NewlyNested: The Greatest Marriage Compromise of All — TV
a blogumn by Debra Goykhman
The other day I was out to dinner with some single friends and on the topic of marriage, one said, “I don’t know if I can live with someone because I’m not sure about sharing the TV.” I honestly never thought of television being a hurdle, but in reflection upon my own marriage I realized that the television is one of the hardest things to share. I even remember as a kid that my brothers and I would have days where the television was ours. On Wednesday I always got to pick my shows without argument. This was the only way I could have a civilized evening with my brothers because we never, until recently, enjoyed watching any of the same programs.
When I first met my husband the first things we bonded over were movies and television shows. Now that the love at first sight eyes have worn off, he has told me that I have bad taste in shows. He isn’t wrong. My taste in television is inconsistent. I’m obsessed with reality programs like the Real Housewives franchise, but also love more widely accepted shows like Fringe and 30 Rock. I have no television focus other than the fact that I love to curl up in my blanket and get lost in a world outside of my own.
The struggle over the remote in our house hasn’t been too difficult or too easy. My husband, the gamer, has a 60-inch screen, so watching TV is a treat. He likes to occupy his evenings with games, but I’d rather catch up on all my shows later at night. To remedy this he insisted on buying me a television in our bedroom. He called it “my TV.” When I wanted a small one (since I knew a large one would be distracting) he insisted on having at least a 42-inch screen. He won. But now when I go to watch TV upstairs he hates it, especially when he is trying to go to bed. The best solution for us is to watch the shows we like when only one of us is home.
Also, there are some favorite shows that we both insist on “sharing” with each other. I dread watching Lost, but am forced to until I admit it is the greatest show on television. Equally my husband humors me by watching Desperate Housewives (although I think he would watch that show without me, because he secretly loves romantic comedies).
Even before I was married, and living with roommates, I was aware that television can quickly divide a household. One roommate wouldn’t let me put a TV in our bedroom and that was when I realized there was no way I could ever live with her again. What kind of TV habits are at work in your house?