Is Television Sucking the Life out of Your Marriage?
By: Ganel, LCMFT Owner/Principal Therapist

You work hard all day. You work long hours and can’t wait to get home and RELAX.
After all, home is where you get to kick your feet up and just let go. You don’t have to pretend to be happy when you’re not, or take care of tasks when you don’t feel like it as you have to do at work. So, after a long day at work, you come home, throw together some dinner, or order in Chinese food, and sit down in front of the television. Maybe your spouse joins you, maybe not. She may have already eaten since you came home later than she did. And there you are for the night. Maybe you fall asleep in front of the TV only to wake up 2 hours later to see that it’s 11pm. You watch the news and head to bed. Most likely, your spouse is already in bed. He fell asleep hours ago.

The next day you start the whole process over again. You and your spouse chat for a few minutes when you first get home. Your favorite show isn’t on for a few hours, but you’ll just relax watching other stuff until it comes on. “I’ll do the laundry over the weekend” you think to yourself. So, the weekend comes and you now have a whole list of items to take care of: laundry, lawn mowing, bill paying, house cleaning, grocery shopping. So much for a weekend of fun. There’s too much to be done! When you were younger you would play soccer, tennis, go to concerts, go hiking. But there’s just no time for these things now. Your weekends are filled with chores and after work you’re too tired. There just aren’t enough hours in the day.

So many couples spend their days like this, or some version of it. Television becomes an integral part of their day. Why not? They work hard and deserve to relax. They need time to unwind after a difficult day. What better way than to vegetate in front of the television? It requires no thought, no effort. It’s just what so many people need given their busy stressful days.

While watching TV may be relaxing in the short term, it sucks the life out of your marriage in the long term. Any time there is a television on in the room, people are automatically drawn to look at it. Ever tried having a conversation with someone when
the TV is on? They glance at the screen and try as they might to turn away and listen to you, they just can’t for more than a few seconds.

Take back your marriage…Turn off the TV!

Ok, I’m not saying go cold turkey. But be deliberate about how you use the television.
Pick the shows you really like to watch and limit your time to only those shows. Eat meals, ALL MEALS, at the kitchen table without the television on.

Every relationship needs tending, or weeds start to grow. You don’t look at the garden and say, “If you give me some beautiful flowers then I’ll water you”. Each day you need to be mindful of how you are taking care of your marriage. For example, instead
of sitting in front of the television, ask your spouse to join you in the living room where there is no television set and just sit and chat for 10-15 minutes. This doesn’t have to be an emotional heart to heart talk. No pressure. Just spend some time sharing the mundane events of the day. You’ll be surprised how enjoyable these few minutes can be and how
significant and positive an impact this can have on your marriage.

We are always here for you to help your relationship THRIVE. Give us a call.

Posted on August 20, 2012 at 4:24 pm

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