So how can you resolve this impasse and salve your hurt feelings, while still being attentive to your hubby’s need for peace and quiet? I would suggest talking to him about this issue when you do have his complete attention, and certainly not while he’s focused on ESPN. Explain that you recognize his need to vegetate in front of the television periodically, and that you are going to do your best to respect his solitude in those times. But along with your promise to be mindful and considerate of his needs, on those occasions when you do find it necessary to interrupt his viewing, he needs to mute or turn off the TV and pay attention to you and your needs. If your husband is a reasonable and loving man (if he’s not, why are you with him?), as he sees you being true to your word and notices you’re being more respectful of his “me time,” he is likely to be more open to your interruptions on those now-less-frequent occasions when they do occur.
Please understand that I am not suggesting you give your husband a free pass to ignore you for large amounts of time, just because he happens to be in front of the television. I am saying that everyone needs a reasonable amount of time to themselves at the end of the day, and your giving your husband this time to himself, uninterrupted, will go a long way to improving the overall quality of the rest of the time you spend together. You are respecting his needs, which should, in turn, encourage him to be respectful of yours. If you do this and find that he is still ignoring you, then his inconsideration indicates other, more serious problems in your relationship, and further discussion and perhaps marriage counseling is indicated.
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Besides being a relationship coach and author of the controversial book, "Every Man Sees You Naked: An Insider's Guide to How Men Think," David M. Matthews is an Emmy-winning TV Writer/Producer who's worked on some of television's best shows.
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