His remote control is absolute

Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.

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DEAR AMY: For years my husband has been controlling which television programs we watch and which radio stations we listen to. When I choose a radio station, he tells me the music is garbage and will tune it to his station. Until now, I've never felt it was worth arguing over. Yesterday he was out of the house, and I was listening to a station that my daughters and I enjoy. When my husband came home, my daughter expressed her concern that the station was "not one of daddy's." She didn't want to be confronted by him and went upstairs. Sure enough he came in, realized that it was not one of his stations, said the music was garbage and turned off the radio, despite my objections.

He does the same thing with the television. His inflexibility and dominating behavior are obvious to me in other situations that are more important to me, such as the extreme lack of organization in the house and his unwillingness to look for a job. He is a stay-at-home dad. This was great while the kids were little, but this is now causing concern.

Unable to Change Course

DEAR UNABLE: You have wrapped many complaints about your husband into one bundle. From your account he is intimidating and domineering -- so intimidating that he has trained your daughter that he literally owns the airwaves.

Imagine the impact of his behavior on your girls' impression of how men do and should behave. This is not about a clash of media taste.

DEAR AMY: More on the issue of treating "step" children as "real" children. When her parents sent gifts to only her two birth children, my sister-in-law boxed them back up with a letter stating, "I have four children. If you wish to give gifts to any, you must include them all. If you can't include them all, don't send any." Her parents got the picture. Children are easy to love; they don't need to be related.

An Admiring Fan