Thursday, 3 September 2020

To save my/our sanity

I'm going to be brutally honest here.....lockdown has put a bit of a strain on our relationship, it's the result of us being together 24/7.  And before anyone says it, yes I am lucky to still have my husband around, just as he's lucky to have me.  It's not just me, OH feels the same.  Now don't get me wrong, we do love each other, we've been together 40 years next year (38 years married) and have no intention of parting.  But throughout our entire lives together, I've always had hours most days when I've been home alone, and I didn't mind that at all.  When I was working, it was normal office hours, and then part time, whereas husband always worked shifts, generally 12 hours, earlies, lates and nights, weekends included.  Since he's been retired he's worked outside, in our garden or helping elderly neighbours with their gardens, or doing odd jobs for them...he's very sociable and loves to be outside, his whole life is outside really (it's ok, it's not overnight, I don't make him sleep in the shed!).

Well, lockdown curtailed all that, he's not doing nearly as much for neighbours....for the first few weeks he didn't do anything for them at all.  Now he does some brief bits of gardening for them, but no diy - well, not inside their homes.  And when the weather's bad (it's rained a lot on and off here lately) he can't work outside.

So he's been inside with me a lot, and therein lies the problem....he has no interests or hobbies indoors.  So what does he do?  He puts the TV on, does the man thing of sitting there with the remote in his hand constantly flicking through the channels, then falls asleep (medication makes him do that) leaving the TV blaring out daytime rubbish or some repeated car prog that I'm not remotely interested in.  I almost never have the TV on, I prefer to listen to the radio or cds.  He will do the odd bit of housework (he does the hoovering as he knows I find it a problem for my back and hips), even cooking if I ask him to...he used to make the bread but we rarely eat bread now.  So he's here either snoring with the bloody tv playing to itself, or talking at me giving me a running commentary about what he's watching, or cars he's looking at on the computer.  I am SO not interested in'd think me repeatedly telling him that over the years would have sunk in by now.  I guess it's because he has no one else to talk to, Betty's not that interested either 😂

I have plenty to do during the day - housework (not that I do much of it, just what's necessary), washing, meal planning, cooking.  And I do crafting....crochet, which I generally do mainly during the winter, cardmaking, and now watercolour drawing.  I also like time on the internet, reading blogs and newspapers and watching YouTube videos of drawing and getting new card ideas.

So we've had a few chats about it, and came to the conclusion that husband needs to find a couple of hobbies he can do indoors.  He has no idea what though, I suggested a few things, which didn't really appeal.  So we're going to go to The Range (a big home and garden store which has a large crafting section) and see if there's anything which takes his fancy.  And we might see if the local college is going to be doing any adult education things he might be interested in.  Any other ideas gratefully received!


  1. Maybe your husband or you could do some volunteering work same day but a different place to each other. Hazel c uk

  2. I'm with you all the way Sooze. Luckily Tom has his tapestry and brings it out at every opportunity, that keeps him busy.
    How about jigsaws for hubby, they would keep him busy for hours.

  3. Or a tv and comfy chair in another room, bedroom or utility room (potential man cave).

  4. You could have been writing about my husband there, Sooze. He was talking about starting to build a railway track, but then lockdown happened. So that's gone on hold, as the nearest model shop that sells all the stuff he wants to look at is about 30 miles away. He also threatens to start painting again (art - not house!) but apart from looking at paints etc, that hasn't happened either. At least your man does the garden - mine just offers his wisdom! Grrrrr!!! xx

    1. I could have written both Sue's and you post... Men grrrr!

  5. Jigsaws, model railway, photography course (online), crosswords or maybe writing his own gardening blog. Hope you manage to find something that holds his interest. My hubby has an old outbuilding as a man cave...whi knows what he does down there.

  6. You're not alone with finding being together 24/7 indoors a strain. Can I suggest purchasing a second TV remote so you can turn it down/off without disturbing him when he falls asleep?
    I retired before my husband and when he was winding down towards retirement he made the mistake of saying 'do you think I should develop a couple more hobbies, otherwise I might run out of things to do', to which I replied 'don't worry, I've got plenty to keep you busy'! He's a big collector of books, comics and films, and has been keeping himself busy during lockdown doing research about a British publishing house. Is there a topic your husband enjoys which he might be able to research, or maybe genealogy or some aspect of social history would interest him? Mine is now launching his first website and talking about visiting the British Library! It certainly keeps him busy and in another room for several hours a day. Hope you find something - I find having my own space and time very important for wellbeing.

  7. How about his own laptop to watch YouTube, using headphones. He can see all the car stuff he wants and there are also lots of gardening ideas etc and it won't disturb you. Or headphones for you to block out the TV and allow you to still check out stuff on the internet etc. Ranee (MN) USA

  8. Sooze, you sound just like me and your hubby sounds just like Tony. I am dreading the time in a couple of years when he retires as he has no hobbies whatsoever. He tags along with me when I organise things but it wouldn't occur to him to find something to do. He has a model railway set in boxes but I doubt he will ever get around to building a layout. His free time is spent parked in front of the tv half asleep. I always joke that he wears himself out getting out of bed each morning. He will do the ironing now and then but in truth we don't wear much that needs ironing these days.

  9. Puzzles, building air fix models, model cars. You have my sympathy, my husband doesn’t have any hobbies at all and I have similar hobbies to you. It drives me mad.

  10. I nagged my husband to find a hobby or join a club, he did both and loves them and I love the time alone.

  11. Whittling/carving wood.
    Make canes for walking.
    Wood burning artwork.
    Paint by numbers.
    Take up cooking.
    You rarely use your spare guest room, park him in there. :)


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