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Relationship Q&A: TV vs. Wife

When he comes home from work, all he wants to do is watch TV. But after a day of taking care of kids, all she wants is adult companionship. How can they balance their needs?


Q. My husband turns on the TV the minute he walks in the door. If I try to start a conversation, he just says "Uh huh" with his eyes still glued to the tube. Back when we were dating and during the first few years of our marriage we talked about everything, but lately I can't get him to pay attention to me at all. I'm home all day with a toddler and a baby so I really look forward to adult companionship in the evening. However, the way things are going I feel lonely even when my husband is in the same room with me. Any advice?

A. The fact that you feel hurt when your husband chooses television over you and the kids is only natural. However, the problem you describe is common at this stage in your marriage. You are craving adult companionship in the evening, but that is precisely when your husband needs to decompress after dealing with people all day at work. In other words, don't take his behavior personally. Instead, establish a ritual in which you and the children give him a big "Daddy's home!" welcome at the door, and then leave him alone to unwind for about an hour. If your children are quite young, that might be a good time to give them their supper. Then your husband will be ready to join in for a bathtime and bedtime routine. Once the kids are tucked in, my guess is that the two of you will both be ready to "talk about everything" just the way you used to do.

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