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Harley has his ten EN's, but acknowledges that some people may have an EN that isn't on the list.

I'm beginning to think that "intelligence" is perhaps my strongest EN, but I'm wondering I'm correct in thinking that. Or, perhaps I'm just confusing what I see as a need for "intelligence" with something else.

Harley talks about the importance of conversation as one of a woman's typical "top five" EN's. It is certainly one of my W's. Harley also makes the point over and over that a couple MUST find common ground and not go off and "do their own thing".

One of the major problems me and my W seem to have is that she has a need for me to provide affection, conversation and companionship, and her idea of this involves me sitting down with her in the evenings and watching television. The problem lies in the fact that when I watch what she likes, I'm bored out of my skull - Anna Nicole Smith on E!, some gawd-awful tearjerker on Lifetime, or silly network sitcoms. Junk food for the mind. My idea of "good" television are documentaries on PBS, Discovery, History, etc. or - of course - the ever popular male choice, sports. Naturally, my W abhors my choice of channels, and feels just as bored as I do watching her shows.

How do I resolve this in the context of MB? Am I *really* supposed to give up what I enjoy in order to not LB and meet my W's EN's?

By the way, my W still has not agreed to read or follow MB, and she will NOT give up her television time in the evenings. It's how she - and most of the western world, apparently - relax after a long day. People here are always telling me "Well, you can follow MB on your own if she won't go along". How do I do that in this instance? If building a healthy marriage means night after night of "junk food", I'm afraid I'm not long for this marriage. It's not working as it is, due partly to this "intelligence gap", and the MB solution seems more like enslavement, having to force myself to watch this crap with her.

sigh. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Frown]" src="images/icons/frown.gif" /> Anyone have any experiences regarding this, or a comment as to where I am going wrong and mistinterpreting or misunderstanding MB? One solution I can think of is to kick the television screen in, but I'd rather come up with a less violent solution than that. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="images/icons/wink.gif" /> Thanks.

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Why make TV the focus of the relationship? No matter who controls the remote, one will be unhappy.

I kind of think that something similar happened in my marriage. I seem to have similar TV tastes as you, my xW, the same as your W. What I did, was go do something else, like play on the computer. What this came to was not meeting her ENs...not that mine were being met, but that's off topic. This is not the way to solve your dilemma.

I would suggest taking her out for the evening. You don't need to do something fancy...heck, go to Borders or Starbucks for coffee and take books, magazines to read. You can chat and read at the same time and spend a few hours of time getting both conversation and the appropriate mental stimulation that you desire.

Don't watch reality TV, live your own life instead.

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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by hoping4best:
<strong> Why make TV the focus of the relationship? No matter who controls the remote, one will be unhappy.

I would suggest taking her out for the evening. You don't need to do something fancy...heck, go to Borders or Starbucks for coffee and take books, magazines to read. You can chat and read at the same time and spend a few hours of time getting both conversation and the appropriate mental stimulation that you desire.

Don't watch reality TV, live your own life instead. </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Well, television is not "the focus", but as I point out, it IS a big part of the American way of life. Remember that my W is not following MB, and therefore, she falls into the same category as millions of other Americans - she loves her television. Almost like an addiction. Can't miss an episode of this show or that show. I love to read books, but almost by definition, book reading is a singluar pursuit, and therefore does not adhere to MB principles of spousal participation in my eyes. Besides which, my W's idea of reading is Cosmo. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Roll Eyes]" src="images/icons/rolleyes.gif" />

Regarding your other point, my W has a daughter by a previous marriage, and crazy or not, she will not consider a babysitter that isn't immediate family. Despite the fact that we are lucky enough to have parents and siblings who will watch her, it's not feasible on most evenings. We make sure she gets to bed early (she's 6), and so going out is not quite as easy as you'd think.

I suppose I sort of lost my point regarding conversation in my initial post. My W's conversation skills seem to revolve around the television shows, that's my point - not around politics or the news events of the day (which is my preference). So, if I DON'T watch television with her, our conversations are rather limited in my eyes. She doesn't care to talk about what I enjoy, and I can't stand to sit through "junk food tv" just to be able to follow MB and meet her needs. We talk with our daughter during dinner and for a while afterwards, doing homework with her or playing a game or reading, etc., but by 8 or 8:30 she's in bed and my W is watching tv, and I'm off on my own doing my own thing and breaking every MB rule in the book. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" />

Thanks for the response, but it's just not as easy as it sounds, either from you or from MB. I've always felt MB sounded so perfect, but applying the principles in real life and in the "real world" was just a bit more problematic than Harley makes it out to be. I sometimes think that if the world operated according to Harley, then NOONE would EVER learn a new hobby or acquire a new interest - because his requirement is that BOTH must learn it TOGETHER. The real world situation, to me, is that one person discovers something and shows it to the other who then also latches on.

And I don't mean to be so critical of MB, because I appreciate its merits on certain levels. But I just think it's a lot harder to apply than the site makes it seem when one party is not willing to participate.

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I understand that the television is "important" in today's society. I also believe it is one of the reasons that today's society is in the sad state that it is. Rather than learning new things and exploring life, people are locked in front of the TV.

However, you need to realize that this is a hobby of hers at this time. Just a thought...how about if you can watch tv with her, yet provide mental stimulation for yourself by playing cards or something like that with her at the same time.

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It soundss like the problem isn't so much that she is not intelligent, but rather that you have different ideas about how you like to spend your time.

The trick is to find a compromise that you can both live with. Maybe, while she's watching "Who wants to sell their last shred of dignity?" You could sit beside her on the couch and read Tolstoy.

Then afterwards, maybe you could do something that you both enjoy.

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Slapnuts,

You may want to consider pitching that show to FOX! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="images/icons/grin.gif" /> You could end up a very rich man.

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hi asb--

I struggle with basically the same problem...my H liking a LOT more tv than I do. And sometimes different programs to boot. In his defense, he is pretty good about trying to compromise on tv viewing and will watch things with me that he has absolutely no interest in as long as I return the favor. So we're doing fairly well with POJAing...but....

I like to talk about more than just the tv too. I am very interested in politics, and starting a discussion usually results in him telling me how they're all crooks anyway so why care who's in office.

And books? My H doesn't like to read anything but the newspaper (so at least we have that in common). He's a tv viewer and that's that. He will, however, listen to me chatter about the books I'm reading.

One idea that may help in your situation...watch one of your W's favorite shows with her and try to find all sorts of different things to discuss stemming from that tv show, and include the commercials. Ask her why she likes that show. See if some conversation can stem from the show but branch out from there.

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Is your wife open to any compromise at all? Would she agree to sit through one of your shows and then you sit through one of hers? I think the idea about starting conversations about her shows is a good idea, as long as it is not about how "stupid" it is. My H and I usually like different shows too and I would love it if he tried to find out more about what I'm interested in and why. I also agree that it is not necessarily about "stupid" and "intelligent" shows but just difference in the way you two like to unwind. Would she be open to a tv show and then something else the two of you may have in common? And how does/would she respond when you calmly and nicely tell her that you would like to spend some time with her before bedtime doing something that you both would like?

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Hi...I'm with Slap in a way. I think you are making a disrespectful judgment by inferring that your wife is not intelligent because of her TV watching hobby.

I found this thread intriguing because my fiance, a good friend of his, and I had a discussion along these lines this weekend. Basically, 5x and I watch all of the same shows (ESPN, Comedy Central, and Fox mostly), but he loves the History channel and I tend to tune out. His friend also likes things like history channel but pointed out that TV was meant for entertainment and to watch it for anything more than that makes you vulnerable to certain deceit controlled by the media. Even the History channel is owned by Disney! I'm very interested in history and such, but I just haven't been drawn in by the seriousness of the History channel and I kind of feel the same way about it that I've grown to feel about watching the news. So much drama all designed to get more viewers and make more money. I just like to watch TV for the pure entertainment of it; I like to read books and search the web for news, education, etc...I feel like I have more control over who and what to believe.
Fortunately, my fiance and I like the same shows while not being hooked on anything...IOW, we wouldn't ever rush home to catch a specific sitcom; we usually turn the TV on while cooking/eating dinner (it's just the 2 of us now) or while working on a different hobby. We rarely just sit and stare at the TV without doing something else slightly productive.

The advice I would give is to find something you both would enjoy that doesn't involve the television. You might need to ween her off of the TV by encouraging her to record the shows she thinks she cannot live without and she can watch them later. Hopefully, she'll prefer whatever fun things you do away from the boob tube and gradually stop recording and watching the shows. Otherwise, do what someone else suggested and bring something to do while she gets her daily brainwashing. I'm sure if you tried (being so much more intelligent than she is), you could come up with plenty of topics to discuss even from the dull, intellectually dead shows she prefers. Ask her how she feels about the amount of money celebrities make after watching "E" with her. Ask her what she thinks about people like Kobe Bryant getting special treatment after possibly committing rape and definitely committing adultery. Actually watch some of the shows with her and get her thinking about the things she's watching...you might find that she has some very good reasons for watching the things she walks. You might find her opinions and perspective are quite intriguing. You might regenerate some of the respect you seem to have misplaced or lost for this woman you committed your life to.
You shouldn't expect her to talk about politics and news (things she apparently doesn't particularly care to talk about) if you're not willing to talk about the things that interest her.

You're the one here looking to improve your marriage. Expect to be the one who makes the first move (and probably 2nd, 3rd, and 4th). Make some sacrifices for your marriage...don't just let it slip away.

Smile

<small>[ January 26, 2004, 11:08 AM: Message edited by: SmileADay ]</small>

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yes, it can be considered in light of intelligent conversation. . . however, since you didn't figure this out before marriage, you are now stuck with learning to negotiate.

however, you also need to bring up suggestions as to other activities to do. . .

the other is to find a hobby that you can do while sitting on the couch together while she watches tv.

however, you can negotiate alternate nights of tv preferences. . .

as far as the american culture. . . sitcoms and such are for uncreative people, people that don't have any interests themselves, and must be entertained instead of learning to entertain themselves. . .

wiftty

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Is it just the TV shows or are the "differences" there just the "tip of the iceberg" for you two.

Are you basically incompatable in many ways or is it just the TV thing?

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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">as far as the american culture. . . sitcoms and such are for uncreative people, people that don't have any interests themselves, and must be entertained instead of learning to entertain themselves. . .</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Ok, maybe sitcoms were made to allow people to be uncreative for 30 minute increments, but it doesn't mean the people who watch them are uncreative or lacking in intelligence.
I do believe, however, that people must exercise their brains or they will get weak and flabby. Excessive TV watching is not good for you because it lends itself to short attention spans, lack of exercise, lack of intellectual thinking, etc. A creative and intelligent person can watch them in moderation as a way to relax and shouldn't be labeled as dull or stupid.
I say this because I think you are right that sitcoms are designed to let your brain rest, but judging your wife or someone else as uncreative or unintelligent is a disrespectful judgement that can lead you to further problems.

Smile

<small>[ January 26, 2004, 11:25 AM: Message edited by: SmileADay ]</small>

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Hi ASB,

I see how her sitting there slack-jawed staring at the idiot box can make the love units plummet. These people make me crazy; hour after hour, I just want to shake them sometimes and scream 'GET A REAL LIFE. GET OF THE COUCH! NO, I don’t CARE what that whore Madonna said last week! ARRRG!'

Basically, she's not meeting your EN's of Conversation or Recreation by obsessing about the TV and the celebs. I know she's not doing MB, but can you schedule time out of the house with her? Take her to a coffee shop or a park, then try to steer the conversation to things you would like to talk about. Even if her subject matter is TV, conversations should be two sided; sometimes we talk about her stuff, sometimes yours. Can you get her out hiking or anything, to give her some new subject matter?

Maybe you can talk to her like a SOAP Opera: Darling, I must speak with you.... (wait) I'm feeling.... lost.... unconnected.... I fear.... I fear our love.... our love.... has lost its way.... I feel you do not know me... what is in my heart... I feel.... vulnerable!

You got to get her attention on this (before someone else catches YOUR attention...).

Unfortunately, real Intelligence doesn’t change much, and like wiffty implied, her intelligence probably hasnt changed much since marriage... (Was she REALLY cute when you married her <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="images/icons/wink.gif" /> just wondering?)....

Keep trying! - Dru

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<small>[ February 09, 2005, 10:15 PM: Message edited by: hanora ]</small>

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Dru - that was hilarious! Does this also include my enjoyment of "Law and Order"?

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My H & I were the same. We watched hours of stupid shows neither one of us really enjoyed & went to bed each night thinking what a terrible world we live in. Our communication was on its last leg & we barely noticed. When we woke up to reality we realized we have to quit cold turkey. We have watched perhaps two hours of Tv since May 2003. We do occasionally watch DVD's that we rent. It gives us a chance to cuddle & have a drink. We have the daily news emailed to us so as not to use "staying in touch" as an excuse. We are trying to create new hobbies togeather such as learning to dance to latin music through instructional dvd's at home We date 1 to 2x per week. (We have 3 children 6,3 &1) I know that your wife is not a willing participant to any changes to her Tv. Is there any chance that she would enjoy other things? Can you not try to wean her off the junk food slowly perhaps you agreeing to her watching whatever she wants 3 nights but doing what you may both enjoy the other nights? what did you enjoy doing before marriage. Beyond that I would break the Tv before it breaks your marriage.

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Hi HPK,
</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial"> Does this also include my enjoyment of "Law and Order"?</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Not unless you give up a lovely Saturday with your family to watch the L&O Marathon! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="images/icons/wink.gif" />

I watch lot more TV than I'd normally admit to (I LOVE TIVO <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="images/icons/grin.gif" /> ), but I know it's place (late at night, when I cant sleep!). It ranks WELL below live people and events. And I'd worry people would think I was ditzy if all I talked about was TV. (Just dont get me going on South Park or The Simpsons... I can quote entire episodes <img border="0" title="" alt="[Razz]" src="images/icons/tongue.gif" /> ).

I watch a show, then turn off the tube. My exH would leave it on constantly, not watching anything, specifically. Drove me nuts. He missed his sisters bday party for a show. I did eventually leave him, this was a pretty big factor.

He gave up meeting my EN's of RC and Conv for his beloved TV, so ASB... I know this can be destructive. Good luck - Dru

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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">(Just dont get me going on South Park or The Simpsons... I can quote entire episodes ). </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">I was scared to admit that myself. I thought I'd be all alone on these boards as a South park and Simpsons regular viewer. A new Simpsons episode is pretty much the only thing we'd rush home for...that or we might record it.
Hey Dru...we have something in common! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="images/icons/grin.gif" />
Smile

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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial"> Hey Dru...we have something in common!</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Well I'll be a teenage girl backstage at an Aerosmith concert! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="images/icons/grin.gif" />

We're both from the South, too, now living in CA... Wonders never cease! Take care - Dru

<small>[ January 26, 2004, 06:23 PM: Message edited by: Drucilla ]</small>

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We like the Simpsons too, have the first 3 seasons on DVD sets.

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