Tuesday, Oct 04, 2022

Show time — Who controls the TV remote, and its impact on your relationship

Controlling the television remote is as integral a part of couple dynamics as having a conversation.


It counts as one of the silliest things that couples fight about but believe it or not, it is also one of those fights that can actually turn serious over a period of time. If you still haven’t guessed it, it’s about what to watch on television.

Whether they watch news on prime-time television or soap operas or sports match are issues that can make or break relationships, counsellors warn. Take the case of Akhil and Mahima. Every evening, when they came home from work and sat down before the TV for dinner, an argument would ensue.

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“It was not a cute fight. It was actually something that made my blood boil. I also came back from work after a whole day and had full right to watch what I liked. But he would always put on news or a football match, and I had to endure an hour of watching what I hated,” said Mahima.

Experts say that if such fights continue then they take the form of a power game. Take the case of Shruti and Mayank. Since Shruti was the one with a much fatter paycheque, she would insist that they watch the shows she wanted. “It was not something she said but implied by her actions. She would keep telling me how hard she works for the house and the least I could do was to let her relax a little. I would end up watching the news online, but it made me resent the fact that she was using her financial prowess to get her way,” he says.


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For some couples things come to a point where they decide to either have two television sets or watch their favourite shows online. But counsellors warn that though such an arrangement may work, it doesn’t take away the sting. They advise couples to have a conversation about it and convey the hurt feelings to one another so that they can ensure there are no hard feelings.

For this, they suggest that the couples work out a rota of some sort — odd and even days, where both partners can watch the shows of their partner’s choice. That way, there is neither resentment nor does distance creep in between them. Many couples also resort to recording their shows and watching it as and when convenient, after reaching a consensus on which ones to be seen and which to be recorded.


Such arrangements help in creating an atmosphere of harmony and understanding based on clear and healthy communication.

First published on: 19-11-2015 at 02:46:44 pm
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