WARNING! 7 Ways Smartphones Can Ruin Relationships & Marriages
7 ways smartphones can destroy a couple’s connection and ruin a marriage.
Could your phone obsession be impacting your relationship and closeness?
With smartphones becoming cheaper, more available and the ability to now message and call for free, you may think they are an asset to romantic relationships. Unfortunately not. Our smartphones have become highly addictive and for many reasons the cost to relationships is high. Having helped thousands of couples to reconnect and restore intimacy one of the things that often comes up is the way a husband or wife engages with their phone and social media.
Let me ask you a few questions…
Do you feel a pull to constantly check your phone?
Is your phone and visible to you all the time?
Would you feel lost without it?
If you answered yes to any of the above, you are not alone. The obsession with our phones is rampant!
According to the research, companies study the average person touches their mobile device 2,617 times a day! A high user, a whopping 5,427 a day. Yes, a DAY! They put in a new software to track how many times a representative group of Android phone users touched their phone. Can you believe it? I thought that is way too high, but just observe yourself and you may see some alarming patterns going on.
It’s no wonder phone usage can be a sore point for couples if we are interacting with our phones as often as that. I’ve seen it destroy connection and closeness and I don’t want that to happen for you. So I am sharing the common complaints and solutions, to protect your relationship and get the love you truly deserve.
7 ways smart phones can destroy a couples connection –
- You text instead of talk
The odd text message is good for sharing something quickly if you cannot connect on the phone and something important needs to be arranged. It can also feel special to receive or express a loving message like “I’m thinking of you” “I love you” etc. BUT if it becomes the core way you communicate and it is used as a replacement for conversation, over time it erodes closeness. Imagine if your parents raised you by text message…. How close would you be? How much love would you feel from them? The chances are you would have a distant and damaged relationship. We are not robots, relationships cannot be built that way! All relationships need constant nurturing, engagement and interaction to grow. If we limit our verbal communication, eye contact and sharing emotions through our tone of voice, we will be missing the opportunity to bond.
Text arguing has also become the norm for many couples. Texting your grievances may seem like a good idea as you won’t be interrupted in getting your point across but it FAILS to resolve issues, to convey your true feelings and often leads to more hurt, resentment, and negativity. Even worse than this, if done repeatedly couples start to ignore or become unaffected by their spouse’s remarks and start ignoring each other. Shutdown in a relationship is the first stage of damaging decline.
Keep in mind that 72% of communication is body language, 20% is the tone of voice and only 7% is words. So by using words only 92% is missing from your message and for obvious reasons this leads to misunderstandings, hurt and hostility.
Solution – couples I have worked with switched to a call once during the day and noticed a massive shift in their closeness. Others had lunch together a few times a week. For those that couldn’t do that, they left voice mails instead of texting. All reported back to me saying they felt instantly closer and happier in just a few weeks of doing this.
- You date your phone at dinner
What happened to a family meal time, engaging conversation and eye contact? I think we’ve all seen this by now maybe even been a little guilty of it ourselves. Whether you eat watching TV, sit at the dinner table is your phone staring right at you? Or do you perhaps get all of your emails and messages delivered to your wrist on your watch as you are eating? All prevent precious bonding time.
Couples will often say to me, “Nicola, we just don’t have enough time as we use to, our busy work schedules/children/commitments get in the way…” Yet after going into more detail, it is clear they have at least 2 hours where they could be enjoying each other’s company each evening and more on weekends. Instead of interacting they are glued to their phones. Is it any wonder we feel more lonely and less connected in this connected world? I think not.
It’s easy to interpret your husband or wife being so engaged with their phone, as a sign you are far less interesting and important than the virtual friends you have. Clearly making our partners feel less than on a regular basis is going to effective the relationship.
Solution – put them away while you eat
- You cuddle up on the sofa with your mobile
As you settle down on the sofa with a cup of tea or glass of wine at the end of the day, is your phone or your partner next to you? Who do you choose to be by your side when you want to relax? Do you choose your phone over affection with your partner? Are you sat together or opposite sides of the room? Is your phone your source of comfort or your lover?
Solution – cuddle up to each other and leave your phones where you can hear them if someone calls but are not attached to them.
- You attend to your phone when in bed
It can be very frustrating to wake up hearing and seeing your partner in the middle of the night emailing or and texting. Same with checking your phone in bed before you have engaged, it’s a passion killer. You are also missing the chance for intimacy. When spouses take their phones to bed on a regular basis many men and women, feel undesired and unattractive. Again not good for closeness.
Solution – stop it, only check work emails at work and messages after you have left the bed.
- You share more online than with him or her
Is your spouse the one you share news, feelings, and experiences with? Or is Facebook / Instagram the place you go to first? Do you get or give more support, appreciation, and recognition to online friends than to your partner? It can feel good to share updates and photos, as long as it is not replacing our connection in close relationships. The attachment to positive reinforcement through likes and comments can keep us detached from those we live with.
Solution – Before you post, call or share with your loved one first and you may not even feel the need to share it.
- Your phone accompanies you to the bathroom
Now whilst it’s highly unlikely your partner would want to go to the toilet with you. Studies have found that more and more people are taking their phone to the bathroom and spending over 30 minutes in their because they end up interacting on their phone. I’ve seen it trigger insecurities in close relationships as well as take away from precious couple time when men and women disappear for over 30 minutes to an hour or longer at a time.
Solution – ha ha, I’m not going to say anything on this one.
- You photo everything and experience little
Lastly, in the quest to connect virtually many smartphone users have become snap happy. When you constantly take selfie’s or photos of everything you are pausing and therefore disconnecting with reality and the people in it. By snapping away for the ultimate photo and perfect smile, special moments can pass as our attention. Precious romantic moments can be lost, as we are not truly present for our partner. When we do this we lose the experience of happiness. As we are happiest when our minds are fully present, fully embraced in the now. If we constantly are engaging with our phones, and checking for others approval or replies to messages, or use it to fill moments of emptiness, then we turn off real life.
Solution – Aim to really experience your surroundings, ask yourself “do I need to stop and take a photo?” If you do want to take photo’s limit it to a few and then go back to the moment and interact with what is happening.
This article is not to point fingers, trigger accusations between a couple or make anyone feel guilty. It’s written to inspire. Phone obsession is a reality and we must pull back if it is impacting our close relationships. Awareness is the first key to change. So my hope is you benefit like I have from being aware of this common problem and make different choices to have a closer & more intimate relationship.
From my heart to yours, Nicola
Relationship & Connection Specialist
P.S For more tips to strengthen your relationship and become closer, be sure to download my free e-book “7 Secrets to Strengthening or Saving Your Marriage “https://training.nicolabeer.com/7-secrets-marriage/”