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Does anyone else have a partner that resents their normal use of technology?

(40 Posts)
LovingSummer Sun 06-Jul-14 19:06:47

My DH is always on at me any time I use the home computer or my phone for the internet.

He doesn't do MN or Facebook and criticises my reasonably limited use of either. Worse than that, he assumes every time I'm even checking the weather or my emails that I'm doing Facebook or blogging. I don't even blog!

I'm starting to resent this but he feels that if I use my phone for anything other than a text or phone call (funnily enough he does both himself!) then I am not supervising the children closely enough. I have seen parents pushing their children or ignoring them in the park while they pay more attention to their phones, but I am careful not to do this. Besides, even if I tried to, my kids are rowdy enough to stop me!

He says he resents the fact that he feels it's up to him to manage the children all the time I am on my phone and thinks it should only be done when the children are in bed!

The truth is that I DO manage the children but can multi-task, and as I said I don't do it much at all. So from that point of view I wouldn't miss it a huge great amount but it is the principle of it - my perception that he is trying to control, for whatever reason I do not know!

Can anyone shed any light on why he's like this and does anyone else experience this?

LaurieFairyCake Sun 06-Jul-14 19:08:19

Sounds like a control issue

I would ignore him

Squeegle Sun 06-Jul-14 19:23:01

My ex used to be like this, I think it was just another way to get at me really- bit controlling! Is he like this about anything else?

Roseflowers Sun 06-Jul-14 19:26:07

What exactly is he doing whilst you're 'managing the children'? Is it left totally up to you to look after them?

maras2 Sun 06-Jul-14 19:31:37

WTF. Is he scrutinising you all day? Does he not work? Tell him to stop being so controlling.I never pass comment on DH's use of Ipad/PC/lap top etc and he certainly doesn't comment on my use of technology.He sounds a bit of an idiot.

SpicyPear Sun 06-Jul-14 19:49:42

On the face of it it does sound quite controlling but we don't have any context about the rest of his behaviour.

In the absence of any other controlling type behaviour, I'm inclined to be a bit sympathetic. My DH spends a lot of time reading and is genuinely unaware sometimes how switched off and disconnected he is. Time can slip away glued to a screen so maybe, albeit unfairly, he really does feel that you have zoned out for long periods.

LovingSummer Sun 06-Jul-14 19:50:26

I find it hard to remember what he's doing but certainly the most recent episode today was when we stopped off with him on the way home to his elderly aunt's greenhouse to water plants.

The DC were playing in the garden by my feet or a stones throw away from me, one playing with a toddler watering can and the other crawling on large pebbles shuffling them around.

He came out from the greenhouse and was snippy about me being on the phone. When I challenged this and said it's becoming a bit of a theme and I resent his control over me, he said he is building up resentments about how I don't look after the children with my full attention. Bit of an insult actually as I think I am more attentive than he is and he children have never come to any harm in my care.

In answer to your question he works full time but only 3 days a week as he works from dawn til dusk, so he's around quite a lot.

I don't think my being on the pone impacts on him as I never ask him to mind the children while I Facebook or check emails or whatever else I do. And like I said, I don't do it all that much.

joanofarchitrave Sun 06-Jul-14 19:54:42

Um... OK I sympathise with him. He was helping out a relative, the kids were playing, you were effectively absent. Not exactly family time. Hard for you to help out with the watering, but the kids could have been marshalled to 'help' with the little watering can, or you could have been commenting on their play and being involved with them.

Try going cold turkey on the phone for a week during the day. Show him you take his views seriously. Discuss what the difference has been at the end of the week, if any.

LovingSummer Sun 06-Jul-14 20:00:19

I had been watering with the toddler watering can. But as with all activities they soon move on and he was just siting singing to himself and filling the can with pebbles. I can't micromanage their play all bloody day! I really wasn't on the phone for long either.

And it's not family time if he's shut away at the far end of the garden watering plants in a greenhouse where the kids are forbidden to go.

googoodolly Sun 06-Jul-14 20:54:24

I'm torn here. How long are you actually on the phone for? DP doesn't use hs phone much, but when he does he tunes out and I have to literally poke him or repeat hs name 3-4 times before he listens. It's not done on purpose, but it's so easy to get sucked into a virtual world, and it can be be quite alienating for the people you're with if you seem more interested in your phone than in them.

I do think he has a point that if you're supervising the children, then you should be doing that, not shut away on your phone, though.

Nanny0gg Sun 06-Jul-14 21:46:30

I do think he has a point that if you're supervising the children, then you should be doing that, not shut away on your phone

Or hoovering, or dusting, or washing or ironing, or cooking...

Children can be left to their own devices for five minutes!

LovingSummer Mon 07-Jul-14 05:00:33

Thanks nanny! I had made it perfectly clear I don't do it to the detriment of the children. He takes them up there on his own to water the greenhouse so why he suddenly expected me to be the person exclusively playing non-stop with the children I do not know! And I challenge any parent who tried to say they play nonstop all day long with their kids. You have to stop in intervals for your own sanity and theirs.

oohdaddypig Mon 07-Jul-14 05:24:37

Interesting... DH and I have been having this conversation a lot.

I can also see both sides. Sometimes I think the distraction of a phone means you miss some of the lovely stuff with little kids. But since my DH bought a tablet, he is on it far more often than me. I don't whinge at him for this as I'm much more tolerant but I have commented how ironic this is.

I'm having problems in my marriage right now - to do with my DH being a bit unpleasant generally - and I'm now thinking this is about control rather than his concern for the DCs.

FolkGirl Mon 07-Jul-14 06:12:15

I sometimes think that technology can be the black hole of time.

I can quite easily think I've been on MN or composing an email for 10 or 15 minutes and then realise it's been well over an hour. I don't do it when the children are around, but when they've gone to bed...

So I do always wonder, when men and women complain that their partner resents their use of technology, just how much time is spent on it.

It can be frustrating when someone is permanently engaged with technology; whether that's because they're actively engaged with it and focused on it, or poised and ready to go everytime there's an email or FB update 'ping'.

I do find it irritating if I'm with someone who is constantly checking their phone, or whatever.

Most of my friends aren't that bothered with technology, and neither my boyfriend or I have smartphones, although, coincidentally, we are both getting them this week. It will be interesting to see if things change, but I hope not.

I certainly don't think that children need to be entertained 24/7, but I do think that spending a lot of time on 'technology' probably isn't the best, or most productive, use of most people's time and that we just get sucked in.

kinkytoes Mon 07-Jul-14 06:20:29

I am in a similar situation although we both get at each other for doing the same thing. I actually agree that it's best to avoid the internet (apart from essential stuff) while ds is up, but I find myself drawn into non-essential stuff time and time again.

It bugs the hell out of me!

Iggly Mon 07-Jul-14 06:23:46

Actually me and Dh have this argument regularly and it is bloody annoying.

He is sometimes on his phone a lot - checking football on a Saturday, for example. I do it too. So we are both as bad as each other.

The key is that we dont realise how bad it is until we see the other one doing it.

It is rude to say the least.

Put your phone away for a day - just have it on noisy so you can hear calls - and give your children your full attention for a bit. Saying "I can multi task" is classic head in the sand.

You must have read the stats that using your phone when driving is so distracting that you may as well be drunk? You do switch off to stuff around you when doing it.

SnookyPooky Mon 07-Jul-14 07:41:16

My husband does this occasionally. I just tell him to STFU, and ask would he complain if I was doing the ironing/cleaning/cooking or whatever.

LovingSummer Mon 07-Jul-14 09:28:33

You can't make a cup of tea while driving either, but you can take time away from playing with children to do it!

Iggly Mon 07-Jul-14 10:01:40

My point was that you might think you're multi tasking but you're not. You're focussed on the phone! It isn't necessary and the world won't end if you miss a bit of MN

Nanny0gg Mon 07-Jul-14 10:03:05

Do you never watch the TV or read a book when the children are about?

I did...


kinkytoes Mon 07-Jul-14 12:55:28

I think the difference between tv/book and the internet is the interactive nature of the internet. I think it's a whole lot easier to remove yourself from your immediate situation when it's a two way distraction. I also believe that you're less likely to want to break away from such interaction. I feel the same about kids and computer games too, for this reason. Much more antisocial than reading a book.

Iggly Mon 07-Jul-14 12:57:17

Read a book - rarely.

Watch TV - never.

ParadoxicalUndressing Mon 07-Jul-14 13:59:08

I am struggling to remember a time in my childhood where my parents weren't watching tv/reading the newspaper/excluding me from the conversation/generally ignoring me. I feel sorry for the children waiting for the bus, at the park or whatever who are desperately trying to get their parents' attention that is lost to cyberspace. But for all I know, it could be a short break from hours of one-to-one time.

I do find smart phones (more specifically - facebook) irritating but that's just the way things are now. Somebody mentioned upthread about having dedicated no phone time, which I think is a good idea.

tachehag Mon 07-Jul-14 15:03:28

I understand the DH's point. I sometimes get annoyed when I see my DH on his phone while our DC try to talk to him/play. It does look heartless and dumb.

LovingSummer Mon 07-Jul-14 15:42:44

Yeah but I've made it clear I wouldn't do it when the kids wanted attention. I don't like to see that happen, just as much as the next person

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