Okay, let’s be real for a minute. How many of us have a cell phone? Yep… just about everyone. How many of our lives are on that cell phone? Calendars, pictures, email, news, our entire connection to the outside world. 92% of American’s own a smartphone according to Pew Research Center, in addition to that, Americans ages 30-49 have their phones with them 95% of the time! That definitely doesn’t leave much time, if any, for face-to-face relationships.
Below is an excerpt from an article on “Family Life,” – these are women readers who are highly upset with the way technology has taken over their marriage. These examples are all women, but these feelings are not limited to women. How many of us can sadly relate in one way or another to these heartfelt, honest comments?
- “I’m usually the spouse waiting for my husband to get off the cell, iPad, instagram, text messaging, Facebook, or some other game that has him hooked. I’m tired of having my conversations through text messages and would enjoy an old-fashioned conversation face-to-face. But the truth is we barely have anything to say to each other anymore.”
- “My husband and I have struggled for the last 25 years of our marriage with conversation, but what has happened now is Facebook has taken over. If dinner isn’t ready when he comes home, he’s on Facebook until it is. Every morning he gets up and hits Facebook to see who’s been on. Sadly he does not see it as an issue. And I fear I am not alone in this.”
- “I am one of those people at the restaurant with her spouse, waiting and feeling lonely. My husband is always looking at his phone, checking his email or his bank account, his Facebook, and his texts. I just sit waiting and thinking to myself, Why am I not good enough for him? Why does he have to be entertained by everyone and everything else? It deeply depresses me and he just cannot understand my point of view.”
Unfortunately, the image above is standard norms for most American couples today and is the leading cause in the destruction of marriages. Cell phones, or technology for that matter, should not have a place our bedrooms. Most of us are connected in the bedrooms – but the kind that will make your relationship last is an unplugged type of connection. Our bedrooms should be a designated spot designed for you to be passionate; to connect/reconnect to each other after time spent apart. How can intimacy, a key component to marriage, ever even stand a chance to flourish or even survive if we are constantly plugged in and disconnected from one another? And we wonder why 50% of new marriages will end in divorce?
The core issues in marriage have not changed over the decades, but we are now facing more “core” issues than ever before. Money is always a number one issue, communication makes the list, health issues, kids, work, balancing it all, the list goes on and on. A study, by The American Psychology Association found, “smartphone dependency is significantly linked to relationship uncertainty;” we worry about temptation our spouse is faced with not only on the internet but with text messages as well. How many can say that the thought has never crossed your mind when your significant other is on the phone at night? Can you say that you have never been tempted with the abundance information, people, and media overload at your fingertips? We simply live in an age of discontentment. Marriages hard on its own without the jealousy, distrust, and disconnection that our partner’s cell phone can cause.
With all that said, what are some ways that we can safeguard our marriages and quality time together? A few ideas I have ran across are:
- Have a centralized “plug in” station in the kitchen or livingroom
- Shared passwords.
- Create internet/social media boundaries
- MOST OF ALL – Transparency. Be honest if you are facing temptations. If your spouse asks you about something, be real. Most arguments can be nipped in the butt from the beginning if you talk open and honestly.
Make a choice to take control of your relationship and cell phone usage so you can reap the rewards marriage offers. Choose to interact with each other, to touch and be touched, to connect. No matter how good your think your marriage is, it can and will happen to you. Prepare for it ahead of time so you have a plan as a couple when either of you are faced with the challenge. Anything of value deserves to be protected – and your marriage or relationship is valuable!