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To think it's unfair that DH tries to dictate what I can watch on TV?

(83 Posts)
YummyCalpol Sun 05-May-13 23:11:14

DH and I like totally different tv programmes. He likes sport, fly on the wall police shows, action films, that kind of thing, and I guess I like female programmes; OBEM, America's Next Top Model, and shows like the Apprentice (I know, I know, don't judge me)

Every night DH has the remote control glued to his hand and every night we watch what he wants to watch. If there's anything I want to watch I have to either sky plus it and stay up late to watch when he's in bed, or wait until he's dozed off in the chair (and even then he sometimes gets arsey if I turn over).

Quite frequently he'll decide there's 'nothing on' and just put sport on. He never asks me if there's anything I would like to watch and if ever I say there's something i'd like to watch he gets huffy.

What's annoyed me now is that lately he's started imposing conditions about what I can and can't watch when he's asleep in the chair. We have spent all evening with his programmes on, he just dozed off and I asked for the remote control and he said 'it depends what you want on, you can't watch OBEM or any model type shows or reality shows'.

I got really cross and said that he has no right to impose conditions upon what I watch, and that he has more than his fair share of watching his own programmes, and that if I have to abide by viewing rules to suit him then the same must apply to him! As per usual when I raise anything I'm not happy with he just didn't even reply to me, just looked away and went back to sleep.

LooseyMy Sun 05-May-13 23:42:31

Get another tv in another room and watch what you want in peace.

AgentZigzag Sun 05-May-13 23:43:08

I had a similar controlling, 'could cut the atmosphere with a knife' childhood, it does make you nervous and a bit approval seeking.

But you're not in the same powerless situation you were in then, you would be completely within your right to tell him to fuck right off with his opinions on your housework techniques.

He seems under the impression you're his to discipline as he sees fit.

That's not right.

YummyCalpol Sun 05-May-13 23:44:11

If I told him to fuck off he'd just sulk though and try to turn it round onto me. He asks me why I'm getting myself so worked up and he was only expressing an opinion and he can't believe I'm acting that way

YummyCalpol Sun 05-May-13 23:45:27

One Sunday morning he started having a go at me as there was a lot of ironing to be done and I ended up getting really upset and he kept saying 'is this for real? is this really happening? I can't believe we're even having this conversation and that you're acting this way'

CoalDustWoman Sun 05-May-13 23:49:57

Who does he think he is?

Can you buy yourself a lovely smart TV and a freeview recorder for your bedroom? You watching it will bring your problems out in the open, given that you'll never spend any time together, but at least you'll be watching what you want.

He's not very kind, is he?

zipzap Sun 05-May-13 23:50:02

sad sounds like a massive red flag for what he thinks of you and how much he values you in comparison to himself (ie not much).

Has he always been like this? And is he like this in other areas of life too - do you always cook what he wants to eat, when he wants to eat it, have sex when and how he wants it and so on? If so, it sounds like he is using you as an unpaid slave to make his life easier rather than seeing you as an equal partner in life to love and cherish.

What would happen if you were to treat him like a toddler as somebody saying something strange and say 'don't be so bloody ridiculous, you're not my boss, we're equals and if you're asleep then of course I'm going to watch what i want to watch on the TV. And if i can't watch what I want to watch, then you don't get to watch [insert his most favourite programmes here]. or that you need to get multi-room so you can both watch what you want when you want...'.

You also need to tell him that the way you feel is everything to do with him - he is the one that is doing this to you. if you moderate your own behaviour or what you discuss with him because you dread his reactions then that is really worrying. That's not a nice normal relationship and it's not something that anybody should have to live with.

I'm not usually somebody to shout LTB on threads - but given the way he is treating you, it would certainly be something to think about. Or at least start making plans so that if things become worse then you have practicalities covered in advance. Everything from starting a secret savings account that you can squirrel away money into, to copies of any of his wageslips or bank account details (I think from reading on here that they need to be ones that you would normally have access to, rather than ones that you've found in locked drawers but I'm sure others can give much better advice on this than I can).

good luck...

LadyBeagleEyes Sun 05-May-13 23:50:28

My ex was like this.
We had a daily paper and he'd sit with a highlighter pen marking out his telly watching for every night.
If I said, well I actually want to watch this, he'd accuse me of just trying to be awkward hmm.
We even got Sky plus but then he'd highlight what he was going to watch and what he was going to record.
Bloody Hell the rows, and one of the many reasons we split up.
I now have full control of the remote grin

CoalDustWoman Sun 05-May-13 23:52:35

Well, exactly. Why on earth was he doing having that conversation?

I hope you've stopped doing his ironing.

Helpyourself Sun 05-May-13 23:55:05

It's only tv, but that and the other things you've mentioned paint a very sad picture. You're an adult. No healthy relationship is like this with him standing over you complaining about the ironing.
Divorce him. You'll be happier and your dcs will have a chance of not replicating this farce of a marriage.

AgentZigzag Sun 05-May-13 23:58:24

Trying to turn it round into it being your responsibility is something used by a lot of people, I refuse to play the game.

Is it your childhood do you think that makes you respond by getting upset rather than angry? Because I would be furious at the cheek of the man and am wondering why you're not.

You are not responsible for his behaviour in any way, he's an adult and chooses for himself how he's going to act, and the bits you've described are pretty shoddy.

Not talking while both people cool down is a world away from deliberately isolating another person to point score and win the game.

DrCoconut Mon 06-May-13 00:04:31

"Minus the getting hit of course"

For now. Controllers seldom improve and usually get worse. My ex controlled what we watched, what we ate, where we went, my appearance and interests and when there was nothing else to take charge of he started getting violent. So it kind of started with "let me watch Star Trek and I won't get moody" and ended with "I'm going to do what the hell I like and if you so much as speak I'll thump you." I remember the fear and the walking on eggshells to avoid upsetting him. I did things that I would consider mad usually. Luckily I found the strength to LTB and consider it the best move I made. Please be careful that this doesn't become more serious abuse.

LondonNinja Mon 06-May-13 00:04:48

Of course YANBU and it sounds like the tip of a nasty iceberg. Who the hell does he think he is?!
Get angry; pull yourself out of your conditioned behaviour that your abusive parents instilled in you. You are a grown woman worthy of respect. You are not his fucking slave or some invisible force that comes and goes, doing the cooking and cleaning in her wake.
Life's too short, Yummy. He's taking the piss in a massive way. To get respect, you need to act as though you deserve it (which you do). The question is, is he worth trying to move forwards with?

zipzap Mon 06-May-13 00:06:53

Just read what you've posted about the ironing conversation and him saying 'is this for real?'


Hopefully you were able to say that exact same thing back to him - how on earth is ironing your sole responsibility and how does he think he has the right to dictate that you do it when he thinks you should!!! Even though you are SAHM, doesn't give him the right to dictate everything you do.

Now that you have recognised that he does seem to be excessively controlling and that you don't like to have people having bad feelings toward you or be sulky, and that as a result he knows he can control the situation just by projecting stuff back onto you, is there anything you feel up to doing to start to break this cycle and see if you can make life better for yourself?

What would he say if you suggested going to Relate?

when he is twisting the argument back around to you, could you work out a phrase to use to try to stop him in his tracks - 'Oh no, don't throw it back at me again to switch it away from you' or 'we'll discuss this again when you've calmed down and grown up so we can talk it through like adults, it's not going to work when you behave like a sulky toddler'.

He has no compunction in saying or doing horrible things to you - so do you think you could give him a bit of his own medicine. For example, if he is critical about something you do in the house, could you try to mirror that back to him and also say that he does something badly too?

And as a start, how about going through Sky and setting reminders for all the things you would like to watch but don't have enough space to record. That way the message would pop up to show that there is something to watch - if he's just put sport on because there's nothing else then you just need to grab the control and say for a change it's my turn, I'm fed up of sport/etc every bloody night.

at least that way, it would be the sky box that is doing the reminding of the stuff you want, so it would be a reminder to him that there are two of you that want to watch stuff, not just him. even if he goes through and removes all your stuff - then that's a good point to start the discussion about how he values you and your opinions vs his own.

cricketballs Mon 06-May-13 00:08:02

this is why we have multi room as we don't agree that often on what is watchable grin we take it in turns to sit in the kitchen or living room when I am watching my shit or he is going to watch some crap I can't stand!

shock what an arse. havent rtft but what about getting your own tv? im sure someone has already sugested this though

i have more control over the tv than my dh and we have totally different tastes too. but if he wanted to watch something then he can. i can mostly watch what i miss ondemand when he's at work.

LondonNinja Mon 06-May-13 00:14:04

Different tv tastes don't give this idiot the right to treat Yummy like a non person. I'd buy a new tv and shove it up his backside...

AgentZigzag Mon 06-May-13 00:15:33

This is possibly reading between the lines too much, but do you go along with his assessment of you and get upset because you feel he's right to some extent and maybe you deserve the kick up the arse he's so helpful in giving you?

YummyCalpol Mon 06-May-13 00:20:49

Agent, I think I'm just so anxious and keen to avoid any bad feeling that I just do what he says and try to please him to avoid any further rows.

I find myself doing things and thinking 'he'll be so impressed/pleased' when he sees everything I've done, but of course it never is noticed, only the things that I've not done

StuntGirl Mon 06-May-13 00:21:46

Forget extra tv's and multiroom - get yourself a nicer life away from this knob cheese.

squoosh Mon 06-May-13 00:23:11

But your attempts at avoiding bad feeling haven't helped you much so far. In fact I'd go so far as it lets him know he's the one in control.

MrsPoglesWood Mon 06-May-13 00:24:21

I think the OP needs more fundamental advice than a second telly or Sky Multi-room. I suspect that this situation goes well beyond squabbles about Top Gear versus Call The Midwife from her posts.

OP he sounds like a total arse and from what you say it goes well beyond telly viewing. Perhaps you should ask MNHQ to move this thread to 'Relationships' where you will get the advice you need about what is really going on.

And for what it's worth, I pay for our Sky subscription. We share it equally. We might have good natured jokes about each other's programme choices being naff but it never results in bullying or abuse. Ever.

StuntGirl Mon 06-May-13 00:30:07

Well exactly wood. My partner watches godawful Japanese anime, I watch boring political things, we both just leave the other to it when we're watching our own thing. And try and compromise occasionally!

AgentZigzag Mon 06-May-13 00:37:49

You can of course post where you like, but have you thought about posting about him in the relationships part of MN?

What you're saying does seem to be a very familiar pattern to the way a lot of other men behave, which suggests he's deliberately using certain techniques to belittle you in order to get something he values, like feeling the big man because you're being deferential to him or going all out to please him.

If you've been noticing it over the last two years, this isn't something that's going to go away.

Does you posting about it here mean you've got to a place where you're realising it's him and not you and feeling that perhaps you're not going to put up with that?

Monty27 Mon 06-May-13 00:41:56

Make him a man cave, tell him to get his own tv and enjoy your space.

Oh and tell him to do the ironing himself.

If that doesn't work ltb

Is there anything nice about him shock

OrangeFootedScrubfowl Mon 06-May-13 01:06:08

He doesn't sound like he makes your life better to be honest. He is taking advantage of your nature to get everything his own way with no care as to your feelings. He sounds like a pig. sad

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