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Not to understand dh's weird tv addiction and to feel controlled by it.

(112 Posts)
bytheMoonlight Sat 01-Oct-11 16:34:02

Dh has a problem with me being on the laptop in the evenings. I wouldn't mind if it was because he wanted to talk or spend time together but it's because he wants me to watch telly with me. He gets annoyed if I miss bits of programmes and has even, in the past, told me I should like certain programmes and I am strange for not wanting to watch them.

I like some TV don't get me wrong (House is an addiction! Question time, QI - that's about it atm!) and then I'd rather be on the laptalk talking to people on Mumsnet, twitter, facebook, looking at recipes, blogs etc.

He talks about me being on the laptop as if its some sort of crime and he cannot understand that being on the laptop is no different to staring at the TV screen. A screen is a screen after all! He even goes so far as to slag off the websites I go on and the people I may be talking to (even though he knows nothing of mumsnet or my threads on it) I sit there baffled as to why he such a dislike and almost hatred of the laptop and the websites I go on.

I do not understand. He seems to think the TV is the right way to spend the evening and doing anything else (laptop or reading a book) is wrong. He sits there in complete silence, with his head resting in his hand so I cannot see his face, like he's physically trying to block me out and I know the silence means he won't say a word until I turn the computer off. I feel forced into shutting it down - and then we will have normal chitter chatter whilst watching telly.

The older he gets the worse he gets. I have never felt so controlled. He never used to be like this. I even feel like if I went upstairs to read or use the laptop he would self combust, well maybe a bit of an exagration but he would definitely get in a mood whilst pretending everything was fine.

Last night I suggested a night with no TV so we could talk - he immediately said no laptop then. Fine. Then he said no phone's - he has started to hate me texting people as well (mentioning how often I do it and what could I possibly be same at this time of night/morning/afternoon etc) It's all very bizarre. I said fair enough and then he started to lose it saying I wouldn't be able to cope without the laptop, I told him I was the one suggesting it so I would be happy to do it and then he started a verbal attack (again) on the websites I visit and then distracted and caused an argument over something else (he's very passive aggressive)

AIBU not to understand this attitude and to feel controlled?

mumblechum1 Sat 01-Oct-11 16:36:39

That's a bit weird, but I agree with him about phoning/texting if you're supposed to be spending time chatting together. It would be rude to be texting people in those circs imo.

mumblechum1 Sat 01-Oct-11 16:37:21

Actually re reading your OP he sounds even weirder than the first time round.

Tell him to get a hobby.

RandomMess Sat 01-Oct-11 16:37:39

Very odd behaviour indeed IMHO

valiumredhead Sat 01-Oct-11 16:40:03

I wonder if it's because when you are on the laptop you are totally removed, at least if you watch telly together you can comment/laugh at what you are watching together?

I hate dh being on the lap top in the evenings because he is totally absorbed by it and therefore 'not present' iykwim?

bytheMoonlight Sat 01-Oct-11 16:40:03

The whole point of the 'no tv conversation' was to encourage him to get a hobby! He got very defensive and when that hapens he starts attacking my lifestyle

ImperialBlether Sat 01-Oct-11 16:40:19

Actually, I can understand him.

I live with two young adult children (when they're at home) and when they are on the internet they are in their own world. It's worse than being on my own - it can feel very lonely.

If you try to talk to someone who's deeply involved in something online, there's no point, because conversation is kept to a minimum. They are focusing on what they're doing, not what you're saying.

I like some programmes on tv (House, too!) but I like it as a communal activity. I rarely watch it on my own. I like to talk about the programme. If someone is on the internet, I feel as though I'm watching it alone - it's like two isolated people who happen to be sitting in the same room.

My two have grown out of being online a lot - they will watch films or regular programmes and I love watching them with them. But the minute one of them picks up a laptop, the atmosphere changes.

ImperialBlether Sat 01-Oct-11 16:41:11

And sorry for this, too, but if you're having a conversation with someone and they start texting, it's really awful.

RandomMess Sat 01-Oct-11 16:42:20

I think what is odd is that you don't have a few programmes that you do watch together. Dh and I often watch series or films on DVD so we can watch and snuggle at a mutually convenient time.

ImperialBlether Sat 01-Oct-11 16:42:22

Perhaps he feels as though you're not good company in the evenings? I don't mean anything personal here, but when you first started dating, you probably talked a lot more, didn't you?

PamBeesly Sat 01-Oct-11 16:42:35

YANBU he is trying to control you, he is denigrating your method of relaxation too. If it was a one off, shut it off so we can watch a film, thats one thing but to want you to sit there and watch telly because thats what he wants, weird and definitely controlling.
Would you ever tell him to get a grip and grow up...or else (and I'm being evil here) hide the TV grin sorry OP.

ImperialBlether Sat 01-Oct-11 16:43:08

Valium, that's what I was trying to say - the person on the laptop is absent.

bytheMoonlight Sat 01-Oct-11 16:43:28

So he hasn't got a TV addiction? He just's wants us to spend evenings together and I'm misreading the whole situation?

Poor dh, never looked at it that way. Just thought a screen was a screen so if he is staring at the TV screen it's no different to me being on the laptop

bytheMoonlight Sat 01-Oct-11 16:44:53

I don't text in the middle of the conversation.

ImperialBlether Sat 01-Oct-11 16:48:17

Maybe he does just want you to share in something with him. He can't share in what you're doing online, can he? It's pretty boring sitting next to someone who's online, don't you think?

bytheMoonlight Sat 01-Oct-11 16:50:23

We just don't like the same tv really. He's into reality TV and I'm not. He ha never liked my programmes. So when he's on the computer I get on with something else. I still talk as normal and he stops and speaks to me back so I've never noticed

LineRunner Sat 01-Oct-11 16:53:02

My two teenagers have their laptops in their bedrooms. They wouldn't even dare try to bring them into our sitting room, where we watch TV together and chat. I'm kinda with Valium and Imperial. TV is a fun thing to watch together, when you can roar laughing, or go 'Eeeew,' or hide behind cushions. We might only watch something together for half an hour, but it's a nice bit of family time.

If my DD starts texting, it can get a bit sticky!

I think that maybe you and your DH need to just make some compromises. Which programmes will you say you'll watch with him? There must be a few in common. My kids and I always watch Dragons' Den together, for instance. Can you 'cut a deal?'

If he's really being very controlling, then you need to talk to him about that anyway, with outside help if necessary, because that's not a situation with a happy future.

Katisha Sat 01-Oct-11 16:53:31

I agree - I don't think it's an addiction and I don't think you are being controlled - does he try to control you in other ways?

It IS different when a person is constantly texting and writing on a laptop - it's like they are getting a more interesting time elsewhere.

Is it possible that you are the one with a bit of an addiction - to being available to all and sundtry online/by text at all times? How would you feel about a trial week without dong it?

I don't think it has to be justified by saying watching telly is hardly creative either - the issue is more of companionship. After all, when you really know someone, you don't have to keep jabbering on do you, but you are "with" them, rather than mentally elsewhere and just physically present.

valiumredhead Sat 01-Oct-11 16:58:43

You can cuddle up on the sofa as well when you watch tell - get all nice a cosy smile Can't do that when you are on the laptop!

bytheMoonlight Sat 01-Oct-11 17:03:30

Dh doesn't do cuddling. He doesn't even do sitting on the same sofa. Unless I nag him.

PamBeesly Sat 01-Oct-11 17:04:41

OP maybe you fidgeting on the laptop distracts him from his programmes. still personally think he is BU

Kayano Sat 01-Oct-11 17:05:14

Agree with your DH sorry

mynewpassion Sat 01-Oct-11 17:08:12

So him watching tv is weird but you on your laptop isn't? You guys are both weird.

I am not surprised he had a go about websites if you started the conversation about him getting a hobby. Shouldn't it about how you guys can spend more time together without the tv or the laptop?

You feel controlled by his tv viewing and he probably feels the same way about your laptop viewing. You guys allow these machines to control your own lives.

Honestly, you sound like more controlled by your cellphone and the laptop then him controlling you by watching tv.

minimisschief Sat 01-Oct-11 17:20:43

yabu and i think you are the one with the problem like others have suggested

valiumredhead Sat 01-Oct-11 17:22:02

How on earth do you no 'do' cuddling? confused

Maybe giving the laptop a miss for a bit might encourage him to be more affectionate?

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