This is a preview. The full article appears in Neil's book: Love, Sex and Staying Warm: Creating a Vital Relationship
Dear Neil: My wife is beyond obsessed with her iPhone. It is 24/7 with Facebook, video games and messaging apps, and she clearly prefers her phone to spending time with me and the kids. I assume she is downstairs with the kids, but when I go downstairs the kids are getting into all sorts of things. She is there but not there, immersed in her social media fantasy world. It’s ruining our marriage. Even late at night, she would rather play with her phone than be with me. If we didn’t have kids, I would have called it quits already.
Fed Up With Wife’s Cell Phone Addiction
Dear Fed Up: Money, sex, trust, children and poor communication/conflict resolution are still top issues that couples fight about. But rapidly rising into the mix is the subject you address: feeling ignored or rejected because you do not feel as if you are your spouses/lovers/partner’s top priority. And modern electronic devices have become one of the two most common reasons people feel ignored by their intimate partners. (The other reason is work.)
Think for a moment what it would feel like if you’re out as a couple sitting in some romantic restaurant, or having a serious conversation, or the two of you are flirting with each other—and your partner gets a text message that s/he feels compelled to respond to right then and there—and this happened over and over again. Most of the time you would feel like the text message took higher priority than you did, and you would feel rejected. Certainly it would kill the mood, but over time it would lead to greater levels of anger, resentment and feelings of disconnection, because it would feel like casual “friends” are more important to her than you and the kids are.
This may or may not be intentional behavior on your wife’s part. That is, she may not be aware of how all of this feels to you. Or on the other hand, she may be avoiding you and intentionally giving you the cold shoulder.
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