How Your Cell Phone Is Destroying Your Marriage and Relationships
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Do you roll over and hug your partner? Or do you grab your phone and start scrolling through social media or checking emails?
Have you ever wondered how cell phone effects relationships? Or how your smartphone is ruining your relationship?
Your cell phone keeps you connected to work, friends, and family wherever you are — but excessive or inappropriate use can damage your closest relationships. Many people ignore the people they’re with to attend to the virtual world.
This habit creates real-life consequences, including different ways your phone can wreck your marriage.
How cell phones have destroyed relationships
Like any tool, cell phones serve useful purposes. They enable you to locate information quickly — remember the days of having to print out a Google map to navigate? No longer. Your phone helps manage your to-do list, track your health, and even file your taxes.
However, when you spend too much time on your phone, you isolate the people around you. As much as you may think you can multitask, brain research indicates your mind isn’t effective at switching between stimuli.
In short, every minute you spend glued to your phone takes your attention away from your partner — not right when you’re having an awkward conversation or enjoying a romantic meal.
Phone addiction can lead to issues with sex. Even if you don’t grow addicted to online pornography, if your partner does, they may develop unrealistic expectations of regular sexual interactions. But it isn’t only pornography that proves problematic.
The deeper issue is the feeling of disconnect you or your partner experiences when you get lost in your phone. You don’t truly listen or make eye contact, thus making your spouse feel ignored.
You may think, “Well, we’re in the same room. Therefore, we’re spending time together.” But relationships don’t work that way.
To experience richness and fulfillment, you need to let yourself get lost in your partner’s eyes. You need to focus on how their touch makes you feel. You can’t do that when you’re busy collecting likes.
Your cell phone activity may not be as private as you think. If your relationship deteriorates to the point of divorce, cell phone records can verify infidelity or spousal abuse. If you’re carrying on an affair over social media, your partner’s counsel can subpoena those records during proceedings.
Signs you or your partner has a problem
Knowledge is power. Recognizing the red flags of cell phone addiction can help you modify your behavior. Watch out for the following negative habits.
- Your phone is the first thing in your hand each morning: The first few minutes of your day set the tone for what comes next. If your first activity is reaching for your phone to check email and social media, you start the day feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
- You use your phone at the dinner table: Strive to make family or partner mealtime a device-free zone. Doing so allows everyone to connect in real life and share their day.
- You use your phone in bed: When you get ready to sleep, do you read or cuddle quietly with your partner? Get freaky between the sheets? Or scroll through social media? Blue light from cell phones disrupts regular sleep cycles, and bedtime phone use dampens intimacy.
- You panic when you lose or break your phone: For most people, a broken cell phone is an inconvenience. If you find your heart racing or your mind in a panic when you can’t access it for a day or two, this is a clear sign you have an addiction.
- You hide your use: Do you sneak off to the restroom multiple times a day at work to use your phone? Do you lie to your boss or family about the amount of time you spend online?
- You use your phone as a crutch: Few of us enjoy the “we-need-to-talk” type of conversation. But reaching for your phone when your emotions become uncomfortable creates distance between you and your partner. It also makes them feel like you don’t care.
Strategies for unplugging
Fortunately, you have the power to overcome your cell phone addiction. Give the following ideas a try to break the grip your cell phone has on you and your relationship.
- Unplug 30 minutes before bed: Make the last half-hour before you turn in a device-free time. Invest in a proper alarm clock so you can keep your cell phone out of the bedroom. Create a stylish charging station in the living room or kitchen and create a ritual of plugging in all devices — and leaving them there — at day’s end.
- Silence it: Even when you put your phone on vibrate, the distinctive buzz draws your attention from your partner. When you’re out together, put your phone on silent and leave it in your bag or pocket. Now, you’ve got a free hand to hold your partner’s with.
- Make it a game: Heading out with the family or a group of friends? Have everyone put their cell phones in the middle of the table. The first person to reach for their phone buys everyone else a dessert or a drink.
- Take a break: Unless you’re on call at the local ER, pick one day a week to power down. If you absolutely must check emails for work, give yourself 30 minutes, once in the morning, and once in the afternoon, to do so. Otherwise, make it a mental game to keep your phone turned off. Intimidated by going an entire day? Start by turning your phone off for an hour, and gradually build up the amount of time you leave it off.
Turn off your phone, save your relationship
Cell phones ruining marriages are more common than we realize at times, we treat ourselves as an exception and let our vices get the best of us.
You must understand that your phone keeps you connected to work and distant friends and relatives — but can isolate you from the one you love most. By learning to power down and tune in to your partner, you’ll experience a stronger, more lasting relationship.
Don’t become a cautionary tale about ‘how cellphone use can disconnect your relationship‘ and learn some restraint and enjoy the company of your loved ones.
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