Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Carolyn: When my husband and I were dating (we did not live together before marriage), we loved being around each other so much that what we DID was less important than the fact that we were together. I think I actually remember saying, I dont mind if you watch SportsCenter! Just so long as Im with you.
Now that were about two years into our marriage, I am bored with just sitting around. I sit all day at work, and the last thing I want to do when I get home is plant my butt on the couch. Also I think its really unhealthy.
When I let him enjoy his screen time while I do constructive things around the house, or go out on my own, he is hurt that I dont want to spend time with him. Do I need to redefine quality time to match his understanding? Or is it reasonable to make that time valuable for the both of us?
TV IS NOT ROMANTIC
How much of I sit all day at work have you explained? Does he know youre all for the together time, just not all the TV?
Ideally, youll both give a little on the others understanding of quality time. Maybe you can manage a couple of couch nights, and maybe that will soften him to your doing your constructive things on others, and the mutual good will fuel interest in going out each week.
If you can think of it roughly in thirds, his way/your way/separate ways, then you might both find more satisfaction in your marriage without changing a whole lot. It all starts, though, with communicating and not judging.
... and acknowledging that your I love SportsCenter as long as Im with you! declaration was a bait-and-switch a crime of passion, though, not premeditation.
Re: TV: The husband would apparently rather sit on the couch than go out. Doesnt he want to spend time with her?
Its a great habit to get into to turn manipulation around on someone, to make the point that its not productive to guilt-trip people.
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