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She does contribute a lot to the family, and her getting a job would hurt us more. We have small children and carting them to and from school, doing laundry, cleaning up the house, making dinner most nights...it's a lot. If I was in her shoes I'd probably take breaks and use my phone some times during the day. It's no different than our moms watching soap operas during the day when we were all growing up. I just think that she is addicted to it, and I am concerned she is using her phone as an escape for things she is not happy with in her life.
I don't know any mums who watched soap operas during the day, I certainly didn't.
 

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Better yet, when you want time without the phone distraction, make an agreement and put your phones in a basket or something, across the room. At a restaurant, leave it in the purse or give it to the front desk. This is how you stop an addict.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
I don't know any mums who watched soap operas during the day, I certainly didn't.
My mom did. This was in the early 80s. Maybe things were different. Not like she sat and watched for hours, maybe just when I was napping.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Can't help but notice you aren't telling us what you have said on the subject.

other than I've called her out on it.

So how did this conversation go?
I told her I was unhappy with her cell phone usage at the time. I asked why she felt the need to bring the phone to the couch...what was she looking at, etc. I mentioned how I miss just watching the TV just the two of us, no other distractions. She got defensive and insisted that she wasn't on that much, and rationalized why she needed to be on the phone. That she was looking for birthday gifts for our kids, or new clothing. Thats all well and good, except any time I walk by she has facebook up. She sometimes just has a lack of insight on how her actions may affect other people.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
If you keep talking but she doesn't seem to be listening, maybe you need a new approach. Have you explained to her calmly that you feel like this is hurting the connection between you two? Does she understand that it is harming the marriage?
Yes I have explained this, but when I start broaching the subject of how this affects overall marriage life, she starts getting really defensive, and will start crying. At that point our discussion is really unproductive.
 

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I told her I was unhappy with her cell phone usage at the time. I asked why she felt the need to bring the phone to the couch...what was she looking at, etc. I mentioned how I miss just watching the TV just the two of us, no other distractions. She got defensive and insisted that she wasn't on that much, and rationalized why she needed to be on the phone. That she was looking for birthday gifts for our kids, or new clothing. Thats all well and good, except any time I walk by she has facebook up. She sometimes just has a lack of insight on how her actions may affect other people.
So part you just said I"m unhappy with you and part you said I miss just the two of us.

I'm still a little confused as to how watching TV is bonding but playing on the phone isn't both are activities where you put your energy into watching something other than your spouse and doesn't usually generate a lot of talking or sharing.

So would you care if she played on her phone while laying down with her head in your lap while you watched TV?

Also do you know if there is any messaging on facebook going on? Is she talking with people you know?
 

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Do you two still date? I know you mentioned dinner out. That is certainly a time when phone watching should be a minimum. I only say minimum because some people worry that they will miss the babysitter calling or texting with a problem.
 

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I would tell her calmly at a time when there's no tension that if she doesn't limit her cellphone use to some agreed upon time spent, that you are making an appointment with a marriage counselor. "If I can't make you understand how this is eroding our marriage and family time, then maybe a professional can."
 

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My mom did. This was in the early 80s. Maybe things were different. Not like she sat and watched for hours, maybe just when I was napping.
I had my kids in the late 70's early 80's. The thing is that back then you watched a programme and that was it. No phones, no computers and you gave your children attention.
 

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Yes I have explained this, but when I start broaching the subject of how this affects overall marriage life, she starts getting really defensive, and will start crying. At that point our discussion is really unproductive.
So since rational talk didn't work -- the next time you are on the couch together watching TV and she starts in with her phone, get up, turn off the TV, and then leave the house for a walk or something.
When she asks why you did that, tell her you didn't think she'd even notice since she was YET AGAIN on her phone.
Do this every time she starts on her phone -- just get up and leave.
 

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I had my kids in the late 70's early 80's. The thing is that back then you watched a programme and that was it. No phones, no computers and you gave your children attention.
You can carry anything to excess. In my day, you heard stories of housewives with their nose in soap operas all day. My mother read books a lot. My mom took care of us, but she did not sit around and entertain us like some parents do today. She didn't entertain us. She left that up to us.
 

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@Mach2_1981, you definitely aren't crazy, nor are you wrong to feel the way that you do. My former marriage was also like that; I competed with my XH's cell phone for his attention, and rarely did I win that battle. It was hurtful, frustrating and annoying. In my current relationship, my BF is pretty into Twitter, and I noticed a handful of times that he ignored me while scrolling. Here's what I did: I got his attention, told him the type of relationship that I'd come from, and said that it wasn't a very respectful way to treat the person that you care about, and that I felt hurt when he did that. I realize that it wasn't intentional in his case, or meant to be hurtful, but it got him to stop and listen when being spoken to.

I'd highly suggest doing the same thing with your wife. What she's doing isn't healthy for your marriage, and she needs to know that. Have you told her that you feel ignored, and that this is a dealbreaker? It sounds like it's time that she knows that. And just another thought: are podcasts really the only thing that she's doing on her cell? Does she seem to really protect her device when you're around?
 

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What your wife is doing is called 'phubbing' - phone snubbing. Since she finds the phone so much more interesting than you, maybe you need to find someone more interesting than her.

Try coming home from work, showering and dressing up a little and head out by yourself. When she asks where you're going, tell her you're going in search of some companionship because you're sick of sitting on the sidelines and talking to yourself. Then leave.
 

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If you're trying to talk to her and she isn't listening because she's on her phone, just text her instead.
I actually laughed when I read this the first time, but now that I think about it, it might be useful for you to text or message her while she's ignoring you. "Hi, remember me?" "Any time for me?" "Take a break." They will all piss her off, but you will make a point. Then again, it depends on your personality. Some might get away with it, some might not.
 
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Yes I have explained this, but when I start broaching the subject of how this affects overall marriage life, she starts getting really defensive, and will start crying. At that point our discussion is really unproductive.
"No need to cry, honey. I just want us to feel closer again. The phone is coming between us. It's fine for sometimes, but not when we're trying to get some quality time in."
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Do you two still date? I know you mentioned dinner out. That is certainly a time when phone watching should be a minimum. I only say minimum because some people worry that they will miss the babysitter calling or texting with a problem.
Yes we do. In fact we're going out on a date night this weekend. She has been pretty good about limiting phone use during that time.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
I actually laughed when I read this the first time, but now that I think about it, it might be useful for you to text or message her while she's ignoring you. "Hi, remember me?" "Any time for me?" "Take a break." They will all piss her off, but you will make a point. Then again, it depends on your personality. Some might get away with it, some might not.
This is a humorous approach. I will definitely consider it, depending on my mood at the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
What your wife is doing is called 'phubbing' - phone snubbing. Since she finds the phone so much more interesting than you, maybe you need to find someone more interesting than her.

Try coming home from work, showering and dressing up a little and head out by yourself. When she asks where you're going, tell her you're going in search of some companionship because you're sick of sitting on the sidelines and talking to yourself. Then leave.
Yes I'm familiar with the term. What you describe....I don't think I'm at that point yet. Last night she was pretty good about putting her phone down. That's what is frustrating - there will be periods where she is more engaged in me, but then then she'll fall back to her old habits. This makes me wonder if I should just put my big boy pants on and just chalk up to marriage imperfection.
 
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