I hope that the Family Life Forum was a good choice for this posting.
My boyfriend and I have been dating for nearly two years, and we are seriously considering engagement.
Early in our relationship, we had a talk about media, and how we feel about what we watch on tv, etc. It became apparent at that point that we had varying view points on certain aspects of it. He admitted to me that he is somewhat desensitized, and doesn’t really get bothered by tv shows that have some elements of immorality in them. He is of the viewpoint that as long as the show isn’t completely promoting immorality (ie, has at least some aspect of good humor in it), that he usually enjoys watching it.
Me on the other hand, said that while I can watch shows like that and not necessarily let them influence what I know is true about my Catholic faith, I’d rather not. I find certain things offensive to who I am and what I believe in. I would rather not spend a lot of time exposing myself to something that I feel not only doesn’t glorify the Kingdom of God, but also manages to tear it down. I also think that if you watch enough stuff like that on tv, that eventually you will start adopting some of the viewpoints (I have seen this happen several times first hand).
I want to say right now that I am in no way trying to glorify myself or say I am perfect. I’m just stating how each of us seems to look at things.
So we pretty much disagreed, but managed to get around it and this is how: he basically told me the shows he watch on tv, and I found them to at least be tolerable to my comfort level. We discussed how we would handle children and what we would allow them to watch, and we seemed to be in agreement over that.
So I felt okay about things, until recently…
Recently I found out that my boyfriend is now watching a new sitcom that I have major problems with. I went online and watched a few episodes out of curiosity because he mentioned to me that he was watching it. I didn’t see any good aspects of it, and was actually quite repulsed by it. Now I want it to make it clear that I am in no way a prude. I will tolerate some prime time tv shows, but this show was just really far out there.
I know that this might come across as no big deal, being as how we aren’t married, don’t have children, etc.
But I feel it is a big deal and this is why: Both of us are very excited for the companionship aspect of marriage. We want to have a life together, not one that is apart. When we get married and he is sitting in the living room watching a show that I find obnoxious, am I supposed to go hide in a room until he is done? Or am I supposed to sit around and watch something that I will feel like I need to go to Confession for watching after it’s over because it makes me think about impure things or because I supported something that went against my faith? Or is he supposed to be willing to respect my tastes and not watch it?
I want to talk to him about this further, but I don’t know how to do so without appearing to him like I think I am holier than though. Or that I am watching him and just waiting for him to do something I don’t approve of so I can call him out. I don’t want to fight or argue about things. This is just something that is near and dear to my heart. I have always been careful about what I watch on tv and what movies I watch. I feel like that is my own personal choice to make. I don’t necessarily feel like I should have to give that up when I get married.
I guess what I am looking for is some practical advice on how to deal with this situation. Please, don’t try to hijack my thread with which one of us is right and which one is wrong. I think as individuals we are entitled to our own viewpoints and opinions. I am simply trying to figure out if there is a way we can compromise here, or what should happen at this point.