When TV opinions differ among spouses - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 11-10-2008, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
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How do you tolerate, or look the other way, or accommodate your spouse's need to watch television?

Television is an issue of contention in our marriage, and has been for years.

I am not tv free but I prefer to limit television. I do not need more than one television. I don't like to have it on, unless I am watching something specifically, then I turn it off. I don't channel surf or have it on for background. I hate the effect that a tv on all day has on me...I get a headache, I get irritated, I hate the commercials, I hate the distraction away from others things I'd rather be doing (really this is more that DH is distracted).

DH, on the other hand, who has every right to choose this as an adult, loves to watch television. He likes it on, even if he's not watching anything specifically. He likes the noise for background. His idea of bliss is "relaxing on the couch flipping through channels all afternoon." He actually derives a great deal of enjoyment and comfort from television.

He wants multiple televisions in the house. He has to have a television in his own room (where he stores all his collections of clutter...there are many...another issue).

He actually needs a television to fall asleep at night, which is the reason initially we stopped sharing a bedroom. I can not sleep with a tv on, DH can't sleep without one.

DH wants to buy a big flat screen tv, and he pines over them. He always points out when other people we know have better tvs than he does. : (It really bugs me)

DH loves video games. DH loves sports on tv. DH loves many tv shows. He tapes and collects shows on tv, among other things, many other things that he collects and stores.

I really struggle with trying to not be irritated by this. We spend so much money on tv. DH is not willing to give up cable tv and he would rather have a big flat screen television than a SAHP. He has said this.

I feel our values are vastly different, and get more and more different everyday. Obviously, this is just one issue that I've illustrated. There are others that are more serious.
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#2 of 6 Old 11-11-2008, 01:14 AM
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Thatisnice, I'm sorry that you are going through this.

Television is a major issue for us too. When we moved into our new house (pre-children) DH went out shopping one afternoon and came back home with an enormous big screen television. It is massive and it dominates our living room. I'm not exaggerating when I say it is as big as a small car.

Our children are tv-free but at night the television, or the internet, occupies our free time. DH loves to unwind and watch the news on the tv. We have a pvr so he will ffwd through commercials. DH respects our decision not to have tv on during the daytime or any time when the kids are awake. But he maintains that the gigantic screen will stay in the living room until we can afford a plasma screen to replace it (this won't happen for ages). I would rather move the monstrous tv into another location in our house but our basement is unfinished and it is too large to move into an upstairs room. I really dislike that our living space is filled with a giant screen. It's really difficult not to watch it when it is there looming over us in the evening. We hardly talk to each other anymore because of that television. Even if I sit on the couch to knit something, there is a giant screen that I can't stop looking at. It is unnerving.

This is a source of conflict with DH and I, who incidentally is a clutter bug too. He is alot slower to get on board with my ideas but he does eventually come around. I just hope we can move the television out of our primary living space before DD and DS realize that their friends watch television and it becomes an issue.

Did your DH grow up with lots of television? DH can recite old cartoon episodes verbatim. I think he associates television with good feelings he had as a child. In my own family, we rarely watched television (we had 3 channels - one with terrible reception). We spent long periods of time outdoors instead. I want our children to have the same experience.

I hope that you are able to find some common ground.
Having a SAHP is so much more enriching and valuable to your family than having a television.
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#3 of 6 Old 11-11-2008, 01:37 AM
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The TV went DOWNSTAIRS. Dh goes down there to watch it. So I'm not nearly as bothered by it as I used to be when it was more "in my space."

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#4 of 6 Old 11-12-2008, 05:31 PM
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This is (well was) a huge issue for us too. I have been TV free for about 15 years, and DH was an addict. He moved into my home, where I obviously had no cable. Money was tight because he had just quit his job to SAHD. So we decided that we could not afford cable or internet. When finances got better, he was cured of his TV addiction and no longer wanted to spend the extra money on cable. YAY. If there is any way you can manage to get rid of the TV for a while or at least find alterniatives during prime TV watching time, I think that may help, at least it worked for me.

Mom to DS 12/07 and DD 11/13, plus a bunch of chickens, dogs, and cats.

Moving past many years of infertility and always thinking of my friends in the infertility forums.

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#5 of 6 Old 11-17-2008, 07:52 PM
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How frustrating!

We also used to fight over DH's constant TV watching. He spent WAY more time watching TV than being a husband or father. This last move, we never got an antennae to work out here, and cable/satellite is totally not in our budget, so voila! TV free! : Problem solved, right?

Wrong. Then we got internet. Now he comes home and spends WAY more time on the internet than being a husband or father.

For us the TV is not the issue. Just a symptom. :

Sorry, I'm no help at all!!

Learning & growing & changing everyday!
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#6 of 6 Old 11-19-2008, 12:14 PM
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We have the same issue - only it's not just about DH's TV viewing. He takes care of DD Sat & Sun mornings so I can sleep in (awesome!), and he has the TV on most of that time when he's with her (not so awesome). We've talked about the studies that show how it negatively affects brain development (DD is 11.5 mo - if she were older, it probably wouldn't bother me so much), but he's got himself convinced that since it's only a little bit on the weekends and they spend time playing while it's on, too, it's not so bad. I will say in his defense that most of the week, he only watches after DD is asleep, and that is pretty much entirely because I want him to, so it could definitely be worse.

The real problem comes when I'm home alone with her, pumping for the third time that day (unfortunately, I'm an EPer), and she won't entertain herself or be entertained by the limited things I can do with her while attached to the torture device, and she wants me to turn on the TV. It's so hard to not go there (and there are some particularly bad days I have given in), and it wouldn't be an issue at all if she were still in the dark about what it is, kwim?
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