The first time I strayed in my relationship was with Breaking Bad. My wife wanted nothing to do with the drugs and violence. When she voted for Downton Abbey and it wasn’t for me, I often found myself curdled up late at night, headphones on, eyes-wide and fixated on the life of Walter White.
It was an easy choice. The screen of my iPad would project off the walls of the bedroom angled just right, enough not to wake her up. At times, I would hear her grumble, “You’re watching that show again!?”
I was hooked and watched all 6 seasons in a matter of months.
It’s incredible how many hours of my attention goes to entertainment. What started with the Sopranos has evolved to Mad Men, House of Cards, and now Masters of Sex. This doesn’t include my fascination with sports.
Just as the NFL season came to a cinematic close with deflate-gate and a last-minute, game-winning play, my wife communicated her relief that the season had ended. Sundays would be back in play. She had hope.
When I explained that the NBA season was in full swing and the March Madness NCAA Tournament was on the horizon, her eyes rolled with the weight of barbells. When she found her relief that March Madness must mean this all ends in the month of March, I noted that the Final Four championship games take place in April. Her silence led me to continue…
…”And that’s all followed by the NBA playoffs, which go through June”.
When the reaction on her face led me to believe she was making a relationship exit plan, it was in that moment I realized this was my problem, not hers. It was those moments of binge entertainment that turned me away from my partner. I was giving up opportunities to connect because I had to know what happened to Walter White. Wouldn’t you?
Perhaps next time, the smart choice may be to kill the devices, and exchange them for time with my partner. Who knows, maybe I’ll give Downton Abbey another try, because the best shows I watch are the ones we share.