Disclaimer: This is not a “spouse bashing post” by any means. This is simply one perspective from a wife/mother who feels like the cell phone is becoming a problem in her relationship.
I feel like I may sound old-fashioned or maybe even prudish, but I am beginning to HATE cell phones. The reasons are many and while I completely understand how much easier my life has become since having one, I also can think of a multitude of problems and concerns they can cause. Now, don’t get me wrong, I use my cell phone frequently throughout the day, both for work and pleasure, and have wasted plenty of time scrolling social media posts. Please don’t think I am claiming total innocence in this. However, within the last year or so, I have really noticed it becoming an issue in my marriage and wanted to write about it, just in case anyone else could relate.
I love my husband dearly. He is a great father, a wonderful partner, and just an all around good guy. That is not the issue. He works extremely hard to provide for our family and holds down multiple jobs to make sure we live comfortably. However, lately, I feel as though myself and the kids have taken a back seat to a small little device that fits into his pocket: his cell phone. As I mentioned above, my husband works a full-time job and then has a few “side gigs” that he works to help us continue to live the life we are accustomed to. There isn’t much “free time” or “downtime” in our household and we have learned to accept that. But, lately, I have felt my frustrations getting stronger and stronger, directed at the fact that he spends almost all of his limited free time staring at his cell phone. He does run a business that requires him to utilize many aspects of his phone for advertising and networking purposes, but it is starting to get out of control. I think we are going to have to start to set limits because it is beginning to wear on me.
For example, today we were getting ready for lunch and one of our kids was saying “dad, daddy, daddy, DADDY!” repeatedly and as I listened to him yell at him while he was sitting in the chair beside him, I realized that my husband just seems to totally tune out when he is on his cell phone. He doesn’t hear what others are saying to him and our child was literally yelling at him and didn’t get a response until six times later. I will also say that he is not the best at multitasking so when it comes to parenting or doing something, he cannot do more than one thing at a time. He also picks the most inopportune times to send an email or respond to an inquiry; perhaps right in the middle of serving our kids dinner when they are asking for 100 things at once and I am trying to just get the food on the table.
Then I find myself justifying it, saying he needs to do this to grow his business and I should just be more understanding. But I know that while running a business requires him to use his phone more often than many people, in order to have a “healthy relationship” with his phone, he is going to need to set boundaries so that we are all getting what we need. He is extremely impulsive so he feels the need to “take care of things” immediately when he gets a response or receives something related to his business. I just don’t know how much more I can take but when is enough enough?
Is this a guy thing? Is this common? Does one spouse tend to be more attached to his/her cell phone compared to the other? I am just trying to process my thoughts and feelings while staying level-headed and as judgment-free as I can be. I guess I just feel like I am the parent 90% of the time because he is enthralled, engaged, or attached to his cellular device. I have talked to other women whose husbands have similar issues or do the same thing with video games. I wonder if there are husbands that feel this way about their wives. With the age of social media and online marketing that we are living in, is this just the “new normal”? I am still learning and growing right along with technology, but I refuse to believe that it is completely taking over our lives and consuming all of us. Am I wrong?