Binge-Watching Netflix SAVES Marriages (Yes, Really!)

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It didn't matter what we were binge-watching; it just mattered that we were binge-watching together.

I sat at my desk waiting for the clock to tick just close enough to 5:00 p.m. so that I could duck out early from work. My man was waiting for me at home, and I didn't want to keep him waiting any longer than necessary. I was excited to get home, throw on some comfortable clothes, and curl up on the couch with my favorite man of the moment, Walter White. Granted, I wasn't so much physically curling up with him as I was spending my evenings peering inside his mind, but either way, I couldn't wait to find out what else was going to happen on Breaking Bad. After all, my marriage depended on it.

Sound strange? It shouldn't. My husband and I had been slowly drifting apart for a few months. After work, he would often retreat to the basement to work on the non-profit he recently started. I'd flip open my laptop and continue to work after he went downstairs, knowing I'm a lot more productive at night when nobody's around to respond to my emails. (I'm also more productive when I'm not wearing pants, but that's neither here nor there.) Don't get me wrong, it's not like our marriage was falling apart, but our closeness was definitely drifting. We didn't notice it at first. After all, we both lived under the same roof every night and we weren't cheating on each other or spending too much time with our friends. But still, there was distance.

I vowed to fix it. I knew my husband and I needed to find something in common that we could unite over. Our interests are very different, so I knew there was no chance of successfully enjoying dance lessons or going to the gym together. We needed something we could enjoy together that would spark discussions and give us something to look forward to every night, TOGETHER. And then it hit me: binge watching Breaking Bad was the secret to saving our marriage.

It wasn't so much that Walter White had the insight to strengthen our love for each other. Quite the contrary. He's more of a cautionary tale and a reminder that the creepy chemistry teacher in high school might in fact be doing more than just bowling in his spare time. Either way, becoming glued to Walt and Jesse Pinkman's shenanigans was exactly what we needed to bring us together every night on the couch. And BONUS: We didn't even have to put on fancy clothes or brush our teeth. That first night we curled up on the couch and pressed play, not knowing what we were getting ourselves into. And before we knew it, my husband and I were three episodes in, avoiding going to bed because we didn't want to leave our new friends, the Whites.

The next night we both rushed home so we could find out what what was going to happen next. By the weekend, we were consuming several episodes a day. We were spending time together we would normally have spent apart and Bad never felt so good. And lest you think that sitting side-by-side not speaking to each other isn't quality time, I'm here to inform you we had full-on Breaking Bad discussions as well. We often waxed philosophical on what was happening with the development of the characters and my husband even bought a book about the demise of Walter White’s character, and we read it together.

Soon, my husband only worked on his non-profit one night a week, and I found myself not logging onto work after 6 o'clock. Instead, we enjoyed our time together, snuggled on the couch watching a man's life go up in flames. We realized we needed that time together and honestly, it didn't matter what we were binge watching. It just mattered that we were binge watching together.

Ultimately, Breaking Bad ended (SOB!) and we moved on to other series, and then another. Our evenings have become a series of television series and honestly, it's wonderful. I've realized our marriage is stronger when we spend more time together — even if it's just on the couch — and if binge watching old TV shows allows us to do that, then it's worth every penny I pay for our Netflix subscription.


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