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...Or am I being bullied by my H?

(108 Posts)
RacheyCat Fri 24-May-19 01:13:23

I'm sorry, but I can't write DH right now, so I'm shortening it to H.

Periodically, my H wants to watch something on TV which I don't, and he won't take No for an answer. One method he uses is to get me to agree to watch 30 mins, and then we can turn it off if I don't enjoy it, but this often just means we row when I call a veto 30 mins into a show he's enjoying.

Last week, he asked me if I wanted to watch the new Catch 22 series. I said I didn't, because I didn't enjoy the book, and he went off sulking. In a moment of weakness, I followed him and said I'd try it.

Last night, he asked me if I wanted to watch it, and I said maybe tomorrow, but I felt so sad, because I don't want to watch it ever and I felt like I was being set-up, because there's no happy way out for me. Either I watch it and I'm miserable, and have to watch it every week, miserably but quietly, or, I tell him I don't want to watch it and have to deal with his anger. I told him this, and he started quizzing me on why I don't want to watch it, and criticized all of my reasons. As usual, I tried to reason that art is subjective, and you can't actually reason someone into appreciating it very easily, and that I didn't want to be subjected to a barrage of questions. He just got more and more annoyed, and I cried.

One of the things he asked me was when I read the book, and so I said that it was when I was 14. He started saying that I was allowing my 14 year old self to control my life now, and I'm not the same person, but really I feel that I've become less forgiving about things rather than more, as I've got older. FTR, I have a BA in English lit and an MA with a dissertation in literature, I teach textual analysis at a university-I'm not someone who is unsure of their tastes, or unschooled in textual appreciation.

Anyway, he became more and more hostile and started saying he didn't want to be married to a 14 year old. I told him I found his behavior coercive and abusive, and he said that I was abusing him, I guess by refusing to watch a show with him.

I slept on the sofa last night. He won't apologise. This happens too often, and it makes me miserable. I don't want to be harassed and coerced into watching something on TV which I won't enjoy, and I think it's entirely unacceptable that he thinks he can browbeat me into doing what he wants.


tinnitusqueen Fri 24-May-19 01:20:00

How often do you get to choose a show or film? Does he watch ypur shows with you? Can you read or something while his programme is on if you really don't like it?
I could never stand breaking bad but it seemed to go on for ever. I had a bath when it was on and put downtown Abbey on my little laptop smile

trashcanjunkie Fri 24-May-19 01:21:04

Why can’t he watch it while you do something else?? The argument is ridiculous - move on!

CrazyOldBagLady Fri 24-May-19 01:22:12

Is there some reason he can't watch it on his own while you read or have a bath or something? Why must you watch it with him?

RacheyCat Fri 24-May-19 01:24:29

@tinnitusqueen I'm expected to watch in a fully engaged way, so no, I couldn't read a book. He watches lots of shows on his own, but sometimes he decided that this needs to be one we both watch together.

I don't watch TV on my own, but I sometimes suggest shows I think we'll both enjoy, but I don't mind if he doesn't want to watch them. I suggested Chernobyl last week, because it seemed like something he'd like, but I was very clear that we didn't have to. He adored it, but this seems to have made him think I "owe" him a series.

Aquamarine1029 Fri 24-May-19 01:24:47

This is beyond absurd. Why can't he watch something he's interested in and you go elsewhere... Watch a show in your bedroom or read, whatever. The next night you can pick a show. It's called compromise. This shouldn't be so dramatic and complicated.

RacheyCat Fri 24-May-19 01:26:09

I don't know why he can't watch it alone! I know it's ridiculous, but the only way I can move on is by doing what he wants!

The irony that I'm stuck in a Catch-22 over a show of exactly that name hasn't passed me by.

Aquamarine1029 Fri 24-May-19 01:26:23

You sound more like bickering siblings than adult spouses.

JaneJeffer Fri 24-May-19 01:27:30

I'm expected to watch in a fully engaged way,
That's ridiculous.

RacheyCat Fri 24-May-19 01:28:29

@Aquamarine1029 in what way am I not behaving like an adult? In what world do you need to submit to watching something on TV?

RainbowMum11 Fri 24-May-19 01:33:44

XH was like this - he'd get really annoyed if I wasn't 'properly watching' a programme or film with him when it was something that I really wasn't interested in.
One of the subtle controlling ways.

Snowfalling Fri 24-May-19 01:35:06

I can't imagine bullying my 11 year old into watching something he didn't want to watch, never mind a grown woman. Your husband is a bully and seems very entiltled. It's one of those things you don't need to engage with, just say 'no thanks, I don't want to watch x. You watch if you wish.' Don't give reasons, as you've seen, when you give reasons, he twists things around till you cry with frustration.

He doesn't want to be married to a 14 eyat old? Tell the patronising twat you don't want to be married to your dad, it's not sexy.

TheFastandCurious Fri 24-May-19 01:35:17

What an absolute weirdo. This doesn’t seem like normal, loving behaviour but you are allowing him to browbeat you by getting involved in a complex argument and getting upset and tearful.

Don’t engage and start talking about being a 14 year old. Just say ‘no thanks, it not my cup of tea. Either we watch something we both like or I’ll read a book / have a bath / go for a walk / etc etc.

What do you mean you’re ‘not allowed’ to not be ‘fully engaged’? Just laugh or look at him like hmm if he tries to boss you around. If you feel like you can’t do that then you need to ask yourself why? If you are fearful of his control or of him in general than you need to call time on the relationship. You’re an adult, you can do what you like.

YesimstillwatchingNetflix Fri 24-May-19 01:39:34

Do you only have this issue/dynamic/power struggle over TV? Or do you think it's about time/attention/home in general? Is he controlling and demanding about other things?

If he's just a dickhead about TV shows- tell him to grow up. This watching TV together like conjoined twins thing needs to stop. He can choose and watch his own shows. Honestly!

If he's a dickhead in general, and this is just a snap shot of one of the ways he likes to dominate and control you and your time- then you have a bigger problem.

YesimstillwatchingNetflix Fri 24-May-19 01:42:57

And I agree with PPs, don't get drawn into an argument about TV show preference which he bizarrely tried to use as a way to demonstrate some kind of personal or intellectual failing on your part.

You don't owe him a big debate or discussion. It's your time, you're not keen. The answer is no.

Geez, what is he like when you say you're not in the mood for sex?

GrandTheftWalrus Fri 24-May-19 01:48:29

Right now DP is playing Lego star wars and I'm on here. Last night he watched game of thrones and I was on my phone. (My kindle has broken so need to use my phone)

The night before he was on his phone as I watched one of my shows.

We give and take in this relationship and no other way should be taken as normal.

Justaboy Fri 24-May-19 01:51:28

Just get another TV or you can use a computer to watch TV on thats what I use all the time as long as its connected to the internet you'll be fine. That an a pair of headphones you can even be in the same room as your not so dear H!

WhyTho Fri 24-May-19 01:52:18

That sounds weird as fuck. Why can’t he watch by himself?

We have very different taste in shoes. We NEVER watch anything together. Maybe a movie on the odd occasion, and will usually end in me getting up half way through and proclaiming “right, this is shit! Good night!”.

Literally never ever ever been an issue.

WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll Fri 24-May-19 01:55:50

What strange behaviour? He should be able to watch what he likes if there's nothing else on that you want to watch, but you should be free to fully watch, partially watch or completely ignore it if it's not your thing.

I'm married to a big (now sad) Game of Thrones and Line of Duty fan whereas I could genuinely see no fascination in those programmes whatsoever and always found them deadly boring. Solution: one fan able to break out the popcorn and watch uninterrupted in one room and one non-fan able to sit and read or otherwise have a free rein to watch niche-interest stuff on YouTube in another room. That's just what normal adult couples do.

BeUpStanding Fri 24-May-19 01:59:16


BananasAreTheSourceOfEvil Fri 24-May-19 02:03:36

It’s a fecking tv programme.

If he wants to be a child then treat him like one and give him his own Catch 22 by asking ‘who’s she?’ ‘What did they just say?’ ‘Wasn’t he in xyz on ITV about 18 months ago?’ ‘I recognise that one from somewhere...’ rinse, repeat.

It’s childish but works (hello top gear repeats!)

No tv programme is worth a cricked neck and sleepiness night.

TurnTheFreakingFrogsGay Fri 24-May-19 02:03:36

It's very weird behaviour on his part. Does he think he can force you into activities he knows you don't enjoy or expect you to pretend to enjoy doing things he knows you don't?

A normal person would just watch his show on his own. If he's the type that likes to analyse each episode and shit there's forums where he can discuss shows with other people who actually enjoy it.

Dh watches a lot of TV, I don't watch very much really and do some work on the laptop or read a book or whatever.

A grown adult should be able to watch a tv on his own and it's weird that he bullies you into it to be honest.

Aprillygirl Fri 24-May-19 02:06:25

This is so strange. You're obviously an intelligent woman OP so why would you waste hours of your life sitting there faking interest in something just to appease a man? Your husband is a weird,manipulative control freak. Do you let him bully you into doing other things that you don't like?

Monty27 Fri 24-May-19 02:07:12

That sounds so boring. whilst I am shooting from the hip I've been there.
I think just pursue your own interests and his man cave. There's more to life than TV

k1233 Fri 24-May-19 02:07:20

Don't watch it, don't feel bad. You seem to be reinforcing his behaviour by standing up for yourself then running after him and backing down. That tells him if he has a strop you'll capitulate. Change the rules. Mean what you say and stick to it.

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