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Published:September 1st, 2009 18:30 EST
Domestic Happiness and the T.V. Remote

Domestic Happiness and the T.V. Remote

By Matthew Vossler

As a confirmed armchair sociologist, I sometimes come up with theories that warrant a sound statistical research study. My latest theory occurred to me as I was sitting in my living room one evening and I uncharacteristically took control over the T.V. remote.

My wife did not object this time and we watched a program that she would not have normally watched. The thought occurred to me that what we watched could be useful to her in her conversational activities at work and with me. (Diversity in the workplace is desirable, and prospective employees are often considered partially on being well rounded).

Then I wondered if couples who share the remote might have more to talk about than couples who did their own thing. The stereotype comes to mind of the husband who watches football and golf and the wife who watches cooking shows and soap operas. I theorized that couples who had more to talk about might be happier in their relationship and that sharing the remote might facilitate more communication.

The old chicken and the egg problem appeared; were couples who naturally communicated well more likely to share the remote? I wondered if couples who naturally did not share the remote but agreed to share the remote for a period, might reap the benefits of better communication. My assumption is that couples who communicate well are generally more satisfied with their relationships and therefore happier.

I can tell you that I am glad I watch T.V. with my wife. By watching something that I would not normally watch, I stretch myself, not to mention make my wife a little happier. Sharing the remote gives us a little more common ground and just sitting on the couch together helps our relationship. (Turning off the T.V. at this point is often recommended! ;)

I guess I will never know for sure the answers to my questions about the T.V. remote but it is fun to muse on such immensely consequential questions.