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AIBU to want my husband to have different hobbies?

(98 Posts)
BeepOpsiePie Sun 19-Jan-20 13:36:40

His hobby is programming. He spends all his spare moments researching and coding. I feel like solving computer problems is the only thing that truly excites him in life and he doesn't seem to be as excited about the time we spend together as a family or couple.

I suppose the actual hobby is relevant, you could substitute in any pastime really - video gaming, tinkering, Facebooking, whatever. Although it does seem relevant to me that it's a screen-based hobby, they seem to be so all-consuming compared to other things like DIY or crafts, and so accessible as you can easily fire it up any time, anywhere that you can bring a laptop with you.

DH things I'm trying to control his hobbies in a weird way instead of just leaving him to it. I don't know exactly why it bugs me so much but I think it's partly jealousy that he has such an intense interest in it, an interest I would rather him take in us as his family instead, or even just something a bit more tangible that we can all see. If he did the same hobby but otherwise seemed balanced I wouldn't mind so much.

I don't know, maybe it's me that just needs to be a bit more understanding - I don't have anything I'm that obsessed with so maybe I just can't empathise.

MisfitNinja Fri 14-Feb-20 10:21:56

My DH is a soft wear engineer and really enjoys writing code and building websites. He also spends a lot of time learning different coding languages in his own time.

I don’t mind. I’d rather this than a hobby that had him out of the house all day/night.

He does it in evenings and always makes sure he spends time with me and our DC as a family too.

Illbeagransoon Tue 21-Jan-20 11:21:34

My DH spends virtually every waking moment playing games on his tablet or phone. but I do worry that he's got so few interests. He'll retire before long, and he has few acquaintances and no friends that I can recall. He's also unfit and overweight.
He's tired when he gets home from work, but turns on the television and picks up his tablet within a few minutes and goes to sleep on the settee a couple of hours later. He is very good, however, about helping with the housework.
Any suggestions? I don't want to take away something he enjoys, I just wish there were other interests in his life.

Ohyesiam Mon 20-Jan-20 22:07:55

So there’s 3 things
Not spending enough time with the family
You not feeling special enough

I think you could rightly negotiate more/ better quality family time, that’s a fair ask.
And you need to feel special too. Do you want date nights, cuddles, flowers, conversation?
Have you asked for these things and can he deliver. It can feel a bit humiliating to ask for attention, but your marriage needs to thrive. Learning to negotiate and ask for c what I’ve want is the single best marriage skill I’ve ever learned. I used to get upset and feel inadequate.
I think the coding is just the focus because you are discontented.

TotHappy Mon 20-Jan-20 22:03:59

Yeah, I think it's a type of hobby that is quite exclusionary... Like pp said if he was knitting/,sewing/painting he could maybe talk to you at the same time, show it to you, make things for you.
But also if my husband was hobbying all the time other than a couple of hours dinner and bedtime I wouldn't feel loved as a family... He's not checking out if he's helping, but I want my husband to do more than just his duty - I want him to want to spend time with me and the kids doing stuff! Not just back to the hobby as soon as there's a spare minute.

Peoniesandcats Mon 20-Jan-20 21:57:29

My husband sounds quite similar. And I do find it annoying when there is other stuff he could do with family/around the house.

Not as bad as when I hear the Playstation noise though, that really grates me!

1Morewineplease Mon 20-Jan-20 21:52:58

YANBU if his hobby supersedes his involvement in family life.

Pineapple1 Mon 20-Jan-20 21:40:30

If he loves it so much, he should become a programmer. I know a few, earn well over 100k a year.

Lilymossflower Mon 20-Jan-20 20:57:07

Is it because he is always doing it when you are running around making kids dinner/lunchboxes/putting the toys away ? If so then I would also be annoyed

Nearly47 Mon 20-Jan-20 20:49:17

Do you spend any time together after the kids go to bed? That would bother me.
I think there are hobbies that allow companionship. I.e someone is knitting or doing a puzzle can still be together and even talk. In computing the concentration is so absolute that is hard to pay attention to anyone around you. So you are not being unreasonable. It is also very unhealthy to spend this much time looking at a screen

1forAll74 Mon 20-Jan-20 20:02:05

You really can't ask your Husband to have a different hobby, this is what he likes to do, and that's it. You yourself,could get a hobby,there are hundreds of things to do as a hobby.

InSpaceNooneCanHearYouScream Mon 20-Jan-20 19:37:47

I understand exactly what you mean OP. There's something depressing about someone sat quietly staring at a computer all the time. Like playing computer games for hours. It's very insular and not at all sociable. I do needlework, and I spend hours doing it, but I can chat with the family and interact at the same time.
You're not being unreasonable. You don't sound controlling to me.

maz1957 Mon 20-Jan-20 19:33:55

Perhaps your husband could take up running 4 days a week, start an affair with a female runner and leave you after 26 years together! TRUE STORY.
Leave him to his coding. You dont know how lucky you are.

MyHeartIsInCornwall Mon 20-Jan-20 19:29:23

*hobby 🤦🏻‍♀️

MyHeartIsInCornwall Mon 20-Jan-20 19:29:04

I don’t think the issue is the Bobbie, so much as the time it consumes. If he were equally sharing his time out between work, family and hobbies, then it would be fair. If you feel as you say like he’s spending every spare waking moment doing his hobby, then that’s another issue. I personally would sit back for a week and take a rough log of how much time he spends on the hobby and the evaluate from there. If he’s spending every moment doing that and not pulling his weight or spending time with his family, then that’s what needs addressing.

Lincolnfield Mon 20-Jan-20 18:34:33

He’s at home with you. Just be pleased his hobby isn’t lap dancing clubs....

Highonpotandused Mon 20-Jan-20 18:29:47

he spends all his spare moments researching and coding.

he doesn't seem to be as excited about the time we spend together as a family or couple.

an interest I would rather him take in us as his family instead

This is what jumped out at me. Has he checked out of family life? Is his 'spare time' facilitated by you taking care of the children? Does he take an interest in you and the children?

FelicisNox Mon 20-Jan-20 18:25:17

I think YANBU in wanting his attention.... there is a difference between having a hobby that he does a couple of times a week and an all consuming obsession that takes up his every waking moment outside of work and I suspect that is what this is.

He clearly has an obsessive personality so it wouldn't matter what his hobby was you would still be facing this problem.

If he loves it so much, why don't you encourage him to do it for a living instead of as a hobby? There is a LOT of money in coding.

Just explain that you don't mind the hobby itself, you just miss him and fancy being on the receiving end of some of that passion.

Ignore the bitchy comments, as usual they are missing the point.

Elsielouise13 Sun 19-Jan-20 23:04:05

Voted YANBU but because I suspect you feel as tho you are missing either his attention or you’d like to have something you are as passionate about in your life. Therefore it is reasonable to feel that you’d like him to focus on you instead of an activity.

Does that mean he should stop? I’d suggest taking away his interest or trying to control it would be detrimental to your relationship as he may resent the interference and you probably wouldn’t get the attention you wanted,

On the other hand if his interest excludes general family life the LTB of course!

BlokeTarget Sun 19-Jan-20 22:56:42

I don't know exactly why it bugs me so much but I think it's partly jealousy that he has such an intense interest in it,

I find that depressing. I would like to see him doing something else. But I know that's not my choice.

You sound jealous and controlling.

Regardless of what said activity is: it makes him HAPPY, yet you wish to deny him of that happiness ? How caring.

JosefKeller Sun 19-Jan-20 22:13:50

I couldn't be with someone who spends his entire life in front of a screen, but DH was - and still is - very active when I met him. Someone not doing anything else would drive me insane, and it's horribly unhealthy.

I don't agree that hobbies should be family orientated though, practically it's not that possible.

If your DH was like that when you met him, YABU.
If he has become obsessed by screens since and changed completely, YANBU.

BlueJava Sun 19-Jan-20 21:44:32

The reason he will appear so absorbed is that to code you need to be really focussed on it to get it right. My DP is also a programmer and he also spends a lot of time doing it at home as well. He really pulls his weight at home though, is a great dad and a fantastic DP. However, he's also been incredibly supportive of my studies too.

Serious thought - if he's doing it a lot he's probably really good at it and he's probably a superhero at work smile but please make sure you value him at home too.

cybergran Sun 19-Jan-20 21:32:05

are you sure he is actually programming whilst online op...?

are you confident he is actually on dadsnet, posting moaning threads about you posting moaning threads about him...

more seriously... you are insecure because you are not getting enough attention from him. unfortunately, that is your problem and not his... have you thought about taking an interest in his hobby?

DoreenSamuel Sun 19-Jan-20 21:22:53

Is there anyway you can find programming sexy? I realise that’s a long shot. Maybe you can pretend he’s hacking through firewalls to gather crucial information as part of his role working for the secret service?

ArkAtEee Sun 19-Jan-20 21:14:18

I'm not a programmer anymore, but it is something that at its best is both intellectually satisfying and totally absorbing. If he is involved with open source coding projects as well, there are communities based around that, so it also has a social element with a feel of 'changing the world for the better'. So I can see why he enjoys it, but also why you might feel excluded.

If we're talking about hours every day outside of work, I think you are right that it's unacceptable, even if he's pulling his weight with the family and home. It was also be unacceptable if it was golf/gaming/cycling. If you feel like you have to beg for his time and attention, that's not right and there needs to be a conversation between you and some changes.

SandyY2K Sun 19-Jan-20 20:10:34


How he chooses to spend his spare time us up to him. You don't get to decide another person's hobby or interest.

You've not indicated he neglects the family at the expense of his coding.

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