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AIBU about DH and computer game? MN jury please.

(150 Posts)
HicDraconis Tue 17-Feb-15 05:27:01

Honest opinions wanted - I would normally check with DH whether IABU but he has a vested interest in this one. I've promised him I'll go with the majority verdict.

I work full time - 40h a week public sector, 10h a week private sector plus on call one weekend and 4 weeknights a month. DH is a SAHD and during school hours, does all the paperwork and financial side of my private practice. I do most of the cooking because I enjoy it, he does dog walking / DIY / gardening / bins / childcare before and after school. Evenings we do childcare together (in terms of bath and bedtime, clearing up, lunches for the next day etc).

DH wants to start playing a computer game. It's mathematical, played online with a group of 11 others and he thinks will take about an hour a day. He says it will keep his mind active and give him a break from the mundanity of house stuff and childcare.

He would be happy to do this in his evening downtime but I don't want him to as I would like to spend my evenings with him. He has time while the boys are at school in and around the other jobs to allow him to do it during the day.

I am resenting the fact that I work full time while he gets to sit on his arse at home playing computer games. However as he points out, many other SAHP go out for coffee with friends in the day, do their own hobbies, go biking, etc. He would do all the household stuff he does now and it wouldn't affect the business, or take his attention from the boys.

So why do I feel so resentful of it? Him getting a job isn't an option as we couldn't afford the childcare in the holidays (boys are 8 & 7 so not being left alone at home for long periods any time soon) on what he would be likely to earn. I feel that IABU to say no to this, but at the same time it irritates me.

KoalaDownUnder Tue 17-Feb-15 05:30:56

I think YANBU.

An hour, every day, after whatever time is left in the evening, is a lot.

I think it would be more reasonable of him to play it while the boys are at school.

hippoinatutu Tue 17-Feb-15 05:33:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Altinkum Tue 17-Feb-15 05:39:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HicDraconis Tue 17-Feb-15 05:40:44

I should clarify - he is not going to play in the evenings because I have said I resent the hour every evening when we don't get much evening time together.

He is suggesting playing in the day while boys are at school and without it affecting his other jobs or roles in the house.

I am annoyed that while I am working a 50+h week he is getting to sit on his arse at home while I support us financially. I sound bloody awful, don't I? blush

jaykay987 Tue 17-Feb-15 05:41:43

Evenings - yanbu

daytime - yabu

I think the most unreasonable thing is your DH feels you have to approve how he spends an hour every day. I'm currently on mat leave and I certainly wouldn't be annoyed if I had to get DH to approve how I spend my time. As long as DD is well looked after and the house is (generally) ticking over, I would be horrified if DH felt he had the right to approve the remainder of my activities.
I appreciate you are working - but so is he.

jaykay987 Tue 17-Feb-15 05:42:42

*certainly would

WishUponAStar88 Tue 17-Feb-15 05:48:53

Since he's happy to play in the day I think yabu, sorry. If he still has time to sort the house etc then why not? I would imagine that he'd only otherwise he watching TV or something anyway.
You do sound very resentful of the situation. Would it be possible to both work part time in order to share childcare?

HicDraconis Tue 17-Feb-15 05:50:43

jaykay DH doesn't feel the need to get me to approve his daytime activities on the whole. If he wanted to go out for a walk / run / bike ride / karate class he would do it without a second thought.

However he felt a little uncomfortable about using his daytime hours on something that is a hobby / leisure time while I'm working. And it requires a certain level of commitment - these games take months to play so it's an hour a day, every day, even when we are away on holiday we'll have to take a computer with us and go somewhere with an internet connection to allow him to continue. So he felt he ought to talk it over with me before starting one. I was surprised at how pissed off I felt at the idea, hence posting the thread.

HicDraconis Tue 17-Feb-15 05:52:24

WishUponAStar I would love to go part time. However DH has an unusual skill set and wouldn't be able to find part time work where we live. And yes, I am occasionally resentful that he gets to do all the parenting stuff I would like to do.

Oh I'm being an arse.

AnotherGirlsParadise Tue 17-Feb-15 05:52:51

YANBU about the evenings - I'm UNBELIEVABLY precious about the tiny amount of alone time DP and I have together in the evening, so when he chooses to spend it gaming online with his mates wearing an earpiece and yakking to them, I do get quite resentful. I feel excluded.

However. Being a SAHP can be isolating and relentless. As a PP said, you can probably have a few moments in the day when you get to switch off, such as the commute to work, making a cup of tea etc. You also get to spend time with other adults - that's a huge thing. I might be a little biased here because I'm crap as a SAHM, but if everything's done at home and the DCs are at school, you can't begrudge him an hour's gaming during the day. At least you won't have to sit through it! grin

paxtecum Tue 17-Feb-15 05:54:07

Sorry, YABVU.

momdirection Tue 17-Feb-15 05:54:23


It's the equivalent of you spending an hour exercising, reading, shopping, going out for a coffee etc.

My dh is SAHD I don't ask him what he does! The house is clean, kids are fed, bills paid etc etc so that's that. I know he watches movies sometimes or goes back to bed.

Why can't he do what he wants with an hour's down time during the day, regardless of what you or don't do during your day, as long as you are both pulling your weight?

Ok while I've been writing I've seen your last post. I wouldn't ask your permission if I was him - I don't get that at all. Is he scared of you or something? As for the hour a day every day - I easily spend an hour a day on my laptop mums netting, or texting, or reading a book or my kindle.

nooka Tue 17-Feb-15 05:54:43

I don't think you sound particularly awful. Your dh has a big chunk of free time every day while you work very hard. Of course that can lead to resentment! However you need to remind yourself that your dh being a SAHD was what you both decided was best for your family, and him not having enough to do on a work front (housework etc) is just one of those things. What you both might need to start to think about is 'what next'. Your boys won't be primary age forever and your dh may find it hard to get back into the job market. Perhaps you should be starting to think about retraining options that could be done around the school day?

EstRusMum Tue 17-Feb-15 06:01:38


As long as everything is done on time, he should be allowed his own time.

Think about it like it's a medical treatment to prevent stroke. It might help you to get over it easier.

momdirection Tue 17-Feb-15 06:07:32

Nooka, I work FT, partner in law firm. V busy days. Even if I did feel resentment towards my SAHD dh (I don't), I'd suck it up and have a word with myself. It's not his issue, it's mine.

As we've all said, as long as he's pulling his weight, there should be no issue.

If a man was questioning how his SAHM wife was spending a spare hour every day I think she'd be told he was controlling. I think it's interesting that he asked her about this, my husband bloody wouldn't and if he did I'd say 'why are you asking me how to fill your time?'.

CinnabarRed Tue 17-Feb-15 06:10:30

I wouldn't mind the hour spent during the day at all; frankly I'm not sure I would even notice if DH didn't mention it.

But presumably he needs an hour each day at the weekend too? I'd raise my eyebrows a bit at that - particularly if it meant we couldn't do day trips for fear of it interfering with his game. Is it really that rigid? Surely the other players have commitments too?

I would really resent having my holidays dictated by needing to take a computer and a laptop, and for him to spend an hour of golden family holiday time gaming. Fuck that!

HicDraconis Tue 17-Feb-15 06:10:52

If playing computer games prevented stroke then I would prescribe it to all my patients smile

nooka you are right and him being the SAHP is absolutely what is best for my family. In terms of retraining I know he'd love to do a PhD - so maybe that's something to consider when the boys are older.

momdirection he says he's not scared of me, I checked.* It was the level of commitment (and needing to book holidays with internet connections and taking laptops) he wanted to run by me. Only once the subject had come up in conversation did I realise how much the whole thought irritated me and so rather than sit on it and fester, I talked to him about it.

*of course now you'll have the mental image of me glaring at him saying "well? are you scared of me?" and him replying "no dear, not at all dear" .... smile

YellowYoYoYam Tue 17-Feb-15 06:19:02

I think Yabu I'm afraid. It sounds like your DH pulls his weight and fulfils his sahp duties, so I would say he should be entitled to an hour of "me time" every day. In a way you're lucky he has chosen a hobby where he can choose to do it when you're not around - my DH plays rugby so that's an evening out most weeks and every second Saturday afternoon for a few hours. Having to find time to play the computer game on holiday too would concern me from a practical perspective but otherwise I would have to support it.

However, do you get time to persue a hobby? You both work to meet the responsibilities of your family so you too should have time to yourself.

HicDraconis Tue 17-Feb-15 06:22:21

Yellow I do have a hobby but I share it with the whole family (DH included) so we all train in it together.

CinnabarRed actually the holiday thing I have no problems with. We'll have spent all day together doing stuff, once the boys are in bed and I have a glass of wine and MN, he can play his game for an hour quite happily.

He has pointed out that I am on MN in evening family time so I am afk for an hour or two, but will be back to read any other thoughts later.

Thanks all for opinions even though it looks like I am definitely BU.

HedgehogsDontBite Tue 17-Feb-15 06:34:18

I think YAVBU and controlling. You want to dictate what he does to entertain himself in his down time. I'm a SAHM and I think I'd hit the roof if DH tried to tell me what to do like this.

hippoinatutu Tue 17-Feb-15 06:36:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TeenageMutantNinjaTurtle Tue 17-Feb-15 06:41:25

I'm on Mat leave at the moment trying to decide if I will be a sahm for out 3yo and 7mo and this thread terrifies me! I can't get my head around the fact this might ever come up in my marriage. I'd be seriously fucked off if dh took issue with how I spent my time. And our house is never clean when he gets home confused

That said I would really not want my dh to take up a hobby that required an hour a day every single day, I'd worry about our lives being dictated by anything, esp a computer game.

But you're not worried about that, you're worried about how he spends his time whilst you're at work. So yabu and a bit of a self important arse who clearly puts less value on the time a sahp spends raising their children than you with your big fancy career. Nice.

momdirection Tue 17-Feb-15 06:45:36


OP has admitted him playing the game for an hour a day on holiday actually wouldn't be a problem at all, as she'd Mumsnet and have a glass of vino.

Which was my point earlier up the thread - an hour is nothing when you're on your laptop, reading, whatever you do for down time.

Footle Tue 17-Feb-15 06:55:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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