Divorce Digital Distractions: 5 Signs You’re Married to Your Cell Phone

BY: - 30 May '18 | Marriage

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Are you married to your cellphone? Confession Time! Guess who interrupted “Date Night” to post on Facebook? Now, don’t get me wrong. The underlying goal was to promote Date Nights and Black Love along with the fact that my husband was looking mighty fine. However, one thing led to another (like an affair) but this time, it was in an affair with my cell phone. I started with a simple posting but then got sucked into those “pop up notifications.” As if that was not enough, I then ventured into my email to ensure I wasn’t missing any opportunities. Lawd help me!

According to a recent study, Asurion found that the average person struggles to go more than 10 minutes without checking their phone. And of the 2,000 people surveyed, one in 10 checks their phones on average once every four minutes. I bet you have an urge to check your phone now, don’t you? Clearly, we are struggling and according to these numbers, I’m in good company.

So, why are we addicted to our phones? Well, when those notifications for emails, texts, or phone calls go off, our bodies get a shot of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, a chemical responsible for sending messages between the brain and different nerve cells of the body that are connected to the pleasure systems of our brain, and therefore motivates us to seek out certain behaviors. So it seems that we get an immediate satisfaction that stimulates our brain’s reward centers with every notification alert. And as we become more addicted to that instant gratification, our marriages can suffer as a result.

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So, are you married to your cell phone? Here are five signs you could very well be.

5 Signs You Might Be Married to Your Cell Phone

1. Cell Phone Separation Anxiety – Do you grab for your phone as soon as you open your eyes in the morning? Do you reach for it over coffee and/or breakfast? Do you carry your cell phone everywhere? Do you respond to every notification alert?

2. Spousal Negligence – Do you find yourself carelessly passing time on your cell phone while neglecting or if you want to keep it lighter…not attending or ignoring your spouse?

3. Ready, Set, Respond…Respond…Respond – Do you find yourself reading and answering text messages, emails, tweets, from sun up to sun down? Do you answer texts even when it means interrupting other things you are doing? Does time on your phone take away from quality time with your spouse OR what could be quality time with your spouse?

4. Spousal Warning – Does your spouse (friends and family too) complain about the constant frequency of your technology use?

5. Digitally Distracted – Do you text, email, tweet, or surf the internet while engaging in other activities that require your focused attention and concentration (e.g. driving, working, school, etc.)

I’m willing to say every spouse at one time or another has been guilty (myself included)…it is just a matter of consistency or should I say consumption? So don’t guilt trip yourself too hard. Rather, take heed to the following helpful tips on how to avoid digital distractions and focus on your marriage:

Tips to Divorce Digital Distractions:

1. Spousal Inquiry – If you want to know if your cell phone and technology are impacting your marriage, just ask your spouse. They will be sure to let you know their feelings and/or concerns.

2. Technology Time – Allow for quality time interacting with one another with no technology. Set blocks of time with and without technology. This can help communicate to your spouse that he/she and the marriage is top priority to you.

3. Dinner Disconnect – Absolutely no cell phones at dinner as this gives you an opportunity to connect with your spouse and to have an open conversation without digital distractions.

4. Switch Settings – Kick those automatic notifications to the curb on your cell phone, laptop, and/or tablet so that you don’t receive any automatic notifications. Speaking from experience, I know this can be hard, but this can help you become less addicted to the “dopamine drug.”

5. Mornings Matter – Many individuals check email and/or social media before they are even out of bed in the morning. Commit to the first 30 minutes of your day being dedicated to doing more positive things, such as having breakfast or coffee with your spouse, working out, work on self (improvement) — all without picking up your cell phone.

6. Unplug – At least one hour before bedtime, power off your cell phone and devices. Blue light waves are transmitted through our electronics, which can cause eyestrain, headaches, physical and mental fatigue, and inability to sleep at night. In addition, if your electronics aren’t distracting you, you create more of an opportunity for cuddling and other physical affection…remember sex?

Technology is not inherently bad or good for your marriage. It’s how you use it that determines whether it’s bad or good. Be intentional about technology and use it to better connect with your spouse and improve your marriage while being mindful and committing to the above tips.

BMWK, are digital distractions harming your marriage?

About the author

Da-Nay Macklin wrote 59 articles on this blog.

Coach Da-Nay Macklin is a Certified Christian Life & Relationship Coach, founder of the Courageous Conquerors Mastermind and Author of Love After Adultery: The Breakthrough Journey of the Brokenhearted Available on Amazon She is one of the nation’s leading experts on infidelity and a thought leader on maximizing potential as she assists couples and individuals to live life by design and not default. Da-Nay has been has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network’s show Unfaithful: Stories of Betrayal after successfully navigating adultery in her marriage, and named one of the 15 most powerful women on the south side of Chicago. She now resides in Charlotte, NC with her loving husband and daughter.

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2 Acts of Kindness Every Marriage Needs to Last

BY: - 1 Jun '18 | Marriage

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They say that hindsight is 20/20. By and large, they are right. But there’s something to be said for learning from the mistakes of others. That sort of foresight is priceless as it can save a lot of heartache especially when it comes to relationships. As a case in point, I recently read an article in which divorced men reflected on the moment they knew it was over in their marriage. For some, the moment was years ahead of the actual parting of ways. For others, the decline was swift and certain. Ironically, they all had one thing in common. In each instance, a simple act of kindness toward their spouse could have served as a salve to heal many of the wounds that had been inflicted in their marriage. Am I for certain it would have prevented the inevitable? Of course not! But, who doesn’t love an act of kindness? They go viral on the internet all.the.time. If they can go viral on the internet, they can go viral in your relationship as well.

So, what does it mean to perform an act of kindness in your marriage? Isn’t it a given that you should be kind to your spouse? Yes, it’s a given. But if it was easy, divorce wouldn’t be a thing. You see, I am talking about the sorts of kind acts that require both strength and humility. Every marriage that hopes to last needs them. Here are just two to get you started.

The Kindness of Intentional Mercy

You know you did wrong. Your spouse knows you did wrong. As a result, they were hurt. But it is clear by your ensuing actions that whatever you did is not something you will ever do again. The Bible calls it “Godly sorrow” and it leads to a lasting change that leaves no regret.

Now, rather than drag you to the dog house and keep you there for weeks or even days, your spouse absolves you of your guilt by offering complete and irreversible mercy and grace. This act of kindness takes place within moments of your acknowledgment that you have hurt your mate. You are relieved. You are at peace. You are thankful. And, one thing is for certain. Should the roles ever be reversed, you will do the same.

Every marriage that hopes to last must involve individuals who have the humility to recognize that they can make some terrible mistakes in their marriage and may one day require the same swift and intentional kind of mercy. I know it won’t apply in every situation. But when it does, find the strength and the humility to offer it to your spouse.

The Kindness of Intentional Affirmation

I was sitting and talking with my friend recently when her husband walked into the room, walked over to her, and planted a quick but sincere kiss on her lips. As she and I continued our conversation after he left, she mentioned that she had told him he needed to step up his affection. It was clearly a need she had and by his actions at that moment, it was one he intended to fulfill. While that’s all well and good, she also talked about how important it was that she let him know how grateful she was that he listened to her needs and that he was doing a great job at meeting them.

The kindness of intentional affirmation gives life to a marriage because it helps you to prop someone up for something you think they should be doing all along. I mean, isn’t demonstrating affection towards your spouse a no-brainer in a relationship? But this is where strength and humility come into play. When you’re strong and humble enough to admit that kind of affirmation is something you would want, then it makes it that much easier to give it to your spouse.

Marriages are naturally filled with instances of mercy and affirmation. But lifelong marriages are filled with intentional mercy and intentional affirmation. It cuts both ways and no one keeps a record. It’s just a given in the relationships that want to do more than just stay afloat. So, if you intend for your marriage to last, then be intentional in your acts of kindness toward your spouse.

BMWK, are you being intentional kind to your spouse whether they deserve it or not?

About the author

Joann Fisher wrote 156 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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