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Interruptions when writing

(13 Posts)
ClareAB Mon 10-May-21 17:27:27

I write the occasional piece for local newspapers. I tell my husband that I'm writing, then go off and start. He then constantly interrupts me with trivia.
Today, it was, about a car he is buying, then, did I know where little dog was, then, had I read an email he sent, then, he was taking the dogs out.
Each time, up to the fourth time I answered politely, the fourth time I yelled 'I'm writing!'
He shouted back something unrepeatable and stomped off out with the dogs. He is now not speaking to me, and I am fuming.
Am I being unreasonable thinking that he is totally in the wrong here?

B9exchange Mon 10-May-21 17:36:44

Not at all, I had the same problem when DH had retired and I was working from home. He would bring me frequent hot drinks, but engage in conversation as he did so, and I too got the 'have you seen my email?' on a regular basis. Then there is the shouted exclamations about some frustration that you have to judge whether it is safe to ignore, or he has really hurt himself or really needs assistance. You put up with so much, and then explode at the umpteenth final disturbance, which results in DH stomping off as you say.

Perhaps I should have put a very large 'Please do not disturb' notice on the door with a promise to catch up at the end of the day. I think they just don't think, get lonely and want to share their day with you, but it has to wait!

Doodledog Mon 10-May-21 17:39:28

I don't think you are being unreasonable, and you have my sympathy. My husband has learnt that if I am working, whether on the sofa, in bed with my laptop or wherever, it means I am actually working, but others don't always understand.

Can you go to another room and tell him that if the door is shut it means that you are not to be disturbed? Or schedule a time for working and ask him not to bother you during those hours?

I worked from home before it became fashionable 😉, and it could be tricky to keep the children, the cleaner, poppers in and so on at bay, and my mum would often ring for a chat 'because she knew she would find me at home' on my working at home days. I would often put the TC or radio on, as I find that noise helps me to concentrate, and that seemed to signal that I 'couldn't' be doing anything important, despite my protests to the contrary 😡

I think all you can do is repeat as smilingly as possible through gritted teeth that you aren't able to discuss the car/dog/the fact that the house is on fire just now, but you will give him your undivided attention at x o'clock, and try to stick to it.

BlueBelle Mon 10-May-21 17:58:34

I don’t think you’re being unreasonable at all but I don’t think he thinks he’s being unreasonable either
Perhaps you have to be clearer and not answer at all when you are busy..... by answering three times each time gave him permission to ask again and he’s not quite got it yet

I m guilty of sending a text when my daughters working from home and I get a hurried one back ‘I m in a meeting’ I feel awful as I ve just forgotten

As it’s not a regular 9 to 5 thing in your house he probably doesn’t realise the irritation it can cause If he sends you a text or shouts up the stairs ignore it and hopefully he ll remember he’s not suppose to do it

Redhead56 Mon 10-May-21 18:15:07

It's a problem many have when partner has retired it's like attention seeking. If I lose patience with my DH constantly interrupting with trivia I get called a nark!

H1954 Mon 10-May-21 18:19:10

I think I would be tempted to get him involved in writing the article. Sit him alongside you and ask him to dictate to you and keep changing the subject deliberately. Maybe then he will understand how annoying it is to be interrupted when you're trying to concentrate.......after all, it's not like you're writing the shopping list is it?

Jaxjacky Mon 10-May-21 18:23:43

If you like listening to music whilst working, put headphones on, visible ones.

Tea3 Mon 10-May-21 18:32:35

I think it’s attention seeking, and there is a sub conscious element to it. My husband used to be a right pain when I was busy cooking, preparing etc for visiting friends or family - I keep prep to a minimum these days A friend says she gets the same behaviour from her bloke when she is looking after the grandchildren: he’s like an extra child. Another medic friend’s husband kept interrupting her sleep in the day when she was on nights, shouting unnecessary questions through the bedroom door every half hour. She divorced him.

Mollygo Mon 10-May-21 18:33:27

You are not being unreasonable. I’ve taking to wearing headphones when I’m in that situation and saying I won’t be able to hear him. That works for the calls, the ‘ouches’ or yells (I hope I never miss something serious).
It doesn’t work for the kindly meant cups of tea or the ‘just called for your cup. Oh, you haven’t drunk it. I’ll bring you another.” I have to be really firm and cope with the hurt look.

ClareAB Mon 10-May-21 20:31:00

Thank you all. I think you're right. I love him dearly, and we are great friends as well as husband and wife. But, he is an much loved only child from a privileged background and now retired, does get lonely.
It's the same when I have my granddaughter aged 4. If her father (my eldest son) is with her it's a nightmare.
I'm trying to play with my granddaughter and our dolls house, I have my son in one ear and husband in the other. It takes me back to when I had 3 sons!
Not complaining, I know I'm lucky and own that I allow it.
But seriously thinking about a little 'she shed' I can lock myself away in smile

Cabbie21 Mon 10-May-21 21:10:41

I have got my husband well trained not to interrupt when I am doing voluntary work on the phone from home. He does bring me a cup of tea though, but retreats straightaway. However today I was not working as such, but working on a music project which needed concentration, so I did not welcome his interruptions.

biglouis Mon 10-May-21 22:07:24

Your husband needs to get himself a hobby or pastime that he can indulge in when you are writing!

I am single (by choice) and used to have a job where I worked at home 2/3 days a week. I was foolish enough to get a needy neighbour get her claws into me and she was constantly popping around for "chat" and I could not get rid. She would still be there an hour later, my work not done and my train of thought interrupted.

In the end I told her that the university had cut down on home working and that we all had to be in the office 5 days a week. She didnt go out in the evening and went to her daughter most weekends so I was then able to ration her visits and gradually cit them down to every week, then every few weeks. Eventually she moved away (Phew).

There was also a point where I had (other) neighbours asking me to take in parcels for them and I had to put my foot down. Just because someone is working at home doesn't mean they are free to be your butler and confidante!

Nowadays I run a home business and I have one of those little cctv cameras mounted above my door - the kind you can use to talk to people. I generally dont answer random callers unless I can see them holding a parcel to deliver (to me) or they are expected. One good thing about the pandemic is that it put a stop to casual sales people offering to fix my roof, drive or sell me tat.

timetogo2016 Thu 13-May-21 14:21:46

My dh does that all the time,when i`m writing on the lap- top doing anything pretty much that needs thinking about,i just ignore him and off he goes,but not in a huff.
Is it a man thing i wonder.