Should I Password Protect My Phone or Leave My Marriage?

BY: - 29 May '18 | Marriage

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Dear Dr.Buckingham, I have been married for 12 years with 3 children, though I already had a child before I got married making 4 children. My problem is that I don’t have access to my husband’s phone. My phone is always open for him so that he can have access to it. I am getting pissed and irritated now because he will wake me up in the middle of the night questioning me about conversations on social media and my phone calls. He even quotes my responses. I believe that marriage should be about trust. Should I Password Protect My Phone or Leave My Marriage?

Thank you,

Fed-up wife

Ask Dr. Buckingham

Dear Fed-up wife,

I agree that marriage should be about trust. However, it is difficult to develop trust where insecurity is present. Your husband’s insecurity has to be addressed first and foremost. Password protecting your phone will probably intensify his insecurities and cause him to become more paranoid. While it is uncomfortable to have him go through your phone, it is better for now. Most people would not agree so let me explain.

Jealousy is best defined as mental uneasiness from fear of unfaithfulness. Jealousy is an emotion that can lead to unwarranted or unmanageable rage. If you have nothing to hide, do not give him a reason to think that you are hiding something. Yes, you deserve privacy and the same respect and trust that you give him. However, that is not happening now.

The last thing you want to do is make a bad situation worse. Therefore, I do not recommend that you password protect your phone at this time. However, I do recommend that you seek professional counseling. If he refuses to participate in therapy, then I recommend that you do what is best for you. I do not know enough about your marriage to make a comment about whether or not you should leave. I know that it is not easy to deal with insecurity or lack of trust in a marriage, but leaving may not be the best answer initially.

Instead of getting angry, irritated, or leaving him, try to talk with him about his concerns. If he does not know the people that you are communicating with on social media, take a few minutes and explain who some of them are. This does not cost you a lot to do but could prevent a few headaches. Your primary goal should be to maintain your sanity and effectively manage his emotional instability.

If you feel that your husband’s insecurity can or will lead to emotional or physical abuse, please seek professional help for yourself. I mention this because you inquired about leaving. Typically, people do not think about leaving their marriage over trust issues alone. Usually, the lack of trust highlights other issues of concern such as aggression or emotional abuse. Your safety and emotional well-being should be more important than stroking his ego. Get help if warranted.

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.

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About the author

Dwayne Buckingham wrote 220 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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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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