7 Min Read
- Signs That Your Phone Is Causing Problems
- Why Your Wife May Be Spending So Much Time On Her Phone
- What You Can Do If Your Wife Is Always On Her Phone
- What To Take Away
- What Readers Have To Say (20+ comments)
Nearly everyone has a smartphone these days. But they’re far more than just phones – they’re really mini-computers that we walk around with and use all the time.
We’ve become quite reliant on smartphones, and as amazing as the technology is with the many benefits they provide, there are definite pitfalls. In fact, some people seem addicted to their phones, which is why we frequently hear complaints from husband’s that their wives are on the phone all the time.
It’s not unusual to hear that the overuse of a cell phone has led to big problems in a relationship, and both men and women are guilty. But it’s more often husbands who want to know what to do when their wife is on the phone all the time.
Because phones do so much more than just let us communicate, there are endless reasons to use them.
All of these give people an excuse to sit for hours on their phones, especially social media.
But when a wife is on her phone all the time rather than interacting with her husband and family, there are big issues. And it’s not always easy to know what to do about it.
Signs Your Phone Is Causing Problems
The miracle of technology allows us to connect globally with long lost friends and order toilet paper with a few key taps. But it can also be the thing that creates an enormous divide in our relationships.
Constant interaction with phones can interrupt and break our connection to family, as well as making intimacy with our partners more difficult to achieve and sustain.
Increasingly, men are reporting that their wife is always on the phone. It’s become one of the more persistent complaints that we hear while counseling men.
Many even say it seems like their wives are addicted to their phone.
Problems in a relationship relating to phone addiction are beginning to rival the more common issues regarding sex and money that many couples deal with.
Now, relationships are being disrupted by inappropriate and constant use of cell phones during times that should be reserved for personal connection like,
- Date nights
- The bedroom
- Conversations about important subjects
Some men say that their wives even take the phone into the bathroom or shower with them.
Even though many men may recognize that there’s something wrong, the normalcy of constant phone use in today’s society confuses the situation, often leaving them asking if their wife’s cell phone use is really a problem, or if they’re overreacting.
If you’re wondering if it’s a problem or just you, ask yourself the following questions.
Yes, there’s actually a term for those that ignore, or snub, their partner by using their phone – phubbing (phone snubbing).
When your wife is so absorbed in the worlds associated with her phone that it makes it hard for her to focus on you, it’s easy to feel secondary in her life.
So, if she seems overly intent on what’s going on in her social media account or getting the high score in Candy Crush, rendering her unable to engage in conversation or make eye-contact, her phone has definitely become a problem.
- Has she developed a more intimate relationship with her phone than with you?
If you have found that the blue glow of her phone is more prominent in the bedroom than pillow talk or intimacy there’s an issue.
More and more men are saying that their wives bring their phone to bed and seem more interested in it than them. This can be a sign that your wife is addicted to her phone, and it isn’t healthy for you as a couple or for her as a person.
- Has she become obsessed with Instagram, Facebook, or other social media outlets?
While texting, shopping and gaming on smartphones takes a lot of attention, social media is by far the biggest consumer of time for many. And, unfortunately, these platforms can be gateways to inappropriate relationships.
It can feel very easy and safe to flirt on Facebook, or follow someone on Instagram and begin a direct message relationship. Many believe these connections don’t affect your marriage but sadly, they do and often in a negative way. Even more sadly, the impact of these online relationships is often not realized until a lot of damage has been done.
- Does your wife act like a child is missing if she can’t find her phone?
This level of separation anxiety when missing a device is unhealthy and a sign that she’s too connected to her phone.
Consequently, there’s likely a negative impact on your relationship due to her obsession with her phone.
If the answers to any (or all) of the questions above is yes, then your instincts are probably dead on.
Your wife being on the phone all the time is definitely a problem.
Why Your Wife May Be Spending So Much Time On Her Phone
There are a number of reasons your wife may be spending so much time on her phone.
One of the biggest is that phones are actually addictive. They’re designed to draw you in with,
- Ease of access
- Immediate access to information
- Colors and graphics
- Instant gratification of being able to shop or order things
- Real-time communication
Dr. Kurt counsels both individuals and couples daily. In his practice phone use has become an increasingly prominent topic.
When asked about his experience with this issue he had this to say:
Smartphones are the perfect escape. Always there. Quick and easy. They can even make it look like we're being productive. But they also can serve as a drug. The pleasure they bring releases feel good chemicals in our brains that are very enjoyable, powerful and addictive. When we're feeling down, unhappy or even depressed, our phones can be a quick, albeit temporary, fix. Be careful how you use yours. Phones are meant to be a tool, not a way for us to cope with or escape from our lives."
The reasons your wife spends so much time on her phone can vary, but below are some of the most common culprits.
- Avoidance. Is your relationship having problems? Are there difficult topics that need to be discussed? If so, then her constant phone use may be a way of avoiding facing relationship problems or painful topics.
Today’s smartphones provide an easy refuge for avoiding problems. Rather than talk about things that are going on, or discuss emotional or painful issues, you can hide in your phone.
- Neglect. If you and your wife often find yourselves sitting in silence, or you have become preoccupied with other things, she may be feeling neglected.
Her phone and what she can do with it may provide attention and be acting as a method of self-soothing.
- Boredom. Phones have become boredom killers.
We’ve become a society of constant engagement and immediate gratification. If we have nothing to do for even a moment we fill our time looking at the worlds our phones give us access to – and it can be hard to stop.
While hobbies that engage your mind and creativity, especially if you can share them as a couple, are preferable, if your wife has found herself with too much time on her hands it’s possible she’s using her phone so much because she’s bored.
The big problem with this is the habits – sitting, disengaging, disconnection - it creates. And once these habits form they can be hard to break.
It’s important to remember that not all phone use is bad.
There are several things that phones provide that are both productive and positive.
- Mental stimulation can occur through certain types of games.
- Time can be saved through certain shopping and ordering apps.
- And, of course, the communication aspects.
What You Can Do If Your Wife Is Always On Her Phone
Helping her understand how her being on the phone all the time is making you feel and impacting your relationship is a good first step in confronting her behavior. You’ll also need to talk to her – calmly.
Don’t expect her to give it up cold turkey though.
As with any addiction, there can be a painful period of “detoxing.” Anyone who’s on the phone all the time will need to create a plan for how to curb their use, and that will likely happen in stages.
The biggest issue when it comes to reducing phone use is the overwhelming feeling that she’ll miss something.
- I might miss a text
- Someone posted something and I need to see it
- I posted something and need to see if people liked it
- I want to order (clothes, dinner, groceries, a fuzzy cat poster) and need to do it NOW
Being unable to control impulses and constant FOMO (fear of missing out) are very real side effects of being constantly connected.
Helping her see there are very few things that are immediately important can be difficult and will take time. Reminding her of what’s real and tangible – you, your family, experiences together – is crucial though.
What To Take Away
Phones and other technologies can be an enhancement to relationships in some circumstances. For instance, staying connected when you’re far apart and seeing faces of friends and family in other parts of the world are amazing benefits.
But in most daily relationships’ phones can be disruptive and degrade,
- Emotional connection
- Ability to relate to other people
If your wife is on the phone all the time, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
To combat the problem and improve your relationship remember the following things:
- Be aware of communication issues you have as a couple that can make this topic difficult to discuss constructively.
- It’s not just her relationship with you that’s being impacted – her family and friends are also suffering.
- Breaking the habit isn’t easy and she’ll need a plan and your support.
If your wife is on the phone all the time you can be a positive influence and help by engaging with her and looking for opportunities for you both to detach. Chances are you can use a break from your phone too.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published July 17, 2019. It has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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