Media Free Night

In a comment to my last post, MP suggested that we have a computer-free night.  And frankly, that is a wonderful suggestion, except our therapist suggested it first.

And so it was, that we designated Thursday nights as our official media-free night.  That means no TV, no computer or any of that.  Once the kids were in bed, it was just us.  And the first week, it was very, very nice.  There was talking, affection and sex.  It was a nice experience that I was keen to repeat.  But when I came home form work a week later, Arwyn was on the computer.  I figured she would finish whatever she was doing and once the kids were in bed, we would have our media-free night.  But this did not happen as she stated she had a lot of work to complete in preparation for her teaching class the next day for her preschool job.  The next week there was some sort of special event at school for one of the kids that derailed everything and exhausted us both and that was the end of that.  Arwyn just was never able to commit to it just like every other time we have tried to do some sort of date night, special night, couples prayer time or any routine that involves us connecting without the kids.  We do manage to spend a fair amount of time during the week to talk about the kids and schedules and logistics.  But apart from being parents, there isn’t much else going on with and for each other.

My feeling is that Arwyn wants me to just be lying about doing nothing but waiting on her.  And she really could have that but it would take more work commitment than she’s willing to put into it.  So the real story is that she doesn’t want me for herself and doesn’t want me to have a life of my own.

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10 Responses to Media Free Night

  1. Dave says:

    Sorry… we started doing the date-night (I think I mentioned that on a comment last time you mentioned it yourself), and it worked out better for us, than it has for you; but there’s no way to make it happen, if both parties aren’t interested. Especially when you have to work around kids.

  2. Aphron says:

    Sadly, one person doing it all is a recipe for failure. Arwyn refuses to accept her responsibility in this mess. The fact is she will never provide you with the level of intimacy you crave. Or least as long as she denies giving it to you.

  3. farmwife says:

    A garden untended is doomed to fail …. so is a marriage.

    You might ask Arwyn just how much value she puts on her marriage. To succeed, it simply has to be a priority.

    I know an awful lot of people who end up divorced as soon as the last child leaves the nest because they have nothing left in common.

  4. Anais says:

    It’s easy to blame Arwyn and just give up. After all, it’s true that she isn’t trying very hard. However, you can’t really change her behavior without changing your own behavior. I think you could try a little harder to insist on following through with your agreement. For instance, you can remind her the day before your “media free night” so that she can finish up anything she needs to do for work. You can plan an activity for the two of you for that night. You can confront her when she’s sitting at the computer at the beginning of a media free night. You can sit down next to her at the computer and let her know that if she really needs to work, you’re going to help her, or at least observe with interest what she is doing to prepare for work. Just my two cents.

  5. Tom Allen says:

    Our work and non-work schedules can be erratic, and having a set night for us rarely works for more than a few weeks. I sympathize, but I do understand that sometimes things don’t or can’t happen because you circled the calendar. Mrs. Edge and I have meetings on birthdays, anniversaries, whatever. But we *do* make a point to pick a day no more than a week or two later to celebrate.

    Maybe for you, you’ll have to make do with a media-free partial night. For example, trying to close up shop at 9 pm. Maybe she needs to discover how important it is to connect *before* she will commit to a time period.

  6. Ginny says:

    Hi again!

    Well, first of all, I’m glad you’ve blogged again, I am interested in how you end up in this whole struggle to keep your marriage going. I will re-read this post tomorrow as time allows, but let me see if I can assume a couple of things about you:

    -You seem to still love Arwyn despite your displeasure with the lack of intimacy.
    -You are a man who can withstand ALOT of negative
    internal feelings without “snapping” as they say.

    Am I right about these things?

    I only “gave up” on my nineteen year marriage when I got to the point that I could truly admit I no longer loved my spouse, it took a long time for me to get there and even longer to admit that to myself.

    Like everyone else here says quite often, whatever you choose to do, stay or go, it isn’t a bed roses either way. But, as your previous post indicates you are a busy and well-rounded person and you have the ability to continue to grow personally with or without your wife.

  7. John says:

    I’m going to choose to be encouraged by the fact that your media-free night was apparently a success. And then I’ll suggest that perhaps having it once per week is perhaps overly optimistic given the challenges you both face and where your relationship is. When my wife and I first started trying to do “more fun things together” the thing we most often did together was go out to a nice, kid-unfriendly restaurant. The whole experience lasted only 2-3 hours. But we were without kids, and slowly went from feeling like we survived to enjoying the time. And we only did it about once PER MONTH. It was only after a while of that frequency that we started to do things a little more frequently. And there are still some weeks where we don’t spend any “alone time”. But things have improved greatly. So I suggest not giving up on media-free night, but instead trying for one night per month.

  8. Cat says:

    I find I am back to a question I had a year ago…I felt then in one of your posts that you don’t think Arwyn wants you for you. She wants a father for her children and she wants a provider but she doesn’t want you the person. And I asked you why you haven’t confronted her. Just asked her “if I agree to be in a sexless marriage, a marriage of roomates, a marriage of parenting only would it be enough for you?” I always wonder why you don’t confront her with it because I always feel it is your real fear. You love her more than she loves you, you just want her and she wants to stay committed to your marriage. But the real elephant in the room seems to be Arwyn might be fine with things as they are. You know the old saying it takes two to tango, maybe the quickest way to block Arywn’s avoidance is for you to stop avoiding?

  9. MP says:

    Glad it worked – once, at least. 🙂 I think it doesn’t HAVE to be the SAME night each week, or that it can’t be skipped occasionally, if there really is something more pressing happening (you can’t miss something if it’s always there).

    Maybe each Sunday (right after church?) you can look at the calendar together and decide WHICH DAY will be media-free day for that week, based upon the scheduled activities. Let her be the one to pick it, if it makes her more likely to keep it. That helps prevent it from seeming like yet another routine chore.

    Maybe remind her that it doesn’t always HAVE to end with sex – that it would be nice to just spend some quiet time together. If she doesn’t feel performance anxiety in the days and hours leading up to it, maybe she will enjoy it more than she expects, and will hopefully invite sex.

    Consider sending her some flowers or leaving a nice note for her somewhere unexpected (underwear drawer, silverware drawer, taped to the laundry detergent) at home on the day of, to get her thinking about it early. Break the monotony of her daily chores with something fun. Figure out how to keep her thinking about it and looking forward to it ALL DAY. For most women, romance/sex begins HOURS before the clothes come off.

  10. FTN says:

    I’ve suggested the whole family go without TV for a week, although I’m wondering if that will really happen. My wife relies much more on TV after the kids go to bed for “decompression time.” I don’t really need it, but as soon as the kids are in bed, she’s often turning on the TV, grabbing a bit of popcorn, and sitting in the chair for the next 2-3 hours.

    Needless to say, that’s not my recipe for ideal evenings. But it’s not like just turning the TV off would automatically make her jump my bones or anything. Plus, it’s not like she WANTS to talk more than we already do.

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