Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
DW watching way too much TV
Old 03-15-2008, 08:57 AM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,974
DW watching way too much TV

Right or wrong, I think a little TV goes a long way. Certainly OK to watch a few things of genuine interest but beyond that it's a useless, passive, mind-eating activity.

We're not retired, but the TV goes on when she gets home from work and stays on until she goes to bed, with her in front of it most of that time every day. On weekends, unless I have activities planned for us, she will spend most of the day in front of the TV. Even if by her own admission 'there's nothing on' she will watch something. I have talked to her about it, but we've been married too long for her to listen to me (somewhat tongue in cheek). When we retire, I would expect it to get worse. Her mother lives in front of the TV, talks about people/characters on TV as if she was a part of their lives. I don't want that to happen to DW.

Only thing I can come up with is me planning enough activities for us to do to try to get her away from the boob tube. But I wondered if anyone else here has done this sort of intervention, and if so how? Sad I know. Help...
__________________

__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is online now   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 03-15-2008, 09:47 AM   #2
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
This author maintains that people who watch a lot of TV tend to be anxious and tv allows them to avoid anxious thoughts: TurnOffYourTV.com's Television Addiction Identification and Self-Help Guide

I have never been a tv addict but I was a reading addict. I also tend to be a worrier and especially as a child, I had a lot of anxieties. When I was a child I started reading novels several hours every day and this continued for a good part of my life. I read well over a 1000 books a year. Most of the books were just good reads, almost exclusively fiction. One day I mentioned to my spouse that he sure watched a lot of tv and he said that I spent more time reading than he spent watching tv. It suddenly dawned on my that my reading was more than a bit compulsive. Reading wasn't necessarily that much "better" than TV.

I have cut back on how much I read. I have improved the quality of what I read, though I still will read a fair number of novels. But probably only one a week rather than 3 to 5 a week. I am no longer on a first name basis with every clerk at Barnes and Noble. Of course, the Internet came along which in some respects replaced the novel. In the cold of winter I have to watch myself or I would live on my couch with the dog on my lap, going between the computer and a novel. To this day I have to force myself to do other things. I make a point of talking to my two best friends (who live out of town) at least once a week and visiting them once a month. Fortunately, summer I am much more active and moved my compulsiveness to gardening.

This is probably of little help to you. No one can make me be less anxious or compulsive, I had to see those characteristics in myself and then figure out for myself how to deal with them. Comforting habits are hard to break, there has to be something better and more rewarding to do instead.

I do know that doing the same things at the same time will help make new habits. So, if I go for a walk the same time each day I am more likely to walk the next day. But then winter comes and I curl up on the couch.
__________________

__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2008, 10:14 AM   #3
Recycles dryer sheets
poboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 362
You just need to start doing more housework.
__________________
Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.
poboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2008, 10:15 AM   #4
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,887
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
Right or wrong, I think a little TV goes a long way. Certainly OK to watch a few things of genuine interest but beyond that it's a useless, passive, mind-eating activity.

We're not retired, but the TV goes on when she gets home from work and stays on until she goes to bed, with her in front of it most of that time every day. On weekends, unless I have activities planned for us, she will spend most of the day in front of the TV. Even if by her own admission 'there's nothing on' she will watch something. I have talked to her about it, but we've been married too long for her to listen to me (somewhat tongue in cheek). When we retire, I would expect it to get worse. Her mother lives in front of the TV, talks about people/characters on TV as if she was a part of their lives. I don't want that to happen to DW.

Only thing I can come up with is me planning enough activities for us to do to try to get her away from the boob tube. But I wondered if anyone else here has done this sort of intervention, and if so how? Sad I know. Help...
You can't MAKE somebody change, or do what you want them to do all day long. But as you have so wisely decided, you can ENTICE them to do other things. You can think of interesting things to do together, or you can do interesting individual things around her that might entice her to try those individual preoccupations. Other than that, I think you will have to take a philosophical approach and realize that this is who she is and that luckily, she is happy and it doesn't cost much to keep her happy.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2008, 11:08 AM   #5
Moderator
Ronstar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A little ways southwest of Chicago
Posts: 9,352
Midpack, I feel your pain. DW watches tv every waking minute at home. She records 10 shows a week and watches them on weekends, whenever she isnt watching live tv. And I agree, it will only get worse during retirement.
__________________
Ronstar is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2008, 11:10 AM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
lazygood4nothinbum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,895
mom read like martha and up until just her above post i thought there was something wrong with me that i never enjoyed reading like them. i did watch tv like midpack's wife when i was a child but that wore off as i found more, um, creative diversions.

while it happens that my one of my very favorite things to do is think, i do sometimes space out in front of the tv where i'm a channel surfer. once i've flipped the channel i have to think real hard to remember just what it was i was watching before the flip.

oddly, the computer somehow synthesizes both media for me as i find i prefer reading a computer screen than a book. maybe i think of it as more mentally interactive.

i agree with want2 that you can't change anyone, which does not mean that people are beyond change themselves, or at least that they can alter, if not change completely, so that more emphasis is placed on an aspect of them which was always already there. to that end i think you can throw some things in their face which they might not have seen otherwise, or at least in what you consider "in good time", though doing so is always at some risk to you & your relationship with them.

it is a tough balance to both tread carefully for the other person yet to not have to walk on eggshells yourself. i've experienced both success and failure at that but i have not yet deciphered the proper overall formula of that dance which seems quite case specific.
__________________
"off with their heads"~~dr. joseph-ignace guillotin

"life should begin with age and its privileges and accumulations, and end with youth and its capacity to splendidly enjoy such advantages."~~mark twain - letter to edward kimmitt 1901
lazygood4nothinbum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2008, 11:15 AM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,974
Quote:
Originally Posted by poboy View Post
You just need to start doing more housework.
Thanks, I laughed out loud...
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2008, 11:43 AM   #8
Moderator Emeritus
CuppaJoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: At The Cafe
Posts: 6,866
SO and I are having tremendous fights about this; retired SO wants to veg out in front of the TV every evening and I want to set up my new electronic toys. So today SO will be home starting a new oil canvass (of "Fluffy") from one of my digital camera experiments, we have the advantage of separate apts. Problem is I'm still working and have very little time for my hobbies. I'll do something by myself today and call SO later to join me, out of the house. SO w*rked six days a week so I was used to having a lot of time to myself; it's been 7 years and I am still not used to having that much time together.
__________________
CuppaJoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2008, 01:20 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
dex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,105
I think there are many parallels between TV watching and drug use - antisocial, time involved, health effects - mental and physical.
If you think about it as a drug addition that might help. I think you are on the right track in trying to find other activities.
Try to find things to do during the week - gym, classes etc that you can do together to wean her off it.
My TV broke about 6 or more years ago and I haven't replaced it. Now I do have a TV program on my computer for about 6 months. When I'm using the TV program I'm using the net also.

If all else fails break the TV when she is out of the house and keep putting off getting a new one.
__________________
Sometimes death is not as tragic as not knowing how to live. This man knew how to live--and how to make others glad they were living. - Jack Benny at Nat King Cole's funeral
dex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2008, 01:58 PM   #10
Full time employment: Posting here.
GoodSense's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 678
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
Right or wrong, I think a little TV goes a long way. Certainly OK to watch a few things of genuine interest but beyond that it's a useless, passive, mind-eating activity.

We're not retired, but the TV goes on when she gets home from work and stays on until she goes to bed, with her in front of it most of that time every day. On weekends, unless I have activities planned for us, she will spend most of the day in front of the TV. Even if by her own admission 'there's nothing on' she will watch something. I have talked to her about it, but we've been married too long for her to listen to me (somewhat tongue in cheek). When we retire, I would expect it to get worse. Her mother lives in front of the TV, talks about people/characters on TV as if she was a part of their lives. I don't want that to happen to DW.

Only thing I can come up with is me planning enough activities for us to do to try to get her away from the boob tube. But I wondered if anyone else here has done this sort of intervention, and if so how? Sad I know. Help...
TV is to your wife what the Internet is to me. I spend way too much time on it than I need to, even when "there is nothing on" (ie. nothing I can think of that is worth browsing) And this forum is a contributor to the problem, although at least I recognize it and I'm doing so willingly.

I think it's kind of a rut that one can get into. Hard to get out once you sorta make yourself comfortable there. Does she want to change? Does she realize it's wasting her life? Is yes, then you can probably work together to get her out of the habit. I read a survey somewhere that most excessive TV watchers say that TV gives them short-term comfort, but in the long term, they are not happier. (It sounds to me like the opposite of having children: even though in the short time, it brings more stress and disorder, in the long term, the joy outweighs the pain, generally speaking)

So can you think of games, etc. that brings as much short-term comfort and fun as TV, and in the long term can bring you guys closer together and make your life more fulfilling? You will have to be the change agent. I don't see how she can change on her own. Good luck!
__________________
GoodSense is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2008, 02:10 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
freebird5825's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: East Nowhere, 43N Latitude, NY
Posts: 9,017
maybe cancel the cable service?

some ideas...
replace with season tickets to theatre. still entertainment, but gets you both out of the house. live theatre is great. dinner theatre rules. a local community theatre works if not near big city. maybe even volunteer to do back stage projects.

or sign up for netflix and enjoy movies together. do the one at a time option, cheaper and less time consuming. take turns ordering the movies.

DH2B and i tend to be internet addicts. i have all day to surf while he's at w*rk. so we set a time limit, say 1 hour, (and yes i set a kitchen timer) to surf and then we hang out together. if he needs more, no problem.

good luck!
__________________
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney
freebird5825 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2008, 03:15 PM   #12
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 582
One thought - if Martha's line of thinking is applicable for your DW, and it's some kind of anxiety-reducing habit, it may be that she will watch less after you're retired, because she won't be stressed out from w*rking all day. But I think that will still depend on her finding other things she likes to do.

You say you've talked with her about this issue - exactly what did you say? Does she realize she's acting like her mother? Does she see her mother's TV watching as a problem like you do? It might be a wake-up call if you (gently) point out the similarity and express your own anxiety that the tv is going to take up all of your time together once you ER.
__________________

WM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2008, 03:28 PM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,384
This may be an area where her opinion is what counts, not yours.

Maybe she feels that you spend far too much time making and studying spreadsheets. Would you welcome her trying to cut you off?

I know a fair number of middle aged couples who would just as soon not interact with one another any more than they need to. TV is one buffer; there are others that would not necessarily be better fom your POV.

Marriage always presents a choice-should I stay, or should I go?

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2008, 04:03 PM   #14
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 854
This is named as a "soft addiction" (there are others).

Check out Judith Wright's book "The Soft Addiction Solution: Breaking Free of the Seemingly Harmless Habits That Keep You From the Life You Want". This was formerly published under the title "There Must Be More Than This" (in case you want to look for a cheaper used copy).

You can see her other books and resources on the website at Judith Wright including a soft addiction quiz.

Sure internet surfing is on the list, too. A soft addiction is more something that you do (usually to excess) even when you don't have a purpose for it. For example - choosing to shop for what you need is fine - but "having to go shopping" because you use shopping to reduce stress would be a soft addiction. Watching TV is fine. But watching TV all the time to avoid life - or to avoid facing the fact that you hate your job - would be a soft addiction. Spending some time on the internet learning, posting, etc. No problem. "Needing" to spend time on the internet and feeling "anxious" if you don't get to do it that day? Soft addiction.

Want to know if TV or Starbucks or the ER Forum is a soft addiction for you? Do a test. Go without for a few days ... heh-heh.

To the OP...
While you probably can't change her, you might try connecting with her heart and communicating more to find out why she feels the need to 'zone out'. You might ask for 15 minutes every evening at the end of dinner just to talk and listen to each other. Do this even before you do the dishes. Make it into a tradition. Don't know what to talk about? Reminisce about what drew you to each other, talk about what you liked about her "then" and what you like about her "now". Don't criticize. Tell her you miss her because it feels like she is unavailable to you when she's in front of the TV -like she's not there. Tell her it makes you feel lonely sometimes. Do NOT tell her that she is like her mother.

Say the right things in the right way and she will respond. A woman has a huge capacity to respond to a man who loves her, accepts her, and thrills her heart.

At least, this is my experience.

FWIW.

spncity
-----> former stress shopper

interesting - softaddictions.com turned itself into a shortcut
__________________
spncity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2008, 07:50 PM   #15
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 62
martha,

That's me, a reading addict. I try and try to stop, but I haven't been able to for any length of time. My husband hates it. I can't go by the library without stopping. I came in today with an armful of books, and have already read one. ( Starbuck saved my life,... good btw) You might as well just hook me up to an IV and pour the words into my veins. It's how I cope with life, though I realize it's not healthy. The OP's wife probably realizes it also.

SPNCITY, thanks for the book recommendation. I know I have got to resolve this issue. We have so much to do to move into our new post er life, which is a bit stressful = more reading. bad cycle.
__________________
enfp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2008, 09:36 AM   #16
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,539
We have somewhat the same issue, but she's also involved with helping her brother's family coping with a learning disabled 13-year-old girl, her father's declining health, she's taking one class a semester at a nearby university and a couple of other things. And of course I'm "here" probably more than is good for me....

That's one reason a I bought the small boat to go fishing with, plan to get a bicycle soon, long walks when the weather's fitting, when the new job starts I'll be saving for a travel trailer and when that's done I'll either quit or kick back to part time. Although with gas heading to $4/gal and a tow vehicle that with a trailer will get maybe 12 mpg I'm not sure how much traveling we'll really do with it, so I'll have to keep a close eye on cost/benefit. But I am NOT going back to work for a big-screen TV!

I also do some of the yard work at her father's place, lots of trees that lose branches & I have a shredder machine and chain saw. He can't do that stuff any more. DW helps but she is not much for exercise and can only do few hours of that. I try to get her out for walks, but sometimes she just won't, the weather has to be almost perfect.

It definitely took a couple/three years to decompress from 29 years in law enforcement. I miss the people but not the responsibilities. She's the same way, she was doing funds administration for bioterrorism research. You can imagine what that was like post 9/11....

So we're not total veggies/hermits, but there's the feeling there should be more....
__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2008, 09:43 AM   #17
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 152
Interesting thread. Makes me wonder if I watch to much TV. Generally I will always have CNBC/History/Discovery channel on but its more of a background thing.

Come to think of it I am extremely compulsive (not sure the actual word to use here...). I will get into a project and do it untill I have exhausted all possible forks. An example would be RC Helicopter flying. One day I decided I want to learn how to fly them, which is extremely hard, and then spent 5 months learning. Eventually I became somewhat good and haven't flown since. After that I moved on to learning C++ lol..

Btw, If your bored I recommend learning to fly RC Helis or planes Fun hobby and mostly older folk
__________________
trixs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2008, 10:17 AM   #18
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 222
Like some others here, my wife's "vice" is TV; mine's the internet. However, we've made good progress in cutting back significantly lately. We made a hard and fast rule about everything shutting off after 9pm. It's amazing how much this simple rule has freed up more time for us to just relax and unwind. TV and the internet are NOT relaxing, no matter whether or not someone thinks they're "vegging out." In addition to being overstimulated, you're filling your mind with noise.

Here's an interesting Scientific American article I read a few years back on TV addiction and the "orienting response":
Television Addiction Is No Mere Metaphor: Scientific American

Television Addiction Is No Mere Metaphor - Scientific American [cont]
__________________
CompoundInterestFan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2008, 10:30 AM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
I think I'm going to give up on the internet and television altogether. Probably toss the newspaper too.

They all do the same thing. Fill your head with lots of disparate ideas, situations and problems from all over the world. While your head likes to be expanded in all these areas, I have a feeling that sending your brain in a bunch of disorganized directions (especially first thing in the morning or last thing at night) leads to a day of disorganization and distraction. Plus it makes you worry about a whole lot of stuff that has nothing to do with you and that you can have no real effect on.

Or I can follow along Gabes path and just watch Dora the Explorer. Only one primary objective involved, and your biggest worry is that Swiper the fox will steal your map and you'll have to go look in a tree for it.

A hundred years ago you spent your brains on your family, friends and your local town/region. Really important things from other parts of the world came to you eventually by news or word of mouth, but you were so embroiled in things that directly mattered that they were just interesting.

Now its the flip side. Theres so much really, really important stuff all over the world...your own life has to take a back seat to it. How could it not?
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2008, 10:55 AM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
DangerMouse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Silicon Valley
Posts: 1,812
We have a bit of the same problem in our household - too much TV and too much internet. However, part of the problem is what is the alternative? If we substitute reading then it will be too much reading. There is only so much time you can spend at the gym.
__________________

__________________

I be a girl, he's a boy. Think I maybe FIRED since July 08. Mid 40s, no kidlets. Actually am totally clueless as to what is going on with DH.
DangerMouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Watching MSNBC amy5708 FIRE and Money 44 03-08-2008 08:59 PM
R U watching M@d Men? bright eyed Other topics 9 09-03-2007 08:23 PM
Who's watching the watchers? ladelfina Other topics 55 05-18-2007 12:29 AM
Anyone Watching The NEW DR. WHO? Telly Other topics 15 04-30-2007 11:11 AM
They're Watching and Listening John Tuttle Other topics 4 04-09-2007 07:49 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:02 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.