The Addiction That Could Be Hurting Your Marriage Without You Even Knowing It

Love & Sex 6

Is technology hurting your marriage?Lately, I've seen a bunch of interesting articles about technology addiction, which is something that fascinates me not only because I publish a technology website for parents, but also because I think it can negatively affect your relationship with your kids and your spouse.

Not being able to put your darn phone away is one thing. But this New York Times article focuses on a study that found the overuse of technology can affect our ability to connect with others.

All the more reason to think long and hard about your technology habits, especially when it comes to your marriage.

A few months ago, I found myself a little too attached to my iPhone, not to mention my laptop, which to be fair I need for work, but also for entertainment. So I instituted some rules to help me keep my usage in check:

1. Schedule unplugged nights: We've declared a couple of nights a week to be "unplugged," when we turn off the computers, the phones, even the television and just hang out without any technological interruptions. I'm pretty sure it's changed our communication and interaction for the better. Plus, it really forces us to spend time together, which can be a challenge when you've got things buzzing and beeping at you.

2. Delete social media apps from your phone: While I run the social media for my business, I do all that work on my computer and found myself just scrolling and checking everyone else's business on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram instead of worrying about my own. While I did leave Twitter on my phone for work reasons, I got rid of Facebook and Instagram, which really freed up my need to have my phone in my hand and allowed me to reconnect with life. 

3. Turn phones off after work until bedtime: I admit that I'm still working on this one, but I've got several friends who completely shut off their phones after work and don't turn them on until their kids are in bed. If you absolutely cannot turn them off, then only check at a specific time, and most certainly not at the dinner table or while you're doing bedtime with the kids. It's amazing how the lack of distractions can help you tune in better, not just to your spouse but to your children too.

4. Tweak your notifications: Just recently, I updated all my apps on my iPhone and suddenly I was getting notifications for every single tweet and direct message. And what is up with Facebook dinging? Gah! So I decided to turn down the sound and turn off my notifications so that my attention is not being interrupted by the constant barrage of pings and dings. This can really have an impact on your attention and focus.

5. Enjoy it now, share it later: As much as I love the advances in technology, the downfall is that they've made it easy to share everything you're doing at the exact time you're doing it, which makes it a lot harder to really enjoy your experience. So aside from getting an old school camera (remember those?) rather than using my smartphone for all my photos, I'm also reminding myself that all the experiences -- with my kids, with my husband -- can just as easily be shared AFTER they happen and not during.

How has technology affected your relationship?

 

Image via hyku/Flickr

divorce, marriage, cell phone, apps, communication, computer, email, facebook, gadgets, electronics, iphone, ipad, social media, texting, twitter

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Leighanne Hoskey

so true. after my smart phone (aka dumb phone) broke, I was phone-less for a couple days. I felt so free!! after getting my dads 4 year old smart phone, I put some self imposed restrictions. Life is so SO much better.
we are social beings, the technology seems to be removing us from that. :-/

nonmember avatar Estephania

My boyfriend starts playing with the phone. Angry birds. I can't stand it beause he doesn't pay attention to me. :s

nonmember avatar Nicky

My husband is addicted to his computer. Sometimes I wonder if we should even have kids in the future because I don't want to raise kids alone while he stays online all day, letting the kids grow up without him even noticing. We'll talk about it, it gets better for a few days, then he'll go right back to spending almost all day on it. I know he needs time but I hate sitting around all day, alone and hoping he'll decide to talk to me for a few minutes before bed.

Chris... Christiembear

I am an editorial producer for a national tv show based in New York.  We are interested in helping a couple get through a social media addiction that is causing issues in their relationship.  If you are interested, please give me a call on my office line: 212-975-6583.


Thanks!


Christie Bear

nonmember avatar Tammy

My husband and I have been married for 7 years, we have two children and he is addicted to technology. It is terrible living like this - he comes to bed terribly late and we have not had sex in months and months, sometimes if I wake at 5am he will be in bed next to me playing on his cellphone. I have taken photos (on my own cellphone) of him playing cellphone games while supposedly pushing his daughters on the swings. Even at her gym meet he was constantly on the tablet or cellphone. Complaining has done nothing and when I tell him he is addicted to technology then he says: Technology is necessary for our life (he does work in IT) - I told him I did not think that being on technology was necessarily bad but that did he not think what HE was doing was damaging our children and our marriage - he ran away and got back onto his computer/tablet/cellphone for the rest of the night. I have thought of destroying the technology, but I know he will just buy more no matter how expensive it is - and he'll leave a light bulb in the house not working til I change it, but let the tablet or computer have any problem whatever and it is fixed within 24 hours or there is some replacement. I am essentially a single mother and my husband is behaving like a teenage son.

Mindy Thompson Loveall

I would go so far as to say that ALL nights should be unplugged. If they are not, who or what is it that you are putting as a priority in place of your husband and kids? Noone, aside from God, Himself, is more important than they are.

Leave your computer and phone to be used for business and phone calls that you can make when not together, if possible.

It's not impossible and what will you really be missing out on should you choose to live this way? What will you be missing out on if you don't?

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