same page anymore. You fight more...he retreats more into TV. You say "FINE" and you create distance yourself "I'll show him, I'm going to move on with my life like is doesn't matter" - but then he doesn't "chase" you....he doesn't wonder where you are, why you don't try to force him to come to things and do stuff with you anymore....he just keeps watching TV and sleeping....that doesn't play out well for your marriage, long term.

 

You can move past this. I really believe he needs help. I know of two women who struggle with this BIG time...and the TV watching (and in one case, alcohol consumption) seemed to skyrocket after the couples had children. Their men just kind of slipped away...at first, they were just completely overwhelmed with the "baby phase" and let mom do everything...and then they stayed away and the overwhelmed feeling just turned into depression and feeling pretty useless in their own lives. They never developed the "fathering" thing...they didn't ever feel any ownership over the parenting or running of the home and so they just started sitting their. Doing nothing. Well, nothing, except tearing their marriages apart and leaving their wives so lonely and angry.  It's an actual, valid issue and you need to get to the bottom of it because if you don't, you're not going to "get used to it" or "make peace with it" it's going to fill you with resentment and in the long term, do soooo much damage to your marriage.

 

GL. You can do this, together.

 

 

post #30 of 39

AM,

 

I understand where you're coming from and I agree with you on a lot of it, but I don't think it's fair to make her feel like her husband is abnormal when he's really not.  His behavior is increasingly common to the point of being considered normal, especially within my generation.  And I don't think that it has to mean there is something intensely wrong with him other than simply having a compulsion to watch to much TV, just like gaming. A very high number of late Generation X-ers and Generation Y-ers are especially struggling with this very thing and I can name on 1 hand the number of people in my life that AREN'T addiction to the television.

 

There is no shortage of websites, articles, and research studies dealing with the issue of this very addiction.  

 

As someone that has dealt with very and continues to deal with similar things, I think that a strong confrontation would likely serve to push him away more rather than bring them closer together.  Nobody likes being told they have a problem, especially if they don't think that they do.   As a matter of fact, I don't know many foreceful subjects that go over well with Men.

 

 

post #31 of 39

Uh... walk around on eggshells much.  If you don't tell your spouse what is wrong and that you don't like what they are doing then you can sit and fester all you want.  We have a talking rule in our house that goes like this.  " I need to say something to you you might be defensive about or feel the need to deny"  We're allowed to do it to each other and use it respectfully.  I've been told my control freakness is obnoxious.  I'm working on that.  He's been told allowing too much computer/screen time is horrible for them, so when it gets tough he turns on the music and apparently they dance which should be an interesting sight.  Or they go outside to play. 

 

You can dance around it all you want but if he would sleep if he couldn't watch tv... I don't know if thats a sign of depression or what but DH used to go to bed if I nagged at him about anything.  Anything at all.  That to me is a punishment.  "you wouldn't like that either"  Sorry I kinda want to reach through the monitor and throw a shoe at him now!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IzzyTheTerrible View Post

AM,

 

I understand where you're coming from and I agree with you on a lot of it, but I don't think it's fair to make her feel like her husband is abnormal when he's really not.  His behavior is increasingly common to the point of being considered normal, especially within my generation.  And I don't think that it has to mean there is something intensely wrong with him other than simply having a compulsion to watch to much TV, just like gaming. A very high number of late Generation X-ers and Generation Y-ers are especially struggling with this very thing and I can name on 1 hand the number of people in my life that AREN'T addiction to the television.

 

There is no shortage of websites, articles, and research studies dealing with the issue of this very addiction.  

 

As someone that has dealt with very and continues to deal with similar things, I think that a strong confrontation would likely serve to push him away more rather than bring them closer together.  Nobody likes being told they have a problem, especially if they don't think that they do.   As a matter of fact, I don't know many foreceful subjects that go over well with Men.

 

 



 

post #32 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by IzzyTheTerrible View Post

AM,

 

I understand where you're coming from and I agree with you on a lot of it, but I don't think it's fair to make her feel like her husband is abnormal when he's really not.  His behavior is increasingly common to the point of being considered normal, especially within my generation.  And I don't think that it has to mean there is something intensely wrong with him other than simply having a compulsion to watch to much TV, just like gaming. A very high number of late Generation X-ers and Generation Y-ers are especially struggling with this very thing and I can name on 1 hand the number of people in my life that AREN'T addiction to the television.

 

There is no shortage of websites, articles, and research studies dealing with the issue of this very addiction.  

 

As someone that has dealt with very and continues to deal with similar things, I think that a strong confrontation would likely serve to push him away more rather than bring them closer together.  Nobody likes being told they have a problem, especially if they don't think that they do.   As a matter of fact, I don't know many foreceful subjects that go over well with Men.

 

 


I agree with you completely about strong confontation not being the key and I apologize if it seemed like I was saying she should shake the house down with a massive confrontation.

 

I don't agree that he has a TV addiction, exactly. I think he's depressed and completely withdrawing from his life. I think she could throw the TV out the window and the exact same problems which exist now would continue. I, too, know people with TV addiction and I know how common it is these days....but I think the commonality of TV addiction is one of the reasons why this man is being treated as a TV addict when really, if you examine the facts, he seems to be depressed.

 

I think it is a super huge issue and I think she does need to treat it as such. This extreme withdrawal will kill her marriage if he doesn't get help. Being depressed doesn't mean there is something "abnormal" with her husband, at least with connotation of weirdness or shamefulness that the word "abnormal" implies....but as a person who has had serious and ongoing personal experience with depression in my own life and in the lives of people very close to me, I'm struck by a number of things that she has said about her husband and I think he is depressed. She has so much as said that he struggles with feelings of unhappiness despite understanding that he has a good life and that his feelings of sadness don't necessarily match up to the experience he is having in this life.

 

I didn't mean to suggest that she should yell at him...by saying "HOLD THE PHONE" etc...I meant that she should totally put on hold the ongoing struggle about how much TV is on in the house and turn the focus to gentle, but persistent, conversation about the source of the issues they are dealing with. Untreated/undiagnosed depression kills SO many marriages....it is so hard to be interested in and participate in a marriage or child rearing when you don't even care about yourself...when you are so apathetic and feel so bored, sad and uneffective in your own life that all you want to do is hide and sleep and pretend your life away.

 

Maybe my brain is just different.....but I see watching too much TV as a pretty American condition these days....however, a nine month old baby sitting on the floor eating a frosty with a day-old shitty diaper on is not normal. A young child watching the same movie for six hours doesn't speak of a dad who just loves TV....it speaks of a dad who doesn't give a crap...and a dad who doesn't give a crap generally boils down to someone dealing with something sociopathic-ish or depression-ish. She is not describing a sociopath. She is describing a depressed guy.

 

Anyway....none of us is a doctor treating this man.,..hell, none of us is even close enough to the situation to see the whole picture. But I am making the educated guess, that if this man got to the bottom of why he is depressed and hiding from his life...the TV thing, withdrawing, being a lousy partner and dad, etc....would all sort of disappear. He may still be a dude who likes TV....but the smell of poop might move him to change his daughter...and his son watching cars three times in a row would be laughable.

post #33 of 39
Thread Starter 

A tiny update: Hubby and I had a big conversation about parenting and about our lives together. I brought up his unhappiness. He told me that he doesn't know why he's not happy. I mentioned counselling but he maintains that he cannot go or be on any kind of psych meds due to having a government clearance. (It just occured to me that I should look into St John's Wort for him and maybe try him on that but I will have to remind him to take it.)

 

We also talked  talked to him about a goal for our son and TV. I didn't use the word "limit" because I think it would cause him to shut down. So I said we should set a goal. He was somewhat open to that. But we again ran into the "my parents let me watch tons of TV and I'm okay" defense. I tried saying that doing things differently from our parents is not disrespecting them. There are things I do that are quite different from what my mom did (she weaned around 6-8 months and never considered cosleeping to even be an option) but I respect her as my mom. My husband feels like I have made most of the parenting decisions so he has no control in our household yet he doesn't try to be an active parent. Discipline is the biggest issue and he says the only thing he knows is spanking but admits that it would not be the best idea with our son (I'm anti-spanking overall and he is now coming around to it wouldn't be the best approach due to our ds1's willful personality). I said okay then you have no tools for discipline, how are you going to get more tools? He just said that he doesn't know. He refuses to read parenting books. He gets annoyed at me for coming to MDC for ideas (because they tend to be different from what he is used to).

 

Our cultural difference is once again coming up in that he was raised in a very traditional, patriarchal, child-are-to-be-seen-and-not-heard household. His mom spanked him for everything from his room not being clean, to a poor grade, to he stepped in some mud with his good shoes on. He doesn't see a problem with that. He thinks he turned out well because of it. He says his mom raised him that way because that was the way she was raised. My mom was raised with a lot of physical punishment and chose not to continue that cycle. I want him to break the cycle for our kids.

 

Sigh. Maybe it is time to give couples' counselling another try....

post #34 of 39

RE: "my parents raised me that way and I turned out okay"  Um, but he didn't! He's sad and angry and he doesn't know why and his communication skills are terrible. I'm not saying it's because his parents spanked him and used the TV as a babysitter....but we also cant say that spankings for everything (even things that weren't his fault, awesome) and growing up in front of the TV makes anyone a good communicator or teaches life and coping skills that help you stay happy and connected to your family.

 

I think couples counseling may be a really good choice...it would provide a place for you to air your feelings about all of this and get some feedback from someone who may be able to frame it better or have a better chance at getting through to him for the simple fact that s/he is outside the "you guys" circle...

 

There is nothing like being depressed to make you feel content "vegging" in front of the TV instead of being hands on with your kids. I maintain that talking to him about doing more with the kids is going to be a more effective conversation when he doesn't feel like complete sludge after work and on weekends. Depression frames your whole life and everything in it...it reaches into EVERYthing and makes it hard to see the need for changes. Even when "just" mildly depressed or just kind of unhappy in general, getting stuck in a rut and being unable to see that you're there and that you need to get out of it is SO super easy.

 

I think if his unhappiness changes...he will be more able to see that this lifestyle, sitting and watching TV, is not really healthy for his kids.

 

 

The other super crucial thing for him to understand, is that TV now, is NOOOOOOOTHING like TV when he was a kid. From the programming, to the advertisements and all the way to the physical effects of sitting in front of the screen from a waves/frequencies/ technology standpoint is COMPLETELY different and worse for bodies and minds.

 

I'm happy you guys are at least talking about it. Even if you're talking about it and not seeing eye to eye....it's better than not seeing eye to eye and not talking about it. You'll get there, mama...it really sounds like he is an internal shift or two away from being open to changing this with you. <3 <3

post #35 of 39

Honestly, my life got a lot more peaceful when I realized I can control one person--ME!  I can control what *I* buy at the store.  I can control what *I* put on the TV and how long/often.  I can control what *I* choose to prepare, food wise, on any given day.

 

I can't control what anyone else, including DH, does for them.  And nagging about it only leads to me feeling like nobody ever listens to what I want and me not appreciating the help I am receiving from the rest of the family, even if the way they choose to do things does not live up to my 'ideals.'  In the end, the occasional hotdog meal or evening with lots of TV is not going to kill them, y/k?  And being too restrictive on that kind of stuff does 2 things in my mind--one, it causes "forbidden fruit syndrome." and 2, it makes me the 'heavy' the nagger, the complainer and ruins my relationship with them.  No fun at all.

 

Honestly it's more important to me that I get out and go to my moms group than whatever DH allows for HIS children who he LOVES while I am out.  it goes peacefully when I let go and appreciate that I am getting that time away, truly away not obsessing or worrying.

post #36 of 39

I have not read all the replies...but.....

 

I would leave it alone.  He is alone with the kids once a week?  It is not a big deal for most kids if they watch a lot of tv once a week.

 

I do think it is is possible he might not any ideas of what to do with the kids - so making a few suggestions might help - but other than making the suggestions, leave him to figure out how to run his day (even if it involves a lot of tv).  

 

I would have a discussion with him on diapers though - and maybe the Wendy's Frosty.  If the baby tries ice cream again and has another explosive diaper it is probably a sign he is not ready for that type of food.

 

 

post #37 of 39

He's right about the clearance issue.  As soon as DH got help his clearance was in question.  It's more important that he's healthy though.  He could try CBT counseling.  That does help.

post #38 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

He's right about the clearance issue.  As soon as DH got help his clearance was in question.  It's more important that he's healthy though.  He could try CBT counseling.  That does help.



CBT and DBT are amazing. After yeaaaaars of talk therapy and feeling like crap, I went to DBT and I've never looked back. I'm my true self, with the coping skills I was always meant to have. I went from bad depression to no depression...I just don't have problems coping anymore (it's been six or seven years now...maybe eight?).

post #39 of 39

Phew! Mama, I just read all of the replies along with your responses and I completely understand what you're going through!  Dh was also raised in a completely different culture with the "children should be seen and not heard" mentality which has created many problems for us as a married couple planning on being parents.  However, I have to admit, I plowed ahead with changing this mentality long before kids ever came into the picture, and the first thing was the T.V. which was certainly an addiction for him as well.  When you have an addiction, whether it's drugs, alcohol, or television, no matter of limiting or creative tokens are going to solve the problem -because he doesn't see the problem!  He's obviously never done any self work (as most men haven't) he's learned plenty of negative coping mechanisms from his parents that has never had an opportunity to be pointed out until now, so of course he thinks that he turned out fine!  It's SO important for your kids that you two are on the same page, and I agree that this is a much deeper issue that the two of you need to look at in your marriage.  I'm sure that in the end, you both want to be cooperative co-parents that both enjoy and take pride in your children -man, he doesn't even know what he's missing!!!  How can he know he's missing the opportunity to play catch with his son in the back yard or build an indoor fort out of tables and blankets, if his dad never did it with him?!  My husband and I have been in couples counseling for over two yrs now, and it has CHANGED OUR LIVES.  WE no longer have television, we spend very similar 1 on 1 hrs with our children as well as with each other, and raising happy well adjusted kids is now a joint effort.  And I took him there kicking and screaming, he did NOT want to go, but I simply didn't give him a choice.  I pretty much said, we're both unhappy, we need help and there's nothing to lose.  I think we started out with a 3 month commitment, and by then we were seeing results, so it was easy to keep going. I shopped around for a while though, speaking with many on the phone and deciding which one to see before even mentioning it.  I made the appointment and just said, I'll see you there.  Good Luck!!!!!!

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