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Same old boring problem but I'm crying with frustration ... HOW do I get him to listen?!

(440 Posts)
LRDTheFeministDragon Tue 06-Sep-11 10:54:43

Sorry, I have posted about this before so fair warning, you may have seen it before and it may be boring.

I am a student and work at home, because that is where all my books and my internet connection are. DH works outside the home 9-5. Our place is very, very small and there is only room for one desk. It's his. It has his computer on it. I have done my MA and two years of my PhD on a netbook, on my lap. My back is now almost always painful and my supervisor is fed up with the limited formatting capabilities of said netbook - and I'm fed up with not being able to see more than a tiny screen and having nowhere to spread my books where they won't need moving come five o'clock.

I have a good, basic desktop computer sitting unused at my parents' house, because we didn't have room for both, and he insisted he needed his more. For playing games on. He said I'd be able to use it too. However, IMO it is set up in quite a complicated, non-intuitive way, and is very different from my old computer. It takes me hours to find out how to do simple word processing. I'm not espcially computer literate, and I am dyslexic, which makes it very hard for me to remember sequences of steps and to process visual information. He seems unable to anticipate problems - every time I can't work something out, he is surprised again and insists on telling me at length that it is just a normal thing, or that he could not have expected the problem. This may be true, but initially he had the computer set up in Russian (which I don't speak), and didn't anticipate that being a problem either! One way and another I've lost a lot of work that hasn't saved properly.

I got to the end of my tether and asked my mum to bring down my old computer so I can get some work done. I told him I thought it was my turn to use the desk space. He is now saying he will sort it out by finding space for both computers. There isn't space. What he means is, he will put my computer so every morning I will need to move his out of the way in order to use mine, and can't leave books or papers on the desk after 5pm. So he can play on his computer.

I get that he needs time to relax, I do. But I am just so utterly fed up with this situation and he cannot see that it is not fair on me that I don't have a work space that I can use. I have explained and explained, and said could he not play different games on his laptop, but he thinks it is totally unfair. I don't know what to do.

aStarInStrangeways Tue 06-Sep-11 11:00:17

disconnect all his shit and put it to one side. interrupt any outrage with "as my loving husband, i know you wouldn't want me to be in any more pain or for my work to suffer any more, so i've saved you some time and trouble by setting my computer up while you were out. i love you darling." then get back to work.

ecclesvet Tue 06-Sep-11 11:01:52

Could you not get a laptop instead of a netbook? The word-processing software would be the same as on a desktop and you can't have a desktop on your lap as you watch TV.

LRDTheFeministDragon Tue 06-Sep-11 11:02:57

No, doesn't work. We just end up having yet another screaming row. He's not trying to be unreasonable, it's just he will not budge from the idea he deserves the computer and desk space. He's quite happy to offer that I should buy another desk (with our total lack of money), but that's really it. He sees that as compromise.

LRDTheFeministDragon Tue 06-Sep-11 11:04:49

eccl - I really want space to spread my books out, and sit in a chair. My back is really painful from trying to type for hours sitting on our sofa.

BobBanana Tue 06-Sep-11 11:10:35

Message withdrawn

Earthymama Tue 06-Sep-11 11:10:55

In my book the fact that you are studying for a PHD means that his need to play games is not a priority!!

Does he support you as you study? Is he proud of you?

I know DP and I would both support the other in this level of academic study to the hilt so I am shocked at your H's behaviour.

Saying that I cried in temper as DP had set up a newsletter we are writing in such a complicated way that I was unable to work on it. We have compromised; I write on a document in Word and then DP messes about with rejigs the format! smile

Can you try to rearrange the furniture to set up your PC?

I have no advice on dealing with his selfishness, sorry.

Earthymama Tue 06-Sep-11 11:12:11

Freecycle for a desk or ask on FB, charity shops?

Earthymama Tue 06-Sep-11 11:12:43

I like BobBannana's approach!

AnyFucker Tue 06-Sep-11 11:13:10

LRD, I am really sorry love, but since when is he the boss of your household ?

His games should not take priority over your work.

Fair enough, clear your stuff away at weekends so he can play idiotic pc games to his hearts content, but during the week let him put his back out on the NetBook.

He isn't being supportive and he isn't being fair. You are suffering physically for his pigheadedness and I am sorry to see you making such justifications for his selfishness.

This isn't a boring problem, but I expect you are uncomfortable with my response

Of course he isn't trying to BU, he just is...and by digging his heels in he is making you the unreasonable one (in his eyes, and to some extent in yours)

You say there is a pc at your parents house. Is there any mileage in you going to work there, and space for you to leave your books out ? I would also start eating some meals there and leaving him to his pc games, with the express wish you hope they make him very happy.

aStarInStrangeways Tue 06-Sep-11 11:13:10

then maybe you should suggest that he gets to play on his computer as before, but you get to whack him in the kidneys with a cricket bat every half hour. equality in action.

i dunno, seems like you're in total stalemate. he obviously doesn't respect your work as important. or your health.

perfumedlife Tue 06-Sep-11 11:13:16

If you really cannot find money/space for a second desk, why not have a fortnight each using the desk, then you only need to move computers every two weeks?

I personally think this is your place of work and you have more need of the desk. Sounds selfish.

LRDTheFeministDragon Tue 06-Sep-11 11:14:22

earth - he is proud of me, and he is very supportive in a lot of ways (he proof reads stuff for me, and is always willing to let me reason through ideas with him, which is nice). It's just that, at some level, he just does not get it. And I keep thinking there must be some way to get it across to him.

Personally, I don't think there is space for two desks and two desktops. I also think if he wants to try to fit his in, the onus should be on him to sort that out so that it's not in my way - and this he doesn't get at all. I've said to him that I've put up with a netbook for three years so could he not take his turn (I won't be more than one more year on the PhD, so it should not be long).

AnyFucker Tue 06-Sep-11 11:15:49

Maybe your back has to be so "put out" it means you can no longer service him domestically ? Just a thought...

LRDTheFeministDragon Tue 06-Sep-11 11:17:20

I like this idea of weekends/longer times! I think on balance having fortnight on/fortnight off is a bit crap still - I do need to finish this work and I tend to get deadlines that dont fall regularly.

My parents' house is 90-odd miles away, and in any case they would be totally on his side.

AF, you know I am very grateful - I'm not uncomfortable at all. To be honest, I partly wanted to post just to give myself some courage not to back down (again).

LRDTheFeministDragon Tue 06-Sep-11 11:18:00

Cross-post - heck, no, I'm not giving up on sex too! grin

NeilsBoar Tue 06-Sep-11 11:20:05

You need something called a KVM - both computers sit under the desk and you have a switch on the desk that connects monitor/keyboard/mouse to the appropriate computer... Then you don't have to put up with how he has his computer set-up. Gets slightly more complex if one computer is much older than the other and has different connectors, but a photo of the back of each computer in 'Geek Stuff' should allow someone to find you exactly the right KVM.

No suggestions on how to deal with his attitude - I have found that some people find it incredibly difficult to understand that what's obvious to them isn't obvious to everyone else...

Also, 2 years writing a PhD on a netbook - you have an unreasonable amount of patience!

AnyFucker Tue 06-Sep-11 11:23:27

ah now tut tut LRD, what made you think I meant sex ? grin

Interesting that your own parents would collude with such selfishness. Do they beleivethat a man's needs always supercede a woman's too ? Even when her work and health is suffering ? That may part-explain your need to justify his male territory-guarding < puts Pop Psych hat and adjusts it to a jaunty angle >

AnyFucker Tue 06-Sep-11 11:23:37

hat on

AnyFucker Tue 06-Sep-11 11:24:04

Sex is good for bad backs anyway < knowledgeable >

LRDTheFeministDragon Tue 06-Sep-11 11:26:46

I have a feeling that's perhaps the sort of set-up he's thinking of Neils - though his computer tower needs to be easily accessible because it's got all sorts of complicated stuff plugged in. Thing is, if both towers were under the desk there'd be nowhere to put your feet! I don't think he's thought it through.

Besides which, he is expecting that, if we share the desk, he'll get to move all my stuff every time he gets home at 5 and wants to use the desk for games. He reckons if I get to be in the house from 9-5, after 5 is his time, and he'll play games from 5 to 10 or 11 most evenings, so he gets slightly fewer hours on the computer than I would. But to be honest, I could do with working more in the evening - you can't (IMO) work in a concentrated way when you're writing something up, you need to do short bursts mixed with other stuff, so it takes more hours. I may be being unreasonable here. I just would love not to have to worry about when he's home, whether my papers are clear, and so on.

UsingMainlySpoons Tue 06-Sep-11 11:28:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LRDTheFeministDragon Tue 06-Sep-11 11:28:50

AF - sex is indeed good for backs. Very healthy.

Actually, my parents are crap in all sorts of ways, so not much help. They think DH is wonderful (and I'm a slack wife) because he sometimes cooks, and they keep telling me he works very hard (he does: so do I). There's not a lot of support to be got there.

AnyFucker Tue 06-Sep-11 11:29:25

arf @ UMS

BobBanana Tue 06-Sep-11 11:30:38

Message withdrawn

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