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Relationships

My husband has a mistress.

My husband has a mistress.

My husband has a mistress.  He is not alone in this—most of us do.

That’s right, these days the cell phone is quickly becoming the harlot of the 21st century.

It’s not breaking news that the cell phone is amazing, yet has some pretty obvious setbacks. For me, this has come at a cost to my relationship.

I knew this issue wasn’t just a fleeting feeling when I started to feel jealousy toward my husband’s phone. Between the habitual email-checking, social-media-surfing, and games, I started to feel forgotten.

Most of us have had this feeling from a friend who is talking to us over texting or scrolling through their news feed, but what do you do when it’s your husband or wife?

Trying to find solutions was difficult. I found communication strategies and suggestions on designating “phone-free zones” in your home. But the truth is, in a relationship, feeling irrelevant or less important than whatever else is going on starts to wear on a person. Fights start, and what was once just a small problem can quickly spiral into a huge issue.

While the cell phone era might be new, it’s not the first time technology has drastically interfered with our basic human interactions.

It could arguably be compared to when televisions found their way into living rooms across the country. What was once a quiet evening spent around the dinner table quickly became replaced with T.V. trays.

So how did the relationships survive the T.V. era? Well, they adapted, or more commonly, people gave in and normalized the behavior.

Now decades later, we have a substantial amount of research on how television hurt the family dynamic, something we all knew in our core, but couldn’t seem to part with. Today pediatricians talk to new parents about TV time and the benefits of having children screen-free until the age of two.

That’s just it—maybe the research about the cell phone era isn’t out there yet, but aren’t we ALL intelligent enough to identify this is not creating a healthy society?

When talking to my husband, he was supportive about finding a healthy balance for both of us. But in our hearts, we know the real solution isn’t going to be an easy one.

It’s my opinion that the only way to remember you don’t actually need something is by going without it, and remembering life before it took over yours. Maybe that’s the old smoker in me…

So, let’s do it!

All of us!

I mean, I am not innocent of being over-connected to my social media. I find myself posting cliché photos of my children, dinners out, and even the occasional “hey I’m actually dressed today” selfie.

So, what if we all started Monday morning with a phone diet? Or a Kick-a-phone patch? Yes, that’s my attempt on a witty pun of the nicotine patch.

My relationships deserve more than a “like.”

This post reflects the views of the author, and is intended to start a conversation. Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

Or, if you’d like to hear some overall thoughts on family or digital technology from Christians at THRED, you can find those over here: Family, Digital Technology.

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Alisha Wittstruck
As a mom I am busy soaking up all the fun that twin two-year-olds have to offer. This requires I stay highly caffeinated and enjoy at least one uninterrupted evening of reality tv a week ... a few glasses of red wine don't hurt either. I am very thankful for the every day of the mundane life I get to call my own!!

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