by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
A wife asked,
I admire those couples who tussle over the TV remote with their spouses. This obviously means they watch TV together. My husband and I have our own TVs in different rooms and never watch TV together. This is a pathetic solution. Is there a way we can amicably watch TV together?
Tussling over the TV remote is a common occurrence with many couples. Add hearing loss to the mix and sometimes the “fur flies” or the couple does what you do and watch their TVs alone in separate rooms. To me this is not the way to enjoy a close marriage.
You need to think outside the box and find a good solution—one that allows you both to enjoy watching TV together, yet having regard for your differences as husband and wife, and the differences in your degrees of hearing.
My wife, Diane, and I watch our TVs together and never tussle with the remote. We have found a solution that works for us. You could do something similar to what we do.
We have our two TVs sitting side by side in the living room. (Looks weird, I know—but it works for us.) Diane watches her TV and I watch mine. She watches one channel (as many women do) while I often flip through all the channels (as many men do) and yet we never interfere with each others programs.
Here’s how we do it. Our “union rules” require that we always have the closed captions visible on both of our TVs. That way either of us can glance over and watch each others’ shows whenever we want to. My TV’s speaker is always muted when Diane is around so I don’t bother her. If I want sound, I just listen through my room loop and t-coils on my hearing aids (or loop receiver when I choose not to wear my hearing aids). In turn, since Diane has much better hearing than I have, she keeps the volume on her TV so low that I can’t hear it. Thus, it doesn’t bother me.
So there we sit—together—watching TV—happy as clams!