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Discussion Starter #41
@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?
Ursula thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree that its time I bring this topic up again with her. A lot of what you discussed with your BF....I brought up with her previously, and while she was defensive at first, she understood, and changed her ways for a little while. I do find it odd that she used to charge her phone in the kitchen before bed. But now she charges it next to her on her nightstand. It is odd that when she leaves the room, she usually (not all the time) brings it with her. Understood that these are signs of her hiding something from me. Call it naivety, blinding love, but, my gut feeling is that is not the case here.

I just don't get what she is looking for for on there. Is it an escape - does real life get to be too much.? Am I not exciting enough? I never got into social media so i just dont understand the draw. I do use my phone for news, sports, weather, but after awhile I need to put it down.
 

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Discussion Starter #42
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."
Funny you mention marriage counselor. We had a blow up in the fall of 2019. She was doing other things that I wasn't happy with, but I wont get into the details here. That's a whole other thread. But I had a few sessions with a relationship counselor - just me. I told her about this, and my wife wasn't phased by it at all. She just said that I was happy that I spoke to someone. Almost like she was relieved that she was let off the hook. I feel like with her - she's fine not discussing things, because if you don't talk about it, then it's not really happening!

I feel terrible airing my thoughts out here, because it is so one-sided. This has all been very helpful though.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
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.
100% disagree. Watching TV, our shows, is a shared experience, and it does generate talking and commenting. Being on your phone is very isolating, as it is usually just you watching the screen, and choosing your own content.

If she flipped through her phone while she was on me, yes I would care.
 

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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.
No. Stay on the offense. Make you and the things you do more interesting. She should notice and gravitate in your direction. If not, you might not be speaking her love language. Read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I haven't figured out my spouse's love language yet, but I think the step is important.
 

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I never got into social media so i just don't understand the draw.
And, therefore, there is no way for you to know how big of an addiction it is for her. Social media is garbage, much of the time. It's as addictive as porn and can have the same effect.
 

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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.
It sounds like you're resigning yourself to being treated like a piece of furniture. The least you can do is leave the room and watch your show elsewhere.

Here is what a friend did when he was playing cribbage with his 17 year old granddaughter: she received a phone call and went into her bedroom to take it. When she came back, she saw that grandpa had put away the game and asked why. He said "When you play cribbage with Grandpa, you play cribbage with Grandpa. My time is valuable". Do with that what you will. Enjoy the rest of your life.
 

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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.
Yeah, don't do that. I will lead to a build up of resentment which will lead to anger which will lead to more troubles than you see now. Stay consistent. Keep reminding her over and over of your need for her to put her phone down and concentrate on you and your relationship.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
And, therefore, there is no way for you to know how big of an addiction it is for her. Social media is garbage, much of the time. It's as addictive as porn and can have the same effect.
That is a good analogy. It's hard to tell what is normal cell phone usage vs addiction. Everywhere you go, people are like zombies flipping through their phones.
 

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Funny you mention marriage counselor. We had a blow up in the fall of 2019. She was doing other things that I wasn't happy with, but I wont get into the details here. That's a whole other thread. But I had a few sessions with a relationship counselor - just me. I told her about this, and my wife wasn't phased by it at all. She just said that I was happy that I spoke to someone. Almost like she was relieved that she was let off the hook. I feel like with her - she's fine not discussing things, because if you don't talk about it, then it's not really happening!

I feel terrible airing my thoughts out here, because it is so one-sided. This has all been very helpful though.
Well I think you're going to have to talk her into going with you. Look a lot of times just insisting you go to a marriage counselor, without ever mentioning divorce or anything like that, I mean that idea is going to occur to her that your spouse taking into a marriage counselor as often a effort to save a marriage that is going downhill so maybe just knowing that will make her go. Don't mention divorce but it will occur to her that you might be getting really fed up. That is why I would just make the appointment and I would tell her you're not going unless she does because you don't feel it would accomplish anything unless she comes with you and participates. If she resists just tell her it just seems like one more way she's not participating in the marriage and that is starting to be a serious problem.
 

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Funny you mention marriage counselor. We had a blow up in the fall of 2019. She was doing other things that I wasn't happy with, but I wont get into the details here. That's a whole other thread. But I had a few sessions with a relationship counselor - just me. I told her about this, and my wife wasn't phased by it at all. She just said that I was happy that I spoke to someone. Almost like she was relieved that she was let off the hook. I feel like with her - she's fine not discussing things, because if you don't talk about it, then it's not really happening!

I feel terrible airing my thoughts out here, because it is so one-sided. This has all been very helpful though.
Never feel bad airing your thoughts, whether it's here, with your therapist or with a trusted friend. Sometimes a person just needs to get some opinions on an issue that they're having. It's not like you're here to bash your wife, you just want thoughts from people who have possibly been where you are now.
 
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