Opposites have attracted. Now what?
January 4, 2013 6:54 PM Subscribe
How do I reconcile a basic difference between my live-in-partner and myself about recreation? One enjoys something active now and again, the other always wants something passive. What is a happy compromise?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (32 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
My partner and I have lived together for several years. I work from home; she works in an office. Our work schedules pretty much match up in the standard fashion - for eight hours a day we are sleeping, for eight we are working, and the last eight hours we have free. It is the third eight hours that is tricky.
During her work day, she is talking to customers and colleagues, doing site visits, making orders, and do on. I am reviewing code, writing reports, answering e-mails and occasionally getting in touch with a colleague or customer by phone.
After work, she wants nothing more (essentially every night) than to eat dinner, watch TV for six or seven hours, then perhaps read for twenty minutes before going to sleep. Maybe one evening a month we will go out for dinner and/or to see a movie, or visit a store or library or something. After eight hours of sitting staring at a screen, eight more hours of sitting staring at a screen is not appealing.
Complications: we live in a somewhat remote area, poorly served by public transportation. She drives, but due to a disability, I do not. To go to a relatively nearby movie theater is a twenty-minute trip each way by car, so to see a two-hour movie there would take up maybe 2:45. On my own, it is about a seven-hour round trip.
Also, she has a bad back and always pleads that she needs to rest. On top of that, she is on medication for bipolar disorder and says she has to do "something to turn her mind off," otherwise she says "my thoughts just go around and around."
I want to support her in being comfortable, and she tells me if I do not want to watch whatever marathon of TV is currently coming through NetFlix I do not have to, but any attempt to make any baby step as meager as maybe playing cards is met with complaints and a long face. I an go out on my own, of course, but it is a considerable time investment and it drops our waking hours together considerably.
Also: I moved from the core of a large city to a remote town to be with her, and where I used to be out three or four or five nights a week (not clubbing or anything, but to see a movie or have coffee with a friend or to go to the gym), now I am a total couch potato, watching my waistline grow by the month.
I am not interested in DTMFA advice: we get along quite well, are very sympatico, have a fairly awesome sex life, like each other's friends and family and all. However, looking ahead to the 361 evenings left in this year and thinking 340 of them will be spent watching marathons of TV shows is making me crazy.
Suggestions? Should I readjust my conception of leisure time to being essentially just sitting on my ass watching TV? Or do I ignore her and do what I want?