Threads

See more results

Topics

Usernames

Mumsnet Logo
Please
or
to access all these features

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Does anyone have a partner who hates them reading books or who gets angry if you don't sit and watch TV with him/her?
111

DeedeeDashwood · 05/08/2022 15:20

I'm very aware that there are some men out there who have a real hatred of books and who are capable of getting very angry indeed if their partners sit and read at home. My theory is that (a) they associate books with school and with being bored at school, and (b) they see books as intellectual and it makes them feel stupid if their partners engage in what they see as an intellectual activity which they themselves aren't capable of - as if their partners are somehow calling them thick by sitting down to read a book.

Likewise some partners (of either sex) feel that their other halves should sit down and watch telly with them, regardless of how moronic their choice of TV show is or how far outside their partner's range of interests it is. It's always struck me as really babyish, like they're not capable of watching TV on their own and they need someone to watch it with them. They seem to think it's part of their partner's job to watch TV with them, even if what's on TV is a bottom-of-the barrel unfunny sitcom, a live darts match or some godawful garish bit of Saturday night gameshow garbage. And yet if the situation's reversed and their partner gets to choose a TV show of a kind which doesn't appeal to them, they'll huff and puff and call it sh*t and leave the room.

I'm wondering if any Mumsnetters have spent years living in this sort of situation and whether they ended up splitting or living separate lives in the same building. I remember a TV play years ago which touched on this sort of thing; the husband, played by Kenneth Cranham, banned his wife from reading library books. As for the TV thing, that was even closer to home for me.

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

WinnysPinny · 05/08/2022 15:35

If my partner got angry because I read a book they’d be an ex before I’d finished the next sentence

Please
or
to access all these features

Watchkeys · 05/08/2022 16:34

Why are you wondering? Are you in that situation?

Please
or
to access all these features

Namechangeforthe · 05/08/2022 16:38

My ex used to be very keen on quizzes and was always very keen that myself or the children watch quiz shows with him so that we could all see how clever he was when he got difficult questions right 🙄

Please
or
to access all these features

mathanxiety · 05/08/2022 16:40

Is this you, OP?

If yes, then you're living with a narcissist who doesn't see you as an actual person with a reality separate from his.

Please
or
to access all these features

Shoxfordian · 05/08/2022 16:41

I hope this isn’t you op

If I had to choose between my husband and my books then I’d miss him 🤣

Please
or
to access all these features

VeryQuaintIrene · 05/08/2022 16:41

I cannot imagine tolerating this for 5 minutes.

Please
or
to access all these features

bloodyunicorns · 05/08/2022 16:42

No, and he wouldn't last long if I did!

Do you, op?

Please
or
to access all these features

CaptainMyCaptain · 05/08/2022 16:43

He doesn't get angry but if I sit and read a book he thinks I'm sulking and asks what's wrong. Nothing is wrong I like reading. I'm happy reading. He only reads on holiday abroad (not been since 2019) and hardly any fiction. He is educated to degree and post grad level but it's science stuff so I put it down to that.

Please
or
to access all these features

sheildmaiden · 05/08/2022 16:43

My ex husband used to hate me reading, looking at my phone or laptop or even going to shower/bath during the evening once I had fed the children, put them to bed, cooked his dinner and tidy up and getting things ready for the next day before being able to sit down and relax. He would get extremely angry and accuse me of cheating on him if I didn't sit and watch what he put on or would pause it and sit there watching me until I had stopped what I was doing, unless it was getting him another beer of course.

It's not normal and a situation I'm relieved to be away from.

Please
or
to access all these features

feistyoneyouare · 05/08/2022 16:44

Not the book part, because DH and I enjoy sitting and reading together (and I don't think I could be married to someone I couldn't have that with), but I can relate to this unfortunately:

And yet if the situation's reversed and their partner gets to choose a TV show of a kind which doesn't appeal to them, they'll huff and puff and call it sht and leave the room.*

We have this argument all the time. We only have a narrow set of TV programme types that we both enjoy, so we watch a lot separately and that's fine with both of us, but according to him everything I like to watch and he doesn't is automatically 'shit' and all his programmes are 'good' (they're really not!) We also argue over the fact that if we are both in the living room he will just put a programme on with no discussion and automatically expect me to watch it with him, whereas it I want us to watch something together I will actually discuss it and ask if he fancies watching it - I wouldn't want him to sit through something he's not enjoying, but he's not great at extending the same courtesy to me.

Thank goodness for TVs in multiple rooms!

Please
or
to access all these features

Daisies1977 · 05/08/2022 16:46

Yes, my exh was just like this - in my case it was part of a wider picture of controlling behaviour. I think you're spot on with your explanation of what sits behind this. I'm 5 years divorced now and I love being able to read/watch what I want 🙂

Please
or
to access all these features

Summerhasbeenandgone · 05/08/2022 16:48

My exh used to dramatically tell the dc not to bother talking to me if I was reading a book.
So eventually I gave up..
Then grew a pair and Ltb...

Please
or
to access all these features

Twilightimmortal · 05/08/2022 16:51

Yes, but why?
They say I'm purposely trying to be away from the family. I'm obsessed with the book. I've changed since reading.

When I pointed out they were jealous because they couldn't read properly their complaining calmed down. I do end up just reading on the commute now instead.

Please
or
to access all these features

ImpartialMongoose · 05/08/2022 16:56

Not about books, but I had a partner who would fall asleep in front of the TV, but would wake up when I changed the channel and get angry I had switched channels. So I had to watch something I didn't want to while he slept through it. And he would get angry with me for wanting to go to bed earlier than him so I had to stay up till he was ready to go to bed to avoid his anger, then wake up early for my job while he didn't have to. I got ill from living like this and finally managed to disentangle myself from him for good and for ever. He was angry that I was a different person to him and had different needs to him. I understood how a pet dog must feel with a horrible owner. I will never let this happen again.

Please
or
to access all these features

Regularsizedrudy · 05/08/2022 17:02

This is terrible way to live, this must be part of a wider pattern of control and abuse?

Please
or
to access all these features

D0lphine · 05/08/2022 17:11

What could possibly be objectionable about reading? Such an innocent pass time.

Please
or
to access all these features

Watchkeys · 05/08/2022 17:16

D0lphine · 05/08/2022 17:11

What could possibly be objectionable about reading? Such an innocent pass time.

If you're selfish and insecure, and your partner isn't focussing on you and what you want, it's a problem. It's not a problem in healthy relationships.

Please
or
to access all these features

PermanentTemporary · 05/08/2022 17:17

Both my husbands found it difficult that I read so much. Both theoretically were readers but they wanted me to be mentally with them when we were together. I do think reading silently is a selfish and exclusive activity in many ways and it absolutely was a way of finding private mental space away from them, so they weren't wrong that I was trying to separate from them.

But ultimately so what? I need a relationship where I have separateness. A lot of it in fact. My current DP despite being a bit less intellectual than either of my husbands (more like me) reads far more and seems quite relaxed about me reading. It's like a miracle to have found him.

Please
or
to access all these features

stargirl1701 · 05/08/2022 17:18

Are you a journalist, OP?

Please
or
to access all these features

MissMarplesNiece · 05/08/2022 17:21

A long time ago I was in a relationship with someone who hated me reading. More than once he took books out of my bag, threw them away and then would deny what he'd done, telling me I'd imagined that the book was ever in my bag. Needless to say I ltb.

Please
or
to access all these features

User2145738790 · 05/08/2022 17:25

I'm very aware that there are some men out there who have a real hatred of books and who are capable of getting very angry indeed if their partners sit and read

Where do you keep meeting these men? Confused

Please
or
to access all these features

User2145738790 · 05/08/2022 17:27

even if what's on TV is a bottom-of-the barrel unfunny sitcom, a live darts match or some godawful garish bit of Saturday night gameshow garbage

You sound like a snobby journalist.

Please
or
to access all these features

Whadda · 05/08/2022 17:27

I refuse to believe that this is a thing.

Please
or
to access all these features

ConfusedHurt · 05/08/2022 17:30

I used to try to read my book when my ex put on Game of Thrones- not my thing at all. He said I needed to "give it a chance" so I sat through a couple of episodes. I always prefer reading to TV. I like nothing more than reading for an hour in bed in the morning at weekends - he said we needed to get up and make the bed! He's now my ex - not purely because of this though.

Please
or
to access all these features

theniceunderstandingone · 05/08/2022 17:32

I love reading so one of my first conversations when on a date is if they like books and reading. I probably wouldn't get far with the guy if he had a negative reaction to books (and one did roll his eyes when I said I read a lot) so wouldn't be a problem for me.

Sounds like a selfish controlling man to me and I wouldnt stand for that

Please
or
to access all these features
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.