How Do I Cope With My Wife, She Is Addicted to Facebook?

BY: - 13 Feb '18 | Marriage

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Dear Dr. Buckingham,

I am reaching out to you because I am about to lose my 15-year marriage over Facebook. To make a long story short, my wife has turned into a Facebook Addict. She spends at least three to four hours a day on the damn intranet and does not tend to the kids or me. While our three kids work on their homework and I work around the house, she socializes on Facebook. I asked her why does she spend so much time on Facebook and she told me that she gets a high from the interaction and that all of her friends are on there. She also gets defensive when I question her about Facebook. I feel like I am married to a15 year old. I know that everyone is on social media these days, but what happened to being social. How Do I Cope with My Wife-She is Addicted to Facebook?

Thanks,

Mr. Facebook Husband

Ask Dr. Buckingham

Dear Mr. Facebook Husband,

I am glad you decided to reach out because 15 years is a long time to throw away over Facebook. I can relate to your frustration with social media and agree that people have lost the concept of what it means to be social without social media. In regards to your wife, I believe that it is important to respond to her Facebook addiction as if it is an alcohol addiction. I say this because individuals with addictive traits typically engage in similar behavioral patterns such as denial, defensiveness and occasional angry outbursts when confronted. With this in mind, here are a few do’s and don’ts for coping with your wife’s addiction to Facebook.

Do: Maintain a respectful posture and avoid name-calling or labeling. Even if you feel that she is acting like a 15-year-old teen, do not speak to her in that manner. Always speak to your wife in the same manner in which you would like her to speak to you.

Don’t: Expect her to get off of Facebook just because you ask her to stop or if you say, “If you will not stop for me, stop for our kids.” Generally speaking, people who engage in compulsive behavior rarely connect their behavior to their loved ones. Don’t make her behavior be about the family. It impacts the family, but her behavior is about her.

Do: Continue to be patient as you work through your frustration. Addictive behavior typically develops over time. Know that your wife’s willingness and/or ability to change will come with time. How much time? No one knows, but you can establish some guidelines to help you determine if progress is being made. You probably heard of the term “Quitting Cold Turkey.” This means to withdraw from something suddenly or completely. Believe it or not, this is difficult for most addicts. A gradual process might work better for your wife.

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Don’t: Talk badly about your wife to the kids. Like you, they have noticed her behavior. Try not to avoid conversations with them, but make sure you let them know that their mother loves them and that her behavior is about her and not them.

Do: Seek marital counseling. Trying to figure this thing out all by yourself is not a good idea. Understanding and coping with addictive behavior requires a certain amount of knowledge, patience, insight, and skill. A professional like myself can help you gain insight into your wife’s addictive Facebook behavior.

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Don’t: Get into a power struggle. Remember that the more we push someone the more they move away from us. This is the typical parent-child dynamic. Your ability to get your wife to listen to you and to be heard will only occur if she feels that you are not trying to control her.

Finally, do take care of yourself. Try to do things that keep you level-headed. I know that you might feel bad or worry about the kids, but you cannot give to them or your wife what you do not have. Make sure you put on your oxygen mask before you help others.

Best regards,

Dr. Buckingham

If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to askdrbuckingham@gmail.com

Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions, and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.

About the author

Dwayne Buckingham wrote 216 articles on this blog.

Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham, author of Qualified, yet Single: Why Good Men Remain Single and Unconditional Love: What Every Woman and Man Desires in a Relationship, is a highly acclaimed international clinical psychotherapist, life coach, relationship and resiliency expert, motivational speaker and corporate consultant. He is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of R.E.A.L. Horizons Consulting Service, located in Silver Spring, Maryland. To learn more about Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham visit his website at www.DrBuckingham.com.

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5 Important Reasons You Need a Vision for Your Marriage

BY: - 16 Feb '18 | Marriage

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I’m going to keep it real right now. I am naturally a “fly by the seat of your pants” kind of a woman. I enjoy spontaneity, surprises, and going with the flow. What will be, will be. There are days I just LOVE that about myself. And then, there are other days. You know, the ones where the bill you forgot about comes in and the seat of your pants spent the money on spa day! The stress that spa day relieved has returned full force because “how in the heck am I going to explain this to my military veteran, by-the-book husband?”

When you’re single, robbing Peter to pay Paul can be a thing. But when you’re married, and desire to remain happily so, that kind of thing needs to be a thing of the past. That was a challenging pill to swallow until I realized it didn’t mean my carefree spirit had to take a back seat. The issue, be it financial or otherwise, had now become a part of group-think. Marriage does that. It removes the “me first” mentality into the “us against the world” frame of thought. And now, the two people who have become one get to decide what life moving forward will look like.

In your marriage, conversations about your future are beyond important, they are necessary. In order for your relationship to bring you the joy you hope for, here are some areas that require moving beyond the cavalier mindset and into vision territory.

Vision to Grow

We all change. When we do, it can catch our significant other off guard. But going from a long, flowing mane to a short natural look won’t cause irreparable relationship damage. However, it’s important to have a plan to deal with changes that result from life’s challenges. There are questions you should ask each other that will be a springboard for conversation should any of these issues arise.

  • How will we deal with the loss of a child?
  • When we are tempted by someone else, how do we handle it?
  • If we give in to temptation, what does that mean for us?
  • What happens if either of us loses our jobs?
  • What if we desire to make a drastic career change?

While not an exhaustive list, these are the kinds of questions that help you through growing pains in a relationship. By broaching the conversation early on, you give yourself a head start should any of those issues ever develop.

Vision to Love

Love languages were all the rage not too long ago. Do you know your spouse’s? In order for the love in your relationship to be rich, you need to know what it should look like. Often times, it’s just a matter of doing the things you did at first to win your spouse over. While life can sometimes make that difficult, we live in a time when life gives you a way out.

You’ve heard the phrase, “there’s an app for that.” Because it’s imperative you create a vision for love in your marriage, find something that helps you do that well. Whether it’s an app, or a book, or a buddy, get something in your corner to help you make loving your spouse a priority.

Vision to Last

Usually, the idea behind marriage is “until death do us part.” However, 50 percent of couples are finding other reasons to call it quits. If you are in this relationship for the long haul, how will you keep it going? What are your deal breakers and how can you avoid them? In order to make your marriage last, you must embrace lasting behaviors such as:

  • Effective communication
  • Bedrock financial goals
  • Unified parenting if children are involved
  • Spiritual understanding
  • Intimacy needs

Add to this list the things needed in your relationship to take it all the way. Don’t take it for granted that it will last without a plan.

Vision to Protect

What are you doing to protect your relationship from outside influences? This one should be the easiest since marriage, by nature, means you leave all others behind and create your own family with its own rules and expectations. But, too many couples are bringing outsiders in. Protect your marriage by leaving your mom, your sister, your cousin, your boss, your homegirl, and anyone else, out of it.

Click Here to Join our FREE 5-Day Spiritual Intimacy Challenge

Vision to Teach

Though it’s only been 16 years since my hubby and I tied the knot, I have found it so rewarding when other couples come to us for advice about how to handle relationship challenges. Are you building something that you, your children, and others can be proud of and want to learn from? If you take the time to truly envision a rock solid relationship and implement the things that make it so, it’s not just your marriage that will benefit but all those blessed to be in its presence.

But teaching by example is one thing. Making a conscious decision to put your life experiences on blast through counseling, coaching, Youtubing, Facebooking or otherwise can be rewarding. Sometimes, the best way you can help our community is by looking at the blessing right in front of you.

You can fly by the seat of your pants or you can prepare to make your relationship last for life. Even though I’m the first type, I have learned to embrace the second. So can you.

BMWK, do you have a vision for your marriage?

About the author

Joann Fisher wrote 154 articles on this blog.

Joann Fisher has been a writer and editor for both print and online newpapers and magazines for the last 10 years. She now serves as a Writer/Editor at BMWK and lead Editor for The Joy Network.

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