I just think that parents have a responsibility to protect their kids. NOT control every morsel of food, but I don't hear anything in OP's posts to suggest she is hyper controlling. I would be very uncomfortable if someone were watching the news in the room with my small children. (They're older now, so it doesn't bother me anymore). I think it's totally reasonable to say something. OP is not out of her rights to say, "I really feel uncomfortable with x, because y and z." She's not a beggar off the street, she's the mother of his kids,who he INVITED to live in his house. He is insisting that he wants her to stay home to be the kids' primary caregiver. The idea that he would boot her out on the street and keep the kids, and yet be called an "amazing man" (among other similar things, not picking on you!) on this board is pretty frightening to me.
I say pick your battles, sure. You can't be all over every little detail. And there is a lot you can do to help make things more smooth for her. Like a pp said, talking about tv shows can work a lot better than banning them even.
My ex used to do a lot of the things you describe, and they are not petty little stuff when you have to live with it. The constant yelling conflicts are so hard to deal with. Especially when the adult is acting just like the child. When a perfectly peaceful child goes ballistic as soon as that parent walks into the room, it kinda seems like it could have something to do with the screaming fights he is participating in with the child. To me, saying so and asking for help to deal with it does not seem controlling at all.
Mama to: Aster , August, Emmett:, Ruthie: Step mom to Malakie, Cameron , and Aurelia