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Dh is Tv addict. Big deal?

(27 Posts)
whatsinthename Mon 19-Oct-15 14:20:10

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Thurlow Mon 19-Oct-15 14:26:33

It's not easy to judge this one from the outside, really.

Lots of people like watching crap on TV. Personally, comparing watching crap on TV to smoking a spliff is a way OTT, and also suggesting that you should have a say in what he watches is dictatorial.

However, if he is doing this to the detriment of family relationships and/or household chores, then that's another issue.

I'm not sure you can separate the two issues here.

MidnightRed Mon 19-Oct-15 14:31:10

Lots of people veg in front of the TV of an evening. It's not unusual for people to have it on as background noise even if they're not particularly engaged. And as Thurlow says, to compare it to someone with a drug habit is ridiculous.

If he is refusing to engage with you or DCs (if you have them) or shirking his share of shores then that is the problem rather than TV watching per se.

MidnightRed Mon 19-Oct-15 14:32:03

*chores. Stupid iPad.

whatsinthename Mon 19-Oct-15 14:34:46

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TurnOffTheTv Mon 19-Oct-15 14:37:28

How many hours are you talking about?

whatsinthename Mon 19-Oct-15 14:40:47

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whatsinthename Mon 19-Oct-15 14:43:44

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whatsinthename Mon 19-Oct-15 14:44:18

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RiceCrispieTreats Mon 19-Oct-15 14:45:27

I don't think your comparison is OTT, whats. He's using TV as his escape from reality, the way others use drugs, or alcohol, or dysfunctional romances, or any other kind of addiction.

While it's on, he gets to "not think" and not have to face anything in the real world, such as his wife and children and other life choices. It's an avoidance mechanism.

You don't get to dictate how he lives his life, no. You do get to tell him how it makes you feel, though. And then when he stonewalls you, you get to decide whether you're going to put up and shut up, or give him an ultimatum, or have the same old fight at least once a week...

The thing is, the TV is just a symptom. If he can start thinking about what it is he's trying to avoid when he switches it on, then he'll be on the way to tackling the real problem. Having a fight about the TV means you're wasting energy on the symptom rather than the cause, though.

Good luck.

whatsinthename Mon 19-Oct-15 14:46:11

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longdiling Mon 19-Oct-15 14:47:49

It's not the TV, he's either lazy, or from what you're possibly hinting at - depressed? I tend to blob in front of the computer or TV of an evening but only after the kids are settled down for the night, so an hour or two at most. And I don't get a chance on the weekend. So you're basically doing everything in the evening and at weekends if he's just parked on the sofa?

pocketsaviour Mon 19-Oct-15 14:51:14

It would annoy the crap out of me, as I don't really watch TV at all. My ex was much more info TV than I was but we would find things to watch together and we'd be talking during the programmes as well. OrOr, he'd be watching while I read a book but it felt companiable. Plus didn't have young kids.

whatsinthename Mon 19-Oct-15 14:57:35

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RiceCrispieTreats Mon 19-Oct-15 15:02:10

What does he say if you ask him what it is he's trying to "not think" about? And does he think it's an effective way to deal with it?

(Questions best asked by a therapist rather than an exasperated spouse, but it's worth a try. Be kind, see if he's willing to dialogue and open up. He's probably never asked himself what he's trying so desperately to shut off, so it may be difficult for him to even access whatever it is.)

Thurlow Mon 19-Oct-15 15:02:43

It just sounds like two slightly different issues here.

There are so many things to do/see in life.... Seems to me such a waste... *I struggle with seeing someone constantly sitting on the sofa

That part of it is just personal opinion. Nothing wrong with someone not liking TV as a hobby or method of relaxation. Nothing wrong with someone liking it as a hobby or a method of relaxation. So getting annoyed with someone for preferring to watch TV to unwind is slightly unfair.

But it sounds like the TV could be a red herring. You'd be just as annoyed if he was playing on the computer, or reading a book, or even tinkering in a workshop every evening. It sounds like he is using it as an escape, or a reason to avoid getting involved in family life, or to avoid some sort of issue.

whatsinthename Mon 19-Oct-15 15:04:30

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whatsinthename Mon 19-Oct-15 15:10:48

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RiceCrispieTreats Mon 19-Oct-15 15:11:22

I have a hypothesis that's based only on my own anecdotal observations, so feel free to discount it if it doesn't ring true for you.

I think that avoiders are people who deep down feel powerless: there are demands on them, that they know they are responsible for, but don't feel able to meet. So they try to tune them out instead.

In this scenario, the real issue is the person's imagined powerlessness. So the way to address it would be to somehow boost their sense of being a capable person who can deal with all the stuff they feel overwhelmed by.

Seems counter-intuitive to try to give a confidence-boost to a man you'd rather kick into action, but... it's my 2 cents anyway!

whatsinthename Mon 19-Oct-15 15:13:28

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RiceCrispieTreats Mon 19-Oct-15 15:14:25

x-post. So, what steps can he take and what support can he seek to help him work through his bereavement and job issues?

These are really important issues, and he's burying them. If he's having a hard time dealing with them on his own, there's no shame in that, and there's help available: friends, counsellors, careers advisers... It's up to him to take steps to ring these people up and make appointments, but can you ask him leading questions that get him to consider those options?

I feel for you I really do.

whatsinthename Mon 19-Oct-15 15:17:04

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whatsinthename Mon 19-Oct-15 15:18:12

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Thurlow Mon 19-Oct-15 15:18:14

It's not a small problem if it is really bothering you.

It sounds a little bit like a vicious cycle here. I don't know the back story but there are obviously long running issues with your DH and from what you say, it sounds like he is possibly depressed, or massively avoiding something he needs to address, and that is having a huge effect on you and your family.

But separately, if you wouldn't be so annoyed if he was reading books every evening for 4 hours, or playing computer games, then it's possibly exacerbating the problem with him to focus on the telly watching (as opposed to any other hobby). I understand why you don't see watching a lot of TV as healthy - and it's not, really - but the fact that he is avoiding something by the one recreational activity that really gets your goat, it's making it even worse.

whatsinthename Mon 19-Oct-15 15:24:40

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